Providence is a LARP game using Trent Yacuk's Kingdom Come system. It is a game of Fallen Angels and their struggle to survive against the forces of Heaven and Hell and some things in between.

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» "Map" of the Fallen
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    LARP In General


    Number of posts : 860
    Location : She is overfond of books, and it hath addled her brain.
    Registration date : 2008-06-24

    LARP In General

    Post by cenobyte on Tue 2 Sep 2008 - 13:00

    I thought I might share with you some of my thoughts about LARP, and about what makes LARP awesome...and what can make it suck worse than a trailer park princess. And offer some tips for what I consider to be good roleplaying. Hopefully, I don't come off as too much of a prat. And I'd like you to let me know what you think about LARP in general and about the kinds of things that make you keep coming back.
    It will help me to keep in mind what makes things great for as many people as possible.

    First of all, what I love most about LARP is the people. It's a social pastime, after all.

    Second, the stories. Whether it's the 'uber plot' from the Storyguides or the individual plots created by the players, or the anecdotes we tell at coffee afterwards.

    Then there are the costumes and the makeup. Really, I think I just never quite grew out of kindergarten dress-up time. It's a guilty pleasure.

    And, of course, the make-believe. The suspension of disbelief. The pretend. The total immersion in the game. You can't beat that.

    It's relatively easy to ruin a LARP (at least, for me), however. A lot of it has to do, I think, with the way the story is told. Keep in mind, I'm coming at this from a player's point of view (maybe the Storyguide's point of view will out itself in another post someday) bugs the crap out of me when the storyguide discourages character-driven plot and storylines (I hope I don't do that too often). It also drives me nuts when folks play the numbers on their character sheet rather than the inspiration for the character...and what I mean by that is that I prefer R-O-L-E playing to R-O-L-L playing. For me, it's never been about the dice or the system; it's all about the story.

    And, of course, cheaters. Folks who meta-game (more on this in a moment) or who try to bilk the system out of everything it's got simply because they need to be the most powerful character in the tri-state area...yeah. That gets my goat.

    What do you think? What makes LARP good for you? What don't you like about it?


    Number of posts : 45
    Registration date : 2008-06-27

    Re: LARP In General

    Post by Marius on Tue 2 Sep 2008 - 20:02

    Well, first off, I love role-playing games. I love the character assumption, I love confronting fictional choices from a free yet character-driven perspective. I love the potential to make worlds of imagination come alive.

    For me, the strength of LARP is the way it accommodates so many different character viewpoints into the same venue and story. In tabletop, you're usually limited to a group with party cohesion. In LARP, there's the great possibility for PC vs. PC conflict, be it rivalry or all-out war.

    The greater possibilities of immersion and energizing a scene with life, and the joys of production values (costuming, sets, lighting, the whole shebang) are also huge draws.

    My biggest peeve is lack of contribution. A lot of people want to win, and that's absolutely fine. What throws me is when people won't take risks, won't throw caution to the winds a bit (even if playing it safe is what their character would do) and give the game some momentum. Player-driven plot is great, but some people's idea of player-driven plot is "I make you the victim of my plans, see if you can figure out anything to do about it".

    Incidentally, I have to say that "roll-playing" vs. "role-playing" is a false dichotomy in common usage. Rules and role can both support or hinder imagination and story, and I prefer them best when they're balanced with each other. No attack against Jill, she's just stating a preference for a different balance, but I always worry that the terms reinforce a view that rules get in the way of character immersion. If they're good rules, they don't.

    Number of posts : 860
    Location : She is overfond of books, and it hath addled her brain.
    Registration date : 2008-06-24

    Re: LARP In General

    Post by cenobyte on Tue 2 Sep 2008 - 20:09

    And to clarify, while I'm not always *good* at rules, it makes a huge difference when you have good ones. It's not a 'rules' versus 'non-rules' thing I'm getting at when I say "roll-playing" versus "role-playing".

    What I mean is, there are people who play the game to the detriment of characterisation and actually getting in to a ROLE, and there are folks who get as immersed as possible in the ROLE (sometimes even to the point of ignoring the rules, which also isn't very good). I think that good ROLE playing should be an immersive experience, as Mike says. If you can wiggle the die rolls or RPS or cards in there for challenges, more power to you if you can do it IN CHARACTER.

    It's the difference between saying "My persuasive powers are at least as high as 7" in character (thus indicating a challenge), somehow slipping that surreptitiously into a conversation, and leading a conversation with "I bought three new levels of Ersatz Awesome today, and combined with my seven in persuasion, I could TOTALLY out-Awesome anyone in the room".

    It's an OOC/IC thing for me. Try to keep as much of it IC as you can.

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    Re: LARP In General

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