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LARPerama

Here's an idea for LARPing. I've just been reading the Jeepform stuff. I had been aware of this for a while, but didn't know it was called so until I followed up something Emily Care Boss mentioned in her review of Ropecon.

I'm also reminded, for some reason, of the first LARP chilledchimp wrote. This was a Harry Potter game. It was a single side of cocoa stained A4 that was lying on the floor under our bed. We were in Oxford, expecting to play an HP LARP but the GM failed to show. Fortunately everyone knew which characters they were going to play and chilledchimp remembered her plot, revolving around a stolen snitch.

So I played Snape and chilledchimp was McGonagall. We refed and played at the same time. I took half the group into a room for a Potions lesson, shouted at them, docked points from Gryfyndor, told them to get on with it and left. When I came back 15 minutes later, Hufflepuff had summoned Cthulhu.

Another wonderful moment was during the Quidditch. We had no rules so players pretended to fly around and chuck things at each other. We needed a winner and one player summed it up perfectly, "It doesn't matter what happens, as long as Harry wins". So that's what happened.

This is the kind of thing I like in a game, players taking responsibility for the outcomes, making them the right and best outcomes, and not trying to win.

So here's the system:
Players are split into two groups, Characters and Consciousnesses. The game will be exploring some kind of situation, set up at the start. Characters have histories. Conciousnesses represent some kind of emotional or mental state, such as anger, pride, love, hate, deviousness, procrastination.

Characters can interact directly with each and Consciousnesses can interact with characters, or with each other, but only when attached to a character.

Characters take their cues for action from Consciousnesses. If they have none, they can choose freely. If they have several, they can choose. Some characters might be able to resist certain Consciousnesses.

If the outcome of some action needs to be decided, then Consciousnesses decide. If no Consciousnesses is present, the Characters decide.

Consciousnesses attach themselves to a character by following them around. They were some indication of what they represent so that Characters can see what is influencing each other.

I think this could, and should, be used for a Dogs in the Vineyard LARP. Anyone got a few hours to spare at Gen Con?

Comments

( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
karohemd
Aug. 13th, 2007 11:04 am (UTC)
When I came back 15 minutes later, Hufflepuff had summoned Cthulhu.

*laughs* Excellent.

That's definitely a very interesting concept.
whollyrandom
Aug. 13th, 2007 11:16 am (UTC)
... when's Gen Con?
gbsteve
Aug. 13th, 2007 01:04 pm (UTC)
In the US, on Thursday. In the UK sometime in September, but we're going to the US one.
whollyrandom
Aug. 13th, 2007 02:43 pm (UTC)
Ah. Well, I may not see you there, then.
anubisgrrl
Aug. 13th, 2007 02:14 pm (UTC)
I imagine we will have some hours to spare. Sounds like fun!

When are you thinking of doing it?


anubisgrrl
Aug. 13th, 2007 02:16 pm (UTC)
I have always been insanely fond of OTT characterization-based roleplaying.
gbsteve
Aug. 13th, 2007 02:21 pm (UTC)
I hadn't really got a time in mind but if I can get enough interested people, and we've all got a spare five minutes, then I'll give it a go.

Sunday might be best but I don't know.
anubisgrrl
Aug. 13th, 2007 04:21 pm (UTC)
Sadly we are leaving early Sunday. But we have no specific plans beyond dinners for Thursday evening, Friday and Saturday.
gbsteve
Aug. 13th, 2007 05:00 pm (UTC)
Thursday would probably be okay. I've posted on knife-fight and story-games, so we might get enough players.
davidt3001
Aug. 13th, 2007 05:14 pm (UTC)
How late on Thursday?
gbsteve
Aug. 13th, 2007 11:42 pm (UTC)
Does late apply to GenCon? I don't know, depends on whether we can muster the players. Not looking terribly hopeful at the moment with only 5 but we'll see.
davidt3001
Aug. 14th, 2007 04:05 pm (UTC)
Good point, time-wise. We arrive Thursday evening, as you know ...
d_fuses
Aug. 14th, 2007 03:22 am (UTC)
Hmm. I wonder if that could work for a Walk the Line LARP, with every player having two Consciences...
gbsteve
Aug. 14th, 2007 10:40 am (UTC)
My idea was that the consciences would float around and attach to Characters as they see fit. But this is jeepform, you go with what works for you. How would you do it?
d_fuses
Aug. 14th, 2007 11:36 am (UTC)
Good point, yes. It occurs to me that since WtL is all about duality, what I'd do instead is have each character played by two people, each one representing the two sides of that person's personality, in different aspects. So Mal would be played by the Mercenary and the Hero, and before Mal could do anything, they'd have to rock-scissors-paper (or something) to see who was in control.

A good way to simulate MPD as well, of course.
d_fuses
Aug. 14th, 2007 11:42 am (UTC)
A further thought - could perhaps Consciousnesses have an easier time attaching to certain Characters and a harder time with others? Which may in turn be affected by other Consciousnesses. For example, perhaps a Character might have some traits like:

John is uncertain in this situation, but nice. He is more likely to be tagged with Love and Fear, and less likely to be tagged by Deviousness and Pride.

Likewise, Hate will have no trouble attaching itself to someone who already has Fear. You could use this to model emotional spirals or something. Once someone gets Fear, then Anger, then Hate, then Impotence, then Self-Hatred, you can imagine a poor PC (with a yellow shirt) with six or seven bad emotions (black shirts) all stacking up on him - and fighting off the good emotions (white shirts). Sounds like a guidance counsellor excercise! But also a phsyical, kinesthetic representation of character development!
gbsteve
Aug. 14th, 2007 12:51 pm (UTC)
Definitely with you on the way in which emotions might stack up, or not. Characters might be able to do certain things that get rid of Consciousnesses too. You might work through you anger by punching someone.

I'm deliberately not writing up any formalised way of dealing with these sitautions because I think players should be able to sort it out for themselves. Plus the lack of formality makes the system more flexible.

I suppose, in effect, the system is, sort things out in a mutually agreeable way, bearing in mind the goals of the game, and don't have a cow.
d_fuses
Aug. 14th, 2007 03:34 pm (UTC)
"the system is, sort things out in a mutually agreeable way, bearing in mind the goals of the game, and don't have a cow."

And that shall be the whole of the law. For all RPGs.
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )