gbsteve (gbsteve) wrote,

Character exploration

I've realised that this is one thing that I find much more easy in table top games than I do in LARP games. This is certainly true of the larger LARPs in which I've played. Most of these strongly predicate character goals as the aim of the game. This means that achieving goals tends to take over from being the character. Some people manage to do both at once but generally the pace is pretty furious and competitive.

If you don't try to achieve your goals then you get sidelined in the various plots that are going on. If this happens nobody else is interested in you because you're not offering them anything that helps them achieve their goals.

In Saturday's Evil High Priest I had a list of about 12 goals, several of which involved the cooperation of between 5 and 17 other players (in a group of about 30). Given that I was well known to be arrogant and evil, I didn't really see I had much chance of achieving these ends. So I stuck to the collecting goals, supporting my deity in being on the winning side and generally being evil. Being evil was the most fun and involved finding out what people were doing and messing things up for them, just to show them who was boss. At the end, several of the characters (and I hope not players) were pissed off with me.

Perhaps I ought to try some of the (ludicrously named) jeepform games in which the focus is more on exploration of a situation and less on ticking boxes or collecting stuff.

I suppose what I want is a combination of character exploration and plot development. Most LARPs (not just the big ones) have fairly rigid structures so some more fluidity would be appreciated, less determinism in who is on which side perhaps and giving a bit more space for characters to find their own place in the game.

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