A not-very-serious discussion


#1

Assignment (50% of course grade): LARP campaigns are at their best when things get intense and the threat of death and/or utter desolation hangs over the player characters like the shadows of the Grim Reapers Him, Him and Herself. Discuss. (With examples.)


#2

Larp campaigns are at their worst when players are just turning up to get the XP with little or no real risk.

Larp campaigns are at their worst when rocks fall and everyone dies.

Larp campaigns are at their best somewhere between these things. A campaign, even one based on say a demonic apocalypse, if it had no moments of happiness or cheer could become wearing. There needs to be moments of laughter and celebration and small victories along the way, to break up the over bearing threat of death and desolation. All this however needs to be punctuated by moments of genuine loss.

However a huge turn over of characters may lead to less investment in characters background/connections/costuming, which I think would be a bad thing.

Like all things it’s getting the balance right that’s the challenge eh!


#3

LARPs are at their best when the characters get what they want, or at least close enough to it, but only if they have to work for it.
Death, and the potential for it (or even inevitability of it), is only fun as long as a) the interest it adds to the game outweighs the interest it removes from the game, and b) the player is allowed to make their peace with it.

By a), I mean that removing any character from the game will remove some of the interest that that character could have brought to the game in future. Death is interesting, but how interesting depends on the point the story is at and how devestating it would be.
By b), I mean that yanking a player out of their character on Saturday morning puts everyone in an awkward position - what happens in that situation? If that player brings in a new character, fine, but what if they crew instead? Do they wind up learning about stuff that prevents them from playing? Do they get a partial refund seeing as they’re spending most of the game time as ‘crew’?

I agree with Bryn with regards to the experience of grinding through despair: we’re here to tell a story, sure, but anyone in a campaign is paying to have fun. And while the story doesn’t necessarily need to be happy in order to be fun, constant misery and despair is no fun.
The good news is that players will do anything to lighten the mood if they’re not enjoying themselves. And that’s your barometer to whether or not you need to ease up on the psychological torture. If your players are dropping out of character more, or deliberately disengaging with plots, they might be easing off on the suffering.


#4

Larp campaigns are at their best when people know their characters and each others characters well enough to interact with them often and naturally. It can take a while to work out exactly how you want to play a character so dying a lot can spoil this.


#5

[quote=“musicforwolves”]LARPs are at their best when the characters get what they want, or at least close enough to it, but only if they have to work for it.
Death, and the potential for it (or even inevitability of it), is only fun as long as a) the interest it adds to the game outweighs the interest it removes from the game, and b) the player is allowed to make their peace with it.

By a), I mean that removing any character from the game will remove some of the interest that that character could have brought to the game in future. Death is interesting, but how interesting depends on the point the story is at and how devestating it would be.
By b), I mean that yanking a player out of their character on Saturday morning puts everyone in an awkward position - what happens in that situation? If that player brings in a new character, fine, but what if they crew instead? Do they wind up learning about stuff that prevents them from playing? Do they get a partial refund seeing as they’re spending most of the game time as ‘crew’?

I agree with Bryn with regards to the experience of grinding through despair: we’re here to tell a story, sure, but anyone in a campaign is paying to have fun. And while the story doesn’t necessarily need to be happy in order to be fun, constant misery and despair is no fun.
The good news is that players will do anything to lighten the mood if they’re not enjoying themselves. And that’s your barometer to whether or not you need to ease up on the psychological torture. If your players are dropping out of character more, or deliberately disengaging with plots, they might be easing off on the suffering.[/quote]A million times this. Everything in the quote box up there is 100% unadulterated truth :slight_smile: