Equipment restrictions for different races would go a long way to differentiating them. Weapon and shield size makes a huge difference in combat, and they don’t require rules to understand during play.
Could also incorporate Derek’s suggestions about letting experienced players have a challenge and new players have an advantage by ranking the choices based on the equipment used. Dwarves are easy, humans and elves moderately difficult, orcs slightly hard, hobbits and goblins difficult, or something like that.
Of course just because one game focuses on military battles doesn’t mean other Tolkien LARPs can’t happen. A social Hobbit LARP in Matamata would be pretty awesome. It could be cool to run games themed on the different races too, such as a dwarf game, an orc game, an elf game, etc.
Totally. A game themed around a big outdoor party could work well in that venue and feel really in-genre.
A larp at Matamata could draw in overseas fans even if it was a one-day thing. Especially if it was part of a tour schedule of other Tolkien fandom activities in NZ, whether that’s traditional tourist stuff like visiting places from the movies or exhibitions, or something more gamey like a battle game or another larp.
One approach would be to write a pregen scenario and run it multiple times there. The great thing about pregens is that after you’ve written them and made the props for the first run, everything can be re-used.
My learning from College of Wizardry is if the first run is filmed and made into a nice promotional video, that video can attract media attention and signups to future runs. Would only work if the production values were good though.
There are a number of Tolkien based battle larps around. And the Czech ones are particularly gritty.
youtube.com/watch?v=fHy6ubihvn0 (This one is even set to “The riders of Rohan”)
Another thought is to take a leaf from Euro larps… they don’t have a lot of the mechanics you’ve listed.
Rather they seem to work on the conceptual level more than a “I have this ability I have from XP” through to “Hey that guy has a massive axe that if I block would knock me back or even destroy my shield”
It is a slightly different way of doing things but one I think would result in better larp because players are focused on the experience more than ‘their character’.
Another addition here is that a significant number of Euro larps have all but done away with the NPC/Crew concept. This is certainly a strong idea for a battle game because there isn’t a lot (or any) need to adjudicate outcomes via a GM. And from discussions that I’ve seen and been part of, the GM’s usually have their own characters because their function of GM is largely finished once the event begins. So in this respect they are game organisers more than GM’s.
Whether we as a nation of larpers are ready for this or not is another thing.