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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 73 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [Pentarch] Boffer LARP design (split)  (Read 4067 times)
TheTris
Member

Posts: 68


« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2006, 12:55:34 AM »

Yeah me too.  In game ranking system as reward certainly pushes the agenda people feel towards competitive play, which is usually clashing with a "play the character" bit.

One idea I had was to give control over story-elements as rewards.  So you earn 5 story points, and after the session you get to write a new idea on a piece of paper.  Then other players can vote on the ideas on that paper with story points, and the most popular get introduced each time the GMs start putting more plots in.

So I could add "A choice between revenge and love", and if enough players like it then a plotline featuring that choice will be woven into the LARP.

I hope that would emphasise the "we're creating a story" rather than the "we're competing against each other" aspect.
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My real name is Tristan
Simon Marks
Member

Posts: 67


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« Reply #16 on: February 03, 2006, 04:47:36 AM »

You can't really seperate what you are rewarding with how you reward it.

So, what do you want to reward?
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Jake Boone
Member

Posts: 15


« Reply #17 on: February 11, 2006, 12:11:14 PM »

Simon, that is an excellent question, and I'm not sure it's one for which I've yet come up with the perfect answer.  What do I want to reward?  I know I want players to interact with each other (rather than waiting for the staff to hand-feed them a plotline), and for each to contribute to the others' senses of immersion (through costuming, acting in-character, etc.), but I don't have the specifics really worked out yet.

(These simple questions are really the toughest ones.  Before discovering the Forge, I thought I was pretty much finished designing the game; now I see I still have miles to go.)

So, readers of this thread, imagine a LARP you'd really like to attend.  What sorts of things would you like to see rewarded?

  -- Jake
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Matt Machell
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Posts: 477


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« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2006, 07:48:13 AM »

So, readers of this thread, imagine a LARP you'd really like to attend.  What sorts of things would you like to see rewarded?

Jake, that's a really bad question to ask. It's like, when designing a book, asking people what colour they think would be good for the cover. It always amounts to 50 brands of "what I like", all of which conflict.

So instead, set out a few key things you want out of the game, and we'll try and suggest reward cycles that will help get those. So far you've said that player driven interaction and Immersion are important to you. Here's a few things to think about:

Starting with Immersion, and it's a sticky beast, cos it means different stuff to different people. If you want to encourage "being in character" over anything else, then you must make "being in character" the most effective way of a player achieving their character's goals. So some LARP techniques like battleboarding (detailed HP tracking between fights using a semi-Gm whose job is to record stuff) are right out. If you have to break out of character to do stuff that is required by play, you create a contradiction between what you say your game is about and the process of actual play.

Player driven interaction rather than GM-led situations requires you to frontload a lot of prep into character creation, especially if you also want immersion (as it hampers you discussing where to go next during play). You can do this prep on a player or group scale, but a solid structure as part of your rules will help smooth it no end. Player scale will require more work, and involve players producing a character than has aims, things they care about and agendas. Then you set the character's agendas against one another or add NPCs tailored to create conflict about those things. Group scale would be about allowing players to band together and give their group an identity defined by aims and agendas, which again, you can target with situations, NPCs and conflict with other groups. The starting setting can also be used to set up a variety of situations for players to latch onto and take ownership of.

So, there's some food for thought.

-Matt
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Grover
Member

Posts: 82


« Reply #19 on: February 12, 2006, 10:40:53 AM »

Just a note about discouraging combat by making it deadly.

Personally, I like boffer combat - I'm willing to go out and play a LARP just for the boffer combat.  While I would hope that I would have enough respect for others not to deliberately ruin their gameplay, I am quite capable of having a good time just going out and hitting people with a foam sword.  This means that a high degree of combat fatality isn't really a disincentive for me to engage in combat.  My character might die, but I have no problems making another one, and keeping going.

To rephrase - deadliness in combat will be a severe discouragement for a narrative agenda, but there are gamist agendas for which losing your character is barely a speed bump.  I don't know how deadly you intend to make combat, but you should consider that there are some players who will not consider that to be a serious disincentive.

Steve
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TheTris
Member

Posts: 68


« Reply #20 on: February 13, 2006, 01:33:18 AM »

I have heard a LARP designer selling their LARP combat system partly on the basis that it looked rubbish:

"People want to look cool.  Combat in my game looks crummy, so people will be discouraged from it because it doesn't look cool, and doesn't make them look cool."
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My real name is Tristan
Walt Freitag
Member

Posts: 1039


« Reply #21 on: February 13, 2006, 02:12:10 PM »

LARP play actually offers a wide range of rewards; wider than most tabletop play.

The key principle is that in LARP play, the fundamental reward is attention for the player from the other participants. Until you take this principle to heart, you'll be frequently surprised by "senseless" actions that players take -- for instance, if you fail to understand that a dramatic public execution of a player-character can be a reward for the player. Once you do take it to heart, you'll see countless possibilities for rewards besides treasure, experience points, or the types of character advancement those things are normally spent on. Here are a few:

- Character privileges participating in organized events: a seat of honor at a banquet table; invited to judge a contest; chosen to make a toast; invited to perform in public (especially, before a captive audience); participation in ceremonies conferring honors on the character (see next item)
- Character honors not directly tied to the character's in-game social rank or abilities: an honorary title (that other characters must use when addressing the character); a change to the character's name or addition of an epithet e.g. "...the mighty" or "...kinslayer" (remember, infamy is still attention, ergo still a reward); a medal and/or the right to wear certain colors or insignia; the character's name added to a roster of honor; "owed a favor" by a powerful NPC; membership in exclusive professional society or college
- Character honors directly related to in-game social rank (and possibly abilities): lands and titles of nobility; positions at court; owed fealty by other PCs; coat of arms
- Rewards at the level of the players' future participation: The right to carry some degree of character advancement to a new character if killed; dibs on interesting NPC roles when they come up; participation or consultation in event planning; adventures written around character's background
- Real-world prizes: for instance, quality costume accessories, or waiver of membership or event fees (i.e. cash)

Clearly, some of these rewards are more appropriate than others depending on what the reward is for.

- Walt
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