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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 167 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Hide 'n Seek  (Read 956 times)

Posts: 27

« on: June 25, 2009, 08:51:35 PM »

I'm planning a short book on live-action games. Not necessarily LARP, but games you have to go out and about to play, and games that utilize mechanics in such a situation (with careful consideration to keeping the game between the players, and not making it public and freaking out random folks on the street, just to go ahead and alleviate that fear). I've got the first one here that I'm calling Hide and Seek until I think of a more evocative name. Here's pretty much all of it:

Divide the players between one SEEKER, and the rest HIDERS. If you've got four or more players, you can, and this is encouraged, have two SEEKERS.

Take a group outing to somewhere interesting in your city. Scout it out, as a group, and note interesting locales, shops, landmarks, etc. Put an overlay on it - my favorite is to look at it as a sprawling sci-fi cityscape, full of all kinds of weird techno-things. All the people shuffling around are automatons, unable to help but can occasionally speak or interact with you. Decide the details: That's the slave labor camp, that's the refueling station. Then, start to see your playground through the filter you've created.

All HIDERS get a notebook, spiral bound, college-rule, and a pen. SEEKERS get a tiny notebook, like a memo pad, and a pen.

Pick a starting point, where everyone is together. For each HIDER, the SEEKER(S) give them three things they need to procure. These need to be really cheap, if they cost anything at all. These three things are the key to victory for the HIDERS!

Now, all HIDERS get five minutes tops to remember a place from their scouting. This is their hiding spot. They'll write down three clues: two clues, actual and physical about the place ("it's on a corner", "green neon sign") and one clue relating to the overlay you imagined for it ("this is where the slaver pods find their best hauls"). Give these clues to the SEEKER(S).

Everyone goes to their hiding spot. SEEKER(S), occupy yourselves in a closed building, designated beforehand as a Danger Zone, for twenty minutes. Go over your clues. After that twenty minutes is up, go hunt.

HIDERS, you're writing down a narrative about your escape attempt in your notebook. Filling out one sheet of paper is called a page. You'll need to fill out ten of these to be safe. Take a spare sheet of paper and draw three circles on it, representing your escape attempts. When the last is filled in, you're caught. If a SEEKER finds you, you give them three pages of what you wrote to buy yourself an escape attempt. They color in a circle on your sheet of paper. Also, you give them three more clues about the place you're going. This time, you've got five minutes - the SEEKER that found you has to stay put in the place you were hiding until that time!

Once you fill in ten pages, look at your list of three items. You can't look at these items beforehand. If you go to less than ten pages due to SEEKERS, you need to hide somewhere and go back to ten pages before you can resume finding your three items. So, whenever you get to your hiding spot, very first thing - always think of another hiding spot, and make three clues for it! If you don't give these clues to the SEEKER, you are automatically caught. And they need to be handwritten. Clues need to be accurate and non-deceptive. You can surrender an extra page to only write two clues: one physical and accurate, the other part of the imaginative overlay.

Go out and get your three items! You can be creative here: a receipt counts as a "historic record". These clues need to be drawn from the imaginative overlay. A "refueling load" can be a soda can, let's say.

SEEKER(S), when you get to a new place, take about 60 seconds to write down your hunt so far. Write where you are, who you asked for information (you don't really ask anyone for information - in fact, you avoid talking to people at all costs), and what happened. Fill out half of one side of a page in your memo book when you arrive in a new place. If you fill out the entire page, you can trade if for an extra page when you find someone.

HIDERS - when you have all three items, return to the Danger Zone and await all other players. If you get caught, you become a SEEKER, but without the memo pad. Only starting SEEKERS get that ability.

Also, set a specific time that the game will end, so you're not looking around four hours later for that one straggler who doesn't know time's up. An hour to an hour and a half sounds like a good, tense time. Whoever hasn't escaped to the Danger Zone by then loses.

You'll want to adjust the amount of SEEKER(S) to HIDERS. For every three HIDERS, I'd have an extra SEEKER. And if you've got a lot of people, consider asking for more pages, more items, and a bigger time limit. Keep it tense. though.

After the game, share notes and enjoy the story you've made.

So, I've got some issues with this.

1. I'm wondering how this will fare in, say, a large open area, somewhere like a park. It seems like it would completely collapse. So I'm wondering if I should put in something that allows for Hiders to do their hidin' thing in plain sight. Clues would be pointless, and you'd need some sort of dynamic to deal with the total transparency of the situation, but I can't think of anything workable that doesn't just ruin the concept of hide and seek.

2. You write pages to build the basic narrative, and your actual acting out of the scenario colors it, hopefully. I made it so you write a lot, scribbling furiously while looking out the windows to see if any Seekers are coming. But is ten pages enough? Is it too much? I put it at ten to make you stay put for a bit and to distract you, making you a bit anxious. Overall, I'm worried about either: Hiders breezing through their written narratives and then hurrying home, giving Seekers no chance, or the converse: Hiders taking forever writing that the game drags on too long.

3. I'd like to include some sort of chase aspect, but as mentioned, I want to keep the game private and not involve the regular folks on the street. But I feel that staying put sort of weakens the suspense. Maybe you can only write so many pages at a given locale, and then before the game starts, you give Seekers multiple locations you might be at.


- Keith Blocker
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