*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
August 11, 2022, 07:21:55 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 70 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
Pages: 1 [2] 3 4
Print
Author Topic: Differences in writing 'adventures' for LARPs vs. Tabletop.  (Read 18598 times)
sean2099
Member

Posts: 182


WWW
« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2006, 10:14:47 AM »

Thanks for all of your answers.  While I do not want to close this thread formally, I will be working on writing out the basic layout for this LARP adventure.  If I run across any problems, I'll be sure to post here.
Logged

http://www.agesgaming.bravehost.com

agesgaming_divinity subscribe@yahoogroups.com

email to join AGES Gaming Yahoo Group
it's my lil' website.
Daemonworks
Member

Posts: 6


« Reply #16 on: May 23, 2006, 11:58:13 PM »

Just thought I'd add one brief comment... From my experience, there are really one major thing to keep in mind when planning a LARP: Plan Loose. LARPs generally have far more people than sit-down games, so you've got that many more wildcards - this effect is much stronger if there are people you don't know all that well (or at all) involved. The more detail you stick in, the more likely you are to get messed up by somebody deciding to get creative... or stupid.

Never underestimate the power of raw, directed stupidity.
Logged
David "Czar Fnord" Artman
Member

Posts: 246


WWW
« Reply #17 on: May 24, 2006, 06:53:42 AM »

In short...maturity issues with disparate power levels (would it be a big problem getting people to play mortals if some are playing gods?)

There's a few answers to this particular sort of question, and they are influenced by the type of game and player expectations.

The Good
If you are running the game as a short-term LARP (or one-off) then people will happily accept different power levels, even without checks and balances between the two "ranks." Obviously, the mortals will need to be empowered to be more than pawns, but they needn't be empowered more than, say, the prey in a predator's domain: necessary to the predator's survival, adaptable to aid its own survival (i.e. the prey's), and presented with interesting challenges between those two extremes.

The Bad
If, however, the game will run longer than a session or two, or if the game will include individual advancement and the ability to gain new efficacy, then the players will (I imagine) quickly become discontent with the role of pawn/prey/peon. Even if you limit the gods in some way, I think you will find that folks will want to play the "fun" power level, whatever that is, and you might struggle to keep a sufficient number of the "other" power level. Basically, the longer the game runs, the more critical the checks and balances need to be.

The Ugly
If the game runs long-term, and you have a necessary limit on the number who play the "fun" power level, then you are setting up for totally lame play: new players will have less interesting characters and will be slotted into roles that serve the interests of older characters. But for a long-term LARP, new players are the life blood; they must be satisfied or the game will become little more than a clique meeting to play dress-up. If anything, newer players need a means to be made equal to older players in short order (but not immediately: everyone's gotta earn their stripes). And I don't mean equal in terms of power level, but equal in terms of points of contact, empowerment to participate, and influence on game events.

In summary, the longer the game runs, the less stable your different power levels will become. In my opinion, "power level" should be a meaningless term, for a long-term LARP; and the god v. mortal distinction should be reduced to different--but equivalent--means of impacting the game world.
Logged

If you liked this post, you'll love... GLASS: Generic Live Action Simulation System - System Test Document v1.1(beta)
sean2099
Member

Posts: 182


WWW
« Reply #18 on: May 24, 2006, 09:34:05 AM »

Just thought I'd add one brief comment... From my experience, there are really one major thing to keep in mind when planning a LARP: Plan Loose. LARPs generally have far more people than sit-down games, so you've got that many more wildcards - this effect is much stronger if there are people you don't know all that well (or at all) involved. The more detail you stick in, the more likely you are to get messed up by somebody deciding to get creative... or stupid.

Never underestimate the power of raw, directed stupidity.

I have been planning loosely because I have encountered this as well.  I have scenes written where a few things happen but it will (hopefully) be up to the players to decide where the story goes.

For David:

I have a couple of ideas about that.  One idea is already there but in tabletop terms and one is something I was toying around with.  The first idea, which is the one I am toying with, is making each player have one mortal character and one divine character.  Then, each would have to spend the same amount of time with each character (if you spend one hour as a divine, then you need to spend one hour as a mortal)

Advantage:  Everyone gets to experience from both sides.  Perhaps with a mechancism where the actions of one can help advance the actions of another. 
Disadvantage:  Awkward transitions from one character to the next.  Some people would chafe at restrictions on character.

The other idea, modified from my rules, would have it so that a certain number of worshipers is needed for each power level.  i.e. you need more worshipers to freely use level 3 powers than level 1 powers.  If the 'divine' player ticks off mortal players, then they start to lose the basis for their power.  Therefore, with number modifications, the mortals can give and take power away while the gods are able to use it.  Therefore, the "divine" ones have to be careful not to tick too many people off but the divine ones can also punish mortals. 

In other words, does giving mortals the ability to give or take power from the "divine ones" (who are able to use it) balanced or not?

Of course, feel free to replace "power level" with abilities or whatever term suits you better.
Logged

http://www.agesgaming.bravehost.com

agesgaming_divinity subscribe@yahoogroups.com

email to join AGES Gaming Yahoo Group
it's my lil' website.
David "Czar Fnord" Artman
Member

Posts: 246


WWW
« Reply #19 on: May 24, 2006, 10:04:20 AM »

You're there, dude. :)

Each player is a god and a mortal and must play equal time - I think this could be a hell of a lot of fun! There's even multiple ways to approach it:
A) The mortal is the god incarnate - Leverage this play rule by making the mortal abilities reflect the god abilities, but in a different context or location. For instance, you must be in god-mode to get into "Elysium," which is where you can use your god powers. Conversely, you must be in mortal-mode to get onto "Earth" and use your mortal abilities. Makes for an interesting choice for players as to where and how to effect change in the game situations.
B) The mortal is the god's "favorite" mortal - Using the same "influence zones" as above, but the mortal is not the god, per se, nor should the mortal play as if they are a god's favorite unless the player... uh, tells himself that he is... hmmm. OK, maybe this one is sort of wonky....
C) The mortal and god have nothing to do with each other - This merely means that the mortal and god do not have an intrinsic relationship of identity (incarnation) or of favoritism. Yes, there are ways to do this (see Great Ork Gods below).

As for "same amount of time" in each form: maybe so, maybe not. If you create a clear tension between god powers and mortal powers (rather than just making mortal powers inferior to god powers) then there is no real need for a time constraint. Folks can choose whatever "path" they like to their own goals... but, of course, the situations that emerge in-game might well shift which path (form) has the most efficacy.

By the way, you should check out Great Ork Gods some time, as it is a rules-light tabletop game in which each player plays an orc and a god and there's little real reason to play favorites. That game's checks and balances seem to rest on god-to-god negotiation and orc-versus-orc competition, which lends an interesting ebb-and-flow to player-to-player interactions. And that leads me to....

Worshippers = power level - I think this one is interesting... but scary. From my own LARP experience, I would worry about any game system in which other players can de-power a player in any non-trivial way. It's one thing for a player to use an ability to, say, force another player to stay in one place for a few moments. It's quite another thing to let a group of players deny another player the opportunity to use an ability at all. In other word, you have an interesting check... but no balance.

And in general, any system you develop that comes from your notion of "punish mortals" is heading for trouble. I assume that punishment is not all a god can do to curry favor (there's gotta be a carrot to offset every stick, right?), but I don't think you want a game whose principle checks are ability denial and some other nebulous "punishment." I see serious shouting matches and the occasional real scuffle.

Back to you;
David
Logged

If you liked this post, you'll love... GLASS: Generic Live Action Simulation System - System Test Document v1.1(beta)
mneme
Member

Posts: 62


WWW
« Reply #20 on: May 24, 2006, 01:57:06 PM »

FWIW, I really like the ideas floating around re mortals and gods -- and yeah, if you're playing a long-running game, you want to make sure people have the freedom to play around.

What might work is if there were only a certain number of gods, but each was sufficiently aspected such that they had multiple mortals playing their various aspects.  In fact, you could have people sign up for both a mortal and a god-aspect at the same time; maybe even making them related.  People could switch between them during a session (so if their mortal was relevant, they'd probably play him or her, but if not, they could switch over to their god aspect for a while), and maybe in terms of what the "whole" god did (when/if it mattered), there would be a 'quick' poll of foo-aspected characters/players.  People could even deterine which they favored through an experience mechanism allocating their points to their god or their mortal, depending on which was more important to them (if desired; this could be done in a non-newplayer harmful fashion by just having them shift points around between the two as they emphasized one over the other; a new player could choose their split, or could always start as 50/50 and shift in one direction or the other depending on preference).
Logged

-- Joshua Kronengold
sean2099
Member

Posts: 182


WWW
« Reply #21 on: May 24, 2006, 02:35:18 PM »

Hi all,

I thought about the 2nd check (carrot and stick).  It would work better for tabletop because the worshipers would probably be NPCs and the "narrator" could chose to emphasize paying attention to worshipers or not.  In LARP, I would rather have a mixture of gods and mortals.  ***I'll need to add an addendum for LARP***

FWIW, I really like the ideas floating around re mortals and gods -- and yeah, if you're playing a long-running game, you want to make sure people have the freedom to play around.

What might work is if there were only a certain number of gods, but each was sufficiently aspected such that they had multiple mortals playing their various aspects. In fact, you could have people sign up for both a mortal and a god-aspect at the same time; maybe even making them related. People could switch between them during a session (so if their mortal was relevant, they'd probably play him or her, but if not, they could switch over to their god aspect for a while), and maybe in terms of what the "whole" god did (when/if it mattered), there would be a 'quick' poll of foo-aspected characters/players. People could even deterine which they favored through an experience mechanism allocating their points to their god or their mortal, depending on which was more important to them (if desired; this could be done in a non-newplayer harmful fashion by just having them shift points around between the two as they emphasized one over the other; a new player could choose their split, or could always start as 50/50 and shift in one direction or the other depending on preference).


I have a "power" called avatar.  More or less, for every point in avatar, you can have multiple aspects on the mortal plane but you can only control one at a time (unless you have powers in different groups.)  There would have to be an agreement between the players that they would, more or less, do what the 'god-player' said if they wanted to be avatars.  It's not a bad idea but I could see some problems with that if you have lots of players that do not know each other.

You're there, dude. :)

Each player is a god and a mortal and must play equal time - I think this could be a hell of a lot of fun! There's even multiple ways to approach it:
A) The mortal is the god incarnate - Leverage this play rule by making the mortal abilities reflect the god abilities, but in a different context or location. For instance, you must be in god-mode to get into "Elysium," which is where you can use your god powers. Conversely, you must be in mortal-mode to get onto "Earth" and use your mortal abilities. Makes for an interesting choice for players as to where and how to effect change in the game situations.
B) The mortal is the god's "favorite" mortal - Using the same "influence zones" as above, but the mortal is not the god, per se, nor should the mortal play as if they are a god's favorite unless the player... uh, tells himself that he is... hmmm. OK, maybe this one is sort of wonky....
C) The mortal and god have nothing to do with each other - This merely means that the mortal and god do not have an intrinsic relationship of identity (incarnation) or of favoritism. Yes, there are ways to do this (see Great Ork Gods below).

Back to you;
David

A)  An interesting variant of play.  My default rules have the gods able to affect the mortal plane (in limited ways).  Right now, the character is either well-versed in one area - competent in 3 areas...in other words, they can't affect the mortal plane however they wanted.

B)  Perhaps this would work better if player A was a god and favored mortal of Player B and Player B was a god and player A was his favored mortal.

C)I was going with C in my initial thoughts.  However, I could add the other ideas as variants.

I'll have to take a look at Greak Ork Gods when I find some spare time.  I'll probably add the time mechanic (equal time for each) but it would be a variant rule idea.

Sean

Logged

http://www.agesgaming.bravehost.com

agesgaming_divinity subscribe@yahoogroups.com

email to join AGES Gaming Yahoo Group
it's my lil' website.
sean2099
Member

Posts: 182


WWW
« Reply #22 on: May 24, 2006, 03:35:32 PM »

Hi all,

I just close a thread on the connections board.  If you are interested in playtesting, PM me and I will email you a copy of the rules.  I took the link off my website that let you download the rules for the time being.
Logged

http://www.agesgaming.bravehost.com

agesgaming_divinity subscribe@yahoogroups.com

email to join AGES Gaming Yahoo Group
it's my lil' website.
sean2099
Member

Posts: 182


WWW
« Reply #23 on: May 26, 2006, 09:40:03 PM »

While I am still working on editing the rules, I have posted a free LARP adventure for Divinity.  Hopefully, I have incorporated all of the lessons gained here to make this simple adventure available.  I'll let everyone know when the main ruleset will be available again.
Logged

http://www.agesgaming.bravehost.com

agesgaming_divinity subscribe@yahoogroups.com

email to join AGES Gaming Yahoo Group
it's my lil' website.
mneme
Member

Posts: 62


WWW
« Reply #24 on: May 30, 2006, 07:32:31 AM »

BTW, not completely inspired by this discussion (actually, more coming out of a much longer series of insights), I posted a four point checklist for LARP design on my shared blog here:

http://labcats.livejournal.com/12886.html

Also, Adam, if you want to continue our discussion there, I'd be happy to.
Logged

-- Joshua Kronengold
sean2099
Member

Posts: 182


WWW
« Reply #25 on: May 30, 2006, 07:18:13 PM »

Josh,

You made some very good points on your blog about LARP Design.  I'll admit push and pull are fine hairs but I do see the difference.  You have to be able to "push" the plot forward and you have to be able to pull others towards you (vice versa as well, I think.)

Thanks,

Sean
Logged

http://www.agesgaming.bravehost.com

agesgaming_divinity subscribe@yahoogroups.com

email to join AGES Gaming Yahoo Group
it's my lil' website.
mneme
Member

Posts: 62


WWW
« Reply #26 on: June 02, 2006, 12:42:37 PM »

Indeed.  You need a way to Do Stuff, but others need a reason to play with you (and these aren't always the same).

As magus mentioned (there), I left out a big important one -- goals!  Mostly because it was obvious enough that it just didn't make my list. :)
Logged

-- Joshua Kronengold
IndigoDreamer
Member

Posts: 48


« Reply #27 on: June 06, 2006, 07:51:50 PM »

My imput here is going to be a small one; but one I think has been overlooked/overshadowed to some extent.  It is my personal opinion and might not be shared; but I think it has some validity to it.

I Saw this post as the query of asking how much to write of plot and how much to guide along the game with or reveal to the players; I could be wrong; this is just how I interpreted it!

I think the most visable differences I've seen in tabletop versus larp is that in a table-top, it is easier for the ST to control/guide/influence the story.
In a Good L.A.R.P., The storyteller needs to at times; sit back and just let player plot happen.   

In a table-top, there is always some player plot, but often the players are guided or hanging by what the ST has created for them to defeat, go after or need to accomplish.   While this is true in a L.A.R.P., this factor actually can hinder the game very quickly!

The best L.A.R.P.'s that I have seen, will give way to player plot over storyteller plot.   In a good L.A.R.P., a storyteller will still introduce plots but be willing and MUST be willing to allow that plot to be completely screwed over by player plot/interaction.

The only things that must be absolute before you begin larping; is the world properties/definitions, the potential abilities, interactions and changes, and the rules of which they all operate.   Are there NPC'S that will always exist?  Evil, Good, Tangible, Interactive from the start?   Have a set of absolutes, and then have things that can be altered.

These absolutes are things that players cannot alter, or would have an extremely hard time altering. (never say never...)
Then, write up a loose plot, watch your players and go off of their playing cues...If they get lazy, throw them some wild cards; if things are frantic; toss in another kink or a moment of rest with a well timed NPC.

That's my imput on how a L.A.R.P., "Should" Be designed.    Hope it is of some use.
Logged

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious."

Albert Einstein.
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 10459


« Reply #28 on: June 07, 2006, 08:37:26 AM »

This discussion might be somewhat correct in saying that there are elements of participationism here, but there's no railroading going on by any useful definition of that word. If a player goes into the game knowing that he's supposed to reveal something at time X, that these are the rules of the game, then he has no expectation of having control over this. Railroading is only a meaningful term in a derogatory sense when it means that the GM (or other player) is taking away a players ability to make some decision that he expects to be able to make. That is, if you're told that you can have your character "do anything" and then the GM forces you to go left at a particular turn, that's railroading. Otherwise the GM saying, "Your character is getting wet, because it's raining" is railroading.

Everyone playing an RPG expects that the GM will control certain elements. As long as everyone's expectations are the same, and these expectations are upheld, there's no violation of social contract, and no essential problem. Now, where those lines may lie may affect how much somebody prefers one game or another, sure. But there's no reason that even tightly controlled games can't be fun.

The key, and everybody above is commenting on this in various ways, is to ensure that "agency" that everyone mentions - basically that the players get to make a contribution to the game that affects the course of the game in some manner. Not neccessarily the outcome of the game, but even just the color along the way can satisfy some players. There's lots of lattitude in between, and even heavy handed event dropping can facilitate player power rather than preventing it, if it's done correctly.

As such, the idea of forcing players to reveal information can simply be another way of producing bangs in play. Given that it would be hard for the GMs to dissemminate all of this information in play, I can see this being, at the very least, an expedient way to play.

Mike
Logged

Member of Indie Netgaming
-Get your indie game fix online.
mneme
Member

Posts: 62


WWW
« Reply #29 on: June 07, 2006, 08:56:40 AM »

Indeed!   Sesere (a see-sense-reveal system described on my labcats blog, which I link to upthread) is intended to be a different way to make bangs appear in play, but especially in a longer game, you don't usually want to rely on this all being done by the players without any prompting at all.
Logged

-- Joshua Kronengold
Pages: 1 [2] 3 4
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!