Friday, February 14, 2014

Developing A Persistent LARP: Starting with a One Shot

When aiming to launch a LARP when you don't already have a ready player base, you need to think a little bigger. In my case, I think the best way to recruit for my LARP is with a LARP. Yep, you heard that right and I don't mean an already existing LARP. I will be running three interconnected yet largely stand alone sessions that will be advertised as a largely separate event.

Why do this?

It will give folk a taste of my LARP ST style, give me some extra practice, and help publicise the word of my persistent LARP.

Why do I think this will work?

Well, it's easier to advertise once offs. Players don't have to worry about whether they might like to commit in the long-term. The fact that it's a limited time offer (by it's very nature) also encourages people to give it a try *now* rather than waiting around ... and maybe forgetting about it. The fact that it's an enclosed session also promises a more exciting session. In other LARPs there's a chance you'll just sit around and have nothing to do all session. If you have goals in a one shot, you need to accomplish them now!

The pre-generated characters most folks will be playing also means that I can introduce them to the various PCs and NPCs from the old chronicle while still giving them a chance to dive in without having to worry about how well their character would gel with established characters and, again, whether they'd have anything to do. I can also guide them on the kind of campaign they can expect to play through the goals and revealed plots at work here.

Plus a one shot gives me opportunities that a persistent campaign does not. In large part this is the Preparation Time to Game Time ratio. I have months to prepare for the one shot while in a persistent campaign even if I earmark one particular session to be special in the months to come, I still have to invest part of my Preparation Time into the persistent campaign's next session and the downtimes in between.

I can also be experimental and trial things that don't need to appear in the persistent campaign if they don't work out well. It's far less confusing to change a few rules between the clearly marked one shot and the clearly marked persistent campaign. It's far more annoying to have those rules change for some reason between Sessions 4 and 5. Yes, it happens. No, it's not fun for anyone.

Anywho, I have a couple more articles on this that will take me through the weekend as I have no further Dystopic posts just yet. At the very least this should give you all more information on LARPs and LARP creation.

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