Friday, January 3, 2014

Hunter & Vampire LARP in Theory

On the way to work today I got to think about why I'm currently planning on running a Vampire game. I mean, my love and adoration is for the occult paradigm, mundane conspiracies and investigative dilemmas so why do I want to run a LARP involving curmudgeonly vampires being all cranky at each other? While the answer to that question probably involves the variety of occultists, the fact that vampires can actually be the source of those occult blow ups, conspiracies and dilemmas I love so well and, well, the fact that they can mostly entertain themselves with socialising, politicking, and ruminating about history while I go off and have a doze (just kidding), where necessary helps as well.

I mean, straight up investigative games are *haaaard*. Especially LARPs. How do you provide enough clues for everyone? How do you make an interesting enough location? If the sessions themselves don't revolve around working a case by hitting the streets, then what could that session be about? Without city positions, inter-covenant rivalries and status climbing to occupy your time in between the real hard yakka sessions, why bother having a LARP at all?

So I was thinking about the framework for the current vampire game I'm planning and realised that with a bit of work it *could* be adapted to Hunter. I'm figuring on having it be a monthly game with the Kindred gathering as a city for various occasions hosted by the PCs where they gather together, connive for positions, build the reputations of their clan and covenant, swap resources, and also share information and request assistance on a variety of personal projects supported through merit purchases (gotta work for your Cruac), downtimes and the forums. There are mysteries that can be solved, wyrm's nests to clear, and hidden stockpiles of information to locate.

For those who don't want to use the forums, or need a face-to-face approach, I'm planning on including a coffee hour pre-court session where folks can come in, shoot the breeze, and book me for ten minute periods per person (multiple time slots could be booked for pairs or groups) to do downtimes or resolve minor RtRs. Finally, there'll be space on the other fortnight of the month for coterie, clan and covenant sessions which allows for either politicking and socialising to ensure tighter covenants, thematically important situations that don't make as much sense in city gatherings (i.e. Circle ceremonies and Ordo Dracul meetings), and, of course, the hard yakka of investigative or violent work. The aforemention Wyrm's Nest clearing, as an example. There would most likely be treated more as tabletops for simplicity's sake.

It would mean that most players spend most of their time in a monthly game but with two coterie spaces (three hour time slots) on the spare fortnight, they'd get something a little extra every five months or so. If there was something really pertinent that needed doing, I might do an additional coterie session to allow for it though I'd make an effort to spread the time around. Any really keen group can always meet up together to politic or work via the forums to get extra stuff done.

So anyway, keeping this LARP model in mind it's certainly possible to do a Hunter: the Vigil game as I could justify why the various hunter groups would create a central group better than I could with Call of Cthulhu (a beautiful game with very high standards and thus workloads for a LARP). Now I won't be doing this anytime soon. I've put far too much work into the vampire game. But it's something I can toss around and maybe try it out in a few years once this Vampire campaign has run its course (my plans include about two years for this LARP with the option of extending it).

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