Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Storyteller Base Assumptions Behind The Dark Before Dawn LARP

This picture sums up my thematic desire for this campaign.
I'm still in the design phase of my Vampire: the Requiem (Ordo Dracul) LARP chronicle in terms of figuring out what custom mechanics, covenant positions and activities would best support an interesting LARP experience.  I've played and run full court games before, but I wanted to do something different this time - focus on the Ordo Dracul and their reactions to a series of strange occult situations. 

It is still very much a theatre LARP and as I want to run it monthly I need to make sure that there's enough to do in-game to keep people entertained.

And yes, players will find ways to keep themselves entertained but a) the primary arena of PvP in a vampire court is about becoming prince which isn't an option for the Ordo Dracul, b) the secondary arena of PvP in a vampire court is about gaining status or eroding another's status while Ordo Dracul status is more dependent on number of coils earned and sworn status, and c) plenty of players do end up bored in the average Elysium game which encourages all sorts of trouble as the players try to remain occupied.  Sometimes this trouble is beneficial, canonical, and adds to the experience.  Sometimes it's just plain silly.

So I wanted to make sure there were plenty of different things people could aim to achieve and that there would be real rewards for achieving those goals that are canonically accurate and interesting to examine so that both the gamists and the simulationists can have something to do.  I also want to encourage certain behaviours (i.e. the higher ups giving objectives to lower status members) and knowledge (i.e. elders should be able to tell anecdotes about their history and Dragons should have something to say about their experiments) which should please the narrativists as they'll have more to connect with.

And yes, I know that GNS theory isn't the Be All and End All but casting a thought to any and all different cross sections of players is a good idea.  At the very least if a category of player doesn't suit the game, or a particular game role, then I can direct them to another LARP or role which would suit them.  As an example, if authority figures are meant to avoid the action in favour of sending their underlings to investigate, and this choice is a big part of the social contract around ensuring all players remain relevant, than it would be unfair to let an action-oriented player take a major position of authority without knowing what they will be losing and without suggestions for how they may have political influence *and* stay involved in the section of the game they love the most.

So I've put up an entire article on my main considerations and how these affect the game over on my Dark Before Dawn campaign blog.  Feel free to take a look.

I'm happy for any questions, comments or critiques on the article, either here or over there.

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