Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Pre-generated LARP Character Booklets

Desna helping sort LARP props.
Ye gads, pre-generated characters have to be the pits in LARPs.  I mean, it's great because in a one shot you need to be sure the players have suitable motivations to play around with rather than the rock up and see mentality that most LARPers (myself shamefully included) have when arriving at a new LARP (or even a campaign one).  But on the other hand it is *a lot* of work.  I mean, quite a lot of work.

I have two page introduction sheets to the characters that gives a brief rundown on everything from basic history to costume tips to relationships to goals to talents and skills to dire warnings not to touch the audio visual equipment -- all written as briefly as I can.  I'm also creating little pocketbooks for the character sheets that distil the necessary details of a rules-heavy LARP into bite-sized pieces so people can know what Obfuscate actually means - presuming they have Obfuscate on their character sheets because you only get the details on what you have access to use.

At first I figured I'd make those pocketbooks with a proper stapled spine which entailed a rather complicated page spread since I was using A4 pages divided into 8 of the booklet pages that would be printed double-sided.  Then I decided that was a pain since you need to trim the pages in a certain way else the middle pages will jut out from the outer pages.  Oh, it was also a pain because it made editing the sheets onerous.  Oh, there's a typo on Protean 1?  Oh, please let me go back over every character sheet with Protean to adjust it only to find that there's another error on Protean 1.  Rinse and repeat.

So anyway I decided to just print the little pages in sets of 8 in any order, printed one-sided, chop them up and give them more of a primary schooler spine (i.e. staples along the left) with all of the disciplines on one set of such pages rather than duplicating them with the rest of the core sheet details (core sheet details being those details distinct to each character) so that I only need to edit them once.  This still is an onerous task as I need to go over all of the disciplines a few times to check for errors, rules comprehensibility and general readability but it's less onerous than spreading them out.

Of course, the core sheet details still need to be matched against the introduction sheets so that the characters can do what I have previously reported they can do -- which is an irritating task.

And this is all for characters I largely name dropped / ran in a previous LARP and therefore have a pretty good sense about which cuts down on the amount of file checking.  I can't imagine doing it with a whole new set of characters!  This is also only for 35 characters.

Ye gads!

At least once I have all of this done I will be able to readily and easily create character booklets for the PCs in the campaign LARP which'll help with those players who either don't know the rules or think they know the rules but are occasionally wrong.  Since all World of Darkness players fall somewhere along that sliding scale (there is no one who actually knows all of the rules since the book details are spread about oddly in a conflicting manner), this will help everyone and *especially* me.

I won't lie to you.  I will be asking to read the ability in their character booklet on occasion.  A big part of this work is for me in the end.

But yes, finally done about 70% of the work and it's taken me awhile.  At least I hope I've done 70% but one can never be sure how much  more work the next stage (printing and binding) will take until you get there.

And then I've got to prop check, ensure there's at least 2 things that utilise every listed skill, and once we're incorporated I'll have only 8 weeks to finalise all of this in.

On the plus side, we have enough LED candles to light up a small house.

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