Wednesday, December 3, 2014

LARP Preparation Trumps Game Translation

All right, I admit it, I was wrong.  You won't be getting a Game Translation this week as I'm still too busy preparing for my LARP.  What with a player meet up yesterday, GM meet up tomorrow, and player meet up on Friday evening -- and full time work every day but Wednesday (a half day), I'm a little flat out getting everything re-jigged for Saturday.

Luckily all of my research into various LARPs has finally paid off as I not only have a pretty good framework to keep people thoroughly occupied but I also have an ending.  A real bona fide ending!  And I don't mean an "outro" where the GM narrates a conclusion which can be great fun but always functions more of an epilogue than an ending due to player passivity.  I mean something the players can do which involves real dramatic tension!

This is a major relief for me because if you have played dice LARPs before where you use randomised rolls (or card draws or whatever) to settle combat, you can't just have a hoard kick in the door and up tension that way.  I mean, you *could* but unless the combat is over quickly or involves a small number of players (doable with 12, I suppose) it often turns into a grind that can still make for a satisfying conclusion but it's not something I would want to rely on with *this* game.

On the other hand, generally you can't just throw a final puzzle into the mix (few players involved) and social wrangling can work but you need a sizable cast (which would go against the theme of this session) so instead I went with the core definition of player interactivity.

Decision making.

In the end, everything (even combat, especially *interesting* combat) boils down to making meaningful decisions.  So why not make that the main attraction?  Strip it to its core and let the players decide something that truly matters.  Naturally spending a full 6 1/2 hours making one decision is hard to pull off outside of Nordic LARP so I have another plot line that is meaningful and adds shading to the final decision but isn't wrapped up in it per se.

With a real ending, everything is falling into place but it needs a little extra work to ensure that it has the support it needs for the players to make a real decision on the matter.

More details to come once the game is done!

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