Saturday, June 6, 2015

Musings on a possible Shadows Left Behind LARP

Being inspired by Alan Wake, Silent Hill and even Forbidden Siren and Dead Space has inspired me to consider how I might create a horror LARP.  Now these are tricky things to run as immersion is key, and even harder things to recruit for as most players understandably want social intrigue, crazy exploration and to indulge power fantasies of being incredibly capable in their hobbies.  Which is fair enough, we never get to be the hero in real life but we do get to be anxious about our shortcomings.

Of course, one can always draw in a bit of a comedic element in a horror LARP like with a Brooklyn Nine Nine against a back drop of Silent Hill but there's oodles of risks there if it veers too far into farce.

Anyway, such a game would encourage a sense of unpredictability.  The rules of the game would change.  One day they might come across hiding from the mist that rolls in from over yonder while another session could involve staying out of the dark and wielding light as a weapon.  Defiling normalcy by setting events in businesses, supermarkets and cinemas can make for interesting (if hard to prop for) locations.

Being trapped and unable to escape the region would certainly add an element of suffocating claustrophobia great for any occasion.  Warping minor reality cues, like cold steam filling the air in a particularly wet fog or certain sounds being amplified, warped or reduced can also occur.

Of course, thinking up a setting is easy.  It's the practical considerations of rules set, immersion factors, character guidelines, advancement and what precisely you do during the game sessions that are the hard part.  Still it does bear thinking about.

I know that whatever I use will have to be simpler than the vampire system I'm currently utilising which has an inherent basic complexity rivalling Pathfinder and Dungeons & Dragons.

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