Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Rack Mini-Game

In my vampire: the requiem LARP, because I just love accounting or perhaps just love to torture myself, keep a separate set of calculations for each of the Racks which show how many points are necessary to raise or lower the rack to the next level.  These Racks are represented by suburbs and have two values - one for animal blood and one for human blood.  The North Western Barrens, for example, is good for animals but bad for feeding on humans.  Each Rack has a particular Rack value which also represents the number of vampires it can freely support without losing any points due to humans growing suspicious, animals become skittish, or the overall vibe of the area changing.

                It takes 10 points to raise or lower a Rack with a value of 1.

                It takes 15 points to raise or lower a Rack with a value of 2.

                It takes 20 points to raise or lower a Rack with a value of 3.

                It takes 30 points to raise or lower a Rack with a value of 4.

                It takes 50 points to raise or lower a Rack with a value of 5.

                Consider the Rack value as a range of feeding checks it can take before losing any points.  So if the CBD Rack has a 2/2 rack value, 2 feeding checks can occur there without any problem.  If there are three OR four feeding checks, the rack loses a single point.  It's only when a fifth feeding check occurs there that it would lose an additional point.  So long as a rack is being groomed, it can take a few hits without faltering.  Each downtime spent on boosting or damaging the Rack typically provides a single point though additional points may be added or taken away for truly spectacular actions.

                Methods of boosting a rack include:

·         Increasing tourism.

·         "Safe" supernatural encounters or expectations (i.e. ghost tours).

·         Scandal.

·         Drugs that increase risk-taking behaviours.

·         Drugs or events that reduce helpful bystander actions.

·         Encourage public use of "owned" security / medical personnel on the streets.

·         Encouraging homeless populace to settle in that region.

·         Keeping said homeless populace out of the public eye.

·         Festivals and nightclub strips.

·         Summer season (for beach Racks).

·         Late night shopping.

·         Late closing.

·         Ennui and indifference to other people.

·         Indifferent police.

·         Parklands that are not dry zones.

·         Car parking in dark and out of the way places.

·         Animal farms (for animals).

·         Rubbish strewn streets (for animals).

·         Access to more Barrens (for animals).


                Methods of damaging a rack include:

·         Recent murders.

·         Public violence.

·         Visible criminal activity.

·         Winter season (for beach Racks).

·         Sobriety programs and designated drivers.

·         Encouraging people to stay in groups.

·         Terrifying supernatural encounters.

·         Effective communities and neighbourhood watch groups.

·         Active hunter cells.

·         Uncontrolled security guards and cameras.

·         Early closing of shops and clubs.

·         Motivated and reliable police.

·         Pest control programs and stray catching (for animals).

·         Feeding check mishaps.

·         Overfeeding.
Thus it encourages a rack mini-game among the players to sink in enough downtimes to off-set the huge amounts of blood they have to draw off the locations in order to heal, use their disciplines and otherwise deal with all of the monsters lurking around the Adelaide plots.


  1. I like this, it seems like a nicely organic and intuitive way to reflect how these things should work. And at a certain point, you're already tracking loads of things, why not add another layer to give some verisimilitude?

    One of the issues with the "life as an X" games is that the life bit can easily just fade away into the odd die roll, because none of it feels like obvious gameplay. And that way lies Doing Arbitrary Missions For People.

    Also, yay, you're back! I was sad.

    1. Pretty much. Its important to bring the elements of Life as X into the game itself to give them meaning. And yeah, I'm back!