Friday, September 9, 2016

Making Boffer LARP Classes

I've spent the past few months working on a new set of boffer LARP mechanics for a Science Fantasy game involving a "interdimensional solar system" where several inhabited planets (plus one uninhabited planet) rotate not only in their own systems and dimensions but also, when looked at through an inter-dimensional cross-section, around a strange celestial body of ropey flesh known as the Writhing One.

Thus each world belongs in it's own universe with its own rules on how reality operates -- ranging from the utterly magical to the entirely technological with all kinds of variations in between.  I'll be starting off with a year of theatre style LARPs in various locations to help do some world building and exploring a variety of different LARP types.  You can check out my poll on which games to run over here.  Please don't vote unless you actually plan on attending them though feel free to comment in the General forum threads.

So I have 150 pages of rules, background and GM thoughts (i.e. monster traits, modules) and I'm in the process of editing and changing them to bring them further in line with my plans.  You see, I initially had the semi-typical fantasy list of classes that included: Alchemist, Artisan, Diplomat, Exorcist, Hexcaster,  Ritualist, Mesmerist, Merchant, Outdoorsman, Performer, Physicist, Ranger, Thief.  Outdoorsman was kind of like Ranger but with non-mystical abilities.

Later I realised that those roles didn't really fit my ideas of an inter-dimensional colony settled by citizens of other worlds as part of a scientific research facility that included both magical and non-magical representatives (as this world allows both magical and technological sciences, so long as the technology is "hidden" from whatever runs this place).

For starters, when you're selecting new personnel you'd never choose "Thief".  That's far too antisocial.  And yes, you could create a Security Ops person but that wouldn't work for certain skills such as Pickpocket. So I traded Thief for Journalist.  Same abilities: Stealth, Pickpocket, Escape Artist and Lock Picking but an entirely new vibe.  Now the person breaks and enters for the big scoop, picks pockets to find scandals, and sneaks about to get the news for their next article.  Not only does it create a more prosocial position but it's one that's deeply embedded into the colony and suggests a wide range of goals.

As for how classes work, well, each one is sort of like a specific skill-set that is tied to a particular role.  When you select a "class," you gain a core ability for free and must spend one of your three skill-slots on a class skill.  From that point on you never need purchase another skill from that class again.  You can mix-and-match!  But you can never get a core ability from a different class.

I'll give more information as I think of it.  Just thought it'd been awhile and I might as well put in my thoughts.  You ever dealt with boffer LARP classes?  Got any handy tips for me?  Any thoughts on what I've put up?