Re: The LARP / TTRP debate; Praxians

From: David Dunham (dunham@pensee.com)
Date: Thu 09 May 1996 - 23:00:03 EEST


Sandy wrote

> LARPS are vastly more fun, more realistic, more engrossing, more
> emotionally exhausting, and more Gloranthan than any TTRP. Period.

True -- but I'm not sure they're necessarily more Gloranthan. The
Gloranthan LARPs I've been in had some non-Gloranthan elements, partly by
design (I'm having to make compromises for the LARP I'm helping design),
partly I think due to mistake, and partly because there's no feedback
during the game to help guide the players.

> The only valid excuses for preferring TTRPs to LARPS are: ...

Or you want to have a story that has more scope, either in space or time.
These would be very difficult to do in a LARP. Or more scope in sheer
volume of story -- I can run in a TTRP every week, but there's no way I (or
probably anyone) could run a LARP a week.

I think there are some other scope issues, too -- LARPs would probably not
be a good way to deal with the economics of running a stead or commodities
trading, since the subgame makes little use of LARP' strengths.

Or I want to roleplay and don't have 50 friends available... I don't think
one is necessarily better than the other, no more than a play is better
than a short story. They're different art forms. (And yes, roleplaying is
an art, at least as much of an art as most of what's at the local
galleries.)

(I see Erik Seurin has summed up my argument: "I like chilli sausages, and
I like strawberry icecream - but not together.")

> History is a stochastic process which
> erases the evidence of its passing (it is impossible to discern the
> influence of Napoleon by looking at modern Europe's political
> situation -- only records enable us to view this)

I was surprised to learn that they've been finding many of the Roman
encampments that Caesar wrote about in his Conquest of Gaul. It's like
seeing an event that happened 2000 years ago!

Neil Smith asked couple of questions about Praxians:
> 1. Why the predilection for trading beasts' tails? If the tails are
> to show prowess in raiding other tribes, why does every Tom, Dick and
> Harry trade them? If they're for something else, what?

I don't recall they trade tails at all.

> 2. How do Praxians capture individual animals from a herd, either
> their own or during a raid? Do they use lassos, or bolas, or
> something else?

Perhaps someone who knows more about animal behavior could answer more
definitively, but I suspect most of the herd animals don't run around in a
tight pack. It would be easy to capture a stray, and probably not that hard
to cut animals out of most herds.

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