Re: TTRP vs. LARP

From: Sandy Petersen (sandyp@idgecko.idsoftware.com)
Date: Fri 10 May 1996 - 00:51:58 EEST


Nils asks:

>I have one question for those with LARP experience. One good thing
about TTRP is >that a GM with at least basic skills of empathy can
notice shy and insecure >players and try to draw them out and get
them involved by paying more attention >to them than to the
loudmouths.
>how do you handle theses people in a LARP so that they don't just
stand in a >corner watching all the fun stuff passing them by? Is
there a real risk that a >LARP is fun for the extroverted people,
but less satisfactory for the >introverted?
        In a nutshell, yes. Like any other group activity. BUT,
there are factors in a LARP that aid these people. To wit ...
        1) Instead of one GM, there are 4-10+ directors and
assistant directors, any one of whom can spot an outcast, and be
triggered into assisting that person to finding allies, plots and
fun.
        2) Unlike a TTRP, in which usually new PCs must try to fit
themselves into the party, in a LARP, the "party" is already formed
for you, and you are an integral part of it. If your character is
the court magician of Louis the Not-So-Bold, then you will, of
necessity, be engaged in royal intrigues. If your character controls
the Angleworm Mercenaries, then anyone who wants them for an
upcoming battle _must_ come and negotiate with you. If you are an
evil member of the Malia Underground, then perforce there are other
such evil members, and they will not only seek you out, but get you
to help them in their plans. Players tend to drag one another into
their plot lines willy nilly in these games.
        3) Unlike a TTRP, in which if the party can't accomplish a
given scenario task, they usually must try and try again, in a LARP
you can pursue multiple goals that have nothing to do with one
another. If you can't seduce the Queen of the May, then the heck
with her. There's always that pirate expedition that wanted you to
accompany them. Or your feckless son who needs support in his
romantic efforts. Or ... you get the idea.
        4) LARP players are very missionary-oriented (we want
_everyone_ to enjoy LARPs, so we can play in more of them). Walk up
to one who seems venerable and wise, and say to him. "I'm lost. This
is my first LARP and I don't know what I'm supposed to do. Have any
suggestions?" And most of them will proceed to give you some
excellent advice.

Sandy P.

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