Re: LARPS

From: Sandy Petersen (sandyp@idgecko.idsoftware.com)
Date: Fri 10 May 1996 - 16:40:52 EEST


First: whether LARPs are vastly better than TTRP or not, TTRP is
not going to go away. So don't anyone worry.

Now. Dave Dunham sez:
>I'm not sure they're necessarily more Gloranthan. The Gloranthan
LARPs I've been >in had some non-Gloranthan elements
        As do all the RQ games I've played in. TTRP, fun as it is,
has very complex and cumbersome restrictions and conventions that
impede many many kinds of stories. It's hard to play high mighty
people. It's nigh-impossible to split the party. It's difficult to
have backstabbing traitors. It's really hard to simulate very tough
characters, for the rules break down.

>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.
        Absolutely false. I've played in LARPs in which generations
passed -- each AM and PM of play represented an entire generation.
After each 6-8 hours, the players met together for a short
debriefing, then became their children.
        I've played in LARPs that extended across entire
continents. I've heard of LARPs that spanned the globe, or even
multiple globes. LARPs are readily able to handle games that are far
larger in scope than any TTRP.

>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.
        You'd be surprised. Little subgames like these can be very
fun indeed in LARPs. Note that they're not suited perfectly for
TTRPs, either -- do all the other players sit on their thumbs while
you figure out your stead's pig litter size for the year? In a LARP,
such things are easier to handle, because you can do them in down
time, or during the game in a fun way. Let me give you an example:
in Cafe Casablanca, one of the sub-games was the Gang War. The 3
gang leaders each had to triumph over their rivals by earning the
most money. You could invest money in your various rackets, or to
buy NPC goons, who could be assigned either to protect or to break
up rackets. Etc. It was made fun by the fact that all the various
rackets were owned by individual players. You had to negotiate with
these guys in order to get them to sign over their rackets to you
for "protection". This could be done by coercion, persuasion, etc.
For instance, one guy wanted help to win the girl of his fancy. The
gang leader assigned his right-hand-man to help out, in order to win
his racket.

>Or I want to roleplay and don't have 50 friends available.
        Yes, well resources are the great drawback to LARPs. It is
an economic thing rather than a quality issue.

>I don't think one is necessarily better than the other.
        Well, I won't make a value judgement, but for me, a single
_good_ LARP weekend is more fun than a year of RPGing. Just as going
to see a worthwhile play is far more enjoyable than reading a dozen
good short stories.

Sandy Petersen

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