Saturday, July 28, 2007

Walking the Walk

Spitballing tonight, so excuse me if this one rambles a bit.

Oen night i was hanging out with some friends and we were talking about the building of a larp. Most of them were veterans of one ongoing game or another, and had seen so much cheese in their various larp adventures, that you'd have though they would have turned swiss.

Okay bad joke, and badly told too, but on with the story. We stayed up late into the night, eventually retiring to the former Geek Palace to continue our wranglng into the wee small hours of the night. The reason i had ended up involved was for some reason, even though i had not run a game of my own yet, I had come up with some basic ideas that had impressed these fellows and they had adopted a few of them.

One of the things i had noticed was the tendency, and i still see this today, to stomp on all things cheesy or that had wrecked games of the past. But, as i eventually pointed out, They had done a great deal of talking about what they didn't want, But not enough talking about what they DID want.

Every single game that i have played has had positive elements and negative elements to it. The key in these things is to amplify the good and minimize the bad down to what you can live with. This to me is a far more useful approach than simply trying to stamp out all the bad, it leaves you with less energy to create the good in the first place.

In the past, i have advocated the use of vision statements for GM's to help players understand what the GM's are trying to do and hopefully get them on board. In addition to this, i'd like to add the following idea.

Be an example.

It is my opinion, and i realize that i'm biased as all get out, but i believe that the players in this area are as good as it gets. And i'd put them up against any serious group of players. So, when the time comes, for us to start drawing players from other domains in the Cam, i'm not worried because i have a sneaking suspicion that the idea of being one of the best examples of a play group is on their minds.

When you walk into any game, whether local or con, you present a certain face to other players. Are you friendly? Are you Open? Do you have your shit together? Are you able to play at the top of your game, without hogging the stage? or are you the sort of player that can't stop quoting "Holy Grail"?

Ask yourself the hard questions. What sort of example do you want to set when you sit down to a table? What level of play do you want people to see when you stroll into the Larp? If nothing else, asking yourself these sorts of questions may at least force you to reset your own internal dials.

I've been onstage with people who have game so tight, that i felt my game rising to match theirs. That is what you must strive for as best you can. No one likes to feel like their level of play is being brought down by the people they are playing with. Why would you stay? That's like bringing a beloved character to a con game that turns into one long unfortunate hosing. Or playing one of those stupid tournament modules of old, no plot, no characterization, just some ludicrous puzzle and a waste of a few hours.

Fuck that noise.

Sono finito.


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