Sunday, April 10, 2016

Never tell these stories


I’ve been a larper for a long time. Not as long as I’ve been an actor, But I have been on live action role play for a very long time. Like dog years or some shit.

Here are the Stories that you, as a  Larp GM, must never ever tell.

Please note, that I have witnessed or heard about ALL of these happening.

1) Don’t ever tell the story  that you can only win by not participating in it.
In addition, while it’s okay to stack the deck., It’s NOT okay to make a “Win” impossible nor is it okay to TELL the players that a win is essentially impossible. Half will try to prove you wrong, the other half will believe you and fuck off for greener pastures.

2) Don’t tell the story where the only person who actually has the “Clue” that will make the plot lurch forward on greased rails, decided to get drunk instead on the second night of the con. 
It’s always best to make plots as modular as possible. And you should have a means of getting information into the hands of, bolded-for-emphasis, ANY player.

3) Don’t tell the story that is almost solely about some uber-prick fucking with your players, who happens to be untouchable, much less unkillable.  Hey the character may not be punchable, but the guy playing the NPC ISN’T.

4) Don’t tell the story about a fractious groups banding together to stop a serious threat, and then not make the threat all that serious.   Or have it be happening so far back in the background that the bad guys win all the things, and no one notices.

4A) Also: If you have a threat that is supposed to cause people to band together to stop it. Don’t be altogether surprised if they simply don’t. Fear does not generate trust.

5) Don’t tell the story that has horrible things in it just for shock value. Because “Triggery” isn’t always bullshit.

6) Don’t tell the story where a happy or heroic ending is simply not possible, “Because that not what real life is about…”   Save that Lit school wank for your novel. People don’t Larp to have a miserable time.  In fact, you may want to have the words, “People don’t larp to have a miserable time” tattooed onto your naughty bits.  So that when you pull them out while you have your players bent over the coffee table, you’ll be reminded.

7) Don’t tell the story about that one weekend where nothing really happened. I don’t care if it is the slow dreadfully tedious machinery of government. I can get THIS experience at the DMV.

Look, all i’m really saying here is that every large scale con larp ought to be the road to Glory for someone. Otherwise, what’s the point of writing it or playing in it.

8) Don’t tell the story where the bad guy has a weapon that dispenses hot and cold running holocaust.  If the only means of dealing with him is to kill him or divest him of his weapon, then the players will have the weapon. If it doesn’t work for them too, the seeds of hatred will be planted deep. If the weapon works for them though, then they have a weapon that dispense hot and cold running holocaust.  Never put a piece on the board that doesn’t fit in the game.

9) It’s usually a bad idea to create a game that is about some entity “screwing with” your PC’s. Especially if your PC’s have extremely limited ability to affect the antagonist or protect themselves.