21 October, 2014

Designing a Boffer LARP System (Part 27)

For those of you who don't know what Boffer LARPs look like, here's a few images from the session I attended on the weekend.












On a vaguely related note, an interesting rule was adapted by this group after contact witth a Canberra based LARP group. The rule is certainly something I might consider for the pirate/steampunk LARP in development, it goes like this.

Players who show up without costume have 3 hit points for their characters.
Players who show up with partial costume have 4 hit points for their characters.
Players who show up with full costume have 5 hit points for their characters.

The rules didn't take into account quality of armour, or extra damage for magic/character-strength/two-handed-weapons...but it was a day of battles and combat practice more than anything else. This group runs alternate fortnights of battle days such as these, and quest/scenario days.

The idea of rules that link the in-game and out-of-game worlds is interesting. To keep things legitimate in parts of the world with over-zealous legeal/litigation systems, such rules might become an integral part of the game. In this part of the world, an organised gathering of a certain size requires the presence of qualified first aid officers, a formal requirement to be run by a non-profit entity is a grey area when the transfer of money is involved (it's typically safer to set one up). But these are out-of-game concerns.

When I talk of rules that link game and reality, I mean things like quizzes that people might need to sit out of game, and if the quiz is passed, the player is now permitted to access higher level classes that are expected to possess this knowledge in game. It basically helps to counter the situations when a player would say "I don't know that, but my character would". The World of Darkness LARP group, the Camarilla, had tests called "ordeals" which players would neeed to sit before they could take on the roles of storytellers or coordinators. This way the people in power actually had the knowledge necessary to wield that power correctly (if not the morals to do so). In a boffer LARP you might also have a couple of quizzes/ordeals to ensure a player fights safely before allowing their characters to access larger/more-dangerous weapons. Once the player passes such an ordeal once, all of their characters gain access to the wider versatility. Some groups might even require regular annual refresher courses on weapon safety (especially with regards to ranged weapons).

Just a few more ideas to make sure everything is good.


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