07 March, 2016

Death of a LARP

30 players...
20 players...
15 players...
7 players...

At what time do you say a game is in need of CPR, at what stage do you call it dead?

I'm annoyed that recent politics have seen the death of the game I've taken over. It hasn't helped that a bunch of old players have broken away to found their own games because they were disgruntled by one or two minor aspects of play, or because they didn't like some person or another.

The LARP that I've taken over has also suffered because one of the other organisers basically railroads plots, focuses on a specific geoup of their friends to the detriment of the other players involved, and showboats his way through the sessions he runs ('Look at me, I have funky clothes on', 'Listen to me, I have a funny accent', 'No, don't do that, I didn't plan for that...and if you wander off in that direction you'll be going away from ym carefully planned storyline, and you'll have to make up stuff on your own which will be promptly ignored because my work won't be the centre of attention anymore.')

I think a part of our problem is that we dropped below a critical mass. That point might be 20 players, it might be 15. One way or another, we've certainly dropped below it in the last couple of months, and that has seen a lack of motivation among the regulars (who've now dropped off), in turn leading to a lack of motivation from the die-hards. It's going to take some serious work to get the energy back in the game.

This is annoying, the spin-off games have seen a renaissance in LARP throughout our region, the first game a few years ago folded because the organiser was claiming money for "insurance purposes", only for us to discover that money was going elsewhere. The game I've taken over, developed as an offshoot of that, half a dozen other groups seem to have branched off from ours (none of which I've attended, because they are basically the OSR to our D&D... generally the same thing, one or two house rules, packaged as something "amazing"... I just don't have the time to develop a new character from scratch in a game that might fold, or among people who have shown their inability to negotiate by storming off from the established group when they didn't get their way). Meanwhile, a lot of players are engaging in two or three LARPs per month, much to the detriment of family life or social lives beyond the LARP-sphere.

I think we'll see an equilibrium in the community soon, but something's got to give.

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