19 February, 2018

Equipment Packages

I'm pretty sure I discussed this earlier, but the new LARP uses bullets as the dominant currency (along with unopened cans which could contain any foodstuff and have a random chance of being off, and rolls of toilet paper). Everyone starts with 60 bullets worth of equipment, 30 bullets worth are defined by a range of starting equipment packs, and 30 bullets worth are freely chosen.

There's a massive range of NERF guns, foam/latex "LARP-safe" weaponry available, so we could specifically give prices for everything, and generate a huge list of costs that will need to be constantly updated when new ranges are released, but this feels like a sisyphean task. Instead, I'm running with something procedural.

The cost of a gun comes out of a characters bullet reserve, so the better guns have a higher cost. But what factors should be considered when determining such a system.

  • Having more bullets ready to fire (without needing to reload) is certainly an advantage.
  • Having a higher rate of fire is advantageous
  • Some weapons need two hands to operate
  • Some fire multiple bullets at once, or differemt types of ammo
  • Ranges vary too

These are the sorts of things I was testing on the weekend. I understand that any "point system" will have flaws, but it can generally be good enough.

Generally I'm looking at 5 bullets as a standard NERF weapon cost, plus 1 per bullet (or clip) it can take. Those weapons using clips need to have them purchased separately.

We paced out a sampling of three bullets fired from each gun to get an average range. Most weapons fired 8-10 paces, so that becomes the benchmark. Where those weapons firing less than 8 paces have low range, and are discounted by one bullet, while those firing 11 or more paces have a one bullet premium added to their price. Originally, I had rifles with a base cost of 7 and pistols 5, assuming rifles would fire further, but thankfully with testing it was discovered that this assumption was erroneous.

Similarly, different LARP-safe weapons have different lengths, and a longer weapon certainly has an advantage when there isn't much weight difference between them.

Armour in the game is bought piecemeal, with arms, legs, torso and head bought separately, and all elements adding resilience points to the wearer (along woth any natural resilience they might have). Once certain resilience thresholds are passed, a character gains extra hit points.

So starting equipment packages will have a range of standard armour pieces and other equipment in them, but since weapons will be costed on a case by case basis, they'll be purchased from the remaining 30 bullets.

Apparently, this whole concept is getting a bit of interest from local NERF enthusiasts, who have generally been finding that the player with the most money tends to win the most games. The idea of balancing the games is apparently quite novel.
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