Anything Positive To Say About LARPs?

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Jarad Fennell
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Anything Positive To Say About LARPs?

Postby Jarad Fennell » Sun May 18, 2003 2:46 pm

Okay, here's a challenge...
Everyone (myself included) is great at citing the problems involved with LARPs and Live-Action. So I've started wondering... How much positive stuff can I say about it? If I've had so many bad experiences, why do I still keep trying this form of gaming?
So, here's my list.

Good Stuff about Live-Action In General
1) I get to really role-play. As a tabletop player, I'm pretty animated, but there's only so much you can do with a bunch of couch potatoes around a table. Live-action gaming opens up a whole new dynamic in gaming for me. I can use relational space between myself and another player to communicate things (e.g. Invading their personal bubble, or gradually moving away). I can convey mannerisms in the way I walk, in my posture, in the characters I choose to associate with in-game.
2) Decentralized plotting. IMHO, some players in a LARP have to be proactive. In a regular tabletop game, the Gamemaster baits the hook, you've just got the choice to nibble or not. But if tabletop gaming is fishing in a barrel, LARPing is like the whole damn pond, full of little fish, and big fish, and it's very much eat or be eaten. To me, that's fun.
3) Lots of players. Some people aren't into this, but in LARPs, the other players become your primary audience rather than the Gamemaster. And there's a lot of them. True, you still have to deal with a referee staff on a regular basis, but in a LARP you're not dealing with your old friend Joe playing a pretty girl as an NPC. After a couple games, you probably know how Joe is going to react. In a LARP, your dealing with very different people in a constantly shifting environment.
4) Costuming and props. Yeah, some people hate this. It isn't for everyone, but it's okay to be subtle too. One time, the only prop I had for a Nosferatu was a briefcase that I kept tapping. Not much, but it unnerved the sh*t out of people (Exactly what I aim to do with Nosferatu), and everyone wanted to know what was in it. A couple eventually found out.
5) Controlled Chaos. The chaotic nature of these things is both good and bad. You've got new players constantly coming in, people switching their characters and people spending experience. This constant activity is great for a game, as long as you have a good book-keeper to keep track of it. I was notoriously bad at this sort of thing. I had a friend, Sergio Escalona, who was excellent at it. Unfortunately, good book-keeping isn't flashy, so it's also the sort of thing that everyone takes for granted.

Good Things About Miami LARPers in General
1) More Laid Back. Both good and bad. In my experience, LARPers in other parts are pretty anal. They need to have 3 meetings a week for this, and yatta, yatta, yatta. Please. It's just a game. Go in there, have fun, go to Denny's afterwards.
2) No Strong Authority. Okay, this is verging on bad, but I can think of some positive aspects. The bad thing is- if any one person puts the necessary work into a LARP, and then says something that other people don't like, the gamers will cut his legs out from under him without negotiation. I've seen it happen countless times. Eventually, you get a person in charge who only works at not upsetting anyone and doesn't try anything new or original.
On the other hand, some of the Camarilla games I've played in up here have been stale. Stale as two year old bread. They've got the same people in charge who've been in charge since 1994, who have enough "points" that they cannot be questioned and tend to have disgustingly powerful characters to boot. If anything vaguely interesting happened at a game, an old-timer would walk up and solve the problem with a freakish godlike eye-beam power or something. After three games, I was *wishing* something would happen to shake things up.
3) Cheese. People in Miami are cheesy, which you know... I used to think that was bad. But then I met people who took gaming much too seriously, and realized that was infinitely worse (Being cornered and lectured for 2 hours on Giovanni history by a snobbish pendantic pre-grad is not something I'll soon forget. It left marks).
Give my a leather pants wearing Nosferatu luchadore wrestler or some goodball in a blouse and a wig to a person who has written an unpublished novel in background material about their vampire ANY DAY.

Okay, I find that the familiar LARPer bitching is starting to creep in, so I will end by saying that I have enjoyed playing with almost everyone I've encountered while LARPing, at least at one point or another... even the most annoying of them were amusing at times (Alex).

P.S. Kids, this is what happens when you're sick and temporarily between writing assignments. You post stuff like this on message boards.
"Even a good man, if he remains in the same place for too long, will accumulate sin."

"If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill the Buddha."

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Ozymandius
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Postby Ozymandius » Sun May 18, 2003 6:20 pm

Looking for some writing Jarad? I'll email you, I have some disturbing news.
- Philip Slama

"Sex is like the death penalty. One outcome, multiple ways to carry it out," -Stephen Colbert.

"OMG I can't believe I just got censored on LC.net!!!111 IS ADOLFO SEEING THIS sh*t!!!" -TheWorldsGreatestWarrior.

Email: Finn_Durandall@Hotmail.com

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Jarad Fennell
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Of Course

Postby Jarad Fennell » Sun May 18, 2003 8:25 pm

Ozymandius wrote:Looking for some writing Jarad? I'll email you, I have some disturbing news.


Absolutely. Email me any time... Best place to reach me is at JdFennell1@aol.com. I've got a late class tomorrow, so I'll be online late.
"Even a good man, if he remains in the same place for too long, will accumulate sin."



"If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill the Buddha."


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