Thursday, June 24, 2010

Getting small

Most of the time, Larp plot tends to focus on the grand, the large scale, the war and the quest. These are the broad sweeping strokes of the brush, the background of an event. Without the broad background the event would be dull and boring, but it is the small, the details that make the event great. The formula for a good NERO event is simple, randoms every 45 minutes, a staged large scale battle Friday, and Saturday evenings and at least 3 hooked mods on Friday and 8 on Saturday makes for a well balanced and fast paced event. There doesn't even have to be any plot at this event, these could all be unconnected mods and events and people would still have fun. The personal, the details, the histories are what draw a player out of the state of disbelief. Below are some simple ideas to help you in drawing the players in on an individual basis.

Players love to feel connected to the world that their characters live in. Letters, scraps of ancient books, references to past events all allow for this sort of connection. Pick a a character from a players background story, write a letter to the player from that character and reference something that is currently happening in the game world. Five minutes of your time deepens someones experience considerably, for bonus points hook a module off of your letter. Now the player feels connected and you do not have to send an NPC to hook a mod, it is a win win.

Self driven plot is the staple of the personal plot. You the plot person are attempting to run the schedule that I have laid out above, your assistants are...assisting you we assume, where is there time for the individual roleplay that your players so desperately crave? The simplest form of the self directed plot is the riddle or puzzle, make up something hard enough and it can entertain certain groups of players for hours, make solving the riddle a contingency for a pre-written module and you have just saved an NPC from hooking once again. If you wish to be more creative than just a simple riddle, try a series of interconnected riddles which culminate in a translation of some sort of ancient text, brains crave patterns this will definitely entertain. Make sure however that the reward offered is always equivalent to the mental effort put in, make the module an excellent one and the players will solve your riddles again in the future.

The easiest way to manage the schedule of the standard event and someones personal plot at the same time is to make them the same thing. If you cast a wide enough net with your weekend plot and involve enough groups, you can introduce letters and puzzles from the weekend plot into smaller groups of players. This technique also allows for a very satisfying aha moment when the climax for the weekend involves many groups of players bringing all of their personal plot together to solve the weekend plot.

With this sort of planning and thought put in before the event, the schedule of an event becomes simpler. It is far easier to realize that you must run module one in which the players receive the puzzles that lead to the climax module on Saturday night, after you have determined what those puzzles are. Remember that tying players in personally is always secondary to running the framework of the event that entertains everyone but the rewards of pulling off both are a great event that gets the rave reviews.

This is my opinion, it was drawn from personal experience and it is something that I use when thinking about writing plot, let me know if you like it feel free to tear it up in the comments, I like talking about things.

No comments:

Post a Comment