Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The World Cup....of Larp

I have thought a lot about how much fun it would be to host a larp competition event. A cross game, simple rules, preplanned event that allowed players from all over to get together and wave their geek cred about wildly. This is a brief explanation of what I have thought about, I hope that it generates a conversation and maybe a real event.

I would like the competition to be friendly to all types of larpers, well all types of boffer larpers. The rules therefore would have to be simple enough that everyone could wrap their head around them for just a single weekend. My thoughts were to use a very simple Accelerant base set. Paring down the rules to include a basic three tiered larp choice for maybe 5 classes. As an example of what I mean perhaps there would be a fighter class, the fighter can choose to be a damage dealer, a damage taker or somewhere in between. I like the idea of a choice because character building is definitely part of a being "good" at larp.

The competition should be team based, since most larps boil down to team games. I thought it would be cool if every player had a base level and then the team had a certain amount of extra build points to spend on the team as a whole. This allows the team to choose what resources they have as a group, again an important larp idea. In addition to build points the team would have access to a certain amount of money to spend on gear. Choices that have to be made once again. Obviously the competition will not rely on a particular gear choice but it could be fun to make having something make a task easier.

Each team would have to run through the same series of modules, scoring could be worked out ahead of time. The modules would consist primarily of fighting and puzzles since it is difficult to score role play. One thing that has troubled me about this idea for awhile is, where do you get the NPCs from? Very recently I had an interesting idea, what if the competitors were the NPCs as well? The concept of double hooking is used pretty frequently in NERO. Players trade NPC time for module time. My concept goes a little bit deeper than that. Upon registration every player would be sent a monster card, which they would study. Multiple people would have the same cards, but the cards would be denoted by some sort of number. When a module is being set up, each monster position would be filled by one of the players who studied that card, which person would be randomly selected based on the number on their card. This idea gives you skilled NPCs, who know their cards. It may give some slight advantage to that player when he runs through that module, but everyone will have that advantage on one monster. In addition the randomness allows for some trolls to fight like greek deities and others to well...not.

The overall score would be tallied at the end of the day. Extra money from registration fees could go towards prizes, nerdy prizes of course. Flip video cameras could be placed in strategic locations to capture the action and make a bitchin highlight reel. What does everyone think, would you bring a team to the first ever larp superbowl?


  1. Let's pretend the travel wasn't a factor...

    It intrigues me. I think that, if I played something like this, I'd want to spend no more than a midday on it, as opposed to a full weekend. So Sat morning 10 am to 4 or 5ish.

    The dealbreaker for me, btw, is the video thing. I don't let people tape me LARPing and I wouldn't go to one where it was required.

    As a reference:

    I have not heard great things about it, but it might provide some ideas.

  2. Well that was a toss in at the end and of course you could opt out...

  3. It can be done simpler and in a more fun manner.
    Cut classes down to three: fighter, magic-user and hybrid.
    Keep classes simple - i.e. warrior can use all weapons and armor, magic-user has some spells, and hybrid gets fewer spells depending on what kind of armor/weapons he is wielding. Make them levelless, that way you avoid converting characters from zillion other systems and level the playground.
    Instead of competition like solving quest modules in a set amount of time, why not simply make a PvP LARP? Story and several NPCs which would start the story instead of being a focus of it, and the focus would be on an epic big battle at the end of the event - which would determine the winner.

    There, you have it! Very competetive, very sporty, and could end up being quite epic in story.