Designing for LARP

I may or may not be heading out in a few minutes to drive across snow-covered Charlotte to do the first character-creation session for the Geist: the Sin-Eaters LARP I’ll be running. Designing for LARP is very different than designing for tabletop or for a digital game; it’s really more about logistics than creativity.

The most common player issues in LARP are issues of boredom and organization. There either isn’t enough to do, or the player can’t find a GM to run a scene. The solution to the first is to foster inter-player-character conflict and interaction, and the solution to the second is to have enough GMs for everyone. Of course, neither of these things is easy.

The reason why Vampire: the Requiem has so much political maneuvering is, in part, because it’s something with which to occupy the players while the GM is off running more externally-motivated scenes. With Geist, I need to craft this sort of system from scratch. I also need to deal with the added complexity of having each PC have an NPC that is literally attached to them: an alien creature that is in a symbiotic relationship. There’s also the Underworld, a whole other dimension which PCs can enter without much fuss.

It’s going to be tricky to get this off the ground and flying straight. I’m looking forward to it.

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