Samantha (kvdruidess) wrote in roleplayers,

How to Kill a LARP

I have been an active member of my local gaming community for over five years. We run a franchise of independent Vampire: the Masquerade live-action games that play on a monthly basis. After reading the post about changing rules mid-game, I thought I'd offer the following:

30 + Ways to kill a LARP:

* Create a world based on out-of-print source material.
* Further define the niche of the game based on your spin of said source material.
* If playing a game in a historical setting, give modern examples of what powers/influences can do.
* Make a limited number of copies of your rulebook.
* Refuse to print additional copies for new players.
* Make full use of the "monster of the week" protocol.
* Refuse to acknowledge good roleplaying by xp, word, or deed.
* Decide that, after a year of play, the player base does not understand your genre and publish a genre packet.
* Email packet to players in a format most modern computers can't read.
* Include rule changes, directed at specific characters, in said packet.
* Play favorites amongst players.
* Play favorites amongst characters.
* Quash any PC-driven plot that does not connect to meta-plot.
* Charge for game sessions, then refuse to be accountable for the money.
* When players approach NPCs for advice, call them cowards.
* When players approach STs for advice, do likewise.
* Refuse to audit character sheets upon creation.
* Keep no backup/database of character sheets.
* Foist new players upon veterans without their consent or offering a reward.
* Encourage player goals in direct opposition to unknown, lethal meta-plot.
* When your call is challenged, refuse to admit possible fault.
* Deride your ST staff in front of other players.
* Refuse to enforce previous calls of other STs.
* Coach players on the floor as to how to react to a given situation.
* Inform players of other players' chop patterns.
* Be generally hard to reach ~ including no-shows at between game gatherings, via phone or email.
* Have players send downtimes to an email account that selectively bounces messages.
* If a player makes a request, ignore it the first two times it is made.
* Introduce more meta-plot than the cast can handle.
* Direct a majority of that meta-plot at 10% of your cast.
* Inform players of game location 48 hours or less before game is scheduled.
* Schedule game to start at x, do not start game until x:30.
* Announce no formal start to game whatsoever.
* End game early when players look bored, instead of creating plot for them.
* Insist that PCs no longer in game made decisions in direct opposition of their actual decision at the time.
* Jeopardize future PCs based on said rulings.
* Celebrate when players quit.

I've seen many games make some of these errors, and one game make all of them. (Sadly, that game is still running, based almost entirely on players who are either in favor, or are too green to know better) Much of this is LARP-specific, but some of it applies to tabletop/online games as well. Enjoy!
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