The Arts of LARP, Early Impressions

Now that I’m a bit further into The Arts of LARP, and the author has started their deep dive into their first case study, I’m thinking this may be a bit more of an “outsider” point of view work than something to help insiders hone and innovate. That may change but even so, I’ve already picked out a few things of interest to me so far…

Their first case study, a one-shot called Under Angmar’s Shadow set in Middle Earth sounds like a lot of fun. A large (by my own theater one-shot standards) game at 40-50 pre-generated roles, and only a few minor NPCs, it seems to have a spread of interpersonal situations, politics with a capital P, strategic rounds for elements of the wider world and free form.

One thing that wasn’t common in games we ran, are the intermissions between “time skips”, but I see why they the creator felt they were necessary for the type of advancement in their story. The after-care is more formalized than then “break out drinks or fire up the grill” sessions we did after some of our games, but this is a more modern and polished crew.

Not sure this particular LARP would be a good beginner LARP for gamerunners because of the minimum size and number of moving parts though.

The gamerunners use a system of categorizing pre-gens in certain areas, so they can ask players similar questions, and rank set of best-matching players who would probably enjoy as well as best portray that pre-gen. While I think we all do this to a degree when our LARP community casts NPCs, I’d love to get a peek under the hood of that system, and hope they expand on it later in the book.

Will check back in after a few more chapters!

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  1. December 19, 2022

    […] the way through my read of David Simkins’ The Arts of LARP, of which I previously shared my early impressions. We’ve moved out of the introductory concepts and real life example LARP the author […]

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