Anti-LARP?

markusdark

Knight
Robb Graves said:
i keep thinking about the European larps that have playable villain races and PC wars. If you think about it, an NPC camp, as awesome as it could ever be run, probably could not generate a more developed and greater looking re-occurring villain than a PC could. Perhaps if there were actual PC evil out there trying to destroy the town or whatever, with their own COPs and rituals and perhaps segregated plot, mods and wave battles, it might be a very different game. granted you need alot more people to pull that off and very large grounds to keep the factions apart... but it makes me wonder..
I did it with Adventures Unlimited. The hardest part was making it in such a way that the two factions just didn't attempt to annihilate one another the moment game on was called. The second was to create intermixing plots that didn't always become a game of capture the flag/beatdown fest. The third was convincing the players that they would lose about 50% of the time (with all things being even).

However, when I got over those three humps, it was perhaps one of the most rewarding games I ever ran. Especially since it also cut down my NPC requirements to almost nil. Just had one plot person as the leader of the bad guys, one plot person as the leader of the good guys and one plot person as the leader of the townsfolk (neutral). I then only needed a couple more for extra NPC roles to be filled and more often than not, just worked a storyline with a townsfolk PC and he became the quest giver - not really needing an NPC.
 

Alavatar

Baron
markusdark said:
Alavatar said:
What does it take (in dollars and space) to get this type of Monster Camp assuming 6 outfits per monster?
Assume that each costume would fill up one average plastic tote box ((L x W x H): 15.6" x 23.5" x 12.1"). This doesn't include the weapons. The masks would cost you around $60 on the cheap end although you might be able to find a deal somewhere. Costumes themselves look like they are a mix of latex, metal, fur and cloth. I'd say each one would cost on average $40 worth of materials.

What needs to be figured in on these though is how long they'll be on stage. Something like that looks really cool if it's around for a while but if you just run into them on a module, cut them down, loot their corpses and move on, it's really not worth the time, effort and money involved to make them or even dress up the NPC (which would take at least 2 hours per NPC to do it right).
If you had a unique costume for each type of Monster it would easily become prohibitive space-wise. But, if you have "tattered clothing" + "random furs" + "rusty armor" + "random barbaric trinkets" you can mix and match for undead, goblinoids, ogroids, trolloids, lupoids, etc. and all you would need that is unique would be the masks/make-up. Then you would need "clean clothing" + "clean armor" + "random clean trinkets/jewelry" for the more "civilized" NPCs or monsters and a good make-up station.

Speaking of make-up, I need to catalogue our MC make-up kits and overhaul them. Perhaps find a large mirror that is easy to transport...

As far as how long these things would be on stage ... I guess it depends on the mods. To be honest, I am more a fan of masks (preferably rubber or latex that can easily be slipped on and off for quick transition) more-so than make-up. If there are masks instead of make-up it greatly increases the turn-over time of NPCs by a reduction in NPC gear-up time.
 

jpariury

Duke
markusdark said:
What needs to be figured in on these though is how long they'll be on stage. Something like that looks really cool if it's around for a while but if you just run into them on a module, cut them down, loot their corpses and move on, it's really not worth the time, effort and money involved to make them or even dress up the NPC (which would take at least 2 hours per NPC to do it right).
That's where multiple respawns and a consistent game world come in. I generally feel you're doing it right and best if you can run a weekend with only two or three kinds of monsters.
 

markusdark

Knight
With AU, it was 3 years before they saw anything besides a human or elf. It's amazing how little disbelief you have to suspend when bandits in the woods works just as well for the encounter as lizard men in a dungeon. :)
 

Talen

Adept
Alavatar said:
If you had a unique costume for each type of Monster it would easily become prohibitive space-wise. But, if you have "tattered clothing" + "random furs" + "rusty armor" + "random barbaric trinkets" you can mix and match for undead, goblinoids, ogroids, trolloids, lupoids, etc. and all you would need that is unique would be the masks/make-up. Then you would need "clean clothing" + "clean armor" + "random clean trinkets/jewelry" for the more "civilized" NPCs or monsters and a good make-up station.
It's actually kinda amazing how much some well-sewn "rags" and scrap armor bits go for a lot of monsters.

Speaking of make-up, I need to catalogue our MC make-up kits and overhaul them. Perhaps find a large mirror that is easy to transport...

As far as how long these things would be on stage ... I guess it depends on the mods. To be honest, I am more a fan of masks (preferably rubber or latex that can easily be slipped on and off for quick transition) more-so than make-up. If there are masks instead of make-up it greatly increases the turn-over time of NPCs by a reduction in NPC gear-up time.
I've seen some cloth skullcap/mask combos that worked rather well. One of the big problems with a lot of masks is slippage- with a stretchy headband sewn to the inside, it was easy to put on and keep on and kept the sweat out of your face. Definitely custom jobs, though not too tough to do from what I heard. Sorta like a cloth "helm" with front mask attached.
 

Gilwing

Baron
Alliance Logistics
obcidian_bandit said:
markusdark said:
What does it matter if someone is bad mouthing LARPs? Well other people hear it, they spread what they've heard (because there's no one touting the positives of LARPs because they're just ignoring the haters)
Actually, this exact phenomenon is preventing me from pulling about a dozen players right now. There is a 'Boffer-Fighting' group that meets in a nearby park every few Saturdays. They gather more people then we do at events some times. I've tried numerous times to go down there, feel them out, seed some info (in an attempt not to be too overt, since that usually goes over poorly), and gauge some of their people's interest. Thing is, interest exists, but it can't be taken advantage of. There are a few people at the 'top' of their group (either by popularity or by 'organizer/"I bring a lot of weapons"/whatever' status) that have had some kind of bad experience with some larp at some point, and they've convinced the entire rest of the group that it's lame. Any interest I get is quickly suppressed by other people there, and no one wants to go out on a limb and get branded a 'larper' by the rest of the group, because that makes them lame.

I'm sure you have tried this before, I would suggest trying to take your best fighters and have them hang out with this group. Fight with them, get to know them..."work them", infiltrate them. Work there interests and stroke there ego.
 

zehnyu

Squire
Its also a matter of the time and effort that your staff has to put together those kinds of costumes. When writing plot, I made it a point of trying to at least have my named big-bads look scary enough to be a bit more than just a guy in paint. This was a rather expensive ordeal - but its also a matter of how much you have in the way of tools and materials, how many donations you can get, and how many people want to give their time to their respective chapter.

Instead of donating random stuff, have someone who takes the time to learn the craft (or knows it already), then get donations of the materials needed (or gift cards to the places wherein you can buy the materials), and manage to have enough time to build the suit/costume/prop.

As an example, our bigbad squad for halloween looked like this (please disregard any poor makeup on these pics, the reveal itself was at night, and had a certain amount of light to it so that the poor makeup was easily hidden.)



This was such an expensive endeavor to afford the masks at 60-70 a pop, that I couldn't afford the jester's. But I thankfully had a good enough makeup person to make him look how he was supposed to. However, if I had known how to build foam rubber latex masks, it would've been exponentially cheaper, but you trade that with the amount of time used to learn the craft, and cast a mask.

However, there is the option of building the creature out of 'household items', which is exponentially cheaper in some areas.

The stone minotaur in the Rulebook (aside from his mask) was built from a sweatshirt that was covered in cut up open cell foam, a painters hood, some foam for the ears, some rigid foam for the horns, and caulk filler for the braids, and spray paint for the 'stone look'. He ran a bit expensive because we didn't have all the tools to work with the materials. However, once you have the tools (or the tools are donated) you would have to have just paid for the open cell foam, the generic sweatshirt, painter's hood, caulk filler, rigid injection foam and spraypaint.

While we may not be able to do it for every single goblin that walks out of NPC camp, it is at least helpful if you can branch part of the way. Plus, the more volunteers you give materials to make things, and the more communication of -what- you need for your chapter, the bigger the opportunity. LARPs may not have a movie budget, we do have is a myriad of people with some great talent, and an ingenuity to use some pretty regular stuff to build some pretty fantastic costuming.

-Ali
 

Vila

Newbie
markusdark said:
I understand that sentiment. But if we are perceived as a bunch of nut jobs who have underaged sex and bathe once a lunar cycle, then it could be hard to get more people to join up. (all of which I have heard applied to NERO/Alliance and are, of course, completely untrue).
I here I thought infrequent bathing and underaged sex were the selling points.
 

ron

Newbie
Owner
San Francisco Staff
*gives the nod to Vila*

The real secret to this is using what you have available. if you can only come up with one really cool orc mask and outfit then why fight it? make the plot bend to what you have available. if you actually ask someone who isnt a purist stick jockey, what is more interesting. Coming upon 6 orcs out in the woods? vs Coming upong 1 orc and 5 non-orcs? The later could lead down an interesting storyline with more plot hooks to for the players to understand why a single orc would be hanging out with 5 non orcs... maybe its a slave? maybe the 5 are slaves? maybe they are bandits/friends? or maybe they are a band of [npc] adventurers that your pc's happened to come across?

Getting caught up with what others have or you dont have is really a defeatist way of looking at things.

Final point.... there is really no out of game issue that plot cannot work around, fix, or explain in game that will not break the game continuity if they put a little effort into it. short on physical coin? send out jems and iou's in game, let the players spent a few events "hunting down the missing coin" while the chapter gets the funds togetther to order more. No orc costumes/tabards yets? say the orcs have become less common for some reason, let them search for clues in game or during downtime; let them put those ocs's to use and later shock the ___ outta them when your pimpin orcs show up.
 

Arkade

Scholar
Charlottesville Staff
So, the real question in my opinion is this.

What are you doing to make the world see LARPing the way you see it?
 

markusdark

Knight
Arkade said:
So, the real question in my opinion is this.

What are you doing to make the world see LARPing the way you see it?
-www.larping.net/larping/store - or even just www.larping.net
-Working with various film and tv people who are making personal, mini-documentaries about LARPing
-Helping people (both vets and first time LARPers) find the games that best suit them
-Offering my services to any LARP that needs them - yes, sometimes for a price due to time and work involved
-Doing my best to further inter-LARP relations as well as their relations to the public (such as getting LARPers together to help promote a movie release such as the new Shrek movie)
-Helping to inform people about the reality of LARPs compared to the public's view (e.g. "The Wild Hunt" movie)
-Help found a group called the LARP Alliance whose fundamental goal is to promote and expand LARPing as a recreational activity

Or, was that a rhetorical question? ;)
 

Ondreij

Scout
markusdark said:
Arkade said:
So, the real question in my opinion is this.

What are you doing to make the world see LARPing the way you see it?
-Help found a group called the LARP Alliance whose fundamental goal is to promote and expand LARPing as a recreational activity
OOPS! That's an unfortunate choice of names -- it sounds too much like Alliance LARP and you should hope that Mike "Fearless Leader" doesn't pursue defense of his copyrights. :roll:
 

Jim

Scholar
Ondreij said:
markusdark said:
Arkade said:
So, the real question in my opinion is this.

What are you doing to make the world see LARPing the way you see it?
-Help found a group called the LARP Alliance whose fundamental goal is to promote and expand LARPing as a recreational activity
OOPS! That's an unfortunate choice of names -- it sounds too much like Alliance LARP and you should hope that Mike "Fearless Leader" doesn't pursue defense of his copyrights. :roll:
Not to put too fine a point on it, but the LARP Alliance was originally conceived in 2001 and founded as a non-profit in 2004.
 

Mike Ventrella

Duke
Owner
Moderator
HQ Staff
Ondreij said:
markusdark said:
Arkade said:
So, the real question in my opinion is this.

What are you doing to make the world see LARPing the way you see it?
-Help found a group called the LARP Alliance whose fundamental goal is to promote and expand LARPing as a recreational activity
OOPS! That's an unfortunate choice of names -- it sounds too much like Alliance LARP and you should hope that Mike "Fearless Leader" doesn't pursue defense of his copyrights. :roll:
heh! Except they've been around longer than we have!
 

Wraith

Newbie
Arkade said:
So, the real question in my opinion is this.

What are you doing to make the world see LARPing the way you see it?

At this point? Trying to play a different game than most of the playerbase. We'll see if it works.
 

Aven

Artisan
On a somewhat other note... how many of you have seen the movie, Role Models? I have slowly been introducing my LARPING self to my work colleagues. Most of them seem interested, a few look at me oddly, but a few of them asked me if what I did was like Role Models. Now I have not seen this movie, I probably should. But from the clips I saw it looked majorly dorky. It is annoying to have to defend against those stereotypes. It is one thing to have random joes who think we are odd and stupid. It is another thing to have colleagues and family think so. I am curious what questions you have gotten when you introduce someone to your LARPing hobby? How do they respond? Do they compare it to something?

Thanks,

Jessica
 

Druk

Rogue
I've been telling my co-workers that I spend the weekend running around the woods in makeup, hitting people (who are paying good money) with pipe. It's easier for them to accept than Live Action Role Playing.

In all seriousness, I finally broke down and watched Role Models because of that very question. The answer that I've come up with for coworkers/friends is along the lines of: "Role Models is the closest media depiction to what we do, but actually far from what we do. We're much more organized, have better costumes and it's not purely a combat oriented game." I then tell them a little about our rules, marshals and throw in an anecdote or two.
Honestly it'd probably just be easier to waylay them.
 
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