Monday, 19 October 2009
It was only after a great deal of encouragement by one of my players, who is one of the Dumnonni referees that I was persuaded to go, I figured a weekend of camping with entertainment laid on would be a bit of fun.
I was pleasantly surprised, the attention to detail is amazing, and yes whilst running around in armour and being bludgeoned by someone it is rather fun, what I hadn't expected was the quality of the roleplaying. The amount of background information some of the players and crew know is quite amazing, but to carry that through and play a character, or several during the event is really quite special.
I like the reality of it the mud, walking, waiting, smells, sunstroke, rain and discomfort all give it a sense of authenticity which is lacking in normal story sessions. Authenticity I will now make efforts to suggest subtly in my narratives.
I thought I knew about role playing characters, after those 20 years of running sessions, but attending these events for Dumnonni has taught me a lot of new approaches, and helped me break through some of my natural reservations.
I don't think all LARP events are like this, but it is well worth going along to one, just to find out.
Sunday, 30 August 2009
I have now uploaded two scenarios to Lulu. All The Fun of the Fair and The Horn of the Clan.
All The Fun of The Fair, previously titled Market Madness, is a very basic introductory scenario –just to get new Tefr narrators used to the system, introduce players and give them an opportunity to play newly created characters. In addition to the scenario, it also includes a lot of useful detail about the town of Erdir, where the story takes place, as well as description of all the stalls, entertainment and folk that make up the Autumn festival in Erdir during which the scenario happens.
I wrote this in a very traditional, highly detailed manner; too detailed if I must be honest. The narrative scenario itself is probably over-written, and is possibly too complex, with too many items to find and as well as a number of things to do (coupled with all the confusion of the fair and a new system for both players and narrators). I may come back to this one and create a more streamlined version, once I've learnt how to write these scenarios in an optimised form.
The Horn of The Clan is the second scenario in the sequence and whilst it doesn't have any direct bearing on the rest of the story, it does fix the main characters of the Annuath and some of the other peripheral characters. In story terms, it presents the character's ordinary world, how they exist normally, but then beginning to turn that round so that they must question just what is the morally right thing to do, even if it goes against their instructions.
Whilst I have managed to limit the amount of excess descriptive detail, I still think I have over-written this scenario. It is probably even more scripted, in places, than All The Fun of The Fair. I hope that narrators will read through these sections in advance, to get a feel for the way they can progress the story for themselves, then play it off-the-top-of-their-heads, rather than just read it out verbatim –from experience, that is a sure fire way to deaden the narrative involvement for the players. However; I do appreciate that this sort of free-form narration from memory takes practice and a little bravado especially when dealing with a new world and system of play.
On the positive side, this scenario has a much clearer story structure, and I have provided a list of the kernel events in the introduction to show how these points will provide a guide whilst playing it out. I have also taken some advice from a friend, and provided character behaviour descriptions on the character sheets themselves. I'm hoping that this may offer a way for narrators to improvise a lot more freely when playing those characters.