Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sugar We're Going Down

Downtime is a tricky issue in larps and tabletops. Some points of view favor more downtime, some favor less. I personally like having as much of it as I can reasonably get away with. Some of the best games I've seen basically could have been just talking heads exploring character and nuance of a game world. Now this doesn't mean I'm some kind of pantywaist, artiste, role-playing-not-roll-playing wussbag. I love D&D I like MechWarrior. Battles are awesome and frequent and ignominious character death makes for a tense and exciting larp. It boils down to an amount of simulation and verisimilitude in games. Most people most days don't do much, they don't fight or change careers or fall in love. and from time to time exploring what a character does on a typical day in their life really helps flesh out the world. Exercise for the day for new players or staffers: write down or try to take note of any time in your day when you do something hard, something where you have a real chance of failure and where that failure has consequence. At the end of the week see how many times that has happened. Think about what your character does when the game is not in session or what they did before the game was in session. What did they do easily, what are they like at home?

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