January 11, 2013


LARP Prep Manifesto

Regardless of how much plot has been written,
the bottleneck 
is where the drama of the plot 
is transmitted from the writer 
to the players 
in the form of opportunities for action 
to resolve (or cause) the conflict

Your goal in preparing for your LARP is 
to create opportunities 
for the players' characters 
to take action 
to resolve dramatic conflict
(or to cause dramatic conflict) 
in a meaningful way.

A story outline is not enough.
You must provide structured opportunities
for meaningful dramatic action.

Structured opportunities
for dramatic action account for
Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How
the conflict will be
introduced and resolved.

Generally, 1 hour of prep time is sufficient
to craft 10 player-hours of dramatic action.

Different Styles: Slight Variations

In an adventure style game,
opportunities for dramatic action are
events that tell a story
over which the players’ characters
have meaningful control
despite an interesting challenge
that offers a chance for risk-taking,
which is making consequential decisions
with limited information.

In an Elysium style game
opportunities for dramatic action are events
with uncertain outcomes
over which the players’ characters
have meaningful control
relating to an issue over which there is
conflict between player-characters
important enough that they may 
be willing to take action despite the cost.

Between-Game Activity (BGA) responses
can be used as structured opportunities for dramatic action.
To that end, they should not merely respond to the activity:

In Adventure style LARP,
BGA responses should provide hooks
or exposition
related to the activity.

In Elysium style LARP,
BGA responses should introduce
or advance
a contested issue.