LARP War Journal: Where’s The Adventure?
Every game tends to have their disagreement about the direction their game takes. For some games there are no arguments because they are either focused on RP/adventure primarily, or they are focused on the action aspect of the game. For others, it isn’t so clear cut because they try to satisfy both types of players. Today we are going to get into the problem that develops when you have that balanced game, and the game begins to lose that balance.
The big thing here is that when you have a big game, sometimes the issue is that there is a need to satisfy everyone. That just is not possible. Someone is always going to get hurt in the end. Now with that said, the question is what you would lean towards if you wanted to satisfy enough players who take the time to come out there. Maybe its just me, but I would prioritize the adventure over anything else. If there is fighting, the adventure should put player characters into that position to fight one another for objectives and goals. If your game isn’t primarily fighting, would you want to drive out there just to swing swords for a couple of hours and turn back home? I wouldn’t, and that is what some would fail to understand when they shortchange the importance of adventures. That is where you roleplay, where it matters that you came out there looking nice in garb that you put effort into, and where you would genuinely get your most memorable moments out of. As a spellcaster primarily, that is where I feel as though my time is best used. What would be the point in my class if there aren’t enough opportunities to use what I have?
Now some will say that new players will find it easier just being able to fight, and that would only be half-true. Sure they wouldn’t understand off the bat the things they would need to do, or how the game works, but these are at the same time people who are old enough to figure these things out without their hand being held. I’d assume we all play tabletop game or video games, you don’t sacrifice one style of playing because you want it to be more welcoming. That is not even getting to the point that I’m sure as hell that someone new comes out there to experience the adventure more than anything else. The name of the game should always be immersion if the game does adventures. Some might also bring up crossgamers, and considering they aren’t new to LARPing, they should know that you never go into another game expecting everything to be made simple just for them. It’s just not how any of this should work. Could you give these people extra abilities so that level one doesn’t suck the fun out of it? Of course, because that is how you adjust an adventure.
Lets take an example, my game has their big event of the year upcoming. This one is about 4-5 days long. During these days you would normally expect a big adventure to take place, maybe two days to occupy that time. The problem here is that the people running that event struggle understanding how to manage everything going on that week. Things like classes, tournaments, and what not should not create difficulty to run an adventure. That Saturday and maybe even Friday usually is where most would do their fighting, why would that need to take away from something that a group of people are putting effort into creating on the other days? Yes you want to satisfy everyone, but classrooms? That is something people can do even before lay-on. If the worry is also about new players or crossgamers, they all have plenty of time to understand the way the game works before stepping out there. Suddenly worrying on that day hurts everyone’s experience as a whole. You don’t get to properly interact with everyone there when you are only focused on hitting them with something. Neither would you get the same experience facing off against different players who wouldn’t normally be other there under other circumstances.
The expectation should be that there is someone running an adventure, and there should be no reason for them to go through with it if they don’t think enough people will participate. If you subtract from the adventure, then what do you think will happen? Those people will spend that time doing nothing but two team battles? I don’t think so.