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 Post subject: New LARPers looking for Adventure Advice
PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 9:11 am 
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Hello there, folks. Long story short we're trying to set up our own LARP in Greece, and I'd rather know more than less about the whole business rather than stumbling around blind. I've been GMing and creating adventures for tabletop for years, but this is a wholly different beast. .

Our initial group is around 10 strong, and I don't see it rising above 20 very soon. Also, plenty of the people here are more interested in the RP portion instead of the "beating each other" portion, so random battles and other such stuff won't be that common.

So, we're probably stuck with adventures for our first few events. Thus, I came to you, asking for insights on running adventures, what to do, what NOT to do, viable goals, time limits, how to handle with NPCs, etc. Also, any other events that can be ran with few people are great (off the top of my head, tournaments).

Please, any information is welcomed, even from people who have played one or two adventures- I'd like to hear it from as many angles a possible. Main things I'm looking advice on:

  • Sructure of and adventure and time limit/frame
  • Amount of NPCs and Elders/Gamemasters/Referees suggested for a group of 4-6.
  • Prizes at the end (indicative, not specific)
  • Tips on incorporating role-playing elements.

Our rules are still under development, but I believe the above transcend them anyway since they are metagaming issues.


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 Post subject: Re: New LARPers looking for Adventure Advice
PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 10:38 am 
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Well our game is far more about the "beat each other" aspect than any RPing. Thats not really what our game is about. All of the questions you asked for specifics about Belegarth doesn't do. We rarely even do scenario battles let alone full adventures with NPCs. For that kind of thing I'd suggest looking at Darkon. You can post this same question on their website www.darkon.org

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 Post subject: Re: New LARPers looking for Adventure Advice
PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 1:11 pm 
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I did, and they directed me here (and to amtgard, but I couldn't find any central forum for it).

Thanks for the heads up, though.


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 Post subject: Re: New LARPers looking for Adventure Advice
PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 1:34 pm 
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I'm currently involved in running a LARP in southern Wisconsin at the moment. What experience this has given me brings about these answers.

1a. structure of an adventure: First and foremost you need incentive something that will get your characters to want to go on the adventure. Money is generally the old standby, but power, knowledge, allies, personal gain of any kind can work.
After that you need an obstacle. It's not much of an adventure without something to overcome. This need not just be a monster/ some monsters to kill. Depending on what system you're running (we run the Rampant system) it could be traps, locks, mazes, social interaction, or a search. a really good deep adventure may involve several of these things (motivations, obstacles)

1b. Time limit/ frame: This is entirely up to you. If you have players who can't physically or mentally stay on track for a long time you might want to shorten the adventure. On the other hand if it feels too short it probably is. Everything comes down to two questions for length. What will work for your players? How much have you prepared for?

2. Our group (10-12 hopefully growing) has 3 "marshals," this is overkill. I think you should easily be able to handle 4-6 with one, but that doesn't mean you can't have more. NPCs all told are a dime a dozen. If you need an NPC make one then toss it in the recycling. They might come up again they might not. (Hint: if you want an NPC to stick around give him something extra. Our two most popular recurring NPCs to date are Bowen the lord of the land who is stupid powerful and has helped the characters out of a couple tight spots, and a half crazed old man most often found heckling the characters from a tree.

3. Like i said, in game money is really the standard. if your game doesn't have a monetary system I suggest something else. A weapon or xp or anything else you think will get your heroes off their asses.

4. Not entirely sure what you mean by "incorporating role-playing elements" but if you mean getting your players to actually role-play we've had great success with an NPC plant. A lot of LARPers (new ones especially) just need someone else to go first. So have someone you know can hold a character join the party for a while and stay in character and react better to people who do the same.

Hope this helped.
Any more questions just ask I'll be around for a few hours.
Also everything here is only suggestion to be taken and twisted to your groups needs. No two groups are identical and therefore everything will require a bit of tweaking.


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 Post subject: Re: New LARPers looking for Adventure Advice
PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 2:35 pm 
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Amtgard central website is http://www.electricsamurai.com/. Go to the forums.

Also check out NERO.


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 Post subject: Re: New LARPers looking for Adventure Advice
PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 5:20 pm 
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Then the Darkon peeps know WAY less about our game then we know about theirs. And they're flat unhelpful.

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 Post subject: Re: New LARPers looking for Adventure Advice
PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 6:58 pm 
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Peanut of Loderia wrote:
Amtgard central website is http://www.electricsamurai.com/. Go to the forums.

Also check out NERO.


Big difference between the two... NERO has some pay-to-play tendencies and not too much to it besides the fight/adventure theme, Amtgard has a rich non-combat culture.

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 Post subject: Re: New LARPers looking for Adventure Advice
PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 7:24 pm 
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*shrug* I don't think the Darkon guys were unhelpful - after reading it it looks like they sent him this way in addition to their own advice. They know that we use smaller group and those of use that do LARP have more "adventure" type scenarios rather than an ongoing war.


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 Post subject: Re: New LARPers looking for Adventure Advice
PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 7:53 pm 
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Obviously you don't know Darkon guys like I do :)

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 Post subject: Re: New LARPers looking for Adventure Advice
PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 7:30 am 
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Have you tried looking at this?

http://geddon.org/index.php/Category:Scenario_battles

It's not really an adventure as much as it is a scenario, but that may be what you're looking for. I know my brothers live and die for 'capture the flag', 'steal the sample', 'kill the king', etc. In belegarth and in video games. But if you mention rpg, campaign, or adventure, half of them drop out. It's the camaraderie of all of us as a team in a fast paced battle that's exciting for us, not necessarily the role playing aspect.

Anyway, you can try tying in a couple scenarios. Maybe you have two groups one one has to hold the ilne while another has to break through. If they manage to break through, they can try to kill the evil king. If not, they have to steal a map (capture the flag) to find the kings location.


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 Post subject: Re: New LARPers looking for Adventure Advice
PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 10:24 am 
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fishstix wrote:
I'm currently involved in running a LARP in southern Wisconsin at the moment. What experience this has given me brings about these answers.

1a. structure of an adventure: First and foremost you need incentive something that will get your characters to want to go on the adventure. Money is generally the old standby, but power, knowledge, allies, personal gain of any kind can work.
After that you need an obstacle. It's not much of an adventure without something to overcome. This need not just be a monster/ some monsters to kill. Depending on what system you're running (we run the Rampant system) it could be traps, locks, mazes, social interaction, or a search. a really good deep adventure may involve several of these things (motivations, obstacles)

1b. Time limit/ frame: This is entirely up to you. If you have players who can't physically or mentally stay on track for a long time you might want to shorten the adventure. On the other hand if it feels too short it probably is. Everything comes down to two questions for length. What will work for your players? How much have you prepared for?

2. Our group (10-12 hopefully growing) has 3 "marshals," this is overkill. I think you should easily be able to handle 4-6 with one, but that doesn't mean you can't have more. NPCs all told are a dime a dozen. If you need an NPC make one then toss it in the recycling. They might come up again they might not. (Hint: if you want an NPC to stick around give him something extra. Our two most popular recurring NPCs to date are Bowen the lord of the land who is stupid powerful and has helped the characters out of a couple tight spots, and a half crazed old man most often found heckling the characters from a tree.

3. Like i said, in game money is really the standard. if your game doesn't have a monetary system I suggest something else. A weapon or xp or anything else you think will get your heroes off their asses.

4. Not entirely sure what you mean by "incorporating role-playing elements" but if you mean getting your players to actually role-play we've had great success with an NPC plant. A lot of LARPers (new ones especially) just need someone else to go first. So have someone you know can hold a character join the party for a while and stay in character and react better to people who do the same.

Hope this helped.
Any more questions just ask I'll be around for a few hours.
Also everything here is only suggestion to be taken and twisted to your groups needs. No two groups are identical and therefore everything will require a bit of tweaking.


Yes, it helped a lot! Thanks, I'll be sure to put this to good use. I read it carefully. The NPC plant is an awesome idea- I had done this before on tabletop but the thought never came to me for LARP.

Peanut of Loderia wrote:
Amtgard central website is http://www.electricsamurai.com/. Go to the forums.

Also check out NERO.


Thanks, I found that out (and already posted there and got replies). Also, I've checked NERO and seen monster camp- this is EXACTLY the kind of LARP that I DON'T want to play. I want a full-contact game with a few RP elements.

Sir Par wrote:
Then the Darkon peeps know WAY less about our game then we know about theirs. And they're flat unhelpful.


Rocca wrote:
*shrug* I don't think the Darkon guys were unhelpful - after reading it it looks like they sent him this way in addition to their own advice. They know that we use smaller group and those of use that do LARP have more "adventure" type scenarios rather than an ongoing war.


Sir Par wrote:
Obviously you don't know Darkon guys like I do :)


Actually, I've got plenty of advice from Darkon people, and they did send me to other places to get additional opinions and tips from people who do this kind of LARP more often.

Trisseus wrote:
Big difference between the two... NERO has some pay-to-play tendencies and not too much to it besides the fight/adventure theme, Amtgard has a rich non-combat culture.


As I said above, NERO is an example to avoid. Not to mention the stiff fees- I'm not looking to make money out of this, it's already unpopular at the cheap-dirt cost it has (to begin with, anyway).

SolidSam wrote:
Have you tried looking at this?

http://geddon.org/index.php/Category:Scenario_battles

It's not really an adventure as much as it is a scenario, but that may be what you're looking for. I know my brothers live and die for 'capture the flag', 'steal the sample', 'kill the king', etc. In belegarth and in video games. But if you mention rpg, campaign, or adventure, half of them drop out. It's the camaraderie of all of us as a team in a fast paced battle that's exciting for us, not necessarily the role playing aspect.

Anyway, you can try tying in a couple scenarios. Maybe you have two groups one one has to hold the ilne while another has to break through. If they manage to break through, they can try to kill the evil king. If not, they have to steal a map (capture the flag) to find the kings location.


Thanks, I'll be sure to check it out. Thing is, I want the first even to run as smoothly as possible, and that means preparing for pretty much everything. That's why I'm trying to get to know the other folks and what they want out of this, and also to design something that appeals to all. Bringing out a bunch of people in the middle of nowhere on a Saturday (considering that it'll take one hour for those with cars to get to a spot we can play in- we live in the capital) and then say "Alright, let's try a few things to see what works" out of the blue is a recipe for disaster.


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 Post subject: Re: New LARPers looking for Adventure Advice
PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 10:52 am 
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For your first event, I recommend keeping instructions simple and exceptions limited. When you have your own rules/scenario for the first time, it takes a few runs to get the kinks out. Better to have fewer places for it to kink.

One of my favorite events was a Dagorhir special event where everyone brought a pouch and you received 10 coins that symbolized your life (silver) and some gold (which you could kill people for and also find along your journey). Every time you died, you gave up all of your gold, and one silver coin to the guy who killed you. There was a bank in the town where you could stash the cash you didn't want on you. It is very cool to collect fake treasure, as an OCD person, I totally loved killing people for their stuff. The game also had side-plots where you were trying to kill something or get "magic" items. These plots can be added in.

Good luck and have fun!

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 Post subject: Re: New LARPers looking for Adventure Advice
PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 6:06 pm 
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Out of curiosity, how often would your group be playing? Are you trying for the one weekend/large game a month? Or are you going to do some smaller, more frequent practices?

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 Post subject: Re: New LARPers looking for Adventure Advice
PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 6:30 pm 
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We're aiming for one event per two weeks. Noone's stopping individual members from practicing together, of course, but the official events would be once every two weeks, to keep a steady, healthy pace.


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 Post subject: Re: New LARPers looking for Adventure Advice
PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:19 am 
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Hey man. Here's my advice based on being a larper turned Belegarth fighter.
First, good job deciding up front to be a full contact game. It's really the only way for combat to work with people who actaul want to compete.
As you get started, with lower numbers, you'll want to keep your advebtures small and realistic.
Example:Make the player characters(pc's) go on menial errandsds like meeting a caravan in the woods to pick up "iron ore" for the forge. Make the" ore" form heavy chuncks of srap metal in a heavy wood box. If they don't bring it back the blacksmith can,t repair their equipment. Make them perform this task every 2 months or so. You can use a few npc's and arange a lot of side adventures off of this and all the time the will be naturaly impeded by having to either waych over, carry or hide the box of iron ore.
Next, always have at least a 70/30 ratio of pc's to npc's. You can't occupy and entertain people with fewwer npcs than this.
after you get about 50 regular, die hard, never miss an event players, start playing exactly like Darkon(if you all want to keep larping instead of just fighting, that is). Darkon is the best fusion of larping, land war gaming, and full contact sport combat there is.
don't compromise sportsmanship for game *.
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