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> Different game systems, Have they ever been considered?
post Dec 4 2013, 12:33 PM
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Lets me preface what will perhaps sound like a critique, with the fact that UK and Scandanavian LARPing is the stuff of legend, back in the states. To us Americans, it's like the World Series or the Superbowl. I will return to the states as something of a celebrity or war veteran. I'm being a little dramatic, but not too much, honestly. smile.gif

That said, I'm not a huge fan of the systems I've been reading about. Strangely, they look a lot like the systems we started playing back in the 90's. I'm not saying this is necessarily a fact that they are superior, but it's my opinion that they are. I think this comes down to priority. In the states, many games have tried to become simpler to navigate, rules wise, and more friendly to the new player. Stat tracking is a huge one. Many games here have high hit points and multiple body parts to keep track of. After 20 years of LARPing, I still find keeping hits tracked, challenging. I'm going to list a few observations and I'd love to hear how folks feel about them.

1. Spells - Has anyone ever thought about a packet based spell system? When a spell that can effect an enemy or ally at range, a packet (about a golf ball sized packet of birdseed) is thrown after the incant and effect is stated. This adds an element of skill and the dynamic of dodging to the equation. It also alerts to someone who may not be paying attention to the caster, that they have been hit.

2. Height and weight restrictions - Do folks like these in place, to keep certain races within a certain theme? We used to do this and then decided that we thought people would rather have the option to choose than to preserve some hardline of a thematic ideal.

3. Hit Points - Body points, limb points and different levels of armor on each. This is almost unfathomable to me. Who wants to keep track of all that? I can't imagine it, without having to stop and take inventory after every fight. That seems like a lot of math, especially in an especially chaotic fight. I honestly don't know how people do this. Has a simpler method ever been considered, like a straight up total health?

4. Referee - We used to have this, almost identical to how it seems to be done at Laby. We even ran modules and were Battle Boarded by a ref. We used that exact terminology. I don't know a single game in the US that does this anymore. This is kind of a big one for me. The trend in the states went from Referees and skill and armor tags and all that micro managing, to a straight up honor system. No more tracking and instead of a referee, we had certain NPCs that were certified Marshalls. Like a ref, but they might actually be one of the NPC's you are fighting, rather than an out of game observer. They were mainly for mechanics questions and adjudication. Have folks considered something closer to an honor system or is cheating too much of a concern?

5. Personalized incants - This is one of my favorite changes in a few of the popular systems in the states. You can use the generic incant, or make your own. The formula to make your own is a number of syllables that is dependent on spell level. You generally have to incorporate the school of magic and spell name into the incant. No one really cares about flubbed incants. After the incant, an effect is stated, to let the recipient know what happened. You don't have to memorize what every spell does, by the incant to know how it effects you. Example: By the power of the Weald (school) I call down a lightning bolt (spell)! *5 damage by lighting* (effect).

6. Open skill system - A few of the newer games in the states use this. No classes, no restrictions. All skills are worth the same amount to anyone. You can be a spell using, armor wearing, merchant or anything you can imagine. Everyone is so unique and no labels are attached. The customization is limitless.

OK, these are some of the bigger ticket items that I have experienced in the states and I like them a lot. Admittedly, I've gone from wanting extremely large and complex rules to very simplified ones that still maintain a lot of choice and variability. I'm an old dog not wanting to learn new tricks. smile.gif Again, I'm not saying these are any "better", this is all about what one prefers. I'm just curious how others feel.


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