I’ve been thinking more about the idea of building of mechanics for social reactions. It came to me that this kind of rule needs a trigger. What’s needed is something all players can see, and that could be worn easily with costume (or none if the larp is not particularly immersive). It also struck me that whatever was being worn needed to only be seen when players were close enough to interact visually or talk. In other words – it doesn’t have to be very big.
That took me to pendants. Worn around the neck pendants can be easily made and be shaped or coloured to have meaning.
The rule would work a little like this. Pendants are made for players to convey a meaning in the game. In the pre-game briefing these are handed out and players are told 2 things
- The meaning of the medallion they are wearing
- Their reaction as a character to seeing certain other pendants.
Its best to focus on what each player needs to know. Trying to remember everything could be difficult. Remembering and roleplaying to only a couple of things is much easier. The aim is to always go for quality of play so making the players life easy needs to be paramount. In a large fest style games pendants can be included in a briefing pack with written descriptions. If the game is smaller and more intimate then perhaps a briefing for the player from a game ref would be more appropriate.
Either way the end result is that players are looking for reactions from others to what they are wearing and looking at each other to see if there if something they need to react to. In theory this added need for awareness could improve the quality of roleplay when characters meet.
This can also be extended to almost any other kind of jewellery. Jewellery is worn as a display so why not use that display as a signal to others in a LARP. A cue here can be taken from ecclesiastical rings worn by the clergy. The kissing of the ring is a social ritual – a social mechanic in fact that is part of the modern world. No reason why we can’t use this as an inspiration in Larp
The pendant in the image is one I’ve worn a good many times for a certain character. Its significance was a badge of rank.