My journey into StatusLarp started when Reno sent me a link to his Random Character Generator. So here is that video!
Yes it really is rolling up a character the old fashioned way (with dice). Yes it is a lot of fun. Useful – potentially but I think that depends entirely on your game. And also if you really want a disposable fantasy character – awesome. I mention the disposable character as something that is created as an emergency fill in (for example death of a venerated character at a fest event), but when roll played takes on a life of its own. Here its not the generation process that matters – its what you do with it afterwards. So you know – no way am I knocking a random character generator. Also I now want to play a sweater knitting dwarf.
The Random Character Generator is the largest part of [StatusLARP] as I write. Its part of a playlist that is 54 vids long.
That in itself is an achievement. Although not the end of things. There are quite a few other uploads in this channel. Fun things like larp songs and practical things like using leather layers and thonging.
All in all a fun channel. Yes I have subscribed – which means there is a good chance of seeing more from Reno on LARPBook.
Here are some [StatusLARP] links for you
The Random Character Generator: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SA1s9gSBaw
The [StatusLARP] Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZ6lcOMRTRTkWO4xllwceGg
We first heard of this when Timofey Rechkalov wrote to us towards the end of December. I’ve been playing with it since and it presents as a cool and interesting tool to managing the creation of a larp. Let’s start with the best way of learning about The Story Toolkit – and that is an introduction and tutorial. Watching this will give you a very good idea as to how NIMS helps you develop both story and characters in a structured way.
If this has whetted your appetite for having a go at using the Story Master Toolit here is how you get it.
First go to: https://bitbucket.org/NtsDK/story-master-toolkit-smtk-nims/overview
This is the project page on the Atlassian BitBucket system for NIMS. Its a good place to check for updates and these do look like they are coming in nice and frequently. The introduction is in Russian, followed by an English translation. If you click on download on the left hand side you’ll be able to select your preferred version.
Once downloaded just extract it from the zip file it comes in and double click on nims.html. It should immediately start working in your browser.
You might notice that I haven’t mentioned if its for Windows, or Mac etc. There is a reason for that. It runs in the browser and is operating system independent. So far I’ve run it equally well on computers operating under both Windows 10 and Ubuntu. Top marks for making it able to work anywhere!
So what is it like to work with?
Well it is structured. There is a methodology and workflow implied in the software. So I’d recommend watching the video first. The example story in the video comes bundled as part of the download so you can follow along and try things out (ace!). It’s based on building up information. You start with a broad outline of story and then add events and characters. Using the elements of your story you delve deeper into its structure. You can classify things such as particular character types or antagonist and protagonist relationships. This is nice. It means at anytime you can take a high level view of things and confirm that the story balance is right. If you’re the kind of person who spews out ideas into disorganised mass of notes and then struggles to figure if you’ve got everything just so then Story Master could really help.
When I’m writing a larp I’m fairly sporadic. That means I’ll come up with a plot make notes and then brainstorm ideas. Then I’ll turn these into fairly organised notes – and at this point I’ll start looking at opportunities for drama or better ways to use a character. I think this is the kind of tool that would help me out. As I work out an idea, then put it into the system, see how it fits in, move things around and eventually come up with something more polished. Also having everything to hand means that when forget something I can just look it up (yes I am a database groupie).
The more I played with it the more I thought that yes I like this, its an interesting tool. So I would say that if you write larps, or just want a toolkit to help you write a larp then this could work out for you.
Welcome to the first show of 2017. The first show in our new format of one long, and several short. Episode 49 is pretty much an extended discussion about the use of technology in running a LARP. It’s fascinating and our special guest Matthew Webb is incredibly well informed.
In this show
AR…..no not pirates, Augmented Reality – we talk to Matthew Webb of Incognita Limited. We include all of the talking points and generally have a great time looking at this topic
In February Rob and Stu are off to “Whats Your Game…… Kit Fair” more about this in the show notes.
- The Planetfall augmented reality game, how it started, how it works
- World of Darkness Berlin and how they hired us for a new way of doing * widespread character creation for one-shot games *
- What the future of LARP and technology is
- How game organizers can leverage technology
- Using livestreaming at games for promotional purposes
If you’d like to know more about Planetfall here is the website: http://www.prepareforplanetfall.com/
There are a number of videos to support the game. Here is a playlist of the material about the settings history: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLBTcUVAqJRQqXrjfBhS9nivFVIQuNWhU5
The use of an App to accurately track resources has enabled Planetfall to have an actual running game economy. If you are interested in virtual or in game economies then this book comes highly recommended.
Virtual Economies: Design and Analysis (Information Policy): Design and Anaysis
Matthew is also working with World of Darkness: Berlin to support their larp Enlightenment in Blood with his technology.
Want to see the Dagorhir that was mentioned? Here it is:
Have you got an event coming up in 2017 then why not let us know by dropping an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
In the meantime Rob and Stu will be attending:
Whats Your Game Kit Fair 2015
Feb 4th – 5th
On February 4th. If you’re at the event please come over , say hi and have a chat. If you’d like to know more about this fair then here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/events/825019300931355/
This is the 5th year of a cool day of kit, cosplay, and combat
A big Thank you to our lovely patrons who make it a bit easier to keep this show going.
If you would like to get in contact with the show just email email@example.com, is there a topic you would like us to discuss or something cool you saw or fancy writing an article for the website then email the show firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The image for this post comes from Flickr User Andrew Bartram. You can learn more about this image and it’s licence here.
LARPBook has been busy identifying children’s larps; but what about actually writing and running one yourself? Where do you start in doing so? First of all remember that a childrens larp is like any other larp. There has to be a story, there have to be protagonists and you needs physical essentials such as a location and props. Once you have these you need to remember that this is a game for children.
Fortunately others have gone ahead and prepared some help. First of all lets link to an article and its PDF resource from Claus Raasted. Claus might be more famous for blockbuster larps like the College of Wizardry these days; but lets not forget he has a strong background in working with children and larps for youngsters.
The article is: https://medium.com/@clausraasted/49-tips-on-how-to-run-a-kids-larp-campaign-47deee77b679#.3tz015l88
Its excellent resource PDF is: http://clausraasted.dk/pdf/clausraasted_manual_for_kids_larp.pdf
I’m also going to ask you to take a look this excellent article (https://lamiradadegorgona.wordpress.com/2016/09/22/larp-and-family/) by Mirella Machancoses. It explains eloquently about how to run a game and the inclusion of children in larps.
After going through these two guides you will hopefully feel better informed about setting up a larp for the younglings; but what might one look like. Although I’ve attended games that have included teenagers and a few younger children we only have one video we can show you. Fortunately this was a game designed specifically for kids. The video itself is short but does give you an idea of the atmosphere.
This particular larp was run several times in one day as a short introduction to children (and their observing parents), to larp. This is what we learned.
- Kids love the feeling of being involved in a story.
- If you can physically represent something do so. The imagination of a child is a wonderous thing, but let it work on the story and characters and not anything more mundane.
- Be prepared for questions. Kids love questions
- Make sure you do things that include the shy as well as the outgoing. It’s important for everyone to have fun.
- Giving children moral choices as part of the game encourages interaction.
- Make sure things don’t dawdle. Keep the pace high enough to not allow boredom to seep in but not so high it creates undue stress
- Let parents see what is going on ot
As with all parts in this series about larp for children if you know of good resources that others may appreciate please let us know and we will be happy to incorporate the informatioon
Special thanks to Mirella Machancoses, Claus Raasted, The Wilderness Centre.
Some of you may have noticed that it is January 10th and there has yet to be a podcast from us. Making this our longest Christmas break since the show started. The big question you may well have is why? The other question might be; is the show over?
Well let’s address the 2nd question – NO! The show is most definitely on. After all it must go on. We are however taking a week or two to adjust things a little.
Here is our updated plan.
We are intending to do at least 1 show a month that is an hour or more long. More or less in the familiar format.
This gives us the time to do the following:
- Outdoor broadcasts from Larps and similar events
- Short discussions on the news or topic of the moment
- Personal Video blogs centred around or lives in larp
- Product tests
- How to Videos
- Us taking on and trying things out.
In other words a whole lot of cool stuff that all being well will be more focused, fun and useful than the twice a month round table discussion.
We will be happy to take suggestions for the new series of shows. We’ll be happy to visit larps or try out kit.
If think this sounds interesting and want to talk about it relation to your larp, or what you do around larp then use the contact form, message us on Facebook or send an email to email@example.com.
Will it become important for people to watch larp? I ask as it seems that at least in British if not in western culture that importance comes from a shared experience. That watching is by far the easiest way to achieve that. Just think of how deeply sports and more recently reality shows have embedded themselves in the consciousnesses of nations. A great deal of this success seems to stem from how easily something can be viewed instead of being done.
This puts larp at a bit of a disadvantage. Larp is all about participation. It is not about viewing. In fact for good reasons larp groups shun audiences. Two of these are
- Immersion – its hard to lose yourself in a story if someone is watching, and looking for your next cool line. Possibly applauding your actions.
- Safety – Want to watch a vast rolling battle with hundreds of participants. You’d better know how to avoid getting caught up in the action for your own safety.
Letting people see larp is a better solution to trying to explain it. As many larpers have found out – finding the words to adequately explain larp to an non larper; or worse someone outside of geek culture is not easy.
So what can we do about this?
To start with we can circulate more great photos and videos. In fact this has been one of the greatest trends that I’ve noticed in larp over the last few years. That being the increasing number of talented photographers and videographers out there doing great work. The importance of this and their achievements cannot be underestimated.
However good this is – you still cannot dip in and out of a larp; or looked at highlights from an event. These are the tools of mass media and larp in general does not do this. Yet these could make all the difference. Consider these 2 pieces of anecdotal evidence.
- Henry Golding from the BBCs travel show spent time recording Fairweather Manor 3 last year. I had a chance to chat about his experience and one line stuck. He was stunned by the quality of acting that came from the larpers present. He hadn’t expected that.
- When I’ve shown non-larpers well shot pieces of larp footage that did not include combat but instead where character studies their interest levels went up. They immediately looked for the story hook. So often we don’t show our strongest hand – storytelling.
This suggests to me that we not need to talk about larp. We need to let people watch larp. Somehow we need to do this without putting an audience into a game as that is really a non-starter.
The next step might be to follow what happens in some conferences and reality shows. A recorded live stream. Live so people can watch as suits and recorded so a presenter can introduce key scenes.
Technically this is an enormous challenge. I can have the idea – but cannot give you the recipe on how to do this.
So how about this. LARPBook has been investing in film-making tech so we will try and improve how we cover things – and distribute the lessons from our experience. That may help some people. An even bigger help would be if the larp hive mind thought about this. In Larp there are a great many highly skilled people. People who could come up with answers to this problem. Also lets not look for the ultimate solution for all larps. Lets look for appropriate solutions for some larps. How about a journey of lots of small steps, all learning from each other, promoting the hobby as we go and seeing what we can achieve.
The image for this post comes from Flickr User Davidd. You can learn more about this image and its licence here.