If a larp includes combat then it needs a method to fairly handle the damage dished out.
This article is about ranged combat rules for The Edit; my proposed new larp
It does not cover swords, axes, pipes or any form of hand to hand combat.
Since The Edit is unashamedly modern day, guns very much a part of its combat spectrum. Therefore this is about guns.
Nerf is the way to go
I’ve decided that guns will be represented by Nerf weapons. Also after Tank Larp I particularly feel that the Nerf Rival range is something to focus on. For me the Rivals really proved their worth as a larp weapon at that event.
- There is actual ammunition. Making it easy to represent both plentiful munitions and a scarce supply
- Nerf guns are easy to obtain. Which is good for minimising player barrier to entry and keeping game costs down
- I like ammunition flying through the air.
- The need to reload or fix a jammed gun adds to the tension
- The chances of actually being injured from a nerf shot are low.
We have the guns. Now how do we determine how damaging a hit actually is?
The Edit has two underlying principles. Simplicity of operation and high risk to players. That points to lethal gun play…
The Double Tap
I’m taking on the idea of the double tap as a means of representing lethal shooting.
A double tap is two quick successive hits. To quantify this to players it is two successive hits no more than a second apart.
The double tap is lethal. Double tap means dead!
Not all hits will be double taps. So for single hits. Those more than a second apart there is a counting system. It works like this
1 hit: Wounded but can carry on 2 hits: Wounded must fall to the ground and needs help from another player to carry on 3 hits: Unconscious. Will die unless medical treatment given in less than 5 minutes 4 hits: Unconscious. Will die unless medical treatment is given in two minutes 5 hits: or more: Dead
This is brutal. It points to the only way not to have casualties and dead people is to avoid combat.
Once gunplay starts people will fall.
But then horror is a major part of The Edits design. That includes the horror of senseless violence
What about bows?
Guns won’t be the only means of shooting people. In this post apocalyptic world there will bows of all descriptions and perhaps of fired weapons.
In order to maintain simplicity these will all follow the same rules for guns. Hits for bows count the same as guns.
I’m envisioning that all players will receive a safety brief regarding use of guns and other weapons. We want to make sure our players are safe and that starts with player training.
All weapons will have to be safety checked before use. So for anything that shoots something I’m planning a chronograph test before weapons are authorised for use in the game.
Last but not least is roleplay. The Edit should look great great. So all combat and injuries should be roleplayed at volume 11.
The image used for this piece does not come from The Edit. Its from Tank Larp
If this article makes you want to know more about Tank Larp then try here
Tenment 67 – Cyberpunk Larp
Welcome to Tenement 67Up till now Tenement 67 (T67) has been day events. This was the first weekender. The sad news for me was that family commitments meant that I had to leave on
The LocationThis time play was at The Gaol in Oakham
The PlayersThe players were a fantastic bunch. A
The GameIt was
This larp is a long way from find the gold, kill the monster.It is
Which is my way of sayng that T67 is a great example of just how far Larps have come since the 1980’s.
The Crew AreaI was crew. So it seems fitting to mention the crew quarters. A good many of us slept in one of the buildings away from the players. If you needed a rest – you could get a rest. The crew area in the main event building centred on a game control room and
Would I play again?That’s easy – in a
The VideoDuring my time at this
We’ve decided to do more reviews of things that may be useful to Larpers. Not just events, or larping gear; but things like camping gear. Larpers camp. So having larpers review camping gear for larpers made a whole lot of sense to us.
In fact we already one more of these good to go (well if we’re sticking Stu in a field – best to make good use of it), and another one in planning.
See The Full Review
Want to buy the Outry Stove?
Adding tanks is also very cool.
Making Tanks Larp Safe
Lets hit that big elephant in the room fast. How do you make a tank, Larp Safe? Tanks, after all, are not known for cuddliness. They’re known for crushing and destroying things.
Fortunately, this was not attempted with an insane amount of foam and gaffa tape. Although that would have been funny.
Instead, the focus was on missions. APCs would roll up to take players away on various missions. The tank training and battle part of the game was similarly a mission away from camp.
Safety precautions were taken to avoid player squishing. This included APCs having spotters, and tanks operating areas being carefully designated and non-pedestrian.
The Tanks Were real?
A lot of people believed that Tank Larp could not possibly use tanks. They did.
The Armoured Personnel Carrier
The tanks were actually FV432’s fitted with a 30mm cannon. These vehicles look like and act like light tanks.
In fact, take a look at a British 1970’s Scorpion tank and you’ll find something that looks a lot like the vehicles used in tank larp.
With a 30mm cannon and full turret, these could be classified as light tanks.
Structure of the LARP
I have to mention this it was unconventional but massively fitted in with the idea that the players were part of a larger war.
Time to expand.
In-Tank Larp the players are soldiers in a what is effectively a World War with one major neutral party. They are part of fast response teams that make use of newly invented tanks and armoured personnel carriers.
In a world has transitioned from medieval to a technology roughly analogous to WW1 in a far shorter time period than ours.
In our WW1 we have anachronisms like horses and sword carrying officers. In their version of things – swords and shields are in use alongside bolt action rifles.
It’s important to say this so that what follows makes sense.
The three days tank larp is played over (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) equate to 3 months of time in the game world.
Each day of the larp a newspaper would come out containing news about the game world. Sometimes mentioning the campaign’s players fought in.
The players could send out military orders and requisitions.
Time not on a mission was the players spending time in their base camp. This was pure role-play.
Impact on immersion
You might think that this putting of gameplay into a form of compressed time would mess up the immersion. It didn’t. Immersion was really high.
All the players worked with it beautifully and if anything being part of a larger world helped the players get into it
A lot of though went intoestablishing the world, it looks and
Immersion levels were palpable.
Were there problems.
There were some, often
Here’s an example. The players sent out military orders. The natural assumption was that these would be exactly carried out. This didn’t always happen.
Well, the commanders receiving the orders were being roleplayed behind the scenes. This led to order interpretation and local knowledge leading to adjustments in what happened.
It feels to me like a good approximation of the chaos of war. But that is something that needs to be made clear.
The good news was that the game team spoke to players, listened and learned a lot. So I’m going to bet fewer issues next time.
It’s a mark of a good larp that the organisers work with the players. This happened and that is great
Also, it’s particularly important here as the game has an unconventional structure.
Would I recommend Tank Larp
In a heartbeat!
Event 2 has been announced and I am going to be there!
- Pregame interview with an organiser
- Interviews recorded at the event
- Footage of the game.
Event 2 of Northern Kingdoms has run and we’ve been sent some fantastic pictures from it.
From the images, I’ve seen, this larp seems to keep getting better and better.
We’re planning on visiting an event later this year. However, for now, I think you’ll enjoy these pictures.
Witcher Larp Event 2 Photo Gallery
Northern Kingdom Links
This isn’t LARPBooks first Contact with this larp. We hold a profile for the game and we we’ve previously interviewed Simon Deacon its creator
All images reproduced with permission of Northern Kingdoms Witcher LARP.
A full encounter from Tank Larp.
The premise of this is that an APC on its way to action gets ambushed. The team inside have to deal with it
We see a little bit of the crewing setup. Where the APC is ushered into position by a Ref. This is for safety only. The players inside the vehicle have no idea of what is going on. We can vouch both Stu and Rob rode in that same vehicle both were oblivious of the outsidee world once it got moving.
We then follow the action from a fixed camera position. You get to see what happened as if standing in as a ref yourself.
Why this Encounter?
Tank Larp is the first larp that we’ve heard of that manages to integrate armoured vehicles. For Tank Larp these are all Cold War era.
At the point in the game this happened we’d already established quite a bit of footage. But did not yet have an encounter captured in a single fluid take.
That’s something we wanted to do. It leant us the best opportunity to show the management of these impressive vehicles. And how play revolved around them.
How do you pick a character creation method for a new larp? It`s a key point. Character creation is the first thing helps players get a grip on what they will be playing and points towards the style of the game as a whole.
I’m going to think about this question for The Edit.
What Is The Edit Larp?
The pitch goes like this. A disease has wiped out most of the human population in a short period of time. The structure of civilization is in collapse.
The disease when it hasn’t killed has brought horrific transformations to the minds and bodies of some people.
At the start of the larp, the disease has just started to jump into other species.
The game focusses on groups of survivors who have not contracted the disease. They are trying to cope with these changes.
It looks at group politics, conflict, and people just trying to understand the extraordinary.
The Edit is also a post apocalyptic body and psychological horror larp.
What does character creation need to achieve?
We need the player to understand what their character has become good at over its life so far.
We must also allow for skill growth. Characters are going to be surviving an extreme version of the world. It’s going to be a case of learn, or die. We must be able to periodically confirm what new abilities the character has gained
The modern world that The Edit stems from is complex. As a result, we are all capable of many things. The character creation process needs to reflect that.
Players also need to be able to reconcile the play of their character with its abilities. Whatever is used to define and generate the character must be simple enough to remember. It should also offer hooks to build plot off.
Methods of Character Creation
Points Based Characters
In the UK this is really popular amongst fantasy fest systems. It’s even-handed, as everyone has the same potential. My concern I’ve seen some rule books get complex in order to define things by points. Also the world of The Edit has many skills. So I’m not sure listing these is practical.
Story Based Characters
Essentially characters have a back story and abilities are inferred from it. It’s very roleplay focussed. It’s very flexible.
The bad side is that it is open to abuse. Its openness may lead to people trying to create overly powerful characters.
However, I’ve seen this approach work so well in other horror games that it has to be a possibility for The Edit.
Describe the defining roles in your characters life and gain the relevant abilities. It’s a little more controlled than just writing a story as the archetypes can come from a list pre-defined by the game designer.
Archetypes can broadly define work-skills and with a little adaptation lifestyle abilities. These wouldn’t be ‘skills’ per se. Just areas of ability
I find this idea to be good. It suggests that a foundation for a character can be created, and built on.
Everyone has a foundation of common skills. Like cooking in a local style, using basic technology and so on. Onto this are added banks of abilities based on work and hobbies. The control here is that each character can only have so many banks of abilities.
A bank of abilities, for example would be the medical skills appropriate to a choice of doctor or nurse. Or the combination of survival and combat skills that go with being a soldier.
Adding New Skills
Characters need to grow and gain new abilities. How does this happen in the four systems I’m thinking about?
Well in a points-based system, the character would gain points to spend on skills. Points would be gained per event or on any online play. It’s simple and easy to manage. I want the new or updated skills to reflect play so I will have to think of controls and restrictions that make this possible. The aim is to avoid gaining skills just because the points exist.
Story Based Characters, Archetypes and Specials have one thing in common. Skills can be assigned based on story events. There is not direct connection between points and skills. Everything depends on how the player plays the character.
I like assignment by play That’s the solution. However the problem is recording when a player is due an update. I’ll be looking into solutions for this problem. As I think this ties everything back to story. Its the way to go.
Which method of Character Generation do I go for?
I think it has to be Specials. I need something that doesn’t get bogged down in detail and that lets players differeniate themselves
Also by doing some defining of availale specials and skill banks I hope to achieve an element of scalability in play. By which I mean it’s easy to say yes or no to the question of "can I do something?".