This rule is the most important but the hardest to follow through considering the limited resources available to a Game Master. It’s also tricky because the players are often moving through a complex world and there’s always going to be entities, groups and even individuals who are far more powerful than them.
Encourage interactivity. Always. If you can find a way to make something dependent on player actions, go for it.
Share the spotlight. This is where skill variety, character ties or factional connections can really shine. Find a way to keep everyone involved and connected in the story.
Even when NPCs are talking to each other, player involvement should matter. If two NPCs are going to have at each other, keep it short and snappy and let PC interactions dominate the discussion. If they throw out a few comments here and there, make those comments matter.
Continue reading “RULE NO. 1: Don’t Diminish The PCs! “
When players feel they don’t have enough plot, what they normally mean is there are serious issues preventing them from getting much out of the plot they do have. There are often a number of reasons why they can feel this way and there’s a bunch of things that can be done to change it. Here are some reasons why you might be feeling disconnected to plot:
Someone might be trying to protect the plot for emotional reasons or just might not realise your relevance to it. This might even involve higher ups within your character’s team actively removing your character from the plot line. This issue can come up when the GM weaves people into the same plot from different directions. Someone wants to protect their loved one but that loved one is the only witness, and possible culprit, of a situation you want to investigate. Naturally the other character wants to protect them but you really need answers….
Continue reading “Plot Barriers Part 2”
Most often when I hear complaints that a player doesn’t have enough plot, what they normally mean is there are serious issues preventing them from getting much out of the plot they do have. In some cases I’ve been able to show entire laundry lists of plot connections that a particular character has, but the player will sincerely feel that they don’t have any plot worth a damn. Often this boils down to one of several issues:
The player can’t do much with their plot hooks because other characters aren’t paying any attention to it for whatever reason. Interactivity in LARP is key so without other players buying into it, it can’t become part of the focus. This often boils down to other characters not realising the relevance of the plot you have to their character’s situation. Folks are often bombarded with stuff to do at most LARPs and during the quiet times they are busy trying to *find* stuff to do. This means that they won’t always pick up on the ramifications of what you’ve just said.
Continue reading “Plot Barriers Part 1”
One of the most common complaints in any LARP is how to get your hands on more plot. Plot being defined as compelling connections to the greater world or the overarching themes or wider narratives of the game. It involves being able to make a meaningful connection to how the game plays out. Being involved in plot is a two-way dance between GM creations and player actions and if you want to become more tied within the weave you can take some of the following steps.
First check if you have any plot. You don’t have any plot? Are you sure? Sometimes it’s worth checking with the GM if you think you have no plot as you may be surprised at the large plot hooks that your character may have which you may have forgotten about or overlooked. Significant chunks of time between sessions can often leave key facts by the wayside. Seriously I’ve seen players overlook massive game-changing information and connections they had because time had obscured its relevance.
If you really don’t have any plot, contact the GMs (ideally between sessions) and ask them if there’s anything your character could be connected to or even suggest certain plotlines you’d like to be tied into. Your best bet is to be relatively vague about this because GMs will be trying to find ways to connect you to existing plot even if in an unexpected fashion rather than create something entirely new. If they create brand new plot for you, great!, but they might not be able to do so in a way that is immediately relevant.
Continue reading “Getting Your Hands On Plot”