Creating LARP Rules Pt 5

Memory Tricks With Rule Creation

Standardise it. The easiest trick with this is to standardise where possible. If green lights means radioactive than I’m sorry but all your green glowies now emit radiation. Nope, you can’t use a green light to show that doors are locked / unlocked. Use a green image instead but don’t make it glow.

Poster it. If you have a mechanics’ work station where all the engineering feats occur, you could frame a somewhat in-game poster describing how the engineering skill works. This way folks can easily see what they need to know at a glance. This can be especially important with mini-games with lots of moving parts like an alchemy station where the ingredients matter. In fantasy games, you could go with parchments, scrolls and small tomes.

Remind them. You don’t want to prattle on about all your rules at the start of a game, but if there’s a rarely used mechanic that’s coming up in this session, mention it. If you want to prevent spoilers, mention three rarely used mechanics.

Workshop it. Getting players to actually experience the rules will help them in retention. Plus some people learn better by watching, listening or enacting the skill use. Don’t assume that a good workshop replaces a rulebook though. Some folks learn better by reading.

Rules Marshalls. Some folks are just better at remembering the rules than others. Reach out to them to see if they’re willing to answer questions and remind people.

Missing Rules

Sometimes you’ll find elements that aren’t in your rule book which players keep asking about. This could be how long a particular machine takes to use, how to pull scrap out of machinery or whether gas masks are useful against the gas clouds mentioned in the lore. If everyone should know the fact, and it impacts on the gameplay itself, put it in the rule book. That way everyone can find it and walk into the game knowing how to do the thing.

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