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What makes this LARP Game Different

Every game has a schtick right? No one wants to play the same old tired World of Darkness game that seems to be repeated so frequently. The initial inspiration for this group and chronicle was to try to structure the game so that players would get excited again, a return to that feeling that we all had the first time we played this game. Of course this is a common enough goal for most games, troupes in particular, but how? Some storytellers may do this by changing the era or place the setting is in. Some storytellers do this by introducing plot elements from other genres such as Werewolf: The Forsaken or Hunter: The Vigil. All of these can re-introduce the same setting in new and exciting ways.

We have chosen to do something quite the opposite, however. In this troupe we are attempting to capture all of those things that we love about that typical game and add in everything that has always been missing from those games.....true interactivity with the setting, player created and driven plot, collaborative story creation, in-depth backgrounds/settings, and themes taking a true role in the game itself.

If that seems a litte vague, let's break it down.

Themes

Themes have always been an essential but often ignored aspect of storytelling. Typically, a Storyteller sets a theme (and/or mood) for his chronicle and this is supposed to represent a general guideline for storyline and setting. The reality is that STs note a theme for the chronicle and then quickly become overwhelmed with all the preparation of the chronicle; the meta-plot, character approvals, out-of-character organization and so forth. In all of this activity, the theme often becomes forgotten and takes a side stage.
This is something that we are not doing. First of all there won’t be just one them for the chronicle, there will be three. Second, everyone in the troupe will have a choice as to what those themes will be. From the outset, the themes will be chosen by poll then once those themes are chosen, it is a matter of involving them. Once chosen, the themes will be purposefully involved in both the Storyteller's creations and the Player’s creation. It will decide what approvals are allowed into the chronicle, what storylines get created and be one of the first questions storytellers will ask when approving characters “How does this character play into the themes of the game?”
The purpose of this is to create a game that “feels” like the World of Darkness and doesn’t just involve elements from it. This game is striving for that harmony that comes from all of the storyline and player elements working together. This alone I believe, will be one of the biggest differences of our game.




Depth of Setting and Background

Many games possess detail of background and setting. With this game we are attempting to create tools that allow both to continually evolve. Tools such as this wiki. While some other Live Action troupes and organizations already use these things, the general impression (from my point of view) is that these tools are either not used very much or are more used to encourage connectivity into other games within a large organization. This troupe is attempting to make a slightly different use of the same tools.
Within this wiki is a Setting and Character description page. As character or setting information gets put into their pages, there will be individual pages that will spring into existence. Places that characters have been to or things in the city they have done or created in game. Instead of leaving those elements in the background one of the Storytellers' primary tasks will be to continually query the player base as to additional details of a said page. This could be something that is connected to the player directly or something that is connected to other characters.
It is the hope that the momentum of input of the players will continue to expand the universe of this requiem chronicle, adding depth and color to the background of the game itself.


Collaborative Story Creation

`The traditional model of a game usually involves three basic steps. The Storyteller creates the setting, meta-plot, and individual plotlines. The characters create their characters and backgrounds for the Storyteller to approve them. Finally, the game starts and the plots and characters each run their course independently, occasionally interacting with each other when appropriately determined by the storyteller.
Our troupe is going to break this model. In this model, before the characters are created the players will be posed a series of questions and choices that will allow them to create the core concepts of the game that they will want to play in. These will have guidelines set by the storytellers but overall will put the decisions into the players' hands to create the world they want to play in. Once the basic ideas have been decided, then the storytellers will use those ideas to create the details and flesh out the concepts into plotlines tailored to the players.
This is intended to give the players a sense of involvement in more than their characters and to create a game that involves everyone not just the storytellers' personal meta-plots. Once game gets underway as players enter the game, additional material will be created in groups to expand the game and add to the collaboration.


Setting Interactivity

Everybody loves a good setting. While it’s assumed that the storyteller and the players will provide the elements that make up a good setting, this sadly is not a standard. Sometime players can help a setting by costuming or purchasing things for their character that force interaction with the setting. Storyteller sometimes help the setting by taking more interest in downtimes or influences, by creating groups or personalities in the setting that take an active part in game. All of these things help the setting but there is still a lack of consistent interaction with the setting to bring the world to life. While these things might be present all too often, games dwindle down to people engaging in roleplay with select aspects of the setting and turning the rest of the game into standing in a college activities building talking about their actions in the third person flipping cards.
We are going to strive to bring characters and storytellers closer to consistent interaction with the setting by making the setting a character in and of itself. What I mean by this, is that at the beginning of the chronicle several players will be designing groups as characters. These will be organizations, influences, secret societies and every day people. They will function like characters (rules-wise), they will grow like characters (although with a different set of rules), they will interact with other normal characters, and they can be killed like characters. All this will be created with the collaboration of the player base and under the guidelines set down by the storytellers.
Lastly these are not NPCs! Unlike NPCs, these “character groups” will be roleplayed like a character split up into many different smaller parts. This both relieves the storytellers of running around trying to be everywhere at once and provides constant available interaction with the setting in the form of the people and places that the exterior people live.

In closing, all of these things not only change the way the game is played but involve those elements that should be in every game but often can’t or are not involved in every game. This is how our game will hopefully be great and in the end, create a different roleplaying atmosphere than other Live Action Roleplaying games.