- He went overloading on testing and coding and his name was(Stelio)United Kingdom
SurreySupport comes in many forms: community involvement, forum posts, submitting data, running PbF games, word-of-mouth advertising, financial donations... All these are vital to this site, and you have my sincere thanks for participating in any of them.Currently: planning.
I have attempted to list the games in chronological order. If you add to this list, it would be helpful to know where to place your entry (in case it's not obvious). I expect to need to edit this list in various ways as I discover more information or people point out corrections I need to make.
Those games that were actively run but for which I could not find sufficient system information in order to add them to the database are listed as: Home Made / Homebrew Rules + Adventures.
Those games that appear not to have actively run and for which I could not find sufficient system information in order to add them to the database are listed as: Unpublished Prototypes.-----
I have marked the respective genres as appropriate in the top left of each of the entries. To a large extent, the game genres correlate with the system mechanics. Broadly speaking there are three main types of LARP that are regularly active in the UK (convention LARPs may be a fourth type, but I don't know how significant they are in this country): combat LARPs (which are mainly Fantasy), tabletop conversions (which are mainly Modern Horror), and freeforms (which are mainly Historic).
By far the most common genre for British LARP systems is Fantasy. These are nearly all descendants of the original Treasure Trap game in some form. The typical structure for these systems is as follows:
Games are usually run outdoors, with groups hiring places such as scout camps to play their games. The cost of hiring and the need for insurance mean the costs of attending are not insignificant; hence most games run for long wekends in order to maximise value for money. Often there will only be a few events a year due to site availability and costs.
Characters are determined by variable-cost skills bought with points at character creation and may learn more skills with experience points gained by attending events.
Characters can usually be categorised by race and sometimes class. Often skills are restricted by class (or equivalently, by guild). There may be various advantages (and disadvantages) by race, which must also be clearly indicated through appropriate make-up.
Combat is relatively common and full contact, using foam/latex weapons (latex weapons were first created in 1986) and real armour. Characters have a number of hits per body location, and weapons may cause a variable amount of damage per hit. Various different damage calls have additional system effects.
Older systems (from the 1980s) use a method called "battleboarding" whereby each player remembers what hits they have suffered during a fight, and consults a referee afterwards to determine what the lasting effect was (at the extreme end they may discover they are now dead). Newer systems let players track their own health.
There is no randomisation. If the character has the appropriate skill then they can perform related actions successfully so long as the player can physically accomplish it. In particular success in combat is greatly determined by a ''player's'' skill.
In the 1990s Modern Horror had a surge of popularity due to the rise of White Wolf's World of Darkness. Nearly all of these games are based on Vampire: The Masquerade, but some other games have been successfully run as well. The ready availability of the Mind's Eye Theatre rules did not prevent many groups from creating their own rules, but these were typically all of a similar style:
Games are usually run indoors, with groups hiring places such as function rooms in pubs to play their games. Often these can be secured at no cost so long as the bookings are made for quiet times during the week and players spend enough money at the bar. Games sessions last a few hours in an evening, and usually run every week on the same day.
Characters are determined by a number of attributes, skills, and various other additional stats (including supernatural powers). At creation, players assign a number of points into each category. Experience points gained by attending events can be used to increase these.
Competence at an activity is rated by summing the values of the appropriate attribute and skill. This is compared against a target difficulty or (in the case of an opposed action) an opponent's value. Success is then determined using a randomisation mechanic, with various modifiers possible (including in some cases the chance of a re-test). The most common method (taken from MET) is to use a rock/paper/scissors challenge.
Combat is relatively rare and usually non-contact (so special LARP weapons are not required). When combat is initiated, game time is frozen, and characters take actions in turn depending on their relative speeds using skill challenges as appropriate. Combat cannot occur without a referee to moderate it.
From 2000 onwards, games have been developed for all sorts of genres. Whilst some of these have mechanics derived from other combat LARPs or live action tabletop conversions, the majority of these are freeforms. Typically a freeform game uses a Historic setting, with or without touches of fantasy (the Cthulhu mythos has a special popularity). A combination of low rules and high quality costumes has made them relatively more popular with female LARPers: you can expect a roughly equal mix of men and women at freeforms (other LARPs tend to be male-heavy).
The games themselves are often designed as one-off events. Some systems have run campaigns in which a series of events have a linked plot, but typically these are written as being chronologically separate (in game, years may have passed between two events). The same one-off event maybe run multiple times with different players.
Games are mostly run indoors and sometimes outdoors, depending on the specifics of the setting, with the cost of the site hire being a significant part of the event fee. Most historic campaigns will be indoor events, and players usually put a lot of effort into creating costumes that look authentic for the time.
Characters are defined by the background and personality. rather than by a set of attributes or skills. Additional system mechanics (for example to model the use of magic) are typically very simple to minimise the need for input from referees and reduce the risk of interruption to the flow of the game. There is no randomisation.
Accordingly combat is relatively rare, and if allowed will often be rather lethal (it is easier to remember if you are alive/wounded/dead than to track a set of numeric values). Modern era and futuristic games often use airsoft guns.
Characters and plot may be written in advance by the referees, with players being assigned to pre-written characters. This ensures that there are sufficient links between character backgrounds so that putting the players together will let the events of the story naturally unfold. Some few systems allow players to create their own characters, but still within the limitations of the game world's confines.
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