So in my ongoing publication of the Falling From Orbit LARP, I basically am putting out enough of the material that someone who wanted to run the LARP from scratch could probably do so without much trouble. So here are the announcements I made for pre-game.
First a huge and wonderful shout out to the wonderful Alisha for helping me out during the LARP itself and especially with the character sheets. All the "connections" on each sheet were her hard work.
I started with the pre-roll announcements that might make people want to leave the game so that they can go find another game (if it were at a convention) or just not sit through half a game before they realized it wasn't for them.
First was that it was an intrigue and political game. While I technically never discount the possibility of combat (having had three time bubbles in a My Little Pony LARP once).
Second, trigger warnings. Falling From Orbit is a LARP about the underclass of humanity. Androids are a metaphor for sexuality, gender, race, and more. There are themes that are exact echoes to many forms of existing bigotry and some characters will be bigots. Also drug use, genocide, and sexual servitude (even though these things will not take place "on camera.")
And then on to roll and the main announcements
So people play LARPs with a lot of different philosophies involved. Some have lots of rules and logistics and M&Ms for power chits (and snacks). At the other end of the scale is more where I wrote this LARP as cooperative storytelling. Obviously as groups make believe, there has to be a way to handle "Bang. You're dead." "No, I dodged." What I hope is that with cooperative storytelling people can agree to work through disputes about what happens. Instead of "no but" we work towards "yes and." If someone tries to hit you instead of saying "I dodge," maybe you say "Okay, but I'm holding your shirt, so we both tumble to the ground together."
My one caveat to this is that all the characters have one or two abilities they can do once per scene. That's like their ONE cool thing, so basically let them do it.
Obviously if someone is trying to kill another character or totally subvert their goals, I will have to come and adjudicate.
The whole game is gender neutral. Which means sometimes the gender neutral pronoun "they" is in use and the character sheets might look like they have strange subject verb agreement. This means that romantic sub-plots might be same sex relationships. Let us know if that's okay with you.
One of the things missing from the typical character sheet is "character goals" this is partially because the first absolute game changer will be happening within about five minutes of the game's start. The second is because I want you to think of your own goals based on the character sheets. You can probably figure out what you think about stuff "in character" and while I'm glad to help, you don't have to run anything past me.
One of the important aspects to being responsible role-players in this game will be to be very careful about player knowledge vs. character knowledge There will be several places in this game where you will know something that your character does not, and it will be important not to play with that knowledge in mind. Even "directed motivation" where you unfairly have your character suspect something that you know as a player can make the game less fun for everyone.
Lastly, let me mention my own nerd motivation for writing and for writing LARPs. A character has to be able to change, but also has to be able to NOT change in order to be interesting. I've given you all a "rut" and a horrible fate, and also given you a strength and a weakness. Obviously anyone could say "Not MY weakness," and just beat their fate and "win." Everyone could get the best Castlevania ending and we'll all be done in a couple of hours. But the interesting thing is watching characters fail, knowing that even if they succeed, failure was always a real possibility, and watching that struggle between balanced forces come to an exciting climax. So let's join each other in an evening of drama instead of trying to win.