Wednesday, December 14, 2016

What's a roleplaying game? What's a LARP?

Roleplaying games (RPGs) tend to
  • have two to seven people sitting around a table together 
    • or maybe on Hangouts or Skype
  • have one person acting as Game Master, coordinating the story
  • use paper, pencils and dice to play (including a character sheet)
  • use counters or chips to track resources
  • be more mechanically complex
  • involve you narrating what your character is doing and where they are going
  • have you talk as your character
  • usually expect no costuming

On the other hand, Live Action Roleplaying Games (LARPs) tend to
  • be played standing up, walking around, or moving within a space (a room, building, field)
  • have two to 100 people playing together
  • use very few tokens, dice or papers
  • frequently have a character sheet with some background and statistics
  • use physical props to represent important items in the story
  • invole you talking, moving, and expressing as your character
  • be more mechanically simple
  • sometimes costuming irrelevant, sometimes optional, sometimes strongly encouraged

I've played many RPGs and LARPs that I quite enjoy, and often they scratch similar itches. For me LARPs are usually less structured, more player driven and more immersive. And then there are many games that blur the line, or bring exceptions that prove the rule. 

Have you found any that are hard to categorize?

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