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 LARP Rules Recommendations

The Discerning Gentleman

Has Transcended
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My gaming group and I have been kicking around the idea of trying out LARP. Some suggestions on what systems to check out by someone with experience would be wonderful. Thanks! 😄
 

IdiotSavant

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Depends on the sort of larp you want to try, obviously. But also: its not like tabletops, where you say "I want to play a fantasy game" then pick which one of the hundreds of competing rulessets and settings you want to go for. Unless you're going for a larp-adaptation of a tabletop rpg (like Cthulhu Live, or the various WoD games), most larp systems are bespoke, designed for a particular event, campaign, or franchise, and not used elsewhere. Which means that you really need to find out what larp events and organisations are near you. Unfortunately, there's not really a good public catalogue for that.
 

Iralith

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What IdiotSavant said, indeed. Hmm. OP, can you narrow down what you might be interested in a bit?
  • Do you want something with live combat?
  • Do you want a big game with a bunch of people (which your group would join as players or NPCs), or do you want to do a small "parlor LARP" with just your group? (Which is how big, btw?)
  • Unrelated to narrowing down interests, but certainly related to finding games: where (in very general terms) do you live?
 

The Discerning Gentleman

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The setting isn't all that important, my group is very open-minded. We do fantasy, horror, modern, sci-fi. Something with a little combat of course, but let's not leave out intrigue and mystery! 😄

We don't have any organizations near our area, so something for a small group please.
 

Iralith

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That list's much longer and better than I'd realized! I see some good names on there (of individual games and of writers). Thinking of parlor one-shots I've recently played that might be useful, are "boxed" and ready to run, and aren't on that list somewhere . . . actually, "Drink Me" comes to mind as a pretty good game that's (a) unusually quick without feeling like just an exercise, (b) written for a really small group, and (c) not in need of complicated setup or a GM who's Done This a Million Times.

One side note, about this:

Something with a little combat of course
I expect games on that list will tend not to feature combat at all, and for combat to be abstract when it's present. (Sorry, I should've said: by "live combat" earlier, I meant actual real-time thwapping each other with foam swords, shooting each other with nerf guns, that sort of thing.) Honestly, if anything in the "1-9 players" category features that kind of combat, I want to know about it!

I feel like you might wind up leafing through some of the free entries on that wiki list and saying "Hm, no, this isn't what I wanted; I wanted _________." Like, maybe something that feels more like playing a classic tabletop game? (In that case, you really might need to hit the road in search of a weekend fantasy LARP of the sort that's common here in New England.) Maybe something altogether different from that? (But, awesome as "White Death" is, I'd be knocked on my ass if it were what you're after.)
 

Iralith

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. . . I mean, I should say. To answer your actual specific question, after all this "you want a different thing than the thing you think you want" business:
  • Maybe "Rules to Live By"? This is a generic system by Mike Young. I've never played a game using it, but Young is quite well-regarded (and I've played . . . I think one much more system-lite one-shot game by him). If you want to run a multi-session theater LARP campaign, with a combat mechanic and stats and a system for improving those stats with experience points and whatnot, I dare say that it's solid!
  • "Mind's Eye Theatre" certainly exists, and--given its history--it's kind of hilarious that I am glancingly familiar with it at best.
 
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IdiotSavant

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Thinking of parlor one-shots I've recently played that might be useful, are "boxed" and ready to run, and aren't on that list somewhere . . . actually, "Drink Me" comes to mind as a pretty good game
Drink Me is great (I played it a few years back). The list is a wiki, so feel free to add it.
 
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