[Sea-Changed] The Setting Is Part Of The Characters.

edited October 2008 in Story Games
The title of this thread is a line someone dropped on these forums, not all that long ago. I am convinced that this is a fucking genius phrase.

So, I'm starting up a pirate Larp tonight, which will play once a month until it's time to end it. It's set on an island, not very detailed fiction-wise. This is character creation night... And I'm considering some stuff. Already on my "to do list":

1) Players will introduce their characters to one another, taking turns to speak to the whole group, halfway through creation, and to specifically note "the setting stuff that comes along with this character". Then they will be encouraged to do further creation by kibbitzing with others.

2) There's a big deck of business cards that some players can draw from over the game, a "rumor deck". I'm going to ask them to build it, by each writing down a few rumors about their own character.

3) Everyone has relationships (they're a core mechanism). I'm going to ask them to do quick scenes tonight for each relationship they want to start with as already "pushed along" a little ways into more intensity.


I'm looking for other ideas, here, or refinements. Ones that reference games are fine. Got any?


  • In a LARP, things are a bit different, but it sounds like you have a good handle on that. If your character creation session is more like a tabletop game, though:

    You can get a long way just by saying, "nothing is added to the setting unless it's important to a character". Only invent an NPC if they are a PC's important relationship. Only invent places or organizations if they are meaningful or important to the PCs.

    This works the other way, too: "I think we should have a magical zeppelin in the game! Oh, crap. Ok, ok, how about my character wants to hijack it and sail it to South America? Ok, that's what I'll say to the group: 'My character wants to hijack the President's magical zeppelin and sail it to South America'."
  • Posted By: sadbunnydramaAs for the first point, you could make sure that each part of the setting that comes with the character is effectively an extension of that character's personality of sorts.

    Likewise, relationships could be tied to specific setting elements in some way.
    Well, the idea is that every pirate has an obsessive goal - the "Devil that rides me". And the constraints on that goal are that it must be possible, but not easy, to achieve that goal on the island where the game is set. The bits of "stuff" that the goal involves? That's the setting stuff that comes with the characters. So, that link seems to be there (I think?).

    Relationships... Aren't linked to setting at all right now. Maybe I should ask about "where it started grew, and with (or over) whom", and get people to note those things down on a big board, for other to tie into.

    Ideally, what I want (not need, but want) is a mess. The kind of thing where my lover's father, whom I hate, is also your beloved mentor, and a bunch of other such things that all just kind of snapped into place during this session. None of this is essential ( I have the essentails well covered, I think), but it'd be damn handy.
  • Just have people make up relationships, and then "collapse" them! Ok, you have a lover and you have a mentor. Both are older gentlemen? Ok, that'll be one guy, the same for both of you. What's his name?
  • Posted By: Paul T.Just have people make up relationships, and then "collapse" them! Ok, you have a lover and you have a mentor. Both are older gentlemen? Ok, that'll be one guy, the same for both of you. What's his name?
    Relationships (in the mechanical sense) are between players characters only, and for really good reasons. They're what drives the actual game-on-the-floor.

    In the background sense, though.... That could work. Maybe I should have a big board - "Write in your "I need this" on a slip, tack it up, and others can grab yours and theirs and go "hey! Can these be the same thing?"
  • Game was awesome.

    Thanks, all.
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