Roleplay my LARP NPC from the comfort of your own home, Take 2

edited December 2008 in Story Games
I did this once before and it turned out great. And since my New Year’s Resolution is “run more LARPs”, I though that I’d try this again.

I’m aiming to run a LARP towards the end of January. (Maybe the last weekend?) The basic idea so far is that it is a bank robbery that, inevitably, goes wrong. The details for the game are still getting worked out. Anyway, the LARP as a whole is a subject for another thread.

What I’m thinking about doing is having someone play a television reporter, on the outside of the bank, doing a live new report. Of course, they don’t know what’s actually going on in there, and are primarily reporting wild rumors and times when shots are fired or hostages released or something. The police are stonewalling the reporter, which could make for good material, when the reporter tries to interview an unfriendly police press handler.

Of course, this will likely have to be pre-recorded before the LARP itself. So the reporter will need to be vague about details, and divide the reporting up into segments I (or my fellow GM) could play at a moment’s notice. Hopefully, the prerecording won’t be too big a barrier to getting the segments to work right. If it fails, the LARP will run fine without it, but I thought this could be a cool thing to add to the game.

So what I would need from you: A video of you acting as a news reporter from a local television station, reporting on the biggest news in the area in a while. I can probably work with a variety of video formats, and will probably do some editing and adding station logos and the like after I get the footage. We’ll have to work out how to get the footage from you to me: the previous time my volunteer (Jason Morningstar) uploaded the video onto a webserver and I downloaded it. That worked but required him hosting a big file for long enough for me to download it. If you don’t have that option, you could mail me a DVD or CD or VHS tape with the footage, if needs be. I work in a Media Center, so I can work with most formats. We can work something out, I hope.

Being in costume, having a prop microphone and filming in front of a bank (without customers entering or exiting) would be ideal, but aren’t really required. We rely on a good amount of suspension of disbelief for my LARPs.

Why you should volunteer to help: because it's fun. Because you get to roleplay with people who are separated from you by hundreds of miles and a month of time. Because you never get to use that new camcorder. Because I'm asking nicely. Because it's like roleplaying, without all that dreadful social interaction. Because it’s fun to satirize the American journalistic establishment. For many of the reasons you'd normally want to roleplay. Because I'll be extremely grateful.


  • edited December 2008
    Second, not fully formed idea: one of the characters in the game is a hostage negotiator, working from outside the bank to convince the robbers to let their hostages go free. Now, that means they would be cut off from the rest of the players for the duration of the game. And the role might have substantial downtimes, when no one inside the bank is willing to talk to him. That sounds like a less than ideal role for the game.

    Right now I see a few possible solutions to this problem: find excuses for them to get into the bank itself (contrived), add some more characters outside the bank (better, but still not what I’m looking for) or have the hostage negotiator be an NPC. Having them be an NPC would mean it’d distract me, the GM, from the game and take up my precious time.

    But there’s no reason the hostage negotiator needs to be anywhere near the game itself. Everything he (or she) is doing would be conducted over the phone, so they could be elsewhere in the country. You could roleplay the character from the comfort of your own home as promised, while surfing the internet or something during the down times. Just make sure you’re in character when you do have someone on the line.

    I’m still unsure on this idea, but I think it could be cool. I also think it would rely more on scheduling than the news reporter one: Unlike the prerecorded reporter, you'd need to be available while the LARP runs. I don’t know when I’d be running the LARP, but it’d be on a weekend evening most likely.
  • edited December 2008
    Remi and I helped out last time and it was a lot of fun. Nick's easy to work with. You should try this.
  • Could the TV be done live, over Skype or something similar? Then it could be interactive.
  • Posted By: Paul T.Could the TV be done live, over Skype or something similar? Then it could be interactive.
    I haven't done much with Skype or other webcam based stuffs, but probably. We might not be able to put on a fake news channel logo and such (or would we?), but interactivity would probably be worth the loss.

    If both are "live" during the larp, it would especially be nice if the hostage negotiator and news reporter were in the same location and thus could communicate what's going on.
  • Cool ideas, all. If I may?
    Posted By: Mr. Teapotfind excuses for them to get into the bank itself (contrived)
    I don't think that need be contrived at all:
    "Look, I'm coming in, I'm unarmed; let's just talk--and now, see, you have another hostage: me. So maybe you could let one go and I'll take her place?"

    And don't forget that the reporter could get inside, too--sneak in, get caught, convince the hostage takers that they "need a channel to get their message out without those other reporter hacks skewing it." Natural Born Killers, anyone?

    Bog-standard crime drama stuff, there. And the cool shit about the "embedded reporter" is that, with a basic video camera of any sort, you have a real-time video journal of the event to watch later and reminisce (and show off here).

    I, too, thought of Skype or NetMeeting, but I don't know if you can do video overlays live on a web cam, without some kind of plug-in. I think the reporter on the inside is a much better notion, game- and conflict-wise, though.
  • Posted By: David ArtmanBog-standard crime drama stuff, there.
    Perhaps it is, but it isn't what I want in this game.

    But the point of this thread is to recruit for the roles I want, not discuss the structure of the LARP as a whole (or the roles within it or any of that). If you want to discuss those things, I'll gladly start a new thread for that purpose.

    So any volunteers? I actually lined up a hostage negotiator elsewhere, so I'm really looking for someone to be a television reporter in some form.
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