Reworking an old fantasy LARP concept…

March 24, 2015

The concept seems so obvious: everyone knows the standard tropes of the high fantasy LARP – elves and dragons and magic and arcane talents.

So I have to assume I’m doing something insane when I take the entire wish-fulfillment and power-tripping genre and dump out 90% of what draws those that play the genre. What am I doing, trying to make a game that no one who would look for it would like?

Hell, it may never play but I think it’s a fun idea. It’s not medieval or high fantasy, it’s a weird mix of fantasy and realism. A game that is meant to be both fantastic, but keep a foot on earth. A game that hard-caps power creep. A game that limits magic to the point of making it almost an alien and awesome thing. 

And I’m ditching character classes.

There we go, I’ve said it and we’ve now firmly and aggressively left DnD well behind with one choice. The full skill tree is open list with exception to racial specific skills.

Oh, and you’re limited to a specific number of skills – purchased or granted. That one won’t sit well but since we’re removing classes we need some way to keep players from doing ALL THE THINGS. 

And capping both health and power stats. Suddenly no one can just wade into a fight. No one can spam a high level skill all day. 

Oh, and weapons only do one or two damage each – and you assume, if you don’t see it, that it was two. No damage calls unless there was some specific attribute to the weapon or attack. 

Armor won’t have points, only reduction or traits. No invincible tanks.

Humans just flat can’t use magic outside of religious casting. Elves have weak magic, if any. Goblins have some arcane, incantation based magic, but it’s expensive and easily interrupted. Only elementals – the Fey – cast powerful burst magic. But their power stat is also their vitality.

But for as from as it sounds, this is meant to be a world where the nations and races, devastated by a series of plagues and wars and a massive magical disaster, have decided to try coming together and build a new future. Technology is growing and it is a shakey world-wide (ish) cultural renaissance. Philosophy and art and education have blossomed and a spirit of non-destructive exploration has taken root.

It is a grim fantasy, but one in which the peoples of the world now seek hope rather than dominion. At least, officially. People being people, some hatreds and greed still thrive there is not an end to all the aggression of the past. But people, as a whole, are trying.

The greatest threat is the uncertainty of this alliance of great cultures and peoples, and the shattered state of the world itself. A violent convulsion has rent the natural order and magic runs wild. Some believe that it is te same magic that the goblins use, or at least related in some way. Goblin scholars disagree, but they would, wouldn’t they?

Fell creatures roam free now. Magically twisted animals, undead, and even demons and angels, unseen in centuries, now walk the earth.

The game will focus on horror an bravery and kindness and community and discovery.

And, of course, the occasional dragon.

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One Response to “Reworking an old fantasy LARP concept…”

  1. Bobbo said

    Adrian – Fair play to ye, man. Stirring it up as usual. Great aretDli.cec – “but for the most part, Irish crime writers have to break it abroad before being taken seriously by publishers here,” How feckin’ true.gb

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