Congratulations. You decided to make a long larp campaign that offers rewards for those who try hard. Rewards make your players more powerful and everyone will try hard to be a good little larper so they could be rewarded. Rewards usually include wealth, social status, military rank, Levels(tm) or powerful items. Best larpers go up, okay larpers stay down.
In theory, it becomes a wonderful pyramid of power where a select few godlike heroes assisted by a lot of weaker allies maw through hordes of enemies. If it’s a political larp, your select few give orders to their lovely minions and wisely wait for them to solve the problem or help out if the problem proves to be too hard for the average larper.
Unfortunately, real world never works just like that. Usually, a lot of friends play all the time and get a lot closer with the organizers and each other. Sooner or later, they start socializing outside the larp and their off-game ideas start bleeding into the game. Subsequently, they spend more time to prepare their own awesome moments then to promote the larp to a target audience. People that didn’t get into the magical social circle often disperse or just play less often or they play with half an interest.
The result? An upside-down pyramid where a lot of powerful players overshadow a few less powerful players while the occasional newbie just feels dumb for even trying to play this.
Of course, your power level is not important as long as you are having fun, right? Right. Unfortunately, the circle at the top of the pyramid has insatiable power hunger and they usually eat all the fun in the process. If the power is measured in social status, you get a lot of powerful figures solving all the powerful problems and complaining about the lack of respect from their minions while the powerless few minions below just make their own fun, often something that has nothing to do with the larp. If Levels(tm) are involved, it gets even worse because it’s impossible (and counter-productive) to make situations in which a few low power characters can be as useful as a whole bunch of high power characters.
So, how do you solve this mess? It’s not easy turning a jerk circle of your dearest friends into a more sensible pyramid, but if the organizer cannot do it, who can? Secondary option is making something fun for the low levels in a way that the high levels wouldn’t want to do it, wouldn’t have time to do it or wouldn’t know about it at all.
Feel free to discuss these problems and solutions in the comment section or wherever you see fit. Feel especially free to discuss these problems with players that play at the bottom of the pyramid.
- Animafest 2014 Subotnja Dodjela Nagrada
- Animafest 2015. – Utorak