Simulated Thievery, a larp mini game

Thieves Guild you say? But what if you’re playing in a larp that doesn’t allow theft of game materials? Employ a mini game that lets you simulate acts of thievery or assassination!

Each player needs a pair of wooden clothes pins to play. Modern clothes pins can be acquired cheaply and decorated to better fit the larp. Personalize your own to make them go with your persona or go the extra mile and make some ‘hand carved privative‘ clothespins. With some power tools and scrap wood (pallets for example), you can make your own. Don’t forget to put your name on the pins, so they can be returned to you.

Visually indicating consent is important as well as who is ‘out’ of play. Indicating that you are participating in the mini game, and consenting to have your clothes pins stolen, is very simple. Place your two clothes pins somewhere on your person. While you are wearing them openly, you are consenting to having them stolen by fellow participants. And theirs by you.

Before starting everyone should agree on what constitutes the correct way to hide such pins, and incorrect ways to hide your own pins. Some amount of your pins must be visible… Other wise no one can tell you are participating. And it would be unfair to take other peoples pins without openly displaying that you are participating. If you’ve taken pins you should probably conceal them till the end of the game. That way other players don’t get confused and take

Duration is up to the participants, but the game should never be played during combat. Ideally players shouldn’t be bringing their pins to the battlefield. It’s too easy to lose a pin and disadvantage yourself. A couple hours during a feast or at night, after combat, is probably enough for beginners. But for experienced players the game might play out over a full event. As players get better at protecting their own pins, and detecting potential pick pockets, the duration might need to be increased to accommodate the players increasing skills.

This simple game mechanic can be a great framework for layering over narrative, and the mini game can be run entirely by the participants. It doesn’t have to be an ‘official’ part of any given larp rules. By running in secret, among the rogues of the larp, you get an extra layers of cache. Keeping this out of the official rule book will also force role playing in that new players will need to keep their eyes open in order to discover the game and participate.

Le crime ne paie pas!

The May Campaign at Bicolline was a great time. Due to weird narrative and odd weapon/armor limitations it was virtually free from in game stakes, and therefore pressure. Other members of the Lys didn’t find it overly fun, but I enjoyed it as a one shot experience. Watching people fail to adapt their tactics was interesting. It has me thinking back to some tactics from larps of old and wondering if they might be useful. Anyway, the really fun part of the weekend was connecting with other members of the Lys Noir (as well as the DT Co) and talk about ways to do that some more. An idea arose somewhat like the Gastronomy Tournament (although without the competition part). Cooking for each other using a fire/fire pit. It has me considering getting a Dutch Oven (very modern, I know, but useful nonetheless) and/or a cast iron skillet.

Anvard Dagorhir

The recent Dagohir event on the Boston Common inspired me to go to one of their practices for the first time. Now my definition of battle game needs to include full contact. Try a battle game before you’re old and injured. Like in your early 20’s. There is plenty of time later in your larping career to try lower impact campaign style larps. But trying a full contact battle game should really be done when you’re healthy. Fortunately sore legs and runners knee are my only complaints from this practice.

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Gayland’s Secret

This past Mythical Journey’s event included an interesting personal incident. Townsfolk blamed Gayland for murder and ordered him held without trial under threat of death. After unwarranted (literally) confinement, and a bit of torture, the situation felt like something that would happen to a villein. Or maybe a plot from an Elise Peters book (the wonderful Brother Cadfael series). I chose to have Gayland react to the situation in a way that seemed fitting for a low class bonded farmer. Someone used to being ruled by arbitrary whims of those of higher social status. It made a whole new spin on the character.

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