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We talk about getting information out to PCs and how PCs can better able retain and share that amongst themselves.


-Mickey and Bill

Reference: We recorded this prior to Bill's excellent post on the zero NPC moment, if I recall correctly, so if you're interested in further discussion on PCs being entertained without a staff member present (we briefly mention it in the second half of this episode) I encourage you to go to http://larpohio.blogspot.com/2011/06/zero-npc-moment.html - Mickey

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  • Mike F

    On the topic of the Invictus Archive system idea and placing information online, I would suggest requiring players to place all the information they place into the Archive into their PEL or some other online form (or message board) so the worst any staff member needs to do is cut and paste the info. Any system should require minimal to no staff effort.

    Then associate most of or a good amount of the benefits of the scribe header with information added post event. This allows you to automate things to some degree. Scribes get buffs at the next event they attend based on the information added from the previous event.

    I would encourage some kind of online document repository over just having paperwork available between events because it helps New players catch up, staff can easily reference it between events and players can review information with other players between events.

    Jun 10, 2011 at 6:30 pm
  • Crimson/Daniel

    im a really big fan of plot actually putting out wrong info. and have the PC’s be able to use common sense to be able to solve problems.

    lately, ive seen a first year plot member try to get the PC’s to take his hook for a plotline by making a detailed wanted poster, only to have it ripped down and shoved in their pocket by 1 person.

    ive seen plot people try to force information down throats of stupid PC’s to the point where theyre literally telling them out of game what they need to do. if you have to resort to that type of information babying, at least make it an in game thing.

    i am not a fan of that PC that always wants to visit the library and read all the books to get info.

    sharing info can be a good thing if your community can handle it. in order to run a successful game, you need to be able to have your PC’s work together so there is a harmonious environment. just because 1 goofy nerd that found out adam west was a vampire dosent mean its good for the game if he retains this info, runs off and sits with his back to the tavern, seeking out his revenge on the town for shunning his rogue biata character.

    personally, i wont be caught with a notebook in nero. i do that nonsense too much in real life, i like being able to play a character that people dont have to count on.

    although i do take pride in watching all the PC’s who havent played nero as long slurp up all the sweet nectar of a good plot person’s storyflower.

    Jun 10, 2011 at 8:23 pm
  • Jyn

    I liked this one! I think it’s interesting how the way information is handled (on both ends) really dictates the complexity of plot a game can sustain. After a recent event in Mass, there was an out of state player who said he was floored at the complexity of the plotlines at that game. He came from a game environment that was less information-dense, and so it baffled him that people were able to keep up with that level of detail. So it seems it really is a matter of culture and training. There will always be those folks who wouldn’t pick up a notebook to save their life, but if the staff can convince their players that info tracking is worthwhile, it lets you run plot on the level of a novel, rather than a Saturday morning cartoon. You have to make it reliably pay off, though, and give players a reason to care about the info you’re giving them. Haphazard information density and continuity is worse than none at all, in terms of the amount of frustration it generates in players.

    Oh hey, there’s another possible topic– how to create a sense of investment for players and staff. That seems to be something a lot of folks struggle with.

    Daniel. . . That metaphor! XD I’ma go do the unfortunate implications dance now.

    Jun 10, 2011 at 11:17 pm
  • larpcast

    Mike - Yeah, I am trying to automate as much as possible, even for things that seem like they should require effort at first glance. I do have an advantage in the sense that even something that requires effort only does so for 8 events, but even with that I think your PEL idea is a good way to go.

    I may do a dual benefit system or something, something immediate at the event and then something to help encourage post event typing, just because I really do want to make it as rewarding and painless as possible. i will have to think on it more.

    And yes, I lean more and more to having it be online as well.

    Daniel - On wrong info, that can be tricky. I do think it’s valuable, but it has to be handled delicately. To use a slightly different example, the first time you put out an NPC with a forged Noble Writ you will buy yourself 10 years of paranoid suspicion every time you introduce an NPC noble. Similarly, you want to carefully balance how much incorrect information goes out or else wind up in a situation where PCs spend hours agonizing over every little random setting element that any NPc tells them about and that can just grind your game to a halt.

    Jyn - Thanks! And I like that way of describing information as a mechanism to allow for sustainable complexity.


    Jun 13, 2011 at 7:54 am
  • Stephen L.

    I agree with Daniel.

    PCs who take notes and use C/Os and try to figure things out are lame.

    The only info PCs need to know is which monster to hit first, and what sword to hit it with for max damage.

    Easy to remember!

    Jun 14, 2011 at 12:11 pm