How to be a better player?

I was following a conversation on another forum about how to be a better tabletop player and this article popped up: … k-version/

Some of it’s relevant to what we do and some isn’t. I like point two with back story not being important unless you can demonstrate it in game, and embracing failure is something I only learnt after a long time of fearing it.

So what kind of advice would you give someone on being a better larp player?

Recognise the amazing value for money you get from a weekend LRPing. Kit, food, transport and drink aside, LRP is very cheap for what you get. Respect that it is so cheap. Yes kit can become very expensive, but the events are very cheap compared to many, many, other social activities.

Don’t plan out what you will do at events too much. Just get caught up in the action. Setting too many goals and preconceptions for you/your character will often result in you thinking you have failed to do stuff. Write a list of things you want to try and have a go at, rather than to complete or succeed at. There can only be one high poobar, so don’t expect to get the position.

Be proactive. The game runners have probably lots of levers to pull that will make you and other players interact. You can do the same with other players, and to a lesser extent the game runners.

LRP is not a true competitive game. Don’t try and ‘win’. Don’t try and ‘lose’ either. Play to keep the game going. Just like comic books, it is always more fun when you have a nemesis who escapes and comes back next time.

Keep striving to do things, and never be afraid to stick your head into something (with respect to others around you, of course). It worked for me brilliantly at this character’s first event!

One of my Empire failings is simply not having the time to consume enough of the Wiki; my roleplaying is often negatively affected by not knowing enough about the setting, especially about my own nation (I spend almost no time in Varushka and as such sometimes know more people in other nations than I do in my own camp, which is a bit rubbish (guess what my goal for E1 is!!)). It can make it awkward.

Another is that I love listening to people, but I feel potentially I don’t bounce back enough ideas. It’s unfair to make others carry all the conversations and have all the ideas. Creativity is something I need to work on.

No when to listen and know when to speak!

I yelled at the newly appointed leader of The Way because he put his life in danger for no good reason!

Think about your character and act appropriately. But yes act to keep the game moving.

Learn to listen to your emotional state after events, particularly ones where you have had strong IC interactions with other characters. Regardless of how much you can tell yourself rationally that it is “just a game”, the emotional responses to heated situations can still affect you. Remember that this may colour your perceptions of other players unjustly - if your character despises another character it is easy to fall into the trap of letting these negative associations affect how you view the player. Even best friends who play enemies in a LARP can end up feeling antagonistic against one another for a while after the event! So make sure to give yourself a proper decompression after an intense event, recognising that it takes time to get your body back into normal gear.

Remember that it’s OK to play a horrible character, and that it’s not OK to be a horrible player. Obey the rules of the game (for instance, any themes that are off-limits for a system) and the guidelines of basic decency. Make sure you’re not hurting people OOC.

[ul]]Insults, threats, betrayal and suchlike can create great plot - but make sure that you’re going for characters and not their players. Really don’t, for instance, single out a character because of their player’s gender, background, etc./:m]
]If you have IC enemies (often a sign of success!) remember that you’re challenging each other, not trying to stop each other from having fun OOC./:m]
]Don’t be afraid of IC reprisals - if your character is doing bad things, you shouldn’t be upset if another character discovers this and denounces/attacks/executes them. Make that part of your character’s development if you can!/:m]
]If you have a particularly antagonistic or intense situation IC, it’s a good idea to talk to the other player(s) after time out, and don’t be afraid to drop OOC for a moment to check “Is this still all right?” And don’t be upset if the answer is “no” - this is a game and the object is for everyone to have fun, and there will be plenty more opportunities to enact your nefarious plans on characters whose players are willing./:m][/ul]
With a bit of thought and respect for others, playing a villain can be highly enjoyable :smiling_imp:

For me I wish I could be better at taking drama hits as both a player and a monster. It always takes me a second whilst I calculate my hits and in that second I’ve spoiled the moment for whoever hit me.
I need to remember that if I fall over too soon, I can always (well usually!) get back up again once I’ve worked out I’ve still got 2 hits left. And as a monster, I need to remember that the encounter will stay nicely challenging for the players even if I accidentally go down a few hits too early due to a particularly cool blow from the player - and that player will remember my awesome death. (I still remember an anonymous orc from event 3 who made really cool choking noises and did a great death scene when he got shot in the upper chest right in front of me). My pledge for this year is to be more like that.

Enthusiasm and negativity can both be infectious.

Approaching an event with a positive state of mind can increase the odds you will enjoy it. Expect it to suck, and you may fulfill your own prophecy.

This is not universal, but it does count.

Yes take all blows and act as if they effect you.

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