Seeing the other side

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Seeing the other side

Post  Robert Mac Morgan on Mon Jul 06, 2009 10:21 am

Since the complaints I had (far too efficient and overpowering militia, too cheap to shoot people) have been thoroughly talked about and even resolved, I'll not harp about them, but instead come with some (hopefully helpful) suggestions.

Coming from a reenactment background, I found myself somewhat confused about LARP terms and larpy things being taken for granted. On the other hand, I had no problems interacting with the public, which I understand troubled some larpers (especially since you often have to go OC for the public to explain what the whole thing is about and how it works, and staying IC to interact with them that way only if they're happy to play along).

Given that BB&B is a crossover event, I think it would be useful to have "A larper's guide to re-enactment" and "A re-enactors guide to larping". Anyone coming from a purely martial-arts environment (HEMA etc) could benefit from both. :-)

I think it would be useful to have visible marshals around, who could ref. Maybe you could take volunteers in to bolster the numbers? If someone wanted to help out but not give up the entire weekend, they could sign in as a marshal and swap their faction sash for a marshal sash, perhaps. There's a risk of corruption and abuse there, of course, and you'd have to find people who you trust, but it might help bolster the numbers.

On that note, I like the LHE addition a lot.

I also like the notion of being able to play, but not compete, if you see what I mean. To not worry about which faction wins, but just have fun and make fun for others. That was my attitude last time, and will be my attitude for the next.

Orjan / Robert Mac Morgan

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Sounds like a good idea

Post  Troy on Mon Jul 06, 2009 10:53 am

The best way to start I think is probably for the re-enactors to bring up points of confusion/interest to which the Larpers can respond.

I'll knock the easy one on the head first.

"why no stabbing with the swords?"

Unfortunately Larp swords are constructed in such a way that, while an accidental prod with the tip should not cause the recipient of the prod any harm, repeated prodding will force the tip of the core through the foam encasing it.
Every event organisers nightmare is to be the first event in which someone gets impaled...
Certain weapons can be made stab safe, particularly spears, but the technique is not standard as larger systems are nervy about idiots stabbing with normal weapons.

I though you re-enactor chaps were excellent and it'd be great to see more cross over between camps. You can certainly teach us plenty about kit construction!

All the best,
Troy

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Re: Seeing the other side

Post  Dre on Tue Jul 07, 2009 5:42 am

I completely agree about the guides - I for one (coming from a LARP background) could have benefited from a quick guide on the best way to interact with the public (e.g. if a 10-year-old child asks me for a swordfight, and doesn't have his own sword, is it OK for me to lend him one of mine and indulge him?), and the term 'plastic camping' in the event info confused me slightly as I'm used to this being called OC camping - different terms for effectively the same thing!

I feel the basic terms should be included on the website. A lot of the information seems presented in almost note form, and terms like 'physi-rep' (which sounds odd to me, everyone I know uses the term 'physrep') aren't clearly explained.

Some others:

"Hand in the air": denotes someone who is not present in character, due to being a ref or going out of character, for instance if they are dead and need to change kit, and so forth. They should be ignored by your character. You should avoid going OOC in the IC area if possible, but it provides a convenient way to cross the field without being hassled if you need to visit the toilets on the other side of the site from your tent in the morning.

"Physrep" (or "Physi-rep", apparently): short for "Physical Representation". A term for any object which represents an in-game item of significance, for instance a fight-safe latex sword is a physrep of a sharpened steel sword, and a plastic coin is a physrep of a gold dubloon.
Physreps remain the property of the player who owns them (or the event organiser in the case of supplied coin etc.). If you steal an item from a player, you should check with them whether they are OK with you holding on to the phsyrep - in most cases it is best to return it as soon as possible.

"Rule 7": somewhere between a bit of a joke and an informal code of conduct amongst larpers, Rule 7 is "Don't take the piss". If someone says that something is 'a little bit rule 7' then it is probably a little over the top, bordering on cheating, or generally un-fun and against the spirit of play. It basically boils down to: it's a game, you're meant to have fun, so don't take the piss because that's not fun for other people. For example, going OOC just as someone attacks you is a violation of Rule 7, unless you have an immediate and pressing concern (but then you probably should have been OOC already).

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Re: Seeing the other side

Post  Robert Mac Morgan on Tue Jul 07, 2009 11:39 am

With regards to fighting with the public that's a call for each organiser, but the general re-enactment approach is let them see the weapon, maybe hold it with guidance and supervision, perhaps even strike your shield or a weapon you are holding, but never hit them or appear as if you are about to hit them (unless it's in a formally announced display).

It's quite popular with the public to have their picture taken while posing with weapons/armour, and this is probably something you can get money from them for, if you have interesting-looking things, or are interesting-looking yourself.

This, of course, leads on to another biggie. Are we supposed to be strictly IC at all times inside the fort? Like most re-enactors I know, I tend to be OC most of the time, and go IC to interact with the public, or to do a display. I think I need to improve on this.

Is there a secret sign? There were people commenting on my fighting and time in the stocks, and some were - I think - IC and others were OC, but that's mostly an impression I got from manners and tone of voice.

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Re: Seeing the other side

Post  Dre on Tue Jul 07, 2009 1:10 pm

There isn't really a sign, no, unless the organisers decide upon one. In LARP you are usually considered to be fully IC while in the IC area for the duration of Time In, but in some games it is more acceptable to drop OC for the occasional remark without really making any shift. Generally this is what some people call 'Time-ish', which happens a lot after time out at big events - people officially are OC, but some continue to roleplay while others drop OC to chat to each other hence the '-ish'. The important thing is that character actions are still enforced during Time In - if you're chatting with someone while dressed in kit and not obviously showing yourself to be OC at the time (i.e. hand in the air) then regardless of whether you're talking in character about IC things or not you should take the hits and start roleplaying accordingly.
Similarly after Time Out IC actions are generally non-binding so you're not expected to go down if hit etc. especially since people will have gone to bed or gone OC.

The event struck me as generally sort of Time-ish in general, which isn't a bad thing; just that there was less emphasis on staying IC and roleplaying all the time, particularly amongst one's own group. Interestingly my instinct is exactly the opposite when it comes to the public - IC with other players, and OC with members of the public as most of the time we are using public land (for university linears) and don't want to appear threatening or invasive, and most of the time people are quite happy to have it all explained to them by a person speaking normally!

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Re: Seeing the other side

Post  Robert Mac Morgan on Wed Jul 08, 2009 3:39 am

Okay, so a bit of OC is okay, as long as you're IC when circumstances require it?

As re-enactors, we are used to having the public there as an audience, and quite often they've paid to see us do our stuff. It's an exception to not have an audience (which sets us apart from HEMA, SCA and larpers). So it's probably not a million miles from the truth to say that:

* re-enactors are playing (as in theatre acting) IC to an audience, seeing other players primarily as colleagues (OC).

* larpers are playing (as in role-playing and "have fun" playing) IC to the other players, seeing the public as OC features of the landscape.

That's a pretty big difference, and I'm impressed with everybody for managing it so well last time. It's still something that probably should be addressed explicitly, with recommendations to both sides on how they ought to play.

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Re: Seeing the other side

Post  CrapBeard on Wed Jul 08, 2009 7:15 am

This is definately an addressable issue, but from my experience at BBB in may, the blending between IC and OC led to a very relaxed atmosphere during the whole event, I for one had greaty fun playing my character to the kids and getting pictures taken (for gold of course), and the re-enactors did a great job, both in the town and up on the skyline battles I was lucky enough to be involved in.
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Seeing the other side

Post  Cap'n Ma on Thu Jul 09, 2009 1:30 am

Just off to Tewkesbury but would comment quickly as follows:-
Guides/Explanations will be there in September.
Marshals will be more visable
There are 2 kids sword schools a day, leave it to Mr Steel, he’s fully insured to teach them.
No hands in the air please – Time-ish – the public are the Pirates of tomorrow.

Cap'n Ma
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