Post Mon May 06, 2019 3:54 pm

How to "Win" at LARP

I had been considering making this post for a while, and after a discussion with a veteran player I know it may be more of a critical issue than I anticipated.

How to get, or do, the cool stuff at Haven LARP

It’s come to my attention that there are a few key groups of veteran players that seem to know all the things going on in game and they seem to have a lot of really cool items. This can be a bit discouraging to new players, or even be perceived as favoritism. As a newer player, you might think there’s no way to compete. Consider this a basic outline on how you can get a piece of that action.

Read the Rulebook – Honestly, there are a LOT of things in the rule book that will explain how you can be in the “know-how”, get more money, find items, etc. Become familiar with it. Still lost or have a question, game staff can help you.

Communicate with game staff – Want to know how your character might be able to achieve their goals? Talk with the game staff. Your character might have a lifelong desire for something (status, item, to prove themselves, etc.), but they may never be given the opportunity to do so. Let us know and we may be able to create a situation in which you have an opportunity.

Communicate with NPCs – I’m not really talking game staff exactly. In game, when someone comes into town, consider talking to them. What are their needs? What are they looking for? What can they do? Even if an NPC comes in asking to speak to a specific person, you still have an opportunity to get to know them. Ask yourself if this person might become an ally to your cause. Can you form a relationship with them where they might be willing to help you or even to save your life?

Utilize your In-between Event Skills – Everyone can do something in-between events without a skill. You might be following up on a plot, checking in with an NPC, tending to your prized flower, or attending a funeral/honoring the dead/building a pyre of a lost PC/NPC/friend. Don’t expect to get a magic item in this way, or learn the secret to solving a plot. The “unskilled” in-between event activity will only get you very limited information, and will let us know what you’re up to. You can only do ONE of these activities between events.

Research – This basic tier skill is more powerful than it should be. With this, you can learn more about the world around you. Want to know more about a plot or NPC? Did you hear about an item in game and want to know more about it? This is the way to do it. You might not learn what you want right away, but the longer you research it, the more you’ll learn.

Investigate – want to know more about an NPC.. or another player? This is how you do it. Many of the things you can do with Investigate are outlined in the book but if you want some other specific information, write it down and you might get it. Investigate can also help cover your own trail of in-between event actions if someone is using investigate on you…

Regional Advisor – Anyone can get a regional advisor. Let me repeat that. ANYONE CAN GET A REGIONAL ADVISOR. Remember earlier when I said you should communicate with the in-game NPCs? This is part of the reason why. You can hire those in-game NPCs to do stuff for you. You don’t have the research skill? Maybe the NPC does and can do that for you. Want more information on something? Maybe they can find out what you want to know. Need a magic item identified? Bingo! Here’s the thing, not all those NPCs know how to do everything. You will need to meet someone, be on decent terms with them, and hire them to do a job for you. Typically, a Regional Advisor will want a minimum of 1 Gold. They may want more depending on the difficultly of the task, or because they don’t really like you and are still willing to accept your gold. Maybe they’re greedy and you didn’t haggle them down in price. Often, a Regional Advisor is willing to work harder if pay them really, really well.. but not always.

Own some property – The game has holdings and estates. With the current rule set, to obtain a holding, you need to have a skill to do own it. Holdings will give you resources or money every event.. for doing almost nothing. Anyone can own an estate. They are available to purchase in-game for as little as 3 gold. While the basic estate won’t give you money or resources, you can have a craftsman build structures on your land that can help you get resources and money.

Own a Military – With a skill, you can own a military. You can assign different skills to your military so that they are essentially doing the in-between actions for you. They can be used as an information gathering tool, resource gathering tool, as well as other things…

Other Players – Your fellow players are also a wealth of information and skills. Are you hurting for armor and need some made? Talk to the other players. Is there a group of players that seem to know what they’re doing and want to learn how to do that? Ask to go on a mission with them. Really want to know how someone else can do something or is a “successful” player? You can try to ask them in-game or pull them aside before or after the game for an out-of-game conversation. We’ve found that many of our players want YOU to be having a good time during your event too and are often willing to help you.

Don’t be Stupid – Playing a character that is evil often ends up with your character having a very short life. Screwing over the rest of town (or an NPC group) for your benefit will most likely not get you where you want to be. The other players are smart. They will probably figure you out. Only very rarely will an evil character be successful. While I’m not trying to discourage you from playing the character you want, just know that being evil is a difficult, often unsuccessful path.

Be Stupid – Playing it safe may have its benefits, but can also be boring. Sometimes you need to touch the thing that says “do not touch” sometimes you need to steal the golden statue from the alter. There’s always a good chance your character could die, become cursed, etc., but there’s also a chance that something interesting will happen…

Be Persistent - If you fail the first or second time trying something, don't give up. Try again. Try again, but with another skill. Try again with a non-mechanical, creative solution. You might be surprised. If it's not going to happen, we're pretty good about telling you to stop.

I hope this post helps you get the most you can out of the LARP. If there are any veteran players that want to chime in with tips, or anything they’ve learned over the years, please feel free. At the end of the day, the LARP is another game that offers many challenges and dynamics, but still at the end of the day is fun for everyone.