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Hi Zerginwan,

First, thank you for the feedback! And I want to also say, thank you for taking a playtest of this game out in Russia, it's really exciting to hear that the game is being tested out there. Let me try to explain a little bit about the issues you pointed out.

I think a lot of what you're pointing out is a difference in style in LARPs between some games which are more mechanics heavy and those that are mechanics lighter. Mechanics heavier games are meant to simulate things that cannot be put into LARPs but are still experiences you want to see happen. For example: (and this may be a cultural difference in LARPs between US where this game was written and Russia) but as this is not considered a live combat game, we don't have a lot of physical contact in our games. That changes from group to group but by and large the games are written to give people a way to simulate challenges between people that you cannot do in the game safely or without legal issue.

Drive is a very good example of this. I've seen and been involved in games where you get into a car to simulate a chase scene. Yet you don't want someone attempting to pull crazy chase mechanics in two sedans on a highway driving from, say, one location of a LARP to another. So while your driver drives, someone pulling a card for them might use the Drive skill in a card challenge to simulate a car chase. So that you don't, you know, actually have a car chase.

Now here's the fun part: if your game in particular wants to add more physicality and not have to do challenges every few minutes, go for it. The idea of the mechanics is to offer a framework for resolving things that you cannot physically put into your game. Can't create a complex detective's puzzle around a fake dead body? There's investigation checks to simulate it for you. But if you want to create a complicated crime scene with physical props and such, great! Have the players roleplay it out, find the clues, and then if they get stuck they can use the mechanics for additional help with the plot team.

The aim is for the best story to be told, not for the mechanics to necessarily hold you hostage to a specific style of play.

In that same spirit, the Aspect system and invoking/compelling works to allow people's personal character Aspects to influence the scene. If your Aspect is, for example, Hot Shot White Council Wizard, and you use that Aspect as part of a challenge, that Aspect should be used to help resolve what you do in the story. It must be applicable to your actions and must be applicable to what you're doing. If you're, for example, trying to bandage the leg of an injured dog and try to use the Aspect, Hot Shot White Council Wizard, either you better be calling up the White Council for tips on how to fix that dog's leg or else that Aspect is not applicable. Does this require players to be honest? Here's the thing — to an extent, yes. It requires players to be honest. It requires them to say out loud also, «I am using Hot Shot Wizard of the White Council» and if someone believes it does not apply, they say so.

Unsporting players are a problem in any game you play in, yet Dresden Lives is written in the spirit of open and honest dramatic community play. What that meant to us is the idea that (much like in Fate games) you're out to tell a great story with awesome characters that empowers the players to do awesome things. And if there are players who act unsporting, the idea would be to speak up to that player and declare said behavior unsportsmanlike, instead of reworking games around unsportsmanlike behavior.

I understand that different LARP communities have different expectations of the way LARP 'should' be played, but lots of different LARPs are written with different designs and different expectations of players. This one might not have the same expectations your players are used to, and that I understand completely. But as part of this playtest we're asking folks from different LARP groups to try out the way it is written to see if it does work, and how it feels to players, rather than tossing it out completely before trying it. It's hard for us to know if the mechanic works then at all if people pre-judge it based on their previous expectations with other styles of LARP, you know?

I hope that answers some of your issues. Its pretty early morning here, so I tried to tackle the few to start.


Shoshana Kessock