Designing for Live Action Storytellers

Used rapid contextual design to prototype a web-based information management system and streamlined the planning experience for LARP game masters

 

Introduction

Live-Action Role Playing (LARP-ing) has been described as "Improvisational Theatre" in that players create and act out the roles of their characters in the real world. These characters then evolve over time in response to certain catalysts within the game.


Storytelling is a type of live-action roleplaying game where storytellers create and reveal the plot, introducing allies and antagonists with which the players’ characters interact. The players collaborate with the storytellers to advance the plot through this interaction and the players’ choices over the course of the storyline. As a result, everyone participates in telling the group story. With storytelling, the players don’t aim to “win,” but rather, work together with the storytellers to help craft the best story possible.


The game involves acting, costumes, and many mechanics from other forms of role-playing (dice rolls to randomize the results of actions, numerical descriptions of the abilities of characters, and experience points for characters to get more powerful over time).

 

The main roles in Live-Action Storytelling are:

  1. Players - act out their characters;

  2. Storytellers - manage the overall game, decide the results of actions, play Non-Playable Characters (NPCs), and resolve disputes; and

  3. Narrators – Experienced players that are selected by the storytellers to help with specific administrative tasks.

Research Process

An overview of the research process is coming soon. For now, please enjoy the full research paper which is available at the link below.

© 2019 Hala Anwar