Larp Character Casting
Want to find out more about larp character casting? Being cast as a character is something that we often seen larps offer. The casting process may be new to some larpers, so I wanted to take the time to explain the process. In a traditional larp setting, players create their own characters. This can be done by writing a character history and using a skill system to create a persona. For me, I often use the skills I choose to help illustrate my character’s life. A lock picking skill becomes apart of the character’s roguish past. Maybe my character learned from being falsely imprisoned and breaking themselves out! When I find myself cast as a character, usually there are not many skills. There are other parts of the story that can bring a player to wonder how they will become their casting at the larp. It is a different side of storytelling exploration and trying it can be pretty fun!
Purpose of Casting
The intent of casting a character is to provide the player with a story for them to interact with. By assigning characters and giving them goals to work towards, the larp organizers are able to give players tasks to do as story-lines unfold. This can give the organizers the ability to lean on the players to find their fun and entertainment. The staff can then focus on delivery a story that fulfills a players desires. When I look at my character casting, there is a moment I reflect on the web storytellers have woven.
This process is that players often gravitate towards one another to plan how they will achieve that side of their story by the end of the event. Because the players are meeting together and busy working with one another to achieve goals, larp organizers can spend less time focusing on “crunchy mods”. This means they can then spend more of their time designing and preforming plot points. I see this being a benefit for larps that run with the purpose of ending. The easier it is for players to translate their goals, the quick they begin working on them. The purpose of casting a character at larp is to give the players a chance to dive into a character to meet an end to their goals
What to Expect
Before a character is cast, there are some things a player is often needed to provide before they receive their character. Some of the most recent larp blockbuster in America, will have their players fill out a survey on what the player is looking to play at the event. These can often be found on the website or will be sent through email. The writers of the larp will ask a series of questions that they feel is needed to know in order to create a character just for you.
One of the first questions that is often asked is “What faction do you want to join?” After a player has chosen a faction or two that would be ideal for them, the staff will also ask other questions based on the style of the play the players is looking for. There will be a series of questions inquiring what stories are interesting for the player. As well as what the player is comfortable with playing. Each larp provides a different series of questions that will cater to their specific style of storytelling. Remember the larp organizer wants you to have fun and they will make sure they give you a character that is something you enjoy. Be sure to reflect on both what would be fun for you to play and themes you may have never tried before. If there is something you would like to explore, try to connect with the storytellers of the larp. Providing as much information will make sure your character will be handled with care for the story and your personal interests.
After you’ve given the information about what kind of character you will be playing, the larp will cast your character! This might take some time. Some larps will take the time to personally write a character for a player. Other larps will navigate through characters that will match what a player is looking for. Once a character has been cast there is a lot of information to sort through.
It is in my experience that larps usually offer:
- A brief character blurb.
- Further details about a the character.
- Relationships with players within their faction.
- Relationships with players outside of their faction.
- Additional information about their faction.
- And personal goals they will try to fulfill.
If at anytime there is something within the character casting that a player is not happy with communicate with staff! If a player is not satisfied with any part of their character, storytelling staff usually encourages players to respond as quickly as possible with feedback, so the error can be fixed. This might mean the player gets a brand new character or adjustments are made to make both parties happy and keep the story consistent. The writing staff of a larp that casts characters will dedicate time to understanding the complete story of the larp and give the player a place/character that will give them the event the player is looking for.
My Final Thoughts
Having a character casting is a fun design within larp to play with. Each character becomes a part of the story telling. Achieving a personal goal that will effect other players. These then cause an organic exploration of the larp! You may even get a goal to help with someone else’s story line. Some goals may be hard to achieve. They may not even be fun at first. Using the mind set of play to lose or play to uplift can help through those larp moments that may not exactly be for everyone. However, if a player does engage with those methods others will feel invited to do the same for them. I enjoy this play because it is almost like a clear map to challenges and fun experiences. Ideally, I can follow my character casting and find fun where ever I go!
A character casting is like putting on a well tailed suit of armor. With a strong communication between staff and the player, the armor will bend in the right places that fit the wearer. Larp storytellers and organizers pour their passion into designing a way to navigate players through their stories. Through larp casting, we find one of the ways to achieve fulfillment in those stories. Larp casting saves the players a lot of time on the front end of the larp. Instead of studying all the lore and making choices on who to play, the player has more time to relax or focus on other sides of the larp they can participate in. Larpers who have completed characters have more time to develop their costuming and roleplay scenes. Casting larp characters can provide a comfortable place for players to try new things all while enjoying the comfort of a well tailed character.
At the end of the day, larp casting is just one of the tools designers and players can explore. It gives room for different experiences at a larp event. Trying larp casting can be fun! If you are looking for a role you have never played before or looking to be challenged, try letting someone else write for you. You never know where that adventure may take you.