Mind's Eye Theatre: An Introduction

This post is from guest author Derek who blogs regularly about “That other kind of LARP“, namely Mind’s Eye Theatre. Derek blogs regularly over on his site drLARP.com where he covers all things LARP, and you can follow him on Twitter: @drLARP. We’re very glad to have him guest blogging here on larping.org. This is the first of multiple posts he will be doing, helping to give some structure and understanding to Mind’s Eye Theatre LARPs.

Mind's Eye Theater
Don't let the smirk fool you. He's the master.

Mind’s Eye Theatre?

Mind’s Eye Theatre (MET) is a rules system for White Wolf’s World of Darkness setting (actually, it’s two different systems, but I’ll get to that later). MET came around in 1993, two years after Vampire: the Masquerade was published. It’s a bare-bones rules set designed to simplify the rules of V:tM so that players could play while standing up while dressed in costumes and uses Rock, Paper, Scissors to randomize success, instead of using real-time combat rules. Later, after some commercial success other White Wolf games were published (Werewolf: the Apocalypse, Mage: the Ascension, Wraith: the Oblivion and others).

In 2004 White Wolf launched a new product line, and with them, a whole new set of LARP materials (Vampire: the Requeim, Mage: the Awakening). With this iteration White Wolf wanted to keep more mechanical similarities between LARP and pen and paper, so created a new MET system was backwards compatible with table top rules and used playing cards numbered 1 through 10. Both systems are still in use today, since Vampire: the Masquerade continues to be amongst the most popular of games.

What I like about MET

MET has a fairly low cost of entry. There’s no need to fabricate weapons or build armour and the costuming is more of a hyper-realized form of stuff we already wear.
The social setting is emphasized. Though conflict does come from external factors much of the conflict in MET comes from conflicting character objectives and philosophies.
There are a lot of different kinds of games, with distinct themes.
The contemporary setting allows for different kinds of plots than what you’d see out of a boffer setting (not better, just different).
MET has a few organizations of linked games which allow you to travel with your character and attend conventions with hundreds of players simultaneously interacting in the same venue.

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