Top Four Pros and Cons of Cross-Gaming
If you are lucky enough to larp in an area with multiple games, if you’ve been playing in your home Larp for a few years, or if you’ve attended massive events like Ragnarok or Pennsic, you might be considering trying your hand at cross-gaming.
There are many pros and cons you may encounter when cross-gaming, but here are a few of the most common:
Multiple games means more time for your hobby: More time swinging sticks in the woods, roleplaying, and having a blast.
A new game means meeting and networking with new people. There are larps all over the world, and no two are precisely the same.
Getting to experience the culture both on and off the field of other games.
You get to see more of the awesome larp community.
Trying to keep the rules for multiple games straight can be pesky, especially if they are similar.
Your equipment gets used more, which means it breaks down much quicker. You need to check your weapons and armor more often, and spend more time fixing or replacing your kit.
It can get expensive. Between travel, membership fees, and having to patch up and buy new equipment you’re going to end up spending more money than you do with just one larp.
You might not enjoy events away from your home game as much if you visit a higher/lower impact or higher/lower immersion game than you are used to.
Before making the concrete decision to try out a second game, do your homework. Check out their rules and culture, or try making contact with players of the game through their website or social media. Educating yourself on a new game means you won’t get hit with any nasty surprises when you show up, like costume requirements you didn’t expect or weight requirements for your weapons.
When you visit other games, remember you are representing your home game. You may end up fielding questions about your game to curious cross-gamers like yourself, and other players will judge your game through your sportsmanship. Being polite. Trying to learn the new system is important; nobody wants to play with someone who is always yelling about what just went wrong. Visiting an alternate game is just like playing at home, so don’t do anything you wouldn’t do there, and make sure you are familiar with their rules to keep from stepping on toes.
One of the most challenging things about cross gaming is trying to keep the rules straight. Each game has their own rules to govern play, and mixing them up with rules from your home game can be easy. I suggest getting a rulebook from the new game, and spending some time with it. Many games now offer their rulebooks online, so it’s easy to take a look before you ever step onto the field. Everybody makes mistakes when they are new, and it’s important to remember that when you start a secondary game you are new again. That means it doesn’t matter how many years you’ve been playing game X or Y, because you’ve got to start at the bottom along with everybody else.
Cross-gaming provides you with a unique situation in which to have fun. You are able to step out of the things you might be known for at your home game. Being able to go out and play without having to worry about the responsibilities you usually carry is pretty fantastic. You get to experience something different, especially if you decide to visit a medieval-based immersion larp when you hail from a fantasy-based game that doesn’t immerse as heavily.
Communication between games and players also appears when you cross-game. It can be a fantastic way to boost attendance at your larp, find new players, and help to mentor new games when they crop up. Check out your area and see if there are any other games nearby; you might be surprised at what you find!
There are plenty of perks to cross-gaming, but as with anything there is going to be a downside. Cross-gaming players are often seen differently; they’re viewed as being able to afford to play as often as they’d like. It’s time consuming, between travel, actual events, and the necessary upkeep on your kit. It also tends to be a bit more expensive, which can make it unattainable to do on a regular basis for many people.
In the end, cross-gaming is a good thing. It allows you to see more of the fantastically intricate larp community. It gives you the chance to see you things you wouldn’t at your home game, meet new people, and hone new skills on and off the field. While it can be time consuming, or costly, it’s definitely worth it; even if you don’t make it out to another game on a regular basis, give it a try at least once or twice!
What do you think about cross-gaming? Have you had positive or negative experiences of your own? Do you have any advice? Join the discussion below!