I thought the props and sets were fantastic. The valuables/antiquities system was also fun to play with.
I did have problems shuffling papers in the period wallets. I liked that they could be easily tucked under the arm when not in use, and that they didn't hide your costume, but they could be hard to manipulate. (As you said, might have something to do with the volume of papers.)
I wonder if a compromise between the modern looking binder and the period wallet might be a "leather" binder of some sort? Perhaps a half-size one so it wouldn't be as obtrusive as an 8 1/2 x 11 vinyl binder. The convenience of a binder is that you don't have to be as concerned about stuff falling out, and it's easy to flip through.
A few of my other thoughts about the game are posted in my latest journal entry, for what they're worth.
In general, thanks to you and the other gm's for all your hard work - it was a cool game!
I LOVED the leather-ish wallets instead of binders. I treated mine exactly like I would a purse. It wasn't the volume of paper so much as getting them jumbled up, so I compartmentalized mine. A simple remedy like paperclipping like documents together would have served all my "problems" with it (if you can even call them problems, since I actually found it way easier than a binder to manipulate).
2004-02-02 10:19 pm (UTC)
I really loved the wallets. My paper-management problems came more from what was clipped to what and how many different-sized pieces of paper I had. Essentially blank, character-nonspecific paper (blank checks, maybe the talley sheet) could have been kept in the writing room to start with maybe. The little scraps of paper to insert into the hearts were a little difficult to manage, too. So my suggestions for next time would be: same sized paper, no blank paper to start, and 11x17 sheets folder as, well, folders to separate financial, political, game background, etc., packets within the wallet.
The technology papers (which I didn't get to examine until after the larp) were absolutely beautiful. The maps, deeds, and letters of credit were also wonderful.
I'd love it if you choose to put electronic versions of the various papers online so we can see the whole setup, but that may not be appropriate.
The rest of the props were deliciously over-the-top for a larp.
I'm surprised no one has singled out the "prototypes" for comments. *That* is what impressed me the second most (the set in general, combined with the NPC costumes, impressed me the most). I didn't get to see any in play (other than the personality-switching device, which *everyone* saw) and only on Sunday did I examine any in detail. Quite wonderful.
Very good ideas! The packets were assembled pretty hastily, so in the future I'll remember to paperclip everything. Also, you are correct about the blank papers--there is no reason that those needed to be in the packets. I'll keep all that in mind for next time.
And thanks about the prototypes! They were fun to make. I was particularly proud that the three large ones all had functioning mechanisms of some kind: the brain-switcher had a turning valve handle (issues with the handles aside), the wireless transmitter had a crank and a wind-up wiggly thing, and the impulse translator was actually the guts of a working wind-up alarm clock.
2004-02-03 01:44 am (UTC)
Thoughts for next time...
I know there was a time crunch, but getting the Who you know information out ahead of the game would have smoothed things a lot. While avoiding breaking character to deal with mechanics, I spent a good chunk of time breaking character to figure out who people were, and how to deal with them.
The maps were beautiful, but as a colorblind person, color coding on cream colored paper left everything to the imagination.
Please make the assessor sheets full sized, and clearly marked. ;) I didn't figure out until after the game what that little piece of paper clipped in there meant. A brain fart, for sure, but not that hard to clarify.
I know you already know this, but the blueprint copying power needs to be heavily toned down. Giving one character more blueprints than anyone else (12,) and near infinite flexibility in what they are overshadowed a lot of the invention trades.
I would consider more ways for the games to interact with each other. As it was, it was hard to use any aspect of the finance game to influence the other spheres, with politics a close second. Whereas HoH manipulations had clear political uses, and inventions could influence any of the other areas. Assigning a monetary value to some of the inventions, having them require some resources in addition to keywords, adding an annual production to provinces, and an estimate of the value of economic concessions that might be made, would all help to tie the various areas together a bit.
I wasn't that active in the invention work, and blueprint copying seemed to get most things built in the end anyway. But, I might rethink the ability to use the same keyword in multiple lab books. Beware of multipliers, especially free ones. Were I a player in that game, and were keywords more scarce, I would have been buying/trading lab books off of people. The players seemed focused on trading blueprints rather than lab books. 2-3 players stacking their BPs and notebooks together could have easily busted things. Vanderbilt+Tesla, Horst+The King of the Moon, had they agreed to share prototypes or split labbooks, would have thrown off the balance. There was a certain point where the blueprints weren't going to be exchanged more, and I suspect Tesla could have made a -killing- by offering people a little something for notebooks they couldn't use, which he could get for free.