When Good LARPers Go Bad

by KT Pinto

Running a LARP is a piece of cake. All you have to do is write up a brief storyline and then the players take over. Simple, right? Although this theory looks good on paper, running a LARP is much more difficult than it seems . . . especially when there is a problem gamer in your midst. One bad player can bring down the entire game and make other players wary of coming back. Over the past year our group has had three such players. In this article, I will tell you how we handled these three troublemakers and still kept the rest of our players happy and returning.

(Names have been changed to save me some grief.)

The Apathetic Bad Guy

When we first started preparing the storyline for our Vampire: The Dark Ages chronicle, Gwain offered to play the bad guy, a villainous Tzimisce lord named L----. Since all of our events are run by the efforts of volunteers, we were more than happy to give him the role. For those that are not familiar with The Dark Ages games system, the Tzimisce are vampiric flesh crafters in the guise of high-class lords and ladies. In theory, their high positions in society gives them the power and prestige they need to work on their evil plans. Gwain had the wealthy lord part down. He would look down his nose at other characters and talk with an air that told others they were in the presence of someone they didn't want to annoy. The downside to this wonderfully evil character was that Gwain avoided playing the evil part.

Imagine Darth . . .

This article originally appeared in the second volume of Pyramid. See the current Pyramid website for more information.

Article publication date: March 1, 2002

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