Somewhere to stash a set of larp rules…

I’ve been meaning to translate my favoured start for any set of larp rules into English from the original German for ages, and here’s my best shot:

“Roleplay, respond to the roleplay of others, and respect any response to your own roleplaying.”

The original German concept was – I think – “Du Kannst, Was Du Darstellen Kannst”, which literally renders as “You Can Do, What You Can Represent”, I believe. Later came The Two Rules:

1) “When someone acts towards you, show any plausible reaction. React in some way, no matter in which way, but react.”
2) “When you act on someone, never expect a certain reaction. Always accept what the other participant makes of it.”

…both of which I’ve quoted from this rules-set here, which is in English and has some lovely examples.)

(eta: Andrea Renkel gives me this translation back into German of my effort: “Spiele deine Rolle, reagiere auf das Rollenspiel anderer und respektiere die Reaktionen auf dein Rollenspiel.”, which has a lovely ring to it.)

Addendum: Mr Andy Raff made this cogent comment on rules elsewhere, and as it reinforces my prejudices I shall add it.

It is, I think, good game design theory regardless of whether you’re talking live or not to look at *every* rule you create and decide if it sparks joy or not.

And by that i mean you have to have interminable arguments bout what the point of the rule is, what it brings to the game, why its there, what kind of behaviour you want it to encourage or discourage, who the rule is for, why the rule is good, why the rule is bad, how the rule fits into the wider framework of rules, whether an existing rule already covers it, whether it is similar enough to existing rules that it will be easy for your players to internalise it, and all sorts of other things.

Rules for their own sake are the province of people building a notional “perfect game” in their head and have no place in the world.

Andy Raff,

Another addendum, from me this time:

I am – of course – biased. It’s the most recent ruleset for a small game I’ve been involved in writing (*) so – of course – I think it’s the best.

But I’d be looking at the rules for All For One before writing whatever I end up needing next. As you can see; it starts with the German.

(* Mostly, to be honest, to remind myself that even this was too long, and insufficiently polished. **)

(** Your design is done when there is nothing left to remove.)

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