Type of LARP
Convergence is an open setting and rule system with which we play LARPs at least once a year. We organize events for players age 18 and up. The LARPs are multiple day events that have informal meeting of players, and sometimes specific workshops (Rule system, character creation, lore background) on Friday. The game starts Saturday morning and stops Sunday afternoon. Unless otherwise mentioned we have indoor sleeping spots and provide food during the events.
The genre is gritty realistic (as in "needing little willing suspension of disbelief", high verisimilitude) sci-fi fantasy with an emphasis on simulationism and immersion that takes the form of players being immersed into their character as opposed to being immersed by a challenge flow or story.
The most important thing we do different than non simulationist LARPs is that if there is a choice we have to make and it comes down to three options, 1 option which would make for a cool and balanced challenge for the players, 1 which would create a nice dramatic story/scene and 1 which would be logical and consistent with the rest of the setting, we would pick the last option.
Convergence is an 18 plus LARP and contains heavy themes from time to time. If you doubt whether or not you would enjoy certain themes please contact us beforehand. Some examples of such themes are:
- Sexual themes
- Terminal illness
Conflict resolution, drama and story
We aim to provide a believable scenario where entities (Both Directed characters (DC's) and Player characters (PC's)) try their very best to achieve their (conflicting) goals and in which the story unfolds dynamically instead of it being scripted drama. Instead of artificially extending the drama of a certain conflict, the conflict is often resolutely and quickly resolved (Denouement is often reached quickly, just like in small scale real life conflicts) making way for new conflicts. Also after deploying the initial situation; game master in Convergence events rarely if ever tweak the situation to generate a better story; we let the situation unfold it's natural course; heightening simulationism, immersion and objective fairness as much as possible. This might in theory result in certain situations being introduced and solved within a few minutes, or situations that no PC finds interesting at all and thus going unresolved.
Combat is rare and almost always over in seconds but having long lasting effects. Combat is as dangerous to the PC's as it is to the DC's. And both DC's and PC's usually want to avoid armed conflict (Unless the DC's have a good IC reason they don't mind dying, which happens only rarely) and is usually avoided because people don't want to die or even get wounded. Since magical healing is rare (and expensive) getting wounded has long lasting effects and is economically unappealing because you are probably bed-ridden for some time after the event and thus unable to perform your profession. There will be events without combat! (although most events will feature situations that have the potential to result in violent conflict) If you go to LARP mainly for combat, Convergence events are probably not for you.
The open source rule system is designed so that players will need to learn very little rules by heart (everything they need to know by heart fits on a single A4 paper) but has a lot of different skills and customization options to consider. Every "domain" of skills features a different out-of-character skill that players need to be good at in order for their characters to be good at that profession. There are however ways to circumvent the out-of-character skill with in-character resources if you want to play the domain but are not gifted at the out-of-character skill. Examples of the main out-of-character skills associated with the domain are:
- Fighters actually need to be good with their weapons in order to pull of combat skills
- Healers will need oversight and should prioritize to manage several patients
- Priests need good social skills in order to gain followers for their gods (which in turn gives them more energy to cast blessings with)
- Mages need intellect in order to work with the complex magic system (which gives you the ability to program your own spells)
- Traders will need an understanding of market mechanics in order to gain a larger profit
- Alchemists need a good grasp of the scientific method.
The system does not provide skills for things you can just do yourself without help of the rules (for example, we will never employ a sneaking skill as nothing stops you from simply sneaking yourself with your out of character skills). The system is build on the philosophy that tactical choices that you have to make to succeed in any given situation are the same choices your character would have to make in that same situation (In other words, there are no "mini games" that signify other things than what is actually happening in game) to increase immersion.
Directed characters is how we name our "NPC" or "monsters". We aim to have little to no difference between player characters (PC) and directed characters (DC). We accomplish this by only giving DC's:
- A personality (including ethical boundaries your character will not cross on principle)
- A background
- Goal(s) to accomplish
- Skills, items, knowledge and other things they can use to try and accomplish their goals
We will not:
- direct how long a role should last; we give you enough time to try and accomplish your goal.
- direct how you should try and accomplish this goal; you can choose your own strategy within the boundaries of your character their personality and ethics.
- tell you to deliberately lose your goal; we like it when our DC's win from time to time and this doesn't always mean that the player characters lose.
- often tell you to fight; most if not all of your roles will be able to accomplish their goals without combat.
- tell you more than your character knows. You will not know the "plot". You will often not know the backgrounds of the other DC's. You will be just as surprised as the character you are playing.
Because directed characters all have their own personality and goals they will feel as alive, vibrant and "important" as PC's. This also means that DC's rarely if ever fight to the death.
It sometimes happens that our DC's "solve" a situation without any help from the PC's at all. This is perfectly fine.
Open Source Setting
Our lore wiki holds our setting. Anyone with a wiki account (mail us if you are interested) can edit and add to our lore. Of course our game masters have final say on what goes and what doesn't but players, and even people that have never been to our events have added a significant amount of lore.
There are secrets in our setting exclusively visible to the game masters, but apart from that you can either play a character that knows a lot about the world by reading a lot the lore or be a character that just emerged from some backwater village/tribe to be surprised in game with the richness of our settings it's background.
We have meetings almost every week to discuss our open source rules and setting. You can join these meetings if you want to help us.