You’re LARPing. You’re in the groove and you run smack into a situation like the following.
Player X’s character is trying to intimidate Charater Y because of reasons.
Character X: “I’ve got a pair of meat shears and a butane-powered curling iron in my bag. I’m neither a chef nor a stylist. Want to reconsider your position?”*
Now, Player X knows that they’re about as intimidating as your typical My Little Pony character, so they’re going to turn to their numbers to back their action up. **
Player X: “I’m gonna ask you to do a check for intimidation.”
They throw a test. Player X succeeds in the intimidation roll. And yet…
Character Y: “Go fuck yourself.”
Player X: (now thoroughly exasperated at having to drop character some more) “Really? That’s how Character Y is going to respond after failing an intimidation check.”
Player Y: “Well, yeah… He’s just that badass.”
Player X: “…”
What would you do in Player X’s shoes?
– Shrug it off (while mentally planning something terrible for Character Y)
– Push back along the lines of “Dude, I want to see the numbers that back up this bravado.”
– Push back along the lines of “You failed the goddamn check. Act intimidated.”
– Bring a GM into the discussion.
Yeah, this has happened to me. Yeah, it’s annoyed me. I’m pretty sure I know why it happens. Failing a social challenge like that is grating to Player Y’s ego and thus he’s going to blow it off because, hey, it’s just a fuckin’ game.
(Congratulations, Player Y, you’ve just done your character a huge disservice. And lost a few points in my estimation. But that’s another rant entirely.)
How do you, dear LARPer, deal with those moments?
*Line borrowed from My Favorite Character. Never used it. Always wanted to.
**Because we are NOT actors and can’t “just act that scary”. That’s why we have numbers on characters sheets in the first place and why I fear free-form LARPs are screwed in their own special way. But, again, that’s another rant.