The Medium’s The Thing

I rather enjoyed today’s Live Roleplay at LURPS. It was Far Shores, a system I have never particularly been into, and I was monstering.

Similar to last night I lucked out in playing a number of gun emplacements, unmoving but calling amusing amounts of ranged damage. Then a very intense NPC at the end with some seriously emotional roleplay with Weasel.

But then came the outcome of the adventure and the refs announced a whole series of things happening. Not that they weren’t exciting or interesting but they were announced as if a story. I, as an artist, as a storyteller, am obsessed by format and to an extent medium. If you’re writing a tale then describe in words on a page what happens. If you want to push that medium then see what you can do with footnotes, outflding pages etc. a la House of Leaves. 

If you’re an oral storyteller then speak the tale, embellish and ad lib but speak it out. You can push that format by singing, rhyming, rapping, having parts in sign or all sorts.

I could go on listing media but my point is this, I think that the main medium needs to be used to tell the story. If more than a paragraph needs to be read out then that’s not larp that’s oral storytelling. Supplementary things available to fill out the flavour of the world sure, written, spoken, painted, whatever. But as much as possible especially if it’s ploy, should be conveyed by roleplaying within the world. 

The How of it is where I get my interest and what I like to sink my teeth into. It’s an exciting medium, one where the entire audience contributes to the moment of it all and that means that control of the medium is incredibly different to non-participatory art. The story must be completely interactive and the setting, solid but as the artist you have to be willing to cede a certain amount of control of the details. That’s where the fun of it is.

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