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Siege of Tyr

Loyal Soldiers of the Theocracy,

The time has come for all those loyal to the will of Hand to rally to the ideals of Justice, Order, and Peace. Come raise your sword and join battle against the last great bastion of villainy and remove the poison sting that cripples our realm. The time has come to lay siege to the City of Tyr!

Free Citizens of Tyr,

Strong Men and Women wanted for dangerous work. Theocratic fanatics with siege engines will soon be on our doorstep. Protect our city, our freedom, and our lives -- or lose all. Good pay. Leadership roles for experienced mercenaries. Adventure, excitement, honor, and riches can all be yours in defense of the Free City.

Siege of Tyr is a double-blind tactical Live Action Role Playing Game. Players will be assigned to one of two teams, who will then fight a battle for dominance of the city. Part of the game consists of role-playing with other players; part consists of tactical planning (i.e. moving chits around on a game board). Though some characters are more involved in the tactical situation than others, *all* characters have tactical goals.

Run:

  • Originally run at Kubalacon in May, 2005
  • Run in San Luis Obispo, CA in Fenruary, 2006 for PolyCon's Mid-Year LARP, February, 2006. Read the article about the aftermath written for PolyCon's newsletter.


Comments:

This is a very complicated LARP to run. Attaining a balance between role-play and the tactical game is key. The double-blind play style seems to encourage tactical cooperation on each side far beyond what character goals would suggest. When we ran this LARP with one side players and one side NPCs, we had far more internal faction conflict than when we ran with players on both sides. - Candace Carpenter, Writer, GM

The world building for this game setting was particularly enjoyable, allowing me to draw on some of my favorite fantasy themes. I got rather carried away with historic and cultural details of the world creating so much extra material that I imagine that there will be several more games set in this universe in the future. However, after running the Siege of Tyr larp twice, I must sadly admit that the system for this larp is unworkable. The idea was to fuse a simple tactical system onto a traditional larp providing a way to simulate large combats (which larp systems are poor at) while providing the core larp play experience. The problem that we continued to run into was that variety in actions (which are the staple of larp play) are anathema to fast tactical resolution (which is vital for fast tactical play). Even with Kurt and Aaron's dedicated efforts resolution for single turns could stretch to almost a hour. In the end I think Siege of Tyr was a brave but ultimately unsuccessful experiment. Many good lessons were learned however, and future games will benefit from the effort. - Zac Parsons, Writer, GM

My main contribution to this LARP was the tactical system and battle resolution during play. Should this LARP be run a third time, I would recommend dramatically reducing the amount of the combat system that is known to the players. The first time we ran the game, the players had no time to digest the combat system and as a result they focused on LARPing. The second time, they had plenty of time to learn the system and it caused them to focus on the numbers. Future tactical / LARP hybrids should follow suit. It seems that large amounts of system mechanics interfere with LARPing regardless of the context of the LARP. - Kurt Horner, System Writer, GM

This was one of the most innovative and blood-pressure-raising LARPs I have ever run. Once again, we had an intensive tactical system, thanks to Kurt, without which this game would not be what it was. On the Alliance side, emotions ran high but we had a very decent amount of LARPing for a tactical game. Some players had trouble dealing with the tactical vs LARP sides of the game, but for the most part the Alliance did a very good job of balancing the two. Our room's biggest problem was the war-gamer rage that came over our players whenever their map was updated. One very important lesson I learned was once a tactical game, always a tactical game, LARP elements or not. This is not to say that the game was unsuccessful, the Alliance had a lot of fun, but we could not rely on the players to keep LARP goals in mind when confronted with tokens on a map. - Amanda Carpenter, Writer, GM

Tyr is an interesting, if somewhat flawed, experiment. As a tactical experience, it can be quite remarkable; but sadly, the brilliant world, intriguing characters, and moral quandaries often take a back seat to a purely tactical encounter. While the LARP aspects certainly raise the stakes and transform the tactics game into a more intense affair; I would have preferred to see more of the role-playing aspects surface. I certainly hope we can revisit Tyr's rich world background in a more traditional, role-play oriented LARP. - Brian J. Matis, Player, GM

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© 2006 Verisim