Providence

Providence is a LARP game using Trent Yacuk's Kingdom Come system. It is a game of Fallen Angels and their struggle to survive against the forces of Heaven and Hell and some things in between.

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    Splitting the Room

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    cenobyte
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    Splitting the Room

    Post by cenobyte on Mon 27 Jul 2009 - 22:40

    One or two of you have mentioned this to me in passing, and since it's come up more than once, I thought I'd make a point of mentioning it here.

    There comes a need in every game for people to be somewhere a little more "private" than the main gaming area, and this need is understandable. However, I encourage you to stay in the main gaming room as much as possible...

    The reasons why...well...there are a couple.

    First, when half the player base is elsewhere, it can be just a little less involved for the players not, in Vampire lingo, on the Primogen Council, or, in KC lingo, in the courts. I would like suggestions for how I can arrange the room to be more amenable to ...well... staying in it.

    Second, you miss an awful lot of the game when you're elsewhere.

    Third, it's quite difficult for your Storyguide to try to be everywhere at once, and when the White Court is meeting in one hallway, and the Black Court is meeting in another, and the rest of the Fallen are hanging out in the main room waiting for someone to say something...gah. I'm not complaining. I love you guys! I'm just sayin'.

    Fourth, by way of an explanation - fluorescent lights give me migraines. This is why I keep turning out the lights in the hallway and in the main room. This is also why I stay out of the hallway and the main room if the lights are turned on, and why I keep coming in and turning off the lights. If we're all in the same room, I can bring candles and lanterns and lights.

    Fifth, an awful lot of people go to a lot of trouble to do their best to make the main room a bit more comfortable; they know you appreciate their work, and so I'm asking for some advice, here...

    One suggestion is to move the piles of chairs out into the hall, and leave that back area in the main room as a kind of corridor. We could do this on the back and side walls.

    One suggestion is to keep the game room door open, and to insist that everything outside of that hallway (including the ramp and stairs and OOC room) are all OOC areas.

    I also realise it gets hot inside; when it's 30+ degrees, we'll do our best to have fans in the main room. I know it's good to get outside also, and the main problem with it is that most of the time folks don't know if you're IC or OOC. Again, suggestions are asked for, here.

    I remember going to a game once where when the bourgeoisie left to meet in the other room, there were two characters left in the main room. Now, we have the benefit of having a fairly large player base (YAY! You don't know how happy that makes me!), so that's not as big an issue. But it's still an issue.

    So.

    Suggestions? Please?
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    Tabbris
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    Re: Splitting the Room

    Post by Tabbris on Mon 27 Jul 2009 - 23:19

    In SBN what I do is that the players are not allowed to say oh we are not really here, we are actually blocks away or wherever. This means that characters can always track down other characters. If someone goes out of character completely then fine but like every ST I discourage that also. For me the game is most fun when I can chat with everyone at any moment. Oh and sure the private moments can be really cool but I think they are even more cool when someone else might just hear little bits of what you are saying.

    As someone who has been the 1 lone person left in a room while everyone goes off to meetings I can tell you that multiple rooms really can hurt a game at times.

    For the lights I would suggest not blocking the windows with sheets or anything if we turn off the lights. It was really dark in the main room without the lights on. That would probably help a bit with that problem.
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    cenobyte
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    Re: Splitting the Room

    Post by cenobyte on Mon 27 Jul 2009 - 23:25

    Actually, the sheers on the windows don't block any of the lights.

    Is it being a darkened room a problem? Because if it is, I'll bring non-fluorescent directional lights. I kind of thought a darkened room was awesome.

    Also, yes, in KC, if you must leave the room, your character must leave the room. And if characters jog a couple of blocks away for a chat, they have to take the requisite amount of time (yes, even Keth) to get there and back. But that's not really been an issue in Providence (the folks saying 'oh, I'm not really here; I'm *actually* four blocks away' thing). It's more half the game leaving the main room that's the issue.

    I agree in that *I* think it's more interesting to try to have a "private" conversation in a room full of people, but this isn't really about what *I* think is cool, as I am not running the game; I am repeating what I've been told a couple of times, though, by players.
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    Love
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    Re: Splitting the Room

    Post by Love on Mon 27 Jul 2009 - 23:36

    I think some clever use of the fantastic loads of fabric you bring to each game could split off a couple of private spaces in the main room. I agree that having every one in the same room is nice as Primogen Council syndrome really chafes me, but there is that requirement of private spaces. We do have a lot of players but I think there can be a way to get every one into that main room and feeling comfortable.

    Perhaps we could split off two smaller rooms in the gathering in two of the corners that aren't too big so that there is a smaller public seating space between the two. One could be big enough to have one of the longer tables around it so that it could be like a meeting room, and the other could have more of a less formal seating arrangement in place. This is me just spouting off ideas, but I think that could make people feel like the space is less of an 'every one in the entire city stands here in a big circle' place, and have it more conducive to intimate conversations.


    Something like this maybe?


    -----------------
    |......|.....|.....|
    |......|.....\----|
    |-----/...........|
    |..................|
    |..................]
    -----------------

    Sorry about the my weak ASCI art abilities.

    I always have a big love for mood lighting in games. The fabric decorating last game was great for making it feel less like a classroom. But pairing that with candles and low lamps could really change the atmosphere. I think with a little pooling of peoples lighting resources we could make it very attractive for everyone to stay nice and close.
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    Keth
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    Re: Splitting the Room

    Post by Keth on Mon 27 Jul 2009 - 23:36

    cenobyte wrote:First, when half the player base is elsewhere, it can be just a little less involved for the players not, in Vampire lingo, on the Primogen Council, or, in KC lingo, in the courts. I would like suggestions for how I can arrange the room to be more amenable to ...well... staying in it.

    Hurm.. I think the room layout is basically fine, or rather I hope it is Razz But maybe something like music playing in just that room. Something in the background thats appropriate for the mood of that particular night/game. If its only in that one room it might help keep people in there as opposed to.. not in there.

    cenobyte wrote:Second, you miss an awful lot of the game when you're elsewhere.

    Or when you are where you should be but no one else is Razz

    cenobyte wrote:Third, it's quite difficult for your Storyguide to try to be everywhere at once, and when the White Court is meeting in one hallway, and the Black Court is meeting in another, and the rest of the Fallen are hanging out in the main room waiting for someone to say something...gah. I'm not complaining. I love you guys! I'm just sayin'.

    Yeah.. when most people go off into their little groups and talk it leaves a lot of people without much to do untill everyone else gets back.

    Maybe have a short amount of time immediatly before the game for the Kings and the Brood to have their meetings. It stops being as useful when some people are understandably late for reason X, Y, or Z. But taking an hour out of game time where other players dont really get to participate gets a little.. annyoing. I mean I am all for discusing the finer points of baby eating.. but.. plot?


    cenobyte wrote:One suggestion is to move the piles of chairs out into the hall, and leave that back area in the main room as a kind of corridor. We could do this on the back and side walls.

    I actually kinda like this idea, and I would happily help move chairs.

    cenobyte wrote:One suggestion is to keep the game room door open, and to insist that everything outside of that hallway (including the ramp and stairs and OOC room) are all OOC areas.

    Not as fond of this idea, simply because occasionally.. you do need to have private conversations. This is doubly true for the characters with techniques that must be used when you are alone with the target. I think people just went overboard with this.

    cenobyte wrote:I also realise it gets hot inside; when it's 30+ degrees, we'll do our best to have fans in the main room. I know it's good to get outside also, and the main problem with it is that most of the time folks don't know if you're IC or OOC. Again, suggestions are asked for, here.

    Silly hats to represent OOC Wink
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    Keth
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    Re: Splitting the Room

    Post by Keth on Mon 27 Jul 2009 - 23:40

    cenobyte wrote:Also, yes, in KC, if you must leave the room, your character must leave the room. And if characters jog a couple of blocks away for a chat, they have to take the requisite amount of time (yes, even Keth) to get there and back.

    The only difference is Keth can go in a straight line over buildings Razz He isnt some superhero with superhuman speed or anything. He can still only get as far away as he can actually run in that time period.
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    Edward

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    Re: Splitting the Room

    Post by Edward on Mon 27 Jul 2009 - 23:53

    I really like Rhea's idea about splitting the room and the pooling of lights. (Those lights give me a headache) Combined with Dan's idea of music i think that there will be alot more people staying in the room. I personally would donate all i can to the lighting funds, haveing it darker makes it more intimate and cozy. ^_^
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    cenobyte
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    Re: Splitting the Room

    Post by cenobyte on Tue 28 Jul 2009 - 0:46

    Rhea - that's more or less what I was thinking, except slightly different.

    Here's another suggestion; an in-general suggestion: I'm more than happy with y'all starting IC at 7:00pm, for characters who need to get stuff done...court conversations, etc.. The past three months, I've had everything ready to go IC at 7:00pm. There's no reason why you have to wait until 8.

    In fact, many of our Saskatooners are at the game by 7pm as well.

    So, for folks who need to do a quick 'private' meeting, you could get it done between 7 and 8. I mean, *everyone* can start playing at 7pm....

    One of the things I used to find really entertaining was trying to have/watching people trying to have private conversations in public spaces.
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    Gabe
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    Re: Splitting the Room

    Post by Gabe on Tue 28 Jul 2009 - 1:36

    The only reason that I don't try to have private conversations in public is the lack of background noise. In a room where music blurs the sounds of people across the room, it is definitely fun to have those conversations in full view.

    Creating partitions doesn't get me excited. They don't add to background noise, and they don't give me even the illusion of privacy.

    I also feel that we need to utilise the space better. The grouping of furniture from the other room is great but leaves us with only one conversation area and everyone else gets left on the fringe. I'd rather see those black chairs used for more conversational groups around the room. In fact, I think I pull chairs out at every game to create talking spaces as I need them.

    I've been assuming that everything not in the OOC room is IC. If I walk out and you are on the ramp then your character is on the ramp. If I walk outside and see you then I see your character. In the heat we have, outside is a valuable IC area. I love being able to go out for fresh air and have conversations which are, of course, right outside the building IC.

    To be honest, while there have been groups having private meetings, I have never once *in this game* felt that it subtracted from the game. If others are feeling that it does, then perhaps the convictions could all have their meetings at the same time. I know in one game it tended to happen that way and everyone stayed involved.
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    cenobyte
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    Re: Splitting the Room

    Post by cenobyte on Tue 28 Jul 2009 - 1:43

    Alan - the chairs thing is an interesting suggestion; of course, folks are welcome to take chairs from the chairs place. I just figured the couches, etc., were the comfy places, but there's nothing written anywhere about how they should be arranged, or even if we should have them in there at all.

    I wonder what would happen if each of the convictions met at a *different* time. Because this month, and I think last month, they all met at the same time in different places, and that was part of what I saw happening.

    Also, the outer hallways (the ramp/stairs, OOC room, main gaming room, and stairs/entrance) are, IMO, OOC areas, but people do kind of morph all over the place. I think if everyone understands that having half the game leave the main room is very distracting, maybe we'll all make a concerted effort not to do it? Maybe?

    I don't mean to be all tautological about this; hopefully it's something that makes the game even better.
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    cenobyte
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    Re: Splitting the Room

    Post by cenobyte on Tue 28 Jul 2009 - 1:49

    Also, it's not only possible, but preferrable to have background lighting, music/sounds, and decor for the games, so look for that to happen on a regular basis.

    We've had music/background noise at *most* games, I think. A bunch? Many?
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    Arc
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    Re: Splitting the Room

    Post by Arc on Tue 28 Jul 2009 - 1:51

    I don't think people moving out the room is an issue. What happened at last census was due to both the Infernal and the Divine nearly doubling in number and needing to communicate conviction sensitive material that we had no chance of communicating in character before the game. I think you'll find, as I do, that few players abuse the privilege to take short scenes privately at the expense of those in the main room.

    Also, it was blistering hot in the room and I can't begrudge anyone the need to cool down outside last session. I know I lost about ten pounds of water weight....

    Indirect lighting would be nice. I got a headache until lights were turned on later in the evening from having to strain to see someone five paces away.

    Also, the room set up as is has worked great in the past although I'm up for seeing different set ups as long as they don't impede people's ability to move around the main room. Thanks to those that do such great work setting up the room.
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    Gabe
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    Re: Splitting the Room

    Post by Gabe on Tue 28 Jul 2009 - 1:57

    cenobyte wrote:We've had music/background noise at *most* games, I think. A bunch? Many?

    Music at the games past? I don't remember music in the main playing area... unless you pull out the music for the games I've missed...
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    cenobyte
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    Re: Splitting the Room

    Post by cenobyte on Tue 28 Jul 2009 - 2:01

    The reason I think people leaving the room is an issue is because a few people (one of whom has reversed their position) have brought it up with me. Personally, I don't like it when folks leave the main games room, but with a larger group like this, it doesn't seem to matter as much, and I wasn't all that concerned about it. Except that some people obviously are. It came to a *head* this month, but these concerns have been brought up with me several times in the past.

    Yes, it was hot in that building. And I heartily encourage playing outdoors when it's hot.

    We'll have to figure *something* out with the lights. I have some idears about setups.

    re) music - last month, I had a custom-made soundtrack for the game; the month before that I had left my computer on, playing music in the background (someone may have turned it off/down). The month before that, I forgot, because we were at the Floral Conservatory. Most other games, I had either the computer or a little radio/cd player going. I think for a while there between November and March I was forgetting, and I know that for a while there, every time I put music on, someone would come along and shut it off. So. Yeah, it's been *available* most games. And played, at least at the beginning.
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    Arc
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    Re: Splitting the Room

    Post by Arc on Tue 28 Jul 2009 - 2:03

    The Infernal did not meet at the game where the gate was opened. I know that I actively avoid such conviction meetings as much as possible except where I have to poll the electorate briefly. I prefer to have my private scenes not at census...too many people get in my way for that.
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    Re: Splitting the Room

    Post by Arc on Tue 28 Jul 2009 - 2:06

    I do, however, admit that I encouraged those who knew right off that they did not want to go to heaven or risk a conflict with those that might to join me in the main room when the rest of the game was dealing with that. But that is just because Arc knew everything was well in hand. Afterall, he arranged for it all to happen.
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    Re: Splitting the Room

    Post by cenobyte on Tue 28 Jul 2009 - 2:36

    I'm just relating what others have mentioned to me, not specifically in the last two months. In fact, one person was telling me how they admired how we *don't* split up the room and have half the game leave, a number of months ago.

    So. I'm not saying that any one or two or three people or groups of people are responsible for "breaking the game". What I *am* saying is that some people have expressed distress at having, literally, half of the players in the game elsewhere.
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    Re: Splitting the Room

    Post by Arc on Tue 28 Jul 2009 - 2:40

    Well, I'm happy to convince them that I'm always right if you prefer to send them my way Wink
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    Re: Splitting the Room

    Post by cenobyte on Tue 28 Jul 2009 - 2:51

    Right. I'll mention that.

    Wink
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    Tabbris
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    Re: Splitting the Room

    Post by Tabbris on Tue 28 Jul 2009 - 8:37

    I'm all for having an ooc area but I also think that the main room is fairly small. I would really argue against saying the hallway, ramp and outside are also ooc. If you want to have an ooc area outside in addition to the other room I'd say that we just pick a section outside and say that it is also ooc. Then we have a place inside and a place outside that are ooc and everywhere else is IC.
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    cenobyte
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    Re: Splitting the Room

    Post by cenobyte on Tue 28 Jul 2009 - 9:01

    That's cool.
    The problem still remains with half the game leaving.
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    Tabbris
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    Re: Splitting the Room

    Post by Tabbris on Tue 28 Jul 2009 - 9:11

    I don't actually consider the hallway right outside or even the ramp as leaving. I think of it as more like one big room with a doorway in the middle. There is nothing to stop characters who are in the room from going right outside and saying "hey whats up". Sure they might be turned away by the group but that could happen inside just as easy. I guess I should say that I do hate when groups go do meetings and no one else can attend even if they are in the same room but I don't think you will ever be able to stop that as there are just times when the Divine, the Deistical and the Infernal or even choirs/murders need to meet to discuss things. The best thing is if those meetings happen prior or after the game but sometimes its just a necessary response to what has happened already in the evening.
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    cenobyte
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    Re: Splitting the Room

    Post by cenobyte on Tue 28 Jul 2009 - 9:25

    Yeah, this is the issue, I guess. It's not that I think these groups should stop meeting; in fact, that would be a Bad Thing. It's that when it happens outside the main room, for the most part, people seem to find it Bothersome. Hence the suggestions to split up the room a bit more and use some music.

    I don't think the room is too small. I prefer a small room that forces people to stand a bit closer, particularly when they hate doing so because one of them eats babies.
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    Edward

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    Re: Splitting the Room

    Post by Edward on Tue 28 Jul 2009 - 9:29

    It's alot harder to make sure no one touches you when there are so many people. Razz
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    Tabbris
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    Re: Splitting the Room

    Post by Tabbris on Tue 28 Jul 2009 - 9:45

    Going back to SBN, I have ran the last few games out of my house. What this mean was that we had an office, a living room, a basement, a kitchen and a backyard. I'll admit first off that there are no big groups in SBN as we do not have a court, council or anything of the sort so that really might change everything. I found the multiple rooms really didn't hinder roleplaying at all.

    I should also say that I have told the players that if I see people walk away for an extended period of time I will come and corral them back into the main area. Perhaps the overall group would like it if you reminded groups that they are breaking away from the game if they take too long and that there are probably people who are bored in the main room because they are the only one there.

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