Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Friform, lajv, tabletop

I have been thinking about an article about the general differences between friform and lajv, not so much becuase of the interest of knowing, but to be able to speak about it and analyzing hybrids. Especially since there are certain types of games that fall in between these genres as they are usually used in Sweden. At the moment I feel Like I don't have to, because Vi åker jeep has done it for me.

These are observed differences more than anything else, and it doesn't at all explain how table top really is played. Table top is there as a contrast. I would like to discuss some details, but I will do that a bit later.


Blogger Jonas Barkå said...

As you said, the differences explained in the Jeep article do not explain much at all. It was rather pointless as there is nothing about *why* these differences excists and how they allow different types of play.

Go ahead and write it.

11:19 am  
Blogger Sven Holmström said...

I don't agree at all that it was pointless. I think it was good. How they allow different play is not what I was mostly interested in. I wanted a place to point to get people to understand the basic differences between lajv and friform.

But I will write something.

11:44 am  
Blogger Jonas Barkå said...

Ok, pointless was maybe not a good word for it. "Extremely basic and easy to write" is more what I meant. And if you only want a table for basic observed differences, I guess it is rather good at doing that.

What will your writeup contain, and what will the goal of it be? The "why" part is what *I* am interested in.

1:44 pm  
Blogger Sven Holmström said...

Much of my thinking around this simply came from talks with Anna and her questions about these differences. Since she is writing too I thought it would be good to let her know these differences.

But more importantly I think there is a certain room for games in between the forms of lajv and friform that is explained in the mentioned page. As I say in my post these are forms that fall in between the two forms because of traditional reasons, basically.

One thing is friform play that focuses more on immersion, through long scenes without GM intervention and with dialogue between players. GM-less friform (or you could call this lajv, but with only four-five players) is another.

These styles are not in any way harder to achieve, they are just uncommon. One reason is of course that friform (i.e. few players) allows a reasonable use of a GM and multiple scenes, which lajv doesn't (or at least it's difficult). So most people figure, why not use. I think this is valid, but the mor uninterrupted play of lajv really has several advantages when it comes to immersion and keeping interest in characters.

That was what I was thinking about. A more general text about what the possibilities of the different styles would be very interesting, but much harder.

1:58 pm  
Blogger Sven Holmström said...

"Extremely basic and easy to write"

I don't understand what you have against these kind of texts. Usually they are the ones worth reading anyway.

1:59 pm  
Blogger Ben said...

It's fascinating to me that American LARP is a mix of all of these things.


6:02 am  
Blogger Sven Holmström said...


Please feel free elaborate on that, it would be interesting to see. One of my interests besides playing and discussing good games is international role playing and how the culture differs between countries.

When it comes to tabletop Swedish and US are quite close, since we to a very large extent play American games. (And Swedish games are always, always very close to the old BRP. Swedish designers are really stuck in BRP to the extent that they are making fools out of themselves. I know of two printed Swedish games that are not BRP, both by the same man.)

The LARP scene is much harder to know anything about. I have tried, when I put 'LARP' into google I mostly see these, for me, quite horrific fantasy games. But I know of course that there are other things going on, but it's so hard to know anything about. I read John H. Kims report fromfrom Knutepunkt 2005. He seems to talk about American games of a different kind and you have also talked about a history of 'freeform' LARP:s. These I would like to know about.

I think it's also easy to get the wrong picture of Swedish LARP:ing because of people like me and others from our 'scene'. The fantasy LARP:ing is so much bigger. (Though, in Sweden it seem like the fantasy LARP:ers focus more on using tools, making clothes from wool in medieval fashion than in other places. In a way it's a cool interest, but personally I would hate it.)

10:18 am  
Blogger Jonas Barkå said...

"I don't understand what you have against these kind of texts. Usually they are the ones worth reading anyway."

I personally like texts that tells me something I haden't thought about before, but still make sense to me. But yes, I do undertand it wasn't for yourself and I agree on it working well as a dictionary enty on "tabletop - free form - larp, the differences between" to point people to instead of writing it out everytime. My initial reaction was that it was pointless for *me*.

(I would also be very interested in hearing more on how American larps work. Especially the non-fantasy ones.)

2:32 pm  
Blogger Jonas Karlsson said...

I've written down some of my thoughts on the subject in A brief division of games at my page.

3:00 pm  

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