Augury - An Alternate Reality LARP - Characters

Players at Augury LARP will be participating as fictional characters that could exist in a contemporary modern day setting. These characters will be defined mostly by their interests, cultures, world views, and belief in the supernatural. Character design decisions regarding game mechanics and choosing in-game abilities will be resolved during character building workshops, or with the assistance of event staff, and should be considered an afterthought to the main character design process. Players should come to events having at minimum a general idea of what motivates their character to explore the supernatural and unexplained, but they do not need to finalize character creation before attending.

The designers will be providing a pre-game survey to players that may answer the questions necessary to create their fictional persona for the game. This survey is designed to help players make choices about their character’s motivations and beliefs, and provide the design team with direction to tailor the game experience for each player. The survey will also give players an opportunity to opt in on various gameplay activities and experiences that are available, but this will not be the only opportunity, nor will it prohibit players from withdrawing consent at a later time.

Players are encouraged to choose a “Self”, “Similar”, or “Other” approach to designing their character’s backstory. 

Self means that you are playing an alternate version of yourself. In this style of play you may use your own first name or a nickname, and your character should be based mostly on your own life experiences, motivations, and interests. You may choose to play a “what if” version of yourself, choosing an element of your own history, or everyday life to change for the story of your alter ego. Or you can keep to a more true or realistic version of yourself as a fictional character. Regardless of what motivations or themes you introduce into your character’s story, the character should be close to who you actually are in real life.

This play style can be easy to design and begin play, allowing players to make decisions based simply on how they would react normally if the fictional events portrayed were actually real. Players should also be aware of the challenges that may occur when experiencing stressful situations in a fictional setting as a non-fictional character. Playing yourself may create unique authentic experiences, but those experiences may become surprisingly intense, emotionally draining, or just socially uncomfortable without the barrier of an alternate persona.  

Similar means that you are playing a character whose life is similar to your own, but not actually a direct copy of yourself. In this style of play you may decide to use your own life as inspiration for a fictional character of your own design. You should identify what elements of your own life you choose to represent through this character, and also identify in what ways they differ from yourself. This style of play is great for creating authentic roleplaying experiences while still having greater safety and emotional security from what we call character “bleed”. This is the recommended style of play for most players, especially those new to roleplaying games.  

Other means that you are playing a completely fictional character of your own design that has very little similarity to yourself. Much like designing your own character in an RPG video game or traditional LARP, this style of play provides the chance to play a more unusual character. Players may design a character who has experience, skills, knowledge, or mindsets that greatly differs from their own. Players should be aware that creating characters that are highly abnormal in the context of a modern day setting may not only be difficult to roleplay in game, but also require more assistance from the story team in order to align the character with the rest of the setting elements. Additionally the story team strongly encourages caution before designing a character that represents a culture or religious viewpoint that is not your own.

For more on understanding cultural appropriation, here is some helpful information from Apocalypse 47, another LARP group in Southern California. 

The complete player's guide including more details on character creation is in development, and should be available for use in the coming weeks.