The Kickstarter for Chronos has, at the time of posting, a few days on the clock. It’s funded; currently about $1,000 in pledges more than target. Are you a LARPer? LARP-curious? Geek Native spoke to Ashley Zdeb, putting some hard questions forward, to make sure the argument for Chronos was clear.
Could you tell us a little bit about Chronos? The best bits in just a short paragraph!
The Chronos system is a LARP conflict resolution system that took the freedom of narrative tabletop play, the ease of use and speed of collectable cards, and the dynamic what-you-see-is-what-you-get of theatrical LARP and combined them into a strong foundation of a gaming system. This core system can be used to portray a huge range of settings and styles through clever card combinations and game organizer tools that we provide through our various expansions.
What’s the state of LARPing right now? Just from your own personal awareness do you think the hobby is growing or shrinking?
The LARPing hobby continues to grow by leaps and bounds. Not only is there a vibrant LARPing community across the world playing Boffer LARPs, Theatrical games, Improv interactive theater, and Nordic LARPS, but there is a growing cultural awareness around the world thanks to movies, tv series, and the internet portraying gamers in a positive and encouraging light. Combine that with the growing popularity of video games and “alternative reality gaming” and you can see that role playing is still coming into it’s prime.
“Boffer LARPs” cope with combat in a fairly straight forward way. Is it not just guns that cause a problem and couldn’t NERF weapons be the solution?
Boffer LARPs answer a very specific challenge with their mechanics resolution systems, which is to allow for fast paced combat in settings where players can get physical, carry weapons, and really dive into their world with abandon. Unfortunately, not all settings really lend themselves to boffer style games. You can’t go running through the halls of the Smithsonian wielding nerf guns and diving over displays, or swinging a foam broadsword on Sunset Boulevard. The Chronos system provides a fast paced system inspired by boffer style play, while staying true to it’s theatrical LARPing roots.
What do you think the biggest obstacles to roleplayers getting involved in LARPs are?
Immersion. The most often story I hear is of the gamer who just doesn’t “get” running around in the woods, or attending a ball, or pretending to physically become their character. They can do it on a screen, or around a table top, but to ask them to step into their character’s shoes, there is a disconnect. Helping them find a way across that threshold is so important, to show them how awesome it is to really be in the moment. The Chronos system is designed with this in mind, using familiar notes from the tabletop roleplaying world to help players let go of their pen and paper and step into a more immersive play style.
What three tips would you give to a gamer looking to get involved in playing in a LARP?
Remember that we are all nerds here, and that is awesome. We all come out to the LARP world because we want the share in the same amazing communal stories, victories, and defeats. Be open to others, and remember that your fun is made ten fold more fun by helping others have fun. Inclusivity is always superior to exclusivity. Finally, find your passion for your character, be it inspirations from books, TV, video games, or born purely of your own imagination. When you are excited about what you are doing, that energy is infectious and will make everyone else step up to meet your enthusiasm.
What three tips would you give to anyone looking to run a LARP?
Build a solid team to tackle the challenges of running a game, so that you have the right people dedicated to the right job, like any other organization. You need someone who can manage the books and facilities, someone who can keep a hand on the story’s tiller, and those that can manage the on the ground operations of the game. Be patient with yourself and your team, since this kind of event is almost always “off the map” so to speak, you will need to afford yourself plenty of time to have proper insurance, access to a play space, and fully prepared stories and NPCs to make a game a reality. Finally, keep everything as what-you-see-is-what-you-get as possible. It is always better to show rather than tell.
Why turn to Kickstarter now for Chronos: The Universal LARP System?
Kickstarter provided us a great opportunity to not only get funding for the amazing amount of art we will need (100+ individual pieces of art for the first deck alone), but also to get a read on our community and see how folks reacted to the concepts behind the Chronos system. We are pleased to say that we’ve gotten a lot of great feedback, and have met our baseline goals. We are now pushing for our stretch goals to get even more of Chronos out of the gate as early as possible.
As it stands right now – you’ve got time on the clock and you’ve met your project goal. Congratulations! What does this mean to Chronos in the long term? If someone’s reading this after the Kickstarter’s finished could they still hope to get involved somehow?
We have expansions lined up for two years of additional content right out of the gate, as well as more concepts primed down the line. We want to keep Chronos growing with our player base, and will be working to keep the line well supported, vibrant, and innovative. You can find us at various conventions around the nation running Chronos system games, as well as check out our soon to be released website where we will provide video demonstrations and other player resources to help game organizers and players alike bring the Chronos system to life.