Persistent Locations

Last week we talked about one of our core tenets – “simple rules increase immersion.” Today, we’ll talk about another aspect of immersion in Ashwick Plantation: persistent locations.

Many LARPs utilize the town structure – a tavern, a shop, places for sleeping. At Ashwick Plantation we are attempting to take that idea a step further to further enhance players’ experience. We are weaving skills, the economy, and your refresh mechanic into the town in a seamless manner.

Want to pick crops using your Gardening skill? There is an actual garden on-site. Want to craft tools and weapons? Head to the era-authentic blacksmith to use your skill and put together that wheelbarrow you’ve been working on. Need to get a few cords of wood for the next shipment going out or to simply stay warm for the winter? Bring your axe and make your way into the woods. It’s safe out there, right?

Unfortunately, we can’t have you out there with real steel axes cutting down trees, but we intend for these areas – the garden, the blacksmith, etc. – to replicate a truly immersive experience that will make the game more enjoyable and realistic.

These locations will also be used for community building through interactions with people and the economic structure. Most events will take place during a ‘market day’ where travelers bring in their wares from near and far. Farmers come in with new crops; merchants stop by to barter, and craftsmen find work and ply their trade. The meeting area will be a place to trade local gossip and goods alike while the dock brings opportunities from around the world.

As we discussed last week, skills typically cost Essence. If you go out and cut down a tree, or spend time in the garden, or perhaps you were laying out traps to catch game, you use up Essence. To regain it, you must spend time at specific locations within the town where you can regain what you have lost.

In the schoolhouse, you can spend time reading the bible to contemplate the Holy Word and strengthen your soul. At the cemetery, you can grieve for lost loved ones who hopefully found their way to Heaven and lessen the weight upon your shoulders. At the pillory, you can shame petty thieves and other criminals to increase your vigor.

Yes, in many colonial towns and villages, a widely used form of punishment for crimes was ridicule. At Ashwick Plantation, it just so happens that there is a pillory on the premises, and we intend to use it. Who will be the first to bow their head to public humiliation?

So what do you think? Feel free to comment on how persistent locations help you get immersed in a LARP.

How do you intend to interact with the economy? Do you want to focus on Crafting? What about gathering skills like Logging and Trapping? Will you spend your free time at the pillory shouting at a criminal in an effort to help deter future crime, or will you sit quietly in the schoolhouse reading a chapter from the Old Testament?

The choice is yours.

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