I’ve heard that LRP attracts a lot of people who work in training and teaching. I don’t know if it’s true but I do know a lot of LRPers who train others. I know that for me there is a huge link between the two and thinking about how to make an event engaging and interesting is fairly similar whether it’s training for work or an event for LRP. Both work closely with how people think.
We aim to run engaging events. I go to events for a whole host of reasons. I go to Empire events because I enjoy crewing them; it’s rewarding to be part of a team making something great. I go to slender events because I enjoy the game. In the past I’ve been to events to have some fun and see my friends. I enjoyed the LRP too but it wasn’t the primary reason for my attendance. With the events I run I want people to be there because they’re interested in being part of the story, or because they want to try playing that character. We want people to engage with what we’ve written and it would feel a bit disappointing if they didn’t.
I have learnt a lot at events I have been to. One of the first things I was taught when I started CP was how to stay hidden. It’s been a useful skill in all sorts of situations. I’ve been taught observational skills, and strategy. More importantly I’ve been taught a lot about people. That was something I needed. I’ve gained the skills and confidence to cook for 60 people and the importance of confidence. They’re all lessons I’ve picked up pretty much without realising it. There’ve been a few ‘aha!’ moments when something has suddenly made sense. LRP has a way of reducing the world to it component form and beating you around the head with the obvious bits. However, a lot of things have crept into my mind without me realising they weren’t there before.
One of the major things LRP has given me is art. I have always written. I write very good poetry. (Although I haven’t written much recently. Someone give me a topic, I need a poetry challenge.) I used to write a lot of short stories, but wasn’t ever really brave enough to share them with people. I write this because I want to write and I think I have something interesting and relevant to say. I always wanted to be artistic. I think I thought it was cool. I drew almost avidly at university.
Now, if I draw in public people comment on it. If I see one of my castles when I’m not expecting to they look good. People ask me how to draw like I do and I tell them I just drew. I sculpt. I’m good at it. I lose the distraction and can sit and focus one thing for hours. I create things I’m proud of. I write LRP games. I write games that people rave about, have ideas that can be turned into wonderful moments that people talk about for years afterwards, and I’m part of something that’s hugely bigger than I am. LRP has helped me to learn to be who I want to be, and I keep on learning.
When you learn to train you learn to create scenarios. You learn to make people think as if they’re in that situation. Training is often about giving people the chance to practise applying skills. You give them the chance to try things in the most natural way and when the time comes and they have to put it into practise it isn’t the first time and they’ve already done this. Training gives people the chance to make mistakes in a safe environment and puts them in a position where they don’t have to be afraid of getting things wrong. They can learn through the consequences of their own actions. The same is true for LRP. The skills required to write good events are the same as the skills required to write good training courses. It was still a bit of a surprise when I found myself sat on a training course being asked to design LRP scenarios.