So, the question of PvP in Anticthon has been raised. I'm torn on the subject, and want to write a game that enough people will enjoy, so thought I might throw this open to the floor.
Points against PvP
- If your plot's good enough you shouldn't need it.
- It often creates OC resentment and feuding between players. - Counterpoint: It's just a game, grow up
- Said feuding can spoil the game for others, even if it's just IC - I've had games (mostly tabletop though) where the plot got ignored for the sake of two characters constantly playing stupid pranks on each other. This got very boring very quickly.
- It makes it hard to get the plot done when you can't trust the rest of the players
- The player party's supposed to be The Heroes- Counterpoint: There were heroes on both sides of the Trojan War too...
Points in Favour of PvP
- With PvM, often player success feels inevitable. There's no real challenge. And if it is a real challenge, players will bitch that it was unfair.
- Personally I'd rather be killed by someone actually trying to kill me rather than accidental monster-to-the-face.
- PvP =/= character death. There are many other fun ways to compete without actually losing a character, and that makes so much game.
My personal opinions are that death in LARP should be meaningful. People get invested in their characters, often spend a lot of time and money creating kit for them. Meaningless and random death is horrible and not something I want to encourage in any larps I run.
PvP grants the opportunity for the best and the worst kind of larp deaths.
On the positive side, I've always held that assassination is the highest form of flattery. I don't like the thought of dying to a random monster-in-the-face, but if there's no PvP, the only threat comes from the chance of dying to RMITF. I remember just how much plot was created by Nefertiri's assassination, and it was fantastic.
On the negative side, I also really hate the kind of cheap deaths that you saw so often at Maelstrom - muggings on the way to the loos, random murder in the dark, shiving people up for loot, etc. It pisses me off when death is that cheap.
I like the idea of FvF play - faction vs. faction, knives turned outwards. Much less bitchy.
My current plan is to:
a) Create non-lethal opportunities for PvP.
b) Create IC consequences for lethal PvP.
c) Make PvP available, but not actively encouraged.
d) Give the players enough plot to keep them occupied so they don't just go on a killing spree.
e) Make most things reversible - albeit with a lot of effort - thus creating game.
This is all subject to change, but I want to open up the discussion.