Character summaries for freeform larps

Looking back at Continuum, none of the character sheets for the freeforms I played in (Veterans Day, Party Like It’s 1993 and Ghosts… it’s not Ibsen) had what I consider to be a good introduction.

A good introduction “settles the reader” by quickly explaining who the character is, why they are present, and what they want. This sets the context for everything that follows, and I find eases my comprehension.

I now try to do this in my freeforms (although I’m not always successful).

So I thought I’d try it for each of my Continuum characters. (Don’t worry, I’ve excluded any potential spoilers.)

Veterans Day

You are Rev Giovanni Holt, a Christian minister. During the war against the aliens, you were a UNVED superhero (codename ‘Jammer’). After the war, you joined a vigilante group and fought crime. After the group broke up, you became a minister and served God. You are here because you (and other superheroes) are being presented with a medal by Vice President Elaine House. You are looking forward to catching up with your old colleagues, some of whom you haven’t seen in over two decades and maybe even solving some of the mysteries that have puzzled you in the past.

Party Like It’s 1993

You are Erich Hannawald, a West Berlin lad who rebelled against your middle-class parents and now lives a life of crime, alcohol and drugs. The Bunker is one of your favourite nightclubs, and you are here to have a beer and game of darts – and maybe score some drugs and conduct some business.

(To be fair, Erich’s character sheet had a one-line summary, although it was too short for my liking.)

Ghosts… it’s not Ibsen

You are Phillip Granger, and you are on the run from the police after having kidnapped your mother, Hillary, from her negligent care home. You’re here at Oatley Hall to see your sister, Petra, and discuss how you can best care for your mother.

These introductions then set the scene for everything else and mean that the reader has a sense of their character from the moment they start reading.

Writing Freeform Larps

A character summary doesn’t even need to be something extra that needs to be written. In my book, Writing Freeform Larps, I write them in Step #4 (Outline characters). The summary helps me define each character’s core concept early in the writing process.

Learn more about Writing Freeform Larps here.

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