The following are philosophies that Underworld larp believe in strongly and which we try to incorporate into every aspect of running the LARP.
1 ) Underworld is a business, not a club. “PC” stands for “Paying Customer” not “Player Character”, and they are treated with the respect which that brings. Event prices are in exchange for services given, not simply a membership access fee without anything expected in return. The ownership of Underworld have final say in all decisions. There are no boards or committees made from the player base, thus all out of game drama is kept to a minimum.
2 ) Owners are not allowed to possess characters, let alone play them in their own game. We find this concept perplexing and slightly distasteful. This includes hybrid “PC-NPCs”, there is no such thing. We are here to entertain PCs, not to have the PCs entertain us. All of our focus should be directed toward that goal, all our time spent at events should be devoted to providing PCs with the product they have paid for. Along the same lines, plot members are not allowed to play their characters (if they have any) while they are a member of the plot team. Once they leave plot their characters are released. Any blankets they earn for being on plot are applied under the same 2 blanket/month rule that PCs must follow.
3 ) Although NPCs are volunteers we are paying them through the blankets they earn. We hold our NPCs in the highest respect, they are the bread and butter of larping and the higher quality of NPCs the better the game. We try to learn what roles a specific NPC enjoys playing the most and what they are best at and then try to accommodate that. NPCs should be experienced, should understand that they are there to entertain the players and should be trustworthy.
4 ) Plot is the product. Period. Having solid rules, a great site, a large number of players or good npcs is wonderful, but what PCs are paying for is plot. What separates the best larps from the average ones is the quality of storytelling. You can have a great larp with good plot and everything else average, but you cannot have a great larp with substandard plot.
5 ) Game balance is the key to long term success, in both the rules and in regards to the storytelling. We’d much rather have a plot member who understands balance then one who considers themselves creative. We’d much rather have balanced rules then allow everyone to play something over the top.
6 ) The game does not end on Sunday. We will do everything within reason to provide plot to PCs between events, for free. This keeps the player’s interest up and gives them a sense of continuity for their character. Many larps consider Friday to Sunday of events the only game time – we don’t. We’re happy to spend our time between events keeping the game world going.
7 ) We do not tolerate out of game discrimination of any type, based on race, gender or sexual preference. We also have no stomach for out of game “drama”. If you make fellow players uncomfortable for any reason, we reserve the right to remove you from the game, both figuratively and literally, without warning. Keep the drama in game or play elsewhere. If you cheat, we don’t want you. This isn’t a game that can be “won” and if staying alive means more to you than RP or playing by the rules, Underworld is not the larp for you. Focus your energy on the in game world.
8 ) PCs should be involved in rules creation. After all, it is their game, they should be allowed to give input and directly help to build the rules that they use. If the majority of players dislike a rule, there is no reason to be using it.
9 ) If the PCs can do it in game, it should be allowed (within reason). If they want to revolt and take over town, legalize necromancy or declare humans outlawed and burn them all at the stake, so be it. Although plot may put obstacles in their path, those obstacles should not be insurmountable. The ownership or plot team may steer the game world in the direction they feel is best for the PCs, but if the PCs wish to change course and it doesn’t “break the game” for them to do so, all the power to them.
10 ) Every PC has an equal chance to rise in power. Those that can afford to make large donations to the game should not able to surpass the character level of those who can’t. Thus, all experience is capped at 2 blankets per month, no matter how much of a pool you may have. Also, RP rewards are given out every event, allowing the best roleplayers the ability to keep up with any large donations.
11 ) Playing an “evil” character is a self-policing system. Do not expect the game world to conform to you or expect it to be “fair”, after all, you’re evil and it won’t be. However, if you can survive to the higher levels, you’ve earned it and the plot team respects that.
12 ) PCs can kill PCs. Some of the most intense experiences you can have at events involves PC vs PC interaction. The game world is a stressful, dramatic place, so long as you have good in-game reason, do what you feel you must to maintain your character’s RP.