Larpskill: Endowment

The ability to bring the traits of other characters actively into play. Knowing how to adjust your own status so that others feel their own more clearly, reacting to what they are playing rather than who they are.

One of the things that we as larpers could benefit a lot more from is the concept of endowment. It hingest on the fact that personal characteristics are much stronger if given by others, than if demanded by one self. It is in fact something we do the moment we start larping, when we accept that Peter is not a guy in silly green paint, but a ferocious ork and play on it.

But sometimes there are things we need to actively push forward for others. It’s a three-fold benefit: You improve play for the person you endow with traits, you show others how to act around the person and for your own sake, it’s a matter of fake it till you make it.

It’s also a matter of letting larp be a place where we can be anything we can imagine. Larp is a collective endeavour, so help your coplayers be what they try to be, even if they struggle. And they will do the same for you.

It doesn’t take many players to create a trait for someone, just the closest couple of players to start with and hopefully it spreads to the entire larp. If you are in a core group, talk about it before the game, how you wish to be treated and which traits need help from outside. Once the group is showing your trait, it’s a cue for others to do the same. If those closest to you are scared, then others will pick up on it and play along, without you having to scare them all the time.

A lot of different traits can be endowed this way, pretty much anything others will react to. Ways of being, history, authority over different spheres, etc. It’s only a matter of adjusting your own play to include it.

It can also be a lot of fun to do it without telling the other player(s). Giving someone a trait they didn’t expect can create an interesting relationship in an easy way. If I decide to be in love with you, I can play like you’re the most beautiful person in the world. Or if you want to belittle my professor, you can play as if everything I say is a joke.

Endowment is a fun and valuable part of roleplaying, it gives everyone a better experience and it’s one more way for you to influence how the game is going to be.

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