Why Accelerant?

(EDIT 1-28-2015: To learn more about other Accelerant games, check out The Accelerant Games Portal)

I'm pretty sure this question is going to come up a lot now that the Alpha Review rules have started to be published, so I'm going to address it now.

The question is a simple one: Why choose the Accelerant rules for Brittanis LARP? The answer is a bit more complex. I'm going to break it down.

1) No need to Reinvent the Wheel.

There are a bunch of fantasy LARP rules out there. In the last blog post, I mentioned a couple, but there are literally hundreds more, especially when you start to look at the Euro-LARPs and the proliferation over there. They're everywhere if you know where to look for them. So once I got over my own ego on the matter (see previous post), I realized that there are a lot of REALLY good ideas out there, and several of those rule-sets are really great. Many LARP rulesets are subtle variations on the same thing, but when I ran across the Accelerant system, I found one that was exactly the opposite. It's a simple design at its core, and also infinitely customizable-- there are fantasy games using Accelerant (Madrigal), post apocalyptic games (Endgame), whizbang metaphysical games (7 Virtues, The Isles), genre mashup games (Mirror, Mirror), Cowboythulhu/Steampunk games (The Calling)... the list goes on and on. And every single one of these games uses the Accelerant Core as it's basis. Each game has its own skills, races, etc... but Stun is still Stun, a packet attack still works the same way, and you're always going to have Vitality points, among many other things. If you know the Accelerant Core rules, you know the basics of how to play in any of those games. To me, that speaks of a robust, versatile system that players obviously can wrap their brains around easily and play

2) As simple or complicated as the player wants it to be.

I know looking at the lists of Skills and Classes available can seem kind of daunting at first, but to the new player, I urge you to take the rulebook in pieces-- focus on the Source you're interested in playing and isolate that. There are effectively three "depths" of player experience for Brittanis: and I like to use the analogy of a swimming pool. There's "ankle-deep," where you play the simplest kind of character; next highest in complexity is "up to your knees" where you are more familiar with the system and choose to embrace more options to play around with. Deeper still is "off the deep end" when the player chooses to utilize all the options and nooks and crannies in the rule set.

  • An "Ankle Deep" character would be formed of the three simplest building blocks of character creation: Race, Background, and Source. Race informs a lot of roleplaying info about your character, Background fills in the character's history and culture, and Source tells us what kind of character you want to play. You can spend your Character Points on nothing but Source skills and still have a viable, fun, character-- it just won't be a complex character as far as the rules are concerned. This is the recommended level of complexity for players new to Live-Action. If you so choose, once you've got a firm grip on how the rules work you can increase your character's complexity without having to modify them in any way-- you simply branch out and start purchasing more skills in more varied areas.
  • "Up To Your Knees" characters take that initial, simple character and kick it up a notch. Maybe you want to add in some Crafting and Gathering skills, so you can be an active part of the in-game economy. Perhaps a Signature Magical Item strikes your fancy, and you like the roleplaying (and plot hooks) that come along with such an item. Or maybe you've got a more specialized idea of your character's skills, and you want to branch out into one of the Classes available for your Source-- this is where you can earn the name Warrior, Ranger, Wizard, Warlock, Druid, Priest, or many many others. This is the recommended level of complexity for experienced LARPers.
  • "Off the Deep End" is as complex as you want it to be-- take the plunge and see how crazy things can get! Work to gain the attention of a Faction and unlock the skills available only to those high in the Faction's esteem-- and likewise unlock the plots, adventures and storylines associated with being part of a large, powerful group. Become a Master Crafter and have a line outside your shop for the amazing things you craft in-game. Become a Multi-Class character, or even Multi-Source-- combine the powers of the greatest forces int he universe for a totally unique experience. The sky really is the limit.

All three of these categories produce fun, viable characters-- and you have the option of specialization or generalization, too. As characters gain longevity, they can decide to become very, VERY good at a few things, by buying improved versions of the same skills, or they can choose to have a very broad skill set and be prepared for most any eventuality by buying the base level of many skills. You can even choose to be somewhere in between-- "max out" a few select skills and spread the rest of your points around some. When it comes to character creation and character originality, there is no reason for to characters to be exactly alike. The rules support nearly infinite variety.

3) A Rule-set Focused on Immersion.

To me, this is the biggest selling point for Accelerant. It is a ruleset focused on getting out of the way and letting players have fun without overly complicating the way things work. My friend Dan, at his blog, says it best: calling a Hold should be the LAST RESORT of a game system in order to resolve anything. In an ideal world, the rules should allw the players do do their thing, stay in character, and resolve just about anything without having to ask a GM or Marshal about how the rules interact. The Accelerant system does this brilliantly. Because the system is based on a limited number of Deliveries, Effects, and Traits, a player starting out only has to learn a very basic number of words and associate them with a reaction.

Every time the Stun effect is called, it works the exact same way, regardless if it's a warrior simulating hitting someone in the head and ringing their bell, a wizard casting a sleep spell, or a rogue knocking someone unconscious from behind-- Stun works exactly the same in each of those situations. Because of that, even the newest player can learn "Stun means fall down for 5 minutes" and move on. Because of this, the game's plot and character immersion is never broken, because you don't have to stop, call Hold, ask a GM what something means, and then unlock the Hold every time there is a rules conflict. The rules themselves even have simple code-phrases for "Say that again, please?" or "I don't understand what just happened," that can keep the game going without breaking character or immersion.

In effect, the Accelerant system is designed to be as hands-off for the GMs as possible. Staff members will be there to "stage manage" and make sure the NPCs are where they're supposed to be and keep the plot moving along, but what they will NOT be doing is taking time away from running the game in order to adjudicate the rules. The rules are designed to not need GMs present as much as is humanly possible.

So those are my three big reasons for choosing the Accelerant system for Brittanis. Feel free to comment, ask questions, etc. I'm listening and want to hear what you have to say.

Jason

Director, Brittanis LARP