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I'm designing a character for a World of Darkness parlour LARP who's supposed to be highly perceptive and observant. (A tad beyond human capability, at character creation.)

What are your strategies for roleplaying a character who's hyper-aware of what people are doing around them, how people are reacting to them, and what's going on in the environment?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Do you use the MET (mind's eye theater) rules and if yes, which printing? \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Feb 12, 2023 at 0:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ They use their own house rules, but I believe it's partially based on MET rules. Currently, I'm afraid that's all I know-- I'm new to the group! :) \$\endgroup\$
    – E.V
    Feb 12, 2023 at 0:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm asking, because MET did cover some of that, so I suggest to inquire with the organizers. \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Feb 12, 2023 at 0:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ Totally! I was thinking in terms of a more roleplaying and character acting, than mechanical and gameplay, sense. :) \$\endgroup\$
    – E.V
    Feb 12, 2023 at 9:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ This feels like answers would cross over with "How do I role-play a character more intelligent than me?" \$\endgroup\$
    – Kyyshak
    Feb 13, 2023 at 7:12

2 Answers 2

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Mind's Eye Theatre

Ask the organization-team if you are using MET rules, and which set. If yes, highly observant characters have specific rules in what they can do with it, and you don't actually need to play it out, you have to express that you got the traits to others using the mechanics of the game. I got the Revised edition of MET at hand, but most things are similar between different MET sets, just page references might differ.

In MET, the system has a test mechanic and with better senses, you just excel at those mechanics where senses are tested.

Building help: a truly perceptive character!

If you really want to max out your traits for perception, you need to prioritize mental attributes, then focus on Perception traits. Among those you should take Attentive and Observant

Among the Ability Traits, you might want Awareness (using perception traits in challenges).p.87

Among the Disciplines, you might want to look at Auspex.p.137

And last but not least, there's a merit:

Acute Senses (1 Trait Merit)

You have particularly sharp senses (choose one). In all tests with that sense, you are two Traits up on challenge-resolution. Combined with the Auspex power of Heightened Senses, this Merit can gift you with superhuman acuity.[...] p.112

Word of advice

As a LARPer, it can be very hard to roleplay something you can't express. In a MET context, I have experienced that a player would drop the keywords of traits they had in a conversation, at times stressing the word, to indicate they have such traits, even if it felt a little forced.

"Dear friend, I am so observant and attentive that I ought to have noticed if someone tried to sneak around the corner."

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Make it Up.

Talk to the storytellers first to make sure it's kosher, and then just make up details about scenes.

'Mud on the carpet - he wasn't much of a boot-wiper.'

'You smell that? Ugh. Someone nearby hasn't taken their trash out recently.'

'Eagle up there.' Gestures upwards. 'Coming in and out of the clouds.'

Crouches down. 'Heavy smoker. Second-hand clothes. What am I looking for?'

Details that are unlikely to affect the story can be made up with storyteller permission. If you feel like you may have made up a detail that is too plot relevant, you can inform the storyteller and they can decide to either retcon it or weave it in to whatever they're doing.

Get A Cheat Sheet

Ask the storytellers to generate a short cheat sheet of things your eagle eyes might uncover in locations that will come up in the game. To avoid metagaming, these should be short and without context 'in the blue apartment, strange patterns of white grease on the ceiling', 'very faint dueling scars on the hands of the gunman', 'the ship's captain's fat isn't real, it's stage padding and makeup'. Specific enough to know the place or individual when it comes up in the game (if it comes up), but not specific enough to give away plot.

Ask players to pass you a note before the game if there is something about their character you could notice - provide a list of examples, like a change in demeanor, a change in dress, a recent wound, a new concealed weapon, a change in attitude towards another character, or other things that they feel you could uncover with your super senses, auspex, what have you.

This works best with experienced and generous roleplayers as both other players and storytellers, like most dramatic techniques, where things can be rolled back if need be without fuss but still allow for those cool 'I can see things' moments for the auspex-focused vampire player.

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    \$\begingroup\$ believe it or not: Vampire is notorious among larpers that it has a full rules system (MET) and if that applies... oh boy, you making stuff up gets you in a pickle. \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Feb 13, 2023 at 9:04

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