6 Scene Beat Sheet for extended LARP mods (Scene #4)
Scene 4 – Jack of All Trades
goal(s): increase the stakes (varies)
element(s): puzzle, role-play a/o physical challenge
This is a non-combat encounter. It is the most flexible portion of the beat sheet otherwise. It was designed as a slot to place one of three scenes from my 12-scene beat sheet. The only thing that has to happen here is the stakes are increased in some direction. Here’s the possibilities that you can plug in here.
Possibility #1 – Black Point
The black point scene is a massive horizontal or vertical increase of the stakes. As a result, it should look extremely bleak going into the final fight scene.
- The villain is a lich, and the PCs have little idea where or what the phylactery is.
- The villain has already begun the ritual that will bring fire down on the nearby city, and the PCs have only moments before it is complete.
- There are literally hundreds of guards on the villain’s stronghold.
- There is a dragon guarding the entrance of the villain’s stronghold.
As always you need to convey the situation to the players. That conveyance is the meat of your encounter. It should take screen time, and reveal the stakes.
example: The lich villain confronts the PCs several times as they investigate the warded gate to his tower. Each time the players cut/burn him down in something that doesn’t even count as a combat. However, a new body of the lich shows up to taunt them shortly after.
Possibility #2 – Showcase Non-Combat
This is the scene where you put in serious production effort, i.e. your showcase scene. This is strategically placed near the end of the course, so you have time to put it together before the PCs arrive. This might be your physical challenge, or ritual room with tons of props effort, or mental puzzle with multiple phys. reps.
You can be flexible on the stakes here, but they do need to increase in some fashion. Integrate the stakes into rest of the scene smoothly for bonus points.
Possibility #3 – Mirror Moment
The point of this scene is to spur character development. Like the other scenes, you still need to increase stakes. It’s probably likely you’ll increase the z-axis stakes in this case, since you are already performing some vehicle to spur character development.
The mirror moment is very easy to accomplish in a fantasy or sci-fi setting. Your vehicle can literally be a magic mirror, but it can be a psychic effect, and there are mundane possibilities as well. Here’s several examples:
- a magical ward/effect that forces somebody to reveal a dark secret out loud
- a dream/memory sequence, or a vision of the past/future
- perhaps some or all of the PCs act as NPCs for the sequence
- A demon door, and the demon(s) controlling the door require a bit of somebody’s soul to allow them to pass. The PC(s) have to reveal what memory they are willing to part with to the demon (and as a result, to everybody).
- An opening to the realms of the dead, and the spirit(s) of those wronged by the PC(s) confront them.