[Edited:- a problem which meant only the first page of the pdf was in the download has now been fixed]
Astral Conclave is a game about the psychics of modern Earth who have inherited the psychic baggage of thousands of years of olden-day psychics who believed they were wizards. These psychics meet up in the "Astral Web" which represents the totality of subconscious links between psychic minds on Earth. They deal with problems in the Astral Web by invoking Hexes and Rites which they cast by uttering arcane words inherited from their "wizardly" predecessors (though nowadays they understand that what they are doing is not really magic, but psychic - the words are merely a focus for that because the ancient traditions still reverberate through the Astral Web). The magi are incorporeal in the Astral Web so they cannot touch each other there.
I have set the price low (and the download is free) partly because this is only a 33-page booklet (with some blank space and no art) and partly because this game has never been playtested.
My primary aim with this LARP is to make an immersive game where everything happens in continuous time-in but without boffer weapons and in a totally non-contact environment, so as to make it as accessible as possible to as wide an audience as possible, including people who may find boffer combat intimidating or groups whose available venues are not suitable for boffer fighting. Secondary aims include giving the game tactical depth and atmosphere while avoiding barriers to accessibility such as a complex world background or a rigorous requirement for costume, and ensuring that the non-contact rules system makes sense from the point of view of believability in the context of the setting.
My question is:- how easy will people find this to play?
Obviously the Hexes and Rites depend on using and to some extent knowing/recognising the verbals for them. As it is a non-contact game, spellbooks can be conveniently deployed to take the pain out of learning verbals, but those players who do learn verbals off by heart will enjoy an advantage of speed. You need to learn how to react to the eight Hexes used in this intro guide (there will be one more in the advanced rules), which can all be cast at different levels of power. So, there is some complexity there. I feel that the game is less complex than the LARPs I frequently play, but for totally new players the rules and verbals that you need to be aware of to start the game might be on the heavy side, so I am looking for feedback on that and pinning hopes on spellbooks as a tool for ease of play.
You will notice that some of the Rites require lengthy and repeated verbals. This is because all the Rites described in this book are for people with only basic proficiency. One of the features of advanced proficiency with some Rites is that the verbals may become very much shorter and thus quicker to say. That, however, will have to await the publication of the advanced rules, hopefully after substantial playtesting.
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