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You’re always going to have a character with enough established relationships to last four or more rounds of speed dating, while more introverted (or antisocial) characters may be done after two or even one round – so you’re going to have to keep these archetypes in mind when determining the number of rounds to play through.
Player allocation – which player gets to sit at which table – is another complicated issue.
It’s worth noting that this technique is harder to “drop in” to your larp than a lot of other workshops: the preparation is very dependent on your characters and their relationships, so you can’t just throw it in to your general toolbox of larp warm-up techniques.I’ve seen some larps address this by giving the character some “blank spaces” to fill in: what’s your homeland like, how did you get this job?But these questions seem to be either inward-focused (in which case, no one else in the larp cares, and the questions are at least somewhat academic) or outward-focused (in which case, as a character I feel I can’t rock the boat too much or I’ll start impinging on others’ agency).In my game , I tried to address both these issues by using a kind of pre-game group discussion workshop that I’ve come to call “speed dating”.
I’m aware that this name has been used for a number of similar workshops in other larps (and probably for just this technique), but I still think it’s worth getting down on screen.
I’ve had some success with this sort of technique in larps before (namely, in sharing secrets with affected parties before play), and it seems that this sort of workshop would be an ideal way to broach these secrets – and figure out how we should deal with them – before play starts.