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Virtual RPGs

Laser-powered medival role-playing
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We've had variations of Lazer Tag since the late 80s, and in some places, it's caught on rather well. But what about breaking away from the futuristic shooting genre, and enter the classic worlds of Tolkien, Dungeons & Dragons, etc.?

Instead of laser pistols, the players will carry sword handles which emit a range controlled beam similar to the way the pistols work. The sword handles will have sensors within them to tell if two of these laser swords connected with each other, and result in force feedback if so.

the use of laser emitters in the playing arena to create three-dimensional (or even two-dimensional, I suppose) "monsters" to fight, might be possible as well.

ayukawa, Jun 11 2001

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       How do you tell how long the sword is?   

       (Personally, I'd imagine the imbalance of the laser "sword" would be much more unrealistic than the corresponding lack of recoil in the gun.)
bookworm, Jun 11 2001
  

       As a former participant in Live Role-Playing (LRP) I have done this without the technology - using foam weapons, simple rules (you have to carry them in your head) and human participants as players, monsters and referees.   

       This idea would be assisted by the reasoning that people in the UK already buy expensive latex weapons and costumes for this kind of thing, so buying technological equivalents is not too big a leap of the imagination. However UK LRP is now tending towards very large events, such as more than two thousand people at the Gathering, and the cost for everyone to upgrade would be too expensive. In places were adventure based LRP still exists the economies of people repeatedly using the same equipment might work. A problem might be the diversity of weapons that LRP players expect, such as axes, swords, staves, maces, bows and polearms.
Aristotle, Jun 11 2001
  

       Baked in fiction. The "Dream Park" series of novels by Larry Niven and Steven Barnes (and spinoff RPG from R. Talsorian) posit a world where advanced technology makes VR LARPing a popular recreation and spectator sport. Couldn't find a good link, though.
Uncle Nutsy, Jun 11 2001
  

       Peter: I once found a group that used metal swords for their LRP sessions (in Stevenage, of all places) although they were wise enough to require people wear metal armour *and* train in a recognised theatrical fighting style.   

       Using a laser-tag system you would need a variety of costumes (fantasy is generally about specialists) each with a fair distribution of targets in addition to the weapons. This could extend the life of laser-tag sites.
Aristotle, Jun 12 2001
  

       another big problem is imitating realistic deflections. I'd imagine two laser swords would simply pass through each other.
nick_n_uit, Jun 12 2001
  

       The SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) has been doing this with "real" (soft) weapons for a long time. Matches are judged and hits result in gradual disabling of opponents. I haven't been exposed to their exploits since the late eighties, but it is so not a stretch to add contact sensing technology that I would not believe you if you told me that you knew it wasn't baked. As has been stated, better than lasers.
globaltourniquet, Jun 12 2001
  

       I think you'd do better to simulate a light saber -- "future fantasy" -- rather than trying to simulate classic fantasy. I don't think a laser sword would ever resemble the real thing, but there's no reason Lazer Tag has to limit itself to those clumsy blasters and avoid the more civilized light sabers.
egnor, Jun 13 2001
  

       globaltourniquet: The SCA is America's first LRP group while Treasure Trap was the UK's first LRP venture although I have to admit that I don't know the chronology of the origins of both groups. Essentially there is a lot of it about - the French have their Jeux de Role de Grand Nature, for example.
Aristotle, Jun 13 2001
  

       The problem with lasers for blades is how to make them stop. A laser beam (a) isn't too visible without dust / smoke / fog and (b) goes on forever (given enough time and a lack of objects in the way). A real sword blade needs to end about a metre from the hilt (depending of sword type).
sirrobin, Jun 13 2001
  
      
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