Over in Techniques! Do we have a list of them?
, Elin said:
While theese are larp oriented, they still do have a place here.*
*(Because no one has been in my opinion been able to come up with a better way to draw a line between larp an tabletop then the bcharming "If you standing, than it is a larp")
I didn't want to fork that thread, so I started this one.
To me, the distinctions between tabletop RPG and LARP are unifying scene focus, time continuity, and interaction with NPCs. Jeepform is a hybrid of tabletop RPG and LARP, plus some additional techniques.Unifying scene focus
In an RPG, everyone is (theoretically) listening to the play that is happening at all times, even if it doesn't pertain to their character. In a LARP, people are moving around and interacting with one another, and it's often impossible to know what is happening to other people. Time continuity
There's also the expectation of acting things out in first-person with minimized metagame discussion and no pauses, in a LARP. In tabletop RPGs, things have their own sense of time. Game time moves in fits and starts. There are pauses while people look up rules. Interaction with NPCs
LARP -- at least the games I've played, seen, run, and read about -- doesn't have a lot of back-and-forth between player and GM. The GM might set a scene in motion, but then she gets out of the way and lets the players go for much longer than they'd play in a tabletop RPG. LARPs enable players with tools so that they don't need to wait for a GM for answers. As a result, LARPs tend toward a universe of PCs and very few NPCs. LARP players interact mostly with one another and don't interact much with NPCs (or "monsters"). Tabletop RPG players interact some with each other, sure, the focus of play is on interacting with the environment (including NPCs and "monsters").Jeepform, a hybrid
When you look at jeepform (and my experience with it is limited to 3-5 sessions, so I don't claim to be an expert), you see a hybrid of tabletop and LARP techniques. You have more GM activity compared to LARP, but the GM isn't playing NPCs. The group is probably focused on one scene at a time as in a tabletop RPG, but that group might move around freely as in a LARP. Time is probably fluid and continuous with minimal contact with rules, but it doesn't have to be this way. Jeepform is more likely than LARP to employ flashbacks and other "cinematic" scene techniques.
Let me make it clear that I don't think that these are hard lines between categories. There are probably plenty of instances of games about which we could debate LARP vs. Tabletop RPG all day. Any time you try to categorize things, you have to realize that not everything fits neatly into the lines. I do think that the definitions I've supplied cover almost all of the games that I have personally experienced. YMMV, of course.
Of course, as these communities cross-pollinate, the boundaries will get increasingly fuzzy and games will get better, as a result.