Mind's Eye Theatre
Mind's Eye Theatre (MET) is a series of theatre-style larp rules for White Wolf Games Studio's "World of Darkness" setting. As one of the first and most popular sets of commercially available larp rules, it has been highly influential on theatre-style larp mechanics. Some games, such as Ubi Sunt, simply use the mechanics wholesale.
Originally published by White Wolf, new material for these games is published by By Night Studios.
First and second editions
The first MET publication was The Masquerade (1994), containing larp rules for Vampire: the Masquerade. This was followed with The Masquerade Players Kit, and The Props Book, which included set-dressing and costuming advice.
The rules were heavily based on the tabletop roleplaying game, with characters being easily convertible. Contests were resolved by characters bidding social, mental or physical traits against one another and playing paper-scissors-rock, with abilities and disciplines (magical powers) providing retests or in some cases automatic success. Damage was handled with health levels, which imposed increasingly severe penalties on injured characters. The game included an influence system, allowing for downtime actions.
The second edition (MET2) had few changes from the first, but was expanded to cover all the major game lines of the World of Darkness, through a series of "Laws of..." books:
- Laws of the Night (Vampire: the Masquerade)
- Laws of the Wild (Werewolf: the Apocalypse)
- Laws of Ascension (Mage: the Ascension)
- The Shining Host (Changeling: The Dreaming)
- The Oblivion (Wraith: the Oblivion)
Various other supplements were also released, and a short-lived Mind's Eye Theatre Journal provided additional material.
The release of the 3rd edition World of Darkness games led to a new edition of Mind's Eye Theatre, with substantially different rules. Instead of paper-scissors-rock, the game moved to a card draw as its core mechanic, with each player carrying a deck of ten cards (Ace to 10) and adding a skill modifier for resolution. The new edition was published as a series of "revised edition" "laws of the..." books e.g. Laws of the Night: Revised Edition.
The switch from "old" World of Darkness to the "new" World of Darkness" with Vampire the Requiem and its successor games led to another revision from 2005. The same mechanics were retained, but material was updated to reflect the new setting. The core rules are published as Mind's Eye Theatre (2005 book), with a separate supplement for each setting:
- Mind's Eye Theatre: The Requiem (Vampire: the Requiem)
- Mind's Eye Theatre: The Forsaken (Werewolf: the Forsaken)
- Mind's Eye Theatre: The Awakening (Mage: the Awakening)