1. Atmosphere. This is a dramatic game, not a strategic one. The whole point of live action gaming is to make things seem very cool, in reality. so the major concerns of the game become
These are the foremost concerns fo the ST, and players are rewarded for their accomplishments in these realms, nothing else, no xp for accomplishing strategic goals, no xp for killing things, none. XP or other rewards are given for finding good locations, assisting with set building on the sites, costuming, and dramatically appropriate role playing.
2. Player Experience. The only value of the live action game is the experience the players have in participating in it. to that end
-the ST should never play a PC or NPC role. Any role that would require the ST to do so would be pivotal to the plot, therefore a great role to have a player in, so they could have the experience of doing something realy cool, and relevant, in the game.
-No NPCs at all. for the same reason as above, NPC roles are in the game to facilitate plotlines, and this is exactly what the players want to be doing, give these roles to plyers instead. find a way, its worth it.
-The plotline of the game should be written into the background stories of the PCs, the ST and PLayer should cooperate heavily on the creation of every character.
3. Ecology. Many games find themselves struggling with issues of power balance that make the game implausible, even within its own fantasy context. to avoid these issues create an initial ecology, limited resources and a well defined environment within which players can compete for those resources. Also, STs shoudl envision a world in which players will suffer consequences if they violate traditions, or other domains, or fail to act with sufficient subtlety.
The game reality has to have mechanisms for maintaining its inner consistency, these mechanisms are of course best when they are other players.
-No house rules to mitigate lethality, PCs should be able to kill and punish each other if they are to serve as plausible checks and balances and maintain a reasonable ecology.
-Its a lot more homework for an ST to conceptualize an entire local environment with all the elements a players would plausibly encounter, but the reward is well worth it.
-Character creation should be restricted to what the environment you have defined can reasonably justify.
4. Duration. A game should be structured with a beginning and an end, and a defined story arc that will last a finite amount of time, announced by the ST at the beginning of the game. If the game is very successful and all players wish to continue, then another game can start again, after a break, and run for another pre-determined period of time.
-This will foster a focus on players interacting with the plot, and cultivating the drama of the game, not slipping into a de-facto alternate lifestyle.
these are the major points that stand out when I reflect on the best, and worst, elements of my Live Action Gaming experiences.