Yesterday one of the Banapsis guys made a small notice on the Manticore forum (click here) about Banapsis being a new kind of larp for Belgium and this generated a discussion about the possibility of a larp without experience points (xp) and without skills.
One of them asked about an example on how it's possible so here comes a short example about how it was at Dragonbane.
At Dragonbane the choices we got were the following: choose your faction, create your background and play it.
Factions: Cinderhillians (villagers), Dragontamers (adventurers, they all had a large dagger (50cm)) and witches (they could do magic). Everybody could use a weapon, but only the tamers had one for themselves, the cinderhillians had a couple of weapons but not enough for everyone, the witches had no weapons.
The witches could do magic, but only one spell per day (the game lasted 6 days). They could do any spell they wanted as long as it was something that would be believable.
The cinderhillians had no special skill, but they had their village, witches and tamers lived in tents in the (HUGE) wood.
During the game there were NO fights (as in battle), only at the end of the game one player executed another for a matter of honor.
Mostly we just 'lived' our character: sleeping, getting up, bringing the fire back to life, cutting down a tree for wood, cooking food, fetching water, going to Cinderhill to trade our meat for food they had that we had not. At night we celebrated with story telling, singing, dancing, duelling. When we were at the Cinderhill village we helped them with their chores, told stories for the children etc.
At not one moment did I feel bored, I wasn't looking to become someone important, I just played my character. There was no worldsaving plot, the plot was just about 3 totally different factions trying to live together without killing each other (there was also the minor detail of the Dragon wanting to destroy Cinderhill).
When someone got wounded the medic (only people with OOC medic skills could play a medic), would bandage their wounds, make a potion (OOC tea) and that would heal them a bit but NEVER fully => getting in battle would make certain that any wounds would bother you for the rest of the event.
When duelling we considered any hit as a scratch unless the one inflicting the wound really tries to hurt you badly.