Larps I’ve Been Discovering

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Last night I spent yet another couple of hours trawling through larp documentation.  I feel like such a larp nerd, but I can’t help it!  I get all excited when I read about these and just want to play …

Limbo as staged in a vintage tram

Limbo … I’m excited to be playing this on Sunday with Adam James, who’s doing a great job of promoting larp in London.  The idea is that all the characters are hovering between life and death, in a kind of existential ‘waiting room’.  Some of them will die, I suppose, and some return to life.  Reminds me of Spirited Away.  This is just my idea of what fantasy ought to be about. 

Caged Flesh … a Jeep Form game by Tobias Wrigstad.  I can’t find the link to this but I was tremendously excited to read it.  Jeep Form is where you go off-road and create the game on the fly, so far as I can understand.  Caged Flesh is very like a ritual, with the GM becoming ‘The Priest’.  Each of the four characters opens up their deepest, most shameful secrets and goes through a rite of healing.  The rite is then repeated, out of character, and the players leave.  “With Caged Flesh, you and I will try to initiate an ‘exodus from the magic circle’ by making a game that starts and does not end.”  Very ambitious. I should also say that the larpscript is itself a work of art.

Club Felis … a ‘chamber game’ (I’m not sure about what exactly this signifies right now).  This is a night club, for cats.  Set in a slightly alternative universe, ruled by “cat non-logic”, the cats get together every week to dance, play, perform and compete for ‘Cat of the Year’ (which is awarded weekly).  This sounds terrific.  Opportunities for movement improvization, character performance and dance.

New Voices in Art … a dozen artist characters, a dozen random works of art, and a dozen random artist thoughts, such as “I think this could be my best work, but is it art?”.  Set in a gallery, I think this would be great fun, and also quite easy to set up.  It’s about 7 years old and I read somewhere that it’s one of the first to employ a meta-technique (not sure I can define that at the moment).  Anyway, the meta technique is called ‘ping the glass’.  Anyone can, at any time, ping the glass of another character, who then gives a monologue revealing the character’s innermost thoughts.  The players can hear it, but the characters can’t!  They then take a sip, and the action carries on as before.

Screwing the Crew … this is also on the Larps from the Factory site, but the meta-techniques are better explained on Chamber Games. Several couples and other ‘Jokers’ come to a dinner party.  All characters are bisexual and most of them are into open relationships.  This larp uses various meta techniques including: ‘Ping the Glass’ (see above): ‘Blow out the Candle’ (when this happens, the player that blows it out can request that a ‘flashback’ scene be played; all those not involved watch.  Again, characters don’t see it, but players do); and ‘Liquor on the Table’ – when the bottle is put on the table, the conflicts and issues that have arisen during play become intensified and come to a head.  So the bottle is the signal for the last act.

 

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