Lwss2014 – Day four: Friday

I wouldn’t call it routine, but now things happen as they had for the last three days, no more larp presentations but more fader talks and then testing them, then more talks. The first thing I want to talk about is the character creation workshop. It took over where the culture creation workshop stopped. It was something that I was interested in, because I have heard about all these big larps like Kapo, where the players create the characters through workshops. So it was cool to try, even in this light version, how you can use workshops to create characters. Again I hope this is online somewhere, because I didn’t take notes during the workshop and there was no slides and I can’t remember the details now, only that it was good and worked.

We used the elephant worshippers from the day before and even though it was a very silly culture, at least my group managed to actually create some cool and I think playable characters. For me it was also special, because I got the matriarch as a character (elephant worshippers are of cause matriarchal) and it was the first time I worked so intensely with a female character. And it was the first time I felt I could have played a female, so that was cool.

I remember a bit more now, it was well made where we shifted between working by ourselves walking around trying to find out how this character moves and working in the group giving each other feedback and making interesting relations. That was an interesting mix because you had someone to work with, but at the same time weren’t forced to work everything out in the group.

After lunch it was time for the last of the three different group things the larp Snaphane. It’s a educational larp about living in an authoritative system shown by setting it in a fictional version of our world where Sweden has turned into a dictatorship and the players are a group of people living in the same apartment block and they are told that some of the residents have hidden terrorist/freedom fighters (depending on how you look at them.) Now they have to figure out who did it or they are all sent to the dreaded camps.

But I opted out of this game, it’s not my style and I didn’t feel up for it. But that was a great thing about the summer school, they cared a lot about giving people the feeling that if it didn’t feel right you could always opt out and everyone respected that and you didn’t have to give reason. That was great. We have the same culture at Fastaval but again it implied and should properly be explicit like it is here. But for that reason I can’t tell more about this game so moving on.

After that we had more talks, remember I linked to them in the last post. Then it was time for more extracurricular activities. This evening it was the tango workshop, I also mentioned in the last post. After that a ritual workshop held by one of the designers from “Koi Koi”, a game that was run just before the summer school and uses rituals a lot.

I don’t know how much more I can say about the tango workshop. I can see how It can be used as a tool for role play and it is accessible for everybody, but you would really need to do a lot of workshopping to get to the point where you can start to use it your role play and not just spend all your concentration on not stepping on your partner.

The ritual workshop on the other hand I could talk about endlessly but I’ll try not to. See I was, before I went to Lwss2014, working on a game about a transition ritual from child to adulthood, I’m very fascinated by them, the fact that you are considered in a limbo, neither child nor adult and you might get lost and never enter adulthood, it’s a test. And that has interesting story implications. And then I heard about Koikoi and the way they use rituals, so when I heard that one of the organizers was doing a ritual workshop showing what they did, I was very happy.

I’m trying to remember what we did and how it worked, so much information! But this time its a bit more crucial, because none of this is online. Well then I’ll just have to pester the one who did the workshop. I told him about my idea and he said he liked it and to say so if i needed help, so he’s doomed.

I’ll probably write more about the game later on, this isn’t really the place for it. But one thing I will speculated about it: right now the problem is that it’s kind of two games in one and maybe I have to make two games (oh the horror!) or maybe the two ideas can fit together somehow, I don’t know yet.

On the one hand I want to make a game about the transition ritual in the style of a Nina game, so kind of Nina-style meets ritual workshop. On the other hand the original idea was to tell the story about a tribe in the modern society having to decide how they will deal with the surrounding world. I have this idea of the four positions: traditional vs. modern and community vs. individual. Right now I have a hard time combining these two ideas, but we’ll see.

Anyway much work to be done but the ritual workshop is a really interesting tool. Done well and you can have players making up new rituals on the spot.

After the workshops I thought I would have one beer and then go to bed. But on the way there someone told us that people were having a bonfire. And one never wanna miss a bonfire. So i joined that. It was nice just sitting around talking, being silly and serious in turns. All the evenings was much like that. Really an important part of the trip. So on one side you want to go to bed and save up energy, but also have fun and get every drop out if this amazing trip. I think the tip is stay up late, if things are happening, but don’t get to drunk, that’s what’s ruins you. And that was friday.

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