It seems we are finally reviving the larp chronicle we have been writing for several years now. We already agreed that the next part will be the last; maybe this has been a factor in our involuntariness to complete it. Mostly I think that it was due to growing bored of the subject and the increasing difficulty of coming up with new themes to deal with. When we started writing the first part of the now (or soon) 6-parted chronicle it was pure enthusiasm that kept us going for the first few ones. It is surprising that the same themes and plots kept us going for so long.
Not much has changed, except possibly our (or at least my) view of how, when and why to write larps. I’m not very excited about writing the last of the larps, but I do think that a chronicle deserves an ending. I hope it will be a successful one, for we will try out themes not previously touched upon in the games. I think most of our success has been based upon very simple things: the theme of violence, rituals for structure and mostly, just fervent focus on getting excited (with dancing, fighting, shouting). Adrenaline, to put it simply.
I don’t think we could have succeeded without such marvellous players. Especially during the first few games, we weren’t very adept at explaining the conventions according to which we were going to play. With violence as a very central theme and next to none rules on how to handle it, it’s completely amazing how well the players themselves handled things, given the chance. Either we are very lucky, or the majority of larpers are quite capable of taking responsibility. On the other hand, it is not that surprising given the fact that larp is at it’s core a form of social activity, and so most of the more experienced larpers should be quite skilled at reading and reacting to the social context.
After the last game we played I thought that we should make use of a safe-word, like ones they use in SM-circles. We do have one for stopping the game if someone is feeling threatened or uncomfortable, but it is a rather crude device to be used in game, because using it means basically “Stop!”, and that is not what I had in mind. Instead of simply stopping the game, we could have one that said something like “I’m not very comfortable, give me more space (physically, emotionally)”. It would enable the game to flow more easily without stops and the threshold for using it would be lower. I thought of this because in the last game we played, I almost used the word for stopping the game because I felt that the situation wasn’t very safe. I know this goes against the “hardcore” attitude we (the players, and we the writers) have of the game, but it is partially this attitude that makes me think that we have a need for an implement like this.
On the other hand, the theme of the last game isn’t as closely connected to violence as it has been in the others. But it may be that the players will see the last game as a last chance to run amok, and thus we will see much more violence than anticipated.