We want to tell a story of loss and regret, about people who are struggling to survive mentally and physically in a quiet and desolate land. The main theme in Marras is loss, still having big influence on the lives of our characters. For some this means longing for the world that was, for others it is an opportunity for a new beginning, some might feel guilty for surviving. Therefore also morality and moral dilemmas are an important part of our story.
Marras is not only about melancholy and the traumatic past but it is also about the everyday lives of our characters. We provide an opportunity to immerse in the setting for almost 48 hours, experiencing the challenges of everyday life, interpersonal drama, and the daily rituals of a post-apocalyptic community. Communality brings new hope, and an opportunity to continue life in a new world.
Style of the game
We aim towards 360 illusion, which means that we want to make the physical immersive experience as complete as possible.
Another thing that we aim for is openness. This means that all organiser-written game material will be open for the players, and the characters do not contain secret plots that the players aren’t aware of. The players can still develop secrets for their characters if they want. We want our players to develop their character relationships both before the game and during the game, for the latter we have an offgame room at the venue. There the players can discuss their characters and relationships, and decide how they want their stories to develop during the game.
We also want players to “play to lose”. This means that the player deliberately steers the character into the direction that creates as much drama as possible, and thus creates more play. We encourage players to bring out conflicts in the game and include as many other characters into their conflicts as possible.
We use two techniques in the game: Black Box and Ars Amandi. Both these techniques will be workshopped at the venue before the game.
Black Box is a room which allows the players to enrich their stories by playing scenes that fall outside the time and space of the main larp. In Marras we use Black Box actively, focusing especially in projecting characters’ experiences from the past by playing scenes with NPCs. We use black ribbon a symbol for inviting players into the Black Box. Players can also use Black Box to play out scenes of their own and invite other players to join them. More information about Black Box: http://nordiclarp.org/wiki/Black_Box
Ars Amandi is a method for simulating sexual intercourse or physically sensual activity in larps. It involves touching the other players hands, arms, and shoulders, combined with eye contact, breath and moans. We use Ars Amandi method in Marras to simulate sexual activity in the game. More information about Ars Amandi: http://www.ars-amandi.se/resources/the-ars-amandi-method/
Structure of the game
Marras is thematically divided into three acts. Each act has its own theme(s) that loosely define the overall story of the larp. The stories of individual characters do not necessarily have to follow these themes. The transition from one act into another is seamless, there will not be breaks between the acts.
The first act starts at the beginning of the game on Friday and lasts until Saturday morning. The theme of the first act is hope. Some of the characters will play the first act separated from the others, and the first act ends when they arrive as a group and meet the other characters. In the first act, the conflicts between characters still remain mostly hidden and the atmosphere is positive.
The theme of the second act is loss. As characters are trying to focus on their everyday chores, painful memories from the past come rushing back. The second act starts on Saturday morning and ends when the Saturday evening gathering begins.
The third act starts at the beginning of Saturday evening gathering and lasts until the end of the game. The themes are moral dilemmas and future choices. During the third act conflicts escalate and all characters have to make difficult choices about their future.