• Larp technique – Post-it notes in the bathroom

    by  • August 12, 2013 • Design & Art • Comments Off on Larp technique – Post-it notes in the bathroom

    LarpLovesPost-itsThis is a  fun and useful technique that can used for most kinds of larps. It is easy to implement and players tend to love it. It is also super simple.

    You need a pen, and a pile of post-it notes (or a notebook, if it isn’t optimal to stick up post it notes at your location). You also need a bathroom.

    Place the pen and the post-it notes in the bathroom. Players write stuff in the post it notes, and then slap them to the bathroom wall. Tell the players to use the notes to improve the game in fun ways.

    For example:

    • The players can write rumors about their own character that they want to have other characters to have heard about.
    • The players can write down rumors they heard that they want to spread.
    • The players can also write note from more of a out of character perspective to get the gaming moving, like  “My character [name] is hiding something” or “Check the treasure chest. It might be lighter than it was half an hour ago. /The sneaky thief ” or “My game is a bit slow, please help?/Name”

    Then allow the players to act on what they’ve read. Rumors you read at the toilet are rumors you heard somewhere, and so on. If some character gets the idea to check the treasure chest after a visit to the toilet, there nothing odd about that, right? Or if someone seeks to involve the player that is having a bit of slow game with a cool scene or plot that’s just a good thing.

    As an extra bonus, you as an organizer can also use the notes both to get information from the players and to get new information into the larp.  Organizers visit the bathroom too, right? Nothing suspicious about that. Reading the notes gives you clues about what the players are doing, what is going on in their heads, and what aspect of the game there is focus on. By posting new notes you can stir up conflicts, add new rumors, or to give the players clues and hints.

    Players tend to love this technique, and it usually doesn’t need to be moderated. Players tend to ignore bad notes, and play on the good ones. If someone writes an asshole note, people tend to ignore it… or the asshole note might mysteriously fall into the trash can.

    The technique can however have one unintended side effect. People’s bathroom breaks will naturally become longer if there is bunch of interesting notes to read, and possibly notes to write every time they go in. If you have a long line to the bathroom, this might not be optimal for your larp.

    Feel free to steal, borrow or hack this technique. Make it yours. Go crazy.

    (If I could, I would credit the creators of this technique. Sadly I can’t. I just know it has been used in many Norwegian and Swedish fantasy larps for at least several years. If anyone know the origin for this technique, please send me a note or comment below.)

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    Elin Dalstål is a game designer, larp and convention organizer living in Luleå, Sweden.

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