Latest Publications

Notes on Ritual Improv

The following notes should be useful for people who have attended the Ritual Improv course and want to teach the same techniques to others. It won’t make much sense for those who haven’t.

Ritual improv at Knutpunkt 2010. Photo: Li Xin Ritual improv at Knutpunkt 2010. Photo: Li Xin


Let’s make mistakes together (a pre-larp pep talk)

This is larp. It’s improvised. I’ll make mistakes. You’ll make mistakes. You’ll forget parts of the back story. You’ll speak in a voice that’s not appropriate for your character. You’ll mispronounce words that your character knows perfectly. You’ll break a cultural taboo inadvertently. You’ll forget the name of your childhood friend.

And that’s OK. (more…)

The Frame and the Canvas

Every larp design, and the activity of designing larps itself, can be divided into two inseperable halves: (1) the system or procedure, which I’ll call “frame”, and (2) the components or unique elements inside the system, which I’ll call “canvas”.


Does Larp Design Matter? (Nordic Larp Talks 2014, video + transcript)

(video courtesy of Nordic Larp Talks)

Full text and images: (more…)

Elements of Larp Design (video + slides)

What is it larp designers actually design? Watch me try to answer this, and other hot-button questions of immediate practical concern in this 45-minute talk I did at Knutpunkt 2014.

Landing after an intense larp

So you’ve had an intense larp experience, you’re feeling a bundle of emotion (positive, negative or both). What do you do to land? I asked this question on facebook, and received some 40 brilliant, and diverse, responses. Here they are:

Dealing with the Aristotelian Curse

Or: why can it be so difficult to achieve a satisfying conclusion to a larp, and what can we do to change that?


“A plague! A plague on all your larpses!”

Aristotle (Greek philosopher) was the first to describe the structure underlying most dramatic storytelling. It goes like this: (more…)

Compound and holistic

At this years larpwriter summer school, I had the chance to playtest an insanely cool larp with the working title The Bank Robbery. As a preparation for the larp, players stand around a table, using a schematic – the floorplan of a bank – to plan the great heist our characters will attempt.

The actual roleplaying begins with characters returning to their hideout after the heist has failed. The schematic is still there, on the table, helping us to remember the back story, and improvise coherently. But now it is also scenography : turning whatever room we are in into the secret meeting-place of gangsters.


Players prepare for In Fair Verona by participating in an intensive tango course. (more…)

Debriefing Intense Larps 101

Debriefing is a structured conversation amongst players about their larp experience, usually held immediately after a larp.

Debriefs have rules. They often have a facilitator. They have a different purpose than the usual post-larp venting, sharing, bragging, joking and celebrating.

Debriefs are used for many different purposes, and there are several different styles. Edu-larp designers, for example, often use long debriefs to facilitate a learning process, bridging the personal experience with the subject matter. My home community in Oslo used “debrief” to mean a speach where the organisers tell players what REALLY happened. I’m not writing about that kind of debrief.

Dogma 99 – preface to the Italian edition

I’d like to use this opportunity to dispel a common misunderstanding, and reveal a well-kept secret, both regarding a certain manifesto published in Oslo on the 3rd of December, 1999.
Dogma 99
The misunderstanding first: that the Dogma 99 Vow Of Chastity should be a statement about how all larps – and especially those designed by the signatories – should be made, everywhere, in perpetuity.

It was not. How could it be? (more…)