2023 Copenhagen Talks

Designing the Apocalypse – Avoiding that Big Plot crushes the character’s journey – Janusz Maxe

Most large starts with an interesting setting. A vampire court, spaceship at the edge of the galaxy, a village in a time and place that is very different from ours. But then we go “What should happen during this larp?” and thus add the plot. That in itself is all fine, but when the plot becomes THE BIG PLOT there’s a danger it will crush the setting like a sledgehammer to an eggshell. This talk focuses on this. The warning signs that this might happen, the problems with that, and how to mitigate those problems, both as a designer and a player.

Janusz Maxe is from Gothenburg, Sweden. He has been role-playing since the mid 80ies, but did only get into larping 30 years later. What made him take the step was the larp The Monitor Celestra, since that was run in his hometown AND provided costumes. It turned out well since he promptly attended two of the runs, and a decade later he is still here as part of our community. He’s of the designers behind the larp The Devil You Know; and one of the creators of the character-memorising tool Ensemble.