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124. Road Trip larp, Part Seven: Characters and Challenges

/This is the seventh part of the series on the Road Trip larp project. If you want to start from the first post, it is #116.

Road Trip dealt with characters in an unusual way. Since we were going to spend so much time together talking, we didn’t feel that the normal Dziobak Larp Studios approach would work. And since Dystopia Rising runs with player-created characters, we chose not to just transfer that way of doing it 1:1.

What we did was to make a brand new way of creating characters. Every player had to make twelve short in-character videos, each answering an important question. The twelve “steps” were inspired by the modern version of Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey.

The first steps dealt with the characters past, the next with the characters fears for the trip and the final ones with dreams for the future. Based on this info and on a short questionnaire, we then wrote the characters for everyone. Each character consisted of a name, function, description, some keywords, three tarot cards and an inspirational quote.

This was the starting point. The rest was fleshed out by the participants. And since we follow a Ten Lessons format, here’s Ten Lessons Learned From Road Trip’s Characters.

  1. Players drew a lot on themselves. When you play intensely for seven days in confined spaced and with lots of time for talking, it requires depth. The easiest way to provide that is to draw on your own life in some way. It doesn’t have to be 1:1, but it was much more relevant than normally.

Note: Since the whole discussion of characters, non-players and ethics is supremely interesting, I’ve devoted a whole part of the series to that. That is Part Eleven, where I’ll dive into the moral aspects of the larp. So if you felt that wasn’t covered here, that’s with good reason. Part Eleven will be about the juicy stuff!

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Director at The College of Extraordinary Experiences, Coach at McKinsey & Founding Partner at The Global Institute For Thought Leadership. Author of 31 books.

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