Description of Heimr events

Type of LARP

Heimr is an open setting and rule system with which we play LARPs at least once a year. We organize events for players age 18 and up. The LARPs are multiple day events that start with workshops (Rule system, character creation, lore background) on Friday. The game starts Saturday morning and stops Sunday afternoon. Unless otherwise mentioned we have indoor sleeping spots and provide food during the events.

Genre

The genre is gritty realistic (as in "needing little willing suspension of disbelief", high verisimilitude) fantasy with an emphasis on simulationism and immersion.

This SMBC comic actually captures the genre quite eloquently: Magical realism

Heavy themes

Heimr is an 18 plus LARP and contains heavy themes from time to time. If you doubt whether or not you would enjoy certain themes please contact us beforehand. Some examples of such themes are:

  • Sexual themes
  • Discrimination
  • Torture
  • Terminal illness

Conflict resolution, drama and story

We aim to provide a believable scenario where entities (Both Directed characters (DC's) and Player characters (PC's)) try their very best to achieve their (conflicting) goals and in which the story unfolds dynamically instead of it being scripted drama. Instead of artificially extending the drama of a certain conflict, the conflict is often resolutely and quickly resolved (Denouement is often reached quickly, just like in small scale real life conflicts) making way for new conflicts. Also after deploying the initial situation; game master in Heimr events rarely if ever tweak the situation to generate a better story; we let the situation unfold it's natural course; heightening simulationism, immersion and objective fairness as much as possible. This might in theory result in certain situations being introduced and solved within a few minutes, or situations that no PC finds interesting at all and thus going unresolved.

Combat

Combat is rare and almost always over in seconds but having long lasting effects. Combat is as dangerous to the PC's as it is to the DC's. And both DC's and PC's usually want to avoid armed conflict (Unless the DC's have a good IC reason they don't mind dying, which happens only rarely) and is usually avoided because people don't want to die or even get wounded. Since magical healing is rare (and expensive) getting wounded has long lasting effects and is economically unappealing because you are probably bed-ridden for some time after the event and thus unable to perform your profession. There will be events without combat! (although most events will feature situations that have the potential to result in violent conflict) If you go to LARP solely for the combat Heimr events are probably not for you.

Gaming system

The open source rule system is designed so that players will need to learn very little rules by heart (everything they need to know by heart fits on a single A4 paper) but has a lot of different skills and customization options to consider. Every "domain" of skills features a different out-of-character skill that players need to be good at in order for their characters to be good at that profession. For example:

  • Fighters actually need to be good with their weapons in order to pull of combat skills
  • Healers will need oversight and should prioritize to manage several patients
  • Priests need good social skills in order to gain followers for their gods (which in turn gives them more energy to cast blessings with)
  • Magicians need intellect in order to work with the complex magic system (which gives you the ability to program your own spells)
  • Traders will need an understanding of market mechanics in order to gain a larger profit
  • Alchemists need a good grasp of the scientific method.

The system does not provide skills for things your can just do yourself without help of the rules (for example, we will never employ a sneaking skill as nothing stops you from simply sneaking yourself with your out of character skills). The system is build on the philosophy that tactical choices that you have to make to succeed in any given situation are the same choices your character would have to make in that same situation (In other words, there are no "mini games" that signify other things than what is actually happening in game) to increase immersion.

Directed characters

Directed characters is how we name our "NPC" or "monsters". We aim to have little to no difference between player characters (PC) and directed characters (DC). We accomplish this by only giving DC's:

  • A personality (including ethical boundaries you will not cross on principle)
  • A background
  • Goal(s) to accomplish
  • Skills, items and other things they can use to try and accomplish their goals

We will not:

  • direct how long a role should last; we give you enough time to try and accomplish your goal.
  • direct how you should try and accomplish this goal; you can choose your own strategy within the boundaries of your character their personality and ethics.
  • tell you to deliberately lose your goal; we like it when our DC's win from time to time and this doesn't always mean that the player characters lose.
  • often tell you to fight; most if not all of your roles will be able to accomplish their goals without combat.
  • tell you more than your character knows. You will not know the "plot". You will often not know the backgrounds of the other DC's. You will be just as surprised as the character you are playing.

Because directed characters all have their own personality and goals they will feel as alive, vibrant and "important" as PC's. This also means that DC's rarely if ever fight to the death.

It sometimes happens that our DC's "solve" a situation without any help from the PC's at all. This is perfectly fine.