Tips from players

Here we will list tips from various letter larp players in hopes that it will help new players have an even better experience.

Characters

  • Try to create a round character with much depth and details. What do they dream about? What would they do if they won the lottery? What are they scared of? Etc. Even if these things are never talked about in the letters they help you do understand your character and make them come alive more. You may also consider details such as when and where does your character write the letters?
  • Make sure you know what drives your character to write these letters. Are they always looking for the last word in an argument? Do they want to share ideas with others? Are they lonely and reaching out?
  • Write a diary as your character, perhaps once per week. How are they feeling? What are they thinking about? What have they been up to in the past couple of days? This will give depth and life to your character as well as give you something to write about.
  • Make sure to create an open character, or at least a character who has a desire for writing. When the entire larp is played via letters it is not a good idea to play a silent mysterious figure.

Writing

  • It’s a good idea to try writing a test-letter (perhaps digitally, via e-mail) to someone who can give you feedback on the content. Consider things like: Does this letter make the recipient eager to answer? If the correspondence becomes more of a monolouge than dialouge chances are you’re fellow players will grow tired. Usually the most interesting letters to recieve are not necessarily the longest ones, but rather those with a lot of soul, reflections, stories and purpose, and which shows an interest in the person they are writing to.
  • Make sure to always have stamps, papers and everything else you need at home.
  • Practise writing before the larp starts, and think about if you are really going to have the energy to keep up that very special handwriting for the rest of the larp.

Coplayers

  • Make sure you both know from the start what the relationship between your character is like. Have they met often? Why do they write each other? How do they feel about each other? How long have they known each other? Is your character relaxed around this person, or afraid to lose face? How much does the relationship matter to your character?
  • Be sure to let your contacts know if you have to finish the larp early.
  • Respect other player character. Make sure your character takes an interest in their lives and leaves room for them to share the spotlight. Don’t make decisions for them without checking in with them first.
  • If you’ve decided on plots together, please let the other player know if you suddenly decide to drop that specific plot.
  • Make sure you keep an open dialouge about expectations (in terms of how often you will write, what plots to follow, etc.), so that you’re both on the same page. If one player has the ambition of writing one letter per week and the other one per month unnecessary frustration might rise. With an openness towards each other it is far easier to not get disappointed but instead relax and enjoy the game.
  • Some players opt to involve chatt-based roleplaying as an addition to their letter larp. If you do this please be careful that it does not take over compeletely though. A good advice is to stick to only brief scenes now and then.

Story

  • Create your own story and plots which you can then include contacts in. If you contact the organisers with your ideas they might be ale to help you expand on it, or give feedback on how it might be improved even more.
  • If you plan on doing anything dramatic- don’t wait until the last letter, but rather make sure it happens when there is still plenty of time for you to play on this.

Other

  • Tell the organisers if something it not working. You are not being a bother, but rather taking responsibility for both your own play and others’.
  • Do not be ashamed of having fewer contacts than others, or writing slower. We all have different amounts of free time in our lives. Two contacts might be all you have time for, while others have five. This is perfectly alright. Adjust your game to the time and energy that you have.
Photo by Nicolas Thomas on Unsplash