Dutch Larpwriter Challenge 2015

Dutch Larpwriter Challenge 2015

Voor de tweede keer is de Dutch Larpwriter Challenge uitgeschreven. De gelegenheid om voor larp schrijvers hun korte avonturen te laten beoordelen door een internationale jury met veel larp ervaring. De winnaar van deze ronde van de Dutch Larpwriter Challenge wint een toegangskaart tot Knudepunkt 2015 in Denemarken en zijn of haar scenario zal daar worden gespeeld. Vanwege het internationale karakter van de Challenge is Engels de voertaal. Hieronder vind je de resultaten van deze uitdaging.

Call for Games

The Dutch Larpwriter Challenge is looking for short, re-runnable and manuscript based larps that can be played without the original author(s) present. The game must be playable in a seminar room or blackbox. The recommended number of players of the games should be in the range 5-25. The games should be playable by a different number of participants. The game should be possible to organize within a small budget. The game should be suitable for first time larpers. We encourage the inclusion of warm-up exercises and debrief methods in the manuscripts. The game should have a duration of max 4 hours (including preparation and debrief). The game must be written in or translated to English. The manuscript has to involve some new creative work. The winner will receive a ticket to Knutepunkt 2015 (Denmark) and the scenario will beplayable there.

Jury report

Members of the jury: Taisia Kann (Russia), Martin Nielsen (Norway), Andrias Udra (Lithuania) and Lizzie Stark (U.S)


10 entries, 7 larpwriters, 2 women, 5 men.

The reviewed games covered a broad array of themes and game styles from classical fantasy adventure, to blackbox and experiential games. The authors were clearly enthusiastic about writing their ideas down. The quality, style and scope of the games varied considerably which made them difficult to assess.

The winner of the Dutch Shortlarp Challenge 2014:

Miss Dahl – by Jip Philips

In ‘Miss Dahl’ players are children who have to determine what happened to their teacher. For children the world is still a place of mystery, wonder and possibility but… is it really? This is a game about experiencing childhood and what happens to you when you grow up.

This scenario offers a beautiful story, an emotional and innovative game about children’s minds and the narrow barrier that sometimes decide who are brilliant and who are just crazy. A well written script that offers very clear instructions for how to run the larp. The game emphasizes the social critics of killing the imagination in school systems in order to make children more competitive. While the opportunities are many, the script makes sure that all players at all times will have something to do.

The judges do notice that the story is depending on players being able to solve the plot on time. A scenario that will please many players!

Special attention to:

The judges felt they needed to award another scenario. There is no price attached, but they called in life another category: The explorer prize for a new innovative Larp!

That Awful Sound – by Hanne Marckman

Tomorrow you will wake up and find weird things that make strange sounds cover earth. They are everywhere: in the woods, on the roofs of skyscrapers, in your back yard, in trees… No one knows where these things come from, what they are or why they are here. One thing is clear: The sound is driving everyone crazy. You are part of the first exploration team of specialists that is going find out how to stop these things from making that terrible noise. You will have to be bold. You will have to be brave. You will have to be creative. Will you succeed before you all die of irritation? That awful sound is a fun and innovative game that uses sound as the core game mechanic. It’s about trial and error, puzzling, doing weird stuff and –promised- lots of laughs.

This innovative game uses an awful noise as the core mechanic, which gets louder or softer depending on what the players do. The judges loved it for its simplicity of concept and for its unusual mechanic, which explores a facet of the world around us (sound) which is hidden yet omnipresent. Easy to grasp, easy to play and flexible in terms of venue. With an improved workshop for character creation the players would get a stronger alibi and maybe allow their characters to try out more different things. It is easy to play and is very suitable for first timers. However, it needs a creative and technical GM.

For these reasons, we award it the Explorer prize for pushing forward game design!

Runners up:

The Departure – by Tim Bosje

The Departure is in interactive theatre game about life, death and reincarnation. The participants play recently deceased souls which return to the Tree of Life, in order to share their experiences of life on earth. There they will also envision a new future, as they will reincarnate as a new life on earth in order to grow in experience. The game can be played with 5 to 15 participants, will take 2,5 hours to play and is best played in a small theatre setting. There is also a movie-clip available to be played on a beamer and sound-system, which will enhance the experience.

A beautiful larp about transformations and afterlife. The judges feel that it also could do very well as a scenario that might be used for character creation for a bigger event.

The larp relies heavily on the in-game role of the GM, which seems to be quite demanding to play but at the same time with great potential. While the player freedom is quite limited this larp offers the players to rather lean back and enjoy the journey through afterlife.

However, script still needs development on coherence and clarity of the storyline, as many times players (as GM as well) are offered no explanation of what is happening. There seems to be so much more in the concept of the game that there is described. All in all, it is definitely an interesting experience and worth to have a shot at this artistic scenario.

2025: a Space Oddity – by Carel Ketelaars

It is the year 2025. Several space travelers from different nations, Astronauts, Cosmonauts, Vyomanauts and Taikonauts, are locked up in the ISS, the International Space Station, high above the earth doing research and stuff. Most of them are longing to get back to their homes and families. Fortunately the Russian rocket Soyuz with the replacements will arrive anytime soon. Half of the crewwill be relieved. It will also bring the spare parts for one of the two rescue Soyuz attached to the ISS; it needs to be repaired, otherwise it will burn away on entering the atmosphere. It’s time to look back over the past months with each other before leaving. And if you think pride and prejudice do not exist in space, you are wrong… This game is about the experience of people crammed in a small space for a (too) long time. Will emotions run high? Can simple pranks from the past be forgiven? This larp in a space setting will give you the opportunity to be an astronaut, faced with astronaut problems…

A beautiful, poetic, emotional and fun game. Well-designed game mechanics, perfectly fitting use of technology to give the game the structure and influence the mood of the players. The music contributes to the atmosphere of the game. The workshop technics are well thought and useful. The scenario gives a feeling of a complete work and is well written. Many good (although complicated) ideas for props.

But the judges also feel that there is room for some improvement. The workshop could pay more attention to getting all players on the same page in terms of playing style and it could do with more inspirational input mechanisms in the character creation process. The debrief is too short for the emotional play.

Honorable mentions:

Knock knock, who’s there? – by Eric Vinken

Are we always one and the same person? Don’t we change behaviour depending on the situation? Don’t we hear people say things like ‘I don’t know what I was thinking doing that’ and ‘Normally I do not do such things’ quite often? Still we claim to be one person, one mind, one individual. Claiming otherwise makes you mentally disturbed, or so they say, and should be treated.

‘Knock knock, who’s there?’ is a scenario about the different personalities ‘inside’ one main character. Every player represents one of those personalities. During the scenario several key events in the life of the main character will be played. The scenario aims at playing the misunderstandings and chaos that can be the result of a switch of personality in the main character. Players are encouraged to explore the possibilities of playing one character as a, sort of, collective. How do you get in or out funny, awkward or weird situations while not being able to control everything what your character is doing?

A lovely idea, challenging game to play different personalities and the way they act and think inside of one body and one live. The farewell scene might be fairly emotional. The game mechanics are not thought through and relying on GM too much, where it is absolutely possible to give more freedom and responsibility to the players, when the game mechanics were advanced. The missing debriefing leaves the general idea behind the game not fully represented, as the game is fairly emotional. It would be lovely if the author considered re-working the scenario with less/ no GM involved and with some mechanics giving the players the possibility to decide how the scenes are designed etc.

A summary of the other scenario’s that were send in:

Last Days On Mars – by Hanne Marckman

Remember you could send in a solicitation to Mars One (www.mars-one.com) to become an astronaut and go to Mars? Well, you did. And you were chosen. Together with fourteen others you lived in a settlement on Mars for three long years: Touch times, beautiful times, times of friendship and tremendous successes. No one thought it would go this well, but it did. Earth is looking forward to having you back again and share the enormous results you have booked. You are true heroes! The last day and night on Mars have arrived. Waiting for the space ship to pick you up, you and your co- astronauts look back to evaluate this life changing experience and will share your successes with the world. And of course you are all looking very much forward to seeing and holding your loved ones on earth again. A game that could become emotional when something unexpected happens.

Wherefore art thou? –  by Eric Vinken

Some of you might not know but mythical races are still living among us. They hide behind a glamour which makes them look like ordinary humans. But they are among us, although they try to avoid to be noticed at any cost. Two families, one fay, one troll, will risk being spotted because of a serious matter which concerns both their people. A young troll named Ormoe and a young fay named Tejuli have fallen in love. This is an unprecedented case as the fay and the troll are enemies at heart. Both lovers have ran away from home taken refuge in one of the crowdiest places of human kind. They’ve send their parents an ultimatum: “come to an agreement or you will never see us again.” So today the heads of family have agreed to meet each other at the place were both lovers have gone in hiding.

This scenario should be played in a busy public place like a train station or a shopping mall.
The scenario is not about winning, or getting what you want in the ‘negotiation’ it’s about creating and playing emotional and tense scenes. The scenario aims to create a tension between the in game need to avoid the attention from outsiders and the out game drive to create intense play which probably will attract some attention from non-players.

Ghost hunters – by Tim Bosje

The goal of this game is to make an exciting horror movie, using a real life location, randomly divided script cards and ghost summoning rituals. Players portray ghost hunters at a haunted location, while making a video documentary of their investigation. With the use of their imagination and real life environments players develop their own ghost stories, in which reality and fantasy will merge to make an thrilling movie. The game can be played on any atmospheric location, lasts 2 hours and is best played with a group of 6 players.

Life on a String – by Jantine van den Bosch

A group of friends. They have been friends for ever, made it through puberty, started their own families, but remained friends. But then, one of them is soon to die. How do you let that friend go, and how will it affect the bond that the rest of you share.

Life on a String is an abstract blackbox game, where not words, but strings, body language, lights and music will create the story of how a group is formed, how it handles loss and how it changes after that.

Custom Shortlarp Adventure – by Willem Middelkoop

No summary available.


Dit stuk is gepubliceerd met goedkeuring van de betrokkenen.


Submit a Comment