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Ars Amandi - lovemaking in Nordic larp


Most larps in Croatia - and indeed most mainstream larps worldwide - usually have some mechanics in place which, basically, allows you to kill other characters, or prevent your character from getting killed. While this provides for some excellent action, it is also quite limited in scope, as other parts of character life are not covered. Unlike in real life, in a larp you're far more likely to kill or get killed than to e.g. start a family or make love.

This is a slightly tricky ground. Fighting is OK, because you usually have some sort of rules and props (latex weapons, boffers etc) in place that make it possible to have a combat simulation which is safe and enjoyable, and not lethal and painful. You would not use boffers to simulate sex (OK, bad images...).


Ars Amandi ("The Art of Love") is a Nordic larp mechanic for simulating romance, sex and intimacy. It allows simulation that protects the safety, reputation, integrity and comfort of players, while they can remain fully in character instead of "going tabletop" and talking it out at the times as it was done before. Ars Amandi involves touching of hands, arms, shoulders and neck, and it's very open to individual interpretation.

It was the method used on Terra Nova last weekend, as several of us organizers agreed to use it. It was also presented the day before Terra Nova on SRP's Nordic larp presentation (in more detail than we did on Terra Nova, as we had less time to do so), which allowed some of the players who were there to get familiar with the method prior to the game.

I recommend the use of Ars Amandi over other methods when it is appropriate for your characters and your game. To find out more about it, Ars Amandi's creator Emma Wieslander has been interviewed in English by Lizzie Stark last year, you can read the article here.

Comments

  1. I've added my comment before but it randomly disappeared, so:

    I think there is no need of such a rule at Terra Nova or other multiday fantasy larps. People won't be bounded by love-rules but will be by their own IRL relationships, people living in relationships won't touch other players (or let touch themselves), others not living in a relationship will have maybe more fun allowed by these rules.

    For psyhological/drama larps these rules can be good, but I don't see why we need them at fantasy larps. People will find out without any rules what can they do and what can't.

    (Ashi)

    ReplyDelete
  2. From my past experience, I disagree. There is a place for such things on fantasy larps, and it can add much to experience. There's a couple of us who have vastly different relationships IC than IRL on our fantasy LARP characters. It's really just an extra flavor rather than purpose of such characters.

    However, nothing of Ars Amandi was forced on Terra Nova, and it was not set in stone as the only right way. It was really just a suggested method to use if appropriate for your characters and your roleplay, not as a rule. Terra Nova was pretty much run as "if it's OK with you, then it's OK" for pretty much everything, so Ars Amandi is not forced as a rule nor will it ever be.

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