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A trip to Trieste: Il Negoziatore

Larp Factory Trieste was founded not long ago. The first time I heard about it opening was three weeks ago. Larp Factory is a very specific sort of group - it all started with Laivfabrikken in Oslo, Norway and from there it spread through Nordic countries, so there are also larp factories in Trondheim, Göteborg, Stockholm, Umeå, Turku and even the one in Minsk, Belarus. Larp Factory Trieste is the only one in Italy and a large part of Europe in general.

Larp factories are aimed at producing high-quality, low-threshold, regular monthly larps presented as an alternative to e.g. going to cinema. You can read more about the concept here. For its first larp, Larp Factory Trieste chose "La porta chiusa" (The closed door), a murder mystery by Antonello Lotronto for nine players and run by Andrea Castellani. A suitable location was found - an abandoned house in San Giovanni di Duino, some 20-ish kilometers northwest of Trieste.

...and it did not happen, as not enough players signed up (and some cancelled). So instead, another larp was organized based on the number of players we had: Il Negoziatore by Angela Caputo. The Negotiator.

Left to right: Michele, Elena and Benjamin reading prologue to the larp.

The larp was played in the apartment of Michele (who's the main organizer of that upcoming Italian larp in Croatia which I wrote about - Sine Requie in Istria) and his girlfriend, Jasmine. They were great hosts (and they graciously allowed me to stay at their place for the night). The GM did not change - it was still Andrea (who visited the Croatian larp Tragači zore last autumn).

The scenario, setting (in the near future) and characters (fully pregenerated) were quite complex and loaded with information - more than usual in a similarly done Croatian larp - that we tried to memorize. We were given sufficient time for it (especially considering I needed extra time for getting the story and my character translated for me). But the prep time was enough. The larp ran for 100 minutes total in-character time and had a debriefing afterwards.

Andrea explaining stuff to Elena and Jasmine
Il Negoziatore larp was a thriller, it's setting was a hostage situation. Andrea cast us into the roles - he'd be the invisible GM. I would be the hostage, Michele my captor, Benjamin the chief of police, Jasmine the journalist and Elena the negotiator. Or at least that's what it seemed like. Some revelations in this larp were quite powerful. A lot of screaming, crying, and resentment were included too.

After the 100 minutes have passed (and neighbors did not complain about the noise), we had a debriefing after which Elena had to leave. The rest of us ordered some food, and after it we played a fun western shootout card game called Bang! which was quite fun (also simple, and had text in English). It marked the end of the evening.

Il Negoziatore was published in this book

To tell everything that happened in Trieste - such as sightseeing, great food and coffee which Italians drink quite fast - would be beyond the scope of this blog. We discussed Croatian larps, Italian scene, larp rules, Sine Requie and many other things. All in all, a great weekend.

P.S. As I was playing Il Negoziatore, at the same time there was Maksimir 65 in Zagreb. I missed this one. But having multiple larps to choose from is always good.


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