We’re in the middle of the Cold War. There’s a lot of tension in the world. While politicians use warmongering rhetoric, career servicemen and diplomats do what they can to maintain the fragile peace.
We want to explore the theme of allegiance, the driving forces of the people who are involved in the game of competing political powers.
Nine countries are present in the larp. The characters and culture of each of these countries are designed by one or more designers with background from the country in question (or a present-day country which has succeeded the country in the fiction).
This is not a James Bond larp, it’s rather inspired by historical accounts of the lives of diplomats, spies and politicians during the cold war. Inspirational works include The Spy and the Traitor (2018) by Ben Macintyre, and The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1963) by John le Carré. We aim for a realistic playing style, where inner game is just as important as the external.
There will be parties with champagne and glamour, but even more important are the clandestine meetings where a small piece of paper changes hands on a rainy street corner. There will be suspicion and mistrust, but this larp is about keeping it that way, not big revelations, drive-by shootings or poisoned wine.
This larp is about the everyday life of the people who provided the formal and informal, legal and illegal, communication between powers armed with many nuclear warheads but little understanding of each other.
Intrigue and Transparency
While this is a larp about espionage and intrigue, the experience we aim for focuses on the inner conflicts which the characters are dealing with. The intrigue is mostly there to drive emotion and personal dramatic development. There will be a great deal of transparency, with the possibility of opting in to even more transparency, but yet leaving the option of some surprises during play for those who want that.
It will be the consequences of discovery that are of interest, rather than the investigative process.
The fiction takes place in Skien in 1970. Character outfits and venues which we control will be according to this time period. However, this is partly a pervasive larp, which means that the surroundings will be modern when outside. Historical accuracy when it comes to costumes and props is not the main point for this larp, rather it is about experiencing the characters’ inner allegiance conflicts.
What will a day at the larp look like?
All of the characters (except the Norwegians) will be working in some capacity at the embassy of a country, either the Swedish, Danish, Finnish, East German, Czechoslovakian, Soviet, American or British one. These embassies are scattered around the city. There, the characters will speak their native language amongst themselves. Most of the Norwegian characters work at the ministry of foreign affairs.
During the day, the characters will have meetings, lunch appointments, paperwork and other diplomatic activities during the working hours.
In the afternoon, the characters will retreat to their respective embassies for dinner and possibly an afternoon meeting.
In the evenings, they will gather for fancy parties. While some of the characters are just trying to do their jobs, other characters are on secret missions, spying on others, and everybody knows that this is no time for trust. Nevertheless – smile, raise your glass and say cheers! This is the only time of the day all characters will be present at the same location.