Tag Archives: ars marte

Eliot Wieslander

August 20, 2014

Last Will, this years most hyped up Knutepunkt school larp, just finished it’s first round and we were there.

Picture of a person with their hands clasped behind their head and a barcode tattooed to their neck.

Picture from lastwilllarp.com

The game centre around themes of modern slavery, violence, democracy, voting privilege, oppression as well as on trying out some new interesting methods for larp. Sounds a bit too much? It was, especially for a 20-hour game.

I never thought I’d say that an organizer group tried too hard or had prepared too much good stuff, but here it is. The Ursula team did a fantastic job of preparing food, writing interesting characters, creating groups, finding a venue that put a hyper-focus on body ideals and exercise hysteria, fate play, plots, subplots and meta-level drama that would fill up more than three days of intense gaming. For me, their solution of trying to squeeze in three in-game days into those twenty hours didn’t work. It left me utterly frustrated and tired to the degree where my “play” as a violent oppressor revolved more around trying to gauge safety levels and what was possible to do with the people around me. Frustrated because of the many good things I never had time to play through.

Harsh? Maybe, but the problem really is that I like it. I loved the game. Just not how it was practically carried out – this time. My point essentially, is that all of this is fixable. The way it was done now reads to me like a very talented group sat down and brainstormed really good ideas, but because they also had the superpower to transform them into action, no one cut anything out or was forced to kill their darlings. They should have. Alternatively, they should really think about making it a real three-day event. That would probably be the best. I’d love to go to that game.

To us the game was also about trying out the Ars Marte. It seemed to really work. We’ll need to fine-tune the workshop and add a nota bene about being clear on when it should be used (or integrated) with other methods of fighting but the overall feedback we got was really positive.

Lots of cred also goes out to those of my co-players that kept me on my toes, among other things beautiful play of psychotic psychologist, madly smitten security guard and fierce but terrified fighter.

Look out for the next run of this fascinating story and great game! It’ll be worth it!

At Solmoukohta 2012 the ars marte was workshopped the first time with a more diverse group. It went really well and we decided to keep evolving and exploring it. Now it will probably be used in the awesome dystopic highlight of the nordic larp summer 2014: Last Will.

Ars marte

Johan and Sofia showing the ars marte method

In order to make that easier we’re also making an article on it, similar to existing descriptions of what ars amandi is and a suggestion for how to workshop it.  Sofia Stenler, one of the inspiring creators of Last Will, helped us with some pictures to illustrate the article. You find it in full here.