So this was a couple of weeks ago. The first time in a few years that I’d been able to attend this cosy and friendly larp festival, thanks to covid and also to in some years clashing with the dates of Consequences.
(And I have actually written about it a couple of times on here, so that’s good.)
It’s held in central Stockholm, in a high school that’s part of a former prison (and adjacent to a hotel and hostel that also is) — a picturesque and charming setting.
This year Anna Westerling, the founder of the festival, had stepped aside from an organizing role — but it still ran in very much the same spirit as before.
At Stockholm Scenario Festival, each larp (I guess originally they were all kinds of scenarios, in the style of Fastaval, but since I’ve been attending it’s been pretty much just chamber larps) is scheduled in two timeslots, with the potential of several parallel runs each time, if enough people want to take part in it.
I had submitted Friends Who Larp — this would be its first real outing, after the playtest. Which I haven’t yet written about here… but I did write about the initial idea, which came to me in a dream one time.
So anyway that was booked to run in the first (Friday evening) slot — but fortunately there were already three other people wanting to GM it, so that was enough for the number of participants. So I got freed up, and instead took a space in Laura Wood’s The Vision.
I had been at the playtest of this larp, and thought it was a terrific experience, so I was very glad to sit in again and play a different character. It’s about a group of children who say that they have experienced a religious vision: and how this affects them as individuals and in their relating to each other and to the rest of the world, as their lives progress. It has a nice structure where the participants choose what scenes they’d like to play, from a selection of prompts. It was a thoughtful and moving experience, with some terrific co-players and GM.
Saturday morning I was in All That Togetherness (also known as The Commune of Happiness), by Kajsa Greger, Moa Rönnåsen, and Andreas Ekebacke. It’s about a group of people who live in a commune under a mix of different relationship models: a monogamous couple want to join the commune. You play out a meeting, a party, a morning after, and so on.
The clever and fun aspect to this larp is that the end of each scene (there are five) is predetermined during the workshop, as a bunch of physical tableaus each involving a few different characters, in a particular part of the house (whose layout is marked out in tape). So in each scene, you have to structure play such that the tableau you’re aiming towards will somehow make sense at the end of it. This was a great way to open out play towards other characters who one might not have become close with otherwise, and also it foregrounded a physicality about the commune’s mode of being.
I slept through the middle slot of Saturday, to recharge myself a bit, as Friends Who Larp was running again in the evening slot. Once again though I managed to avoid having to GM it — this time, I sat in as a participant. When designing it I had thought that it would be fun to play, and certainly I did enjoy myself. (Although whether it detracted from the enjoyment of the others having me in there with them, I don’t know.)
Anyway, thanks especially to the GM who was kind enough to allow this, and to all the other GMs who ran it! — there were I think five runs in total over the weekend, and they all seem to have gone ok, from what I heard.
Overall as always it was a lovely festival, which I thoroughly recommend — and hopefully it won’t clash with Consequences, when that resumes.