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Boundary Waters

RPG system: LARP
Participants: 4-6 players

Organized by

LARP House


✏️Katherine Shane


Why do we do we travel? Why do we go to the world’s wild places? Why do we paddle or hike for days, when we could reach the same destination in a few hours by car? In a world of elevators, why do we climb mountains? Sometimes we go into the wilderness to figure out what matters. We take on burdens to learn how much we can carry, and who will help us bear the load. We go to liminal spaces to find a path forward, or the way home. Sometimes we all need to go to the Boundary Waters.

In Boundary Waters, an American freeform LARP, a group of six strong women facing difficult choices travel through the lakes and portages of the Boundary Water Canoe Area, heading for the Canadian border. As they paddle, they contend with the inner voices of hope and fear, guilt and love. At portages, they carry heavy burdens over difficult terrain, just as they must carry the burdens of their past and future choices over many paths. Sometimes they share each other’s burdens. At night they gather in the dark and liminal space of a campfire under the stars. As they travel, the beauty of wild places will hone who they are and what they value most. When they reach the border, each must make a choice.

The game uses common canoeing tasks to structure the play experience into 3 types of scenes: mock paddling the canoe with one other character, a simulation of portaging the canoe, and talking around the campfire at night. While you will be able to determine the extent and duration, you will exert yourself physically to some extent in this larp. Each character is faced with a weighty life decision to make, and players will express their dilemmas through internal dialogue, in-character conversations, and physical play.

All characters in this larp are women, although players of any gender are welcome to play.

Played at

Intercon T (2020)

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