RPG system: LARP
Participants: 6-10 players
Intercon U (2023), Crowne Plaza, Warwick, Rhode Island, United States
**What is Helvete:** Helvete is a game about creativity, being an outsider, desperately trying to belong, and the lengths one would go to prove one's own devotion to a scene. It is a game about toxic masculinity and anger. It is a larp about making choices that you know are bad, of peer pressure, and of looking cool. It is a larp about the inevitability of the downwards spiral, as this is a larp where the acts are predetermined: the choice is in how they happen, who does them, and how it affects them. It is a larp about all of these things, framed through the lens of a particular scene at a particular time, that of the Norwegian black metal scene of the early 1990s. This scene was a catalyst for an explosion of creative energy funneled through a middle finger to Christianity and the broader society that it underpins with a style and lyrical themes centered around Satan, the occult, and other dark topics. It is also a game about burning churches, literally.
**A note about safety and transparency:** This game relies heavily on safety mechanics, consent, and transparency about in-character goals. While characters may have secrets, players do not and out of character negotiation is an expected mechanic.
**What do I do as a player?:** Helvete consists of three acts, spaced several months apart, each consisting of a twenty minute scene occurring at a party at Helvete, a record store run by Euronymous, the man providing the driving force behind Norway’s nascent black metal underground. Players take the role of musicians involved in the black metal inner circle, each jockeying for higher status in the eyes of Euronymous. In between each act, players will choose among actions their characters will take in the intervening time, which can range from composing albums to burning churches. These actions will occur and players will commit them, the play comes from exploring your character, determining who does what, and examining how those actions and choices affect them and their relationships with each other and the scene itself. One of the characters will ultimately murder Euronymous, and the game will conclude in an epilogue in which the characters are interviewed by a reporter seeking to uncover the darkness at the scene’s heart. Though this game is about musicians, you will not be expected to perform in any way. Costumes are welcome but not required.
**Play this game if:** You like deep dives into downward spirals, you like lots of emotional content in your play (including anger), you enjoy intense scenes and charged subject matter, you enjoy larping complicated friendships and rivalries, you like games that delve into the power of music and into subcultures, you enjoy games that focus on the why of character actions and not the what, you are interested in exploring topics like toxic masculinity in an in-depth way through larp, you enjoy games with lots of transparency.
**Do not play this game if:** You feel uncomfortable with peer pressure, violent rhetoric, or displays of anger in a larp, you are not comfortable playing a masculine presenting role, you are looking for a game with a heavier focus on "secrets and powers" or hidden information.
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