Pictures On Life
RPG system: LARP
Participants: 4-12 players
Intercon U (2023), Crowne Plaza, Warwick, Rhode Island, United States
The campfire’s flickering flames, the rhythms of the musicians, and the soft murmurs of the other pairs around you fade into the background as you focus on your ritual partner. You listen carefully and quietly as they speak of what has puzzled them and share their thoughts about their upcoming life decision. You do not answer them in any words, but instead you are inspired to decorate their skin, the surface that separates them from the world outside, with the shapes and designs that flow into your mind. You take several breaths after you complete the pictures, hearing the music again and becoming aware of the color stick you hold in your fingers. Then, it is your turn to speak from your heart and see what pictures emerge from your partner’s hand and mind.
Pictures On Life is a larp which gives participants the chance to stray outside every day experiences. You will spend much of the larp painting on another and being painted on, creating a closeness from the shared experience, and doing so in a ritualistic structure. This larp is quiet, with soft musical backdrop. Contemplation and internal roleplay makes up the vast majority of the time, with very little discussion.
Drawing will by default use face paint crayons, which wash off. (Players optionally can bring their own to be used on them if there are skin sensitivity or other concerns) Time will be provided at the end to wash off paintings. Drawing skill is not required, as even the most basic outlines, shapes and designs can still carry meaning; you just need a willingness to try.
Pictures On Life is not an experience about group nakedness, or near nakedness. While some exposed skin is required to be painted on, everyone will be generally clothed. Costumes help with the ritual setting and are made of draped cloth, which can be provided by the organizers if needed.
Mechanics used include physical boundary negotiations, lines and veils, and short monologues. Open door and ok check in are used. Drawing and most interaction is done only within a pair. Players can come with someone they want to pair with, or be paired by organizers based on a questionnaire. Questionnaire allows players to indicate anyone they are not comfortable being paired with.
Characters are prewritten, approximately 2 pages long, and provide motivations and topics to use for contemplation and monologues. Characters may be customized by players if desired.
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