I’m extremely happy to say that I’m producing Katrine Wind’s larp “Daemon” in the UK. I played a run in Denmark earlier this year, and had a glorious time. It leans heavily on Kant and Pullman, and I heartily recommend the experience you get simply by playing alongside your “daemon”.
The story and setting
The story and setting for the larp are described by Katrine here.
You do not need to have much knowledge of Pullman’s work to play; although we’d be delighted if the game inspired you to purchase his books. If you do, please consider using this Amazon Smile link to the Northern Lights, the first in the original trilogy, or La Belle Sauvage which starts the new one, as a charity I’ve worked with in the past gets a small donation if you do.
The larp is set at a symposium organised by an influential socialite, played by the game’s designer, Katrine Wind, and her daemon. The symposium is set after the war described in Pullman’s novels, and none of his characters will appear. Player characters are invited by Katrine’s character, and some have in-game events in which to participate. Specifically, a memorial for fallen heroes, a scientific presentation, and a political debate. None of these are compulsory in-character, although you will be attending dinner and lunch, and the rest of the time is your own.
For some UK larpers, this will be a larp where nothing happens. There is no substantive NPC presence, apart from the in-game host. There are no NPC encounters. Players are simply experiencing life as a pair of human and daemon characters, roleplaying with others doing the same. Every character has a brief of two or three thousand words, with pre-written connections with other characters. There’s prompts for play (As a no-spoiler example “Have XXX-Daemon put YYY-Human in embarrassing or tense situations by means of their direct manners”) and questions to help develop your character before the event. (For example “What new desires are you considering following now that there is no Magisterium around to control your every move?“) This will be the third run with these characters. They’ve been tested and tweaked each time.
One thing you do need to know. Human and daemons both feel intense pain on separation, and you must reflect this in your play. You may also choose to share physical stimuli – if one of you is struck, for example. This will be explored in our workshops, but as a rule of thumb – you are signing up to be within 2 or 3 metres of your partner all weekend, and will be sharing a room or cabin. That means that if one of you is using the toilet, the other is waiting outside.
If you wish to read more, to see if this larp is for you, Katrine helps you answer that question here.
When is it?
The event runs from the 5th to 7th of May 2023. It starts with workshops, at midday on the Friday, with the larp starting at 7pm. Time goes out at 12:30am, and the event starts again at 1aam on Saturday morning. The larp itself will end at 10:30pm on the Saturday, with breakfast and debriefing on the Sunday.
Where is it?
Sheriff House on the River Bure, Norfolk, UK, with the wherry Olive, moored on the house’s river frontage, available for use too.
How do I get there?
You either drive for what’ll seem like forever, get a train to Wroxham station, or fly to Norwich airport, which has three flights a day in from Schiphol, and get a cab. We only have 5 car parks spaces at the house, so we’ll need to organise who gets those spaces. We will arrange parking nearby and a shuttle for folk we can’t fit in the carpark.
What catering is provided?
All tickets include in-game dinner on Friday and Saturday, and luncheon on Saturday. Boat and house tickets also include breakfast on Saturday, which will be off-game. All are welcome to brunch on Sunday.
The kitchen will be staffed during waking hours, and should you need anything, please do call in and ask. The staff will be in-character and at your service.
Food will be vegan-by-default, and likely to be plain, although do also expect a magnificent cheeseboard. Once we’ve cast, we’ll ask for food preferences and communicate the menu.
How’s it for accessibility?
The event does not involve heavy physical activity, and all of the roleplaying can be done seated. There is plenty of time to rest, and food is available any time.
The site involves a house, and outside space, and a boat. None of the few planned events during the game will happen on the boat or on the first floor of the house. Apologies, I have not yet checked level access over the entirety of the site but please let me know if this could be an issue for you.
Parts of the site are not physically accessible. There’s no lift access in the main building, and some players will sleep aboard a wherry. There are two ground floor bedrooms, which I will prioritise for those who require, or prefer, them. That will be discussed after casting, and will only impact casting choices insofar as one of the boaterfolk characters will be sleeping on their boat.
Where else is Daemon running?
If you’d like to know more about the practicals of the Belgian run, which is also happening in May 2023, the website is here. There’s two US runs around Easter 2023, and there’s more here for them.
The acceptable behaviour policy
Our acceptable behaviour policy is here. By signing up, you are agreeing to abide by it.
There are 28 player places, 14 for human characters and 14 for their daemons. You book in pairs, with someone you feel comfortable being close to all event. You may signup at any time the form is open, and should we get more interest than there are places, we’ll be casting, with a random element.
We’ll look at the kind of scenes you want, and the play styles that appeal, and will fit the player who wants to play human to the pre-written (and play tested) characters – with the intent that if you don’t get a place, it’s because we didn’t have the right character for you.
Once we’ve fit the human, there’s a choice of three daemon animals. The relationship the human character has with themselves, and others, will be different depending on which daemon the daemon player chooses.
Once we have a draft casting, we’ll circulate the list to all players, and if anyone has a red-line about attending the event with anyone else we’ve cast, they’ll contact us and we’ll discuss options. That includes me as organiser – I’m on the hook for the site deposit, and I’ve never left a bad reputation behind me.
The event is being run to recover costs, and not for profit. There are three prices:
- £350 per person to sleep in the house
- £250 per person to sleep on the wherry
- £80 per person for those choosing to sleep off-site
Each person of every pair will need to buy the same sort of ticket. There will be no substantive difference in the game experience, although one pair of players sleeping on the wherry will be cast as a boaterfolk character and their daemon. Characters of players sleeping in the house will be able to use their rooms in-game if they wish. The boat will be in-game, and characters of players sleeping aboard will be able to use their cabins in-game if they wish. If you are sleeping off-site, arranging that is entirely up to you. The ticket price does not include a place to sleep.
Payment will be by PayPal, friends and family, or bank transfer. Up to you.
To sleep in the house – £350 paid 4th of November 2022, or in installments with £150 4th of November 2022 and £200 6th of January 2023.
To sleep on the wherry – £250 paid 4th of November 2022, or in installments with £100 4th of November 2022 and £150 6th of January 2023
To sleep off-site – £80 paid 4th of November 2022, or in installments with £40 4th of November 2022 and £40 6th of January 2023
Paying by installments will make no difference to casting.
Please tell me where to sign-up, I’ve read enough…
The sign-up form is here.
What’s the costume style of the larp?
We’re following this, from the designer’s website.
“The larp is set in a “vintage steampunk” era. That means that both human and Daemon will be dressed in costumes from an ahistorical past that fits the description “vintage steampunk”
This can entail fashion from the late 19th century to the middle of the 20th century. Feel free to mix and match any clothes, styles, and accessories from these decades for your outfit. This is all about creating the right look and feel that suits your character, rather than recreating any particular era. Think for instance dark academia, light academia, or history bounding.
As far as the steampunk part of the larp is concerned, this applies mainly to the sciences, tech, and gadgets.”
How are you doing daemons?
Again, from the designer’s website.
“The Daemon player will additionally wear make-up and costume parts so it’s clear what animal they are representing, but no full animal-makeup or costume is relevant or wanted in this larp. Body language and representation are the most important. The representation can be done with prostheses, make-up, wigs, costume parts like fur, feathers, tails and the like. Avoid any full suits or masks.”
In addition, at this UK run, we’d ask daemon players to avoid make-up on their hands.The building and the boat are old, beautiful and special, and we will leave no trace of the event behind us.
Will there be drinking at the larp?
Yes, and a small amount of alcohol will be provided at meals. There is no bar on site.
What about COVID?
We ask everybody to have an NHS COVID pass. If you cannot do this, please let us know as soon as possible – in particular, if you got vaccinated outside of England, please drop us a line about equivalent systems in your country.
Please take an LFT before you start your journey to the event, and do not come if you test positive. I will have a short list of people who can attend at no notice so the game will – I hope – not be affected.
Feel free to wear a mask during the event, although we are not currently insisting on masks for anyone.
This policy may – of course – have to change if the circumstances of the pandemic change things before the event.
What if you can’t come?
If you cancel at any time after accepting your place, we will do our best to get you a full or partial refund. We may be able to re-sell your place to somebody on the waiting list, or we may have budget left over. These refunds may be paid after the event, and we do not guarantee any refund whatever the circumstances.
What if the event makes any money?
We’re running the event to break even, and any surplus after refunds will go to the Norwich Soup Movement, a local grass-roots organisation that feeds those who need it. The budget and spend will be open after the event.
What about a cancellation?
In the event of a cancellation by us, all players will get back a share of any of the unspent budget, proportional to their ticket price.
What about insurance?
We’ll be covered by LRP Alliance’s insurance. The policy is liability insurance only – it providers insurance if the organises are liable for a claim when running an event. If you as an attendee need accident or travel insurance then you will need to arrange that separately.