Plarp: Play Labs for Larps (2022)

What is plarp?

PLARP is the first larp-making boot camp of its kind in Singapore, supported by the National Arts Council. We have created a series of participatory workshops for artists, writers, theatremakers, storytellers, roleplayers, to create their own larps. Participants are introduced to larp theory and techniques through practice-based learning, inspiring more artists to create larps as a medium of artistic expression and to bring agency to your audiences.

Each cycle of Plarp consists of 3 days of in-person workshops, 1 month of self-guided activity & writing, before a final playtest with all cycles of participants.

What is a larp?

Larp (live action roleplaying) is a participatory art form where:

  • participants physically embody their characters
  • in a dramatic fictional world
  • set in real-world locations
  • while interacting with each other as their characters
  • to explore various themes (personal, social, political)

Why are we doing this?

Larps have been created intermittently in Singapore for 20 years. We want to transfer our skills, knowledge and experience to the next generation of larpmakers, so that more creative & inspired voices will emerge to strengthen the scene.

  • seed diverse audience participation strategies in the wider body of dramatic work
  • create a space for collaboration opportunities
  • explore larpmaking with enthusiasts
  • provide employment opportunities in larp tourism and edutainment

Who is this for?

In the last decade, Nordic larps have elevated roleplaying games to examine societal issues and deeper themes through immersive participation. Artists, dramatists and storytellers interested in activating and engaging audiences will be able to add larp methodologies and techniques to their repertoire.

unsold toys in a thrift shop come alive when noone is watching; explores themes of growing old in a materialistic society
toys meet in a dumpster, reflecting on their experiences as the light fades
workshop pregame exercise - participants practice mirroring in pairs
a murder motel seen at various points in time; participants choose to mirror their cycles of violence or heal from trauma
pregame nego for a military tribunal larp where participants take on characteristics of animals
a relationship larp exploring old emotional traumas, set in a hostage situation on a plane
an emotional flashback scene that takes place years before, where characters negotiate a new relationship
playtest of "every chip" by Ri - chips that try to escape Purrgatory
playtest of "the stars are aligned", a hp lovecraftian larp written by feroz
"the stars are aligned", rooftop, a larp about the end of the world in 3 acts
larpwrights contemplating playtests
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Our focus is to provide an engaging and informative learning experience for everyone. You'll have the opportunity to experiment and explore the boundaries of larp, and there is no pressure to create polished work at your first attempt at writing a larp. Your playtest sessions are closed to the public.

Each cycle consists 3 days in-person play workshops → 4 weeks writing at your own pace → 2 days playing each other's work.

In the first weekend, you play a range of larps to learn and understand what they are. Play sessions are augmented by workshops and post-game debriefs. At the end of the first weekend, you may choose team to write a minilarp, or write solo. You'll have a month to create a short larp, with access to a communal playtest space, and consultation with trainers. After your larpscripts are written, we reconvene for a second weekend where you'll get a chance to playtest your new work with your fellow larpwrights. Experienced larp makers will facilitate discussion and analysis.

  • Day 1
    •  Welcome & orientation
    • Introduction to larps
      • Types of larps, characteristics & demands
      • Evolution of larps after Knutpunkt
      • History of larps in Singapore
        • Contemporary larps in Singapore
    • Play a chamber larp
      • Debrief, reflection and analysis
  • Day 2
    • Pre-game briefings
      • Safety, calibration, negotiating grades of boundaries
      • Social contracts & magic circles, playing for pain
      • Sample exercises, mirroring
    • Play a chamber larp
      • Debrief, reflection and analysis
    • Fostering narratives and storytelling via world-building and role-play
    • Post-game briefings
      • Aftercare, trauma decompression, bleed, retelling
      • Sample exercises
  • Day 3
    • How to write a larp
      • Game mechanics (and absence)
      • Levels of consent in play & negotiation
      • Time manipulation (cut/substitute, flashbacks, timed reveals)
      • Creating playable characters for larps
        • Character relationships & calibration
        • Weaving vs baking plot hooks
        • Playability considerations
        • Accessibility of experiences
      • Types of endings & levels of participant agency
    • Play a chamber larp
      • Debrief, reflection and analysis
  • Month break:
    • Larp writing assignments, pitches, ideation
  • Day 4 (playtests)
    • Playtesting
      • Feedback: debrief, reflection and analysis
    • Workshop discussion: Design & production challenges of larps in Singapore
  • Day 5 (playtests)
    • Playtesting
      • Feedback: debrief, reflection and analysis
    • Workshop discussion: Larp as cultural, tourism or edutainment products in Singapore

participants' feedback

"Honestly the team did an amazing considering how we were all coming out of the pandemic, and was able to hold space for both transferring of knowledge and meaningful discussion!"


"Location was quiet and conducive to dropping our RL personas and roleplaying for the first time with strangers to work together, understand, and write larps. I'm shy, so to me, the group size was perfect, any larger than 10 and I would have felt like not participating and just watching."


"...a wonderfully illuminating experience for learning about LARP and how it can be used as a "higher" art form confronting difficult issues and exploring big questions more than just being a fun genre rpg."



Selected participants' workshop fees subsidized by the National Arts Council of Singapore. Thank you!