Laivfabrikken - the "larp factory" - is an Oslo-based network of larp organisers who aim to produce at least one larp each month, every month. Our larps last less than a day, hold high quality, and have a low threshold for participation.

What is larp?

Larp (live role-playing) is a form of drama which is done for the benefit of the participant (there is no audience) and which is typically improvised and unscripted. You can read more about larp on our Norwegian page or on Wikipedia.

Our Larps

"Low threshold" means players should be able to participate in one of our larps the same way they go to the cinema: you meet at the scheduled time, pay the entryticket, and begin playing. No preparations or pre-registration are required, though it can be a good idea to reserve a spot for our more popular events, the same way you would reserve a seat for the theatre or a concert.

We're especially welcoming to "new" or first-time players, who can expect extra help and explanations when joining one of our larps. None of our larps involve sleeping, so they last from a couple of hours to a day, with six hours being the typical duration of an event.

To ease role-playing, we often try to make costumes available for players to borrow, or set up very simple guidelines - e.g. "wear black". We also tend to start our larps with intense little drama workshops to help people get into character and "get" the idea of role-playing.

Participating

Most of our larps are played in Norwegian, but foreign residents or visitors are often welcome to join. Sometimes, English becomes the language of play, while other times you can play an English-speaking character. We recommend contacting the organizers of the event to clarify how the language question can be resolved in your case.

Style

Our larps belong to the Nordic style, the style common in Finland and the Scandinavian countries. It's fairly different from UK and US LARP - more impro-theatre-like, with few game mechanics and lots of emphasis on un-interrupted role-play-acting in realistic-looking scenery. But we also enjoy counting hit points while fighting orcs with rubber swords, on occasion.

The typical Norwegian larp lasts a weekend to a week, and requires a fair amount of preparation in terms of costume-making, reading and workshoping. They also often take place in fantasy or historical milieus. The larp factory larps require no such preparations, and span many genres.

In the larp factory, our larps are often chamber games, and we additionally experiment with freeform and jeepform games, a Swedish/Danish style of role-playing somewhere between larp and rule-less tabletop RPGs, reminiscent of theater sports in their structured improvisations where players alternate between characters and scenes. Freeforms are traditionally played in your everyday clothes and without deliberate scenography, although we will sometimes disregard tradition and add visual debth.

Run your own larp

If you want to organise a larp in the laivfabrikken style, our book - Larps from the Factory contains scripts for 23 of the larps run in the Oslo and Trondheim larp factories.

Organisation

Laivfabrikken is a network organisation, with no members, board, etc. but instead a number of individuals and organisations that co-operate on an ad hoc basis to make sure that there is a larp each month satisfying our criteria. One of the most active nodes in this network is the organisation Fantasiforbundet, responsible for the annual Grenselandet festival and the "Black Box Deichmann" concept. Another important node is the larp organisation Ravn.

History

After years of loose talk and occasional planning, laivfabrikken was formally founded in May 2009, and had by the end of the first season held 10 larps, most designed by local larpwrights and some imported scenarios such as J. Tuomas Harviainen's "Prayers on a Porcelain Altar" and Jeepen's "The Upgrade". We were inspired by the Fønix project in Bergen, with a similar emphasis on short low-threshold/high-quality larps, and motivated by a desire to reach out to new players and to provide larp experiences to older players who no longer had the time to participate in the 2-5-days long high-preparation larps common in Norway.

The Oslo larp factory inspired similar larp factories in far-flung locations - from Malmö to Minsk, Trondheim to Trieste - and established short-form larps as a permanent feature in Norway. In 2012, after producing more than 40 larps - most of which were original productions - a number of the initiators decided to step down from running the factory, resulting in a hiatus of one year. The factory returned to life in 2013, with the publication of the book Larps from the Factory and with the Black Box Deichmann concept.