Living Embers

Family, normalisation of dysfunction. surreal

Designers: Laura Wood (UK), Karolina Soltys (UK), Patrik Balint (SE), David Owen (UK)
Number of participants: 6
Duration: 4 hours
Genre/style: Nordic-influenced, scripted, surreal
The presenter feels that this larp IS NOT suitable for people under the age of 18

About the larp

A dysfunctional family and a choice: keep the family together at all costs, or choose yourself and your freedom? Exploring how toxic systems become normalised and the normal can become toxic, Living Embers uses temporal distortions and surreal occurrences to emphasise each character’s choice as they are drawn towards the inevitable conclusion. The house will burn. Who will burn with it?

There will be a surreal aspect to the game, which will allow us to use metatechniques in a less immersion breaking way to gain insight into the characters’ inner lives, trigger flashbacks etc. Symbolic characters will enter the house at predefined moments to aggravate family members’ concerns and push their buttons – for example an insurance agent questioning the family about how much they value the house and what they are going to miss the most when, not if, the house burns. We will blur the lines between the real and the surreal, which will emphasise how difficult it is to reconcile the different ways the characters perceive the family dynamics.

As the different worlds collide more of the house’s present, past and future is revealed.

Content Warnings: Players should be aware that this game is about a dysfunctional family and features larped emotional abuse and one instance of larped physical abuse. One of the characters is pregnant.

Presented by

Laura Wood (UK): I have written several larps which have run in several countries throughout Europe including Here Comes a Candle, Down the Line and Inside. I am a co-organiser of On Location (a weekend long larp about existential angst in the 1930s film industry).


Communication style Lots of speech
Movement style Walking
Tone Intense
Characters Characters are fully predesigned
Narrative control Players have some influence over story, but there is basically a script or structure that they’re within
Transparency Fully transparent – players will, or at least can, know absolutely everything in advance
Representation level The fictional space looks very unlike the play space, but players will use their imaginations
Play culture The concept of rivalry or cooperation between players doesn’t really apply

Saturday afternoon, Boardroom