When in Doubt

Existential, Rebellion, Alienation

Designers: Sarah Jane (SJ) Murdock
Number of participants: 6-8
Duration: 4 hours
The presenter feels that this larp IS suitable for young people aged 16+

About the larp

What happens when you lose faith in the only world you know?

In this highly collaborative and introspective scenario, you become storytellers of one person’s journey out of a secluded religion and into the wild world. How will they reconcile what they were taught with what they observe with their own eyes? What will they explore now that they’re no longer confined to the teachings they were given at birth? What will they miss from their old life?

It begins with outlining the protagonist, their community and religion. Then, by acting out a series of scenes, the players share moments in the protagonist’s life, starting at the beginning where they feel warm and safe in their environment, then growing gradually more and more disillusioned until they reach a crisis point and decide to throw off the paradigm they were born with. Life outside of the community is then explored, touching on feelings of disorientation, anger, desire, and beyond.

Content Warnings: The content is decided upon and directed by the players. However, there is the potential for dark themes such as alienation, isolation, religious abuse, abandonment, anger, as well as exploration of sexual identity, and use of drugs.

Sarah Jane (SJ) Murdock: SJ Murdock is an experienced role player and game designer, who has played a wide variety of genres and styles. Her larp scenario When in Doubt, based on her personal experinces with faith transitions, was admitted into the Fastaval 2020 cohort and debuted internationally at Fastaval 2021. In addition to larping, she holds leadership roles in virtual singing companies, where she sings and directs virtual musical performances.


Physical contact Light contact; touching hands or forearms
Romance and intimacy Demonstrations of affection; e.g. hugging, holding hands
Conflict and violence Shouting and other intimidating actions not involving contact
Communication style Lots of speech, potential for singing or chanting
Movement style Walking
Characters In a workshop, players create one “player character” that they take turns playing, then introduce NPCs associated with that character in an improvisational style.
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 The fictional space looks very unlike the play space, but players will use their imaginations
Play culture Players are collaborating to achieve joint aims
Tone Overall meant to be intense, however moments of levity may arise

Saturday morning, Studio 4