Dogma 99

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Subtitled: a program for the liberation of larp.

A manifesto for the furtherance and development of larp as an artform, written and distributed in 1999. A design philosophy breaking with (former) larp convention. Rejecting commercial larp franchises and mechanical techniques in use during play. Intended to empower players as co-authors of the fiction created by play of the larp.

Impact of the Philosophy

The effects of Dogma 99 continue to ripple outward in nordic style larp. The minimal adoption of mechanics and emphasis on original larp premises have become mainstream. Rejection of symbolic representation (#8. No object shall be used to represent another object) is embraced in 360º degrees larp design.

Excerpt from Dogma 99 Manifesto

"The Vow of Chastity

I hereby submit to the rules of the Vow of Chastity, as developed by Dogma 99,

1. It is forbidden to create action by writing it into the past history of a character or the event.
2. There shall be no "main plot". (The story of the event must be made for each players character, not the whole).
3. No character shall only be a supporting part.
4. All secrecy is forbidden. (Any participant who so desires shall in advance be shown all documents that pertain to the event).
5. After the event has begun, the playwrights are not allowed to influence it. (Any use of staging and ad hoc organiser roles is forbidden).
6. Superficial action is forbidden. (The playwrights may not in any way plan or encourage the use or threat of violence as part of the event)
7. LARPs inspired by table-top role-playing games are not accepted.
8. No object shall be used to represent another object. (all things shall be what they appear to be)
9. Game mechanics are forbidden. (rules to simulate for instance the use of violence or supernatural abilities are not permitted)
10. The playwrights shall be held accountable for the whole of their work."

Furthermore, I swear to regard myself as an artist, and any LARP I write as my "work". I stand open for criticism and wholesale slaughter of my works, and promise to apologise to my players for all that is imperfect in the LARPs I write. My highest goal is to develop the art and medium of live-action role-playing. This, I promise, will be done through all means available, and at the expense of good taste, all conventions and all popularity amongst the so-called LARPers. Thus, I take the Vow of Chastity,


Games organised as a consequence of taking the Dogma Vow

The signatories commit themselves to organise, or help organise, one Dogma LARP