A slow take-off is a technique for beginning a larp, often accompanied by a slow landing.
At the onset of a larp, players do not begin role-playing immediately (as in a flying start) but take time exploring various states between "off-game" and "in-game". These may consist of role-playing flashbacks to the characters past, group meditative activities, receiving media input etc.
The slow take-off is intended to give players more time to prepare for role-playing, and may also be used to introduce facts about the larp universe.
History and Examples
While earlier examples can be found, the slow take-off was formally introduced along the Slow Landing at Europa, where it included role-played scenes, meditative sessions and media. Kjærlighet i fornedringens tid begins with players closing their eyes, silently listening to a song, holding hands across a cafètable. The Narrator(GameMaster) holds a Monologue describing the past and the expectations of the couples relationship. As a kind of hypnosis at the start, the players are counted (from 1 to 10) into their characters state of mind, and at the end counted out of their characters (from 10 to 1).
The original inspiration of Eirik Fatland and Erlend Eidsem Hansen was one of their favourite filmdirector at that time, Lars Von Trier in the introsequence for his movie "Europa". YouTube clip of this sequence here:
The group OPUS did a similar opening and ending meditation for Delirium. They even did it at the start and end of every day of workshop. The Pervasive larp Prosopopeia even established the meditation into and out of the character as a part of the Diegesis. This was motivated by the Diegesis including the off-game persona of the player. (See Pervasive)
Variants of Take-off and Landing (taking participants into and out of character)
- Immersive Ceremonies - making the players do a little ritual at the start and end of a game. Games like: WA, Mad About the Boy, Agabadan I, Another Life from Scratch(Italy)
- Opening Song and Ending song - sometimes done spontaneously as singing the Norwegian National anthem at 1942 or preplanned singing The Internationale at Rød Oktober (Red October) - one of the first time this was done, was at the fantasylarp Nyteg 1997 singing the fictional national anthems of the 2 warring fractions. (Duvrike sköna land)
- Dinner - when the dessert is served you will be in character
- Speech - at the end of the speech you will be in character
- Sleep - when you wake up you will be in character (even if it is a staged event waking you up in the middle of the night)