Also referred to as Agerlund II.
|Location||Ryegaard Dyrehave, Sjælland, Denmark|
Agerlund was a gothic larp set in a mythological version of 19th century America. The larp took place in Denmark in August 2008. The larp was a collaboration created and run by Jesper Heebøll, Elisabeth Nørresø Haase Kytösaari and Sanne Harder.
The ambition behind Agerlund was to create a larp where the narratives were pre-determined. At the time, this had not been attempted before within the Nordic community.
The concept had already existed for a while in places such as Fastaval and within the scenario making scene surrounding the American indie roleplaying forum known as The Forge. However, it had not previously been adapted to a larp format.
The scenario was set in a mythical version of 19th century America. The small town of Agerlund was sitting on a cross roads - one way leading to the war in the north, another one to the big cities of the east, a third to the prairie in the west and the final road simply leading to “the wilderness”. The main themes of the setting had to do with the meeting between civilisation and nature and the conscious versus the unconscious.
Agerlund consisted of many smaller stories, which were brainstormed together with the players. Players were separated into groups, and each group was given a template story for inspiration. The template stories were based on American Gothic literature, such as the legend of the headless horseman, Rip van Winkle, etc. Although the players were encouraged to completely discard the original story (which only one group did), the themes of the setting and the inspirational material permeated the narratives.
(This type of game is generally referred to as “plotspil”, which means plot play in Danish).
The main mechanic of the game was that of telling a story which the players already knew. In addition to letting the story play out, the players also had to time it so that the narratives unfolded simultaneously. During the pre-game workshops, players separated their stories into five parts. They used a narrative model known as “the Hollywood model” to create five different acts. During the game, it was clearly signaled when one part ended, and a new one began. Players could always orient themselves by looking at the top of a hill, where a number of scarecrows were placed. The number of scarecrows corresponded with the number of the act.
The preparation for the scenario, in addition to procuring the proper costumes, consisted of two workshops that were held during a weekend.
Time outs with meta talks
In between the acts, players were asked to take time outs. These were held in an off-game area. The players were instructed to have meta talks about how their narratives were progressing, thus encouraging steering of both narrative and characters.
The scenario was held in a privately owned natural resort called Ryegard Dyrehave. There were no amenities present on site, and all scenography had to be built. The village of Agerlund consisted of small houses, which were either built from modules from the Silbertin Farm or by lightweight units made of painted tarpaulins and wooden frames. The village also boasted an authentic 19th century outdoor toilet and a village water pump made from cast iron. Food was cooked on site, but at the off-game area, which was situated in a comfortable walking distance. Here there was also access to portable toilets, running water and first aid kits.