A debriefing is a type of aftercare with structured conversation held after a larp ends, about the larp that just ended. The term could describe at least three different kinds of conversations which could also be combined:
"What Really Happened"
A speech/conversation where organizers, often supplemented by some or all players, reveal the secret underlying plots (if any) behind the events at the larp, or just summarize the events as they took place. The purpose of this kind of debrief is to help everyone connect the dots, and a chance to talk about cool stuff that happened and wasn't visible to all players.
Critique & Evaluation
A conversation where players take turns describing their larp experience and share views on the larp design and production. Such debriefs are meant to give organizers honest feedback, and help the community as a whole learn more about larp organizing and design. At their shortest, this kind of debrief hears a one-sentence statement from each player. At their longest, lasting for hours, various questions are asked and answered, and discussions that arise are allowed to conclude.
A conversation with a focus on helping players articulate and deal with difficult emotions, thoughts or relationships that arose in the larp. Such debriefs often split players into groups of 4–8, so as to give each participant more time to be heard, and may also have a facilitator for each group. They often last for at least an hour minimum and often longer.
A round is a method used for group feedback and discussion. A facilitator should be organizing the round. A good start is to have the participants sitting in a circle so that everyone can see each other and the groups should not be too big. During a round the word is passed along to everyone after another and everyone gets to talk without interruption. If someone wants to pass, they can pass. If there is limited time, the facilitator needs to ask the participants to be brief or state how much time anyone can speak at most.
Typical questions could be:
- Was there something I would have liked to be different or changed?
- What did I like about the game?