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What is Animus?

Animus is the official society LARP system of OURPGsoc. It was written and designed by Mat and Seb, who will become joint LARPO at the beginning of Trinity term 2018.

We envision Animus to have a number of overarching plots, or 'Acts'. Act 1 began immediately in 8th week of Hilary (10th March 2018), and will concerned itself with the internal politics of city of Rastaban leading up to the Great Edict and immediately thereafter, until our first 36-hr event between 20th-22nd July 2018. Act 2 follows what happens when Rastaban escapes its ancient prison, on a mission of total world conquest.

Design Statement

We want our game to be as accessible as possible, to empower players of many different play styles to find their fun. People who like the drama, or the fighting, or the worldbuilding, or the social, or all of these things in different proportions. The system has a duty to fun. That's our rule #1.

That said, we also have stories that we want to tell, and themes we want to explore.

Animus is about change. The necessity of change, the impossibility of change, the horror of change, the joy of change. It’s about living and surviving in an ossifying, dystopian society. It’s about finding and holding on to that last atom of individuality that the bastards could not grind out of you, no matter how hard they tried.

Viewed one way, LARP is a set of rules enforced by people, and systems modelled by people, which must be bought into at some level in order for the game to actually function as a game. LARPers are always engaging in a kind of make-believe which distorts reality (this latex stick is a sword; my friend is a forest wolf). This makes LARP the perfect place to explore a kind of dystopia which enforces these fantasies for political ends - Orwell's doublethink, yes, but also grand narratives about the way the world works, designed to keep a people under control. That's a big part of why Rastaban is the way it is.

One of the great things about a linear setting is that, by its weekly structure, events that occur have a weight to them, and it's possible to have a character arc that spans months and even years. It's something that can be used to model gradual change in a world over time, but it's also a space where, in a single adventure, your character might discover something about themselves, or the world, or do something, or have something done to them, which completely changes who they are or how they develop.

Going out into the world changes you. You may find you can never go home.

 a player in purple, venturing forward apprehensively, weapon ready, but also seeming intrigued

designstatement.txt · Last modified: 2018/08/01 20:42 by gm_seb