You have come to a religious convocation of the Followers of Christ’s Faith. You’re not here to just celebrate Christ but also to concretely work on your soul. You want to find salvation through sin and your goal is to use these few days with other Followers to make sure you have sinned properly so that you can experience God’s infinite mercy. You can also help other Followers sin, just as they are helping you.
This gathering of the Followers is unusual in the sense that there are people present from many sides of St Petersburg society. There are Romanovs and revolutionaries and their mutual antagonism is hard to forget. Yet perhaps that too can be wielded in the service of sin for these three short days before you all go back to your lives out in the world.
For many characters this is also an unusual chance to interact with people outside their normal social milieu. After all, bucking the existing social order is a sin so normally there’s little social contact between social classes even if they interact on a daily basis.
The events of the larp proceed pretty much as the characters assume. There are no plot twists or surprises. The Followers hold the initiations and they go as planned. The focus of the larp is on the individual experiences and these can of course twist and turn as much as larp chaos allows!
As you play the larp, you’ll have different opportunities to explore salvation through sin.
Here’s a breakdown of the larp day to day:
During the first day, you’ll arrive at the venue, find your room, participate in the workshop and get ready for the larp. You’ll play for three hours as the newcomers arrive and a dinner is held in their honor. All characters are aware that they’re in a religious space but the hierarchies of the outside world are still in force. The Followers wait on their high-ranking visitors.
Use this time to establish the social hierarchy that will then be broken on day 2. The mood can be spiritual, celebratory, excited… All characters are looking forward to what will happen later, some with trepidation and others with anticipation. At the same time, you’re away from the eyes of society preparing to sin in the eyes of God so it’s understandable if things get a little out of control.
14:00 – You can arrive at the venue from this time onwards.
14:45 – Bus arrives at the venue, players check in and settle in their assigned rooms and beds.
16:00 – Workshop starts. You are not expected to be in costume at this time.
18:30 – Players get in costume.
19:30 – Everyone gathers for one last workshop exercise.
20:00 – The larp starts immediately after the exercise.
Dinner is served during the in-game period.
23:00 – In-game ends. You can calibrate with other players as needed and then go to sleep.
The second day starts with eating breakfast off-game, then gathering together to go in-game. Play starts with a scene where all characters are present. The newcomers are inducted into the Followers. This takes the shape of a ritual that may already test the resolve of some characters: Disrespecting the Czar is a grave sin.
During the induction, the hierarchy topples. The newcomers are all mere novices, supplicants hoping for guidance from more experienced members of the Followers, whatever form that takes.
As the day proceeds, you will do your best to sin and help others sin, both on your own initiative and through collective rituals and practises. The heavy lifting involved in running the rituals will be done by organizer characters but the Elders will also play a significant role.
Although you will participate in rituals that highlight different facets of sin and help you on your road, you should also take the initiative to consider what sin means for your character and explore it through scenes you and other players create.
The most ecstatic forms of sin, collectively and individually, peak at the end of day two.
The day officially ends at midnight but you can go to sleep earlier.
8:30 – 9:50 – Breakfast.
10:00 – In-game starts.
Lunch and dinner will be served in-game.
24:00 – in-game ends.
During the third day, there’s breakfast and a two-hour period of in-game time during which you will explore some of the darker, more final forms of sin. Your character will have a choice: Do you feel you have sinned enough?
If no, you must live to sin more. This is the choice we assume to be made by the majority of characters, since it’s hard to know if you have indeed sinned enough.
If yes, you can choose the one final sin you can do only once: Suicide. Since deciding you’ve sinned enough requires a certain presumption, we assume this to be a minority choice.
As you die in the collective ritual, you can take solace in the fact that you also provide the opportunity for other Followers to commit the sin of murder. The mood during the play on day 3 is sombre, a sort of hangover after the excesses of the night before.
As the ritual concludes, the larp ends. You will have a bit of time to hug other players and otherwise decompress. Then the debrief starts, after which you pack and get ready to leave.
8:30 – 9:50 – Breakfast is served off-game.
9:30 – As you leave breakfast, you join in-game at the main building, preferably at 10:00 at the latest.
12:00 – In-game ends.
12:30 – Debrief starts.
14:00 – Debrief ends. Pack your things.
15:00 – Bus leaves for Helsinki.
Here are a few things you can do in Redemption:
Confess your sins (and virtues). Seek out someone, another character, and confess to the sins you have just perpetrated. You can also confess to your virtues, the qualities that remain undefiled and pure, and thus need to be worked on next.
Sin in ways big and small. Perhaps sinning means speaking ill of someone, or coming up with a complex orgiastic scene involving Satan-worship and fucking those you hate the most.
Flirt. You’re in a retreat in the middle of nowhere to sin and be redeemed. Surely that means you can engage in a bit of flirting!
Satisfy your curiosity. What’s up with these socialists/Romanovs anyway? You’re all here to sin together so it stands to reason you should get to know each other too. Why not start with a few blunt questions?
Stare into Eternity. You’re a spiritual person experiencing one of the most religiously significant events of your life. It’s entirely possible to be possessed by holy ecstasy and rend your clothes in mad inspiration.
Satisfy petty impulses. You’re here to sin for your soul but who’s going to know if you sin for pettier reasons instead? Now is the time to bring out your character’s hidden desires, when satisfying them is all in the service of your soul.
Taking Care of the Venue
The venue is private and there shouldn’t be any outside people moving about. There’s a road nearby but no line of sight from the road directly to the building where most of the play happens.
Because we want to leave the venue in good shape, we suggest avoiding play that results in an excessive mess. So no throwing around food or anything similarly messy!
Let’s try not to break things so the venue can be used for larp again.
The wear and tear your costume can be expected to suffer is calibrated at the level of having to take it off and put it on multiple times and perhaps throwing yourself on the floor in religious ecstasy.