Happy (Belated) Valentine’s Day! Here’s a Free Thing!

I hope you got to spend Valentine’s Day with someone you cared about!

In honor of the holiday, I’d like to share something I wrote up for a friend’s LARP.

He’d been thinking about the myriad of ways in which live-action games handle romance and sex between characters, especially when those characters don’t have a real-world romantic or sexual connection. One proposed solution was the Nordic-inspired technique, Ars Amandi (here’s a video if you prefer). I found the entire concept intriguing; my ‘home larp’ uses backrubs to represent intimacy and this seemed like a more-developed version of that concept.

But I also personally pulled back from the video a bit. I’m a little weird about touch, and I can’t say I’d be comfortable being in physical contact with someone I didn’t know really well, even if the touching was restricted to hands, arms and shoulders.

So I got to thinking about non-physical ways to represent intimacy, and how I’ve personally done it in the past. And one thing I realized is that, in a larp, the majority of the game revolves around character development and narration. Physical contact is almost incidental, what really matters to most of the players I’ve observed in IC romances is the way their emotional intimacy develops.

And so, with that in mind, I developed Intimacy Questions – a series of 14 questions which PCs ask of each other. Characters ask one or two questions of each other during an encounter, a representation of their growing closer together and learning more about each other.

Intimacy Questions may be further abstracted – sharing the information represents a violation of trust on the order of infidelity, making the answer to someone’s Intimacy Question public knowledge is a crass move akin to locker room bragging.

I’ve posted a PDF of the rules over in Freebies, or download directly by clicking the button below.