The Vademecum of the Karstic Style

Andrea Castellani

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In December 2007 I launched a project for the organisation of at least one experimental or alternative larp every month in the city of Trieste and in nearby locations along the Italian-Slovenian border, especially on the Karst, the limestone plateau which surrounds the city and where I currently live most of the time. In our first sixteen months we have organised 24 larps, ranging in participants from 6 to 23 people and in duration from 2 hours to 3 days.

This project has helped me clarify my ideas about those particular larps which focus on giving the participants an experience (even though larps focusing on storytelling and competition were also included in our programme), and at some point I understood that most of the problems encountered during larps of this kind could be avoided by introducing a clear set of norms for participants and organisers. For this reason I decided to write this Vademecum of the Karstic Style, which is officially in use for most of our larps as from January 2009, although the fourth run of La ferrovia scarlatta in October 2008 had already followed all of the norms later included in the Vademecum. A vademecum (Latin vade mecum, "go with me") is a reference work intended to be carried along at all times: I think the word fits very well with the intended purpose of this paper.