Everything = talk is a tiny reference to Arrow’s Everything – breathe. I solemnly swear I’ll repeat the message of this post infinitely throughout the series – for a reason.
#1 Talk before a game and after a game. I honestly cannot say which one is more important – because both are incredibly important. Talk before a game to avoid ugly things during a game – mistakes in the relationships of your characters, jealousy post-effects, misunderstandings which lead to (adrenaline and emotion, right) tears… Talk after a game to see what you both can do about things that went wrong for either one of you, and to do your best to evade PLD. It’s not just a relationship thing – partners can help each other regarding their individual experiences after an event, both in terms of adjusting the bad and enjoying the good.
#2 When in doubt, talk. Know your partner as you know yourself, at least in terms of roleplay style, things they like to weave into their characters, how you can help each other to experience stuff you desire in a larp etc. Not sure which method for ingame lovemaking simulation they prefer? Ask! You really think that pale blue, oversized cloak makes them look like a hippo? Tell! (And yes, serious things count as well as those noted above.)
#3 Apply the conclusions of the talking. I, for once, am huge on reading into the theory of everything, especially things I’d like to do some day. But reading is not the same as doing. And talking is not the same as living. You’re bound to come across some conclusions during all the talking, be it as simple as “we don’t really work when our characters are platonic friends at a larp” or whatever. You should take care to remember those tiny details and apply them the next time you go larping. Otherwise you’ll never improve the experience for either of you.
#4 Talk – because roleplaying is a totally different medium to express oneself. Yup, some people are just unspeakable (or, to put it plainly, unable to speak their emotions clearly – a handy term I borrowed and adapted from J. K. Rowling’s Ministry of Magic.). But if you count on ingame roleplay only to tell you what your partner really feels about a game (or something particular in that game), you won’t get far as to understand how they really feel. When under the influence of adrenaline, immersion or bleed, things tend to get a little… blurry, for people. Make sure you understood your partner’s actions correctly.
#5 I’d always recommend talking things out – especially the hard things – over coffee. (Beer is perfectly acceptable, too.) It’s easier to concentrate when you’re somewhere other than your favourite couch and/or bedroom, and being surrounded by other people makes it a lot harder to rip each other’s throat out.
#6 When in serious doubt, talk to other larping friends – or, and I’m really serious about this, your non-larper friends. Outsiders are like children – they think differently from those involved in a problem, and regularly come up with solutions you’d have never thought of by yourself. And true friends do one thing exeptionally well – call you out when you’re behaving like an idjit.
Photo by Ksenija Premuš and Vjeko Kiralj (Para pokreće svijet: Vrata rata, Croatia, 2012)