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42 Theses for a Revolution



Translator's preliminary notes: those theses where written in 2013 to provoque and shake the Italian larp scene. (view original post, in Italian, here). They are meant to be witty, unkind and even insulting. They are also mainly addressed to the mainstream Italian fantasy boffer and Vampire larpers, as they represent the traditional way of larping in Italy, without any significant changes from the late ‘90.
If you feel offended by this we’d like to say that we are sorry, but frankly we don’t give a damn. ;) If you want to read our proper, "serious" (if somewhat outdated) Manifesto, you'll find it here.
Reader’s discretion is advised. 

Revolution knocks on our doors! Change cannot be stopped. Revolutionary Larpers are marching forward from their hiding places to tell the world about their need for renovation that lead them in the fight. Everyday acts of rebellion shake the pillars of the old regime, it is clear that the wizened D&D players cannot stop the mounting tide. We have now raised our heads, their dices don’t scare us anymore. Everywhere the songs of revolution can be heard, those rebellious chants that tell the tale of an immersive and free larp, of characters sheets and lammies burned at the stake, of hit points hanged on common squares as enemies of the people.

In the nearby of the castle where we’ll play “La fortezza dei vinti” (“The Stronghold of the Vanquished” ) the most radical act occurred. During the night a faceless rebel hero put on the door of the Stronghold the words that in the clandestine circles are known as the 42 Theses of Paderna (the castle where we were about to play the first Revolutionary Larp, translator’s note).
The forces of oppression obviously destroyed those enlightening pages but we managed to save a copy that we are publishing so that all the Revolutionary Larpers can read the Theses of the Revolution.


1. The Revolutionary Larper has a commitment to excellence and she wants to be the best.
2. The Revolutionary Larper doesn’t want to be alone, her goal is to show to everyone how to become a Revolutionary Larper. 
3. You’ll probably be surprised, but the main reason to attend a larp is, well, to play the larp. If you think that your priorities are different than this, as, for example, camping, or trying to have sexual intercourse dressed as an Elf, maybe you should find another hobby. And a good analyst too.
4. Quality costs. If you want to spend no more than 4.99€  for two days of larp, you’re free to play in city parks infested by bongo drummers and wrap yourself in aluminium foil to simulate a shining armour plate. This way you’ll also be sheltered by the Illuminati mind reading techniques.
5. After years of trials and errors, the Revolutionary Larper learnt some secret techniques that allows her to survive even to the most hostile environments. For example, she knows that it’s cold during the winter and it’s better to get an extra blanket when she camps. She also noticed that, when you are outdoor, sometimes it rains, and maybe having a heavy cloak to resist water is not a bad idea. Unfortunately all the other larpers seem to have not still understood these unfathomable secrets of the universe. 
6. Punctuality is not an act of courtesy, it’s a an obligation. If you arrive late at a larp you’re not elegant, you’re a douchebag. I’m fairly persuaded that all the usual latecomers wouldn’t show up late at the theatre, or after a movie has begun. I don’t see why a larp should be different and treated with less respect than other activities. Besides, if you show up late at a Star Wars movie George Lucas won’t come after you with a scaffolding pipe. If you do it at my larp, I will.
7. If you cheat, you’re a loser. Someone had to tell you this. You’re a miserable person who nourishes her puny ego violating the fragile rules of a game based on trust! Now that you have been enlightened on this, you could dedicate yourself to something best suited for you, as stealing candies from a baby or beating cripples in a running contest. We won’t miss you. 
8. If someone cheats in front of you, just ignore her. Take your chance to show you superior role-playing abilities and play a touching scene of defeat. With some luck, you’ll create a nice play for others and you’ll also humiliate that cheating dick.
9. Play for others. Larp are activities based on integration between players. If you uncover the Big Secret, tell someone! If you’re planning to steal the treasure of the evil Emperor, involve other players in your scheming. We don’t want our larp events to become boring personal psychodramas during which sociopath players stare at each other in suspect without talking, each of them protecting their petty mysteries and their useless backgrounds.
10. Rules are meant to simulate the very few actions you cannot do for real. Do not fall in love with rules, do not let rules maim your play. Every additional word in a ruleset is a defeat for our courage.
11. If you rub some green paint on your face you are not an Orc, you’re an idiot. Make-up and masks are an artistic element of larp, don’t screw it up in the insane desire to clumsily portrait some monstrous race. If you want to appear exotic and strange, commit yourself. Suspension of disbelief is not a joke!
12. The Revolutionary Larper knows that there are tons of larp groups and collectives, each of them with merits, flaws and a specific game style. The Revolutionary Larper plays all the larps that arouse her curiosity and enjoy them for what they are, she doesn’t try to force her style into the larp for playing something else. 
13. To look for inspiration in order to play a larp, it is not recommendable to read the last chapter of “The White Elves defend the shining good form Urgoth the destroyer” or “The Terrible Tyrant of Terror in the Thorny Tower of Torment”. Try Pirandello next time. 
14. The Revolution will focus on adult and deep thematics during larps. If you are not ok with this, you can keep watch Teletubbies.
15. In the Medieval Age people conjugated verbs. 
16. Larp can and must be a form of art. We will write larp with a clear artistic aim and we expect the players to contribute in creating something beautiful. 
17. The Revolutionary Larper doesn’t say things like “yo bro” and “okey-dokey” during historical or fantasy larps. If she does, other Revolutionary Larpers will beat her up with a nubby and thorny bludgeon.
18. Trust the Authors. After working as egyptian slaves to organize a larp, they won’t for sure write you a shitty fate just to ruin your fun, don’t you think?
19. Cosplay is not enough. Everybody likes to play with people properly dressed for their character. But, please, acknowledge that spoiling your paycheck for buying your third embroided dress or your second complete armour won’t make you a better larper. 
20. If you play only with your friends you are a loser. Play with everybody. If you sign up for a chess game you probably are not bothered by the fact the your opponent is a complete stranger. 
21. Respond to every action during a larp. Coherence is a fundamental element to tell a satisfying story. If someone slights you, do not forget it. If someone slains you sister in the woods, do not let the off-game night spent in your tent to take away your character’s rightful rage. Take action the morning after and seek for revenge! 
22. If you like spending hours in min-maxing your character’s skills, or solve differential equations to figure out your hit points and your sole purpose is to stockpile so many magic weapons that the Soviet nuclear arsenal would pale in comparison, maybe larp is not meant for you. Try Diablo instead.
23. We must have the courage to experiment. Always. If nobody tried something new we’d couldn't even talk about larp right now.
24. There’s nothing provocative or maverick in entering a motorway service area with your fantasy costume and make-up still on. One of the Revolution’s goal is to make larp a completely socially acceptable activity. Please, do not frustrate our efforts making a fool of yourself.
25. Do not look for the easy way out or the most convenient choice. When characters agree on ignoring the conflicts that divide them, they are killing the role-play. If Hector and Achilles had set their differences with an handshake the Epic Poetry would have badly suffered for it, don’t you think?
26. Shoes. I’m pretty sure that you would never play soccer wearing boots you could see on a ‘70 punk nostalgic. So, please, do not show up at a larp wearing some horrible green fluo snickers.  
27. Liking a specific game style is not an excuse to not try other stuff. By exploring different larp events you will learn a great deal of things that are going to be useful to enrich your favourite style and play it with more awareness.  This is true unless you are the kind of people who are convinced that "Those were the days..." and you regret the "halcyon days of yore". In that case, you shouldn’t be reading this, or using a computer.
28. Larp scenes between characters planned in advance by players are the death of role-play. Please do not do this.
29. Every role-playing game has its own identity and language. Larp is not an extension of tabletop rpgs. It is not a MMORPG surrogate. It is not a softair contest with boffer swords. Larp is larp. Trying to make it something different is useless and pointless.
30. Larp is a cultural and complex activity that require a certain preparation from players. For instance, we’d be grateful if you knew at least a thousand Italian words. Otherwise you could always find solace in other games, as Twirlin’ Runway Styles.
31. If in your previous larp experience you used to say things like “Come on, BUFF me and I’ll TANK the mob and hit it with a DOUBLE SILVER”*, you are a terrible person. Punish yourself for it and swear you’ll never do it again.
*this phrase cannot be properly translated as it points out the awful habit to italianize english verbs and damage calls  used in the ruleset during in-game conversation. 
32. Every Revolutionary Larper must accept that at some point she will encounter potentially uncomfortable things. She’ll be beaten with boffer weapons, hugged, asked to put make-up on, yelled at, kissed on the cheek, exposed to difficult themes that she could find offensive. If you cannot endure this, do not complain appealing to some kind of principle of justice, just don’t play our larps. I suffer from vertigo but I don’t demand the sky to be lowered in order to try skydiving.
33. Most larpers are losers who never grew past their puberty, and play larps in order to live again the simple joys they remember from their very first D&D campaign. We want to change that and you can help us. By trying to grow up. Or just by leaving larp.
34. For years players were allowed to choose their character names without the slightest limitation. This tradition led to curious events. It is told that one time Legolas, Caius Camillus, Black Jack, Goku e DEATH MEGATRON 3000 sat at the same table. Thus you’ll probably understand our decision to impose reasonable names to the protagonists of our stories.
35. The Revolutionary Larper is open to every game style but she can tell what is beautiful and what is disgusting. That’s why she can barely stand those players who paint a smiley face on a medieval shield or those who want to play the “half-demon half-angel half-werewolf Ninja from the Katai Empire”. Unless, of course, the larp theme is the “BAD TASTE FAIR”. In that case, the Revolutionary Player choses to go to the seaside instead.
36. For countless years Italian larp associations and groups have been hating each other. They are jealous of their players and organizers despise each other. This hate led to a cultural stagnation and we failed in innovating our way of playing. The Revolutionary Larper knows that true improvement comes only by diversity and discussion.
37. The Revolutionary Larper doesn’t fear action. Nobody knows what confers her the amazing bravery to be the protagonist of her own story. Perhaps she’d feel dumb if she had payed 100€ to just sit on a bench and stay silent.
38. If you can’t tell the difference between fiction and reality, or between your identity and your character’s one, you shouldn’t play larp, but seek for a good shrink. We suggest the same doctor who took care of the one who likes mating dressed as an Elf. 
39. Tower shields that cover you up from toe to chin are a nonsense with no correspondence to historical reality and neither to the worst comic books. We’ll have our justice about this. In the meantime, do not buy one. If you already have one, you’ll find for sure a better purpose for it, as a bulkhead for a German U-Boat, for example. 
40. Italy, strange as it seems, does have larp theoretics and academics that for a very long time dedicated themselves to game design theory. Unfortunately their major success so far is managing to hide themselves the best they could. It is told that they gather once a year in a secret location in the Italian Maremma. According to others, their meeting point is a “trattoria”* not far from the railroad exit of Casal Pusterlengo, where, inspired by the famous homemade fettuccine prepared by Signora Lucia, the  mysterious wise men wrote enlightening scripts that nobody will ever read. 
41. If you are looking for a game of balanced fights in which you can win showing off your fencing skills, you’re probably in the wrong place. Try a Kendo gym, but don’t come back whining after you’ve been badly hit on the spine. 
42. Anyone can be a Revolutionary Larper. Especially if she hasn’t tried larp yet. Even you, reader, already are a Revolutionary Larper, you just don’t know it yet. 


In case you are wondering, yes, 42 is the answer.

This abundantly prove that Revolution is right.

Marco Bielli