Play & Safety techniques

1. Ghostly interactions

1. 1. Haunting

Ghosts may try and manipulate Mortals or other Ghosts into doing/saying things by using this technique:
The Ghost touches their target in question with both hands and speaks the trigger sentence
“You will listen to me” followed by how they want to manipulate them.
This is meant to be absolutely immersive. Characters within earshot CAN hear this. All players will know these to be the magic words and only this phrasing will be valid. People can still say “Listen to me!” or “Listen!” These aren’t magic. This goes for any of the trigger sentences. Players can say anything else in any phrasing without it being “accidentally” a meta technique, ONLY the agreed-upon wording is.
The technique may be used in different intensities: 1 hand touch. No touch standing close. No touch standing only within earshot. 
The Mortal player decides in any case how much their character will be affected.
We will ask players to be good sports about it, on both sides.
The Mortal may ask for more escalation.
Anytime after the trigger sentence has been used (given the scene is still going on, of course), the Mortal may say “Tell me more.” to ask the Ghost to intensify the situation.

1. 2. Possession

Ghosts may possess a Mortal by putting one hand on their shoulder from behind (no jumpscare!). This enables the Ghost to steer the Mortal’s movements and may speak through them by whispering. During the possession, the Ghost is invisible to Mortals and cannot be played on by them as though they are there.

1. 2. 1 Possession in STAY@HOME

In the first act of the larp (6-9PM), POSSESSION is not possible. This option only becomes available during Ghosting Hour.

Ghosts may express that they want to possess a Mortal by saying “[Character Name], I am taking over!”

The Mortal will then press G twice to “blink”  in response to agree to the interaction.

The Ghost then becomes invisible and “enters” the Mortal’s body by following these four steps:

  • Turning off their camera
  • Muting their microphone
  • Setting their name to “INVISIBLE”
  • Setting themselves to “follow” the Mortal in question

The Ghost will type out what the Mortal needs to do and say via Private Chat.

The possession enables the Ghost to steer the Mortal’s movements and may speak through them by telling them what to say in Private Chat. During the possession, the Ghost is invisible to Mortals and cannot be played on by them as though they are there.

If the Possession is asking for self-harm or suicide, possessed Mortals are asked to use TELLING (don’t use text role playing in the chat for this!) and exaggerated, slow movements to indicate what is going to happen and give possible bystanders a chance to remove themselves or intervene if necessary. 

1.3. Ending the interaction

The Mortal may ask to stop the haunting/possession for any reason, they will not be questioned as to why they ended it. Players are asked to be good sports about the hauntings/possessions and give each other good play rather than one-upping each other. Don’t play to win, play to struggle/lift!
As soon as the Mortal player wishes to end the situation for whatever reason, they may say “I can’t take it anymore” This will prompt the Ghost to slowly let go and move on, no questions asked.

1.4. Death

For most of the larp, the Ghosts may try to get Mortals to kill one another. The Ghosts can only physically harm Mortals within the agreed upon Haunting Hours. But also in that timeframe, the VICTIM RULE is in effect: The receiving character of any kind of action decides the final outcome.
Organisers/NPCs will NOT run around declaring characters dead. The players are adults and must roleplay accordingly to give each other great play.
After character death, players will join a designated organiser for a little ritual in a safe room, possibly apply blood or sfx, and then return as a new Resident Ghost.

2. Intimacy

2.1. Sex

To play on sexual intimacy, players may use slow escalation and consent/escalation techniques.
They also may go behind closed doors and make appropriate noises, ruffle their hair and clothes etc. to emerge later and clearly give the picture of what happened.

2.2. Kissing / Touching

Given that the escalation/de-escalation techniques are used and enthusiastic consent is given through that, players may kiss/make out/touch irl in public play areas. This goes for any intensity: Whether characters flirt and kiss softly, or do it roughly. The rule is to escalate slowly. Preferably, players calibrate in an off-game moment about their comfort with physical touch of any kind.

2.3. Sexual violence

Non-consensual intimate encounters and/or assaults are not part of STAY. They will not be played on, let alone played out. None of the characters have non-consensual sex written in and this topic will be completely ignored at the game.
This is due to safety and comfort reasons. Once something like that happens to one character, others will automatically be affected and that might be players who want/need to avoid the topic. So we ask everyone not to play on it whatsoever.

3. Violence

3.1. Physical violence

To play on physical violence, players may use theatre slapping and stage fighting. Players may play with the “theatre hair-pull” etc. To de-escalate, players may use tapping out – Tapping twice on the other person to make them physically back off / and/or the de-escalation hand gesture explained in the workshops.
There will be no jump-scares or attacks from behind as this is too triggering off game.

3.2. Weapons

Weapons present will be larp knives or similar, no real knives will be used in play whatsoever.

Only The Agent and The Veteran are allowed to carry in game guns. These will be toy guns that don’t have any projectile to shoot.

Players may bring larp weapons, but must have them approved by organisers pre-game. Approved weapons will have a little piece of red yarn attached to mark them as such.

4. Escalation and de-escalation

4.1. Immersive escalation

To ask for more escalation within any other situation than a haunting, players may use the trigger sentence:
Is that all you’ve got?


The “come on” hand gesture as explained in the workshops.

This will signal to the opponent to up the ante. The opponent doesn’t have to escalate if they’re not comfortable doing so. They can simply end the situation by taking a step back and/or saying something along the lines of:
Yeah that’s all I’ve got.
Players will be asked to slowly and gradually escalate, and not to go from 2 to 12 after hearing “Is that all you’ve got?”.

4.2. Immersive de-escalation

To de-escalate we use:
I can’t take it anymore.
This is a means to signal off game boundaries and/or wanting to get out of the scene in an immersive way.

4.3. Off-game safeword

As an overall safeword to immediately stop the game, maybe if someone gets really hurt or lost their contact lens etc, we use: “CODE”
When the word “CODE” is said firmly and clearly, the scene stops. Everybody goes off-game and repeats the “CODE” to spread it as far as it needs to go.
No player will be asked to justify their use of the safeword, the situation will be dealt with swiftly off-game and everybody will resume play as soon as possible.

5. Look Down

As a means to get their character from A to B without being played on, we use “Look Down”
Players place their hand over their eyes as if to shield them from the sun and move around silently. This means their character is invisible and can’t be played on. They are not there. This may be used to calibrate off game with someone, or to go to and from the toilet as a Ghost, or to quickly join a situation their character would’ve been in from the start.
A character who “pops up” out of Look Down is not played upon as if they just popped up, they were just there from the start.