15. March, 1998

It is our wish that the definitions below are seen as normative for the use of the terms "fate" and "fateplay" as LARP terminology.

Current definitions

In this document alone the common terms "plot", "intrigue" and "instructed player" are used with a specific, limited meaning. There are more definitions of the terms than the ones we use here, and these definitions are not meant as normative - they are used in order offer a more precise definition of "fateplay". Fateplay may be defined differently in contrast to other definitions of these terms.

0.1 "Plot"

A "plot" is a task, goal or riddle given to a player with the purpose for creating action in the larp. Implicitly in any plot is a challange in that the goal may not automatically be achieved.

0.2 "Intrigue"

An "Intrigue" is an interhuman tension placed in one or more written character descriptions by the larpwrights with the purpose of creating action in a larp. An intrigue describes emotions; antipathies and sympathies amongst those involved in the intrigue but does not (as the plot) give clear aims for how these are to influence the larp.

0.3 "Instructed Player"

An "Instructed Player" (IP) is any player who receives specific and personal instructions from the larpwrights on how to act after the larp has begun.

1. "Fateweb"

A fateweb is the simple, bulleted story that forms the basis for improvisation in a fateplay. A fateweb is made by reducing the larps' desired fable to it's simplest possible units.

2. "Fateplay"

A fateplay is a role-playing* event or improvised theatre play where a fateweb is interpreted and transformed into improvised acting by the fact that all participants follow their character's fate.

* We here mean both verbal ("tabletop") roleplaying and physical ("live action") roleplaying. An improvised theatre play, however, is held before a non-interacting audience.

3. "fate"

A fate is the list of simple instructions given to a participant in a fateplay so that the player through following them will fulfill his/her part of the fateweb. A fate is written in such a way as to minimise the risk of misundestanding and in such a way that the instructions may be acted out without obstacles.

Accidents may of course occur, and they may prevent you from following the fate, but the larpwright should strive to minimize this risk.

4. "Mixed fateplays"

A fateplay may contain intrigues and still be a fateplay. In theory a fateplay may also be held inside the surroundings of a plot-containg roleplay. This is called "a mixed fateplay". In mixed fateplays the fateweb is a separate and closed part of the drama, which does not influence and is not influenced by the plots of the rest of the larp. If fates are used to control or change the narrative of a primarily plot-controlled larp - we're not talking about fateplay but of the use of instructed players, or an event with "fateplay elements".

5. "Instructed playerers" and further clarification of the term "fate"

Every fateplayer is an instructed player, but not vice-versa. The term "fate" is narrower than "instruction" For instructions to be called "fates", they must:

  1. consist part of a fate-web where all dramatic participants have fates.
  2. be phrased in such a way as to avoid obstacles for the player to carry them out.

6. Surprise

It is irrelevant for the definitions, and a question of taste, if a acting out the fate serves to surprise the player or not. It is also irrelevant if the fateweb is hidden, partially hiden or openly available to any player. Illustration: At the first fateplay, Moirais Vev, the written fateweb was hung up as a poster on the wall inside the equipment tent. Some studied it in detail, others looked away.

These defintions are written by the Freeweavers Lodge. The Lodges membership consists of experienced fateweavers, including the ones who invented the terms and introduced them to the larp communities.

The definitions were written because we saw an increasing trend of larpers using the terms for a number of things that were not fates or fateplays, due to misunderstandings rather than experience.