For anyone who missed my workshop on Alchemical Gaming at Living Games Conference 2018 and wanted to be there, here are the worksheet and handouts that we used. I revised them a bit in response to feedback from the participants. This is by far the most concisely and clearly I’ve ever been able to present this material, and I have all of you wonderful people to thank for that. I hope the community finds it helpful, especially new players who want to get their hands dirty by plunging them into a living mind (your own) and seeing what you can tweak while you’re in there.

They’re intended as a step-by-step guide to figuring out what you’ve learned from your game characters in the past, and what skills or personality traits you might want to design a future character to help you learn or explore. The first page is a character sheet for you as a player, to help figure out what matters to you, and also what kinds of experiences may be likely to confront or trigger you in-game. I like to say larp is a crucible – immersion is a prerequisite, andbleed is the method and the magic behind how the alchemy works. You can choose either to direct that bleed with a specific goal, or to let your transformation happen organically and analyze what how it changed you in retrospect. Or both. I like both.

The first three exercises work best as a progression, for figuring out commonalities between past characters, themes of games you’ve played and what you learned from them, and a goal or goals to build a future character around. Exercises 4 (Cerebral Cortex Speed-Dating) and 5 (Dirty Laundry) are freeform larps designed to illustrate the power of archetypes and shadow work, respectively.

Feedback or questions would be most welcome. To that end, I’ve enabled commenting on the Google doc. If you comment anonymously, please sign your name so that I know who to thank for the input.