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Holding My Breath
A downloadable larp
A two person larp about a selkie, a human, and the vise-like grip of domestic life.
(CW: controlling behavior, dysfuntional domestic life)
A two hour game in which one player is a selkie and the other is a human who has stolen the selkies skin. This game is played while the selkie cooks the human dinner, and furtively searches for a key hidden in the kitchen. It focuses on a dysfunctional domestic dynamic where one partner has control over the other's freedom and form.
(Yes you might have to hold your breath for real.)
Includes originial sketches.
Thank you to Jeeyon Shim, Jay Dragon, Frisco Cruise, and Mabel Harper for proofreading!
In order to download this larp you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $5 USD. You will get access to the following files:
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If you can't afford Holding My Breath at it's listed price, I still want you to be able to access it. Please take a community copy, no questions asked. Thank you for your interest in my work!
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This is a deeply intense, really well structured two-person LARP, where civility is a mask over extremely unequal power and discontent.
It's nine pages, quite easy to read, and leads with an amazing, powerful cover.
Do mind the content warning, though, as well as the full page on how to play it safely. In addition to the game's core power dynamic (between a selkie and the human who holds their skin), there's mechanics around holding your breath for 30 seconds at a time. That plus a charged situation has the potential to be a force multiplier for the game's intensity, which may not be what everyone wants.
I don't think I'm a person who could play Holding My Breath comfortably, but I also think it's very worth adding to your library just to read.
-Page 6, "When filling out the notecards for the human" for the selkie?
-Page 8, "When filling out the notecards for the selkie" for the human?
-Page 8, "Give the deck to the human" to the selkie?
This is a LARP that explores the relationship between a selkie and their human captor through the preparation of a meal. It explores the trauma experienced by the selkie, as well as the abusive and controlling behaviour of the human. The game is both scary (as it deals with topics of abuse and trauma) and intimate (physical intimacy between the players is optional). I like how the game uses a kitchen as the setting, and can be played with common household items. Also kudos for the extensive section on safety and support.
This looks really emotionally impactful and a lot of my friends are very excited to play it, but I was surprised and disappointed to see that your description doesn't include a content warning; this can be very triggering for people who've spent a considerable amount of time trapped in abusive relationships / households.
Hello! I thought that the description that the game is about a dysfunctional partner dynamic where ove party has control over the other was a sufficient warning before buying the game. It's not labeled as a content warning, but was part of my intention to be clear about the subject matter of this game. There's a more in depth discussion of it in the safety section of the game. What do you feel needs to be more explicit before purchase?
My apologies, I think my phrasing was unintentionally vague. I was trying to communicate that the description itself can be triggering to people, at least I found it to be. Perhaps a simple "TW: reference to abuse" after the first sentence would give people the chance to opt out early enough if that's not something they handle well?
I had the chance to proofread this, and it was an incredible experience. It literally took my breath away. This game applies a level of mechanical thoughtfulness and depth to a single scene on a level that some games would struggle to reach in five hundred pages.
If you're trying to understand how the best parts of larp and tabletop can intersect to make something new, or you're looking for one of the most innovative small games of 2019, or you just want to contemplate abuse through a smart and carefully-balanced allegorical lens, then look no further. This is the game for you.