Physical simulation workshop

Pre-larp workshop for physical contact simulation where participants experiment physical dynamics with the help of color keywords.

This workshop is intended for the physical simulation process at Somnia larps as well as part of the Spanish larp scene. It was tested during la sirena varada.

It uses common concepts as keywords (Green/Yellow/Red) and gradual lining up.
Color keywords, at the cost of sacrificing immersion, allow participants to play with the limits without the fear of offending others.
For those larps that cannot use color keywords (colors are a major aspect of the larp or no sound/words are allowed) holding out the hand, one tap and double tap can be used as Green, Yellow and Red.
Keywords can be used either alone or disguised into a phrase. It is up to the participant, but it should always be presented in a clear way to others.
This workshop can also take place in character but always keep in mind that the colors refer to the participant”s limits and desires not the character’s.



For this workshop participants will pair up several times.
In each step one member of the couple will be in charge of guiding the process. The “lead” will be the active element advancing while waiting for consent. The “follower” will answer by either accepting the advance or stopping it according to their tolerance.
If during the workshop the lead finds their limit before the follower does, the lead must indicate so. The follower will then use the keyword in the next instants of the process.

Colors – Keywords

Three colors are used to control the physical advance: Green, Yellow, Red
The three words can be used by the person who leads or follows the interaction at any moment.

  • Green, can be used as an invitation to escalate the process or as answer to confirm the step in. When no color is answered to a Green invitation the person who made the offer understands that it was accepted.

Participant1: We have been friends for so long… and this terrible situation has made me think.
Participant2: Green. Why are you so close. Stop it! We are nothing but friends…
Participant1: I am sorry I cannot control myself…

  • Yellow, indicates that the participant has reached the limit of their comfort zone and does not wish to go further. Any other involved in the scene should continue as until now but by no means can they escalate the process.

Participant1: Green. Maybe we could go somewhere more private.
Participant 2: Yellow. But here the stars are so pretty.
Partcipant1: You are right I also like it here.

  • Red, for any reason the level is not bearable for the participant, even if their character would continue. If Red is said those involved in the scene will leave that participant out of it in a diegetical way.

Participant1: That is the hardest you can hit? Red. Come on, I dare you!
Participant2: I think you already had enough, but do not dare again!

Remember Red is not cut or danger. Participants can use it freely to set their boundaries without being afraid of cutting the game. In fact it is advisable to use Red or Yellow as a precaution measure if the participant feels it required.

Line up

The organizer sets two points distant enough for the participants to line up. One represents the maximum tolerance level (either physical clash or physical intimacy for this exercise) the other the minimum.
Participants line up between them.
More than one participant can take one position.
It is not expected to be an exact increment since it is based in the participants’ relative perspective. But nevertheless it will allow participants to match with those of similar tolerance level.

Slow path

For this exercise participants will experiment with the consent process. The progressive use of the word “Green” and the final use of the word “Yellow”
Each pair will start a slow process of requesting permission and granting it. When a comfortable level is found Yellow is said, then the pair stays in that level for a short amount of time before moving on to the next exercise.

Fast path

In this exercise we seek for the use of the keyword Red. Not to help participants discover their limits but to learn to use and hear this word.
Participants need to know that there is nothing wrong with the use of Red, as there is nothing wrong in hearing it either.
The presence of such word should help them play with confidence as they will be informed with a keyword if the other person’s limit is crossed.
This exercise will happen faster than the slow one, by jumping secondary steps, but still asking for permission prior to important ones. When the tolerance level is about to be reached one of the participants uses Red.


Clash refers to physical clash between participants. It starts with the words or screams leading to the contact, continues with slow grabbing and struggle and so on.


Intimacy refers to physical intimacy. Starts with words of invitation (can also be unwanted in case of rape simulation). Continues with proximity or hugs. Then soft caress in arms or face. Touch of the body excluding the intimate zones, and so on.



This workshop will take place in two subdivisions: slow path/fast path and Yellow/Red to a total of four parts.

At the beginning of each part, participants will line up, ordering themselves according to their tolerance (remember participant, not character) to each element. Once ordered they chose a partner from the ones near them.
This is meant so participants of similar tolerance level coincide during each exercise.


Workshop process


  • Line up according to physical tolerance and pair up.
  • Slow path:
    • First participant leads
    • Second participant leads
  • Line up according to physical tolerance and pair up.
  • Fast path:
    • First participant leads
    • Second participant leads


  • Line up according to intimacy tolerance and pair up.
  • Slow path:
    • First participant leads
    • Second participant leads
  • Line up according to intimacy tolerance and pair up.
  • Fast path:
    • First participant leads
    • Second participant leads



The workshop can be speed up with only one slow and fast path. It is recommended to perform the slow one for the physical contact expected to be predominant in the larp (clash or intimacy)

This techniques should grant participants the security to perform physical contact without the fear of offending the other in a fluid way. The physical process can be made more fluid during the larp by skipping intermediate steps always upon the agreement of both parts. Still it is recommended to use the keywords or to ask for permission diegetically/extra diegetically before taking major steps.

Larps with specific requirements regarding physicality can establish a threshold level at which any participant needs to be agree on. Still words as Red, cut or danger can be used in this “agreed minimum”

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