The Price of Inspiration

“Are you desperate to reignite the spark of your creativity? Are you searching for inspiration for your masterpiece? Are you staring at a blank page for hours when you try to create?

Now, we have the answer – our exclusive creativity retreat with the author Morgan Blake. Together we will engage in a wide range of workshops and exercises with a select group of fellow artists. We will open the doors to your inner creative fire and inspire you to produce your best art. Come with an open mind, enter freely and show your inspiration to us all. Be prepared to show the world the best artist you can be.”


Where and What?

The Price of Inspiration is a larp about amateur and professional artists attending a weekend creativity retreat. It is a dark drama set in modern day with urban fantasy elements. Player characters take part in various exercises over the weekend, while gradually coming to terms with what price they would pay for true inspiration.

The larp is on 7-10 October in Finland, 90 minutes from Helsinki. Accommodation and food is included. The game language is english, but characters take on the nationality of the player so no one has to pass for a native speaker.

Further details and link to the signup form are here:

Details about all the Catharsis Production events are here:

Background to the event

Price of Inspiration had a first run in March 2016 with 18 players from 6 countries. A revised second run is currently open for sign-up.

Previously, Catharsis Productions presented the psychological horror larp Pan. Price of Inspiration is their next larp. It explores very different themes and the genre is not horror, but it is uses the same wider setting and metaphysics. Like Pan, the larp is played in a good holiday home with physical comforts and good food. By not being physically taxing, players have have more energy to give to the event.

Gaiman’s work (e.g. the Sandman series) is a big influence on this event. While the characters are modern humans, they encounter mythic forces which illuminate aspects of the human condition.


Game Design

The core themes of the event include creativity and sacrifice. It explores the pressures and demands of artistic work, the question of what one is prepared to do produce great art and gain all the fame and reward that brings.

The design is based on the three pillars models:

  • the characters (‘who are you?’),
  • the frame (‘why are you here?’)
  • the plot twist (‘where are you going?’)

The design is such that all three pillars are strong enough such at even if one part of it doesn’t work out for a particular player (e.g. a player can’t relate the character’s conflicts, or maybe the plot twist isn’t interesting to them), the other pillars are sufficiently strong to still give them a good larp experience. To put it another way, the design has built-in redundancy.

The characters are written as short briefings with internalised conflict, creativity blocks, and a small number of strong relations to other characters. This supports introspective and psychologically immersive play, as well as complex interpersonal relationships. Players can select their character’s artform and do not need any real artistic skills to play.

The frame is the creativity retreat and the exercises that take place there. Players characters are welcome to present their own activities, and together we hope to offer a range of experiences that are interesting in their own right, as well as developing the characters, expressing their conflicts and exploring the themes.

As for the plot twist, this event plays with low transparency: there is a mystery to investigate, but no need for anyone to do so to advance the story. Unlike some nordic larps, the larp has no preset ending so player characters can act naturally without needing to force the narrative. Play naturally unfolds, and we are confident that the different elements will organically produce dramatic outcomes.

Together these three pillars support the play in an organic and naturalistic way. We invite you to join us and help the doors to the creative fire of inspiration.

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