Introduction by the game creators
For several years now, we've been creating Larps, exploring and experimenting with various themes and concepts. We have a profound love for games where the experience is larger than life, where drama shakes the participants to their core, making everything feel alive, real, and pulsating with emotion.
We have a deep passion for storytelling through the drama of combat. Over many years, we've honed our skills in theatrical fighting, conducting seminars and weekly meetings to delve into the concepts and develop tools and terminology that help us teach this subject.
We decided to invent a one-time game that combines our love for high-quality Larps with a unique and dramatic narrative, all woven together with theatrical combat. For us, hosting an event where we can share our knowledge through an immersive gaming experience is a tremendous privilege and a gift to the global community.
It will be epic, it will be captivating, and it will be unlike anything we've ever seen before.
We've put in tremendous effort to assemble a professional team that has traveled with us throughout the years and is attuned to the spirit of the game. This responsible, experienced, and professional team knows how to guide you through the journey precisely and will take care of every aspect along the way.
It's important to us to host an event that can take you to the edge, while also looking out for your well-being, both mentally and physically, without compromise.
We invite you to be part of this creation.
In this game, you will portray a character sold into slavery and is being trained for the life of a Gladiator in the Roman Empire.
It is about the process that those slaves, you, are going through, and the opportunity they are given - to gain fame, though mixed with pain, loss, and longing for freedom.
You will meet other characters that are in a similar situation, but who come from different backgrounds and have different motivations.
Divided into training groups, you will find partners for the process and maybe, a mentor to follow.
Throughout the game you will be taught a variety of lessons in combat, focused on the theatrical aspects of it - both in-game, as a fighter for the amusement of others, and in-game, as a player.
We aim to show you the art of theatrical fighting, both as a character and as a player.
The might of the Roman Empire is built not only on the strength of her legions, but also on the delight, satisfaction, and amusement of the people.
Bread and circuses, as the proverb goes, become as relevant for those living in the provinces, as to the people of Rome itself.
But to provide the meat for the insatiable grinder of the arenas, two ingredients are required. First, people whose life is worth little, or who dream of the glory of the fight. Second, a training structure.
The former is an easy resource for an empire that exists in a state of constant warfare.
Slaves are cheap and constantly streaming from all the corners of the known world.
But to create a true spectacle, such that would captivate the minds and the souls of the people, the latter is required.
IMMERSION is at the core of our game. It's about placing the narrative front and center, directing the gameplay towards characters with depth and drama. Our role-play experience is mostly about the bittersweet taste of captivity and solitude.
However, within that solitude, the lessons, peak moments like competitions, and human interactions shine as beacons of light. Sometimes, even laughter and joy emerge from that same solitude, but they are all the more precious for it.
Immersion, for us, means that the story takes precedence, and the game is designed to engage players in a multi-dimensional experience from character creation to on-site workshops, ensuring they arrive at the event with confidence.
THEATRICAL COMBAT AND PERFORMANCE: Within our game, we will impart the art of theatrical fighting from our knowledge and experience. You will not only engage in LARP combat but also learn performance skills.
Combat within the game will primarily prioritize elements such as style, character expression, and cooperative combat strategies over mere technical prowess and athleticism.
LIFE IN BONDAGE: In our game, players take on roles within an unconventional setting. On one hand, they exist as commodities to be bought and exploited at worst, and at best, they might lead to a comfortable yet confined existence under lenient masters. On the flip side, they have the potential to achieve a kind of glory that only a select few ever attain. While most characters will commence the game fully aware of their station in this world, others will discover it through in-game experiences. Specific dynamics will be imparted during workshops before the game.
FRATERNITY AND PATHS: In our game, most players begin as a united entity, but before long, they discover that they are divided into distinct "paths" or "houses." Each path possesses its unique lore and a deep connection to the Prima Ludus. These paths consist of both new and experienced characters who learn and train together, often being assigned as a cohesive team for various in-game activities.
COMPETITION AND SPORTSMANSHIP: While our game places a strong focus on theatrical combat and narrative-driven drama, we also aim to infuse a sense of honor and recreation through sports and competition. Training, tournaments, and various physical activities will be woven into the event. Also, paths will engage in friendly rivalry and vie for leisure and honor in team-based events and scenes.
WARRIOR ETHOS: Within our game, we delve deeply into the concept of the warrior ethos. We explore what it truly means to be a warrior, delving into the costs of glory and the sacrifices it demands. Life and death by the sword are central themes. These ideas serve as the foundation for many character concepts in the game, spanning a broad spectrum of acceptance and denial. For some, it's a calling that has summoned them to this fate, while for others, it's a curse imposed by misfortune. As the event unfolds, characters will embark on a personal journey to uncover the meaning of glory in their lives.
As part of the casting process, you will be able to rank the type of character you wish to portray, among the following:
ACOLYTE of the Arena:  Acolytes are novice gladiators, fresh to the arena and yet to prove themselves in combat. They are typically assigned basic weapons and armor and undergo rigorous training to hone their skills. Acolytes often face more experienced opponents and must showcase their potential before ascending to the next rank.
Most characters will begin their journey in the game as acolytes. In this role, you will experience the game in a classic way, starting at the bottom of the ladder and striving to become something of value.
BELLATOR of the Colosseum:  Bellators are the seasoned warriors of the arena, having demonstrated their combat prowess and skill. They have access to a wider range of weapons and armor and are often featured in mid-tier battles and events. Bellators are respected for their experience and are known for their adaptability and resilience.
For those with a bit more experience and suitable attire, it will be possible to enter the game directly as a Bellator, as an integral part of one of the Ludi in the game. These players will require a bit more preparation in advance of the event, as they will have more relationship-based systems and will embody the culture of the house to which they belong.
CHAMPION of the Gladiatorial Realm:  Champions are the pinnacle of gladiatorial excellence. They have triumphed in numerous battles, earning the adoration of the crowd and the respect of their peers. Champions are granted access to the finest weapons, armor, and training facilities. They participate in grand spectacles, facing off against formidable foes and even exotic creatures. A Champion's name becomes synonymous with the arena itself, and their victories are celebrated for generations.
For those whose entire lives have awaited this moment and see themselves capable of assuming the role of a champion of one of the Ludi, this character is for you. There will be only a few characters like this available, and players who choose to portray champions will be highly respected individuals. However, on the flip side, there comes a significant responsibility on the player's shoulders. From the top, you can only…
Also, you will be able to select the background that your character is coming from, of the following options:
A war captive - you were taken into captivity by the Roman armies after your country had fallen to its might.
A petty criminal - your life wasn’t easy, being born low or degraded to the life of petty crime. Thievery, brawling, harassment, and even burglary - anything to help you survive your harsh life.
A major crime - you’ve killed someone, be it on purpose or in self-defense, or maybe you have crossed some powerful people who decided to bring you low.
Dream of a Life in the Arena - Your romantic soul has always been drawn to the glories of the Arena, making you dream of becoming one of its eternal legends.
Destitution - you simply had no money, but nor did you have the courage to live off the streets, so you sold yourself into servitude, hoping for the safety of a rich household. Instead, you were sold into a life of violence.
We approach all aspects of theatrical combat and performance as training because the game is rooted in ancient times and the principles of gladiators. All of these lessons are, in fact, training sessions for slaves, not a school for combat.
We believe it is right to teach these skills within the context of the Ludus for gladiators, as gladiators were above all performers. They planned their moves, mastered the audience, and knew how to create the best-constructed battles. Therefore, the study of theatrical combat, which can be seen in many games today, blends beautifully with the Ludus theme, as it closely mirrors what gladiators used to do.
As mentioned on the website, the game will involve physical activities, including various lessons and challenges. However, it's important to note that this is not categorized as a traditional sports game. Participation doesn't require a high level of fitness. While sweating, training, and combat will be part of the experience, you have the option to approach classes with varying levels of intensity. Our staff is well-informed and accommodating, allowing for a flexible range of participation based on your physical capabilities within the game.
In essence, you won't be penalized for choosing a more relaxed training approach, as we have designed the game to handle such situations without affecting your role-play. The NPCs will respond to the storyline you want to engage in, rather than being influenced by your physical performance.
Training contents we will cover during the game
Performance - How to present yourself in front of an audience? How to conduct yourself within the performance space? What responsibilities do we have towards the audience and other performers? How to bring my character to life in the performance?
Combat - Basic combat techniques, proper movement in combat, how to move correctly without getting hurt? Advanced exercises and acrobatics in combat, finding the preferred fighting style. The significance of various weapons and how to showcase their best in performance?
Stage combat - What is the required pace in combat? What is the structure of the ultimate combat? How to manage energy correctly in a fight? Moves-choreography, staged injury play, and appropriate reactions. How does the principle of loss serve theatrical combat correctly and deepen learning?
Through diverse combat exercises and a sequence of enjoyable and consolidating experiences, you will acquire the ultimate tools for stage combat, allowing you to bring out your best.
One of the central experiences of the game is the groups that you will be assigned to. Each group represents a Ludus. One of the groups is the hosting Ludus, the one where our story takes place, while the other groups are Ludi who have come with the aim of showing their might and purchasing new flesh for their ranks. Each Ludus has its unique characteristics, customs, and traditions, all of which form the "path" of that particular Ludus. During the game, your group will serve as your temporary home and as the anchor of your story.
Each group will be led by a Magister (an NPC), a former champion gladiator. The Magisters are champions whose glorious days have passed; they are now slaves like you but of the highest position. Magisters are the law and order in the Ludus, and from them, you will also learn the philosophy of the gladiator's life. They will instill in you ancient knowledge that will help you train both your body and soul for the challenges that lie ahead. Throughout the LARP, you will also have the opportunity to train with other Magisters and create interactions with them.
Set in the year 100 BC, on the days of the Midsummer celebration, a large shipment of slaves arrives at the gates of House Ovidius - A huge Ludus located at the edge of the German frontier, managed by the Lanista - Marcus the Gladius.
The owner of the Ludus, a famous legate, comes to visit. In his honor, Magisters (Ludus trainers) from all over the empire arrive, to teach the new slaves their ways and methods, test them, and eventually - trade them.
During the celebration and the games in its honor, your characters will also experience the intricate world of Lodus politics, secrets tied to the people you’d meet and those of your characters themselves.
You will meet a rich world of famous gladiators, Lanistas, Roman elites, slaves, and others, who will engage with you and will let you pull upon the strings of the plot.
Themes that are part of the game:
Racism (not color oriented)
Themes that will not be part of the game:
Sexual violence of any sort
Additional Gameplay Information
Players will immerse themselves in simulated LARP combat but with a unique twist. In-game weapons will predominantly be "Wooden weapons" or characterized as “Blunt edges” (constructed from foam), enabling players to depict injuries without resorting to conventional HP mechanics. We will allow players who wish to coordinate between them to determine the outcome of victory or defeat at the end of a battle if they choose to do so, in order to create a desired outcome. We understand that this provides certainty for particular players, but our recommendation is not to pre-coordinate battles, but rather to allow yourselves to be in the moment and improvise everything. We believe this approach better reflects the spirit of the game. You can also choose an "Aditor", a player who acts as a "third party", essentially the "battle director," who announces the fight and sets the terms.
The death of a character in the game will be allowed only in the last two hours of the game. Possible causes of death include execution, fatal punishments, death by poisoning, or as a result of murder. A punishment that could lead to death will be pre-arranged with the players. Poisoning or a surprise murder will not be pre-arranged, but the choice of whether to end in death or stay alive will be up to the players.
"Stashing" - In "Blood and Sand," you can exchange items belonging to your characters with items belonging to other characters. You can bring one or a few items that represent things you managed to steal into the Ludus. These are items that hold value for you but can be exchanged with others. Beneath the watchful eyes of the authorities, you can secretly swap items. It's possible that among the items, you might also find ones that the game organizers introduced into the game, with value related to the LARP's storyline.
The game will provide entertainment during leisure times, including ancient board games in the spirit of the era and gambling games. Additionally, there are underground gambling games related to anticipated battles between characters.
Getting ready to play
We will publish a costume guide together with the final casting of your characters.
We’re aiming for as much historical accuracy as possible yet within the reasonable ability to acquire such items.
Each costume shall be simple enough to represent the low stature of your character, yet special enough to represent their background and uniqueness.