In July 2024, humanity will once again face the threat of annihilation.

Photo by Frida Karlsson

Analyze. Wait. Drink substitute coffee.

Task Force KERES, a group of volunteer veterans of Haven's best SURFOPS teams, are embarking on a secretive and highly dangerous mission on the alien controlled surface, far beyond the relative safety of the last known human settlement on Earth. A surface where the mysterious alien invader known only as The Enemy is now the apex predator.

They are the very best that humanity has left, veterans of hundreds of battles with the enigmatic machines and xenoforms of The Enemy, but they are horribly outnumbered and outgunned, relying only on their experience, wits and dirty tricks against an unstoppable and incomprehensible superior force.


You are the nervous coffee drinkers, the pixel pushers, the data analysts and noise-listeners in a tiny underground bunker far away, moving them around like chess pieces on a board. You are the ones ordering them, possibly, to their deaths or worse; the ones staring at glitched video streams or soil sample data they provide in order to maybe, just maybe, add a piece of the strange puzzle Earth has become and maybe find some kind of edge that lets you survive another year. You are the crew of the Listening Post Acheron, and their lives are in your hands.

Over the course of a day, you will live the life of regular people at a small listening outpost in the Lotka-Volterra world, hours that might or might not turn out to be pivotal or just another tragedy. The point is not whether you are the saviours of the world in these trembling hours, but that you are doing what you can, you are doing something. You will be a cog in a small and rusty but functional machine that runs MISCON for this expedition, or a college professor-turned-expert in the attached Science Team supporting it, but you are not even fully aware of what your mission is or what it ultimately could mean for the survival of humanity. You don’t expect grand victories; you are more prepared for weeks upon weeks of gruelling routine, filled with extended periods of staring at screens, listening to static on the radio and butting your head against complex xeno ciphers to try to gain some insight into what the machines are up to. There is no privacy here, you live, breathe, shit and sleep shoulder to shoulder with the other ghosts of this cramped little bunker.

This is Lotka-Volterra: Acheron.

Photo by Frida Karlsson

The Pitch

Acheron is a small larp set in the Lotka-Volterra universe, organised by Atropos & Sebastian Utbult in the July of 2024, and played at Tredje Våningen in Gothenburg, Sweden (the site of earlier Atropos larps like Androids and Collateral Emotions).

At LV: Acheron, you will, over the course of a day, live the life of a group of people stationed together in an all-too-small space. You are there to analyse alien signals and guide the surface team, but you will also argue over incomplete card decks, deal with daily routines and try not to get on each other’s nerves in such a tight, isolated space. You will be playing either members of the “military” MISCON team, handling planning communications, tactics, geospatial guidance and signal intelligence for the surface combat team, or members of a scrambled-together collection of scientists tasked with supplying crucial knowledge of Enemy technology, behaviour, and capabilities – and attempting to codebreak the enemy communications.

Lotka-Volterra is a “naturalistic” science fiction setting, in which a technologically superior and incomprehensible alien enemy has almost wiped humanity out. A few survivors hide in an underground colony and wage a slow and clandestine war of resistance against the alien threat, while teetering on the edge of collapse themselves as supplies run low. The larp Lotka-Volterra was run in an underground bunker in 2018, and this larp is “companion piece” to that larp - but you do not need to have played the original larp in order to play this one.

The larp is designed for roughly 20 pre-written characters and takes a full day including briefings, on-site familiarisation, breaks etc, and is designed to be run multiple times. Through various means you will be given the tools to perform your specific tasks and responsibilities, with design focus on making you feel competent, knowledgeable and in control.

Acheron is a larp of sharp contrast - the stress and pressure of "mission-time," and the anxiety, interpersonal friction and soul-crushing boredom of waiting.

Photo by Frida Karlsson

Design philosophy

Acheron is about regular people, and thus we are aiming for a larp that is played in a realistic, down to earth manner. The characters have only had so much time to get together as a team, and they’ve all got their traumas, their memories of Nightfall and their previous professions. This is a larp centred around the human experience in the middle of tense moments.

There will be a lot of downtime during play, and we want you to embrace these moments in order to explore the humanity of the situation.

It will also be played in the 270-degrees blackbox tradition, where a lot of things are abstracted and only tape on the floor, while other parts of the scenography are WYSIWYG - what you see is what you get.

Photo by Frida Karlsson

What you will be doing

The larp has two main modes; work and leisure (or what counts as it in a cramped and frugal environment such as Acheron). When at work, we want you to experience the sometimes routine and sometimes overwhelming process of keeping MISCON running and directing the SURFOPS team on missions. Outside of work is where the traumas you all share come creeping in, where the strains of living stacked upon each other for weeks on end tug at your sanity, where relationships are forged or crushed. We want you to experience not only the thrill of conducting missions or making scientific progress on the question of the alien invasion, but also the crushing boredom when nothing happens or the breathless waiting to see if your decisions has cost your comrades on the surface their lives.

Working hours

Here follows a short description of the main teams of Acheron Outpost, and what they might experience during their working hours:

Command Team

The command team has the unenviable responsibility of calling the shots and making hard decisions every single day. They lead MISCON during mission-time, but are also responsible for keeping the outpost at large running, which often means settling interpersonal issues, making some difficult choices in priorities, and keeping a balance between authority and camaraderie.


You are the pixel-pushers and noise-listeners of Mission Control. You do signal intelligence, geolocating threats on the map, document the missions, try to steer the SURFOPS team to their targets while avoiding enemies and communicate over radio with the eyes on the ground. Your work will involve some puzzle-solving, simple trigonometry and spectrogram analysis (basically a pattern recognition task). You will be assigned one of the following stations (it might be possible to switch or rotate positions):


You are perhaps not experts in the academic sense, but you’re the best we got. You handle a lot of disciplines, but the most applicable ones are xenobiology, xenotechnology and xenolinguistics. Your job is to supply MISCON and the Command Team with scientific background and data for them to be able to make informed decisions, to identify weaknesses, discover patterns, and gather data to confirm certain theories. You are also tasked with deciphering the alien transmissions made by machines on the surface in order to maybe glean useful information. You might not all agree on certain theories, and there will be heated debate over many aspects, discoveries or data you uncover.

As Science players, you are expected to read quite a lot of lore material before the larp (even though you will have access to both in-game and off-game information at runtime).


There are a few other characters not part of specific groups mentioned here. Some have been with you this whole rotation; others have arrived recently (which is highly unusual as every overland trip this far out carries danger).


Whenever you’re not actively on duty you’ll be able to enjoy the small comforts available to the crew of Acheron; fighting over which of the few mixtapes to listen to, eating the pre-packaged slop that counts as food here, playing cards or darts, gossiping, resting or - favourite among the Acheron crew - fucking around.

On the surface, the larp is about the missions, but it is in downtime where the emotional core can be found as you connect with other players. The ideal vision is that the larp would be meaningful even if nothing at all happened outside these moments, where it was only a larp about sitting around and waiting for something to happen. That’s what we want you to focus on. Make the downtime count - consider what you would do if you had to spend days in a bunker with these few people.

The focus will often be on small conflicts and annoyances to provide an interesting contrast between attempted professionalism and the pet peeves of sharing a space with people you did not choose. This is also where the larger issues and divisions come into play; how should Haven be run? What is the end goal of The Enemy? Does humanity have a future or not? Should we hide and hope for the best, or go out guns blazing? The clashes between ideals, politics, wild ideas and pragmatism all comes to the forefront.

Photo by Frida Karlsson

A short primer on fiction

Fair warning: we like our own fiction maybe a little too much, and we will be supplying a lot of reading material later on. We will try our best to make sure the mandatory parts are compact, general and not overwhelming, and leave the deep immersion and reading up to the players that enjoy that kind of thing.

You are, as far as you know, the last survivors of the human race, hiding away in a huge underground complex you call Haven. It is home to a few thousand souls, barely surviving. In orbit is a huge alien ship that single handedly caused the near-extinction of human civilisation on Earth. Who or what this alien enemy is, and what they want, is unknown, and no communications of any kind has been established. You collectively call it The Enemy, and it first arrived 13 years ago and immediately started attacking us.

Once the first phase of The Enemy's genocidal orbital bombardments were complete, they seeded the surface with a plethora of alien lifeforms and machines that are working towards some unknown purpose. They are lethal, but seem to be operating without any reasonable intelligent supervision - or maybe their programming has become corrupted over the years, no one knows. This leaves room room for hiding away in dark corners, scavenging both alien and human technology and resources, sometimes even striking where they are weak or disoriented. They do not seem to be self-aware or intelligent, more like drones or biological robots, although they apparently still have certain instincts and varying degrees of autonomy.

This is where the militarised Outposts come in - hidden bases away from Haven, where humanity organises a resistance that raid and scavenge the ruins, capture alien lifeforms and machines for study, and try to wrestle some kind of future from the hostile surface of the planet. Listening Post Acheron is such an outpost, newly established, crewed by a skeleton volunteer crew. You are far away from any help, and your tour of duty is long, lonely, claustrophobic and low on comforts, but you’ve all volunteered to be here.

Venturing out on the surface is dangerous - not only are various types of alien machines roaming there, both on land and in the air, but there are also a wide variety of alien lifeforms stalking, preying on any who dare climb out of the ground. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the air is hazy with alien spores spreading on the wind that stings the eyes and burns the lungs with prolonged exposure. Strange mucus covers patches here and there that will cling to you and cause rashes, allergies or worse. The water might be tainted, and at night bright pulsing lights from the gigantic alien structures being constructed fill the horizon.

Photo by Frida Karlsson

Practicalities & Signup


3:e Våningen in Gothenburg, Sweden, where we will build an abstract, black-box inspired location to represent the bunker in the same vein as Collateral Emotions.


The game and all official communication, including pre-game briefings, etc., will be in English. International participants are very welcome. All characters are written gender neutral, and their gender identity and expression is up to the player. The future has little use for the gender roles and norms of our time.


There will be three runs of Acheron in July, 2024:

Tickets & casting

We will cast players to the various runs, and once you’ve been assigned a character, you will be requested to pay the ticket (partial payments possible). Tickets are personal and will not be refunded, but if you are forced to cancel, we will help facilitate the transfer of tickets to other participants (within reason, and you’ll have to sort out the funds between you).

Ticket prices are as follows:

Restitution tickets

The original Lotka-Volterra larp experienced a cascade of technical and practical issues, and this had a huge negative impact on some of the aspects of the larp, especially the playability of MISCON. This larp is in part our attempt to right that wrong. If you played Lotka-Volterra back in 2018 and had a bad larp because of these issues, we want to offer you a chance to experience what we had actually intended it the MISCON parts of the larp to be for a much reduced price. And if you were one of the many people that worked themselves to the bone crewing for us, this applies to you as well.


We expect you to be on-site at 09:00 for briefings and familiarisation - this is mandatory. The larp has several acts, with one or more time-jumps, and the larp ends somewhere around 20:00-22:00. Once the game is over, we will have a very short post-game debrief after which we respectfully ask everyone to vacate the premises, so that we can get to work cleaning up and resetting the venue for the next run. Expect around 7 hours of total game-time.

Creature comforts

There will be an offgame break at lunchtime, where you have the opportunity to go out for lunch (there are a few restaurants within walking distance) or heat some lunch that you brought (none will be provided). Coffee, tea, water and some basic snacks will be provided in-game.

The location is indoors, in a somewhat modern building, so you can expect running water, toilets, electricity, no damp, mouldy or dusty rooms and the possibility of easily stepping out of the game if you need to take a break. The venue is in Gothenburg city proper, easily accessible via the tram system with a five-ten minute walk from the tram stop.

What to bring

You bring your own outfit. See this moodboard for inspiration and color scheme. Don’t worry about getting a lot of complicated or expensive gear; just see this as an inspiration. Your absolute basic outfit should be sensible, non-fancy shoes, a pair of trousers, a tshirt and either a sweater or jacket (but it is June, you won’t be cold). Apply patina as needed.

We highly recommend you bring a notebook, a few pencils, your own cup to drink from, plus something small as a pastime (deck of cards, a small board game, an instrument you can play, a stack of photos, a book or comic, etc.) to add to the communal pile.

Moodboard for Acheron


The easiest way to get in touch if you have questions, feedback or anything else is by email: acheron (at) atropos dot se.