What is the catharsis concept to which our chronicle also owes its name?
The Katharsis Chronicle has its name for a reason. And this lies in the name itself: Playing a tragic character, the vampire, allows the performer to experience the highs and lows of that character in a very intense way. Afterwards, they can return to their everyday life liberated from this.
Role-playing games provide the safe environment of a fictional game world. Here, the players can try out everything that is not possible or socially frowned upon in real life: starting a passionate argument, giving in to anger and roaring with all their might, acting deceitfully, destroying the reputation of others for the fun of it, wallowing in their own suffering, starting a revolution against the establishment and much more.
Our game world is not real. Therefore, the actions of the characters have no negative impact on the everyday lives of the players. This gives the security to try out all the extremes, far away from everyday life. This makes it possible to experience a wide range of emotions and to be absorbed in them.
Aristotle, tragedy, and catharsis
Aristotle defines tragedy very briefly as the representation of an action that evokes pity and fear. This causes a purification (catharsis) of such emotions.
The tragedy of tragedy is that those affected have no desire for the suffering and do not voluntarily choose to suffer. Instead, to put it somewhat simplistically, at the climax of the tragedy there is a choice between two brute defeats: lose your power or your love, lose your morals or your future. The tragic can only find its resolution in tears. A substantive resolution with a happy ending is not possible in a tragedy.
This is also the catharsis concept for our play: the vampire can only choose between defeats in the decisive moments. There is no exclusively good choice.
The catharsis concept: from theatre to role play
In theatre, the audience can sympathise, suffer, and mourn with the characters. However: no one is closer to a portrayed character than the performer themself. We take advantage of this in Vampire Live.
This experienced closeness to the character is especially true if the performer has not rehearsed the moments of disaster over and over again. Only without prior rehearsal can events surprise and deeply affect them. The element of surprise intensifies the elements of horror.
The characters in our play are all created in such a way that they carry within them the core of tragedy. Every vampire has an inner conflict that constantly confronts them with the choice between two bad decisions. At the same time, there is no way for them to escape their situation – they are trapped in their tragic existence as a vampire until the very end.