In a recent episode of the LARPBook podcast we were asked to help a listener who on running low on podcasts to listen to was concerned that that he / she may have to interact with people on a regular journey of several hours long. As you can imagine the podcast produced some ideas that were as usual – interesting.

Then it struck me that a lone larper on a journey could be in fact be playing a larp. The number of players would be somewhat limited, well 1. However the number of NPCs is a potentially large number since it is everyone around you.

Of course you cannot pull our your trusty larp weapon of choice on public transport. That kind of thing is frowned upon – although likely to get you on the evening news. Instead these mini games are all played out mostly in your head. Though both have ways of including some action.


1 – Rise of The Zombies

You put your mobile phone down. You’ve just read the terrible news that a deadly infection is sweeping the nation. People are catching it and dying in a matter of a scant few hours. Moments after dying they are rising again as insatiable man eating undead monsters. More updates are sure to come but what do you do in the here and now?

  • Which of your fellow travellers looks a bit ‘peaky’
  • Are you sure you understand the symptoms any way
  • Do you have exit routes
  • Do you have weapons
  • What if you destination is full of zombies
  • Could you deal with any of your fellow travellers if they turned?

Sat in your bus / train / plane just what can you do? Should you text or Facebook for help? Should you think about preparing weapons? How do you get off without being bitten or worse eaten? Who are the biggest threats to you?  Its time to think about surviving the opening few hours of the Zombie apocalypse.

This game has a possible two or multi player component – if you have one or more larping friends available there is no reason why should not larp by phone. Use text messaging and social media updates to discuss the rapidly deteriorating situation and figure plans to get you from out of where you are to somewhere safe.


2- The Dead Drop

You are a spy. An international person of mystery and you are carrying a secret. Opposing terrorist organisations are onto you and they have already hacked your phone. Not to worry – you threw that left that behind. So for the moment you are a little safer. They won’t do anything against you that is obvious – not on public transport.

You’re sure your people know where you are and wondering how to help you. You need to get a message to them and that means a dead drop. Working with whatever you have on your person you need to create a coded message that can be left at at an appropriate place when you reach your destination. The message needs to be short, to the point and decodable It needs to contain a time and place for your collection and bringing in to happen.

Once you have the message its time to think tactically. Are any of your fellow passengers likely to be agents? If they are how do you evade them on departure. Also how do you evade being tailed when you get off the transport and onto your feet.

Work out how to do this, make your way to dead drop and plant your message!



The image for this post comes from Flickr user sarl_dennise. Full details about this image and its licence can be found here.


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