LARPBook Show Episode 57: Feed the Baby to the Demon, What?

LARPBook Show Episode 57: Feed the Baby to the Demon, What?

Episode 57 and it’s our September show. As has become a tradition we chat about the major long larp events that we attended in August. We started with Thomas

Balrog Games

Thomas spent 4 days at the ongoing annual campaign that is run by Balrog Games every August. His is a good description. Giving plenty of insight into what kind of game this is. This year the organisers set up the plot in such a way that players would have to play their characters in an inverse manner. That is good became evil and vice versa. Thom talks about what happened, and how the players handled it  That’s worth listening to as it is a gambit that must become tempting from time to time for games writers. It ways should be weighed against “how would my players cope with this”. In Thoms case the results were mixed.

Curious Pastimes

Stuart and I visited Curious Pastimes and as you might expect we waxed lyrical over how much we enjoy this game, its atmosphere, players and crew. For a full review of our visit click here, Personally I’m impressed by how a large number of plots all run concurrently whilst giving players the option to pick the level of immersion they want.


Then we moved onto what is likely to be the start of a bit of project for us. We want to turn our attention to the how different larps handle the period between events. Often called downtime.  Does  your larp allow for between event player actions? If it does do this how is it communicated between the ref team and other players. We would like to find out.

If you’d like to tell please send an email to

Alternately we have a form for you here – please fill it in. We’ll also accept communication via Facebook.

The plan is a simple and very LARPBook one. We intend to collate information about Downtime. Publish case studies on how different larps do this and look for trends. We’ll also be bringing it into the discussion for a future show.



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Curious Pastimes – Renewal 2017

Curious Pastimes – Renewal 2017

Its time to think a little bit more about Curious Pastimes and more specifically Renewal 2017. Now we covered this is in a diary format. Writing on each of the event about the previous. If you’re interested in these look to the block of diary entry links in this post. These capture the day to day and the emotion of myself personally being in and around this event. However I wanted to round off the coverage with some other points of view.

We’ve another gallery for you. These photos were taken by Steve “Flasher” Mitchell. Steve is the longest standing CP photographer and I hope you like the gallery we’ve put together here for you.

First though I think it may be idea to try and describe what Curious Pastimes is not as a series of accounts or images but as a thing. So I’m going to break this down into a few sections for you and go from there. What I want to convey is that this is a good larp to go to. It can be as deep or shallow as you like. You will find help if are new to the game and it is a game that can grow with your experience. It’s also a great place to meet larpers from other systems.

The Mechanics

The rules and mechanics are from a UK perspective a traditional skill based method of defining a character. This means it’s a points based system. Points buy skills and the skills go on a character card. Your character only has the skills that the card says it has. However this does not stop role-play.

The skills system exists for game balance, but the level of role-play in the game goes from a high level of immersion to less if that is what you are looking for. All that is expected is that you don’t spoil anyone elses game. So its simple mechanics and the level of role-play is up to you. That’s a classic British larping approach and for a large scale game it really works

The Diary

These diary entries where written during the event. Mostly written at the start of the next day between breakfast and time in.

You’ll find comments and photos for each day

Day 1: Friday

Day 2: Saturday

Day 3: Sunday

Day 4: Monday


Learn More About Curious Pastimes

Where Real World Meets Game World

In the game there are two areas where real world is felt. The market-place and the food vendors area.

The market place is a collection of larp equipment and costume traders who are there for the length of the event. They tend to keep long opening hours. Although costumed they are not really in character and you are paying with actual real-world cash.

The same is true for the food vendors. Although in both cases every effort is made for that need for the real (money), to have as little impact as needed. Hats off for getting this right. In both these areas its not problem being in and out of character. So great

The Atmosphere

This is the part of Curious Pastimes that I love. In fact its one of the things that I love most about larp. This is a friendly place. People genuinely want to talk to you. They want to say hi and have conversations. They want to role play.

If you like combat then the battles are extraordinary, not just due to the number of players, but due to the way in which Renewal handles the terrain it has to hand. Its a place where you move for quite while without being sure where the other armed force is. When action happens you are working in the main with a woodland environment. It feels British and Mythic.

Coming away from the action I loved how the camps felt, and In particular the first time I walked into one and it felt not like a group of people camping but like a small community living in the open. I should point out that this was one of the in character areas. There is also out of character camping for people who prefer this.

This is a simply a safe and relaxed place to be. I can’t wait to go back.


The word here is slick. CP have been running these games for a long time. Duties are clearly laid out for the crew. Radios are used effectively and from a players point of view its easy to ask questions. CP run a tight ship.

I wanted to wrap up the diaries so that I could give an overview. I’ve stayed away from World and Plot as these are things that players need to experience. There are also good references you can look at on the Curious Pastimes website. Instead its more of a system overview. High level I admit but I am also willing to answer questions.

The Photos


Our total and utter thanks to Steve “Flasher” Mitchell for these photographs

The Video

We also put together this short video to try and capture the feel of the event


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