Review: Find My Larp

Review: Find My Larp

First Impressions

Clear simplicity are the two words that first come to mind. The start of the home page is dominated by a single search box; Google style. Type in what you are looking for and the site will try and find it.

Scrolling down takes us to instructor buttons that will help its two primary audiences (larp organisers and larpers), learn how to use Find My Larp. These help areas are simply written and should be a help to anyone. For me the focus is on organisers and there is some nice transparency on how payments later. I’ll come back to the payments later but for now lets say I like the method used.

Finally we come to options to select larp by country and genre. Arranged in a grid with large nicely illustrated buttons these are nice and easy to use.

Searching

So how easy is it to search?

Well the home search box didn’t immediately accept text for me. However clicking on the magnifying glass logo solved that. Simple text searches work well and bring up the available options

Also You move from into a search area with options for selecting, countries, genres, price ranges and if the larp is child friendly or not. I really applaud the indictor for child friendly. Very often it is not explicity stated on larp websites if an event is child appropriate or not. So making this a thing here is really important. Well done.

Putting in prices ranges is another smart move. It feels as if the price differentials in larp get bigger every year. Again leading this to be something that needs to be clearly illustrated.

Search results are shown on a grid of results, in a list, or on a map. The map is cool. Although personally I prefer the grid. This is a personal response – I just happen to find this view easy to read.

Search in Find My Larp

Listings

So now we now that we can find things what does a larp listing look like?

Like a product listing is the answwer. The illustration is from Bothwell School of Witchcraft. An inaugral listng for Find My Larp. You can see space for a large clear illustration and easy to use ticket selectors. Scrolling down there is plenty of space for descriptive text, a link to the larps creators, a Google map of its location.

Importantly there is plenty of space to describe both the larp and any payment options / terms. Flicking through the listings I haven’t found anything that looks like a larp that has run out of space describing itself. Big tick there.

Money

Find My Larp takes payments for tickets. This is done via Stripe. You may not have heard of Stripe before. Do not be concerned about that. Stripe is an online credit card processing system that has been making big inroads with Internet developers. It is very secure. It’s designed from the ground up to seamlessly integrate into websites. Outside of LARPBook I spend some of my time working on website development and technology consulting. Like a lot of people in my position I’ve been won over by Stripe so I am very pleased to see it being used instead of PayPal.

This is a great decision.

 

Final Thoughts

Find My Larp is a welcome addition to the websites on the Internet that list larps. It is well thought out and it is easy to use. I’ll admit I haven’t made a booking through it yet – though that is almost certainly only a matter of time.

If I was launching a new larp – I would list here. No question about it.

I particularly like its International slant. Travel for larp and in fact larp itself is becoming global. Working with that trend can only be the smart move for Find My Larp.

Click Here for Find My Larp

LARPBook Special: The Green Cloaks Interview

LARPBook Special: The Green Cloaks Interview

Green Cloaks is a larp that has been growing quickly and getting a lot of attention recently. It is a science fantasy tale about the fate of humanity amongst the distant stars.

Which means that we were delighted to have the opportunity to interview Enys Coggles and Sammy Kilsby about the Green Cloaks.

It was an interview beset with technical difficulties. Basically our normal interview system developed a rebellious streak and pretty much went on strike. We resorted to plan B. As a result we were only able to make an audio recording; but it is a good one.

We hope you enjoy it .

 

Listen Now

 

Larping Modifications For The Win!

Larping Modifications For The Win!

In today’s culture it is normal for someone to upgrade what they already have. People with cars modify them to have nitrous. A popular vape box mod is adding an atomizer to an e-cigarette. PC gamers will mod their computers so that the graphics on their games can run at high frame rates. Those who LARP are not afraid to modify their equipment either!

A LARP, or a live-action role playing game, is the process of pretending to be a character from a board game or fictional universe. People playing a LARP will act as if they are their favorite character from a particular role-playing game, donning that character’s clothing and using the character’s weaponry to play-act scenarios from a game in a real-world context. The idea behind live-action roleplay is to bring fictional universes into the real world.

Live-action roleplay games started in the 1970s, when game enthusiasts started re enacting events from their favorite board games. The LARP phenomenon has continued to grow ever since, and there are game festivals, conventions, and tournaments throughout Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Canada, and the United States.

LARP Gameplay Rules

Like regular role-playing games, LARP participants create rules so that their live-action game coincides with the rules of the board game or fictional universe it was inspired by. Generally speaking, these rules dictate how a live-action character can act in the wider context of the game, tournament, or competition itself.

Just as importantly, LARP rules tell players what weaponry they can use during gameplay. Most of the time, game participants are allowed to use foam swords, airsoft guns, or a NERF Gun to re-create game situations.

Modifying LARP Weapons

Because they are so easy to make, the majority of LARP players make their own swords before joining a game. To make your own sword at home, all you need is a few tubes of pipe insulation foam, duct tape, and a polypropylene pipe. In terms of tools, it’s best to have a pocketknife and a sharp pair of scissors handy.

Now that you have your insulation foam, pipe, and duct tape at the ready, start making your own LARP weapon modification by cutting the insulation foam vertically, from top-to-bottom, so that you can wrap the foam around the pipe. If you can’t cover the polypropylene pipe with just one piece of insulation foam, cut your extra tubes of insulation foam into smaller strips and duct tape the foam around the pipe. The idea here is to wrap your pipe with a couple layers of insulation foam so that if you accidentally hit an opponent in the heat of battle, the impact won’t hurt them.

Expert LARP weapon designers tell us that you shouldn’t cover the entire length of the pipe with insulation foam — you’ll need room for a handle, after all. To create your very own LARP weapon handle, simply wrap one end of the pipe in several layers of duct tape. Duct tape is a great material to use for the handle because it will offer good grip when you are swinging your sword during a roleplay battle.

From an aesthetic standpoint, most LARP weapon makers like to paint or spray paint their sword when they are done constructing it.

NERF Gun Modifications for LARP Games

Besides foam swords, NERF guns are frequently used in LARP scenarios. And, like foam swords, LARP players frequently modify NERF guns to better represent the weaponry used in the game they are re-imagining.

At the moment, many LARP players are creating their own NERF wrist guns that can be hidden underneath the sleeve of a sweater or jacket. To create your own, simply take a small NERF gun and remove the yellow or orange-colored casing so that all you’re left with is the actual NERF blaster itself.

From there, screw VELCRO straps around the NERF blaster. This will enable you to strap the NERF gun to your wrist. If you want, you can further accessorize your NERF gun. Many LARP players also spray paint their NERF weapons black or dark grey to make them look more realistic.

I’d like to take a moment to welcome Devin Caldwell to LARPBook. Dean if a UK based freelance writer and larping enthusiast. We’re hoping to see more of Devins work in the future.

The image used in this article is from Flickr user Anton Olsen that shows a Nerf gun being modified. You can learn more about this image and Anton if you follow this link

LARPBook Show Episode 58: Viva

LARPBook Show Episode 58: Viva

 

 

In Episidoe 58

In this episode we have a long list of topics, To start with we wanted to place our thoughts with the people of Las Vegas. led this necessarily sombre opening for the show.

Topics of Discussion

  • PBM / Downtime
  • Stag Do – What happens when non larpers want to have a larp for stag party
  • Twilight Realms – event report from Tom
  • Increase in Followers for Podcast
  • Update to our show notes archive
  • Update to our Live Page
  • New Phone Case
  • Heathen LARP – Crewing.

Thank you the Matthews – In this episode Matthew Webb and Matthew Moorhouse were very active in our chat room and became a key part of the show. Thank you both very much, you were awesome.

We wanted to have a discussion about how people run downtime / PBM. It turns out that the larpbook team like playing between games but that all bar Tom have a dislike for email. This want long enough for Stuarts new toy (a cry of “I’m bored”) to come into play. I suspect that we haven’t seen the end of this discussion yet

The Stag discussed a special event where larp was requested as the entertainment for some non larpers. We discussed this on show and there is a longer article here.

Tom had recently come back from “White Gate”. The latest larp from Twilight Realms set in its mythic world of Tempress. It sounds like it was a tough game and that the campaign ante is upping..

Some good news was that we’ve had a an upswing in podcast subscriptions. Thank all of you very much for that

We also announced that the Show Notes Archive and Live Page have been spruced up. The Show Notes Archive is now all LARPBook shows – including the original pocast. Whilst the Live Page is now a direct link to Facebook from which we are launching all live shows from this point on.

We also plugged the new Phone Case we’ve designed for the iPhone 8 plus. Actually its available across the Apple Range.

Finally a quite note that Rob has signed up to crew for Heathen Larp next Summer so you can expect a full report from there.

Of course this wasn’t the only plug in this episode. There were lots of them, and at times it seemed as if we were all in competition to see who could get the most plugs in. I almost renamed this episode – “This Week in Plugs”. You’ll have to listen to the whole show to catch them all! (yes I know shameless!).

As mentioned at the top of show Matthew and Matthew (each actually thousands of miles from the other) were awesome. Perhaps my favourite comment from this dynamic due was “Post Mortem Motively Gifted”, when looking for words to describe the undead.

Events

Coming up between Ocotber 2oth and 22nd is the Curious Pastimes Teutonia Faction Event and Banquet.

Also in October between the 28th and 29th is the Brancepeth Castle Ren-enactment and Larp Market.

 

END SHOW

If you would like to get in contact with the show just email contactus@larpbook.com, is there a topic you would like us to discuss or something cool you saw or fancy writing an article for the website then email the show contactus@larpbook.com

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Larp as the entertainment for a stag party

Larp as the entertainment for a stag party

I was recently at a larp run as a stag party..

Now larpers putting events together to celebrate events isn’t too unusual. What made this one different is that none of the players were larpers; yet they had requested that a larp be put together for them.

So I was attending as crew and I personally had nothing to do with the stag party. I was there to help run a bespoke event. That was true for every larper there.

In fact a veritable who’s who of larp suppliers had been assembled for this.

I’ll try and explain how all of this worked and came together.

Who Did What

Larp design and event organisation
WyvernsTales History & Stories

Bar and Wench  –
The Crimson Moon

Food to die for
Mhorish Event Catering

The Venue
Oakraven Field Centre

The Overview

Wyvernstales History and Stories had been contacted to include about 16 participants in a larp event. As preparations developed this evolved into a bespoke event just for the stag party attendees. It turned out that this was far better than including the party in an existing game.

Tailoring everything to the participants created a friendly and intimate atmosphere that allowed guards to be dropped and concerns about not fitting into be removed. All the players could simply be themselves.

The reason for wanting a larp was it turned out quite simple and also a familiar story. The stag, his best man and a number of the others were all board game and D&D players. They were aware of larp as a thing but had never tried it. When the time came to organise a memorable stag event the idea of larp was posited and turned out to be the thing they did. This also means that not everyone had a gaming background. They really had no idea what to expect (beyond drinking).

The Rules

The players had no larp experience and so a very reduced set of rules were employed. Essentially enough to keep the players safe in combat. The players were given pre-generated characters complete with agendas, secrets and guides for how to play the character.

The Game

The setting was more medieval than fantasy, the story line focused on players interacting with duplicitous characters whilst trying to hide their own somewhat dubious pasts.

Of course the past has the habit of catching up with you; when you least expect it…

Essentially it was a group of people invited to meet up with a manorial lord only to find out that things were not as hoped. There were clues to find (and this group was great at that), characters to interact with, games to gamble on and of course mead to drink.

In addition to the main plot training had been laid on. The players were taught to fight with swords and to fire bows. A few of them were quite the natural Robin Hoods! Others revelled in picking up a sword or axe and being told to hit someone! Combat really opened things out for this group as they discovered that larp fighting is fun! They also discovered that it can be tiring too!

It wasn’t long before the realisation dawned that if they could do it, they could try it and that barriers and limitations were down. In effect they discovered that being in the larp was permission to play. This grew as the event progressed. They never took anything too far, they were always looking to make sure things were not being spoiled but they were also revelling in the all the options that were opening up in the game. They had learned that thing that every larper knows. Play is fun and its made all the better by letting your imagination go out for a run!

Flexibility

The game was simple. It did not constrain the players. Also time in and time out were dependent on their need. As was supporting what they wanted to do.

A surprise for me was being asked to help start of a mystery game where the poor stag had to undertake a series of challenges in order to unveil a murder. It ran for a set time and I have the utmost respect for the players and stag alike. I won’t say what happened, I will give applause. In other words just because a  larp had been ordered didn’t mean that other things can be done to suit the needs of the players.

The aim was fun and we succeeded.

The Photos

Just to give you a feel for things

Takeaways

So here are few things that were a result of this weekend.

Larps biggest problem is not being understood. On this weekend both gamers and non-gamers had a very good time. Once someone realises that larp is fun and that they have permission to play then amazing things happen. To grow larp needs to help get that message out.

Gaming culture has an impact on how a game is played. Non larpers placed in a larp do not behave like larpers. The extent of this is normally masked as most games contain old and new players; with the effect of moderating behaviour. Put all non larpers together and suddenly larp tropes are gone and a new dynamic is established.

A number of the players realised that they had opened the doors on a whole new world and they were fascinated. There were some fantastic conversations as a result. Experiencing is far better than any amount of show and tell.

A bespoke larp for people not used to the hobby can be a fantastic thing. It creates an atmosphere all of its own and it is something to be revelled in. Ask me to do another of these and I’ll be there in a heart beat.

And Finally

Thank you to everyone – for letting me work on and experienced such a great weekend.

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