The Larp Crew

Let’s confirm who I mean by crew. Crew are the people who run a larp on a practical level. NPCs, makeup artists, prop people and so on. The people who keep the show running.

For this article I’m leaving out site managers, health and safety, caters and so on. Considering their role is for the future.

The Crew Room

This is where the crew members prepare for their interactions with players. This is where you’ll find costume, props, weapons, makeup and anything else a crew member may need.

Now a Confession

I’ve crewed monstered and played NPCs for many larps. Anyone who has done this with me knows that I have good intentions but a tendency towards chaos.

So these tips are definitely in the do as I say, and do as I do category.

Let’s also run with the assumption that most crew rooms are big piles of things. Often with a more organised larper trying to make sense of them. Let’s help that organised larper.

Before the tips start

3 Things to avoid

  • The squirming Lovecraftian pile of costume that threatens the refs sanity
  • The Fort made of boxes that some of the crew are hiding in
  • The makebox from hell that threatens to change the colour of anything that gets near it

The Tips – For a Better Crew Room

1: Have game references to hand in an organised way

Make sure that you have the game documentation in the crew room. It should not be a pile of random papers. Be sure that it is easy and fast to look up information.

2: Plan Your Gear Needs

Larp means lot of gear (props, costume etc). Its important that the your crew can grab what they need. When they need it.

Layout the gear in organised way.

There is more than one way of dong this.

Here are some possibilities

  • Timing – items needed first or next placed forward.
  • Functional – clear layouts for weapons, props, costumes.

What matters is that the crew know where to find an something.

3: Refreshments

I’ve never met a crew that didn’t work hard. Keep them fed and watered. Never let the crew get hungry or thirsty. The only outcome of that will be a deterioration in the quality of your game.

Also if the crew are going to in the field for a long time. Make sure you have water and caches for them.

4: A Place to rest

Keeping with the idea that the crew works hard. Make sure that there are easy chairs – something to rest on between tasks.

Tired legs and bodies don’t role play well. Confy chairs, mattreses , cots, bunks. Let them take the weight off durng rare calm moments.

As part of this give the crew somewhere to change too. As a crew member it is awesome if you can change and rest with ease.

5: A Dedicated Make Up Station

Let’s face it make-up matters. Its fundamental to immersion and conveying what a character is.  Find a place to do make up. Make sure there is plenty of light, mirrors, somewhere to sit. A place to arrange said makeup.  An easily made up crew is a confident crew.

Guiding Principle

I tend to work on the principal that a happy crew is going to be a great crew. Do that and you cannot go far wrong.

What Are Your Ideas

Got other ideas? Better ideas? Let us know and we’ll run a follow up article  using those. With full credit to all contributors.

Thanks to Alex Kircher (via the LARP Haven group on Facebook), for the title image for this post.

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