Questions To Ask When Going To A LARP

Questions To Ask When Going To A LARP

If you’re going to your first larp this Summer, or perhaps trying out something new for the first time then there are certain questions that you may need to ask. This post is for the new larper or a the new to a larp player. Its a list of things that need to clarified before going to a larp event.

The amount of information that larp organisers publish about their events varies enormously. Everyone will tell you the time, the place, the cost and the genre. Some will publish a lot more, but if you feel you want to know more than is published, then here are some questions and tips that will help you prepare for the event.

Where Am I Sleeping?

Let’s kick off with a big one. You need to know where you will be laying your head. Typically (and I am UK biased here) accommodation will be along the lines of

  • Camping (You Provide the tent and camping gear)
  • Sleeping Rough in Character (You really need to ask what you need to be bring)
  • In a bedroom (You may need to ask about how many (if any) will be sharing)
  • In a dormitory (Definitely sharing)
  • Shared Space – Bring Your Own Bed

Camping can be in character ( tent style depends on genre) or out of character (anything goes). You need to know which as this affects your choice of tent.

Sleeping rough means makeshift shelters, and possibly outdoors. This means you really need to clarify what the expectations are from the organisers at your time of booking.

Bedroom is nice. It may even be ensuite. You may need to share and mixed sharing can also happen. So clarify this if you possibly feel uncomfortable with shared rooms or sharing with someone of the opposite sex. Also do you need bedding.

Dormitories – you’re talking about limited personal space and maybe mixed occupancy. So again check. Again you should check about bedding.

If its bring your own bed – do just that. Get a comfortable camp bed of some kind.

The Tip: When in doubt pack a sleeping bag.

 

Food – What am I eating?

At a larp eating is very important. Your routines are going to change. You may be a lot more physically active than usual. You may be getting less sleep than usual. You may be colder or warmer than usual. You will need to eat.

The amount of catering a larp provides will vary enormously. Some games do incredible in character catering. Others let you fend for yourself. You should confirm which meals will be provided. You should also find out if snacks are available on site.Its also worth finding out if meals are at the start and end of the day. If this is the case what happens in the middle?

Its never a bad move to pack some non-perishable snacks. Don’t go hungry. Assume you will need food.

The Tip: Putting snacks in your larp bag is rarely a bad move.

 

Drink – Avoid Dehydrating

Two parts to this one. Alcohol and hydration. Lets start with the booze.

Alcohol is really simple as it depends on knowing the what the attitude to alcohol is like at that larp. Is it normal to drink? Is drinking banned for safety reasons? Is a little alcohol OK and a lot not so? All of these can only be resolved by asking the organisers. Very often you’ll be able to guess as the attitude to alcohol in larps tends to reflect where you are. For example most UK larps allow for drinking as a normal part of the experience; but being falling over drunk is seen as being not desirable. However regardless of what’s permitted remember that you will be taking part in an emotional and possibly physical experience. How does alcohol affect you? Remember to be true to your limitations. If drinking in such circumstances is not a good idea for you then do not drink regardless of what others say.

The next part if simply hydration. You will need to most likely drink more than usual. Especially in an outdoors Summer larp. I’ve seen a lot people fall over from simply not drinking enough water. So if possible carry water. If possible take a moment and have drink of something. Being thirsty is a bad thing. It can become dangerous if you dehydrate.  There’s not much to ask here as just about all larpers are aware of this risk. But you may need to ask what is a suitable in character water container.

The Tip: Do not become dehydrated.

 

When Am I in Game?

If you are in game you are meant to be in costume and portraying your character. You’ll need to know what time of night you can stop playing? When in the morning you are in character? Or is the whole experience from start to finish in character? Are there areas of the site that are out game? Like out of character camping or a chill room if you need to step back for a moment. There’s nothing worse than going for an out of character breakfast and then finding that everyone is already in character.

So ask the question – when and where should I be playing my character?

The Tip: When in Doubt Assume in character

 

What Should My Costume be like?

Really important if this is your first larp and to be honest given the modern trend for high costume standards this question never goes away. Fortunately you may not have to ask a question at all. If the game is well established there is a good chance of there being plenty of photographs online that you can take a look. Avail yourself of the larps website and any Facebook groups they may have. You will learn a lot.

Some larps may have costume standards embedded in their rules / guide books. Take a look at these.

Finally ask the question of the organisers or other players. You will almost certainly get some good answers. Don’t buy or acquire costume before you know what you need. That way can lead to a lot of wasted money. If its your first larp also ask about borrowing or renting costume. Looking good will help you enjoy the larp but there is little fun in spending a lot of money and only then discovering that you do not like.

The Tip: Ask how to look cool – but don’t blow the budget until you are sure about it.

 

Finally

These are all practical questions common to anyone going to a larp. If you are new to larping you should try and get these cleared up. Never be afraid to ask questions of larpers. The larp community by and large is full of helpful, friendly and thoughtful people. The kind of people who want to work with someone to better take part in their game. Always ask questions. They will not be laughed at.

Interview with Danny Gomez from First Person Xperience

Interview with Danny Gomez from First Person Xperience

LARPBook interviews Danny Gomez of First Person Xperience. We talked about RED. A new post apocalypse experience that is launching on the 11th of May 2017.

Here’s the link to RED

http://www.firstpersonxperience.com/red/

RED sounds like it’s a combination of theatre and larp. It’s built so that can enter it with no real preparation but still have an immersive and unique experience. It sounds like a lot of work has gone into making it self customising. Much in a same way that a larp adjusts to the actions of its players. Its also clear that its not an Escape Room. Escape Rooms are fundamentally puzzles, whilst this seems to more story based. So it has a start and an outcome. The outcome depends on player actions. So again more larp like than some other mainstream offerings.

It straddles the world between mainstream and larp. Great fun for a group of friends who know nothing about larp. Great fun for larpers who could really get into it. Possibly both playing at the same time. Each run has a 75 minute duration which makes incorporating into a day out quite easy.

If you’re interested in going – then book quick as we have a promo code

The code is

FPX

It’ll get you a free upgrade to next tier of ticket above the one your purchase. The code is limited to the first 100.

If you go – we’d love to hear of your experience in RED. LARPBook is very keen on hearing how this runs.

A Kickstarter for 12 Larps

A Kickstarter for 12 Larps

Welcome to Crescendo Giocoso, a Kickstarter project of 12 larps that exist as a play list. Why a play list? Well we have a good many styles of larp design – like Nordic, Freeform, Boffer and so on. Here’s a new one. a set of larps conceived of and put together by a team who’s method of working more resembles an orchestra than other traditional approaches. The result is that they call themselves the Larp Chamber Orchestra.

Lets look at this by playing their Kickstarer video

 

So you can see that this Kickstarter is designed to create a book of 12 larps. The number of players for these ranges from 2 to 30. Behind each of these larps is a common design mindset. That changes how the game is described to a group. Instead of one person explaining or running the larp, all players gain the understanding of how to play as a whole. A bit like a group of musicians learning to play a piece of music.

So instead of the idea of an author led larp (a bit like a novel), or director led larp (a bit like a film) to something that is more like a jam session. At least that’s the vibe I’m picking up on. I think the idea is that a group of people can just start to play the larp.

The 12 larps in this Kickstarter are arranged in a play list – starting with 2 players and then working up to 30 players. So if played in order the scale gets bigger and bigger. Just like a musical crescendo.

It’s a fascinating idea.

As I mentioned this is a Kickstarter so you can learn more about about this project by clicking here.

I really hope they reach their targets as its a cool concepts and the larps look good.

 

LARPBook Show Episode 52: “Air Conditioning Ninjas”

LARPBook Show Episode 52: “Air Conditioning Ninjas”

In this episode we have Dennis from Larpforge as our special guest. We discover that Dennis isn’t just the maker of the Nuka Break’er hammer (that’s a personal favourite of mine so I had to give it a mention), but he also knows a lot about larp. In addition to our planned subjects we talk a lot about larp food, and its importance, larp drink and generally staying healthy during an event.

Our planned discussions for this episode were

From the Chat Rooms

For this episode the chat rooms were nice and active. One member was looking for a Game of Thrones Larp in the USA. This is what we found:

Game of Throne Larp
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1719515628/dragon-thrones-the-medieval-fantasy-weekend-experi

The chatter White Walker gave us the use our image for these show notes – take a look – it is a larp costume and not a cosplay. Thank You White Walker (never thought I get to say thank you to a White Walker!),

Stuart has been working with Larpages – and we hope to do more with Larpages in the future. If you haven’t heard of Larpages its a UK based site that acts as a directory for all thinks larp. We’re hoping to do more with them in the future.

If you know of other similar services outside of the UK let us know. We’d love to talk to them.

Events

Here are a selection of larp events for May 2017. These are all based in the UK.

May 12th to May 14th 2017

Diaspora LRP Event 1 – TBC
By: Flaming Efreeti Productions
Genre: Steam Punk
Near: South Yorkshire

May 19th to May 21st 2017

Frail Realities
By: Frail Realities
Genre: Steam Punk
Location: Kirkby Mallory, Leicestershire

May 20th to May 21st 2017

Four Rivers
By: Impossible Gears
Genre: Out of Character
Near: Newcastle, Tyne and Wear

May 26th to May 29th 2017

Namahage
By: Ascendancy LRP
Genre: High Fantasy
Near: Cheadle, Staffordshire

May 27th to May 28th 2017

Revenant Evil: The aftermath II
By: Darkstar
Genre: Post Apocalyptic
Near: Shedfield, Hampshire

May 12th to May 14th 2017

Cataclysm Event 2: An Echo Rises
By:Hive Cataclysm
Gener: Post Apocalyptic
Near: Coventry, Warwickshire

May 19th to May 21st 2017

Forsaken 3
By: Broken Dreams
Genre: Modern Coventry
Near: West Midlands

May 26th to May 28th 2017

Dangermarket 1: The How Many Spies Affair
By: Aetherfield
Genre: Historical
Near: Buxton, Derbyshire

May 26th to May 29th 2017

Forest Argent – The Convergance
By: Wyvern’s Tales
Genre: High Fantasy
Near: Bridgend

THANK YOU
A big Thank you to our lovely patrons who make it a bit easier to keep this show going.

END SHOW
If you would like to get in contact with the show just email [email protected], 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 [email protected].

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Twilight Realms – Black Heart – Event Overview

Twilight Realms – Black Heart – Event Overview

Last weekend (if you’re in the future that’s starting on March 24th 2017). I crewing at the Twilight Realms event “Black Heart”. The latest addition to an ongoing campaign in the clubs Tempress setting. This isn’t a review; I was playing a new NPC character so that makes me too close to the running of the event to do a proper impartial analysis.  This is more of an overview.

As with all Tempress games this was a high fantasy event. As an ongoing part of the latest campaign it was very high stakes.  The players are a party that have become embroiled in changes to the world following the rise of a resistance against a powerful and expanding empire (in game – the Helevetian Empire. Best thought of being very much this games version of the Roman Empire.)

The story was simple. Investigate what the “Empire” was doing in a seized portion of the country of Brindle. The problem, Brindle is a country once ruled by Vampires. Now at least a part of it is under the control of the empire who are undertaking some very unethical experiments on magic and immortality.

The game started on Friday night. Arrival on site was well organised in that – this is were you unload and this is your accommodation allocation.  You knew where to go and people pitched in, making the unloading of cars a breeze.

From a crew point of view we had individual briefings. Meaning each NPC player only knew the information they were supposed to know. There was also a lot of written material to digest. I like this approach of only knowing what you need to know. It makes playing your specific part easier as you can just focus on what matters to your character.

Set dressing also proceeded quickly. The game was ready to play.

In this event Twilight Realms refs were trying out some new Walkie Talkies. This worked out great and really added to creating good game flow.

The game structure was this. Friday night introduced the story. Saturday was an open sandbox larp. The players could do whatever they wanted. In any way they wanted. Success would give them information and resources. Failure would have anything from no effect on the game world through to dire consequences. However personal failures and problems were also possible.

The actual end was a success in terms of the story. However the majority of the party were left with personal issues that will have to be dealt with.

My NPC was a researcher driven mad by the unexpected consequences of his work. A beautiful role that gave me a chance to play a large range of emotions. Ok – it meant I could ham it up.  I was also able to work up some physical play using a walking stick. Perfect. Later in the game there was also a chance for a bit of monstering. So for me, this was a good event

In terms of game flow the players started as planned and then started to have all kinds of ideas.  Some of them uncannily accurate. Others were wild flights of fancy. The refs and crew adapted by making decisions on encounters, information dispersal and the timings of NPC appearances.

This made the event a highly interactive experience.

At this point I’d like to make a special note of thanks to the monster crew. This team worked non stop to give the players a good experience.

That’s one of the reasons I like the Twilight Realms experience. Everyone, players and crew alike set out to create a great experience.

The ending of this event leaves with a lot of story options. Already there more than a little curiosity as to how the impact of Black Heart plays out.

Event Photo Gallery

All the photos for this event were taken by the Twilight Realms team.

The Bat Creatures

Dark Heart featured some large bat like monsters. During the game they became the players nightmares.

This footage is of the costumes undergoing testing

Please note that as Facebook video

The Grange Live Gaming – Bravo One

The Grange Live Gaming – Bravo One

We were invited to visit The Grange Live Gaming in Birmingham. Not an opportunity we were going to miss; so on Sunday Stuart, Luke and Rob set off with Lukes daughter to take a look.

What we found was worth the trip (South Wales to Birmingham UK – not Alabama).

In the centre of Birmingham (and I do mean the centre) we found a larp and gaming centre that was operational across a number of floors and also in construction for 2 more. The first thing we all latched onto was the potential of the place, which is enormous. The gaming areas are on 5 floors of what would have been factory / warehouse space. It lends itself to being dressed as sets and that is exactly what is going on. The floors under construction gave us the size of the place. Those outfitted for gaming – gave us the realisation. Using simple wooden walls the team at the Grange have built configurable game spaces. Simply put the walls can be moved or even decorated to specification. You want simple walls and a maze to run around in – no problem. You want to design something more specific, that is possible. It becomes a question of planning and resourcing.

Right now plans for some specific designs are afoot. Such as a run down indoor fun fair. In place already are hospital beds and some old bits of medical machinery that may have once been surgical drain units. Creepy and very Silent Hill.

One feature that caught my attention were the security cameras. Yes these are for safety monitoring, but they can be brought in game. Which means if your game requires players to monitor a security feed – they really can do it. If you want your ref team to monitor the game – that can happen to. There is also the possibility of taking security footage after the event for promotional and documentary purposes. For me – it’s the in game stuff that excites. Whether its for the refs or players (or both); I love the idea of video monitoring. For the players it’s more immersion and for the refs its monitoring and being able to react to events without standing over the players shoulders. That too makes it a more real experience for the players.

There was something else that the ref in me liked too. The ability to build walls means that rooms and corridors can be hidden. Not in a maze like fashion. More in a this part of the facility is for crew only fashion. Remove the openness of the great outdoors, build the walls yourself and now the ability to have crew move from hidden crew rooms and through secret passageways. This caught the attention of the horror larp writer in me.

In fact this whole place is great for modern day, SF and horror larp.

It’s also nerdy inclusive. Which means a range of pursuits such as larp, airsoft, archery, hema, tabletop games and so on are all supported here. Its possibly Birmingham nerd central.

Any downsides? Just the one and I do not think it is a deal breaker. The site is not polished in a mainstream kind of way. Its bohemian and industrial in a larper kind of way.

If you haven’t guessed it – I love the place. Dale and Stephen whom we met were incredibly friendly and helpful. The venue is just one big pile of larping potential.

The good thing is that you do not have to take my word for it. While we were there we took quite a few photographs and a couple of videos. These are up next.

The Photo Gallery

Hopefully we’ve captured the feel of the place.

Interview With Dale

This first video is an interview with Dale. If you’re running a larp it is likely that you will be liaising with Dale over how you use The Grange Live Gaming.

Luke in the Rage Room

During the last few episodes of the LARPBook show Luke experienced some issues with his computer. This had hilarious results (here are the shows on youtube. Look at episodes 51.

The good news for Luke is that The Grange Live Gaming has a rage room. He used it to take vengeance on an unsuspecting computer.

Want to get in touch with The Grange Live Gaming?

Website: http://www.grangelivegaming.com

Faecbook: https://www.facebook.com/Grangelive/

We all hope this site goes from strength to strength. We’ll be back there to report on or play in a game. I see trips to Birmingham in our future.

LARPBook Show Episode 51: The Silent Luke

LARPBook Show Episode 51: The Silent Luke

On Tuesday 7th of March we ran episode 51 of the LARPBook show. We were joined by Martin from Larpforge as our special guest.  We’d like to thank Martin very much for being a part of this episdoe

 If you’d like to download or stream the audio for this show please click here.

This episode can be summed up into

  1. Talking to Martin about Larpforge, Horns, European Larp, The differences between British & Danish larpers and curry.
  2. Interacting with a very active audience, who were commenting on live show
  3. Luke desperately trying to get his microphone to work
  4. Learning how to prounounce Knutepunkt
  5. Luke still desperately trying to his microphone to work
  6. Danelaw (this always happens when a Dane comes on)
  7. Insulting cities, regions and countries (it all started with Copenhagen)
  8. Luke seeking out a laptop.
  9. Running through the larp awards
  10. Luke silently screaming obscenities at his computers
  11. A mention for Conscience larp.

The UK 2017 Larp Awards

We ran through the winners of the 2017 UK Larp awards in full. This year saw a few new faces winning awards. This is great as it makes the awards themselves feel a lot more dynamic and meaningful. We had previously published the full list of award winners and you can find it here.

Conscience Larp

Conscience is a larp inspired by tv-series Westworld, about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the moral implications of those innovations for all involved

Date: January 27th to 30th 2018.

Sign up will open on the 15th March 2017 at 21 CET and will close on the 31st of March 2017.

Learn more at: http://conscience.notonlylarp.com/

I think that we all agreed that a high status larp that –

  • Is a Western
  • Has the sensibilities of WestWorld
  • Contains moral dilemmas to over come

– Sounds good

Where to find Larpforge

Of course we need you to be able to find Larpforge. Here are the links

https://www.youtube.com/user/LazyLarper

https://www.facebook.com/LazyLarper/

http://larpforge.tumblr.com/

 

THANK YOU

A big Thank you to our lovely patrons who make it a bit easier to keep this show going.

If you would like to get in contact with the show just email [email protected], 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 [email protected]

Music provided by:http://www.bensound.com
Patreon – http://patreon.com/larpbook
Shop: http://www.redbubble.com/ search for Larpbook
You can listen to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Youtube, Twitch and Podbean just search for LARPBook
email: [email protected]
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Don’t forget to give us a five star review on iTunes

 

UK LARP Awards 2017 – The Results

UK LARP Awards 2017 – The Results

On March 4th the UK LARP Awards were held. These are very much becoming very much an established part of the UK Larp scene and it looks as if they have already been booked for next year.

So here are the results

Player Run/Sanctioned Event

  • Do Not Go Gently – Slayers Lrp (Winner)

 

Club System of the Year

  • UNION at Nottingham Uni (Winner)

 

Player of the Year

  • Rosie Woolley (Winner)

 

Bard of the Year

  • Dred Roberts (Winner)

 

Small Larp of the Year

  • Hades (Winner)

 

Medium Larp of the Year

  • Future’s End (Winner)

 

Large Larp of the Year

  • Curious Pastimes (Winner)

 

Family event of the Year

  • Empire (Winner)

 

Grassroots system of the Year

  • Future’s End (Winner)

 

New Larp of the Year

  • Before the End (Winner)

 

Larp Producer – Foam/Latex

  • Saxon Violence (Winner)

 

Larp Producer – Leather

  • Darkblade (Winner)

 

Larp Producer – Costume

  • Craeftigan (Winner)

 

Larp Caterer of the Year

  • Warden’s Catering (Eid II) (Winner)

 

Creature Costume of the Year

  • Verdigris Mind-Forged Manacles – Clockwork Firebird Designs (Winner)

 

On-line Retailer of the Year

  • Larp Inn (Winner)

 

In-field Retailer of the Year

  • Das Shoppe (Winner)

 

NPC of the Year

  • Tin King – Strategy (Winner)

 

Event Crew Member of the Year

  • Charlotte Pirie (Winner)

 

Mainstream Event

  • Knightmare Live – Touring Production (Winner)

 

Unsung Hero – Andrew Jackson

Lifetime Achievement – Ian Andrews

Overall Best Larp of the Year – Curious Pastimes

Poker Player – Mark Annable

Combat Tournament – Neil Prior

LARPBook will like to extend hearty congratulations to all winners

 

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