LARP World Building

LARP World Building

I’ve been designing a new larp and that has taken me down the route of thinking about the world that it runs in. These are some of my thoughts on constructing a world to run a larp in.

Why World Build ?

Players are critical to any larp; and they need to know quite a lot. They need to know how to costume in a way that creates an consistent feel to the game. They need to know how much things are worth, and what are the social norms.

In any larp we need to find a means that help players tackle these questions. That’s the point of detaling the game world. It allows everyone involved to contribute in way that improves the game for all.

Describing the Big Picture

Talking about a fictional world can be intimidating for both the writer and the reader. So we need to take it in steps. First of all do you know enough about the world to be able in a few seconds to give someone and idea of what it is like.

If you can; then that is awesome – as you have a clear idea of what you are creating.

If not then go back and think some more. Make notes of a few ideas. This way you should be give people your idea with clarity.

Decribing “The Edit”

First some context, The Edit is a larp under development. This is the current state of the Big Picture description.

The Edit explores what it is like to live in world changing in unforeseen ways. The population has crashed. Nowhere is safe. It has become dangerous to live in one place for too long. Bands of people are figuring out how to survive. Disease and disfigurement are everywhere.

A simpler description is that The Edit is a post Apocalypse Horror Fantasy

What do you think of these descriptions. Do they make the world worthy of exploring. If you think the answer is yes then The Edit is looking good.

Develop The Look and Feel

Players are going to need to know how to costume. They need to know what kind of equipment their characters will have access to.

In order for immersion to work well the players must all be developing their ideas from a common base. Make sure you have answers to questions that include

  • What does clothing look like?
  • What does armour look like?
  • Do characters have makeup or facial markings?
  • Are there any taboos towards certain kinds of dress?
  • What are common technologies emoployed by people?

This isn’t an exhaustive list; but not a bad start. Here are some things that can help.

Use a Mood Board

Mood boards are collections of images that set the tone and the feeling of what you are trying to achieve. The easiest way to do this is to use Pinterest.

Use Fictional References

Tell people which films, TV Shows or books best illustrate the world you are trying to create. If possible provide links to items on YouTube, Netflix or Amazon to help people get there.

Do A Photo Shoot

Get a few people together with a photographer and shoot a gallery of images that shows what you are going for. This will help to solidify your plans.

Applying Look and Feel to The Edit

The edit takes place very soon after the fall of civilisation. A plague is resposible for the fall. Dress is whatever you can get. Most people will wear their normal preferred choice of clothes. Some are wearing protective gear. Some are grabbing practial outdoor or military wear. Its not the full on Mad Max stlye apocalypse gear yet. It is the worn out modern day with some people taking precautions; while others are practical.

Its expected that a mood board will be established for the game.

The LARPs Rules

You may not see the rules as being part of the world, but thing of it this way. Your rules describe how people interact with things. How they achieve things. And if your larp involves conflict; who wins.

Your rules are a key tool in describing your world to the players.

This is never more true than in the case of character creation. The building of characters is an expression of how people live in your world.

Remember this about rules

Terms like no-rule or high-rule are explain complexity but in themselves don’t model the world.

Create your rules as needed to let people understand how the world works.

The Edits Rules

The plan here is for as few rules as possible. Combat should be brutal and terrifying. The combat rules will reflect this by making it easy to be killed.  Character generation will be descriptive. Based upon building an archetype. The archtype comes from previous employment, interests and hobbies.

As you can see the rules are not finished. But I do have goals.

The General rule is Iteration

This means that your world won’t be formed first time. You’ll go back and edit and revise ideas. Each time improving things for yourself and others. Like the real world it should be a living breathing thing that never stops changing.

Your Players Understand Things

Never forget that your players are a fantastic resource. How they respond to things will teach you how people interact with your world. Always listen to them. They are a mine of ideas.

Sponsorship: John Harding YouTube Channel

Sponsorship: John Harding YouTube Channel

  There’s a new UK based YouTube Channel on the scene. It’s run by John Harding and if you click here you can take a look. We’ve been chatting with John about the possibility of sponsoring his channel. We’re all about supporting LARP and after a have decided that this is exactly what we are going to do. So I’d to formally announce LARPBooks support of his channel.

What will this mean?

The sponsorship we’re seeing is all about support so expect to see things like
  •  Promotion of Johns videos on LARPBook
  • LARPBook seeing if we can help John with game or product access
  • Video Collaborations between us all
  • Any other great surprises we can think of for you.

The John Harding Video Channel

Tenement 67: Paradise 101. A Cyperpunk Larp

Tenement 67: Paradise 101. A Cyperpunk Larp

It’s Cyberpunk Larp time!

I need to start with a confession. I’m a long time fan of the genre. Ever since I discovered Gibsons sprawl stories pretty much as they were coming out. I have a memory or sitting in a bar with William Gibson at a Worldcon with a crowd of fans in the 80’s. I was also amazed to hear that at the time he was collecting ugly ties.

Here we are in 2019. Very close to the Cyberpunk year of 2020 and I was off to experience Tenement 67 as a 1 day event. The event was Paradise 101.

Paradise 101 had a lot of expectation to live up.

The Concept

Paradise 101 is the place to go the Tenements for entertainment. You’ll find all pleasures here. Including the ones you may not wish to witness. It’s controlled by the syndicate and is a playground for all levels in society.

Everything and everyone rubs shoulders in Paradise 101. It’s a very cyberpunk idea. Heres the official page about this event.

Entering The Tenements

My character was one of societies super rich, Someone with unlimited money. Able to call on the resources of a major corporation by accident of birth. I wasn’t alone. 4 of the filthy rich were going to be entering the Tenements. Each of us wearing a clone body.  All we had to do was have fun and spend money.

Of course there was a lot more than that going on. Story lines abounded.  Yet from my perspective they in the main washed over us. Privildge became an insulating barrier. The syndicate at first did not like us. Then they fawned over us as they realised how much money we had. The misery of the disenfranchised became a toy.

Yes this was a cyberpunk.

Gunslinger battled, drugs, pleaures and experiences lined up. Neon popped through the dark and music played everywhere.

This larp dripped presence and genre style.

Was it Fun?

Absolutey. Being made part of a group frome the same background was a great idea and I take my hat off to my fellow super rich. You were awesomely awful!. Thank you.

Was it Challenging?

Very, the setting was dark and claustrophic. Lit by dim shades of green, blue and red; and the glowing clothes worn by many of the attendees. This wasn’t the crux of the challenge though. That was emotional, We were part of a trade in pain. People were being injured ; often in a harrowing fashion for our kicks. People were sharing memories and experiences in very intimate scenes.

This was the kind of larp that places in both a story and an emotional place.  It’s not something were winning is tactics. The experience itself is solid and meanigful.

Also from my position I could sort of see other stories without being able to touch them. Having something tantalising around players is very smart larp writing – bravo.

The larps location

Paradise 101 was run at Grange Live Gaming in Birmingham. It was perfect. Placing us in a maze of alleyways, rooms and cubby whole. All indoors meant no sunlight. Instead we had the right kind of illumination for cyberpunk. I got turned around in the maze of it all more than once.

Did it match expectations

Yes. In fact expectations weren’t just matched; they were exceeded.

I am now a fan of Tenement 67.

The Photo Gallery

The Video Diary


Northern Kingdoms: A Witcher Larp Interview

Northern Kingdoms: A Witcher Larp Interview

We were lucky to get an interview with Simon Deacon. The creator of the new Northern Kingdoms Witcher Larp. There’s been some buzz on this one. It was nominated for a UK Larp Award; and we’ve had a bunch of people telling us how good it is.

This made me keen to find out more.

Sadly this particular interview was beset by technical issues. I can only issue my apologies for these.

To make up we’d like to offer an open invitation to Simon and Northern Kingdoms to come back at any time to talk more about the larp.

The Interview

To learn more about Northern Kingdoms. Here is their Facebook Group:

The photo used for this post comes from the Larp Photographer Kren Cooper

UK Larp Awards 2019: The Results

UK Larp Awards 2019: The Results

The results of the UK Larp Awards were announced at a ceremony on the Saturday night of Larpcon 2019.

This listing shows all the winners and where applicable runners up for all categories. This year we’re making sure to include items that were part of larpcon itself such as the Poker tournament, and the Sword and Shield competition.

We were delighted to see the inclusion of the new category of Accessibility in Larp, our is that this makes more people think about how can their larps achieve this.

Here is the full listing:

Award for Accessibility in Larp NEW FOR 2019

  • Under the Stars – Winner
  • Marked: A school for heroes – Runner-Up

International Larp of the Year RETURNING FOR 2019

  • Raven Crew – Italy&on a pirate ship – Winner
  • Legion: Siberian Story – Czech Rep – Runner-Up

Venue of the Year

  • Huntley Wood – Winner
  • The Grange – Runner-Up

Small Larp of the Year

  • Paradigm Shift – Winner
  • Faded Glory – Runner-Up

Medium Larp of the Year

  • Wing and a Prayer – Winner
  • Orion’s Sphere – Runner-Up

Large Larp of the Year

  • Empire – Winner
  • Curious Pastimes – Runner-Up

Family Larp of the Year

  • Legacy – Winner
  • Empire – Runner-Up

Sanctioned Larp of the Year

  • Empire – Over the Edge – Winner
  • Curious Pastimes – College Event – Tempest Arcanem – Runner-Up

Club Larp of the Year

  • Fools and Heroes – Winner
  • Polaris – University of Nottingham – Runner-Up

Grassroots Larp of the Year

  • Empire – Winner
  • Fools and Heroes – Runner-Up

New Larp of the Year

  • Orion’s Sphere – Winner
  • Jacobite – Runner-Up

Producer of the Year in Foam/Latex

  • Andy Rimmer Offa Studios – Winner
  • Light Armouries – Runner-Up

Producer of the Year in Leather

  • The Goblin Workshop. – Winner
  • Darkblade – Runner-Up

Producer of the Year in Costume

  • Romany Robes – Winner
  • Craftigan – Runner-Up

Caterer of the Year

  • The Good Honest Food Co – Winner
  • Mhorish – Runner-Up

Creature Costume of the Year

  • “Massive 4 armed orc monstrosity thing” – Danielle Starkey – CP – Winner
  • Robo-Anubis – Olga Maksimenko and Eugene Griskov – Future’s End – Runner-Up

On-line Retailer of the Year

  • LarpInn – Winner
  • Gems Trading Co – Runner-Up

In-field Retailer of the Year

  • Having a Larp – Winner
  • Chow’s Emporium – Runner-Up

Player of the Year

  • Samuel Newton – Winner
  • Rosie Woolley – Runner-Up

Bard of the Year

  • Gabrielle Jones – Winner
  • Mark Chilvers – Runner-Up

NPC of the Year

  • Alexandra Preece – Queen of the Forest – Winner
  • Danny Lake – Wyndrake Winterheart, King of Albion – Runner-Up

Crew Member of the Year

  • Samuel Newton – Winner
  • Andy Raff – Runner-Up

Mainstream Event of the Year

  • Secret Cinema’s showing of “Bladerunner” – Winner
  • Star Wars VR Experience – Stratford – Runner-Up

Costume Photograph

  • One Life, One Nation, One Empire – Worn by Matt Kazmierczak – Winner
  • Lady Maria Eddington – Worn by Jaz Parry – Runner-Up

Photo – People’s choice – General

  • Oliver Facey Surrounded – Winner
  • Daniel Parry The Banshees of Bledbridge – Runner-Up

Photo – Jugde’s choice – General

  • Oliver Facey Surrounded – Winner

Photo – People’s choice – Unit

  • Rob Selwood The Dalriadans – Winner
  • Beth Dooner Jachin’s Legacy – Runner-Up

Photo – Judge’s choice – Unit

  • Rob Selwood The Dalriadans – Winner

Photo – People’s choice – Tranquillity

  • Derek McAllister Halfling on Ice – Winner
  • Pete Guyan Time for tea – Runner-Up

Photo – Judge’s choice – Tranquillity

  • Beth Dooner The Sirens Call – Winner

Photo – People’s choice – Grief

  • Chiara Mac Brothers – Winner
  • Derek McAllister Burden of the Magos – Runner-Up

Photo – Judge’s choice – Grief

  • Chiara Mac Brothers – Winner

Photo – People’s choice – Rage

  • Oliver Facey I have no voice – Winner
  • Beth Dooner Dying Breath – Runner-Up

Photo – Judge’s choice – Rage

  • Oliver Facey I have no voice – Winner

Advanced Photography Award

  • Rob Selwood – “Weariness of the Long Time Larper”

Unsung Hero

  • Sean Maguire

Lifetime Achievement

  • Dave Oliver

Overall Larp

  • Paradigm Shift


  • Janice Hillman

Sword and Shield Combat Tournament

  • Matthew Guthrie

Northern Kingdoms. A Witcher Larp Profile

Northern Kingdoms. A Witcher Larp Profile

LARP Group

Northern Kingdoms – A Witcher Larp



LARP Genre

Dark Fantasy set in the world of the Witcher

Who Creates The Characters?

The Player

On Average how tailored is the plot to characters

It Varies

What Makes Your Events Friendly to New Players?

Our simple rules and emphasis on roleplay help is ensure that we can maximise our referees attention on the players not for rules but to develop roleplay. This goes double for new players who may need more assistance getting into the spirit of the game, our crew are friendly and approachable. Any complaints are dealt with there and then to promote a fun and safe environment, well not safe from the monsters anyway.

How Frequently do you run events

We have just ran our first event last November and have two events planned this year in July and October. We plan to run two events per year.

What are the facilities like?

Our first event had hot running water, power and hot drinks for free. we also hire caterers at additional cost to both crew and players.
We aim to have the same types of facilities at sites where we run our events.

Tell us anything else you would like to about Your Game World, and How Your Events Work

Our players take on the role of mercenaries fighting a war which features in the Witcher 3 game, during events players will tackle the main plot and have the opportunity to take on additional contracts to gain more coin and also further advance their own personal plot(s). All plots and quests can have multiple outcomes which all depends on the players actions or inaction.

Website / URL

Contacts Email Address

[email protected]


The Gallery

All images are via the larp photographer Kren Cooper

Get in Touch with Northern Kingdoms

UK LARP Award Nominations 2019

UK LARP Award Nominations 2019

It is LARP Awards season. At least here in the UK, it is. Also when I say season I do mean the UK Larp Awards associated with Larpcon. These awards have been running now since 2011 – which is quite an achievement and I hope they continue for quite a while as each year we get a fascinating insight into what is going on in UK Larp. The award ceremony itself is on March 3rd 2019. So these are the nominations. Let’s see who is in the running this year.

The Nominess

Award for Accessibility in Larp. *** NEW FOR 2019 ***

  • Bothwell School of Witchcraft
  • Curious Pastimes
  • Empire
  • Marked: A school for heroes
  • Under the Stars

International Larp of the Year. *** RETURNING FOR 2019 ***

  • Academy of Eblana – Ireland
  • College of Wizardry – Poland
  • Conscience – Spain
  • Legion: Siberian Story – Czech Rep
  • Raven Crew – Italy & on a pirate ship

Larp Venue of the Year

  • Eversley
  • Herstmonceux Castle
  • Huntley Wood
  • Paccar Scout Camp
  • The Grange

Small Larp of the Year

  • Clans of Albion
  • Erda
  • Eyelarp – Norseman Saga
  • Faded Glory
  • Paradigm Shift

Medium Larp of the Year

  • Age of Aether
  • Exiled on the Shores of Carmoa
  • Guild of Darkness
  • Orion’s Sphere
  • Wing and a Prayer

Large Larp of the Year

  • Bothwell School of Witchcraft
  • Curious Pastimes
  • Empire
  • Future’s End
  • Lorien Trust

Family Larp of the Year

  • Curious Pastimes
  • Empire
  • Fields of Illusion
  • Legacy
  • Lorien Trust

Sanctioned Larp of the Year

  • Age of Aether – Consequences
  • CP College Event – Tempest Arcanem
  • Empire – Nemesis
  • Empire – Over the Edge
  • LT – Fey Fables 3

Club Larp of the Year

  • General Larp Society (DUGL) – Durham University
  • Fools & Heroes
  • Hokfell – Leeds University
  • Labyrinthe
  • Polaris – University of Nottingham

Grassroots Larp of the Year

  • Bothwell School of Witchcraft
  • Empire
  • Erda
  • Fools & Heroes
  • Northern Kingdoms

New Larp of the Year

  • Exiled on the Shores of Carmoa
  • Jacobite
  • Legacy
  • Northern Kingdoms
  • Orion’s Sphere

Producer of the Year – Foam/latex

  • AJ Preece LARP Supplies
  • Offa Studios
  • Cræftigan
  • Light Armouries
  • Medlock Armoury

Producer of the Year – Leather

  • Darkblade
  • Lock’s Leather
  • The Goblin Workshop.
  • Lamia Leather
  • The Thornless Rose

Producer of the Year – Costume

  • Chows
  • Cræftigan
  • Romany Robes
  • Sewn By Dragons
  • Whitestar Clothing

Caterer of the Year

  • Caggles Catering
  • Mhorish
  • The Good Honest Food Co
  • The RattShakk
  • The Wooden Spoon

Creature Costume of the Year

  • Bruce the Drop bear – Sewn By Dragons – Age of Aether
  • Jalkur – Gareth Shaw – Orion Sphere
  • ‘Massive four armed orc monstrosity thing’ – Danielle Starkey – CP
  • Noonwraith/Nekkers – Dog Bane SFX – Northern Kingdoms
  • Robo-Anubis – Olga Maksimenko and Eugene Griskov – Future’s End

On-line retailer of the Year

  • Chow’s Emporium
  • Clutter Buys
  • Darkblade
  • Gems Trading Co
  • LarpInn

In-field retailer of the Year

  • Chow’s Emporium
  • Das Shoppe
  • Gem’s Trading Co
  • Having a Larp
  • LarpInn

Player of the Year

  • Jack Smallpage
  • Leanna Longo
  • Rosie Woolley
  • Samuel Newton
  • Stacy Stokes

Bard of the Year

  • Gabrielle Jones
  • Granny and the boon
  • Mark Chilvers
  • Michelle Cleland
  • Volksanger

NPC of the Year

  • Alexandra Preece – Queen of the Forest – CP
  • Andrew Forrest – Ishtar – LT
  • Danny Lake – Wyndrake Winterheart, King of Albion – LT
  • Pixie Noir (aka Robert Smith) – Ethen Herald– Age of Aether
  • Vickey Eyles – gnome – Bothwell School of Witchcraft

Crew Member of the Year

  • Andy Raff
  • Baby John Lee Pellett
  • Graeme Jamieson
  • Kayleigh Whybrow
  • Woody J Bevan

Mainstream Event of the Year

  • Immersive Gatsby
  • Inkwell Investigations – London
  • Quasar – Hemel Hempstead
  • Secret Cinema (Bladerunner)
  • Star Wars V.R. Experience – Stratford

Good Luck to all the Nominees

The image for this post is from the Larpspotting poster. This was created for Larpcon by Jamie Blakeman of Larp Inn
Tank Larp – The Interview

Tank Larp – The Interview

Tank Larp is a recent addition to our larp profiling section. It’s something I’ve been fascinated by and was delighted when we had a chance to run a video and learn more about it.

It’s a fascinating sounding game. A true mashup of genres. And of course, it features armoured vehicles and tank battles. 

I think its made the child in every larper I know squeal. 

The Video

Tank Larp Links

If after this you want to know more then here are the links you need.


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