Larp Rule Books

Larp Rule Books

Rulebooks, why do we need them?

Larp is a shared experience. It requires players to follow a shared understanding of how the world works. When something happens everyone needs to have the same understanding of its consequences.

All the players need to respond to an in game event the same way.

That’s why we have rules. They create a common framework for players. The job of rules is to communicate a common understanding of the larps world.

Variety in rule book complexity

You may think that if all larp rule books describe a world then they must all be pretty large and complex.

Only they are not. Rules range from those that will fit on one sheet of paper too those that are  heavyweight tomes. Some books are just guidelines for in game calls; some are simple meta techniques whilst others are massive.

This must mean that the need for complex rules is not evenly spread. For some reason some larps need almost no rules whilst others need loads.

At this point I could point out reasons for this. That might be interesting.

I have a better idea

Larp Rule Sharing

If we all share our rule books then we can all  see what other groups are doing.

What I am proposing is that LARPBook publishes either the rules themselves or links to the rules.

Creating a library of rulebooks that we can all look at and take some inspiration from.

After all if rules help us build worlds then they must also help us represent ideas.

So lets put these books into a library. Then we can all work with the ideas.

The LARPBook Rulebook  Library.

Please send us links to your rulebooks and whether you want LARPBook to offer a link or a download of these books and we will do the rest

This form will help us understand what you are sending. If you prefer you can also send us this information via our Facebook page.

Send Us Your Larp Rules

 

Please only complete this form if you have authorisation to share these details to us

Curious Pastimes Renewal 2018 – The Family

Curious Pastimes Renewal 2018 – The Family

This year we did something a little different. We followed a family around Curious Pastimes. The idea was a simple one, be a fly on the wall to find out how a family gets on for their first time at a UK Fest Larp. In doing so we hoped to provide insight for other families hoping to try out larping.

In this first article we’re going to introduce you to our brave volunteers and give you an insight of what they got up to via photograph gallery.

Subsquently we’ll be releasing video interviews with them and also footage of their time in the game. You’ll be able to hear from the horses mouth as it were and also see for yourself.

Introducing the Pitt Family

You may well recognise Luke. He is one of the regular presenters of the LARPBook show and he pretty much volunteered his family for this adventure. For those of you who want a bit more detail they are

  • Luke (Aged 46 going on 12)
  • Bex (Officially not 44)
  • Charlie (Aged 9 and wants to fight everything)
  • Issy (Aged 11 and wants to get into everything)

Their Role in Renewal

In the event they each created a character at GOD, and decided that as a family they would joine the Wolves faction. This turned out to be a great idea as within 10 minutes of entering the Wolves camp they were talking to established players and starting to get involved. Thank you the Wolves for making the start of our little experiment so easy. Wolves members did this by the way with no prompting and only discovered themselves what was going on later.

About the Photos

These photographs are a picked to show the family, their chatacters, their reactions. We were looking for photos that help people see who they are and how they reacted to what was going on in the game. Some of the moodier pictures actually reflect emotional reactions from the larp itself. Which is awesome

Thank You to Curious Pastimes

Yes I’ll let you see the photos in a moment but first I want to say a big thank you to Curious Pastimes for letting us run with this idea. Especially to Emmylou and Kayleigh. Thank you!

 

The Photos

And Finally (AKA What Happens Next)

At risk of adding a spoiler to a future post I can say that a great time was had by all. They were also invited to Wolves Banquet. Being invited back is always a great sign of playing a great game.

Curious Pastimes Renewal 2018 Photographs

Curious Pastimes Renewal 2018 Photographs

Part 1

It’s part 1 as this is part 1 of our photograph and general coverage of this years Renewal event by Curious Pastimes. It’s part 1 because we wanted to do things a little differently. Mostly when we cover a larp there is a collection of photographs and videos. This time we set ourselves a goal. We wanted to document a family at a UK fest larp. Our thoughts on this were simple. Using fly on the wall techniques we wondered what it would be like to follow a family who have never larped as a family at an event.

This created a whole of material.

At this point of writing we are still working our way through all the material we’ve collected. At this point I can most definitely say that you will be getting some great photos; a insight into a childrens linear and some footage of the family talking that is both insightful and hilarious.

This Post Is Not About the Family

As I mentioned we are working on the family footage. This instead is a more of a traditional wandering camera’s eye view of Renewal 2018. It’s picture of other people and scenes at the event. It’s closer to one of our more traditional photo galleries.

Closer because this timne I’ve scattered more behind the scenes shots than I normally would. Although the larp in action style of photography is great, perhaps it is time to look behind the veil more often. So I think that starting with Renewal I’ll be looking to do more of this. Show the product and what happens to make it happen.

Thoughts on this years Renewal

I think this years game stood out on production standards. The physical build was immense this time around. A library complex, a senate building, pillars, statues. There were more items of architectural significance than I have seen in recent years. It felt as if someone just wanted to up the proudction standards. Of course games like this are not just about production standards. Its about the atmosphere and despite terrible weather on the Sunday I think Curious Pastimes pulled it off. The opening was original, and had everyone asking questions and wondering what was going on. This combined nicely with sets that had been built to create a fresh atmosphere.

So top marks on keeping the feeling of originality going.

Thanks

I’d just like to take a moment to say thank you to everyone we talked to at the event. You were all marvellous. Pleas give yourselves a clap on the back and thank you.

 

 

The Gallery

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Green Cloaks Event 4 2018 Photo Gallery

Green Cloaks Event 4 2018 Photo Gallery

I got lost on the way to Green Cloaks

Ok so I stupidly put the wrong information for Green Cloaks in my sat nav and ended up a few miles. Fortunately I called in and was given directions and a warm welcome. It was time for tent up and to go and see what was going.

The Friday Battle

Whilst I’m not going to give a blow by blow of the full game, it’s opening is something that stood out. Carefully following the monster team took me to an attack on a faction camp. So far so normal. Except that in the chaos an inflatable sofa from a neighbouring camp was kidnapped. That was my introduction to Green Cloaks. It’s a military larp for sure. You really get the feeling that the players are portraying members of armies. It’s a also a rollicking good Science Fiction yarn that lets players and monsters alike run their imaginations wild. It’s a great laugh.

What’s Green Cloaks all about

Set in the years following 6012 (so sometime in the future), humans living in a distant star cluster find themselves in a new era. Where human polictics and commerce mingles with the influence of alien races and a growing understanding of the Omega plane. A once legandary idea intersects reality and myth. It adds a magical element to green cloaks. The soldiers are recognisable as soldiers. Men and women in uniform trying to do the right thing.

In the Green Cloaks space travel is common. The action thought takes place where troops are deployed. It takes place on the ground. Ships just get to where you are going. This is not space ship focussed space opera. This is all about the people.

In fact if you want something to compare it too then think Warhammer 40K. Without the oversized power armour. You can also add direct comparisons to the colonial marines of Aliens and also films about World War 2. The whisper I heard is that Kellys Heroes was a strong influence.

How did I find Green Cloaks

I need to start by saying thank you to everyone. You were all incredibly welcoming and supportive. The game has a lot of focus on the faction camps. The military structure makes possible an easy issuing of tasks and roleplaying. There is a lot of role-playing that went on into the night. There is als plenty of Nerf action. Both in sudden skirmishes and larger scale battles. The final battle on the Sunday was fluid, tactical, fast and exciting. Oh and a lot of Nerf darts were fired. I heard that 10,000 rounds of ammo was sold to players onsite.

Roleplaying and action. Yes that is my bag.

Any Downsides

In the game. No. There is a growing facilities issue, in that parking in particular is getting tight. However I did hear of plans to correct that. Which means that things should only get bigger and better.

Would I go back to Green Cloaks

Absolutely, its too good a game not to go back to.

The Bumper Green Cloaks Photo Gallery

If you would like a full resolution copy of any of these photographs just let me know. The photograph title is a reference number you can refer to it with

Nerf Resources for LARP – Summer 2018

Nerf Resources for LARP – Summer 2018

Nerf Resource in LARPBook – The Backstory

Our first Nerf article was a short listing of resources regarding how to modify a nerf weapon for use in larp. That was quite a few years ago and its now time to update it.

In case you’re wondering, yes this revisit was inspired by our recent visit to Colony Wars – Nerfed Up Larp.

This time round I also decided to do things a little differently. I thought it might be a good idea to ask the great larp hive for idea.

This question was asked on a number of groups in Facebook:

Hi all, I’m doing some research on Nerf modifications for a future article. What I’m looking for are recommendations for websites on Nerf Modifications. All mods acceptable – can you help?

The resources are all as credited. The descriptive follows a check of each one by myself. Credits exist where we permission to publish the name of the person who has helped us.

The answers came in,

and we know have this updated list of Nerf resources for larp – 2018

Facebook Group: UK Nerf War

Uk Facebook group dedicated to all things nerf. You’ll on going discussions, mods, photos and videos. Note that his is the Facebook feed of UKNERFWAR.COM. More about which in a moment

Credit: Kevin Bullard

Website: UKNERFWAR.COM

The intention is to be one stop site for Nerf onformation and modifications and parts. This site doesn’t actaull have that much on it. Instead it links out to other parts of the UK Nerf War / BritNerf empire which has information on suppliers, events and also a forum. UK Nerf War will also take commisions for Nerf Modification.

Credit: Kevin Bullard

Website: BRITNERF

Linked to from UK Nerf War, Britnerf is straight into a forum that is chokc full of advice and discussions. It also noticed serious attentioon to the subekjct of the law in respect to replica firearms. You won’t just learn about modification. There is a lot here about the whole Nerf hobby.

Credit: Tim Jones

Website: Nerf Haven

A for member website with Nerf game information, forums and discussions. It looks like plenty is going on and anyone time.

Credit: Dazz Jones

Website: Thingiverse

There’s no doubt that 3D printing has come a long way in the last few years. It’s now cheaper and easier to do that ever before. The Nerf modders have been quick off the mark to see the potetial in designing and printing your own Nerf mods. This is were Thingiverse comes in. It holds a enormous catalogue of uploaded 3D models. A quick search for Nerf found an almost enending list of items to designed to make your nerf just the way you want it.

Credit: Tom Bestow

Website: BlasterParts.com

Loved the first impression and design of this Internationally focussed site that provides and absolutely enourmous range of parts, modifications and acessories for blaster. Not just Nerf. Quite a range of alternative brands are also catered for. They also seem very aware to the range of uses that people put nerf too (casual games, office games, larp etc).

Website: RPF

This is primarily a costumes, props and models website. So don’t go expecting wall to wall nerf mods. What there are though are plent of discussion about props that will help your nerf modding. There are also examples of Nerf being turned into something else.

Credit: Krissy Martin

Facebook Group: Australian Nerf Modders

This one is exactly what is says on the tin. An active community with plenty of ideas, photos, links and videos

Facebook Group: Nerf Modders Welcome

A large and highly active group for all things nerf. There are over 11000 members which means you are in for an almost unending stream of infomration and discussion.

Facebook Group: Nerfholics Anonymous

Want another place to talk Nerf – I think you’ve just found it.

Website: Monkee Mods

A Malaysian based shop that ships all over the world. Initial impressions here are that there are a lot of options for the nerf modder.

Website: 1738th Red Wolves

U.S. based shop for Nerf parts, modifications and blasters. It looks like they also take on custom work as well.

Website: Jet Blaster

If you kit blasters and kit parts this could be the site for you. Thre are some really nice looking proudcts here. The main focus seems to be on kits for high end blasters that you can build and modify to your hearts delight. The site is U.S. based but does ship internationally.

Website Nerf SubReddit

There is a goodly sized nerf community on Reddit. If you like Reddit then this could be a good place for you

Website: BlasterSmiths UK

Blastersmiths have been around in the UK for about 5 years. They sell a good range of parts and supplies and also do club items (for exampele I noticed support for both Green Cloaks and Futures End). Custom commisions are also taken and it looks as if this is run via their Facebook Page. I also found the entries on this site useful

Facebook Page: Blastersmiths UK

The Facebook arm of BlasterSmith. Nice posts and also the place to go for commissions.

YouTube

We’ve a had quite few YouTube recommendations, and it’s clear that there is a lot here. So stand by – as I see a Nerf YouTube special coming up in the not too distant future

Source Credits

A number of people have helped by giving me links for this aricle. The ones I know I have permission to use the names for are listed next to credits. If sent me a link and would your name added please let me know. Also if you want your name removed, that is no problem. Please just let me know.

Image Credit

The image used in this post comnes from McHenry Arts. You can find full details of this image and it’s licence here

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Larp in the Aliens Universe at Colony Wars

Larp in the Aliens Universe at Colony Wars

We were invited to Colony Wars Larp, to join up with a band of colonial marines. So Stuart and I travelled to a venue running alongside Stansted airport runway to find out more. What we encountered were colonial marines, morally ambiguous synthetics, apes and giant spiders. It was a good larp.

Of course a good larp, doesn’t say much. So what do I mean.

The Setting

Aliens hints a large number if surveyed worlds, terraforming projects and drops by marines. Couple this with the strong 80’s vibe that permeates the Aliens universe, the existence of the Engineers, and Predators and we have a rich mythos that is lightly explored on screen. This is what Colony Wars tapped into – quite successfully.

Of course one universe is never enough. So for this event the feel and attitude of the Apes from Planet of the Apes is also added. Interestingly the more thoughtful Apes and gung-ho marines made an interesting combination. Also when I say Planet of the Apes this is not a literal taking from the movie. The humanoid apes are there. This variation saw a shamanistic religion being developed by the Ape players. Which is great – just the sort of thing Weyland-Yutani likes exploiting.

Ok so that’s the vibe –

What about the game itself ?

First of all – I loved the Ape masks. These were all specially created for this event and were very comfortable to wear. Instead of having latex in contact with skin, we had the inside of a motorcycle balaclava. Great idea as this a fair more breathable and friendly material. It meant that the masks could be worn all day, which definitely aided immersion.

Next up I’ve got to shout out the guys playing marines. Great combat gear and also a superb level of Nerf modification. My favourite had to be the M41A Pulse Rifle, Made from 3D printed parts mounted over a nerf chassis this really looked and felt the part.

Also the marines and Weyland-Yutani (insert expletive here) staff, put together a great camp with cooking on an open fire. There was a kind of Vietnam feel here and that to me that hit the mark.

The rules themselves were minimal. There were safety considerations and it the outcomes of combat and technology use were quickly apparent. The device of having one of the game refs play a synthetic really helped glue things together.

The Puppets

An aspect to this game that really stood out  was the use puppeteering. It worked like this. In game there were creatures (face huggers and giant spiders) that the players encountered. The actions of these were controlled by a puppeteer who wore black. The idea was that players would focus on the beastie and not on the crew member. This worked supremely well. The players role-played keeping their focus on the creatures and ignored the crew. Speaking to them later it looks as if they were genuinely only observing the puppets.

Oddly during my time playing a spider I found myself remembering and channelling the amazing spiders from Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Children of Time. Brilliant book and seriously recommended.

Colony Wars is a great example of what a small larp can achieve. Good plot, well organised but above all run with the players very much in mind. This was a first class event.

My final view is that of the players and organisers. Fantastic people. Very friendly and I can’t thank them enough for asking us in.

The Photos

Will there be more?

At the end of the game the organisers said no more. This was the last. I later saw the words never say never crop up online. So this is why no link to the organisers. At least no until they say they want to more. Should that happen I’ll be more than happy to report back to you.

Horror Cowboy LARP: A Fistful of Pesos 2

Horror Cowboy LARP: A Fistful of Pesos 2

It’s cowboy horror larp time. Way back in the mists of 2012 I was lucky enough to play in the original Fistful of Pesos game. You can read that review here.  I had a very good time.

The resurgence of the Fear of the Dark has brought us to its sequel. A Fistful of Pesos 2.

Actually sequel isn’t strictly true as I learned that is is actually part 2 of what will be a trilogy of cowboy horror events. That’s the history. What about the event itself?

The event started at around 8pm on the Friday (June 1st 2018). The first evening really gave us a chance to settle into our characters. Yes there was some threat. But it was nothing terrifying. We got our cowboy on and got used to our sixguns, Importantly we grasped out place in the story. Up until this point we’d all received a number of mails detailing the backstory and know it all came together as we played it,.

It was 1850 and were all part of a Wagon Train that was heading out West. The journey had been arduous and now the train was in trouble. Key members had been poisoned and could not be moved. So a small party had set off to check out a shortcut to a Fort, where it was hoped that medical supplies and much needed food could be found. We were that party.

Early on in the game we reached a shack. The plan was that we’d overnight there and move. This is where larp and reality clashed. Most of the male players had decided to play U.S. macho. They’d fight, shoot, drink, ride and do all the rough stuff. Women though had to cook, and clean and be submissive. So the games sole female player found herself being pushed towards the kitchen. The cooking was her job.

This did not go down too well. Not in the slightest.

Now some of this was due to the kind of politically incorrect banter that goes on at these games. But some of it was a modern reaction to being put in situation where current norms don’t work. Now how her character should have reacted – I’m not qualified to say. But it felt that in addition to some teasing we had genuine reaction between modern feelings and the worst of 1850,

That is something that I’ve always liked about larp. The ability to let us feel things in a way that is outside of how we normally live.

The next morning saw my character suffer the consequences of over sleeping (a bit of a shouting at), and the consumption of beans (the side effects of which would be prevalent through the day). Then we were off. All we had to do was avoid being shot at by the locals and get through a short canyon that had some bad stories told about it.

This is where I’m going to stop the account. I’m getting into spoiler territory should this ever be rerun. Also what came next had to be seen, heard and experienced. Let’s just say that as the day progressed things got strange. Things got eerie, surreal and spooky. We felt the toll of death and were pushed by forces that we didn’t begin to understand onwards but not upwards.

The high point if you can call it that was the reading of a very authentic diary that told gruesome tale of a previous wagon train that tried to get through the canyon. It was listened to in hushed silence and set us all up for knowing that a bad end could not be far away.

It was very Fear of the Dark. Letting us grow into our characters. Have room for some fun and then over time reveal the situation we were in. I had a great time. I’m looking forward to the next one

Interesting this event was inspired / taken from an actual story of a group of travellers from 1846-1847. The Donner Party. I think that helped give this an edge of realism. If you’d like to know more about the Donner Party this is a link to the Wikipedia page.

Cowboy Photo Gallery

As is becoming usual we shot some off the cuff video diaries

Diary 1: Friday: just before we started

 

Diary 2: Saturday: Dressed As Cowboys

 

Diary 3: Sunday, It’s All Over and Time to say Thank You

 

 

 

Curious Pastimes – ‘Erin: Uile no rud sam bith’ is over

Curious Pastimes – ‘Erin: Uile no rud sam bith’ is over

I’ve arrived home as event 1 for Curious Pastimes 2018 is now over. It’s a sad moment when a larping event comes to its end; but at least we have lots to show you from this one.

First  thought I have say some thank yous. Thanks to Curious Pastimes for letting us come in and do this. We really appreciate it. Also a special mention to the crew time for really making us welcome – you are larpy wonderfulness.  I also want to say a special mention to Oliver Facey, Ric Crossley and Steve Mitchell. A pleasure as always to work alongside you gentlemen.

Now onto the end of the game. It was a tough one for the players, that is to say their enemies were intelligent, crafty and strong. Personally these are always my favourites. Despite the frustration and annoyance of losses – I just feel that is more satisfying to get through the tough times. I’m not sure as I write this of the outcome of the Monday battle. I’ll explain why in a moment but even without that it was clear to see that this was a great event.

This was my first time at a start of season event for Curious Pastimes. It’s smaller in terms of numbers than renewal, but not in atmosphere. Spending time in the bar (the Crimson Moon of course), hanging around camps or following skirmishes it all felt that the smaller numbers did not take away from anything. It felt like a calmer place but in that calm before the storm kind of way. Really nice

I’ve become a sucker for Paccar scout camp. It’s easily becoming a favourite larping venue for me; it is a gorgeous location. And it seems to accommodate Curious Pastimes just right.

There were highlights – like watching the start of Beltane. That was special. The action in the skirmishes were great and I thought the healers did a wonderful job of roleplaying bringing people back from the brink. There was one particularly splendid piece of demonic bad-guy monologging – I really hope we have that on video. Vollsanger did a wonderful job of building up atmosphere, and Moxy the lammie carrying wench had real fun with punters.

Great fun. It was a weekend I loved it.

For a taster here is the first set of photos from this event as we have lots to show you

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