Tank Larp: Review

Tank Larp: Review

Tank Larp sounds like an excuse to gratuitously add military vehicles to a larp. It does indeed add tanks and APC’s to larp. But it is done in a way that works with the plot, the world and the players.

Adding tanks is also very cool.

Making Tanks Larp Safe

Lets hit that big elephant in the room fast. How do you make a tank, Larp Safe? Tanks, after all, are not known for cuddliness. They’re known for crushing and destroying things.

Fortunately, this was not attempted with an insane amount of foam and gaffa tape. Although that would have been funny.


Instead, the focus was on missions. APCs would roll up to take players away on various missions. The tank training and battle part of the game was similarly a mission away from camp.


Safety precautions were taken to avoid player squishing. This included APCs having spotters, and tanks operating areas being carefully designated and non-pedestrian.

The Tanks Were real?

A lot of people believed that Tank Larp could not possibly use tanks. They did.

The Armoured Personnel Carrier

Players were ferried around in an APC. Her name was Connie. She was an FV432. THe FV432 is part of the FV430 series of armoured vehicles. Initially designed in the 1960s, but with updated and modified versions still in use today.

The Tanks

The tanks were actually FV432’s fitted with a 30mm cannon. These vehicles look like and act like light tanks.

In fact, take a look at a British 1970’s Scorpion tank and you’ll find something that looks a lot like the vehicles used in tank larp.

With a 30mm cannon and full turret, these could be classified as light tanks.

Structure of the LARP

I have to mention this it was unconventional but massively fitted in with the idea that the players were part of a larger war.

Time to expand.

In-Tank Larp the players are soldiers in a what is effectively a World War with one major neutral party. They are part of fast response teams that make use of newly invented tanks and armoured personnel carriers.

In a world has transitioned from medieval to a technology roughly analogous to WW1 in a far shorter time period than ours.

In our WW1 we have anachronisms like horses and sword carrying officers. In their version of things – swords and shields are in use alongside bolt action rifles.

It’s important to say this so that what follows makes sense.

The three days tank larp is played over (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) equate to 3 months of time in the game world.

Each day of the larp a newspaper would come out containing news about the game world. Sometimes mentioning the campaign’s players fought in.

The players could send out military orders and requisitions.

Time not on a mission was the players spending time in their base camp. This was pure role-play.

Impact on immersion

You might think that this putting of gameplay into a form of compressed time would mess up the immersion. It didn’t. Immersion was really high.

All the players worked with it beautifully and if anything being part of a larger world helped the players get into it. The break up between missions and camp time gave a breather where role-play thrived.

A lot of though went intoestablishing the world, it looks and feel really paid off here. Players quickly took on what it meant to be a soldier from their in game country,

Immersion levels were palpable.

Were there problems.

There were some,  often focussed on the learning curve of understanding how the game world worked and how that intersected with mechanics

Here’s an example. The players sent out military orders. The natural assumption was that these would be exactly carried out. This didn’t always happen.


Well, the commanders receiving the orders were being roleplayed behind the scenes. This led to order interpretation and local knowledge leading to adjustments in what happened.

It feels to me like a good approximation of the chaos of war. But that is something that needs to be made clear.

The good news was that the game team spoke to players, listened and learned a lot. So I’m going to bet fewer issues next time.

It’s a mark of a good larp that the organisers work with the players. This happened and that is great

Also, it’s particularly important here as the game has an unconventional structure.


Would I recommend Tank Larp

In a heartbeat!
Event 2 has been announced and I am going to be there!

Photo Gallery



Photos, Prints and Gifts

If you would like to see more Tank Larp photos or maybe show some support by buying a Hi-Res Version, Print or Photo-gift then please take a look in the photograph shop.


We started following Tank Larp months before the first event. In this  YouTube Play list you will find.

  • Pregame interview with an organiser
  • Interviews recorded at the event
  • Footage of the game.

More Tank

We have additional coverage of tank larp.

The original interview that started things

Footage of a Tank Larp Encounter

Choosing A Larp Character Creation Method

Choosing A Larp Character Creation Method

How do you pick a character creation method for a new larp? It`s a key point. Character creation is the first thing helps players get a grip on what they will be playing and points towards the style of the game as a whole.

I’m going to think about this question for The Edit.

What Is The Edit Larp?

The pitch goes like this. A disease has wiped out most of the human population in a short period of time. The structure of civilization is in collapse.

The disease when it hasn’t killed has brought horrific transformations to the minds and bodies of some people.

At the start of the larp, the disease has just started to jump into other species.

The game focusses on groups of survivors who have not contracted the disease. They are trying to cope with these changes.

It looks at group politics, conflict, and people just trying to understand the extraordinary.

The Edit is also a post apocalyptic body and psychological horror larp.

What does character creation need to achieve?

We need the player to understand what their character has become good at over its life so far.

We must also allow for skill growth. Characters are going to be surviving an extreme version of the world. It’s going to be a case of learn, or die. We must be able to periodically confirm what new abilities the character has gained

The modern world that The Edit stems from is complex. As a result, we are all capable of many things. The character creation process needs to reflect that.

Players also need to be able to reconcile the play of their character with its abilities. Whatever is used to define and generate the character must be simple enough to remember. It should also offer hooks to build plot off.

Methods of Character Creation

Points Based Characters

In the UK this is really popular amongst fantasy fest systems. It’s even-handed, as everyone has the same potential. My concern I’ve seen some rule books get complex in order to define things by points. Also the world of The Edit has many skills. So I’m not sure listing these is practical.

Story Based Characters

Essentially characters have a back story and abilities are inferred from it. It’s very roleplay focussed. It’s very flexible.

The bad side is that it is open to abuse. Its openness may lead to people trying to create overly powerful characters.

However, I’ve seen this approach work so well in other horror games that it has to be a possibility for The Edit.


Describe the defining roles in your characters life and gain the relevant abilities. It’s a little more controlled than just writing a story as the archetypes can come from a list pre-defined by the game designer.

Archetypes can broadly define work-skills and with a little adaptation lifestyle abilities. These wouldn’t be ‘skills’ per se. Just areas of ability

I find this idea to be good. It suggests that a foundation for a character can be created, and built on.


Everyone has a foundation of common skills. Like cooking in a local style, using basic technology and so on. Onto this are added banks of abilities based on work and hobbies. The control here is that each character can only have so many banks of abilities.

A bank of abilities, for example would be the medical skills appropriate to a choice of doctor or nurse. Or the combination of survival and combat skills that go with being a soldier.

Adding New Skills

Characters need to grow and gain new abilities. How does this happen in the four systems I’m thinking about?

Well in a points-based system, the character would gain points to spend on skills. Points would be gained per event or on any online play. It’s simple and easy to manage. I want the new or updated skills to reflect play so I will have to think of controls and restrictions that make this possible. The aim is to avoid gaining skills just because the points exist.

Story Based Characters, Archetypes and Specials have one thing in common. Skills can be assigned based on story events. There is not direct connection between points and skills. Everything depends on how the player plays the character.

I like assignment by play That’s the solution. However the problem is recording when a player is due an update. I’ll be looking into solutions for this problem. As I think this ties everything back to story. Its the way to go.

Which method of Character Generation do I go for?

I think it has to be Specials. I need something that doesn’t get bogged down in detail and that lets players differeniate themselves

Also by doing some defining of availale specials and skill banks I hope to achieve an element of scalability in play. By which I mean it’s easy to say yes or no to the question of "can I do something?".

Starting a new System

Starting a new System

First of all, I’d like to point out that this is my first article for Larp Book as you normally see me videoing myself on my YouTube Channel.

So, as I start, please ignore the spelling mistakes and bad grammar as me did bad at English in school!

I’m going to be attending my first Curious Pastimes; Event 3 “The Forge of Norsca” at Huntley Woods between the 19th to 21st July. Now as an experienced larper you’d think that this should be a walk in the woods (pun intended) and that I should be excited, ready to go but in actually fact I’m nervous and anxious.

When it comes to debuting at a new system you have to remember that calls and actions for certain systems can and will be different from each other. I for one don’t want to mistaken a ‘Strikedown’ and pretend to bleed out but it’s actually you fall over and not bleed out (for example). On top of this I will be meeting a lot of new players in a system I’m not familiar with. I don’t have an IC tent so I will be camping separate from my friends in the OC area so my anxiety will be heightened getting from OC to my IC area during ‘Time In’ without being murdered IC (which I’ve heard this happens).

Thankfully going into Curious Pastimes Event 3 having been reading up the rules, know people who already attend and made a character to fit in with the players I know attend and help with their plots. If you’re completely new person to the game and you don’t know anyone then this can be very scary for you. If I were to give any advice for anyone starting a new system, veteran larper like me or completely new to larp, then read and learn the information the systems provide. I’ve linked the Curious Pastimes sites below but if you’re looking at attending another larp system that you’re not been to before then please do your research. You’ll never know you might know someone or a friend of a friend that attends who can help you as larp popularity is on the rise.

If it helps then why don’t you try monstering for an event, I did this down in Cornwall for Chaosgate and learnt the system pretty quickly and got to know players very well. Even have two-character concepts for my next event when I go back there next year.

By all means if you have and issues or questions about a system then please get in touch with those who run the events. Most systems get back to answering questions pretty quickly but obviously expect some delays around event times.

Hope you’ve got something from this article and if you’re as nervous as me going into Curious Pastimes Event 3 or any other Larp event you’re attending then please get in touch. I’ve also linked my ‘Like’ page below and would love to hear from you fellow larpers.

Curious Pastimes References:

Website – https://curiouspastimes.co.uk/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/curiouspastimes/

John Harding References:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/TheRockerJH

Chaosgate 10th Event I monstered – https://youtu.be/b40RdcflogY

Post Image

The image for this post comes from Robs Curious Pastimes Collection. If you’d like to see more of these then follow the link

3 Larp Traders Interviewed

3 Larp Traders Interviewed

Larp traders in a field means one thing.  Rob will try to interview them. Actually so would any other member of LARPBook.

Of course, traders being who they all have their own things to say. Which is good. That’s the whole point of interview.

So with Rob’s usual stuttery approach, we end with 3 very different conversations. After all, they are 3 very different larp traders.

These interviews were recorded on the Monday morning of ‘Curious Pastimes – The Siege of Ravenburg’. Pretty much one after the other.

Rob Interviewed

Ian Knope of Having A Larp. The talk went beyond larp trading as Ian also runs LarpCon and the UK Larp Awards. You’ll hear plenty about these.

Andy Rimmer of Offa Studio. Offa Studio is part of the Skian Mhor family and you’ll get to hear about that family of amazing makers. Rob’s wandered to the dead character discount. Which is perhaps one good thing that can come out of the worst thing.

Tristan Dowrick of Stardust Larpcraft. We’ve interviewed Tristan before – this is one from What’s Your Game. This time you’re going to see his Booth Babe dance and also some new products he’s been working on.

The Interviews

Ian Knope

Andy Rimmer

Tristan Dowrick

Thank You

We’d like to finish up by saying a big thank you to all three.

The Photo for this post

We couldn’t show a traders stand without showing favouritism. So instead we have a shrine at Curious Pastimes. If you’d like more photos from this event then take a look at Robs new photo page – starting at The Siege of Ravenburg

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.

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
Colony Wars: Nerfed Up Larp Interview

Colony Wars: Nerfed Up Larp Interview

Rob spent some time talking the Ram. The man behind the Colony Wars SF Larp games. This is what he found out.  

Question: What is Colony Wars?


It is a SF Larp Nerf System. That borrows from SF action films and TV from the 1980’s onwards. You’ll find inspirations from the Aliens, Terminator, Predator, RoboCop, Resident Evil, and others. It refers to the famous corporations from these worlds. Expect to see Weyland Yutani, Umbrella, OCP, etc all up their usual tricks. So far there have been 3 games in the Colony Wars Sequence Games 1 and 2 were both Bug Hunts. A team has to deal with a difficult situation. This boils down to dodgy dealings with bioweaponery. In Game 3 the emphasis shifted to the Colony Wars concept. Now a team landing on a world has to work with a world inspired by SF. In the first Colony Wars this was the apes from planet of the Apes.    

Question: What About The Next Game?


The next event is Colony Wars: Wargames. Delos (Westworld) and CyberDyne (Terminator) have created a training ground. Teams from different SF backgrounds are invited to compete to see who is the best.    

Question: When and Where?


When is the weekend of June 21st. Arrivals will be on the Friday. This will include some social time. A chance for the players to get to know each other. The game starts on the morning of June 22nd and plays on until mid afternoon June 23rd The location is Priory Wood Scout Camp, Takeley, Bishops Storford, CM22 7 TD It’s close to Stansted Airport.    

Question: What SF Genres


You’re going to have quite a choice.  At the moment we are thinking of
  • Colonial Marines (Aliens)
  • Mobile Infantry (Starship Troopers)
  • Marine Corps Space Aviators (Space Above and Beyond)
  • Robocops (via the OCP corporation from Robocop)
  • Judges (as in 2000AD’s Judge Dredd)
By way of example. The game is open to most SF genres especially if they can fit into the action adventure style. We are open to ideas.    

Question: Nerf Gun Mods?


We’re looking for all Nerf guns (or similar) to be painted. So they do not look like toys but instead look more like guns. Cosmetic modifications are fine. This includes body panels, new stocks, lights and so on. The idea is that if the guns look more like their SF counter parts then so much the better. We are not allowing alterations to guns that increase their rate of fire or the speed of darts. So nothing to increase the power of the guns themselves. We are also not allowing dart modifications. These all need to be stock darts.    

Question: What are the rules like?


Very lightweight. All the characters will have the skills to do complete tasks that match their roles. We do ask that skills are all roleplayed out. Combat is more theatrical than points based. You will know when you’ve taken hits and these need to be role-played. Wounds and healing should also be role-played. We are not aiming to kill characters off. Be warned, if a character gets caught in an untenable situation; then we won’t shy from the outcome.    

Question: What About Player Support?


We are putting together resources to help players create their characters. If someone comes to us with a good idea then we’ll try and make that happen From our point of view then we are putting together props to make this a fun game. All players have to do is remember to talk to us.    

Question: Where Can I Find Out More?


At the Colony Wars: Nerfed Up Larp Facebook Group.    


Here are a few images from the last Colony Wars game. These were all taken from the Facebook group. Our thanks to their owners.
Give The Gift of LARP This Christmas

Give The Gift of LARP This Christmas

Here’s is the idea. Give someone a ticket for a larp that they have never attended.

Before I get into detail I must say that this is not my idea. It belongs to Gideon Lawrence of Wyvernstales, Legends Larp and Myth. You’ll more details on finding his stuff at the end of this post.

The Ticket as a Gift

If you go to more than one larp then you may know people who go to one larp but not the others. So why not help a friend go to a larp they have not tried before by getting them a ticket.

The more larps we all go to the better it is for everyone. Yet sometimes we don’t do this. There can be plenty of reasons. Sometimes though all we need is a nudge. The ticket is the nudge. Plus finding out that you know another attendee is always a good thing.

So give a ticket and help a friend experience more.

The Ticket Exchange

Larp tickets are rarely cheap. Spending a larp amount of money to see if someone likes something could feel like too much. So how about getting into a ticket pact. I’ll buy you a ticket to something I do; if you buy me one for something you do. It’s a simple exchange.

Yes you still spending money. Now though you have negotiated with your friend on what you are both going to do. You know what you are doing and what you are getting.

Raising the question can be the thing in itself. It may be that you decide not to buy each other tickets. That’s ok as now you have talked about the other larps you do. The idea of going to another larp is out there and that is a good thing.

Spreading The Cost

Tickets for larps are not always available.  For a larp planned for later the next year, it may be months before tickets go on sale. This means you are giving away a ticket you cannot buy yet.

That’s not a bad thing. It means you can promise the ticket and start saving. Spreading the cost over a period of months. So long as you save some money it can take the sting out of the final cost.

It turns out that a larp ticket as a Christmas present need not feel as expensive as it might.

About Gideon Lawrence

He’s a one man larp machine. He runs a larp company, owns a  larp shop, tells stories, educates and pushes the hobby forwards.

Here are some ways you can get hold of him.

The Wyvernstales Website

On  Facebook

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