We’ve recently written about what LARPing is all about. Here we will focus on organizing and hosting a LARP event. This assumes that you will be creating you own LARP universe, or that you are already in a position to create an event of an already existing LARP. So we’ll really start from the beginning.

LARP Creation

  1. Create your Setting – You can use a universe from novels such as King Arthur or Lord of the Rings, or create your own realm.
  2. Set the Stage – Add a dilemma, conflict or something that has to be resolved to create interest for the characters to work out though battle, duels, etc.
  3. Create Characters – You can create your own and let other participants create their own, or you can create several and let others pick from them. You can name them, create costumes and gear, and decide on personalities and personal histories. Set character goals, personal quest or common cause.
  4. Develop a Scenario – Your characters need a reason to interact with each other. What happened that they have to engage? Specify the length of time for events to happen.
  5. Get into Character and Have Fun – Remember to stay in character for all participants to have an enjoyable outcome.

Organizing a LARP Event

  1. Choose a Location – If you’ve decided to run your own event rather than join an already existing LARP group, you will need a site. Choosing one should be based on enough area to act out the scenario. It is best if the locale matches the storyline, like in a park or forest for a medieval or fantasy combat.
  2. Designate a Gamemaster (GM) – This person is not part of the “action,” but facilitates the role-playing of the characters to keep the event going and run the storyline.
  3. Rules of the Game – A rules system sets player interaction and outcomes. Outcomes can be loosely set or defined for every possible scenario.
  4. Logistics – Coordinate and disseminate information about the event, such as directions to the event site, transportation, parking, pre- and post- event meetings, food and drinks, restrooms, trash disposal, age restrictions, disability access, and what to do if it rains. Use telephone, email, texts, flyers, word-of-mouth, website, etc.
  5. Questions – If you have prepared your event’s setting, characters’ needs, etc., you will be ready to answer any questions that are asked about the event. The better prepared you are, the less you’ll be doing at the last minute. You may want to ask for volunteers to help field and answer questions with you.
  6. Marketing the Event – Again, word-of-mouth is good, but also make use of email, flyers, signs in gaming and comic book stores, gaming conventions, Facebook and Twitter. Include your contact information on each.

Running the LARP Event

  1. Game Prep – Leave yourself enough time ahead of the event so you are not scrambling at the last minute.
  2. Supplies – Decide what you need to bring and make sure you are well-equipped. Things like cards, paper, pens/pencils, string, tape, cups, water, coffee, food and drinks.
  3. Arrive Early – Arriving ahead of time allows you to survey the site to make sure it is suitable for the game; for example, if it rained the day before, is there a lot of debris clutter the site like leaves or branches. Bringing a rake and garbage bags could help resolve this. Bring your assistants with you to help in site readiness.
  4. Sign-In – Provide a sign-in sheet to record your player attendance and their contact information. You may also want to provide an after-event survey sheet to record player experience.
  5. Back-Up – If you become ill, or have another type of emergency, make sure that you designated an alternate gamemaster to run the event in your place. The other option is event cancellation.
  6. Pre-Event Meeting – Especially for large groups, it is essential that you meet with players before the event to go over rules of the game, characters’ roles, and play-out of the game.
  7. Post-Event Evaluation – You may want to have a post – game meeting or send an email follow-up about how the game went. You and your assistants should discuss problems with logistics, plots and player issues and work to resolve them. Do character development to further game enjoyment. For larger groups, encourage players to further develop their own characters because you can’t do it all.
  8. Congratulate yourself and the group for having so much fun!

How AIS Can Play a Role

LARP organizers are at risk of personal exposure to lawsuits through a participant’s injury claim and/or damaging another’s property. AIS can provide insurance coverage for your LARP club or LARPing events with an Accident and Liability policy. This insurance provides protection against these claims should you be sued. Also, this is the insurance you need to fulfill the landlord or property owners’ liability insurance requirements. You can reach AIS at 877.811.2271.