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Start a LARP 6: Run an existing LARP!

Start a LARP! It's easy - use your imagination, and create your world and way of playing. However, you might have some reservations about doing it from scratch. Not a problem!

There are, luckily, available resources on the internet which can help you run a LARP. You'll find everything, from ideas and advice (such as on this site), free fantasy rules (such as Simple LARP system and others), and even some pretty much complete deals whether you want to run one-shots or campaign style larps. Various larp sites around the world can be your resource to start a LARP.

Other LARPs might also let you use their rulesets. Or you might use them without their knowledge, which they might be OK with or not. Some LARPs organize themselves in networks or franchises, and you can open a chapter, utilize already existing resources and connect to various players around the country or world who run games under that system. Examples are:

  • Amtgard - a battlegame society, full contact, sporty battles. You can open a chapter (shire) for free - the contract can take some time to get approved though. Amtgard had a huge influence on Croatian LARP.
  • NERO - one of the most well-known LARP franchises. Commercial. It was copied several times, and several LARPs split from it, some independent, others competing with it. Rather complex rules.
  • LarpCraft - an inclusive LARP network. You can open a chapter for free, but there are some minor costs involved if you're starting from scratch or if you want to purchase some services. Website will provide back-ends for everything you might need.
The above mentioned examples are existing networks and societies. All of those I linked are based in USA - American LARP is usually highly networked, with linked chapters, and since this blog is in English I've noted the best-known resources in English. There might be LARP networks like this in your language. They're not necessary, but they can save you plenty of work by giving you all you need to start a LARP and they can make your LARP a part of a larger community. It's very important for some players as it usually allows them to transfer their characters, experience and items from one chapter to another.

In Croatia, mainstream fantasy LARPs are basically networked by common agreement, even though they have no common organization, so transfer is also possible. Plenty of European countries also have their LARP federations or some other means to connect all the independent LARPs in one gameworld. If you live in one of the countries which have them, you might wish to join one - it's usually free to do so, and you can start a LARP and tie in to the existing gameworld, playerbase and some resources.

Of course, joining the LARP network isn't the only thing you can do. Perhaps you don't want fantasy, or campaign LARPs. If you'd like to run some one-shots, this site has a few games which are short (some are five minutes only), simple, and easy to set up. They also have somewhat longer and more serious larps here. Also check out Shifting Forest for some interesting larps which require only an hour of setup and one room to run in. If you want to get more artsy, an excellent resource is a Scandinavian group Vi åker jeep. Their game style, jeepform, is unique and complex - bridging larp, tabletop roleplay and theatre forms and introducing some concepts of their own. They publish all their games - usually modern-day one-shots - online, and even if you're not going for that kind of games, they're worth checking out for some ideas and inspirations. You can also find a big list of pregenerated scenarios (from various authors) over here.

In conclusion: start a LARP. You can do this on your own. You can use the existing rules. You can join networks of other LARPs. Groups exist which can support you. And you can download plenty of complete games, totally free. Of course, you don't have to. But you can check out the above mentioned links just to get some new ideas. See how easy it is? Start a LARP!


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