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Larp Campaigns

Why have a Larp Campaign

Going on a LARP adventure weekend is a lot of fun in itself. As with most hobbies people who take up larp become very involved and like to play events a number of times every year usually as the same character. Going on one off adventures that have a beginning and an end is great and is necessary as players need to feel that they have completed something when the event finishes. However if there is something on the next weekends larp event that ties in to the one you have just played it adds an extra bit of excitement and the continuity helps players to feel that are taking part in more complete world.

Campaign Examples

Whilst there are many different types of larp events I am going to discuss medieval fantasy campaigns as they are the most common throughout the world. A good example of a campaign is the one that Heroquest-larp ran a few years back; it was called the ‘Dawn of the Dead’ and the overall theme was that the necromancers of the world had discovered a way to turn anyone that died into an undead creature. They then instigated a war so that there would be more combat more deaths and hence more undead. The players that went on heroquest Larping events that year were constantly battling more and harder undead as the year progressed. Although each adventure had its own unique plot players soon became aware that once it got dark you had to be more alert and set guards at all times and the fear and the tension made the events more enjoyable.

How to end a Larp campaign

The first thing to do when writing a larp campaign is to decide how it will end and to ensure that this is a grand event which as many players can take part in as possible. Taking the example above Heroquest ran a weeklong event where the players discovered a way to block the control that necromancy held over the undead. This was difficult to achieve but the result was that all the undead turned on their masters and the necromancers were defeated.

How to start a Larp campaign

Firstly you should advertise to your players that a new campaign is beginning so that the first event will involve as many people as possible who can then tell others of what they learnt both in games and of. When on the actual Live Action Role-playing event of the new campaign have the players achieve something whilst gaining information about further threats. Again in the dawn of the dead the players were on a weekend event where they noticed both Saturday and Sunday that the people they had killed on the days before were coming back and attacking them as undead the following days.

Make sure you have some twists and sub plots

It is important to have unexpected events and for things to happen that the players will not see coming; just like reading a good book or watching a good film, if the participants can always see what is about to happen it is not as enjoyable. The main Heroquest twist was to have the players ally with a lich lord who although was a powerful undead itself was not happy with the power the necromancers were gaining and wanted to stop them but couldn’t do it alone.

Larp campaign tips

It is a good idea not to set everything in stone at the start; by this I mean be flexible and allow room for change. No matter how great my original ideas may seem I always find room for improvement as the campaign progresses. Also remember that larp is primarily about everyone having fun so make sure that the campaign you are writing is going to be enjoyable. Be sure to get feedback between events both good and bad so you can ensure you are on track. Always welcome input from your players and referees, the Heroquest campaign has been running now for 22 years but has had numerous mini campaigns and sub plots written by over 50 individuals.

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