Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Year's LARP Resolution

Winter gives us time to catch up, rest, and prepare for spring. It also gives us time to take a deep breath and reflect both on the previous year and what we want to do in the coming one. Thus New Year's resolutions!

While most of us will have various real life goals, now's also a good time to think about what you want to do with your LARP career. I believe Bill had a post on this last year, but I think it's a great idea.

What do you want to do in LARP in 2012?

Maybe you want to make a new costume or reps, or maybe you want to hone your skills at fighting or throwing. Perhaps you've always wanted to come into game with a book of period songs, but never got around to looking them up. Now's the time to do all that crafting, research, and practicing! And in Ohio, we have a lot of different games, so if you want to try something new, keep an eye on their websites for the year's schedule and block it into your calendar.

Are you bored with your character? Think about creating goals that will keep you invested. Start sending feelers out to your plot people about what you want to do. Whether you want to get involved in plot, start up a personal quest, get involved with a faction, or anything else you can come up with; start working with someone to make it happen. They may not have anything for you until closer to the season, but plant those seeds now!

Sometimes, though, it's just time to retire an old character whose story is done. Don't hold on to a character that's not fun, this can just create a feeling of obligation and burn you out faster. You've got time to create a new persona that taps into an aspect of the game you haven't explored before. You could even bring some friends along! :)

Speaking of obligation, maybe you've been thinking about giving back to the game in some way. Get involved! They need you :) Even if it's on a small scale, the game probably has some way you can help.

Or, on the opposite end, maybe you're burnt out already - in that case, re-evaluate what you want to do with your play time. If you're just not interested in playing as often, that's okay. The community and constant momentum of a LARP tends to create the attitude that you'll let people down or get left out if you don't come to every event. Don't get me wrong, this is a good business model :) And it's also a little true - the world will move on if you're not there, sad to say. But if you just don't get the same kick out of using all your weekends to LARP; cut back. Maybe it's the heat or cold that gets you, or your characters don't mesh in one of the towns; you can start by holding back on those events. You can still stay involved by keeping in contact with other players and staff, and continuing goals for your character. But don't ruin your weekends by forcing yourself to go to games where you won't have fun. Play at your own pace.

On the staffing side, LARPs will always need volunteers, but if you are coming to think of each event with dread, maybe it's time to find a replacement or scale back your involvement. Be honest about it. It's better to be upfront than to gradually just stop contributing without telling anyone, or to quit suddenly when the game's in full swing.

There are lots of things you can do to improve your game. After all, it is still a hobby, and the point is to have fun!

So what's your 2012 LARP resolution?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Traveling LARP Group

I had a suggestion from a reader about an interesting topic. Sean writes:

I have an idea for a discussion topic for the blog. It's a theoretical idea of a new kind of NERO (or general larp, but mostly pertains to NERO)

I was thinking about ways that a chapter could set itself apart from all the others, but without taking attendance from the other local chapters. That's how I came upon the idea of a mobile NERO chapter. It will be an actual chapter in all the classical means: XP gained, tags and production, plot, roleplay, etc. However the catch is that instead of hosting weekend events averaging once a month, they will provide a traveling mod day service.

In the perfect plan of the chapter, groups of players will "hire" the chapter to drive to them and provide X amount of hours of official NERO mods. This system would not be to detract from weekend events, but to supplement current players who might want to play more NERO when there otherwise would be none.

The cost of this service would be determined by the amount of gas money required to transport plot and props to the location, and the fees for the players to partake in the mods. It would only be in the tri-state area, and could have the minumum of 6 players registered for example. The plot team would drive to the "event host's" preferred location. This would also not be a private event, but it would allow a group of people to go on a mod day on their own terms.

*Obviously this is a long shot of a service, but with the right business plan and general planning it might be something players would like.*

This is just a theoretical discussion, all opinions are welcome.

This is a great topic. Sean hits most of the big points on the discussion, including whether or not something like this would be totally viable on it's own, due to costs.

I'm not going to go into details on how one would run something like this - I think Sean covered it. But what I will talk about is the way a group like this could possibly mitigate some of the costs of doing something like this.

You see, a group like this has to be focused on private roleplaying events, of which NERO is one of them.

A company like this should be as open to running any kind of game as possible. This might be a tough pill to swallow for large, competing, national organizations (Alliance/NERO), but as long as they're getting the royalties and the visibility, they shouldn't be too concerned.

Additionally, a group like this could run private events for non-boffer and even non-LARPer activities. I'm basing this model around a group called 5th Wall Gaming, who I met with at Origins a few years back.

You see, they get the bulk of their work doing murder mystery dinners and team building activities for businesses - not for LARPers. Truth is, businesses are much more willing to shill out some serious dough than poor college students.

For anyone contemplating running private NERO mods, I would suggest checking through the 5WG and seeing some of the offerings that they have. That would be the best way to make an endeavor like this more sustainable.

Thanks Sean!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Kind of Magic

Happy Holidays everyone!

It's that wonderful time of year where everything seems a little more magical. Remember being a kid and feeling all that excitement? Remember (most of you, anyway?) believing in Santa? And I’m sure we all remember when (spoiler alert!) we found out the truth about Mr. Claus. A lot of kids realize what’s going on before being officially told. And one big reason? Parents can't explain how it all works, and "it's magic" stops being a believable answer. In short, it breaks their immersion. :)

LARPing is similar (look at that tie-in! Okay, maybe a stretch... :) ). People never stop asking questions, and they never stop wondering how things work. We do our best to suspend our disbelief and go along with the “it works because it’s magic” idea, but it’s a lot easier to do that when there are some answers to our questions of how and why.

My sister sent me this link to a fantastic chart that lists some of the most popular magical worlds and their guidelines. Where does magic come from? Who gets it? How do you use it? These worlds usually have a system in place to answer those questions, either obvious to the reader or behind the scenes. Having that system helps to create atmosphere and build story – and you should consider doing the same for your LARP.

I’m not saying you should write an in-depth history of magic, or list out every rule precisely. But give the world a basic magical structure. Is magic given by the gods? The elements? Does it come from the land itself? How do people get it? Is it hereditary, or completely random? Is it caused by some kind of infusion of energy? Are people chosen to wield it? Is it different for different races or different types of magic? If you’re a player, you can work this into your character’s background – having this foundation can add a lot of role-play.

Now, you might be saying, wait, doesn’t having rules put limits on what I can do? Well, yes and no. If you’re anything like me, having a bit of information can actually spur creativity. Magic comes from a giant well? What happens if that well is blocked, or tainted, or siphoned off? You can still go pretty wild, but putting your plotlines in the context of the world setting can make it appeal more personally to your characters, and can add to the immersion of your game. It adds consistency as well, amongst both players and staff.

You might not be in a position to make the big calls. In that case, consider putting some local setting information down. Bug your plot people for details that you can use as your character – this might prompt them to work out anything they don’t have and make the game a little better for everyone :) Are there mage schools? How do they work? Do different groups/races in your area have different ways of learning? Are there multiple factions? Can players become involved in them, or earn ranks? Now just think of all the stories you can make out of that!

Having background of any kind makes the world come together. Even if you don’t use everything all at once, you can start dropping it in. Then later on when you do make a plot out of it there are those “ah ha” moments that every player loves and every plot person (I think) strives for. You can do that in part by having an established and consistent setting – and that means putting some guidelines down for that most non-logical of concepts: magic.

A little magical thinking for your holidays! How would you/have you built magical structure into your world or your background?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Theory of "Play More" Mechanics

Today's post was prompted by a discussion over at the Wasteland's forum about the magic rules in the game.

You see, there is some concern about the power level of the mage. But a lot of this is really a faux issue. You see, the mechanic for regaining your magic skills is intended to let mages "play more" instead of playing harder.

In short, mages can meditate to regain their "focus" (magic points). This process takes 5 minutes, which makes it difficult to pull off on the battlefield. If you use a consumable item, you just get back the maximum focus. If you do not use that item, you get back your focus, but your max focus drops by 5 points until the end of the game day.

Truth be told, this is a really solid design for a "play more" skill. It has most of the features you want. It's hard to restore it on a module, so building encounters around conserving resources would be easy. It answers the problem of frivolous use.

Really, the only problem I see with the system is that it doesn't scale perfectly from low level to high level.

Players who start a mage will probably have a maximum of about 20 focus, and that's if they void themselves of anything non-magical. Players who decide to pick up a gun skill (important, as this is an airsoft game) will have less. When I played, I think I had 9 focus.

Obviously, the hit to max focus at that level is pretty significant. Even the best starting mages lose 25% of their effectiveness if they meditate without an item. And to top it off, Wastelands is a game where resources are quite sparse, so getting your hands on those items isn't the easiest thing.

On the other side of the coin, high level mages have a lot of focus, so depending on the number of modules they play, they might not care much about the hit to max focus. Additionally, the magic crafting skill doesn't have a lot of stuff going on there, so higher level mages who have that skill have pretty regular access to those items. Magical healing is still more expensive than regular healing (unless you have a godly mage, but I don't think anyone has that level of magic yet).

I think a percentage of focus would work better and help bridge the gap between low and high level mages, but I'm a math person and that math might be confusing for non-math people. But all in all, I don't think the system is really as bad as some people make it out to be.

But the point is, stop treating a "Play More" mechanic like it's giving someone more power. It's meant to let the mage play the entire day, rather than using their spells and then sitting out.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Nerdiest of Presents

With Christmas quickly approaching, I think it's important to get someone the right gift. But what do you give your nerdy friends?

Chocolate D&D Dice

Game. Set. Match.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Week In LARP - December 19th

Last Week In LARP

Did you attend a LARP event last weekend? Let us know how it was in the comments!

This Week In LARP

Let's be honest. I doubt there will be any LARPs this weekend, unless they involve a fat guy in a beard. And no, I'm not referring to Kevin Smith.

If you've got a game running this week and we didn't mention you, either drop a comment here or shoot an email to, and we'll add you as soon as possible!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

5 Easy Crafts That Will Improve Your Look

As you’ve noticed, Ohio LARPers, it’s cold outside. That means we stay indoors more than usual, and wait until the season really goes into gear. But there are things you can do to keep up your LARP cred in the off season, as you might have read in previous posts. Some things require more crafting ability than others, but here are a few things that are cheap and can be done by anyone – and will make you look totally 1337! :)

1.) Be-Dazzle Your Documents – Chances are your character could be carrying some sort of paper. It could be your formal rituals, a noble writ, a mercenary company charter, or even a book of in-game notes. It’s easy to just print things out, or not have a copy of them at all, but try taking some time to create some cool-looking phys reps. Put things on a paper stock that is thematic to your character – sparkles for fae, natural fibers for nature types, even use transparencies for futuristic settings (paper making is fairly easy, if you want to get into a new craft). And don’t stop there – try using different colored inks and including sketches or other additions. With the scrapbooking boom, you can go to any craft store and get stuff to stick on paper; or to attach to your books and scroll cases. And wax seals are easy to find online.

2.) Customize Your Weapons – A few modifications can go a long way (as long as they’re safe). Add a colored grip to your boffer made of yarn or scraps of leather or fabric. Glue jewels or other additions to your hilt. If you’ve got patience, you can cut out designs in duct tape and just tape them right on to your weapon. Try painting, too. You can add a design to your hilt or even flames and other effects to the blade. And of course, with a shield you’ve got a blank canvas ready to go! If you use fabric covered boffers, fabric paint is easy to buy, or just get a unique fabric. LARPs that use guns allow for a lot of modification – paint your wood so that you have a pearl grip, add a few copper coils for the steampunk look, or maybe even some lights for sci-fi. And any weapon can look cooler by adding runes or symbols to it.

3.) Tech Your Gear – Add convenience to your costume by making some easy-access pouches or holders for scrolls, components, tags, potions, and other commonly used items. Strips of elastic or cord can be threaded through a cuff or other material and tied off to make an easy vial holder. You can tie it onto your wrist, or just hang it off your belt. Some people put plastic envelopes on the back of their shields to hold scrolls, etc – consider if you could benefit from that. Now’s the time to make some separate containers so you can stop digging through your main pouch for things! A fabric pouch is easy to make out of scraps, and you can sew it yourself. It doesn’t need to look super fabulous, as long as it makes your life easier.

4.) Jazz Up Your Jewelry – Still wearing plastic Mardi Gras beads to rep your magic items? Make a few more period items to use as your reps. Craft stores offer hemp, leather, and even chains in their jewelry making section. You can find beads and pendants of every kind, and they go on sale regularly. You can go to thrift and antique stores and get some costume jewelry. If the whole thing is a bit much, you can always take them apart and just use the parts you like. You can even paint things like buttons, or check out your hardware store. Try Ebay for lot sales of buttons and beads, and for things like watch gears. As a tip, LARP jewelry often works best when it’s a little bigger or brighter than what you’d normally wear – otherwise it just looks like your rl stuff. :)

5.) Add More Reps – Accessories are everything! If you have a character with a craft, gather up some things to put out at game to show what you do. I mentioned papers and inks, etc., for paper-related crafts. If you’re a potion maker, get some cheap glass bottles and jars and fill them with various substances. You can use spices from the grocery, bath products, or just colored water. You can even use these kinds of reps for in-game alchemy (it will also help you tell them apart at a glance!). Maybe your character tells fortunes – make your own cards, rune stones, or even bones out of things you can find at craft stores and a little paint. If you’re more modern, consider getting some old tools (or new ones) and modifying them or just painting them to carry around. Your character just hits things? What about repping combat trophies? It doesn't have to be icky (or it could be) - you could rep a tablet or other item where you mark how many kills you've made. You don’t need a whole box full of gear, unless you want it, but a few additions to carry with you can really round out your character.

Got more ideas for easy LARP crafts?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

NERO National Rules Committee Update

One of the benefits of having a blog like this is that you can use it as a springboard for other things.

As I mentioned previously, I am now a part of the NERO National Rules committee. Now, you might ask, what does someone on the National Rules committee do?

Good Question.

I mean, we all know that they handle rules adjudications when they crop up, but what about the other 99% of the time?

Well, I thought I'd let you all know what's currently in the pipeline.

Obviously I like my blog, but we were thinking that having a blog specifically for NERO National would be a good thing to do. Since it seems to be slow going with adoption of social media, and three of the members of the rules committee (including myself) already have experience with Blogging, I figured we'd take it upon ourselves to put it up and keep you all abreast of goings on.

Playtest Submissions
One of the big things that people have been clamoring for is a system for playtest submission. Don't worry, we're working on it. We're going to try and make it more formal than in the past, and we're going to try and keep communication open. We're also going to put a lot more pressure on the players to test the playtests and to provide feedback, because they won't run forever (like they did in 8th).

Transform Restrictions
We decided that standardizing transforms/golems is quite an endeavor. In the meantime, we thought it would be appropriate to put out an errata listing the things that players are not to be given for transforms/golems. It's mostly obvious things, but some things are logistical nightmares, which are why they'll be banned. But other than what you can't do, local chapters will be able to do whatever they want for now.

Rules Errata
We know that there are a few things wrong in the rulebook. We're going to go through and straighten out and make rulings on things that are contradictory. For example, weakness in all of its forms will be indefinite. We're going to try and keep this up to date.

We've also got some bigger projects that we might go to the players for input, but I don't want to spoil everything for you guys.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Male Privilege in LARP

I was turned on to this article by a facebook friend of mine, and I think this is something of huge import when it comes to LARPing.

Male Privilage is alive and well in LARPs. For those of you who don't want to sift through the article or wikipedia, it basically means that there are things that male players take for granted that female players tend to have to remain congnisent of or, at the very worst, actively work do dispel or defend themselves against.

It's not that we (men) are bad people. It's just that we really have no concept for how the other half lives and how much we might take for granted.

Now, the article I linked is more specific to comics, but the same rules apply at LARPs. In fact, it might be more important, based on the fact that most LARP groups are rather tightly knit social clubs, which means that one or two bad apples can ruin a LARP.

Now, I'm not an expert on this subject, so I'm not going to go in depth in fear of saying the wrong thing. But here are some things that I believe you might want to consider on the subject of male privilege and how it affects female LARPers.

No Gender Stereotyping
I know that some games like to fall back on realism to defend some forms of stereotyping, but the fact is that realism tends to be a weak argument for LARPs, as they almost always involve some form of fantasy and/or magic. Don't automatically assume that women need to be healers and men need to be fighters. And stop making sexest jokes while you're at it, even if it's "in good fun".

Don't Be an Asshole
This should go without saying but it bears repeating. Even if your "character" is an asshole, you want to gauge how well others react to your roleplaying before embracing said character. LARP is not intended to be a place where you can be a chauvenist dick without any real life consequences.

IG Love Interest
Don't fawn over someone IG unless you've discussed it with them OOG. You might think it makes for good roleplaying, but it's probably more creepy than anything else. And for the love of God, if you get turned down IG, don't keep pursuing it. If you do, you're going to make the other person think you're going to go all Wild Hunt on them.

Don't Be a Creeper
I think Doctor Nerdlove puts it best with his article of the same name.

Avoid Taboo Subjects
I really don't think any roleplay situation is improved by topics such as domestic violence or sexual assault. It's not clever or cutting-edge. It's just uncomfortable for everyone.

What do you think? Have any more tips on how to make LARPing a better environment for female players?

PS: It's my birthday, so go easy on me if I said something wrong.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Week In LARP - December 19th

Last Week In LARP

Did you attend a LARP event last weekend? Let us know how it was in the comments!

This Week In LARP

Let's be honest. I really doubt there will be any LARPing this weekend. Unless it involves a fat man with a beard.

Friday, December 9, 2011

YouTube Friday: The Corporate Wizard...

And the Adventures in the Land of LARP!

I received this video from Brad, one of our readers. Brad writes:

I know you are always on the lookout for LARP videos so I wanted to send you one. There is a place in minneapolis, MN called the Soap Factory. It is an artistic organization. They sponsored a LARP earlier this year - they ran it as an art project. They converted their space into a tavern, outdoor space, and caverns and ran a LARP there. It was run using the Alliance rules set and the southern minnesota Alliance chapter marshalled the event. It was called the Corporate Wizard in the Land of LARP. It was a little anachronistic but not as bad as you might think. Here is a post-event video they put together. They put a lot of effort into scenery and costuming. They also have a Facebook group which has a lot of pictures from the event. It was open to the public - people could walk in and watch the event and they ran some modules in a nearby park. The head of the Soap Factory calls it a "performance piece" utilizing LARP but really it's just a LARP with good costuming and props.

I thought it was especially interesting that most of the players in this "LARP" didn't really know the rules for what they were doing, but they had fun with it anyways. To me, that's so far from the norm that I can barely wrap my mind around it.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Too Old to LARP?

Hitting a life milestone reminds most people that they're leaving one phase of life and entering another. Obviously there's more to age than a number or a single life event. But it still makes you think. There are things that are targeted towards certain age groups that you aren't a member of anymore and often you start to notice the generation gap.

LARP, in many games, is one of those things. I've observed that a LARP is generally made up of younger people. I’m not talking about just the physical aspect. LARPing has largely been built on people with extra time and disposable income. Those folks are often in their 20’s, have their own means of income, and don’t yet have kids & houses. But what happens when you get older, or when you do have a career, house and/or kids?

How old is too old to LARP?

The best answer is probably that you're too old when you stop being interested and when it stops being fun. Time shifts things around, and things that come with getting older can also lead to a loss of interest.

First, there's the demands on your time. When you have more free time, it's easier to keep up to date on things like rules and in-game happenings. And once you lose track of what's going on, it's hard to go back knowing you're out of touch :) Also, having more free time means that you don't mind as much using those weekends to LARP instead of to keep touch with friends & family, go to your kids' events, and do upkeep on your house. When you've got less time to do all those other things weekends can be more precious.

Returning player policies and rules change digests can help by making the return more attractive. Plot people can also nudge information the way of the returning player, so they're not completely behind on things their characters should know about. And those players should be honest with what they take on, too. If they don't have a lot of free time, it's probably best not to volunteer for too much.

People form friendships at a LARP, and a lot of folks who start playing do so with a group. If those friends lose interest, move away, or just don't have time, it's not as fun for a remaining player to keep going. It can be awkward to try to buddy up with folks a few decades your junior. Active player communities and a welcoming atmosphere can help, but this is hard to control. Game coordinators can consider holding get-togethers outside of events to help people get to know each other better.

And then there's just the general idea that as you get older, your tastes change. Things that interest us as a kid, teen, and young adult are often left behind as our lives go forward. Or you just plain get bored. A lot of LARPers have something that drives them to play, though, and by keeping that spark alive they can retain interest. In a lot of people, this is the desire to live out a great story, or defeat a challenge. So by keeping your plot and encounters fresh, creating an immersive atmosphere and trying new things, game staff can help things from getting stale.

Despite all this, though, I wonder if there's a point where you just grow out of it? Or when it IS just a little weird for the younger folks to see you there? I remember being new and giving some older players a questioning look. Now, there are some people who are awkward at any point, and some people whose ages you don't even notice. But I wonder if younger people think it's a little weird to play with people their grandparents' age? Or if older people feel awkward trying to keep up with the young'uns? :) Or is LARPing truly fun for all ages, as long as you're interested?

What do you think? Do you plan to keep playing forever? If so, how will you keep things interesting?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

They Come In Threes

I recently posted about Bloodlines closing it's doors and Michael Conley stepping back from his involvement in NCN. Well, as always, those things come in threes.

OGRE is closing up shop, and will no longer be running games. I'm not sure if this is due to low player turnout, staff burnout, or what. But the point still remains - one more game in Ohio is unavailable.

So to any an all chapter/LARP owners out there - if you feel you're on the verge of shutting down, think about why you're shutting down. If you have to take a step back and give someone else the reigns (like Mike did), than so be it.

Until I hear otherwise, we are the premier state for LARPing. I'd like to keep it that way.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Gratuitious He-Man

I can't think of anything better to post, so you're getting this.


Monday, December 5, 2011

The Week In LARP - December 5th

Last Week In LARP

Did you attend a LARP event last weekend? Let us know how it was in the comments!

This Week In LARP

I believe we've officially hit the end of the year. Time to go into upkeep mode.

I did not see any LARP events in the local area this weekend.

If you've got a game running this week and we didn't mention you, either drop a comment here or shoot an email to, and we'll add you as soon as possible!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Giant Costumes of Epic Proportions

Hey there guys and gals! So, today I'd like to talk about everyone's favorite type of monster: the ginormous kind. More specifically, I'd like to talk about the costume that makes that balding old guy look like a giant monster. However, contrary to popular belief:

Bigger isn't always better.

I say this because a lot of times, when using a giant costume, malfunctions can occur. This usually calls for a hold which completely breaks immersion. As we all know from a plot perspective, calling a hold should be reserved only for when they are absolutely necessary. Therefore, if you are going to attempt to build an awesome costume, make sure that it is manageable enough to where it won't break in the middle of combat due to excessive size.

Don't get me wrong here, people.

I am all for awesome costumes. Just as well, I am for GIANT awesome costumes. As a matter of fact, I recently attended a Northcoast Nero event this last weekend where they had constructed a giant void blob creature thing that required 19 NPC's to play it. I must admit, the costume was mostly just cheap black plastic table cloth and tape. However, I think because of it's simplicity, the costume was more effective.

There are a couple things that I have learned when making larger scale costumes over the years. I'll write a few right now and a few in a later post that also talks about the utilization of static props.

1.) Size Matters. This seems pretty obvious. You want your costume to represent a large creature, but if you are planning to use it in a building or around a place with trees that have low hanging branches, the size should be scaled down to fit your game play environment.

2.) Foam. Yeah, the stuff that you use to make boffers. Both closed cell foam and open cell foam are great tools in giant costume making. Maybe your giant monster is a flying spaghetti monster that uses it's vine like spaghetti to smite down anyone who oppose it. The spaghetti vines could be repped with the pipe foam and you could use a tarp that has been painted on rep the body. Pretty farcical example, but a decent costume design. Which brings me to my next tip.

3.) Paint. Nothing kills a cool costume more than if you have on all your reps, but still have the head of a balding old guy. If your big costume is supposed to be a giant fireball elemental that uses multiple NPC's, try and paint some flame stuff on their face. It really adds a lot to the costume and atmosphere. Paint is also very useful on the costume material itself. Perhaps you could use black paint to draw flames on that red tarp you have instead of just leaving it blank. Paint is awesome for costume construction in general.

Cool looking costumes can add a lot to the game. What cool giant costumes have been your favorite through out the years? Leave it in the comments!

Happy building!

Friday, December 2, 2011

YouTube Friday: The Deals are Amazing!

Alright. So this has nothing to do with LARP. Honestly, I just posted this video because my Pandora station has started playing the Epic Rap Battles of History and I love the Slap Chop Guy.

And it just so happens that there's a pretty decent sale for LARPers in Ohio that is available for a limited time only from NERO Cincinnati. Here's the email I received from Eric.

Everyone loves a sale right?

Starting tonight (whenever I get it loaded (probably around 9ish)) you'll be able to prepay for ANY game in 2012 for $5 off per day! This deal will only last until Sunday (12/4) Saturday (12/10) and then will be back to the normal price. These are also only available via the paypal option on our page. Oh, it stacks with our normal $5 discount for prepaying. So you are only paying $35 to go play for a weekend. Oh, and does apply to next year's 10 day.

Starting today through the 10th of December we will be running a 25% off on all weapons, armor, and everything else we sell from epic armoury. See this for the products (you'll have to price conversion) and then take 25%. Contact for what we have instock, how to order, or any other questions.
Normal shipping rates will apply.
*All orders placed before December 10th will be shipped out by the 16th and therefore we can not guarantee (we will try) that they will be in by Christmas.*
Please remember all sales are final.

Third! In honor of Glen's Birthday and how much we love our vendors!
If you buy anything from our vendors Glen, Brian, Dragon's Hoard, Sword and Rose, or Tunky's Costuming between now and the 15th of December we'll give you an additional $5 off your next game. Make sure to get a copy of the receipt and have them sign AND date it. Then bring that to the next game and BOOM $5 back.
*Purchase must be over $10. You can use one coupon per event, but only one coupon per person per merchant will be accepted (they will be marked on all your character sheets). But if you buy something from all 5 of the merchants that gives you five "5 dollar off coupons" to use through out 2012*

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from all the Nero Cincinnati staff and thank you for your continued support.


Edit: Extended the deadline for prepay discount, as per Eric's comment.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Importance of Transparency

LARP is not a very good business. Very few can turn a profit, and even fewer can support themselves off of a LARP. However, it's a totally bitchin' club that lots of people enjoy.

With that in mind, I want to go back to one of the things that I try to tell people all the time.

The processes behind the LARP need to be transparent.

There are a few different reasons that support transparency.

1. Proof That The Game is Active
If you've got a way to keep updating your players on the goings-on in the game, the players (as well as any outsiders) will know that something is going on. One of the most frustrating moments for a player is when they know something is wrong or something needs to be done, but there is no evidence to show that anyone is doing anything about it.

2. You're Not Hiding Anything
But even still, stories will come up. When players don't know what's going on, they're going to assume the worst and start making stories. By having a high level of transparency, you'll be able to reduce the number of stories by having a lot of visible information. Additionally, when the big, juicy gossip stories come out, you'll be able to nip them in the bud.

3. Player Input
By having transparency, you'll be better able to gauge the players' reactions to various changes in your game. In some cases, the push-back from the players may be a sanity test that you need to determine if something is a good idea or not. And in the cases where you don't actually need input, you can at least make the players feel like they're "in on it."

So what's that all translate to?

Make a blog for your game with regular updates on what's going on!