The LARP Magazine
02 June 5, 2006
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The LARP Magazine – Issue #1 Hits the Streets!
Update: The LARPY Awards
Update: ConQuest America
Update: Live Adventures Games Website
Customers Wanted – Classified
The History of UK LARP
Invitation to Attend Dragonbane LARP
Section I. Subscription Information
If you want your name and
contact information removed from the monthly LARP Magazine Newsletter, go
here to unsubscribe.
Section II. The LARP Magazine – Issue #1 Hits the Streets
On May 30, 2006, individuals
in attendance at the LARPY Awards saw the very 1st Issue, a special Issue,
of the LARP Magazine.
The LARP Magazine is an
effort to provide information in a positive image about the LARP industry.
We invite everyone to get involved in the magazine; as writers, advertisers,
and reporters, contributing to the success of the magazine through
submissions of articles about your LARP group.
The LARP Magazine enjoyed a
printing of 1,000 publications, and began distribution on May 1, 2006 to
Subscribers, LARPY Award attendees, Game Stores across America and at Game
Conventions attended by NERO® International, its chapters, affiliates, and
Though we encountered a few
challenges, the LARP Magazine was present at the LARPY Awards, contains
information about LARP both locally and abroad.
Advertising is being accepted
for the LARP Magazine at very reasonable rates.
www.larpmag.com for more information and to read LARP Magazine articles.
Section III. The LARPY Awards
The LARPY Awards were held at the Avalon
Hollywood Theatre, in Hollywood California, on April 30, 2006. Hosted by
Bobbi Sue Luther, and with about two dozen celebrities presenting awards,
the show was a success. The 501st Garrison (Storm Troopers and
Darth Vader) and other Star Wars Characters (R2-D2 & Chewbacca) attended the
Pre-show party and Award Show.
For more information about
the LARPY Awards and how you can submit an entry to the 2nd
Annual LARPY Awards, visit
Section IV. Convention Quest America
ConQuest America is an annual event that is
scheduled for July 19 to 23, 2006, in Earlville Illinois. It is an effort to
unite the different LARP Groups in America and Canada in an effort to run a
high quality live adventure game (LARP) with a thousand attendees.
It will focus on the
storyline, interaction among the attendees and the cast, and defeating an
adversary that threatens all of the people in the lands. The Game Rules will
be a simple set of rules derived from all of the LARP games available. A
commodity system and political system will be included to accommodate those
players who thrive on role-play and political interaction.
All LARP Groups are
encouraged to participate as Game Masters, Event Actors, and Players (Good
guys or bad guys). For more information on how you and your group can come
be a part of ConQuest America, visit
Section V. Live Adventure Games website
The website provides
material that will focus on educating individuals who operate or play in
LARP events. Currently being revamped to be the authority on and for the
LARP industry, it will provide valuable information no matter if you are a
LARP group, a Foam Fighting Society, or new to LARP. For more information,
or to add your URL to the list of LARPS, visit
Section VI. LARP Announcements
NERO® International announced NERO Wisconsin opening in
February of 2006. Visit
www.NeroWisconsin.com for more information.
NERO® International has announced its entry into the retail
arena with a new store button added to
www.LARP-Store.com to see the items currently available.
Section VII Help Wanted!
Reporters Wanted! We are looking for a half dozen reporters
that will write columns about LARP events and groups in there area.
Contact Joseph Valenti at
Jvalenti@nerolarp.com to join the LARP Magazine team!
Section VIII. Customers Wanted!
Subscribe to the LARP Magazine. Buy 1 or more issues. Visit
www.larpmag.com to buy a Magazine Subscription or advertise your
business to LARP’ers.
The LARP-Store has the LARP Gear that every Adventurer needs.
Section IX. The History of UK LARP,
Written By Nathan Hook
The origins of Larp are already becoming murky with the passing of the
years. What I present here is information I have uncovered on how Larp
started in the UK. If you have different or additional information, please
write to the magazine so that this can be updated.
Through there are accounts of early experiments (including murder mystery
games as early as the mid-seventies), the first significant expression of
modern Larp in the UK occurred in 1981. Two people named Donaldson and Carey
set up what is widely as the first larp group, known as Treasure Trap (or TT
for short, through that is confusing since many people use that to refer to
‘tabletop’) at Peckforton castle in Cheshire. This ran until 1984 with huge
success – its books claim over 5000 members at it’s height, including those
from Europe and the US. This however ended when the castle was sold (some
sources also suggest financial difficulties in addition to this).
The original Trap rule system was closely modeled on Dungeons & Dragons,
using the same character classes and alignment system. Each class had eight
levels, at which point the player had to undertake a special solo adventure.
Monster weapons were coated with paint as a mechanic for tracking damage to
players. The common areas were time in constantly, with parties forming for
linear adventures and occasional mass battles when the castle itself was
In the present day, the castle is now a hotel and a Grade I listed building
(which means it’s protected by law from modification). Rumor has if it you
know where to look you can still find paint splashes on the walls from the
paint-coated weapons. Despite its name, it is not technically a castle at
all. It was a Victorian country house built in the style of a medieval
castle between 1844 and 1851.
Carey left at this point and attempted to create a Paintball LARP, through
that failed to start due to sponsorship failure. Donaldson attempted to move
Treasure Trap to Chislehurst caves. However the deal failed and instead Pete
Garner founded a new Larp called Labyrinthe in the caves. Labytinthe still
exists to this day, running every single weekend in it’s cave system as well
as overland adventures. Its running passed to Jan McManus and Simon Morgan
(who is perhaps better known as the professional latex weapon supplier
Versions of Treasure Trap still exist. As early as 1983, a spin-off group
was formed as Durham University TT. In 1984 Birmingham University formed its
own TT group, through this ceased to exist a few years ago. Cambridge
University currently has its own TT group, which spun off from the Durham
group in 2002.
By late 1985 various ex-TT players created a number of other LARPs of their
own, including Labyrinthe, Realm and Spirit of Adventure. In 1986 ex-TT
players founded Flight of Fantasy, which later changed its name to Nothing
Ventured and later still to Forever’s Destiny, in which form it still
Many consider Trap to be an extremely complicated rule system. In fairness
it was originally relatively simple; through it did still require pauses to
‘battleboard’ to do the maths to check the status of the characters.
However, the systems that continued its tradition gradually increased its
In 1987 Shitfer left Labyrinthe and set up the professional larp Heroquest,
which still runs to this day. It remains one of the few fulltime
professional larps in the world.
A number of Heroquest players broke away in the early nineties and used the
Heroquest system combined with the Greyhawk D&D setting as a basis for new
LARP group at Bristol Polytechnic (which later became the University of the
West of England). That eventually folded around 2001.
Andy King began as a player of Treasure Trap in 1980’s, then became a staff
member and ref. He went on to become a founding member of the Lorien Trust
which was set up as a committee in 1992. Lorien Trust ran its first
Gathering event that year, and has done every year since on the August bank
holiday at Loco Park in Derbyshire. Currently it attracts around 3500
players every year (and runs smaller related events as well), making it by
far the largest event in the UK (and perhaps the world). Andy King still
runs the Lorien Trust as Managing Director, making his living from LARP.
In 1995 a group broke away from the Lorien Trust due to an internal schism.
They created the company Curious Pastimes, which runs the larp Renewal. This
continues to run every year with its main event attracting hundreds of
In 1998, Matthew Pennington, Paul Wilder, Juilet Morgan (now Juilet Wilder)
and Elle Smith set up a new large scale fest Larp called Omega. This ran
until 2003, with around five hundred players at each event. It is most noted
for introducing the concept of downtimes to large scale larp events as well
as improvements to the use of lammies.
Following the end of Omega, Matthew Pennington set up a professional larp
company called Profound Decisions running the frockcoat & fantasy game
Maelstrom in 2004. This currently runs four times a year with 750 players at
Invitation to Attend the Dragonbane LARP
July 27th – August 4th, 2006
A larp in Älvdalen, in the heartland of Sweden
Together we will create a complete world out of our dreams, fears and
longings - a world that will stand as a beacon in our memory to guide us
into an even more exciting future.
Dragonbane is a real challenge for players and organizers alike. We invite
players from all over the world to a larp that aims for unprecedented
realism in a fantasy world. The primary language at the game will be
English, but you can also speak your own tongue in the game.
The story of Dragonbane revolves around the eternal issues of man: how to
make the right choice between individual morality and collective benefits;
how to create a future from the present confusion; and what price we are
prepared to pay for happiness.
In the world of Dragonbane there are only humans with their hunger for
freedom, gold, or knowledge, driven by pride, passion, religion, fear,
magnanimity or love. There is also the mighty Dragon, with a magic
unfathomable for humans.
At one level Dragonbane is about who will capture the Dragon, its gold and
magical powers. At another Dragonbane is about You: who are you, and who do
you dare to be when all truths are turned upside down, when illusions crash,
when your deepest beliefs are put to question?
You can choose to play in one of the three main factions: the collectivistic
villagers with total welfare and no privacy; the fanatic witches (of all
genders), bordering on psychosis; or the proud dragontamers, in constant
competition with anybody about just anything.
About half of the players at Dragonbane will live a communal life in the
village of Cinderhill, the building of which has already begun. The rest of
the players will live in tents and shelters. The game fee of 125 euros
includes food and lodging for the week. The only things you need to bring
are your costume, a bedroll and your personal items. Dragonbane will provide
all players with the ingredients for making your own food.
More information and continuous updates can be found at