June 2018

How To

If you live in the UK, or are going to be there in April, we’ve got great news for you! But, even if you don’t, you can still win a Wizard Wand!

Bothwell School of Witchcraft wants to give away 3 free wands to anyone who applies and is interested in attending their school now, or in the future!

And anyone who signs up and purchases a ticket for the April event, between today and April 15th will automatically receive a free wand with the purchase of their ticket.

All you have to do is fill out the application here!

For those not in the know, here’s a little bit about Bothwell School of Witchcraft:

The Bothwell School of Witchcraft is a live-action role playing (LARP) event, organised by Rogue Events where guests (players) will become characters in the school. Along with 150 others, you’ll get to:​

  • Be sorted in to one of the School Houses.

  • Take part in lessons on the art of witchcraft.

  • Stay in a spectacular 15th century castle, all meals included.

  • Compete against the other houses and celebrate at the school’s lavish banquet.

  • And much, much more!

When: 26-29 April 2018

Want a free wand? Just fill out the application!

Head over to Bothwell’s website and enter your chance for a free wand!

Mar 07, 2018

By: Kathaleen Amende, Mark Hill, Corey Lowenberg, Danielle Lauzon, Tara M. Clapper

So, you’ve decided to try out a Nordic larp!  That’s fantastic and exciting, and we hope you’re going to have an amazing time! But for some of you, it’s going to be a brand new kind of larp.  It isn’t that Nordic larp itself is new – it’s been around for a while.  But there’s no doubt that it’s different from traditional American style campaign larps.  With no boffers, no or very light mechanics, and a high expectation of immersion, Nordic larps can be kind of intimidating for a newcomer. So we’ve put together a few suggestions for how to get the most out of your first foray into the Nordic scene.

Before we get to the suggestions though, we recommend you take some time and look through a few articles on the Nordic larp scene (the links are below the article).  The field has grown strong in the European, especially the Scandinavian, countries, but it’s slowly making its way across the pond, so don’t be surprised to be hearing even more about them as time goes on.

Now, onto the actual suggestions for ways that you can embrace your first Nordic character and really get into the world that the designers have created for you.

"Besides, what’s the point of having juicy secrets if they don’t get found out at some point?"

Embrace Loss

Much, if not all, of the conflict encountered in a Nordic larp is mediated, and this system requires at least one of the parties to “lose” in any contest. It is a good idea to reframe the way you think about such things – instead of considering it “winning and losing,” simply consider setbacks and defeats as meaningful avenues for advancing a story.  Outside of straight-up death, every conflict and consequence is part of enriching not only your story, but the game at large, and since Nordic storytelling is about collaboration, these moments are important.  Besides, what’s the point of having juicy secrets if they don’t get found out at some point?  Drama with other people is more fun than the “victory” of keeping all of your secrets.

Scifi Larp

Get Involved

It is easy to find ways to refuse the call to action, in the Campbellian sense.  An adherence to a rigid, inflexible character identity will result in missing out in a variety of possible encounters.  Instead of refusing to do something because you believe that your character wouldn’t do it, find reasons why your character would do something.  Maybe you’re physically delicate socialite is too timid to face danger head on, but what if he was a gossip who wanted to be first with the dirt?  Or what if your sullen detective needed to learn to dance in order to go under cover?  Don’t wallflower with your character unless you really enjoy just sitting back and watching others dive in.

Harry Potter Larp
Students gather to share a meal - College of Wizardry Image - John-Paul Bichard

Find Your Spotlight...but also be a Generous Player

Don’t be afraid to make a dramatic move and take center stage when it’s appropriate. Larps in this style thrive on these moments. While you’ll want to allow others space for their own spotlights in the collaborative story, don’t shy away from taking yours when the time is right. If you’ve discovered that the lord of the manor is secretly worshipping demons, definitely announce it when you’ve got a good audience!  And, likewise, always be on the lookout to help others shine.  If you know that someone has the information to answer a pressing question, make sure they step up there and take that spotlight.  Maybe even draw attention to them.  Remember, you are the main character in your own story, but all those other characters are the protagonists of their stories.  A Generous Player proactively looks for ways to highlight other characters and involve other players in scenes for the betterment of the story and experience as a whole. This requires a certain level of faith between players to trust that their peers will reciprocate, but when everyone buys in, this practice leads to a truly cooperative experience.

Feel Deeply

At many Nordic larps, you have the potential to experience a fantastic amount of character development over a short amount of time. Your character won’t be the same person they were when they started, and it may even feel as though you’ve lived a whole lifetime in a few short days or hours. If you’re open to committing to intense emotions, you may find that you have changed, too. Decide for yourself if this is appropriate, and know how to embrace it if you choose.  You may hear about something called “bleed,” and you may have even experienced it yourself.  There are, of course, both positive and negative ways to respond to bleed (when there is crossover between what your character is feeling and what you are feeling), but it is not, in itself, a bad thing.  To learn more about bleed, see the links below.


There are a ton of play styles out there, and you will probably encounter more than one of them while you are at the game.  The best way to get what you want from a story is to communicate your ideas and to listen to others when they tell you the same.  Most Nordic larps are based on consent and will have consent-based mechanics which are designed to give you the opportunity to leave a scene, to slow a scene down, or even to increase the intensity of the scene.  Learn these mechanics well (usually they have a workshop – always try to attend these), and don’t be afraid to use them.  Talking with and negotiating scenes with your fellow players will not only help everyone feel safer, but it will give you the opportunity to really explore things you might not feel safe exploring in other larps.  If you have concerns, you should definitely take advantage of the presence of your GMs and larp runners to talk about what should be expected at the game.  


Whatever you do, though, remember that even the most experienced of Nordic larpers can feel nervous and get stage fright.  While all larps benefit from trust, honesty, and openness, in most American style campaign larps, there is often a benefit to keeping your secrets and keeping an eye on the eventual prize.  Ultimately, in Nordic style larps, you are putting on a different person not to see what that person can achieve, but to see what it’s like to be that person.  In other words, most American style larps are about what your character can do.  Nordic style larps are about what your character can be. So feel free to experience everything you can, and to enjoy it all – even if your character might not.

Looking for your first Nordic Larp? Look no further!

Armistice Arcane is a Victorian Era Gothic larp this January!

Enter the world of magic, intrigue, and politics this January, 5-7 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Fill out the application and tell them Larping.org sent you!

Nov 10, 2017

Editor’s Note: Today’s post comes from Bill Thomas and his wife, Kiera, who made this behemoth of a rig together. Mad props to them and their efforts.

We’ve always made fun monsters, props and costumes over the last couple of years Matt Pennington, the boss of PD, has provided us with a bit of a platform and a budget to experiment and try new things out. We built a War Rhino last year which was well received, so we kicked around various ideas of what we could do next. We wanted to make something big again, and something that the players could actually get up close to and fight, and a dragon had always been on our list of things to have a go at. Here’s how we did it and what we learned…

I started by looking at lots of videos on you tube of moving puppets and found several rigs that worked in similar ways. I built a miniature version of the rig first out of wood and string, just to see if we had the theory right. It worked surprisingly well – take a look at the video:

Initially we wanted to make an aluminium frame for it, but it was too expensive. So, we scaled it all up and built it in timber. We had to add extra struts to it to make it stronger, because everything was bigger and heavier, and  the stresses and friction were much greater. In particular on the miniature, the left to right movement of the head just rotated on a bolt, but once we had the full sized head on the end of the arm, there was no way it was going to spin. We fitted four steel bearings to the joint to make it move freely. That was probably the single biggest cost at around $150, but it made all the difference.

Although the movement is all just controlled by strings, we used heavy duty paracord, just to be sure it wouldn’t snap. The string lifting the head up and down had a massive amount of weight on it. If we did it again I’d use steel cable and add pulleys.

We used plumbing piping to create the rough skeleton for the neck, which was then covered in a foam skin, leaving lots of room inside for the strings and for a tube to carry smoke up to the mouth. We used a plastic tube but next time I’d use metal, as the heat from the smoke machine the tube pretty badly. The head was built using plasatzote foam, and then everything was painted with several layers of coloured latex.

In the video of the full sized rig, you can see Kiera operating it on her own. By the time the skin and the head were applied, the whole thing had become much heavier, so it needed two of us to work it. We attached buckets of sand to the operating end to act as a counterweight for the head which really helped.

We put wheels on the base and built a simple wooden track, like a camera track, so the rig could roll back and forth, which meant our dragon could lunge forward to attack, which surprised the players the first time they saw it.

We built in over two weeks, in the evenings after work and at the weekend, and cost roughly $1200 to make. They dragon itself doesn’t look amazing, but we’re really pleased with how well the rig worked and will definitely build another one sometime. It’s a pretty simple rig which gives some great movement. If i were to do it again, I’d either make it smaller so the weight is less of an issue, or spend more money on lighter weight materials. Give it a go, it’s surprisingly easy.

Credit where Credit is due: All photos courtesy of Charlotte Moss, Judith Dawn Taylor and Oliver Facey.



Sep 23, 2015

Paradox hosts another Stay in Character episode focusing on Packing for a LARP! You will learn what sort of items to pack as well as tips on getting it to the event.

Stay in Character is a vlog about LARPing and all its facets, hosted by the many characters of Kristin Brumley and produced by Cake Golem Productions.

Join us next time when Iris teaches you how to be an awesome LARP newbie! Get involved with plot and have a fun first event.

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/CakeGolemProductions

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BasicAdv101

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Jan 26, 2015
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