May 2018

Author Archives Thomas Miller

About Thomas Miller

As Creative Director of LARPing.org, Tom's time is spent doing everything from research, design, development, writing and editing. This Detroit native attends LARPs all over the US, and enjoys everything from Post-Apoc to Modern Culture LARP settings. He currently sits as Lead Plot and Story designer for The Voyage North.


“The Executive Producer of The Lord of the Rings has joined forces with the creators and producers of The Amazing Race to conjure a land of magic and malevolence, where mythical creatures lurk in the woods. For 12 lucky souls, a fantastic world will come alive in a unique competition series where players will engage in epic challenges.”


Over the last two years LARPing.org has been aware of countless attempts to bring LARP to TV, and in some cases have worked with the research teams behind those attempts to better educate and shed light on what Live Action Role Playing is. “The Quest” is one we posted about last summer, and after nearly a year of waiting we have a chance to see what ABC had in mind.



It’s rare to see a reality TV series in which the genre has producer with tried and true track record for success. In this case we have producers from both “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy as well as “The Amazing Race”, both with years of experience in their respective fields.

Things we see that we like:

  • Beautiful Set Design
    Holy cow! Talk about some fantastic sets. They have obviously taken the time to setup shots the highlight the setting of the “Game”, and the projected mood of the scene.
  • Fantastic Makeup
    At one point we see a witch, few monsters, and (what I imagine is) a few baddies. All of them with impeccable makeup!
  • Unscripted (We hope)
    Reality TV is made on the cutting room floor, but from what we can tell neither camp developing this show has a history of twisting plots and creating unrealistic drama or tension between characters. We hope this is the case here!
  • Attention to Detail
    In many cases shows like this run with a very tight budget, it’s good to see they haven’t completely jumped the shark and put anyone in David Bowie’s wardrobe… yet.
  • Mark Ordesky
    If you’re unfamiliar with Ordesky, you must be living under a rock. That is all.


Sadly, this type of show is risky. Very risky. Without properly developing a narrative and making it clear enough for the audience, Non-LARPers will become confused by the In and Out of character progression of the show. This may be too much for some even with that clear narrative defined.Watch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)

Things we see that we worry about:

  • “LARP” Never Mentioned
    This is truly a double edged sword. Some will immediately be interested in the show with that “keyword” included in its marketing, while others will completely sign it off. Of course we’d like to see it in there, but we can understand why it isn’t. Allow the viewer to make the decision!
  • Casting and Characters
    From what we can tell, there are a wide variety of players engaged in this game but all seem to fall into the Hollywood tropes of tall strong men and pretty ladies. Again, we completely understand why these exist, but we can’t help but wish there wasn’t at least “one small skinny dude with a D&D tattoo on his butt” totally in awe at what he’s doing and captured up in the moment. Heck, maybe there is and we just haven’t seen him yet! The average Joe is often missing in these shows.
  • RP or Acting by a Script?
    At this point we can’t tell how much RP will be involved, but from snippets we can tell there is a certain level of scripted conversation in place. Hopefully that stays to a minimum between players, and leaves players the chance to explore the game more naturally.

Information about the show is limited. All sentiments are purely anecdotal. We hope to offer more in the coming weeks.

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Jan 03, 2014

Before reading this, please take the time to watch the full video. I think it’s important to understand the context of my thoughts before reading them in full. 

You know, many times I sit down to watch this kind of video about LARP as I prepare a small pillowed area over my keyboard. This is of course to save both my face and the keyboard once I begin slamming my face into desk in utter aggravation and bewilderment that LARP could be misunderstood and misinterpreted so badly. Normally this type of thing is followed by angry ranting over the phone to our editor or director and asking how we can improve LARP’s public image to help people better understand it.

Another important thing about this video was the ability for the filmmakers and Lawrence Leung (Our narrator with the mad sword skills!) to look past the unimmersive elements of the event and really become engaged and taken over by the mood and adventure of the whole thing. The closing scene with the feast does an amazing job of capturing the difference in Lawrence Leung’s attitude and comfort level at the beginning of the event to the end.

Well, today I took a risk and didn’t prepare the pillow, and my trust fall of LARP representation was rewarded with this, a fantastic video that captures both the quirky and enjoyable side of LARP with the comradery and friendships that tie it all together.  We even got a chance to see a little “Winning by losing” as our Hero, The Elf Lord Elin Gelosai (I’m guessing on the spelling for that one) looses his duel with his brother, taking an epic strike to the body and his inevitable death.

LARP being represented in a positive light?!


Although this is not at all the first time we’ve seen LARP represented positively, it does mark a trend of more encouraging public relations between LARP organizations/players and the media. Whether this is a change in public perception due to more exposure to the scene, or a result of the “pop culture nerd appreciation boom worldwide” (I have no better term for that), this continuing trend of interested onlookers signals feelings of hope that we hope don’t disappear any time soon.

Leave a comment below with your thoughts on this video!

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Oct 31, 2013
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