Building Live Roleplaying Games

Harry Harrold

Harry is perhaps best known for the excellent impression of John Bercow he does four times a year in a field near Northampton.

It’s been a while since I linked to Harry Harrold’s excellent repository of live roleplaying theory. He’s just put up a post about designing games, which presents what is by all accounts an effective set of tools for building these things which saw practical implementation for the award-winning “Wing and a Prayer” (Best Medium LARP 2019, National LARP awards), and the inevitably soon to be award-winning “All For One” (probably everything else, 2020 LARP awards).

You can find it here. The links are also worth following; there’s a lot of good stuff written around these two games out there at the moment, such as this fascinating piece by Ian Thomas about All for One (who I understand builds stories for games in a way that causes people to actually pay him money for doing it).

If you do stop in, it may also be worth your time to take a look at what I thought a was an excellent meditation on a successful game by Jamie “No Numbers” Hall that was recently added to the site.

Relating to the ” Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell” based game, the also-award winning Strange LRP (Best new LARP 2018, UK LARP Awards). The game is a fascinating blend of politics and magic, and does some very interesting stuff with handwritten downtimes for its players – a phrase which makes blood come out of my nose just by typing it incidentally.

Jamie Hall

Jamie may look like some sort of dreary European philosopher but… actually that will probably do as a caption.

You can find them here, here, here, here, and here. Start with the first “here” to be on the safe side unless you’re some sort of out-of-control anarchic maverick.

I don’t always agree with Hall (he thinks I’m a glorified bean counter, and I think he’s a romantic idiot whose hatred of numbers in live roleplaying leaves him constantly trying to redesign the wheel), but the actual pieces are well worth a read if you’re interested in a practical discussion of designing and running a live-roleplaying game.

LARP experience is in general an excellent site if you like yer LARP theory delivered with more actual theory than swearing. There’s a lot of contributors on there who really know their stuff, and it’s well worth your time to browse through.


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