Digital Changeling

October 27, 2011

What Do I Need to Know About Your LARP?

Filed under: Games,LARP,Reviews — Eva @ 12:02 am

I’m trying to pick games for Intercon L and I’ve read so many bad game descriptions I want to cry. If your description can be summarized as, “A bunch people are in a place! It will be wacky!”, you haven’t written a description.

Please try again. This time actually tell me about your game.

Don’t confuse “world back story” with “stuff I need to know about your game”. Back story is nice, but it doesn’t tell me anything about what my experience is likely to be when I play.

Things about your game that I care about include:

  • What I will be doing?
  • Who I will be playing?
  • Are there any interesting major themes I should know about?
  • What style is the game (theater, horde, jeepform, etc.)?
  • Is there any existing source material (books, tv shows, board games*, etc.) the game is based on?
  • Why will your game offer me a different experience than the other games (I could be playing)?

Keep in mind that if something is going to be a huge super secret surprise which you’re going to keep under your hat for 10 whole minutes in the game, you should just tell the players in the description. They can pretend they don’t know for 10 minutes and if it’s that vital to your game they need to know about it to figure out if they’re the right players for your game.

That’s the most important thing. You want the right players in your game, the players who are the best match to the game. The better they understand the essence of your game, the better they can self select for you. Casting will be easier, you’ll have fewer mysterious drops, and everyone involved will be happier! ;)

* Unless you’re Mike Young, please don’t try to write Jumanji: the LARP. Do write Clue: the LARP though. I want to play that!


  1. The part about revealing your big “first 10 minutes” secret is so true. That was advice I got from the Freedmans about Clerical Error and I was so reluctant to do it. But it really is necessary to give your players fair warning what they’re getting themselves into and I’m glad I did.

    Comment by Kathleen — October 27, 2011 @ 12:24 am

  2. Admittedly, there are games that can basically be described as “A bunch people are in a place! It will be wacky!” Usually, those aren’t remarkably interesting LARPs. They can be, but the description needs to tell us why or how they might be. Is there something especially appealing about this place/group of people/set of issues? If it’s just a party and nothing is terribly interesting except that it’s a party in a fun time period to dress up for, say that too. There are people who want that.

    Hopefully a bunch of these games are more interesting than that though!

    Comment by Katie — October 28, 2011 @ 5:10 pm

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