Beginners Guide to Larp: Finding

Getting started in larp can be tricky. While the internet makes it very easy to find a larp, it’s more difficult to find one that you as a player will enjoy. New players should start by getting an idea of the different structures of larp that are commonly available. Once you get an idea of which structure is most appealing, then you can find a game in that style of larp, in a genre you like.

A quick note. I’m a U.S. East Coast and Quebec larp player. The world of larp is getting larger and more varied all the time. Although my goal is to use terms as used by the communities around the world, that’s not always possible. This list is not exclusive. This post describes a general way for new players to get a grasp of what’s going on in larp broadly. The listed larps are meant as examples of the structure. The lists are not complete in any way.

Before diving in new players should familiarize themselves with some common Larp Terminology.

Battle Games

Choose battle games if you want to play something more like a sport. Most battle games are in North America. You might not find them as frequently in other parts of the world. Many battle games use hit location combat to keep the fights simple and fast paced. While some can include grappling and kicking, others can include more traditional RPG concepts like Character Classes. There will be some amount of role play, it won’t delve into complex emotional states like other forms of larps.

Amtgard Park Locator

Belegarth Realm Locator


Dagorhir Chapters

Campaign Larps

These games play more like TTRPG campaigns. They run regularly and continue for years. Choose these kinds of larps if you love the idea of doing things you can’t do IRL. There’s a good balance between narrative conflict resolution and combat. In this structure characters often have hit points, and accumulate experience through adventuring and other means. That experience can be spent to get more hit points, better skills, and more powerful spells. Combat is by necessity a little slower paced, because there are more numbers, abilities, and combat calls being employed. There will be more role play than battle games, but it won’t be used to experience sensitive topics. The themes are usually around ‘adventure’ or ‘survival’.

Madrigal 3 (An Accelerant Larp System)

Myth Larp


Thousands more or all player counts, sizes and locations in the world.

Theater/Con Larps

If neither camping nor combat is your thing, then attend larps at Conventions, or hosted in Theaters or (sometimes) even Castles. These styles or larps are going to put more emphasis on drama and narrative to resolve conflict. While each larps rules will be structured a little differently, they generally won’t include any kind of simulated weapon used to resolve combat. The emotional experience of the role play will be deeper here than in the campaign larps, or the battle games. Themes vary widely.

American Free Form larps (contains links to a number of downloadable larps)

Festival of the Larps (2020 version)

NEILS larp library

Intercon U

International Larps

There are many names for this structure of larp. Nordic Larp, Jeep Form, Free Form, etc. If you want to really immerse yourself in an emotional experience, and want to portray a specific character, or experience a particular emotion, then Nordic larps are a great place to do that. International larps often seek to explore emotionally difficult themes and topics using intense role play. The Nordic style of larp actually grew out of a reinterpretation of Minds Eye Theater. They kept all the intense emotions, and dropped all the vampires (as well as the complex combat systems). If you do play MET/MES expect a game very much like table top VTM, but swap the dice for Rock Paper Scissors conflict resolution.

Minds Eye Theater Vampire Larp formerly by White Wolf

By Night Studios

Modern Enigma Society

Knudepunkt 2023 – an annual role playing conference where organizers of larps in the Nordic Style gather to discuss

Hobbits Hoedown and Shiretown Shindig

“Larp Near Me”

Ok, so you have a general idea of what kind of larp seems most appealing to you. How do you then find a larp to attend? Go to your search engine of choice and search for “Larp [state]” where you replace [state] with the Country, Province or State that you live in.

If you live in an area with lots of larp, you’ll be presented with a list of options, and from there you’ll need to look through each larp for context clues about how each larp structures it’s action. Reading available rule books or game descriptions is usually a good place to start. If you live in an area with few larps, then you’ll have to select from the one that’s the closest fit to what you are looking for.

What if there are no larps near me, or maybe no larps of the structure you want to play? In that case you might need to start your own larp. Many of the larps listed here started as something small and simple in somebodies backyard.


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