Beginners Guide to Larp: Hosting a Backyard Larp

After learning about the different larp structures, and searching for local larps, you might find there aren’t any within a reasonable travel distance. In order to attend a larp you might need to be the first person in your community to host one. So how do you host a larp for the first time if you’ve never played one before?

Simple Method

This method is great for small numbers of passionate players. It can be treated as time to gather with freinds, rather than as an organizational structure.

  • Collect a group of like minded folks who are interested in participating.
  • Together as a group arrive at some aesthetic goals.
  • Assuming everyone is starting from scratch, schedule a day for everyone to get together and craft gear or garb.
  • Schedule a day for everyone to get together for a small gathering centered around an in theme activity.
  • While gathered, do some very light character building. Come up with character Names, funny voices, odd habits. And then interact as those characters in that activity.

What if you have 10 or 20 people that want to participate? Or what happens when you repeat the simple method 3 or 4 times? At some point it’s going to become difficult to gather and coordinate resources without some kind of structure. This event write up template will help you start to organize the people that you have. It can be an organizing document around which your growing community rallies.

One Shot Write up

This write up offers a general framework for the things you usually need to think about in order to set up a single one shot larp event. Writing up a description before hand, and then debriefing afterwards are great methods to learn and grow in larp running experience.

OOC Location

A private persons land. Public Land (National, Provincial, State, or Local Parks, if allowed).

IC Location

The write up should describe the In Character, or In Game location.


A brief description of the lore that leads up to the event being written.

New Lore

A description of any new lore being introduced during the current event.

New Rules Or Rules Changes

A through description of any rules changes that are in effect for this event.


List the staff you have available.


List, and describe, the non player characters needed. Here are 5 details that you can use as a foundation for NPC generation.


List any physical gear (garb, weapons, armor, props) that the NPC’s will need for the Event. Include how that gear is getting to the event.

Time line

Staff Arrival Time. Prep Time. Player arrival time. Player start time. Meal Breaks. Game on time. Game Off Time. Break down time. Pack up time. Leave the sight deadline. PEL deadline. Debrief Date.

Of course, having a template for a single event doesn’t help you plan the overall structure of the larp. One larp document is all you need for a one shot larp event. But what if you want to run consecutive events, or start stringing the one shots together into a campaign?


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