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Nerdarchy > Nerd Culture  > LARP  > Generic Larp Rules | Rules to Follow for First Time Larping

Generic Larp Rules | Rules to Follow for First Time Larping

This is the first of many posts to come for Generic Larp Rules. I say first post because larps, even when simplified, are laden with rules and there will be many more GLR posts. If you want more Generic Larp Rules check out Nerdarchy’s Facebook page for future GLRs. If it is your first time larping it is easy to get overwhelmed by preparations for your character’s prop needs of armor, costumes, weapons, etc. Whether you are fabricating from materials or working extra hours to get the funds for that last piece of period armor, preparation is important for an enjoyable weekend.


But that is only the character role playing aspect of the event. A huge difference between Larping and tabletop rpgs is that at a tabletop game there is a refrigerator of food, nature-free bedroom with blanket/pillows, and a closet with clothes at home where the tabletop game is happening while a Larp has more in common with camping.

Before I get to the list I would like to go over two terms that are used frequently. They are “in-game” and “out-of-game”. Out-of-game is where you are right now and anywhere else you may be if you are not at the game event and currently playing a character. Basically a person or an item is out-of-game if they do not exist in the game at that time.

A person or an item is in-game when they are playing their character and they can be affected by the game world. An item that is in-game can be affected, used, destroyed, and otherwise manipulated while in-game, but the physical object cannot be damaged. So you can bring fancy table props and display them, but a person could come by and “smash your wine bottles” while not smashing the real prop.

larp rules

So for a day or weekend away from home you are going to want:

  • A change of clothes or three to wear under costume (based on length of event and weather).
  • Extra socks and underwear (puddles, sweating, and swampy areas).
  • A light source(observe the game rules, but a period in-game electric lantern is a good choice).
  • A small back up light source (like a small led flashlight).
  • Extra batteries for light sources.
  • A small medical kit (even small kits have a lot of items in them, “don’t have one — look here for some examples.)
  • If you take medication, have allergies, are diabetic, or have some other condition then you should bring the necessary items to treat problems that could arise from your conditions.
  • There may be “beds”, mats, cots, or only floor space available to rest. Consider this possibility when packing (I like to pack an extra sleeping bag and pillow -sometimes the mat you thought you were getting is not there now- also friends forget their own stuff).
  • Toiletries (toothbrush, your own toilet paper. Sometimes there are 200 people at events. That is a lot of toilet paper usage. Don’t rely on it being constantly stocked)
  • Snacks. It is wise to pack dry food you know you can eat whenever you want. The game may have a tavern with hot meals or they may only have a snack bar concessions stand.
  • Water. Yes it gets it’s own number on the list. You may get more exercise on a larping day than you normally would on an average day so you should increase your water intake to match your activity level.
  • Garbage bags (keep your food wrappers and debris in them).
  • A Mirror. If you are wearing facial costume or makeup. I recommend a non-glass mirror.
  • Pen/pencil and paper preferably ones that double for in game and out of game use.


Oh, one more point. The Don’t bring this stuff list. Thankfully it is a short list.

  • If it is a state park or camp then follow the rules and regulations of the park or camp as well as any rules for the game.
  • No Drugs or Alcohol. If you have prescribed medications they are allowed.
  • Don’t play with noisy electronics like music players or portable game systems. Leave them in the car.
  • Your phone should not be your flashlight. Unless it is a Sci Fi Larp don’t use equipment that could have you be mistaken as a person from the future or an alien invader.

This list is not complete, for example if you are a warrior with a lot of weapons that see frequent use it is a good idea to bring a weapon repair kit(duct tape, scissors, foam, etc). If you have anything you would add then list them in the comments below. Make sure to include why you bring it so others can learn from your experience. Next for Generic Larp Rules we will take a look at rules that most Larps have in common to help people get in the right mindset before they go larping for the first time.

Nathan Riggins

I would say my manner, skill sets, and subject knowledge are incongruous but they all seem to find a home under the umbrella term of nerd. I have a passion for studying science, religion, art, games, crafting, wine/beer-crafting, sustainable living, and green chemistry. I really enjoy gaming with friends and writing about my experiences as a nerd.

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