Winter Larping, some suggestions.

We have an adventure day coming up soon.

There hasn’t been a ton of winter Larping lately, and after our first adventure day in January it occurred to me not everyone has experience. So here we are. I’ve created a few points to follow to help you get through your first event.

  • Keep Dry. Good boots and a change of socks are a must. If you’re in an area with snow (such as Michigan). You might even consider a few more pairs of pants than normal. Once that water gets into your costume it’s going to continue to ensure you have a bad time.
  • Layers. The best part about Larp costumes is they generally look better with layers. If you don’t have a lot of Larp costuming, then layer regular clothes under your costume. I find a pair of pajama pants under my normal pants goes a long way. I always wear underarmor and at least one more long sleeve shirt. This is also a good time to pull out cloaks to keep your body warm. Also, while not really in period most people won’t notice strechy gloves on you. Get a pair and keep your hands warm. In the Alliance style of fighting, they’re already going to get hit some, the cold will only make them feel more raw.
  • Find a hat. Not everyone likes to wear head gear. I know I don’t when it’s warmer. But, your ears get cold fast. So any way to cover them up will go a long way.
  • Know your body. If you’re outside fighting a lot you might not feel cold. But, make sure you know where there’s a place to go to warm up. This is often a tavern. If you’ve spent some time outside playing the game, make sure to spend sometime inside. Enjoy a hot beverage. This is a good chance to get into some roleplaying anyways.
  • Running through snow is exhausting. If you play a game with physical combat, that means you’re going to be moving around through snow. On top of it being cold, it’s more work to move. Keep that in mind as between the cold and the exertion you’re going to get tired a lot faster.
  • Keep moving! Exerting yourself will keep you warmer.
  • Remember Larping is about enjoying yourself. If the winter is making Larping particularly unfun, don’t forget that you don’t need to be there. Winter is a good time to stay in. Being out in the elements isn’t for everyone and that’s ok.
  • Freezing temperatures affects your props. Latex weapons lose a lot of their give. Foam weapons can get wet and freeze if you aren’t careful. Keep this in mind when you’re swinging them around. Makeup can be harder to apply and/or ruined in freezing temperatures. Freezing will ruin liquid latex, so try to keep that in a warm place.
  • Be more careful about your footing. If you’re fighting on ice and snow can be super slippery. It’s not worth winning a fight if you hurt yourself. LARP boots often don’t have great grips. So try to be aware of what you’re standing on so you don’t end up slipping in combat.
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    How to Beholder

    Behold! Gerald!

    Concept art for the classic monster of fantasy myth.

    Recently I helped to construct a beholder for Alliance South Michigan. The goal was to get the flying eyeball up in the air to a certain degree. More than that as this was our second “backpack puppet” monster I wanted to focus on making the monster modular for easy access and reusing constructed works for more projects going forward.

    First we got a design document going of what we were looking to try and do.

    The idea was a pilot in all black straps into a column also in all black to have an illuminated beholder appear to “fly” over the heads of the players.  Originally the height would have checked in at over 12ft in the air. After motion testing the weight of the skeleton the frame was reinforced and dropped by about 2+ ft getting it to roughly 10ft high. This kept it in range of melee weapons… but really difficult to engage. Only the beholder itself was a viable target. The column and pilot could not be attacked. Even then an in-game effect punished melee strikes. Thus melee fighters were regulated to striking out only with their very best skills and/or protecting the ranged attacks coming from the rest of the players from the beholder foot soldiers.

    This was testing motion (yes I know its dark but I work at night in my spare time) with a very basic rig at 12 ft. Even with the counterweight we added it was not viable at this height to fly and still move quickly at all. Not without significant risk at snapping the frame. Stronger materials could be swapped out but the weight of them would likely cause the same issue of barely being able to move let alone puppet the monster around.

    A skeleton was rigged of Schedule PVC and PEX piping. The backpack, the column, and the beholder body were all seperate modular parts to the whole. read more

    Simple Lock boxes on the cheap

    Having a cool treasure box for your character, or for players to find really helps step up your game immersion. But, sometimes these boxes cost a ton of money for just a simple box.

    Using my internet sloth skills I was able to build one of these for just under 10 dollars.

    What you’ll need is a simple wooden box. Amazon has super cheap ones.

    Most boxes don’t have the right kind of clasp to lock with. So you’ll need to buy a new one.

    These look nice and are cheap.

    You’ll nee some wood stain.  I used this stuff but, it’s a bit pricier.

    You’ll need a piece of sand paper, a brush, and a small phillips screw driver. Like the kind use use for computers.

    Unscrew the clasp that comes with the box.


    Sand all the sides of the box. This is just a good idea to help the stain stick.

    Use the brush to brush the stain in. You’ll want to do this in a well ventilated area, or outside.

    Depending on your box, you might be able to get away with one coating.  Let it dry, over night.

    Use the small screw driver to attach the clasp. The wood is soft enough that you can just push the screw in.

    Once your box is dry and the clasp attached you can fit most small locks into it. These look nice (but are easy to pick).


    Now you’ve got a great looking box ready to store treasure in!