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I'm starting a Sci-Fi LARP near where I live and so far only my close friends are going to attend,

What would be the best way to increase my player-base?

Also it'll be my first event that I've hosted so what facilities should I ensure are on site?

my system involves a faction based territory system, what would be better for strongholds, fortifications/ flags or small structures/ computers etc. ?

Thanks in advance.

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Welcome to the site. There seems to be three questions there: one on increasing the player base, another on facilities, and a third one on faction based territory. Maybe splitting them into three separate questions would be better?... –  Sardathrion Jun 28 '12 at 10:28
    
Hi Maverick, welcome to the site! I agree with @Sardathrion, three questions would probably get you better answers :-). Take a look around, and take a look at the FAQ. –  C. Ross Jun 28 '12 at 11:01
    
Indie-LARP? Seriously? In Germany and Austria there are no LARPs which are not mastered/hosted by private persons (well, except Mythodea maybe, there are at least partly backed by Epic Armoury Germany). Maybe that's different for the U.K., otherwise I'd say that "Indie" is not appropriate. –  Bobby Jul 7 '12 at 16:14
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Also, as Sardathrion said, I'd like to ssee this splitted into different questions, as the last two questions are very good and would spawn awesome answers. –  Bobby Jul 7 '12 at 16:16
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I've redone the last two as seperate questions as requested :) –  MavericktheBroken1 Jul 7 '12 at 23:11
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2 Answers

Increasing the player base

The first question is not just how but when to increase the player base. If you expand ahead of your readiness, you'll lose people just as quickly. If this is the first event you've ever hosted, a demo dry-run with 'just close friends' to test the system and preparations isn't a bad idea. If it's possible, get feedback

(Depending on your site and finances, this may not be practical. But if it is, do it.)

Once you're ready, the number one recruitment resource is your friendly local gaming store. Post an advert. (Remember to include a range of contact methods.)

The other big resource is, of course, the internet. Find local LARP forums, if any. Use general forums and advertise for gamers in your area. LARP, much more than tabletop, is a community activity - you need to plug in to existing communities as much as possible while you build a new one.


Things you need on site

  • Spare copies of the rules. Some players will want them (or you need to improve them!)

  • Paper and pens. You'll need them for something, sooner or later. If there's no good surfaces, add 'clipboard'.

  • Toilet facilities - adequate to the number of players!

  • Drinks (and food, if your game's going to last a while), either in-game or for after-party. In the long run this is player's responsibility, but you're trying to recruit, so be a friendly host.

  • Spare weapons for just-showed-up-to-give-it-a-go players. If you're still recruiting, you won't be able to enforce high costume/prop/weapon standards initially, so have loaners on hand. Somebody will need them.

  • Flexible spare costume parts, for the same reason. If possible, miscellaneous additional 'props' for people to borrow.

  • If your system uses them, don't forget stage blood and bandages.

  • Suggestion and feedback forms. Make it as easy as possible for people to tell you what they did and didn't like afterwards; this doesn't help you recruit players, but it helps you keep them.


I think 'what would be better for strongholds' is really a separate question and might be worth asking as such. The short form answer: it (a) depends heavily on the shape of your available play space and (b) doesn't really matter; how well it works will have a lot more to do with your rules and equipment than your choice of structure.

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Note on toilets: Make sure you have male and female ones. Ditto for showers. –  Sardathrion Jun 28 '12 at 10:29
    
Thanks for the help :) I have organised playtests to see how the system works and make sure that players get enough enjoyment as well! –  MavericktheBroken1 Jun 28 '12 at 11:22
    
+1 Great checklist of things you need and won't realise you need until you do! –  Rob Jun 29 '12 at 9:39
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As well as facilities I'd say safety and insurance are, going to be your primary concern. Make sure that wherever you hold this you have at the very least a first aider there for any sort of injury that may occur and the means to get someone to hospital if necessary; one larp I was in a friend fell and shattered their shoulder while just running down a hill, and he was a veteran larper.

Insurance is a consideration if you're playing with anyone other than a bunch of friends, a decent short disclaimer form (You may suffer injuries, organisation not responsible) to get you out of any unlikely but sadly possibly quandries if someone you've never met before turns up and causes a fuss.

Also; I forgot one other important thing; I see you're from the UK (Horah for another Brit, welcome!) so if you're doing any kind of scifi and waving around pretend guns make sure that you're either well out of sight of the public, have signposts or have made the police aware of what you're doing - one of my friends was running a cyberpunk style game and had the armed response unit turn up, that was not fun!

So, facilities:

First aid! For scratches, cuts, allergies and bites.

Toilets! You have to go sooner or later.

Fresh water. Especially if you're playing somewhere hot.

Shelter. For when the water starts falling from the sky.

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Not only +1 to the answer, but +1 to the urgency of safety. 1) Make sure that no-one takes dangerous props with them (knifes, for example). 2) Make sure that every group that might be heading into the woods is accompanied by someone who knows the area and has a map and a means to call in help. 3) Make sure the local ambulance knows where the event will be held. -- This is not recommended lightly; I've been witness to a very close call because our group hadn't learned those lessons yet. (It took two hours to get the guy to hospital, and he would've bled to death in another.) –  DevSolar Jun 28 '12 at 10:58
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Make sure you have the exact coordinates (address, post code, GPS, whatever) to give to an emergency operator so that any ambulances you might call will not be delayed. Make sure that this information is easy to find in case you're the one that needs the ambulance. –  Sardathrion Jun 28 '12 at 11:20
    
Thank you very much:) –  MavericktheBroken1 Jun 28 '12 at 11:26
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@Sardathrion: That is why I suggested talking to the ambulance service beforehand. They usually appreciate being proactively informed of the event, can take their time figuring out where it is and how they best get there, and if they get a confused call from "that LARP place", they know where to go even if the caller doesn't. (Then again, I'm talking about experience with German ambulance. YMMV.) –  DevSolar Jun 28 '12 at 11:58
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@DevSolar: In my experience, all ambulance crews prefer to know where to go and not need to rather than need to and not know where. –  Sardathrion Jun 28 '12 at 12:02
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