I am a crew member with a LARP system. When I'm playing a minor NPC who isn't very important to the wider plot, I have some fairly standard and basic kit that I just throw on. If I'm a labourer, I've got a plain boiler suit. If I'm some kind of background soldier, I've got a standard set of armour to wear.

Sometimes, though, player action takes one of those mooks and makes them important. To give a concrete example, one character I played needed to walk down a road at a scheduled time carrying an interesting and exciting package. The character did have some brief, but it boiled down to "you don't know anything useful about the box, you're just doing your job". The players were expected to steal the package and not really bother too much about me. Instead, the players captured me, told me that they really needed to know who was sending these packages, and paid me a significant sum of hush money. They told me to complete the delivery, head back to my office, then keep my ear to the ground for as much information as I could find about these people.

Thus did Jim the Courier ascend from "faceless mook" to "valuable undercover informant".

This is awesome. The game masters thought that this was awesome. They're rolling with it, and the players are loving the fact that their in-character decisions have given them a new and interesting plot thread to pull. Unfortunately, that character looks like every other faceless character that I play. Now, when I turn up in my generic kit, they'll occasionally greet me and say "Ah, it's Jim the Courier!", and I'll have to correct them. Whilst not game-breaking, this is inconvenient.

If I give Jim the Courier a bunch of fresh costume so he looks different, they're unlikely to recognise him and would rightly be suspicious. If I keep using this same basic costume, other characters will start getting mixed up.

How can I handle signalling the difference between Jim the Courier and a generic kit with this development? Should I change Jim's appearance, and if so how?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I've revised this question to ask slightly more broadly about handling the signalling and costuming in this situation. The original focused too much on the costume being the only possible component of a solution, to the extent that if an answer provided a viable solution that had nothing to do with the costume they'd have to spend a lot of work on challenging the assumption in the question. This form compels answers to provide broader advice about handling the situation, and the costume may or may not be part of that advice, but the answerer is prompted to respond to that idea. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 9, 2018 at 10:14

1 Answer 1


Give him 1 easily spottable accessoiry

(Mind, this advice comes from a general PnP POV, I've personally never partaken in LARP)

While it likely won't stop all the players from calling out to you a new / different hat or a fairly visible brooch / feather will do the trick. With the consent of the game masters you could reason out a brief encounter where Jim passes by the party with his new item, proudly showing it off to them, perhaps stating he had been yearning to buy that particular item and finally managed to afford it "thanks to you".

Or perhaps Jim donated a portion / most of what you hushed him with to a nearby clergy / orphanage and was given an old or handmade ornament he was gifted as a thank you for the unexpected and generous donation.

For example you could have a line like this:

I made a generous 'little' donation to the Orphanage in the nearby township of Yonshirebrookstoneham. You see that Brooch 'ere upon my hat? I was invited to a little celebration there to thank me for it. A little girl that grew up in the orphanage's care gave me that brooch, said it was one of the few things she had of heir parents. She insisted I have it, so here I am, carrying it proudly on my head every day.

So long as the item is visible from a reasonable distance / angle this should make it easier for the players that know Jim to tell him apart from a regular mook.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Additionally, whenever they are stopped as another NPC, they can describe the prop (OC or IC as appropriate for the game) so that people looking for the NPC will know what to look for next time. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 9, 2018 at 13:51
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ +1 This is good advice and we actually did exactly this multiple times when players interfered--, ehm, interacted with the stories and characters at our LARP in unforeseen ways. :) \$\endgroup\$
    – fgysin
    Aug 21, 2019 at 11:25

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .