I would like to introduce my friends to role-playing games.

I have played some D&D and a few parlour LARPS organised by other in the past, now I'm thinking about organising something for friends who have never done anything like this in the past. I was thinking about starting with some simple Parlour LARP scenario. But I'm not able to create one myself, so I would like to ask

Is there some ready-made LARP scenario suitable for complete beginners?

It shouldn't have too much game mechanics and perhaps instead of giving people complete freedom in how they want the game to unfold, it could be pre-determined to some degree (because then the people don't have to be so creative, which is not easy to do).

I'm planning to have about 4-6 people (with me as GM), playing for about 3-5 hours. The genre should be Parlour Larp or something similar. Whether fantasy, detective, political or other topic is not important IMHO, it just needs to be accessible.


The Shifting Forest games seem like a good fit, although they're really 6-8 person games, not counting the GM. The were released as PDFs for free a few years back. Based on personal experience, Garden Station 4 is quite accessible, it has a good mix of player conflict and some world to explore. My recollection of The Queen of Spades is a bit muzzy, but I remember it being okay. Eridanus Rising is more than a bit weird, but a friend has had good experience with new groups. The Mirror Room is very intense, and includes child abuse as a theme, so I'd recommend against for a new group. I haven't played and thus can't speak to the remaining Shifting Forest games.

Mike Young's The Book of LARP might be a good starting point. It's not free, but it's not hard to find a copy. It's older, but has a lot on running LARPs and includes a number of small games. I've played "Michael Clambino's Fundraiser," and it's a fine little gangster mess game and is a good fit at 6 players.

Unfortunately 4-6 player is a small LARP, and you may have problems finding good ones for a new group. Many LARPs use inter-player conflict as the primary driver of play, and the easiest way to do that is to tangle lots of characters' stories together. There is great stuff being done at that size, but it tends to be more intimate and intense. Stuff like "Previous Occupants," which a friend who played described as powerful, uncomfortable, but very good. Also Stavropoulos and Romero's "The Yearbook," which I loved. (It's not available to my knowledge) Awesome stuff, and often great for new players, but perhaps a bit risky for a new GM.

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