A Brief, Incomplete History of Blockbuster Larps

This post is intended as an accompaniment to my post “Are Blockbuster Larps Viable?”

It’s a brief and doubtlessly incomplete list of the recent history of blockbuster larps, illustrating the trend that more and more folks are starting to run them in the US and elsewhere.

2013

Monitor Celestra, a Battlestar Galactica larp on a retired Swedish destroyer is run three times in Sweden.

Hell on Wheels, a Czech western larp.

2014

New Games:

College of Wizardry makes its debut at Czocha castle in Poland. This wizarding college will soon take over the world of blockbuster games.

Re-runs:

Two runs of Hell on Wheels.

2015

New Games: 

Inside Hamlet is run twice at the actual castle of Elsinore in Denmark, as the first public run of Hamlet in the castle in one hundred years. (There is a Shakespeare castle that runs in the courtyard, but not the castle!) This is a re-run of a canonical Nordic larp originally produced in 2000. The game will run twice more in 2017…

Re-Runs:

College of Wizardry is now in its sixth run.

2016

New Games:

Fairweather Manor, a larp loosely inspired by Downton Abbey has two runs

Convention of Thorns, a vampire larp set in the White Wolf world, runs in Poland.

New World Magischola, a US spin-off of College of Wizardry, quickly sells out four runs on Kickstarter along with a yule-themed winter event.

Re-Runs:

College of Wizardry rides again with at least two more runs.

2017

New Games

Event Horizon, a sci-fi larp will run in California.

Fortune & Felicity, a Jane Austen larp, will run in Sweden.

Legends of the Stars, a Star Wars-inpsired larp will run in Massachusetts.

Kickstarters/ticket sales open for:

Road Trip Larpabout a rock band on tour

Battleship, a larp about the Vietnam war on a destroyer in New Jersey

Conscience, a Spanish larp inspired by Westworld

Wave Onea California battleship larp inspired by Monitor Celestra.

Re-Runs:

College of Wizardry puts tickets on sale for runs 11-15. Sign ups for New World Magischola 5-8 go up for sale as well.

Inside Hamlet has two more booked runs scheduled.

Fairweather Manor opens runs for another ticket.

4 thoughts on “A Brief, Incomplete History of Blockbuster Larps

  1. Some corrections:
    The full name of the larp I am producing is Starship Selket: Wave One

    Crowdfunding ticket sales are not yet open; we still have to prep things and shoot the video; which will be starring actress Stephanie Sheh (voice of Sailor Moon, among many other video game and anime voices): http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1315809/?ref_=nv_sr_1

    I hope to launch in mid-April to early May.

    True, it is inspired by Monitor Celestra, but it is also an adaptation of an existing local campaign larp, Starship Valkyrie, created by Christian Brown. It’s the same storyverse, but completely doing the mechanics to, as you write, make it accessible to non-larpers. I am looking at it like a Hollywood movie adaptation of a series (comic book or TV): the campaign is the episodic, this is the big budget movie version.

    Thanks for including it on the list. I tried to get a documentary crew to film as many of these blockbusters as possible to release a “2017: The Year that Blockbuster Larps Broke”, Penelope Spheeris style, but I didn’t get any bites, nor am I able to do it myself.

  2. In case you are interested in a somewhat-less-incomplete list, I can think of many more blockbuster larps…

    Off the top of my head:
    Witcher School (Poland); De La Bête, Mirrors of England, Legion: Siberian Story (Czech Rep.); Scarbantia (Austria); Blue Flame (Spain); Skull & Crossbones, and basically anything else from Dziobak (DK/PL); Dragonbane (2006, can’t remember if Denmark or Sweden); New Atlantis, Icarus, Dracarys, Black Friday, Arcaniversitas (Italy); Deus Ex Machina (Russia, 2017)…

    In fact, most of the higher-priced projects that gets listed in the Globetrotting Larpers’ calendar would probably qualify as blockbuster larps: https://www.facebook.com/globetrottinglarpers/posts/612924725564011

    Not to mention many, many others I don’t know about because they are not in English!

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