- Who are we?
- What is LRP / LARP / Live-Action Role-Play?
- “I’m a new player – is there a lot to catch-up on?”
- About Horror
- About Events
- What to Expect
Who are we?
We’re Aeon and we run horror live action role-play events.
What is LRP / LARP / Live-Action Role-Play?
LARP, sometimes written as LRP, stands for Live Action Role-Play. The Aeon site assumes a basic understanding of role play so if you are uncertain, we’d recommend a bit of reading around the subject so you’re not too overwhelmed (the Wiki page is a decent overview). We have tried to explain things to site visitors of all levels; as such, experienced LARPers or tabletop role-players might find the contents of this site over-explained, but hopefully new players will find the examples and level of detail helpful.
In short, LARP is a variety of role play much like the sort of “let’s pretend” you might have indulged in as a kid. There are costumes, a world for you to explore, emotional investment, and a healthy dose of imagination. You interact with a group of other people who are also invested in the story you’re trying to tell together.
Unlike as a kid, however, there are – more often than not – organisers who have a say in the way the world works and enforce rules to make play fair for all involved. Characters are significantly more detailed and are not guaranteed to live happily ever after. You are expected to be your character for the duration of the game, thinking like them, behaving like them, and waking up in the middle of the night screaming like them.
The sort of LARP we do differs from standard linear/fantasy LARP as you might already know it. In brief, we use a non-contact combat system (so no need for LARP weapons with the exception of blades for safety’s sake), games tend to be fixed on a set location, and games occur as stand-alone events with returning characters being an oddity rather than a norm. Focus is on atmosphere, character interaction, props and puzzle-solving rather than action (although there’s often a wodge of that too). Our games do come with an implied Mature rating due to their horror genre.
“I’m a new player – is there a lot to catch-up on?”
No. Whether you’re an experienced veteran of LARP or inexperienced player, we want to do something surprising in every game we run. Our games are intended to be run as standalone events with returning characters or scenarios rare exceptions. We might run an event based in the 1860s and the next event might be run in the 1960s leaving little opportunity for direct continuation.
As for coming to grips with the LARP System: it’s specifically designed to be as intuitive and light as possible. Although there’s a lot of text to read through on the Gameplay section of our site, a lot of that is presenting examples. We guarantee that after just one game, you’ll be as fluent as the next player.
If system is a barrier or source of worry for you, then please come chat to any one of the Ref team and we’ll give you a quick walkthrough and answer any questions you might have. We present a System brief before each game we run and we invite people to ask questions and participate in demonstrations.
And just because it’s worth mentioning, we’re a friendly bunch (refs, players and crew) and we love new people, so rest assured we’ll do everything we can to help you feel included!
What does Aeon Horror LARP reckon horror is?
Horror can mean different things to different people. We all have different thresholds; what’s frightening to one person isn’t necessarily frightening to another. Horror isn’t just about what gets your heart pounding. Horror can also cover feeling disturbed or revolted, panicked or pained. Horror can be entirely mundane: Acts of violence, disease, the thought of your loved ones in danger are all self-explanatory examples.
Good (subjectively, of course) horror is frequently something that plays on primal fears. Entrapment, is a decent example; erosion of self-identity, is another. Despite the horror to be found in “real life”, it’s astonishing the amount that the supernatural is used. Why? It possibly comes down to one of the primal fears that we know a great many find uncomfortable: The Unknown.
“What is that thing?”, “What is happening to us?”, “What do we do?”, “What does it want?”, “Why me?”, “Who are you?”, “What is happening to you from behind and how can I make it stop?”
Do we run Cthulhu/Mythos games?
Short answer : No.
Longer answer….The game world Aeon events occur in is of our own devising. We have a good, solid appreciation for our many sources of inspiration, and Mr. Lovecraft & co. rank very highly indeed among them. Although our games will have distinctly Cthulhu Mythos overtones, we don’t want to tie ourselves to a Universe which is so well known and so well loved by so many of our potential players (most, if not all, know their Azathoth from their elbow). We draw our inspiration from video games, movies, music, and random conversations had after a few drinks down the pub.
If you want to get an idea of the sort of things that players have been up against, please take a look over the Past Events page, or talk to players if you’re feeling sociable.
About LARP Events
What is a LARP event?
“Event” is the term given to any game we run. These can be one-day events (lasting around 8 hours), or full weekend events. Events will be announced via our Facebook Group page and through our blog. The Future Events section of the website is where details will be posted. If you’re new to horror LARP (or live-action roleplay in general for that matter), and not sure if it’s for you, we’d recommend that you cut your teeth at a one-day event before investing in a more immersive weekend event to make sure you get on with the system and game style.
The specifics about the sort of events we run (length, player expectations, general price guide, etc.) can be found on our main Events page.
What restrictions are there for playing?
Providing you successfully secure yourself a place on an event, there are few circumstances that would preclude individuals from participating. The main issues which we have to overcome are those imposed by the venues we use. For example, many venues like to boast that they have disabled access, but we’ve often found that this is not the case.
Nonetheless, we have recurring players, crew, and Refs with a range of ability levels. We cater to a vast range of dietary requirements in our weekend events, we can provide private chillout areas if required, and we vet all of our venues before booking them. Since 2015 we have provided accessibility statements and content warnings for events so players can make their own, informed decisions. We are also very keen to emphasise the physicality of events as part of pitches, for example, a game that is described as being exploratory of combat-heavy will certainly involve a lot of movement and/or noise. A game which is more mystery or investigation focussed will involve more subdued puzzle solving.
As part of our sign-up process we ask all participants to make Refs aware of medical conditions or disabilities that may impact on their participation so we can make provision. If you’re interested in playing an event but you’re concerned about how well you might engage with it for any reason, we’re always here for you to talk to.
There is no upper age restrictions on our events. Due to potential themes, players must be 18 or over.
What sort of events does Aeon Horror run?
We like investigation; we like mystery and subterfuge – putting together pieces and getting a sense of a much larger and more unsettling picture. For us, horror LARP is about running events that touch on the Unknown. We like atmosphere and we like attention to detail. We aim to have as much fun working on set dressing and removing the need for suspension of disbelief as possible.
Why do we charge for events?
Aeon Horror is a group that runs games purely out of love for horror larp. We do not make a profit from running events.
Cost is dependent on the nature of the event, the cost of the venue, the size of the prop budget we need, and the number of players we’re expecting to run for. We run one-off events that require custom-built and sourced props. We will re-use and borrow materials wherever possible to help keep the price down, but these things can and do add up.
There are also overhead charges such as transport logistics, insurance, and website maintenance.
What are our payment terms?
Players must pay a deposit in order to secure their place on an event. Unfortunately we cannot reserve spaces on good will alone as we need to pay for things upfront. The cost for deposits and the full event will be stated clearly on event pitches.
For one-day events, the full amount is also the deposit.
For weekend events where the cost is higher, the deposit will typically be a third of the total amount. A second deadline is given upfront for payment of the final amount.
We are open to payment schedules for players who will struggle to meet the second deadline. Players who have successfully paid a deposit and reserved their place should get in touch with the Ref team as soon as they can to arrange this. We are happy to accommodate a variety of circumstances so don’t feel shy about talking to us. Our only requirement is that we get the total payment before the event begins.
What if you need to cancel?
Life happens, and sometimes something comes up that means you can’t play in an event despite having successfully booked a place.
One Day events
If you need to cancel your place on a one day event, we will be able to refund you the full payment up until 2 weeks (14 days) before the game. After that point, we are likely to have spent your payment, and we will struggle to find a player to replace you. This is unless we successfully find a replacement player who is content to pay to play, despite the short notice and lack of input into their character.
If you need to cancel your place on a weekend event, we will be able to refund your deposit up until the deadline date for final payment. This is unless we find another player who would be happy to pay the total amount (deposit and final amount). As it is important for us to have all spaces filled, it may be necessary for us to keep your deposit in order to bring a new player on board. As they will not have had the same level of input into their character and will not have had as much time to prepare their costume, etc., we feel that charging any late-entry players the full amount would be too much of a disincentive.
We will be able to refund you the final payment (i.e., the total minus your deposit) up until one month before the event. After this point, should you need to cancel we will need to keep your total payment unless at any point we can find another player to take your place and pay the total amount, or final amount (i.e., the total minus your deposit).
What to Expect from Events
What can you expect from the Ref Team?
For an introduction to what the Ref Team actually does, please see the Gameplay page. We want to make sure that everyone who gets involved in events has fun and (hopefully) gets scared, if not challenged.
Aside from everything that goes into developing and running events behind the scenes (everything from the plotting, the props, the research, system, the investment of time, sanity, the website, etc., etc.), we’re here to be unnervingly gleeful at you, answer any questions you might have before, during or after events, and generally radiate enthusiasm in your direction.
We will also work with you to create a character that you will enjoy bringing to life.
What is expected from players?
First and foremost: enjoy yourself and throw yourself into things! That aside, if you’re new to horror LARP and don’t know what you’ll need to prepare for or do in the game itself, here are a few useful pointers:
Getting Into Character
The more you put into games, the more you get out. You should take time to engage with your character, ask the Ref team questions, do research, and meet up with other players. How much you do is entirely up to you, though. It’s generally accepted that players who throw themselves into things tend to have a better, more immersed experience.
Staying In Character: Whether the game is 8 hours or 48 hours, for the full period of game play, you should try to stay In Character. Much of our game system places trust in players to keep track of their character’s strengths and weaknesses.
Players are asked to wear costume for all games. The extent you do this is largely up to you; we won’t shun anyone who fails to wear suitably lined stockings or the wrong cut of suit. We don’t care if your clothes are cotton, silk or polyester blend. Nor do we care what suitcase you arrive with or what car you rock up in. Perfection isn’t the goal, but costume and accessories that reflect the period in which the game is set are a must.
Be aware that you are likely to find yourself staying up late, running around and tucking yourself into some potentially grubby corners. It’s probably for the best that if you want to go down the route of an authentic wardrobe, you add in a few bits and pieces that you don’t mind getting dirty. If you don’t want to risk something getting damaged, please don’t wear it. Accidents do unfortunately happen and it’s only too easy to spill stuff on yourself or fall over and rip something.
Health and Safety
Aeon Horror are insured to run events. We have specifics on our approach to Health and Safety here.
What do players need to bring to events?
The exact requirements of any event will be set out in the event brief. Typically, we’d recommend sensible shoes, layers (including something waterproof), toiletries, and a towel as these are the most common items. Basically: the sort of thing you’d want to have with you for a weekend away.
Please pay careful attention to specifics given on event pitches: If a game advertises itself as being high-action, then you should put your Sunday finest to one side. Similarly, if a game is pitched as being more of an elegant soiree, then bring your cocktail dress and/or tux. If you have any questions about costume, then get in touch and the Ref team can provide you with specifics.
Also see whether or not your character would benefit from having some additional props. In some cases, props will be provided for you. However, we always encourage enterprising players to create their own!
You will not need to print off your character sheet or a copy of the rules. These will be provided to you during the pre-game brief, along with any OOC signage needed to keep your OOC possessions private.
How do you get into character?
Research. Always research.
Your final character sheet will be with you several months before the event begins. You should read your character sheet carefully and look for any interesting traits or personality quirks you can use as a hook. Look into any historical references and read around the subject to understand feelings at the time.
Try to find at least one item of costume that typifies the character in your mind. This Ref recommends glasses if you don’t usually wear them (you can buy cheap reading glasses with minimal/no eye strain), or a wig. The same effect can be found in using an accent, or keying into any hobbies/interests that your character might have and bringing along effects that will enable you to display them.
If there are other players listed on your ‘Who You Know’ section, you should consider seeking them out and arranging a discussion about how the two (or more) of you interact with each other. Having other people to bounce off is a great help!
How do you stay in character?
This question is a little harder to answer.
Essentially: remember at all times that you are playing a game. You are not yourself, and you shouldn’t be afraid of – what you believe are – stupid decisions. A glorious death will be remembered and celebrated much longer than a quiet survival. While it might be in the player’s mind to live and ‘win’, events are all about the experience. They are about immersion and looking through the eyes of another for a defined period of time. Constantly challenge what you would do with what your character would do.
If your character is a studious code breaker, then don’t feel bad about holding yourself up with eldritch tomes and not lifting a finger to help clean up. If you’re a gung-ho combat bunny, then get out there and get blooded!
Other players will not judge you poorly for acting in character. One of the best examples of RP this Ref has witnessed was of a player playing an abject coward. Throughout the entire event, he never raised a weapon, was always the first through a door (closing it firmly behind him), and photographic evidence revealed that whenever there was a threat, he always had another person in front of him as a shield. It was a beautiful, subtle piece of RP that few picked up on during the game.