2018 Marketing Survey

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To echo my query from Facebook: next month I’ll be doing the annual marketing survey, asking the usual questions about what people would like to play, barriers to participation, and safety. But there’s opportunity to add a few more questions, so: what do GMs want to know from the local larp community? Is there anything useful we can ask to help better match games to market demand?

If you’re wondering what’s already in it, 2017’s questions (and answers) are here:


The 2018 marketing survey is now live. it will be running for a month, and results will be presented at the regional general meeting in October. If you larp in wellington, please fill it out, and provide us with the data we need to run better and safer games.


This will be closing at the end of the week, to give me time to do stats before the AGM.


This has now closed.


Here is the presentation of the results:

And the underlying data:

I ended up not doing any statistical testing this year because either it wouldn’t be interesting, or bin sizes were too small.


Thanks for putting this together, Idiot.

I noticed that two of the big reasons for not GMing were Lack of confidence and Lack of experience. I guess what I want to say is - you learn by doing and people will come to your game wanting to have a good time, so go for it; but also, if you’ve got an idea you’re keen on, it’s absolutely OK to approach someone whose games you’ve enjoyed playing and ask them if they’d like to be involved either as a co-writer or an advisor. Or give yourself baby steps by running a prewritten game that you like the look of to help get used to the logistics side of it.


And to make things even easier, do it at a con like Hydra, Cerberus, or Phoenix. The con will handle getting you players and sorting out a venue. All you need to do is cast the game and run it. Alternatively, if you want to run outside a con, I provide support with budgeting, venue-booking, gear and other logistics for one-off theatreforms in Wellington. So again, all you need to do is cast the game and run it.

If you’re looking for pre-written games to run, there’s a growing list here:



I have said before and I say again, I can do logistics for a 30 player larp with my eyes closed, please feel free to ask me for help!


Sorry to throw a spanner in the works here but almost all of this only relates to theatreform, which we seem to have enough of.

I’ve also tried to get involved by helping out with logistics or GMing more than once and have hit a wall pretty much immediately each time. So I find it quite frustrating to be told ‘just go for it, it’ll be fine!’ when I’m not confident that it will be without more experience - but don’t seem to be able to get the required experience anywhere.

Just my thoughts.


I think @u_ne_korn is in the non-theatreform category - her experience with games of that size is from the scout-camp based 33AR.

There’s an easy pathway to gaining confidence for theateform. There isn’t one for bigger games. Wellington is still new at this weekend-long thing - Embers is only the second weekend-long campaign run here, and its the only one happening at the moment. If you throw in day formats, where people have to be fed, but not worry about sleeping, we’ve had only two of those, and none are running ATM. So there’s not many games to learn at and not much of a pool of past knowledge to draw on. Throw in the fact that events are organised by very small teams, and there’s very limited opportunities to pass on our limited cultural capital.

Basicly, we have a bootstrap problem. While we can magpie knowledge from Auckland, and maybe get people to write a few things down to warn against the most basic mistakes, everyone is going to be a beginner, and the only way forward really is just to plough on through and hope it works out :-/


I mean, I need to keep my eyes open to help with a bigger game, but i am 100% willing to help out with stuff. I’m not able to commit to being 1st or even 2nd fiddle right now, as I have a large obligation with lots of leadup time in 2020, but advisor or 3rd fiddle I am totally up for.

My experience in running full larp weekends before I ran 33AR was 0. I had crewed an Auckland game, and I knew I could run events, having done some other event wrangling. It was hard work, and I had to invent a bunch of stuff and hope it worked, and I had a TONNE of help doing things that I never even thought to ask for help doing, but it all worked out ok.

Small games I can logistics with my eyes closed. Ask me for help


Worth re-reading for anyone suffering imposter syndrome over this. You think you’re “unqualified” to do this? So is almost everybody else. The general pathway to GMing a weekend-long larp event is some combination of “played a few larps, crewed a bit, run some tabletop, have a great idea you want to inflict on people” - and only the last one is actually mandatory. Its only recently that we’ve started seeing experienced (Auckland) GMs coming back for a second go at running.


Some Auckland GMs also got their start by being a GM for a campaign that had other, more experienced GMs. Some campaigns have 4 or more GMs, with some GM turnover. Sometimes players GMed day games for a campaign. But many other people, like you say, just crewed or played before GMing. One thing to consider is playing or crewing with a mindset of “how is this being run? Do I like the result, and what things would I do the same or differently? Who can I ask about the magic being making X mysterious thing function?”

I wrote up a list of learnings after being a GM for Mordavia. I reckon it would be awesome to see more of that. Actually, I think I’ve just found it, and it’s more of a “things Mordavia did that you don’t have to repeat” list: Idiosyncracies of Mordavia

Still, there were a lot of learnings. It would be interesting to get a group of GMs together and write up a consensus document of guidelines for running live-action campaign larps.


I hear there’s this panel at a “Larp Faire” coming up soon…

But why wait for a consensus document? Getting individual GMs to follow your example and write up “How we did $CampaignName” or “Things I learned from…” would be a great way of passing on that information and helping new GMs feel a little less out of their depth.