Peri-apocalyptic LARP?


Post-apocalyptic stories are now a well-established genre, and that includes LARP, e.g. of course Fallout: Dead Zealand run in our Waikato region. It’s an interesting genre, and one I enjoy dipping my toe into when I can, but, as an Iron Maiden song got me thinking about, there’s not really much done about experiences during or immediately after the apocalypse, in any medium (or at least not that I’m aware of) - excluding zombie apocalypses of course. There have been a couple of TV shows that have kinda examined it that I can think of, namely the first series of each of Jericho and The Tribe, and the movie The Mist, but I’m struggling to come up with anything else. I think one of the ghouls in one of the modern Fallout games might talk about it a little bit. I think there might have been some sort of super-depressing total end of the world LARP though.

Anyway, the point is, it got me thinking that it could be quite interesting to play in a LARP about living through the apocalypse, whatever form it may take. Maybe the threat of nuclear war has been ramping up lately, and near the start of the game the players have to rush into a cramped bomb shelter - and then manage to live with each other for the next few days while it is unsafe to go outside. Or the first that the characters are aware of anything going wrong is when monsters/evil flesh-eating fog/nasty survivalist types turn up. Even more interesting might be a campaign, where the first game is about living through it, then subsequent games could be about trying to survive in the new world, while that world is still emerging.

Is any of this making sense? I feel like I’m rambling here. Just yeah, I thought that a game about living through the apocalypse, rather than in the world that has come to be, could be something to try. Not that I’m planning to run something myself.


Callum Boyce and myself are actually running something like this in Auckland starting next year. It’s taking place 200 years into a slow, degenerative “end of the world”, although the cataclysmic event that kicked things off was nearly two centuries before game start.


I know the genre is sort of everywhere at the moment but I always thought it’d be interesting to do a zombie apocalypse (or even similar type game) legitimately as it’s breaking out. Even starting when everything is 100% fine and have things turn to custard as the first game progresses so everyone is going through the initial shock/horror of whatever it is that’s happening. Particularly those characters that didn’t see it coming (joe bloggs and family rather than mr conspiracy theory survivalist type).

TL;DR Yeah, that would be pretty awesome


Yeah, that’s the sort of thing I had in mind. The game (or the first game in a campaign) takes place right when the first zombies come waltzing through the door, or it stars an hour before the first nuclear bombs fall, or when the killer mist first rolls into town, etc. I thought it seemed like it could be interesting, and I can’t recall having heard of such a game being played in NZ previously.

Of course, such a game requires a scenario with a immediate cataclysm. An apocalypse scenario where the Earth slowly starts dying over decades wouldn’t make for a very interesting “oh no, the world is ending right now!” type game. You could certainly spin-off other ideas from that, such as some sort of summit between leaders/scientists about what to do to try to save the world, or one about people trying to survive after the world has pretty much died (which I did play in at Chimera a few years back). Or, y’know, what Zari described above.