Really good conversation about Crewing in games on Facebook


Hey folks,

There’s a really good discussion going on about Crewing at games in NZ - I think this link should never expire and will always point you there (if you have a Facebook account)

There’s a lot of great discussion on there so I’m hoping this link stay active so it can be found in the future :slight_smile:


The thread has hit that stage where its basicly unreadable now, so it’ll probably die. But there’s some interesting comments in there.

For those who refuse to feed Facebook: several games recently (Dying World, Saga, Age of the Argent) have had trouble attracting crew, and they’re wondering what the problem is and how to fix it. Suggestions have included poor treatment by players and GMs, the number of games in Auckland leading to the crew-base (as distinct from the player-base?) being stretched thin, and cost. Having crewed in Wellington, where crew-rooms are full and we worry about having more crew than players some games, its so alien that I’m not sure where to start.


If finding crew becomes a persistent problem, campaigns could look at moving to a model where players are expected to do a shift acting as crew for each other. This worked in Kingdom and I think some UK campaigns do this.


Some UK campaigns do do this. Namely Empire, where you’re expected to crew a battle if you participate in another one as a player. They do have full-time crew as well though - they’re not going to force anyone that doesn’t want to be a player to be a player.

the crew-base (as distinct from the player-base?)

I think it’s just a subset of the player base. I’d guess that more people are interested in playing than crewing.


Turns out a facebook thread can go for more than 150 posts after it becomes unreadable :-/

There’s some backlash on the thread towards the ideal of “play one, crew one”. I support this ideal. I view it as giving back / paying it forward / doing my bit / upholding the social contract. That’s not to say that crewing is just an obligation - its also fun and rewarding in its own way. But if I want the different fun of playing, then (given current game designs) that requires crew, and I can’t expect people to enable my fun by crewing for me if I’m not willing to do it for them or others.


Well, I am a little flattered and surprised that you think that trash-fire was a good discussion, Viperion. As the original poster, I felt bad about some of the comments on there, but I would still agree that there were good comments and discussion points in there.

several games recently ( Dying World , Saga , Age of the Argent ) have had trouble attracting crew

Note that it’s not just these three, Musketeers had shortages their last two games, and Exile ran an amazing game in May, despite minimal crew numbers. This is a systemic problem affecting all larp in Auckland as I see it.

Idiot, “play one, crew one” doesn’t work. I see and agree with your thought process there, but that social contract is an unspoken one and as such often is misinterpreted, or not even considered/seen. Additionally I feel that the social contract there reinforces the concept that crewing is somehow “lesser” and it really shouldn’t be.


For reference, here’s my summation at the end of that really long chat:

Hi everyone, thanks for the enthusiastic response to this question!
Whether you’ve read everything here, or just made your own opinion known, whether you’ve commented, messaged me to check in, or just lurked here with interest, thank you for being a part of an overall civil discussion on the internet.

There’s definitely more that could be said, however I think we’re at the point where more comments will just offer up similar points from new personal perspectives.
Let me try to sum up a little.

-Larping isn’t transactional, and we need to keep taking steps to reiterate that no participant is more important than the other.
-A key point is that there have been a range of experiences between awful and excellent.
-It sounds as though of late these tend towards the excellent side of the scale, thanks to the efforts of GMs, Crew, Players and the wider community*, roughly in that order. (*Community==Any Larp in this Country)
-We can do even better. We have the opportunities to learn from the past and continue to improve.
-Note well people’s opinions on here are valid. If you’re of the opinion all is well and someone’s comments on here made you question that assertion, see where you can improve. If you’re of the opinion everything is the worst ever and absolutely sucks, read the testimony of people who are having a fantastic time, and see that things can and have improved.

TLDR, at the end of the day, this is a community, and it is stronger by the individual members building each other up where we have fallen down.

Thank you.


It seems to work quite well in Wellington. If it doesn’t work elsewhere, maybe those places need to make it more explicit, and work on strengthening social expectations?

I don’t think it sends a message that crewing is “lesser”. It sends a message that larp is a co-operative endeavor and both crew and players are required for (certain sorts of) games. While its fine to prefer one or the other (and lots of people obviously do), people should support each other’s fun and take their turn. On the one hand, its kindergarten stuff. On the other, its taking the play expectations of generosity, of playing to make others look good, and of sharing the story around, and applying them across games as well, so that everybody gets a go.