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Herofest LARP - Musings from the Team


If you build it they will come

Hello again everyone, once you start blogging about LARP and Herofest it seems that you can’t stop! As you know we are planning a site building weekend on from Friday the 2nd December to Sunday the 4th December and I wanted to share some ideas and get your input.

There are several areas that I would like to make some improvements to as follows, the Palisade (fort), the Shadows Fall Encampment, the Bar, the Tin Shed & the Tunnel Complex.

The Palisade (fort)

Sadly the fort’s walls are long past their best before date, we have considered various changes and the Asgard have even suggested building a ‘Long House’ – which is something I’ve always fancied doing. As a minimum we have to take down the rotten sections of wall and replace them, if we get enough man-power then we will look at the idea of constructing a ‘Viking style Long House / Mead Hall’ – we will be providing the timber and other materials but this is a big undertaking and will need plenty of bodies! (And hopefully the attendance of the lovely Chris Labourn – as it’s his idea!)

The Shadowsfall Encampment

I’d like to construct a Jail-House close to the current Pagoda at the Shadows Fall Encampment, something simple with wooden barred sides and a simple roof that will provide an extra sheltered area.

The Bar

We plan to turn part of the Bar round so that it is no longer L Shaped; we hope this will make food / bar service a bit easier and maybe add a back bar and some shelves

The Tin Shed

We want to create a permanent crew base so we don’t have to keep putting up a tent

The Tunnel Complex

Not sure what we fancy here? It certainly needs a bit of work!

So overall we are looking for keen folks (skilled or otherwise) to come along and help – if you have cordless tools or any external treated timber you want rid of these would all be appreciated – the more the merrier.

Also if you have any specific ideas please get in touch! We would welcome input from all the factions and PLEASE EMAIL US TO CONFIRM YOU ARE COMING - paul@herofest.co.uk

As you may have seen we are thinking of running a couple of Build Weekends in November with ‘mini-events’ added to them – contact us if you are interested so we can gauge the numbers!

More soon on the new developments for … HEROFEST(s) 2012, The Orin Rakatha Banquet 2012 and our new event ‘Space 1889 – working title’

Mike Penny


Broken Ovens and Broken People – the Best and Worst of Times

I am rarely moved to go into press but thought it was about time that we had a regular blog of the thoughts and machinations of the referee team behind Herofest. This last event ‘The Time of Reckoning 2011’ was a real roller coaster ride of fantastic emotions. You may have noticed that during the event the site oven failed! Hence some slightly hard jacket potatoes on Friday night – all kudos deserved by our catering team for carrying on regardless in the face of adversity!

As the event grows in numbers I thought an opportunity to remind me, and us all, why we set up Herofest in the first place was in order. For years, I and the rest of the team have attended many other festival style LARP events and always felt something was missing – I can sum this up in basically two words: Community and Activity. Both of which seemed to be lacking in other large festival style events to a greater or lesser degree and Herofest was built in many ways as a response to this.


LARPing is no different to any other group based activity in that it attracts a broad based section of society, and as with all such matters, this can be a good or a bad thing. We want Herofest to be ‘the street you want to live on!’: no matter what your background, your age, race, size, limitations or areas of brilliance; we want everyone to treat each other with the utmost respect, happiness, In Character anger, or whatever is appropriate for the encounter (Note that we specifically designed the encounters to ensure that no long term negativity is created amongst factions or people, your greatest enemy today may be your most staunch ally tomorrow!) We are also open very much to the inclusion of families which has been a wonderful success – no small thanks to Alex and his team!

During the coming years as Herofest grows, there will inevitably be times of strife; there have been some already, what I hope occurs is that all the Herofest players, referees and crew continue to pull together during these times to create a safe enjoyable atmosphere for everyone.

There are some matters that require reiteration: firstly if there is any form of issue you have on the event, please raise it in the first instance with your Faction rep and no one else, the Faction reps (or directly with myself or Paul) who will then raise it with myself or Paul Matthews and no one else! There were two incidents on the last event which I feel could have been much better dealt with if these lines of communication were maintained. Many of our other event staff are kind and loving folk whom are always willing to help out or lend an ear, but sometimes too many folks involve escalate issues.

We do not condone behaviour such as ‘emailing someone after the event to tell them that you ‘didn’t like what they did’ etc!’ This route leads only to escalation of the bitterness. 99% of such issues are genuine misunderstandings and email is the very worst form of communication for clarity – especially when written with a good bout of post event tiredness. Please raise issues on the event or raise them with myself and Paul after you’ve had a few days to think about them.

Alcohol is to some a wonderful thing and to others the root of all things bad. Whilst Herofest is an event filled with adult themes we are also a family event and thus we would ask everyone to be considerate about their consumption, please know your own limits and do not encourage others to exceed theirs.

Rubbish is something that should be put in the bin – if you have no bin bag please ask us for one!

Please note that this in no way is a suggestion that our community spirit is breaking down – purely a reminder of why we want to maintain it!


Encounters are written to help players at Herofest get into the spirit of the game. The ‘spirit of the game’ is about fun, inclusion and excitement – the rules of the game are there to govern this excitement and keep it fun for all.

You will note that we have fluxed the rule of death a little. This is to ensure we maintain a balance between fun and excitement. This may mean that your character will die! Rest assured that every great story has a beginning, middle and an end and this death may be the end of that characters story but it sparks the opportunity to start a new story from the beginning! When someone dies they will either play out the remainder of the event in the final throws of life (the great magics, Mystics and Mistweavers of Orin Rakatha can allow such things) or they will immediately start a new character with the aid of a few borrowed pieces of costume – if they do please try and remember that they are a new person! You may also know that we have introduced resurrection ability via faction primaries – this works for about ¼ of your faction per event: please do not be someone who is always in that ¼ on every event – if you are, the Mystics are trying to tell you something! (I.e. your numbers up! And you should consider dying for good and coming back as someone else)

This is primarily to do two things; firstly to create a ‘threat’; without this threat death (and subsequently life) is less exciting, and also to allow for ‘unfortunate’ deaths (I was just walking back from the toilet when I got jumped!) There will still be Elves (and perhaps other factions will consider this route) with Cure Mortal, Cure Mortal Potions and the like, so don’t get too worried – build your character like a real person, have fun, be excited and enjoy.

We are also changing the magic rules to make things a bit more accessible – so expect to see some more spells flying – but please make sure that you learn what the spells do (and help others to do so) and if you intend to cast them learn the proper vocals and semantics (unless you are in the Wizards Concillium)

If you think of plot, rules or any other ideas that would improve Herofest then please get in touch with your Faction Rep, myself or Paul

Overall I had the very best of times at this last Herofest and can’t wait for the next one – so much so that we are planning two interim events to fill the gap! But more on those to follow very soon!

Finally I send you all my regards and love and will be using this spot to update you soon on future changes and plans (my fellow referees might use it too to tell you about theirs!

Mike Penny

Booking details for Herofest LARP/Lrp are here »

For more information, or to post your completed booking, contact Paul Matthews at Herofest LARP/Lrp, Unit 42A/6, Morelands Trading Estate, Bristol Road, Gloucester, GL15RZ.  Alternatively email us for information or details on how to make a Herofest booking at: paul@herofest.co.uk.

Musings from the Herofest LARP team


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