Absolutely everyone has an idea for a warband. If you grab a random person on field at any event and ask them: “do you have an idea for a warband?” The answer will be, 99% of the time: “Yes”. If it happens to be that one off: “no”, it probably means that the person you grabbed does have an idea, but just aren’t ready to share it with anyone yet. Perhaps they want to keep it secret for the moment, or they feel there are currently too many warbands on field and they are just waiting for the right time. Each and every person has at least something floating around in their head about the subject.
This isn’t a bad thing. Warbands with hundreds of ideas and inspiration out the wazoo are what drive the creative aspect of Warsong. While warbands can enhance the game in excellent ways, creating and maintaining a functioning warband is one of the hardest most expensive endeavors you will face in your time at The Warsong LARP Brisbane. Remember: LARP isn’t cheap.
So, let’s start at the beginning: You have an idea for a warband. Maybe it’s a group of Centaurs called “The Four Hoofed Fletching’s” that only use archery as their form of attack. Or perhaps a group of paleolithic cavemen and women calling themselves the Paleo-Cave-People that will literally club anyone they come across, all while complaining about any food that isn’t “Raw, straight from the source”. It really doesn’t matter. The idea can be anything that fits within the guidelines that The Warsong has set out. Now you have your idea, next you will need people to join you. This is where the complications begin.
Assuming everyone has, at one point in their lives, been involved in a group assignment of some sort, with other actual human beings. Do you accurately remember what that was like? Do you really? Think back and let’s take a quick walk down memory lane together. Remember that one person in the group who did absolutely no work but was the first to claim all the credit for anything that got done? How great were they? Now Remember that other person who just had opposing ideas to you on how things should get done? Remember the arguments that got far too heated over something that - now that you look back on it - realize: “it really didn’t matter”? You still talk to that person… right? Remember that other person who simply disappeared the night before it was due leaving your report on the relevance of Hamlet on modern day society without the middle section? How fun was that trying to cobble something together with the few little notes they made to fill in an entire empty section of your presentation? That wasn’t stressful at all was it? Do you remember all that, and those you used to call friend, but for some reason will not even talk to anymore?
I mean maybe, just maybe, you were lucky and had a couple of group assignments that went swimmingly and you and your still friends look back on it fondly. If that was in fact the case, then I applaud you! For you were one of the elite few, because I can assure you, most people have had an experience like the former. This is what you may be dealing with when starting a warband. People have lives and they will come and go making it quite difficult to keep numbers up let alone make up your core five. There will be people that seem super keen at first, full of ideas and suggestions, that unfortunately become just too busy in their day to day activities to contribute anything but a fraction of time and effort into the idea. Then there are those who will want to change the idea to fit their own, which you should be accommodating of because a warband is made up of a group of contributing individuals, not just the OG person dictator. In many ways this step of creating a warband can very much seems like those old high school group assignments you remember while seething through your teeth. Friendships can and have literally ended over this stuff, and that’s just the beginning.
Now you have your idea, and you have your group of like minded people who are all super keen to jump in and get started. The next issue you face in this process is getting your warband approved by the Warsong Admin. You really want to do this before investing in any sort of kit, as ideas and understanding the makeup of a warband are a fluid processes. Things can change, be dropped and altered as the need may be. However, once time, effort and money are put into kit, it is very hard to get any sort of return on that if the overall idea is knocked back.
You see, the admin has certain criteria that need to be met before they can give it the “go ahead”. Each application is taken on a case by case basis and they involve a whole gamut of issues that have to be dealt with in order for your warband to get green lit. “Why is this so?” I hear you ask. “Didn’t you just say that: ‘Warbands with hundreds of ideas and inspiration out the wazoo, are what drive the creative aspect of Warsong’? Why do you have all these criteria that has to be met? I just want to play with my friends! Don’t you want to me to play with my friends? Why do you hate me?” Whoa, whoa, whoa, I say to that. We do not hate you, we don’t have an agenda against you. Please, allow me to explain.
LARPs are fundamentally complicated machines with thousands of moving parts that are constantly evolving and changing to refine and stay relevant in an ever growing and changing world. To make sure that everyone gets a fair and equal chance there has to be rules in place that ensure all our players, current and new, get a fair go. This involves such things as: asking the warband to make a commitment to the Warsong in different forms. Volunteering a marshal from that warband’s core five so that we always have a volunteer pool to call on to keep the games going. Because let’s face it: if we don’t have marshals, then we simply can’t play. Another requirement is having a minimum of five core members to ensure the idea is actually supported by the community. We would much rather see warbands grow and flourish, as opposed to having a completely new roster every couple of months. We endeavor to tell an over arching story, which would be an extremely hard thing to do if all the characters simply come and go with no real impact on events carrying through. These are just a few of the criteria that will need to be met. Each criterion has been created for a reason with our players in mind to help maximize their experience at The Warsong events.