I mentioned my non -profit in the last post, and I figure I should share something about it. The Luminary Roleplay Society, or the LRS for short, is a 501 (c)(3) non profit located in the San Francisco Bay Area. We run short one shot LARPs primarily, about one a month. If you want to learn more about the group, check out the website.
For some reason, probably having to do with it being my idea, I’m the chairperson of the board. I’m very grateful to work with a fairly large board of seven people, since we have very little support from our members to run events, except occasionally as GMs. My right hand man is still around, and serves as the Secretary. Together we do what we can to keep games running, and ease the burdens of finding venues, finding players, and handling money (so GMs aren’t paying for games out of pocket) a little easier. We’ve been around a little over 2 years now, and are growing slowly, but about as fast as we can handle.
Our biggest challenges are finding affordable, multi-room venues, and community involvement. Namely the bay area has very few of the former, and our community has vey little of the latter. If anyone has any bright ideas on how to convince larpers to help make there be more larps for them to play in, I’m all ears.
We decided to incorporate as a non profit for a number of reasons. One, being more than just a group of friends makes it easier for us to handle small to moderate amounts of money. This is necessary for our annual weekend game, which usually budgets at about 5k. Being a non profit means that people can also donate money, and good to us for a tax deduction if they want. It hasn’t been a thing much yet, but it exists, and we do get enough of it that we have so far been able to stick to a “pay what you can” model. This financial accesibility model is really important to me because it is rooted in taking care of each other. Having access to LARPs can change someone’s life, with a new perspective, a new friend, or a key connection. It can also be part of self care, having access to an opportunity for an emersive escape from current life circumstances. Intense experiences in LARP can also bring the communities that play them closer together, and in an age when many of us are feeling more and more isolated, every opportunity for community building is precious.
At this time, we exclusively offer one-shot LARPs, many of which are written and run by our members. The majority are Secrets and Powers games, with occasional forays into American freeform. We rarely run games we borrow from others since we don’t have many soild exchanges for the types of games or players are used to. If you know of such games, let me know! We run LARPs at some frequency between once every other month and once a month. The board can’t sustain once a month on our own, but occasionally we persuade GMs who are intimidated by our 6 month planning horizon to help set up a game off the normal schedule by locating their own venue. I also run games at a growing number of conventions, often with the help if my right hand man, but increasingly on my own as well, as I have a more lenient vacation policy than he does.
If you’re ever in the bay area, look us up and see if we have a game running!