So you are interested in starting a Chapter with Refuge LARP

Below you will find some FAQs and Answers about what it takes to start a Chapter.
Now, bare in mind that the below costs do not include things such as your Monster Camp costs, business license, insurance, camp rental deposits etc. Those cost can vary wildly between locations. We can "ballpark" some numbers, but there is a lot of legwork you will have to do before you can host events. We usually estimate 6 month to a year before you are running games.

All new chapters must pay a licensing fee of $2000(USD/CDN) to use our ruleset and have access to our Refuge Database (the RDB). But, with that you also get:

  • 1000 starting coins of Copper, Silver and Gold,
  • 500 Platinum
  • Access to the RDB
  • Your web domain and hosting for 1 year (small fee after this time)
  • A templated Chapter layout for your own website (created by our webmaster)
  • Access to the Owner's forum and chat channels on Discord
  • Your own Chapter section on our Forums
  • All the guidance you need from our Owners.
  • A non-voting seat on the Board of Directors (Your voting privileges start 1 year after you join as long as you have also ran 2 full weekend events in that year)
  • Your chapter pays no dues for the first year of operation. After your first year, dues will be 5% of the fees charged to your players per event.(If you charge someone $100 to play, you would pay $5 to the National organization.)

Before Refuge LARP adds a new chapter there are certain standards that are required:

  • You must be able to produce a Business License before any contracts are signed. We only sign contracts from Business to Business. Not through an individual. We suggest an LLC in the US and an Incorporation in Canada.
  • You must produce a 1 year plot synopsis and a 3 year plot outline
  • You and your team (usually a Head of Plot, GM, and Head of Logistics) will have a panel meeting with the current Board of Directors. This will be done virtually. One person can have multiple roles in an organization.
  • You will need to provide us with your potential locations for events. We just want to ensure that you actually have a place to play when you start up.

Refuge LARP is an Incorporation base in Oregon. We have a President and a Board of Directors.

Our structure is built so that one person does not own the business. Our President serves a two-year term at which time the Board of Directors may vote on a new President, or extend the current President's term. We wish to avoid any "absentee" Presidents and as such, the Board of Directors can remove a President with a voting session.

When looking to start a chapter, the best place to start is where you live. We have a "bubble" around the current chapters to ensure we do not encroach on each other's player base. That does not mean you cannot start a chapter near a current one, but you would have to have a very serious conversation with the current area Chapter Owner before we would even consider it. You will want to look at what your potential player base is. Running events for 20 players and 10 NPCs is perfectly fine. We want Chapters to run at minimum six events per year. The more the better.

As we mentioned above, there is a lot more to starting a LARP than just paying a license fee to us. Here are things you should be aware of:

  • Business License fees. Incorporation Fees. Accounting programs. Likely this will be in the "several hundreds" range.
  • Lawyers and other legal fees. This price will vary wildly. $500-$1000 is a pretty safe bet.
  • Your Monster Camp will be your largest expense. You will need weapons, costuming, make-up props, computers, printers etc. Ballpark about $3000 and you should have a good start. Thrift stores and making your own boffers will help! This is where your core group of volunteers will be necessary and you may want to think about having a donation drive.
  • Vehicles to haul Monster Camp. Sounds simple, but when you have all that equipment you have to move it somehow. Most LARPs do donation drives to purchase a small trailer. Something to consider.
  • Insurance. Currently we are working with our insurance partners to get a "group rate" but it will likely cost you between $500 and $1000 per year to insure your LARP.
  • Site deposits. This can really add up quick. If you plan to run 6 weekend events per year, your site may ask for deposits up front. That could set you back $200-$400 per event. Again, that will vary by sites, so look around your area to see if something is even available. Most camp sites begin to book for the following year in September or October the year previous.