LARPing (Live Action Role Playing) can be a fun hobby, but it’s also a potentially expensive one. Some LARPers can have outfits that rival any top-tier cosplay, on top of needing to buy all sorts of weapons for your character.

Most of these costumes and weapons are handmade due to the somewhat niche status of the hobby and also the custom requirements of many LARP characters. Successfully raising all the funds in order for your group to be able to LARP properly can seem like a daunting task if you have no clear idea of what to do, so let’s talk about three unexpected ways to fund your club or event’s LARPing activities that you probably haven’t thought of.

Put on Shows

Not everyone may be interested in being a LARPer themselves, but it’s certainly quite the spectacle to watch. Putting on some LARPing ‘performances’ and either charging for attendance or even just passively soliciting donations from bystanders can help raise funds. This way your group gets to LARP and you get to raise some funds at the same time! This one is a bit hit or miss since it depends heavily on both the crowd and the location. LARPing is something that generally requires a lot of space, but if you can find a location big enough and easily accessible by the public it could be a good fundraiser. Just be sure to check whether you need permission from a local authority to put on a show and raise money.

Online Trading

If you LARP as part of a group, you probably have a club treasury to help manage the club and pay for essentials. Should your LARP group find itself with a surplus of cash after the membership fees are collected and all necessary payments are made, you should consider investing the extra! It may not be the most obvious choice, but letting spare cash sit around freeloading in your club’s bank account is simply being wasteful. Instead, investing online through a broker such as CMC Markets may be a much better use of your club’s spare resources.

As with all investments, there is a risk that you could lose the money you invest, but with some educated investments by your club treasurer even modest returns on ‘safe’ stocks will almost always outperform whatever interest would have been earned by keeping the money in a bank account. Generally people avoid online trading because the upfront costs can be prohibitive for single investors, but as a group pooling resources, it becomes a much more viable option and can help raise the funds to cover your LARPing expenses.

Rent Out Your Gear

Everyone knows the most expensive part of LARPing is paying for all the equipment, much of which tends to be handmade or specialty. Sometimes weapons and armor are custom made for a specific character, but other items may be generic like foam swords, shields, chemises, pants, and the like. If you’ve got some spare weapons or basic costuming lying around, consider renting them out to other LARPers when you’re not using them. This has the double benefit of bringing in a little extra cash at no effort for you and allowing other people to LARP without having to buy expensive equipment of their own!

LARPing is a lot of fun and it’s a shame that it can feel cost prohibitive at times. However, it’s worth investigating more creative means to fund that pretty dress you’ve been eyeing or a trip to a new LARP before you give up. Have you found an unusual way to fund your LARPing adventures? Tell us about it in the comments.