New blog post: Mailbag


We wanted to know what you! Our readers were interested in knowing more about. Here are the first ( of hopefully many) questions answered. Do you have a question you want answers too? Email them to and check back here!

1.I’ve been to a couple different Larp camps/games, and a lot of them run more like DND than improv. What made you guys decide to run your system the way that you do? And secondly, who invented said system?

Wayfinder grew off a similar organization called Adventure Game Theater, which has since been absorbed into Wayfinder. Our programming grew directly from the systems and work that AGT did. Many parts of our system were built around DND spells and other systems that people were familiar with, but as with many LARPs our systems have evolved to reflect the people in the community and the ways in which we play our games. The Adventure Game as a LARP system started in 1986 (before Magic the Gathering for some nerd street cred) and has been being updated, tweaked, and adapted ever since. There is no one person who created our system (which contains a base system of 5 classes and over 100 abilities, with other auxiliary powers and classes available for use in less standard game settings and several variations on improv magic instead of our class based system). There have been a number of people who have worked on it over the years. The current system that is in play was largely developed and updated by Conor Gillespie, Griffin Johnston, Jack Covell, and Brennan Lee Mulligan in the mid aughts, but it has since been updated by our administrative staff and is undergoing regular updates and reworkings to keep it feeling fresh and in line with the way that games our played today!

2. I know this isn’t a question you can as easily answer on your own, but I love to hear what people’s favorite adventure games are and why.

I can’t speak to everyone’s favorite games, but my two favorite games growing up were the original run of Finals and the 80’s Horror Game from Decades camp. The first Finals gave me, personally, a new experience of being central to a lot of the flow of the game and getting to be a part of big scenes, while delivering an intense and emotional storyline. Everyone was very invested in the game and the world was fun and exciting. I loved getting to play Solomon, get dragged along behind Tiriel all night, and getting to be an accessory to the (almost) end of the world. Getting to replay that and play Tiriel the second time was a very special game for me, and one of the rare chances to have a new experience in an Adventure Game as someone who has been doing this for over two decades. The 80’s Horror Game was just peak camp (both the place and the genre). The game was scary and ridiculous and fun. I got to be the Apprentice for it so I had a peek under the hood as to how everything would work. We spent the night running from Clown Zombies (Clombies for short) and one Clombear (Clown Zombie Bear). It was simultaneously one of the funniest and scariest games I have ever played and will stay with me forever (it was a big inspiration when Corrie and I were writing Prom of the Living Dead a few years ago!).

3. Why do you think sword games became such a big part of Wayfinder as a whole, when in reality, we don’t even use them nearly as much in game?

The swords are central to what we do. It is the easiest way to grasp LARP for an outsider. It can be hard to take on a character, to tell a story, to invest in the small details of a world that isn’t your own, but it is very easy to understand that getting hit with a sword is bad and getting a chance to swordfight is fun. On top of the access to different types of play, swords are a hugely appealing thing to many participants (new, returning, young, and old). There aren’t that many chances to safely hit each other with things or to simulate battle. As purely an experience, it’s a fun and fairly unique one (not a ton of drop in LARPs that are easily accessible for kids). For many of us who want to be active but are not necessarily the most athletic, it provides the chance to get to play in some athletics with some leveling in the reality of there’s always the chance to fight your way out. Add on top the ability to scream and die together, live out the epic battles you’ve seen or read in so many books, movies, and video games, and the list of reasons to love swords stretches on almost endlessly.

4. Who is the REAL Horatio Wayfinder?

Privacy, especially in today’s digital age, is a difficult thing to attain and an easy thing to destroy. As such, I can’t speak today to the REAL Horatio Wayfinder, our mysterious benefactor, but I can say that the people who are putting the time and effort into making these spaces the safe and fun realities that they are have all of their hearts and minds invested in our campers and the spaces that we build for them. It’s not the same people every time. It’s not the same story every time. It’s not the same Adventure every time. It is an act of love every time though, and does Horatio, or anyone, owe us anything more than that?

Written by Judson Easton Packard May 2024