The players of a LARP are a unique kind of society. In addition to their out of game friendships, they belong to a complex in-game network. This community of characters is often known as the “town”. Many people play significant roles within the society. Being socially acknowledged as a blacksmith, healer, sherrif, or outlaw can be very rewarding. As an added bonus, the sense of being a “town” seems more real as these roles become prominent. The LARP directors can encourage the development of this network by making it a part of the game.
Relationships – Characters form relationships whenever they interact. Whether their interactions are cooperative or competative, their relationships are intensified by undergoing stress together. You can encourage interesting relationships by providing a variety of challenges which will cause the players to cooperate or compete in different ways.
Build Roles though Roleplay – Give players the opportunity to demonstrate their role in a meaningful way. If a character is cartographer, create scenarios where other players must rely on her maps. If someone plays a tavern keeper, give him rumors and news he can share while other characters sip drinks in the tavern. In short – make people’s character concepts a part of the setting by weaving them into the game.
Traditions and Holidays – In ongoing LARP campaigns, customs and rituals create a rich sense of local flavor. They’re also a great way to let players experience your setting.
Local slang, a certain way of greeting each other, or a particular style of costume are things which make a place feel like home. Create a list of customs and make sure the NPCs are familliar with them. Ultimately, whether the players adapt them into the society is up to them. If an idea doesn’t seem to take, don’t push it too hard.
Holidays also lend to the community’s versimillitude. A holiday should have an activity that everybody can participate in, something that they come to expect every year. Feasts, anniversaries, spring hunts, and other celebrations should be incorporated into the weekend schedule.
Encourage Talents and Crafts – LARPing is an interesting hobby, and LARPers tend to have other interesting hobbies. Encourage people to bring their talents and crafts to the game. Give them opportunities to showcase their dancing, leatherworking, storytelling, and musical talents (to name a few).