In the beginning of our system, LarpCraft didn't push for Kingdoms or other types of rulers because we were more focused on getting the game mechanics flushed out first. About 3 years ago we started encouraging factions, tribes and guilds to expand resources and ideals that would be pertinent to the lore and tasks of the local games. Overall, this proved to be a viable and valuable addition to LarpCraft Game Systems as it give more in-game content that players can use to have fun. Being able to claim camps, land, cities and more was the next challenge. We allowed for more in-game mechanics that dictate how to claim land for the growing number of groups within LarpCraft. This also proved to be a needed step in evolving the system to a point where we can allow players to get more involved in the game they are crafting. While many of the first groups were of trial bases and NPC'd, we're now seen over 20 different chartered groups come online worldwide with zero conflict to the Chapter running the events. From the beginning, I've always had a problem with larp campaigns that dictate to players to just experience a campaign set up by a chapter. To me, this was only half of what was possible in Larp. Sure, starting out you have to run this way until more players join and want to do more. Is it possible to never leave this format... maybe, but players will tire of "oh, undead are trying to burn the village down" and related story lines. Sure, chapters can delay the need for groups and rulers by running complex plot lines and having a wealth of things to do, but eventually players seem to want the ability to go beyond that. Now most of our groups are smaller. Most will start as a tribe, faction or guild and then grow into something more like a town, army, etc. Eventually it will lead to wanting to rule something, somewhere at some time. Without this functionality, as a system, we are limited so we needed a "ruler" solution. LarpCraft needed a way to create things like Kingdoms organically from the players, not the chapters. So about 2 years ago we began laying the groundwork for how this could be possible. Last year, we introduced it as a beta approved at the November annual Elder meeting of 2015 for release in 2016. The beta was publicly available for an entire year in the game system and players, hosts and elders got the chance to play test these things. While some wording was adjusted, there we no reported conflicts with adding rulers to the game systems. You'll now see mention of rulers in some of the in-game scrolls from over the past year. In 2017 This ruler system came out of beta and we're now experiencing the first formal kingdom set to go live in Feb. It was headed by the Iron Griffon Legion which was a combination of 2 Factions that had a goal to keep trade routes open and fight for peace within the lands of Norhaven (Southern Wisconsin Chapters). So you can see the progression, both groups started as a faction which lead to an army which lead to being able to support an entire kingdom. This ruler system approach was designed to work in this ongoing fashion. Claiming "I'm King" in any game needs support in order to work. You have to back your claim of ruler (Kingdom or Homeland) because just as fast as a Kingdom comes online, there are going to be those who want to bring it down in-game (which is what we wanted) or a Kingdom may break off and become two Kingdoms at some point. The point is, this is all stuff that happens in-game through the progression of the larp story and characters. This isn't something someone can buy into and it's not set up by Chapters of LarpCraft. To be a ruler, it can take a year or more to set the foundation for such a title. I can tell you, this new "Kingdom" already began to spawn one, if not a few different in-game dramas where plans to oppose the Kingdom are now in motion. Again, this is only natural and it's no different than 2 factions doing the same thing, it just has a different name based on how many players are involved. At the end of the day, we're all friends here. Most people understand that, in order to have characters rule, you have to have a balance. In-game, players will set up rulers to obtain an objective. If the objective creates a conflict out-of-game, then the local LarpCraft Chapter or LarpCraft itself will step in. Here is where most people seem to be confused / afraid that rulers will overtake the game. They won't. LarpCraft chapters need to create games that appeal to new players as well as to those that are already part of the system. If a large kingdom is part of the local games, it's the responsibility of the chapter to offer a neutral area of play in order for that game to succeed. While Chapters typically don't dictate in-game rulers, they will intervene if there is a risk that a ruler would cause the game to fail. Much of this intervention will depend on how the in-game rulers operate. If they are a friendly Kingdom, for instance and all are welcome, there wouldn't be much need to intervention. However, if the rulers goal is 100% dominance, slavery and death, then there may be limits that will need to be served from a Chapter standpoint. Examples of such limits may include where a ruler may claim territory. Setting up a neutral land area within a game, etc. Again, if a ruler understands this then they will make areas like this themselves, if they don't a LarpCraft Chapter may have to do it. There are hosts and players who are so afraid of rulers, they have/will quit playing. That's also going to happen and has happened. If they can't see the objective of these groups from a game play standpoint, then LarpCraft isn't going to work for them (and that's fine). On the opposite spectrum, by bringing in Kingdoms and Homelands it's also become a major bonus that our system has matured to this level of game play (based on feedback). As long as we can responsibly allow rulers in game, they will be allowed in-game. Chapters may also void permanent character death as players adjust, again there are many ways to make this all work and our Chapters will need to instruct how it works. Like anything, it will take some time before folks are comfortable with how rulers work. So a ruler has claimed much of the territory where you play? Ok, don't freak out over it or not play, use this to build your story. So you have to live in a Kingdom or under an Orc Homeland. Ok, it happens. Read the in-game forums about the said ruler, ask questions in the out-of-game community for said ruler or chapter. We always want to make an area for neutral parties or a place where travelers are welcome. Again, if the ruler is hostel (like an undead kingdom) then a chapter may set this neutral area up. But even a hostel ruler won't survive (many times it will implode from within) and the more successful a ruler is, the more chances they will eventually meet opposition. Would it be bad to part of something like a Kingdom or Homeland? Ask yourself that. Heck, some NPC rulers have been in place for years... so many of you have already experienced some of this. Use a ruler to build your character. These large groups allow players to experience a side of Larp they may not have had the chance to before. Such as, being part of an army, negotiating trade or territories, being given lands or titles, being part of something more than what you had. But I don't want to be ruled! Ok, then don't. Begin your campaign to secretly oppose the ruler in some fashion. Maybe the area just needs some laws changed. Maybe your character strives to set up a town that has no law or ruler. Start the process and see if you can make it work. Ask questions of players, ask hosts about ideas, go to practices and share your thoughts. A local LarpCraft chapter will listen to your concerns, heck rulers out-of-game will listen to your concerns. We're trying to make this more expansive and more fun here. If a player or group of players are taking the game out-of-game in some fashion (being rude out of game for instance or letting a Kingdom go to their head) then a chapter will get involved. Together as a community this works because we're all watching out for the game we enjoy. Again, ask questions, team up, recruit, share, post and enjoy. As a player you dictate what you want to roleplay. The tools are in place to make and destroy rulers over the entire system. Much like everything larp, these is no one answer or way to do something. You are the adventure. Play it.