What is this contest about?

The Golden Cobra Challenge is a friendly contest open to anyone interested in writing and playing freeform larp. See our FAQ and read more about the challenge.
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Golden Cobra Challenge 2022

Announcement: Golden Cobra Challenge will begin 6 September 2022 and run through 3 October 2022. Awards will be announced on 4 November online at Metatopia 2022, and a selection of games will be run 3-4 December online at Playable Theatre Live Action Game Symposium 2022.

Browse past Golden Cobra games at the new Interactive Archivebeta.

Find the games submitted in 2021 here and at the archives. Find games receiving awards and honorable mention in 2021 here. Find all games receiving awards and honorable mention in past years at the standard archives and now at the new Interactive Archivebeta.

Wishing the best to all who may take part. Welcome to the Golden Cobra Circle of power and good luck with your game!


What is a golden cobra?

Only the baddest-ass snake in the jungle, which is something you should always aspire to be. Rules will be announced on Tuesday, 6 September 2022. All submissions are due by Monday, 3 October 2022 at 11:59PM EDT (Eastern Daylight Time). Winners and Honorable Mentions will be announced on 4 November online at Metatopia 2022, games will be run 3-4 December online at Playable Theatre Live Action Game Symposium 2022.

As in 2021's challenge, this year’s Golden Cobra asks for games suitable for playing in pandemic conditions! No exclusively multiplayer in-person games will be accepted or considered regardless of distance or barriers involved.

Submissions this year can be in any language understood by this year’s Judges, which includes English, German, Italian, Korean and Polish.

In 2022, Golden Cobras will be awarded in seven categories (plus honorable mentions):

What are the Competition Constraints?

In order to be considered for a Golden Cobra 2022, your game must adhere to the following:
  1. While there are no length requirements, judges only read the first four pages of submissions (four total sides of 8.5x11 or A4 paper). Alternately, if your game comes in a form that doesn't involve pages, we will engage with it for at least fifteen minutes.
  2. The game must be safely playable in pandemic conditions. No exclusively multiplayer in-person games will be accepted or considered regardless of distance or barriers involved. Games optimized for Web chat, streaming, Discord or Slack, epistolary games, solo games, or weirder formats are all welcome. If your entry is also playable in person, that’s icing on the cobra cake.

What Are the Competition Ingredients?

This year we have four ingredients. You may use any or all to inspire your game.

Special Twist: Dedication
—You can “dedicate” your larp to a TTRPG and/or have it “inspired by” TTRPG.
We all have our favorite games, if there is one that inspires you, you can make your entry a love letter to it. In your game, let us know how they made your imagination sing by sharing what amazing ideas their design sparked in you.

We ask that designers respect other designers/authors regarding intellectual property and/or takedown requests.
(Everything we’re sharing is an expression of love, but we aren’t policing intellectual property and aren’t making any claim of ownership or authority. If you feel that your work is being unfairly used or represented, let us know and we will remove it from the site.)

Online Larping
After several years of there being a lot of larping online, we reached out for input and compiled ways people suggested making online larping a good experience. We offer this for your reference and use as you write games for Golden Cobra (and in general):
How to Make Online Larping Good (in text format)

What are the Rules for Entering?

  1. Be a new, unpublished freeform larp. It is neither a board game or a video game. See the FAQ for more discussion about freeform larp.
  2. Present your game in a readable, playable format in a single file (pdf preferred).
  3. Submit only one game. Your name could appear on one entry but teams were welcome. You retain all rights to your work and ancillary material related to submissions, like play aids or commentary. These will by default be published under the name it was submitted under in the yearly free Golden Cobra Anthology (if one is created) and linked from this Website for the world to enjoy.
  4. The deadline for submission is 3 October 2022 at 11:59PM EDT. To submit: fill out the Golden Cobra Entry Submission Form and email your game to submissions@goldencobra.org.

So who won in past years?

You can read about the winners and Honorable Mentions and Judges Choice Awards here. Awards from 2021 are posted here and awards from 2020 are here. All games can be found at the archives and now at the new Interactive Golden Cobra Archivesbeta.

What Is Happening This Year?

Judges will read the games during October 2022. Award will be announced on 4 November online at Metatopia 2022, and some may be run online at Playable Theatre Live Action Game Symposium 2022. The winners get bragging rights and everyone gets a new game they designed - and all get admission into the Golden Cobra’s Circle of Power!

Can I spread the word?

Please do! Find us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/goldencobra17 and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Golden-Cobra-Challenge-241492113182306/.

Who Are the Judges?

Judges for 2022 are Oscar Biffi, Anahita Dalmia, Giraffe, Jason Morningstar and Andrzej Pierzchala. With special guest judge Kate Folk.

Who else did stuff?

The Golden Cobra working committee this year is Emily Care Boss, James Mendez Hodes, Jason Morningstar, Evan Torner and Sara Williamson. The Interactive Archive was coded by Epidiah Ravachol with help by Joe Greathead.

How did the Special Judge’s Choice Award Work?

The judges select several finalist games for overall prize eligibility. Our Special Judge, Kate Folk, will review the finalists and pick their favorite(s) from among them, then share a writeup of their selections.

I have more questions!

Check out the FAQ! or email cobracommander@goldencobra.org.