What is LARPing?
In today’s world, with
its stress and complexity, there is a need for quality recreation that gives
you a chance to get away from everyday issues we all face. Take a vacation
from the mundane and try your hand at a Live Action Role-Playing game. In a
Live Action Role- Playing Game (LARP) you not only create a character with a
personality and back-story of your own design that can be very different
from your own, but you actually act out the character in real time with
There are different types
of LARP games. Some games are reliant on judges and/or dice rolls or other
abstract ways to decide the outcome of any conflict or actions that the
players engage in. Others allow players to engage in safe combat using
padded weapons to resolve combat and perform actions based on skills their
character possesses in the game. Many readers of popular fantasy fiction
become lost in the exciting worlds created by the author and form a picture
of the worlds in their mind. In a LARP the story unfolds organically with no
predetermined outcome. LARP players enjoy all the elements that make a good
fantasy novel great and have an actual impact on how things develop and move
forward. The depth of interaction and immersion in a well run LARP game
simply cannot be matched by any tabletop, computer, or console game. In
addition to acting your chosen role, players and staff use costuming,
make-up, prosthetics and other types of special effects to look the part of
the character they choose to play. An Elf looks like an Elf. An Orc looks
like an Orc. As you put on your costume and make-up and interact with scores
of other players the feeling that you are assuming the role you have created
for yourself is undeniable and is something that cannot be achieved in any
other gaming medium.
In large scale LARPs such
as NERO® there is a dedicated staff of volunteers who write the back-story,
the story framework, the encounters and act in the roles of the monster,
villains, and common townsfolk you meet on your adventures to provide the
work its organic feel. These people also work very hard between events
writing new adventures and stories based on the players’ actions in the
game. Large scale games commonly rent entire camps for entire weekends
entertaining between 30 and 300 players from Friday night until Sunday.
Smaller scale LARP events
typically run at conventions or at game stores. These smaller games are
typically designed for a small group of players to move through a largely
scripted adventure. These adventures are akin to “Modules” that we all know
from table-top RPGing. Sometimes you get a pre-made character or guidelines
for making one. These types of events are a great introduction to LARPing.
addition there are also live-combat games that are not really true LARPs .
The games are largely focused on combat and run more akin to paintball with
foam swords than a true LARP. These games typically run for an afternoon and
can be very fun and challenging even for the most athletic people and are a
great way to practice your skills.