I guess there’s not use in fighting it… the transformation to full Geek has been completed by partaking in a LARP last weekend. In case you don’t know what “LARP” stands for – it’s Live Action Role Play, which generally the connotation is that a bunch of geeks go out into the woods, dress up in medieval costumes, and fight each other with rubber sticks. That might be the very very basic watered down version, but it is actually SO much more complicated than that!
So the basics:
- The GMs (game masters) create a world and a script for all of the action that is going to take place over the weekend
- There are two types of players: PCs, who come with their own characters and costumes, and NPCs, basically the “extras” for the weekend who are there to move the plot forward for the PCs
- There is fighting using foam swords or bow staffs or bow and arrows (depending on the rules of the world)
- All characters have a certain amount of Armor and other various abilities such as evade/dodge, disarm, the ability to fly (in which case other characters have to pretend they don’t see them unless the “swoop down”, invisibility (again, other players must pretend they don’t see them) ect.
- There are different languages, so if you are an elf and only speak elfish, then when the faeries try to talk to you, you have to pretend you don’t understand them
So during this weekend, I was an NPC and as such most played one of the minions of the dark lord and ended up fighting and dying a lot, I was also a soldier a few times, and I also played an elfish counsel member.
The best way to think about LARPing is to look at it like one giant game of impov. You’re given the rules and history of the world, your character and then as the GMs move the plot along, you have to react and interact with the other players accordingly. And some players are very serious about playing, so it’s best to stay in character the whole time.
The fighting gets a bit complicated since characters yell out how many points they’re hitting you for when they make contact and you can choose to use your special abilities to block the hit or take the hit to your armor. And you only have a certain number of “hit points” for each before you’ll be dead, so you have to keep track of what you have and how much you’re being hit for, which when in a battle where everything is moving very quickly, can get quite complicated.
Overall, while this was certainly a very interesting experience, I don’t think that it’s really “for me”. I’ve never been a terribly big fan of improv, so to do it for days straight when you really don’t know what’s going on since there are so many nuances to this world that you’re being thrown into, just didn’t do it for me. It seems like the people who do this absolutely love it, that they would do this all day, everyday if they could, and I’m just not one of those people. Maybe if I knew more about the world or if it was a less complicated world, it might be more fun since I would understand everything better, but for the most part, I think I’ll sit the next one out.
All though, I did really like the elf ears and costumes!