Take Your Gear to the Next Level – Live Action Role Playing

When rolling dice and make-believe doesn’t cut it any more, or when you want to get out in the wilderness and do what you love in a deeper, more involved way, live-action roleplay, otherwise known as LARPing, might be for you? But what exactly is live action role play, how do you do it, and why is it better than standard tabletop roleplaying?

Well many games that you would play around a table, like Dungeons & Dragons, Vampire: the Masquerade, or Shadowrun, can be played without the dice and mats that many groups commonly use. Furthermore, some game system like the World of Darkness, which includes titles like the previously mentioned Vampire, have systems that already exist, in this case, Mind’s Eye Theatre, so that you can more easily transition into the live-action roleplay of the game you already enjoy. In those cases, you can take all the things you already know about those settings and build a character like you would otherwise. The great thing about these games is that because they already have a mountain of canonical backstory that you probably already know, so it’s the least work for you.

That said, maybe you want something more than that, sometimes you want a workout with your roleplaying, and to get out some of that aggression from your daily life. There are plenty of LARP groups who play their own rules and are a lot more intense than just roleplaying. With real metal armor, foam covered but still dangerous weapons, known as boffing, and full contact combat, these groups are intense and wildly fun. Perfect if you are that combination of jock and nerd, and want to down one of your psychotic pre workout drinks and get into it.

Either way, LARPing can make your game more fun, removing a lot of the randomness of the dice rolling, and allowing you to bring more improv, costuming, and acting into your game. Furthermore, while people can flake out of a standard tabletop game should life get in the way, if there is a firm group for a LARP that meets the first weekend of the month every month, you know that they have carved out that time in their schedule to play. It’s a lot harder to flake when you put a lot of money into a set of plate armor to wear to the event.

Live action roleplaying groups can be found in your local area online, both with common games like Vampire and other themed games with their own rules. Common sites where you can find such things include Meetup and Facebooks, and it would behoove you to check out the bulletin board of your friendly local gaming store to see if anyone wants to start a group, should you not be able to find one. Often times there is a fee, either for a season or per game, but it’s usually small, enough to help pay for the event space the group rents, or for those more intense full contact groups, insurance in case of injury.

If you are looking for a deeper and richer roleplaying experience, or just to be more active while doing something you love, live action roleplaying might be the perfect thing for you.

How Medieval Weapons Were Used

Even in today’s time’s people are still interested in and fascinated by many different medieval weapons and armor. Although no longer in general use, they are far from forgotten. Medieval weapons and armor have one good feature which includes the sheer diversity of the weapon are always available. Medieval weapons and armor can be worn for reenactments of battles or for practicing, but to do so the medieval weapons and armor must meet specific requirements. Battles in the medieval times were not just fights, they were fights to the death and in those, weapons were the most critical part.

Medieval weapons and armor were not just for protection and safety alone, they were an honor and pride of the owner, They must be made to be battle ready and functional, which means that materials other than stainless steel are used for the blades and must be made using proven claying methods for forging swords. Steel is a considerably better metal for weapons and armor. Steel is harder than iron outstandingly. Nevertheless, it has a massive amount of spring back and flexibility when overstressed. This spring back are more durable and flexible when in use.Making steel art demands an unusual amount of skills because the steel has to be tempered and quenched and also the upright amount of carbon needs to be added adequately. (Tempering and quenching is the process of warming with fire and chilling with water). Steel fetch weapons to new altitude because longer and more durable weapons are made from it, and it can grip an edge exceptionally one side. One significant feature of steel in combat is the effect on the speed of combat. Weapons which are lighter and stronger makes the combatant move very quickly. This was an essential characteristic of the arms race and the medieval arms race is always touching ahead still in the balance.

In addition to these legendary medieval weapons, armors were an essential part of the weaponry and battle fatigues during the Dark Ages. Each knight would have a separate emblem on his armor signifying his role and magnificence. The medieval weapons and armor made famous in association with the knight are well known. King Arthur and his knights made famous the sword one of the leading devices constituting the complete gamut of medieval weapons and armor.For instance, there are a variety of options for medieval weapons and armor. You can hang one on the wall emulating a framed-picture decoration.There are stories which still abide by high royalty and their medieval weapons and armor which are things that legends are made of.

Components of Medieval Armor

For history buffs who are interested in the medieval period, the internet is likely to offer a variety of historically accurate recreated items, including but not limited to medieval armor. If you love history and find that you particularly enjoy reading, thinking, talking and learning about the medieval period, you may have given thought to the idea of purchasing one of these armor for display or your use. Here are a few basic facts you might want to know beforehand.

Intricate Artwork

While armor served a vitally important practical role in warfare for many centuries, they also eventually became items of art and beauty, especially during the medieval period. Depending on the exact ancient culture in question, armor might bear art that was intricate, meaningful and lovely to look upon. For modern collectors, this may tend to make armor from the medieval period especially compelling due to their fascinating appearance.

Material Matters

You can likely find armor that is made from a variety of different types of materials. This is true to history, as each culture would tend to make its weapons and armor differently. You might find era-authentic armor that is comprised of metals such as steel or brass, as well as armor that has been made from strong and sturdy wood. Certain types of items, such as historical Viking shields, might combine multiple kinds of materials.

Symbolism and Culture

The makeup of each variety of medieval armor, from color to shape to the emblem and beyond, was likely to be representative of the culture from which it had come. You might be able to find recreated medieval armor emblazoned with red Crusader crosses on white backgrounds. Historically accurate Knights Templar shields are strong, intricately designed and especially beautiful to look at.

Display Value

For history aficionados who feel especially passionate about the medieval period, shields may prove to be among the most popular, attractive and impactful display items available. From shiny metal buckler shields to vividly painted Crusader shields and beyond, these items may be able to serve as centerpieces for historically accurate and visually interesting displays of period objects.

Battle Use

Do you enjoy taking part in historical reenactments? If so, you might be especially interested in finding armor that can be actively employed in the realistic mock battles in which you plant to participate. A purveyor of historically accurate armor can likely provide components that are strong and durable enough to withstand the rigors of your planned reenactment. Items you will need to put together a tough and believable costume might include a shield, a medieval knight helmet, a suit of armor and more.

The Many Uses of Historical armor

If you have decided that purchasing medieval armor might be a good course of action, there are a few things you might want to think about first. Consider the type of artwork you would like to have displayed on your new armor, as well as the material or materials from which it should be constructed. Also, try to choose the armor you purchase based on whether it will be displayed as artwork or used in a battle reenactment.

History of Smithing

The process of blacksmithing commenced around the 16th Century about the 1500’s BC when the Hittites, an Indo European people located around Syria and Lebanon first discovered the ability to extract metal from the ore that it was contained in. The Hittites who belonged to the Bronze Age were the predecessors to the Iron Age as the developed the manufacturing process of iron, known today as smelting. Metals such as silver, iron, copper and other base metals were extracted and the metal used in tools.

Blacksmithing is the very hard physical process of heating iron ore to such an extent that the metal becomes malleable enough in order to be able to be worked with a hammer and an anvil to shape and bend and create tools.

As is common in viewing movies the blacksmiths we see throughout history made metal products from swords to shoes for horses and metal parts for carriages. So the blacksmith was a critical artisan in any community.

Blacksmiths today don’t need to make swords but are heavily involved in supporting many industries to allow manufacturing and mining and construction processes to roll on. Very often specific tools are required to be made for a machine to be serviced or for an industrial application to lift or demolish.

The rail and mining industry typically require many custom forging tools to be made by blacksmiths and of course today these operations are much more sophisticated than when blacksmiths first started over 3000 years ago. Blacksmiths make tools like metal hooks for lifting too heavy industrial tongs used to lift sleepers in the rail industry to lifting tools for utility companies that need to lift metal plates on footpaths to access underground cabling under streets and to domestic applications such as making iron gates.

By Museu Valencià d’Etnologia from València, España – T1.-Ferrer, CC BY-SA 2.0, More Info here

Blacksmiths still use the hammer and anvil along with other more sophisticate methods to forge the metal products that are required today. Firstly the Blacksmith must heat the iron to a workable level and wait till the metal achieves the correct temperature for working with. Iron will pass through four color levels from red to yellow to yellow-orange and finally white before melting. The Blacksmith needs the yellow-orange level to work in, and then they will forge the metal into the shapes that are required using the hammer and the anvil. After the forging process, the metal is cooled in a container with water or brine or oil known as the slack tub.