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.