I was hearing recently about LARP – Live Action Role Playing.This is when you and your gamer friends decide that you need to take your dorkiness to a new level and prance around in the great outdoors acting out your role playing games.
I had first heard about this in the late 1990s, when LARP was just a bunch of teenagers wearing black in the park, pretending to be vampires. It was sort of supremely lame, because… well, what’s the point of a vampire game where everyone is a vampire? It’s basically a cocktail party with a bunch of catty nerds. And no martinis.
Two things fascinate me about the current, more developed state of LARP:
- The foam weapons. LARP traditionally simulates battles vs monsters and other characters with foam weapons. So an entire cottage industry has grown around this, entire companies devoted to making quality foam weapons.
- The “crew”. Just like a film production, a LARP game needs people behind the scenes to plan everything, and make and run the “monsters.” Some of the crew ends up playing the monsters in crazy armor.
I was thinking another niche industry could be a monster service- a service that makes monster costumes and provides an operator to act in a given game for a fee.
- For the old-school DIY LARP weapon out of PVC pipe and foam, check out How to Make a Basic LARP Weapon
- Knighthawk Armory makes LARP weapons – my favorite is their vampire stakes
- Medieval Collectibles – A more mainstream weapons replica foundry that also makes LARP weapons.
- Tyger Knight Smithy, another creator of “boffer” weapons. He apparently carves them by hand.
- A big directory site, LARP.com
- Another LARP directory is at Shade’s LARP List
- MORDAVIA is a New Zealand LARP. The coolest thing about this is their monsters- check out the rock monster! Presumably this is a person in a suit.