Here you have the LARP dictionary. You do not need to know everything for our events, but you can look up the most important things.
!Terms followed by an exclamation mark refer to specific playstyles or theater techniques!
Describes the effect of the game location on the players. The ambience of the game’s setting.
History and attitude of a character. Initially only known to the player of the character and possibly the SL. Other characters only learn the background through interaction with the specific player in the game.
Musicians, storytellers und troubardoures.
A series of cons of single or multiple organizers, which build on top of each other thematically, have a common plot, or play within the same world.
A fictional character embodied by a player. If the player determines the background of the character himself, it is called a player character (SC), if the game management determines the background and playstyle, it is called a non-player character (NPC).
Character Protection (Differentiation between IT/OT)
Heavy things happen to our characters! Your counterparts may treat you like a person from the Middle Ages, like an enemy or like something evil. Deep character play, conflicts or dramatic experiences can get very close. Remember that they don’t see you as a (show) player, but your role. Therefore: Distinguish yourself from your character in your inner self! You should think of techniques to get out of your role! A garment for a role – when it is taken off, you are surely OT. Or, if that’s not enough, it can help to write a letter to the role in which you actively say goodbye to it. What now sounds exaggerated may help if you have been pulled too deep into the role once and strange or negative emotions remain. This is quite normal in the theater.
If the role protection hasn’t worked out, you have the possibility to visit the Outroom (see below)! Of course LARP is also about experiencing extraordinary emotions or situations. Feel free to go to these areas outside the comfort zone – but remember that it is a play in a safe environment. If something happens that you don’t want to experience or play out in this way, you can leave or redirect the situation on your own responsibility: If you are part of a big scene in such a case, please take responsibility for yourself and wait inconspicuously at the edge until you want to be there again – or go to the outroom. If it’s a small scene, let the play partner know what you don’t like about OT and talk about it with each other.
It’s all like braking while driving a car – braking as much as necessary, as little as possible. You are not your role, you just play it. This is important to remember. Solve IT problems in IT and OT problems in OT. This is the only way to create a great experience together.
Registration at the event at the Orga desk. Here accommodation issues will be settled and possible financial issues.
Convention, the event.
Genre specific costume.
This point goes along with distraction and deception, but it is much more than that. With this technique, stages can be set up in a crowd, e.g. to better transport relevant content, elegantly shield dangerous places and effectively display magic. To achieve this, a large number of playmakers/NPCs are briefed on situations or keywords and then act as a coordinated crowd. They form circles of their bodies, they play the basic mood that is desired, etc. This is a very physical game, which guides a whole crowd of people. 5% NPCs are already enough to control a crowd.
Thieving (not to be confused with stealing – a punishable OT offence) is the action in which one character steals something from another character. Only items that have been marked by the Shadow Guild OT are allowed to be “stolen”! In addition, after prior consultation with the “victim”, it is also possible to steal in-game money and plot items that have been specially provided for this purpose. These usually carry a game hint (small card) or are “known”. If you are not sure, you should refrain from stealing or ask an SL (game master, recognizable by a yellow bag) before (!) doing so.
Many magical moments can be achieved by elegantly distracting the audience at the right moment. This works with large crowds just as well as with individuals in a magic trick. If you want to exchange an object, direct a battle or let a ghost appear, you can always think of the best way to do this inconspicuously. Not everything has to happen right in front of the eyes of the players, who are happy to forgive us little tricks to enjoy a wondrous experience.
Just repeat out loud what was just said in front of you! Then those behind you can hear it. OT-music boxes and a lot of technical equipment are rare and/or disturbing on LARP. But the “echoes” of your voices can help a lot. Besides, it brings play when you are asked what is going on! “Did you hear? The judge just said he didn’t do it!”
The fight is “real” and “in real time” between the characters with foam weapons. For safety reasons, intentional blows to the head, neck and genital area are forbidden, as is stabbing with most weapons (it is possible to stab with stab proof weapons)!
Foam Weapons (Larp-Waffe)
(Relatively) harmless weapon props for combat simulation. These mostly consist of an unbreakable fiberglass core bar, foam padding and a stabilizing top layer.
Coordinators of a LARP, contact person for rules and character questions, discrepancies and other issues concerning LARP
A character who counts the art of healing among his skills. The call for a healer is always In-Time and should not be confused with the call for a medic (Out-Time).
Part of the game, within the game.
Within the game, game relevant and the opposite of out-time (OT).
Intensive and loud gameplay!
On LARP we are not accompanied by a camera that captures every little movement for a huge screen. And sometimes we are not quite as good actors as the stars in the movies. That’s why we always apply thicker than you would normally do! LARP acting takes place in a noisy environment and relatively far away from the “spectator” (your fellow-Larper!) and there are many distractions for them. Bigger is better! Think about your surroundings while playing.
Live Action Role Playing, or Live Rolleplaying.
Make it Count (You only have a few days at LARP)!
Your LARP role is a bit like Schrödinger’s cat. Between the LARPS it exists only in a state of suspension. LIVE it exists only a few days a year. Make sure that each of these days counts!
Non-Player-Character / NPCs
A character who is prescribed a large part of his background by the gamemaster, or can be compared to a movie “extra”, or supporting cast.
Nicht-Spieler-Charakter / NSC
German for NPC.
OT bubbles are moments at the event where participants break their immersion and talk about real-(OT)-life things, such as their car insurance or something similar.
These OT conversations between several people are very disturbing for the immersion of others, who sometimes even get drawn into these conversations or can’t avoid them. It’s kind of like suddenly playing loud music in a room full of sleeping people or smoking in a restaurant these days.
Immersion is fragile and needs the attention and protection of all participants. Tell your bystanders in a friendly way through IT approaches to stop – most of the time OT bubbles happen unintentionally. Remember, this is the best way to pop an OT bubble. Everybody is at LARP to experience adventures and to have a break from real life problems or circumstances. If an OT bubble is really necessary, please keep it short and away from others and the game itself. After all, everyone has bought a ticket to stay IT as much as possible. In this sense! Have fun!
Short for organization, representatives of the organizer, who are responsible for organizational processes of the event.
Outside of the game, not part of the game. Often used to signal that you cannot carry this info into the game.
Out–Time / OT
Not within the game or associated with the game world. In short: Reality and the opposite to IT.
Personalized Plot (rare)
Means that plot developments are adapted or written for your character and background.
Personal Plot Connection
Means that you as a player personally get easy access to the plot. It practically falls before the player’s feet. Whether you participate or not is up to you.
Play the Special Day!
Your role is usually totally introverted and quiet? Not today! Today you feel the urge to talk! Or your character is not courageous? Today you find a reason to go into battle. Stories are best not written about “normal” days, but about the special days of a character! And in LARP it’s exactly these days that you have to play.
Play to Drama!
Play for drama! Think about the people around you and yourself! Try to play emotionally and find such nuances in the stories. If possible, play in a way that a conflict is dealt with in public. We are not in a prefabricated film, that is, where you do not direct a “camera”, no attention, that is not necessarily seen. You are your director and your film team at the same time. Help others to hear your great story and allow your fellow players to help you tell it. Quiet and loud scenes are great – but only one of these categories would probably be too few? Drama please!
Play to Lift!
Play in a way that you support others! On her own a queen is just a woman in an elaborate dress with a crown! Only her entourage and the corresponding reactions make the role believable. But all – even the smaller ones – roles work like this! You react differently when you pass a stinking beggar than when you meet a noble knight or a sinister looking thug! This helps the actors to bring these roles to life. In the theater there is an exercise where you put a chair in the middle of the room and treat it as a warm fire or as a bad wolf. Only the reaction of the environment here creates the “character” of the inanimate seating furniture. This clearly shows that what is portrayed is not (only) dependent on the player who embodies the role.
Help your fellow LARPers to participate in the game. Remember how you would feel if nobody would engage with your character concept. Take the role your opponent wants you to play seriously and help to portray it. “Cool, unapproachable reactions” are rather boring than great. Does that mean you are not allowed to play an unapproachable role? Yes, of course, very much so, but even Robocop or Superman show “some reaction” to things. Examples will be explained in videos and supplementary texts.
Play to Lose!
Refers to a way of playing in which you deliberately put your character in situations that you know your character will “lose”. For example, intentionally playing in a game of rhetorics in such a way that you lose the argument – and thus perhaps lay the foundation for more play in the future. LARP is generally not about “win” or “lose”, but about generating interesting scenes. Play to lose offers allows you the experience of uncomfortable, dangerous situations without having to fear real life consequences.
Play to Struggle
Play in a way that creates the most complex, uncomfortable entanglements for your character! This does not always mean losing IT (that would be play to lose), but if there is a simple and a complicated way, take the complicated one! This way all stories around gain depth and complexity. Find and play on your IT weaknesses!
Play through others!
You have a problem, a plot or an interesting info? Play it “through others” to your group members and friends. Tell the info to a third person and ask them to pass it on to the recipient. And of course “don’t tell anyone else! (Watch out for irony!) – because if many people know about it, it can create more gameplay for everyone!
The action of the game or the setting of a LARP. Mostly there is a overarching main plot, which runs like a red thread throughout the LARP. Side plots, which often have nothing to do with the main plot, decorate the LARP. Side plots should keep the players busy and offer variety.
Player Character (SC)
A character whose background is determined by the player, as opposed to the NPCs.
Playmakers are exactly what the name implies: it is their job to “enrich” or “push” the game. They are more like controlled player characters than NPCs, as they dedicate their entire gameplay to further the plot and the event for players. How they do this is up to them. Playmakers transport plots, quests and atmosphere to the players. They are the supporting roles to the players, or sometimes the enemy, whom you can hate with fervor. They are the lady in distress, or the great sorceress from whom one can learn many a thing. Playmakers are mentors or servants, a failed knights, or a queen who makes the right – or indeed the wrong – decision, depending on what the deepest, best, most dramatic, or most exciting experience would be for the participants. OT, they always know the goal of the event and help the players along the way. They also experience deep emotional moments with the participants within the game, which makes their task particularly fulfilling and exciting. Both for the performing playmaker himself, as well as for everyone around him. They invisibly direct the action of the game and ensure maximum immersion, i.e. the setting in which the participants’ game takes place.
Revolving NPC (Springer)
A participant (NPC) who plays various small NPC roles, e.g. guards, messengers and other NPCs who appear only briefly and are then never seen again.
Serious gaming! Together we want to create a believable, exciting, cool and magical world. That simply means: Adults have decided to play a game together that should satisfy your standards for experience. We want to dive in together and go on an adventure! For this purpose we will use the “Suspension of Disbelief”. That means we get involved in a story told together, even if not all details are 100% fitting. So we leave our “disbelief” behind a little and don’t actively (or even in our mind) point out small mistakes or discrepancies, as this would just disrupt the immersion. We want to follow the story and give it a chance. Too much immersion-break, nonsense characters or “childish play” aspects are not constructive or immersive. We take the story seriously and play by the logic, rules and “laws of nature” of this magical/created world. Most of the time this world is medieval/fantastic and this is how you should act roughly. One likes to think of the atmosphere of movies like “The Lord of the Rings”, “Witcher”, “Game of Thrones”, “Prince of Persia” or “King Arthur”.
Share your Secret!
Every character should have a secret that they would never tell anyone else in game. And then, of course, it has to be made public! Secrets that nobody ever finds out are no fun at all. In every good story the secrets of the heroes come to light! How you do that is up to you, but “just tell it because it had to come out” is also a possibility. Otherwise you might “unintentionally” lose letters of your character, diary pages or ask your group to reveal the secret for you. But then it’s gone? Yes, then think of a new one or maybe one will even emerge from the game! That helps in the development of your character! Even little things are enough as secrets!
Special knowledge and characteristics of a character. Usually the character can only do what the player can represent via acting and props. Basically: You can do what you can represent!
Staging / Lift others!
Ask others for advice and seek out the appropriate characters for their expert opinions! If you notice that someone is desperately trying to play against other voices, just shout out loud: “Let her speak! Then we will listen to you!”. Bow deeply before high roles and clearly show fear of dark fellows. They will thank you forever!
Important command which must be obeyed unconditionally. Anyone can use this command to immediately stop the entire action. May only be used in an emergency, e.g. if someone is seriously injured. Can be cancelled with “CONTINUE” by the game management (and nobody else).
“Supporting roles” is what we call supporting actors in the film. And there is even an Oscar category for them! In LARP we are all “supporting roles” for everyone around us. By the way, the role with the highest IT hierarchy is the one that has to support other characters the most – and needs support the most. While playing your game, also think about how you can help others with what they want to represent. Let others have the “stage” from time to time. That way, no one is left behind and everyone becomes the “main character” at some point.
Take it slow (Even while fighting)!
All actions – making speeches, conflict play, dancing, fighting etc. – work better slowly. So the acting person can think about it better, makes less blunders and all bystanders have more time to react and ideally better/beautiful/bigger. Here self-control is needed – because in LARP there is often a lot of adrenaline and then some things happen faster than it is actually good. In the movie, by the way (the thing you usually have in your head when you’re playing), everything is done much slower than in real life, which is why these scenes seem so nice to us – our brain has enough time to absorb and process them. This knowledge helps for fancy roleplaying!
A medieval bar.
Beginning of the game, kick-off, and the opposite to time-out.
End of the game, intermission, and the opposite to time-in.
Is the term used when something is only described but not physically represented. It is used, for example, when a character magically examines an object. In this case the character only whispers into his ear what he/she feels/sees. For example something like “you notice a dark aura…”.
It would be negative to say something like: “You see how the ground floats with you into the sky.” Since it stretches the limits of the imagination too far.
Is the command to freeze the game at the exact moment in time. This means that the players remain in the position they are in at that moment. As if they were frozen, until the order is rescinded. It is very rarely used to let characters appear “out of nowhere” or to move them out of the game without the characters being aware of it. Unlike the Time-Out/Out-Time, the players don’t fall out of character.