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LARP Glossary

Ambience

Describes the effect of the game location on the players. The ambience of the game’s setting.

Background

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.

Bards

Musicians, storytellers und troubardoures.

Campaign

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.

Character

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).

Check-In

Registration at the event at the Orga desk. Here accommodation issues will be settled and possible financial issues.

Con

Convention, the event.

Costume

Genre specific costume.

Dieben/Thievery

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.

Fighting

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.

Gamemasters (SL)

Coordinators of a LARP, contact person for rules and character questions, discrepancies and other issues concerning LARP

Healer

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).

In-Time

Within the game, game relevant and the opposite of out-time (OT).

LARP

Live Action Role Playing, or Live Rolleplaying.

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

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!

Orga

Short for organization, representatives of the organizer, who are responsible for organizational processes of the event.

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 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 

Describes a way of playing games in which you put your character IT in the most problematic situations possible, a variation of “play to loose”. Within these situations, which are unpleasant, difficult or complicated for the character, there is maximum drama and as many points of contact as possible for future play with other characters. In contrast to a “quick victory” or a “defeat”, here the story is kept going for as long as possible. The struggle continues.

Plot

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.

Playmaker (Spielmacher)

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.

Skills

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

Means to “big up” your fellow players or NPCs. If someone plays a knight and you give him the “stage” as a commoner, then the knight seems credible and will be happy. This kind of gameplay tends to be rewarded by each side with good gameplay for one another. If someone plays an elven being, then you should make him appear uncanny, which is much more fun for everyone than pretending that character is just another costumed player. Even if you are a fantastic fighter in real life, it can be nice to stage your counterpart and let him win in a very epic way. Remember, we are all just people in costumes that represent a character, and we all need the help of those around us to make our role credible. LARP is a cooperative game. Everybody needs his/her fellow players to stage the character he/she has chosen.

STOP

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).

Tavern

A medieval bar.

Time-In

Beginning of the game, kick-off, and the opposite to time-out.

Time-Out

End of the game, intermission, and the opposite to time-in.

Telling

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.

Timefreeze (rare)

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.