What is LARP?
Live Action Role Play, or LARP, is interactive role-playing that is characterized by improvisation, acting and ingenuity. The game unfolds when you, the players, make decisions and your efforts either succeed or fail. A bit like being the main character in your own film or book. Immerse yourself in a setting and experience a story as one of its characters. This is not difficult at all and is actually incredibly fun!
What must I do to experience LARP?
To experience LARP, you don’t have to do much except get involved in the adventure and the experience itself. This may not work out exactly the way you want it to in the beginning, but that’s not a problem. It’s kind of like sitting together at a table and playing a board game. You agree to follow the rules of the world together, to a certain extent to believe that what is represented around you is reality and that you basically want to be a part of this fiction. LARP is also a bit like riding a bicycle – the peddling must be done by you. How fast or slow you peddle is of course up to you. You should also try to distract yourself as little as possible in order to have the best possible experience and not to miss out too much of the game. That means a mobile phone, work, or real-life topics of conversation should be left as “far away” as possible for the duration of the game. Once this is out of the way, it’s off to the exciting, fantastic adventure that we shape together!
LARP can be played in many different genres, from historical events to apocalyptic scenarios to cyberpunk and sci-fi worlds. The Mythodea events take place in a medieval fantasy setting. This means that you will encounter knights, squires and nobility as well as orcs, elves and magicians. The genre usually also determines what is possible in the universe. For example, you can use magic in a fantasy setting, which is not the case in a historical LARP.
Unlike table-top role-playing games or video games, LARPers themselves slip into the role of a character, just like actors do. So you represent a character in real life, which means that you act, react to events and interact with other players. Every LARP-character has certain characteristics and a background story, which you can make up yourself. This influences how a character deals with his environment and other players.
In LARP, every character wears a costume that fits to the genre and represents the background of the character. For example, a mage often wears long robes with ornaments, while a knight wears an armor and a tabard. For you, this means that when creating the costume, you should keep in mind the corresponding character and their story that you intend to play out. You can also start with the costume and then design the character’s story. Perhaps it’s best to remember that it’s your costume that is the first thing people notice about your character. What kind of impression do they get? Is this what you wanted to achieve?
Keep in mind that objects or materials that do not fit into the setting should not be used or should at least be covered up. For example, a plastic raincoat would be disturbing in a medieval setting.
Every story has a plot. In LARP there is a starting point from which the story begins and then develops. The actions that players and non-players perform and the decisions they make have an impact on the course of the game. The framework for this is captured in the plot of the event. There are guidelines as to what can and will happen, but how the story unfolds depends essentially on the players and non-players/gamemakers and their efforts.
Not at every LARP but on some LARPs there is fighting. Though it is in fact pretending to fight with one another. Especially in the medieval and fantasy realms, players often wage epic battles. The weapons that are used are designed in such a way that they do not hurt anybody even when they come into contact. LARP weapons have no sharp blade, are not hard and are made of foam, latex or rubber. Nevertheless, you must be careful when handling the weapons, as they can cause bruises or hit fragile areas. Therefore you should always be considerate of your counterpart. In-game you fight against each other, out-game you play together.
What is a player?
A player is a person who wears a costume and embodies a fictional character. This character, his story and the costume are chosen by the player himself. The person acts live as part of the plot of the event and has a certain degree of freedom of action and can partly influence the outcome of the larger story or single plot lines. As a player you declare your intention to participate in the game, to get involved as much as possible and to make sure that you and other players have a good time. Because LARP is roughly like a sport, you agree to the rules of the game and as a player you make sure that you and others can play the game unhindered. You have (depending on the type of event) your own accommodation with you and often also provide your own food. You make sure that your own equipment is safe for all participants around you and are responsible for keeping it that way. LARP is like a team sport or like cycling on a common track – we can only make it fun if we work together. You show consideration for each other and help each other to experience the game. In addition one tries to disturb the immersion of the other participants as little as possible. This is independent of whether you play “against each other” within the story. Outside of the story, all players help together to allow and create the best possible experience for everyone.
What is immersion?
When we talk of immersion, we mean the immersion of a fictitious reality. That is the goal of a LARP event, to simulate a world that is as believable and colorful and exciting as possible, so that the players as their characters can have the best possible LARP experience. Immersion is something that originates in the minds of the participants and is therefore a fragile state. Perhaps similar to sleeping. The more often you are “awakened” from it, the worse you will rate the “sleeping experience”. Therefore it is important to be aware of this. Surely there are good reasons (such as danger) to wake up sleeping people, but it should be reduced to a minimum. Immersion is something you have to actively engage with and everyone has to share in. The organizers will always try to avoid disturbances of the immersion as much as possible. Where this is not possible, you will need some extra fantasy or the ability to imagine or blend out (in case of disturbing dixi toilets or other necessary logistics). But one thing is clear, if all manage to “dream”, to immerse ourselves, we will have a good time.
Who can LARP?
For everyone! Everybody (no matter what you look like, how old you are or what you do in your real life) is welcome at LARP!
Who has not thought while reading a book: “I would like to experience that!” Or “I would have done it very differently!”? This is the basic idea of all live roleplaying games. LARP is for everyone and everyone who would like to be the character in a story and ask himself: “What if I were a hero fighting for justice? Or a sinister villain? How would I choose if I was not just reading an adventure, but instead experiencing it?”
But that’s just the beginning of the hobby. Because there’s so much more to discover besides the hero you might want to be. The whole game is embedded in a world of fascinating and dazzling characters. It offers countless opportunities for exuberant celebrations in medieval taverns or at large tournaments. Anyone can compete in swordplay, archery or singing serenades and leave all the worries of everyday life behind for a weekend. At LARP you can try out who or whatever you would like to be. Join in, participate and help enliven this fantastical world.
How is this world created?
Our team realizes a piece of fantasy world with elaborately constructed sceneries of buildings, effects, masks and many other extras. The result is a completely interactive simulation of a fictional world, into which you can completely immerse yourself. In contrast to medieval markets, however, the events do not take place for the entertainment of a paying, passive audience. Instead, all participants actively take part in the game and are at the same time the spectators. Two things are in the foreground: fun and creativity!
At most LARPs there is usually a so called “plot”. This is a background story and framework, which was invented by the organizers to give the game a setting or a frame of reference to move in, a common reason for all characters to interact with each other.
Whether or not you want to be captivated and carried away by this plot and get involved or not is up to you. Thus each participant can decide for himself whether he wants to rise to a leading character or prefers to observe everything from the background. The commitment of each individual determines how much one experiences and above all how direct this can feel.
Aim of the Game
There is no goal in LARP as there is for instance in a board game. Everyone who takes part in a game has their own goals. Whether you are looking for an honorable duel in battle, a person to initiate you into the arts of magic, solve puzzles or just want to sit in the tavern with a jug of honey wine (mead), the only goal that all have in common is a harmonious interaction in a beautiful ambience. That’s why you can’t say that there are winners or losers in live roleplaying. The LARP is the goal! And maybe also to dive as deeply as possible into the fantastic world.