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Introduction: What Is LARP?

What's Roleplaying?

  • Roleplaying is somewhere between an interactive storytelling game and improvisational acting.
  • Each player acts the part of a character they have designed, who is under their control.
  • The framework of the overarching story is planned out by GMs (game masters) in advance, but the decisions each character makes will impact how that story is realised.
  • It's very easy to start roleplaying if you've never done it before; even if you have no previous acting experience.

 two players engaging in some extremely performative acting, complete with excellent poses

What's LARP?

  • LARP stands for Live Action RolePlay.
  • Instead of sitting around a table, talking through your character's actions, you physically act out whatever your character is doing.
  • In this context, it also means that instead of rolling dice or using another luck-based method to decide the outcome of combat, participants actually fight each other with safe latex weapons.
  • Naturally, we have some fairly extensive safety rules to make sure that nobody gets injured during combat.
  • You don't need any experience with armed or unarmed fighting to start LARPing.
  • Whilst skill at LARP combat is advantageous, the basics are easy to pick up, and proficiency is by no means a necessary prerequisite to enjoy or to be successful in the game.
  • Animus is what is known as a linear LARP system.
  • Each LARP takes the form of a self-contained story, or adventure, which is made up of around twelve encounters, where players must fight, solve puzzles, evade traps, or negotiate in order to advance the storyline.
  • Each adventure is part of a larger story, or arc, and so even small decisions that players make on one adventure can end up having large-scale consequences in the world at large.
  • Linear LARP has always reminded the designers of classic episodes of Dr.Who, where GMs direct individual episodes to tell the stories they are invested in, whilst the LARPOs as showrunners direct the overall shape of the wider narrative.
  • It's not necessary to see every episode to enjoy the experience.

Where & When Does It Happen?

  • We meet up most Saturday mornings in The Magic Cafe on Magdalen Rd to have breakfast and a chat and get things organised for the day (meeting between 10-11 in Winter and 11-12 in Summer).
  • Then, people with cars ferry everybody up to the Shotover Country Park carpark. We spend a while in the carpark getting ready and indulging in a bit of sparring, then off into the woods for the LARP proper.
  • The LARP generally finishes sometime between 4-7pm, usually around 5 or 6.
  • People with cars then give everyone lifts back.
  • We usually head to Rusty Bicycle pub to debrief from the day's adventure and socialise (it is conveniently right next to the Magic Cafe and has bike racks for anyone who wants to cycle out to the meeting place).

What Do I Need To Bring?

  • Nothing but yourself and some suitable clothing.
  • LARP involves quite a lot of running around in the woods, so wear clothes which you don't mind getting a bit muddy and covered in undergrowth and which won't suffer too much from the occasional encounter with branches and brambles.
  • Hardwearing footwear which won't give you blisters from running around a lot and won't let in the wet too easily is a must.
  • Gloves are advised, though there will often be some spare pairs available to borrow.
  • Dress up warmly with plenty of layers, unless the weather's particularly summery - even when the sun's out Shotover can have a lot of windchill, LARPs sometimes involve a certain amount of standing around waiting for the next bit and rain can turn up at very short notice.
  • It's a lot better to wear too many layers and take some off when you get too hot than it is to wear too few and end up catching cold.
  • If the weather is hot and summery, bringing suncream and water is recommended, though we will usually have an ample stock of both in the club kit.
  • The LARP group provides safe latex weapons for everyone to use (small swords, big swords, maces, daggers, hammers, staves, axes, etc.) - many people also own their own weapons and may let you borrow them.
  • The group can also provide cloaks, armour, belts, weapon rings and a few other bits and pieces of costume.
  • Some people put a lot of effort into their costume, and we have a costume guide for those that are keen.
  • We don't want costume to be a barrier to entry, however, and so there is no requirement to have any special costume to play - turning up in jeans and a sweater is perfectly normal and fine.
  • Regular games cost £3 each for non-drivers, but your first two are free. Not that we're peddling some kind of drug, or anything.

a player with a large sword smiling happily and looking down

Glossary

There are a number of acronyms and pieces of jargon used on this website and during the game. The most common ones are listed below:

  • LARP - “Live Action RolePlay” or “Live Action RolePlaying”.
  • LARPO - “LARP Organiser” - the person(s) in charge of organising our group. The LARPO is a member of the OURPGSoc committee, and details of who currently holds the position can be found on the society website.
  • IC - “In Character” - anything happening in, or relating to, the imaginary game world and which people roleplay out.
  • OC - “Out of Character” - anything happening in, or relating to, the real world when not roleplaying.
  • GM - “Game Master” - the person who writes and runs an adventure.
  • PC - “Player Character” - a character which somebody has created as their own character, over which they have complete control, and which they play over many different adventures and events.
  • NPC - “Non-Player Character” - a character created by a GM or the LARPO to fill a specific role in the world or in an adventure, who might turn up once and never be seen again or might turn up again and again. Played by a monster under the direction of a GM or the LARPO.
  • Physrep - “Physical Representation”. Often used when an item is standing in for something else. “This throwing knife is phyrepping a bag of diamonds.” Also used to refer OC to participants: “The physrep for Batts Marbeq, the skeleton? Their name is Seb.”
  • Player - in each adventure everyone is split into “players” (who each play their own PC for the whole adventure) and “monsters” (who each play a variety of different NPC roles over the course of the adventure, many of them short lived, under the direction of the GM).
  • Monster - see previous entry.
  • XP - “eXperience Points” - every time you show up you gain an experience point to spend on one of your characters, even if you were a monster for the day.
introduction.txt · Last modified: 2018/02/06 14:32 by gm_seb