Know what I miss? LARPing. In college (more than a decade ago) for several years I lived for LARPing. I played in my local LARP, I ran my local LARP, I drove across the state to play in not-so-local LARPs. I lived breathed and dreamed LARPing. It was awesome.
LARPing is like table-top role-playing, but with a lot more theater. You get dressed up like your character, you use props, there is a much heavier emphasis on staying in character and role-playing everything, and with a pile of other players plotting and scheming instead of the standard pile of NPCs. With all that investment, I can tell you that if you find a good LARP (even if you aren’t that into role-playing) it will be the most fun you’ve ever had in your whole life.
On the other hand, with all that investment, if the LARP is sub-par you’ll never in your whole life feel more like a sad, loser who’s giving up your Friday or Saturday night to play rock-paper-scissors. Ten years ago (okay, fifteen years ago) I only really had experiences with the first group. The awesome group. It was so much fun that when I moved to Seattle I looked for and joined the local LARP here. That one was in the second group.
I’d never been on the outside of the “cool kids” clique at a LARP before. People ignored me, even when I spoke directly to them. GMs would step away to answer a quick question from another player and never come back. It was really weird. It was like they didn’t want me to play.
I’d made a paranormal investigator (modeled after Dib from Invader Zim) and after two months of spending points on occult skills and running around town looking for anything going bump in the night I thought I’d finally found my moment. The walls of a bunch of buildings downtown had started bleeding! I was ecstatic!
I hustled my butt downtown, marched up to the Storyteller in charge of that section, and gushed about how happy I was to be involved in this! I told them all of the different skills I had, all the experience I’d put in my character background. I told them about all the leg work I’d been doing and asked what kind of test they wanted me to make to start my investigation. They just looked at me, blinked, and told me that this sub-plot was specifically for one of their long term (“cool kids” clique) players, not for me. Therefore they weren’t going to let me participate. That was when I left the game and didn’t come back.
It was lame. I haven’t really given another LARP a chance since. Partially because I got busy and never had the time again. Also partially because I’d learned for the first time how it felt to be on the outside of the “cool kids” clique at a LARP and didn’t relish the idea of sinking a year into a LARP just so I could (maybe) get past that hurdle.
Today though I read Ivan Zalac‘s reviews of the two new World of Darkness LARP books. The first (he wrote three years ago when it came out) was for Vampire and the second was for Werewolf (which just came out). I have to say, they’ve made me start thinking about LARPing again. Sounds like there have been some neat changes to the genre in my absence.
Any of you out there still LARPing?