Your thoughts on LARP?

cosco24

Newbie
Hi everyone. Recently I've been quite interested in larping and was wondering if I could get some of your thoughts. You can answer as many or as few questions as you want, or if you just want to tell me about your experience, that works too.

How did you find out about larping, or what got you into larping?

What exactly do you find fun or enjoyable about larping?

How often do you participate in events?

Do you find that being a part of this community helps you in any other aspect of your life? (ie: communication skills, leadership skills, etc)

Do you find that there are any downsides to larping? (cost, less time for other things, etc)

Thanks for your time!
 

Polare

Count
Alliance Rules
Moderator
Seattle Staff
Good morning! I'll take a crack at answering your questions. Some background: I've been LARPing for ~21 years, since I was 16 years old.

How did you find out about larping, or what got you into larping?
A chance meeting at college with some folks who were already LARPing. Hadn't heard about it beforehand, though I suspect if the Internet had been around and prevalent I would have gotten interested that way.

What exactly do you find fun or enjoyable about larping?
Lots of things! Being able to play someone I'm not in my "real life" is a big draw. It lets me stretch parts of myself in ways not possible outside of LARPing. Each character has their own play that is "fun" to do - for one of my characters, it's the economy and social aspects; for another it's sneaking around and stalking up on targets unaware; for still another it's seeing just how much trouble he can get into. At the end of the day the stories and experiences you collect are akin to what you might get by traveling or exploring different parts of the world.

How often do you participate in events?
About once every month and a half.

Do you find that being a part of this community helps you in any other aspect of your life? (ie: communication skills, leadership skills, etc)
Definitely. Without the chance to stretch my social skills by LARPing, I wouldn't have had nearly as much success in my career. I'm in a senior management position at work and I have no doubt that I owe a lot of that to growth from LARPing over the years.

Do you find that there are any downsides to larping? (cost, less time for other things, etc)
Cost, sure. It's an expensive hobby. Time is also an issue, especially as a parent. One of the biggest potential up- AND downsides is that LARPers can make a very close-knit community ... that really enjoys drama. Unfortunately, this can lead to in-game events being taken out-of-game and causing fallout in your out-of-game friendships. It's *vital* to keep your in-game and out-of-game experiences separate - little things like checking up on people out-of-game after you've just murdered their character in-game to make sure they're OK can go a long ways to staying happy long term.

Hope this helps!
-Bryan
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
Hi everyone. Recently I've been quite interested in larping and was wondering if I could get some of your thoughts. You can answer as many or as few questions as you want, or if you just want to tell me about your experience, that works too.

How did you find out about larping, or what got you into larping?

What exactly do you find fun or enjoyable about larping?

How often do you participate in events?

Do you find that being a part of this community helps you in any other aspect of your life? (ie: communication skills, leadership skills, etc)

Do you find that there are any downsides to larping? (cost, less time for other things, etc)

Thanks for your time!
1) A friend of mine and his family got involved in a LARP called Exodus about 17 years ago, I joined them for the second event. Funny enough, it was a grandchild of NERO, in the sense that it was made from players who were dissatisfied with a LARP that was made by players dissatisfied with NERO.

2) I enjoy meeting people, I enjoy sportlike combat, and I enjoy the bonding experience a LARP can give you.

3) I would say that I generally make 7-9 LARPs a year.

4) My experiences have helped me with a lot of my social anxiety. I do a lot better with meeting new people than I used to.

5) The buy-in can be rough, depending on what you want to do. Additionally, if you don't make a lot of money OOG, and you've got people who play that can afford some really great props/garb, it can sometimes make you feel envious. Bad events happen, too, and it can make you doubt the entire hobby at times. That's especially true if the cost an event plus food and gas runs pricey for you. Also, in some LARPs, there's sometimes a distinct feeling of cliquishess, and it can make it easy for a player to feel excluded.
 

Ruki

Scholar
Hi everyone. Recently I've been quite interested in larping and was wondering if I could get some of your thoughts. You can answer as many or as few questions as you want, or if you just want to tell me about your experience, that works too.

How did you find out about larping, or what got you into larping?
The youtube series LARPS

What exactly do you find fun or enjoyable about larping?
The socialization, the action, the drama. It's all great!

How often do you participate in events?
Once a month since Feb 2016

Do you find that being a part of this community helps you in any other aspect of your life? (ie: communication skills, leadership skills, etc)
Maybe a little bit?

Do you find that there are any downsides to larping? (cost, less time for other things, etc)
It can be expensive (between costume, weapons, ect...) and draining (physically, mentally, emotionally) at times. But for the most part, the pros outweigh the cons.

Thanks for your time!
Answers in bold!
 

Tevas

Scholar
Marshal
Playtest Community Manager
1) A guy I DM'd D&D for in high school got me into it. It's was a fairly seamless transition.

2) The original draw for me was that it was essentially live action D&D, which was huge, coming from a D&D background. The combat wasn't as big of a focus for me, because I played other more sport oriented foam fighting games, but it was definitely an aspect I enjoyed. The longer I played though, the more my focus became about the progression and development of the storyline, the opportunities for individual creativity and content exploration, and the social aspects of the character interactions.

3) It varies based on the month, but this year I will have attended 21 Alliance events. At one point this year I attended an Alliance event every weekend for 6 consecutive weekends.

4) While I do not believe it has assisted me in those ways, I know that it has definitely benefitted others in that fashion. What Alliance has done for me, however, is introduced me to incredible friends that I am very grateful for, both in my state and in other states.

5) Depending upon the community, there can be drama. But that is true of many communities, honestly, not just Alliance. I find that time management issues in my experience tend to be native to the individual. Some people regularly overcommit themselves and run out of time for other things, but I usually see that to be more of a reflection of the individual's nature than a consequence of the game.
 

MondayMcGee

Scholar
San Francisco Staff
Sure, I'll bite.

1) I was recruited by college friends. We played a lot of tabletop RPGs and board games, but it took me a while to get into LARP. The first couple of games I tried were Vampire games, and I actually thought I hated LARPing. Turns out, that was just not the game for me. It finally stuck with a Firefly NERF LARP a number of years later.

2) I love the collaborative storytelling aspect -- joining together with a bunch of cool people to create amazing stories. I am also really into the crafting aspect. I love creating costuming, props, etc to bring my character to life and make a more immersive experience.

3) I average 1-2 games per month, one of those being the Alliance weekend event, and the other being the aforementioned Firefly game, which holds monthly day games.

4) Definitely echoing what others have said about the social benefits. I've gotten more comfortable in crowds and with new people as a result of LARPing. I have also found it to be really helpful when I'm stressed out in my real life -- it's somehow very theraputic to deal with problems and stresses that are entirely fictional, and can be just set down at the end of the event.

5) Cost and time can definitely be an issue, but that is true of any hobby that requires equipment and/or practice. Honestly, I feel like I get a pretty good bang for my buck with LARP, but that also may be because I get a lot of fun out of crafting my own gear. The drain can be a problem -- I'm pretty exhausted after a weekend event, especially if it's an emotional one (Maelstrom, I'm lookin' at you).
 

Muir

Fighter
Hi everyone. Recently I've been quite interested in larping and was wondering if I could get some of your thoughts. You can answer as many or as few questions as you want, or if you just want to tell me about your experience, that works too.

How did you find out about larping, or what got you into larping?

What exactly do you find fun or enjoyable about larping?

How often do you participate in events?

Do you find that being a part of this community helps you in any other aspect of your life? (ie: communication skills, leadership skills, etc)

Do you find that there are any downsides to larping? (cost, less time for other things, etc)

Thanks for your time!
Why not.

1.) I was playing White Wolf paper-rock-scissors stuff back in the 90's with my friends. As far as Alliance specifically, a buddy went looking for ways to build boffer lightsabers back when the prequel trilogy was coming out, found Alliance, and suggested we go to an event. Been doing this off and on ever since.

2.) I'm here, in all honesty, for the combat and the story. Boffer fighting is fun and easier on the body than SCA-style heavy stick, and having that combat in the context of a story is a lot more satisfying.

3.) 6-8 events a year. It's a road trip any time I want to play, so multiple events a month are a no-go.

4.) It can be good to step out of my day to day frustrations and into a world where things are solvable and fictional, but not particularly. LARP is only really what you bring to it, at the end of the day.

5.) Cost. This is not a cheap game to play, between reps and garb and travel, as well as the time off commitments if you don't have a chapter in your back yard or work a non-traditional schedule. Additionally, this can be a frustrating game sometimes, given the nature of the ruleset and playerbase. Unlike something simple like a home tabletop D&D campaign or board game, if you're having a bad time for rules-based reasons there really aren't very many options for fixing it other than starting over (with the associated costs of replacing garb and gear) or finding something else to do.
 

p.richard

Scholar
Owner
Utah Staff
How did you find out about larping, or what got you into larping? I was in high school up in Portland, OR when some of my Art Classmates learned that I liked roleplaying. They taught me about LARPing and took me to an event. I nearly sliced my finger off cutting a mask AND almost had hypothermia... but it was the best experience of my life.

What exactly do you find fun or enjoyable about larping? When I first started back in the day, it was the thrill of being a "super hero" like all my D&D characters. Eventually it turned into a way to help cope with a lot of stuff in my life. Now, I find enjoyment by bringing others merriment through the adventures I write and the stories I tell.

How often do you participate in events? I used to go every time I could. Then I took a 2 year break. Now I am on a plot team... so I better show up from here on out?

Do you find that being a part of this community helps you in any other aspect of your life? (ie: communication skills, leadership skills, etc) Oh certainly! Jeez, when I first started LARPing I was a train wreck. My relationship skills were selfish and just down right horrible. I didn't know how to treat people with respect nor did I really care about how others felt. Over the course of my life, and through the people I have met through LARPing, my career and my friends, I have become a better person. I try to be a servant of the people instead of a selfish taskmaster lol

Do you find that there are any downsides to larping? (cost, less time for other things, etc) Hmmm. I spend a lot of time writing. But that is my choice. We have a policy that EVERYTHING needs to be written down before you can run a module or adventure. So I find that I am on the computer or my phone a lot. Outside of that, no. LARPing is my hobby and I love it.
 

Grianadhmad

Artisan
How did you find out about larping, or what got you into larping?
I've probably known about LARPing for a long time, couldn't tell you exactly when. But I began LARPing in August of this year because I needed a creative escape and it was recommended as a good outlet for my HFA/AS. I've been doing random cosplay and acting and performing and even pranking in my local region for many years, and I've been involved in forum-based text RPs for over a decade, so there was a natural segue to live roleplaying.

What exactly do you find fun or enjoyable about larping?
In any sort of roleplaying you're adopting a persona and -- to do it well, fully and accurately -- you have to think and move and speak and act as this other persona does. Sometimes it's similar to your natural persona, sometimes it's not. But live action goes above and beyond the text-based roleplay, allowing me to not just internalise and visualise this other person but to actually live and act it out. There's also a bit of a thrill of "Oh, I'm in a combat now" or something similar and having to make on-the-spot, often split-second decisions without having time to think ahead about the consequences.

How often do you participate in events?
I've hit up every event of my "local" chapter since I started (which is two, the third is this upcoming weekend). The first weekend was a full weekend and I loved it; the second one I could only manage to be there for a half day because of my work schedule. I intend to participate in every event possible because why would I want to miss anything in my character's hometown?

Do you find that being a part of this community helps you in any other aspect of your life? (ie: communication skills, leadership skills, etc)
No. Surprisingly. But I guess if I think about it it's not that surprising; the character I play has a lot of my behaviours but his worldview and his attitude are radically different. For instance, using the two examples you gave, I use communication and leadership far more in real life than as the character, because my job requires me to train co-workers and construct reports that will provide end users with the data they need, but my character is just kind of a follower and doesn't see himself as being especially useful or able to impart any valuable skills to anyone else.

Do you find that there are any downsides to larping? (cost, less time for other things, etc)
The only thing I would say is gas money but that's because I live so far away from any chapter, so my "local" chapter is about 90-100 miles away xDD. When it comes to costume cost, yes I did order some individual parts to enhance my costume, but really I could have managed with what I had at home already, and that includes makeup (something to pale my skin and some eyebrow pencils to draw birch stripes on me). My jobs and my family take priority over the events so if ever there was an absolute conflict, I would just have to miss the event, but usually I'm able to schedule availability around everything else.
 

markusdark

Knight
How did you find out about larping, or what got you into larping? Worked at a company in upstate New York in 1990 called Costume Armor that made plastic armor for movies and TV (don't want to throw a star into a pool with 50 pounds of metal) and someone came in to have an extra large custom chest plate piece. I asked him what it was for and he gave me the third edition (then current addition) NERO Rulebook. Reading it had me hooked but it would take me two years before I could actually attend a game.

What exactly do you find fun or enjoyable about larping? I always enjoyed RPG's all my life (still do) but don't like that all my planning and scheming will come down to a simple dire roll. I'd rather fail due to my abilities than to luck. In addition, to actually be in the rain, in the dark, hiding between two trees and awaiting Drow Assassins to cross the path in front of me (what I did my first NERO game ever) - well that experience can be told at a table but hard to be felt.

How often do you participate in events? I am just coming off an 8 year hiatus of regular playing. I used to play in at least one game, sometimes two, a month - in addition to running my own larp. These days, I'm hoping to average one every other month.

Do you find that being a part of this community helps you in any other aspect of your life? (ie: communication skills, leadership skills, etc) Helped a lot with my social anxiety. And the fact that various organizations - from medical field to the military to large corporations often use one style of larping or another to train their people shows the importance of it.
 
How did you find out about larping/what got you in to it? Always got told that I would be a larper.... finally got recommend to NERO Chicago by my local librarian whom I have know most of my life. I love improve theater and rp so it was perfect. After my first year we transferred over to alliance Chicago die to the NERO chapter shutting down. Started at 15 now going on 20 years old.

What extactly do you find fun or enjoyable about larping? Stories. ... I love pursing stories and playing out a character in a different world. I have had some great progression of story stuff happen. I love rping with folk.

How often do you play? Right now about 7 events a year. But that will be changing as finiances and time allows. Once I get finiances settled, I plan attending more events as a PC. but next year I will most likely switch to NPCing or no attendance depending on the money.

Did you find This affects other aspects of your life? Larp is one of the few places I can really be myself. I have met a lot of great non judgemental friends in the group. Found out about other stuff from said friends when meeting OOG. Not to mention I have had in game conversations that resulted in advice for a bigger out of game situation.

Downsides to the hobby.... Cost and time. ..... I got lucky and I was able to have the skills to make a cheap but decent costume(that propably could use an update by now.). But cost is defenitly a big problem as I was younger when I started and now I am shifting to adulthood and working on a job and getting my own place. But npcing is still a great way to do it.
 
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John

Artisan
How did you find out about larping, or what got you into larping?

I was looking for something to get me out of the house since I had to quit roller derby. I learned about Alliance through a teammate and have just finished my 4th year.

What exactly do you find fun or enjoyable about larping?

Escaping the day to day and dealing with problems that are only dire because we pretend they are. Roleplay is great and keeps you on your toes.

How often do you participate in events?

5 events a year.

Do you find that being a part of this community helps you in any other aspect of your life? (ie: communication skills, leadership skills, etc)

Since I came came back from Iraq in 2005, I have had a problem with crowds and interacting with new people. Larp has helped with that because of the people that play. Everyone is very welcoming and helpful.

Do you find that there are any downsides to larping? (cost, less time for other things, etc)

Time is always a factor, be it crafting gear, working extra shifts for that new piece of gear or having to use vacation time to make it to events. I don't see these as downsides, just things to juggle to make for great mini vacations.
 
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