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It’s Time For Change – View from a US Larp

When I mention LARPing to someone, the response I usually get is “Excuse you”. Excuse me? No, excuse you good sir for I feel bad that you have not been able to experience the eye opening experience you could have LARPing. Most people when they hear about LARPing they instantly become condescending and judgmental. Funny thing is… I’m not getting the looks like I did five years ago.

LARP stands for Live Action Role Play. LARPing began in the 1970s and although no one can agree to where this term was coined or who exactly thought it up we do know that the first game recorded began in 1977 in Washington DC in the United States. Players who partake in a LARP call themselves LARPers. Eh, so what? I can easily find that on the LARPing wiki right? But read it again… LARPing has been around for 30+ years. This ‘idea’ has been around for a long period of time and this ‘idea’ has not been played around…

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Alright. I’ve seen this MULTIPLE times and I think it’s time to speak out. Being an active and attractive LARPer myself, I’ve also been on the receiving end of these crazy and sometimes cruel misunderstandings.

What the heck am I talking about? You’re an attractive LARPer (either male or female, yes I’m including you guys too!) you’ve attended a LARP long enough to make a name for yourself and get the attention of every other LARPer in the game. You’re on top of the world! The attention is intoxicating and you can’t get enough of it. Until you catch wind of the rumors… about you.

Why is it when you’re getting the right kind of attention people need to say the wrong kind of thing? You know what I mean…

“She’s sleeping with him. AND him. AND him.”

“He’s a player and will sleep with anything that moves.”

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As a girl LARPer, I’ve received MANY different tips, hints, and straight out rules from guys whether I ask for it or not. It’s just natural for someone who knows something very well to want to ’show off’ to the new people, including to the damsel in distress.

Some of these words of wisdom made me roll my eyes or actually stand up and pay attention. You’re probably thinking ‘how hard is it to just pick a name, class and race and just roll with it?’ Not hard at all actually… but you won’t truly enjoy yourself, and when it comes time to actually role-play your character you don’t want to be stumbling around for history to talk about.

Just ask the LARPers that throw their entire self into creating this second personality, they love it! It always goes back to that saying my mother use to tell me; you get what you put into it.
Your first step in really putting your heart into creating your character is you! Sit down in a quiet, dark and cool room. Close your eyes and just begin to let your mind wander. If your mind begins to wander to the chores you have to do, the bills you have to pay, or going to work tomorrow quickly pull your mind back and imagine yourself walking through a small medieval town. Look at each of the…

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We're all dressed the same but we're all different characters!

We're all dressed the same but we're all different characters!

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LARPing in the Fall

LARPing in the Fall

We’ve covered cold weather LARPing and hot weather LARPing and what we suggest wearing. But with the seasons slowly changing from hot to cold what is a LARPer to do?

Fall is one of the best times to LARP. Personally I would say it IS the best time to LARP. Perfect temperature; warmer during the day and cooler at night. Less bugs. Nice breezes. Beautiful scenery. What more could you ask for? A nice cup of warm cider if you’d ask me. But anyway, I’m straying from the point. What to wear to warm up your outfit but not to make it too hot?

Layers here are your friend. Light layers during the day with heavier layers for night. Some layers I’ve come to appreciate when LARPing would be: Under Armor, they have so many different styles and weights now it’s perfect for those fall days. Cloaks, another thing that comes in all different weights and styles. I have capes to cover my shoulders and full blown head to toe woolen Guardian cloaks that you can lose yourself in. Long Johns, these are nice if you can’t afford the much pricier Under Armor. Having some sort of head covering (hat, ear muffs, some sort of hood, etc.) on hand never hurts along with gloves and scarf. Warm socks are a plus.

Now, you don’t want to go ALL out. This is fall and not yet winter. You’ll have days where you can wear your summer outfits and be perfectly fine. I would say pack more then you think you’re going to need, rather be safe then sorry. Especially for night. When the sun goes down and you’re laying still your temperature is going to drop quickly and you’ll need the extra layers to contain heat.

So pack up those layers and enjoy yourself! This really is the best time to get out there and experience the world of LARPing!

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The Feminine Side of LARPing

Part 5b, Clicking with the Cliques.

This blog is in response to my earlier blog: Me, Myself and Cliques; Can you handle the clique?

I explained how to spot cliques and my experiences with them. Now it’s time to deal with them. There are mutiple ways of dealing with cliques; you can decide to ignore them, try to become included with them OR leave the game in search of greener pastures. There ARE games out there that do not have cliques and the player base is warm and welcoming. Don’t settle for something you’re not enjoying when these days some areas have multiple LARPs running and some might even be held at the same camp you’re at.

Some tips on telling from the LARP’s website if they have cliques so you can avoid them from the start:

  • Check the Forums and read the new players section, are only staff members welcoming the new players? And is there only one staff memeber saying hello days later? Or are players also welcoming the newbies?
  • Look for established groups of players that have attended for years and seem cold and unwelcoming to low level players. You can usually spot these on the Forums as well. Check if they have their own ‘rooms’ or a special saying in their signatures.
  • Read the highlights and lowlights of the events (on again on the Forums) and see what other players are saying.

If you miss the warning signs, are already invested in a game with cliques, or you ignore the signs and still attend there are some things you can do for damage control. If you ignore them keep in mind that this being a social game with you ignore certain power groups may effect your game play. Some groups have been with the game since the start and will have plot written for them because the staff are trying to keep them coming, if you’re ignoring them you’ll miss out on plot and if you’re missing plot what fun is that? If the staff memebers ARE catering to the older players this is another red flag, not only pertaining to cliques but pertaining to the entire game.

If you make the decision to join a clique, then go for it! Cliques are not ALWAYS bad things. Sometimes they can be the exact thing you need to get you involved with the game. But being a girl you have brownie points. You’ll have a better chance at joining a clique… and if you’re a supporting class (healer (HUGE bonus), dpser, gatherer, etc.) that will increase your chances even more. As for the guys, you’ll have a better chance at creating your own group. But then you’re just helping cliques become created. Just be aware that if you do make it into an established clique there will be a hierarchy already in place and you won’t be the boss. Atleast not at first ;).

As for moving on… you can do it. It’s going to be painful since you’ve most likely made friends, put some effort into a players and/or costume, and you’ve already overcome the ‘new to the game awkward phase’. But you’ve gained experience and that is something that will benefit you for the rest of your life. Plus those friends you made might be unhappy too so they should follow you and your character? If you tweak it just so you can most likely use the same character at a new game. So don’t be afraid to hop around LARP to LARP until you find something that you feel comfortable in. There is not a better feeling then really being involved with a LARP.

-tinamarie86

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One minute the sun is so hot that my flip-flops are threatening to melt onto the sidewalk… while 10 minutes later I’m pulling out my winter coat. Don’t we all love spring?

While you’re trying to regulate your temperature, don’t forget about your weapon’s temperature whether it’s latex or boffer. Extreme cold can literally freeze a weapon, making it hard and crack. Hitting someone with a frozen weapon increases the chances of you doing physical harm since the foam no longer pads the weapon and like anything frozen and being smashed against something… it will break, shatter and crack all over the place. There are the same dangers with the heat. Heat begins to melt and warp the weapon. Duct tape slides off a weapon like butter. Having it sit around (in your trunk or even worse, in your back window) will practically become playdo. My last latex sword, which I left in my car during a cold night but the day it became excruciating,  was laying on top of a racquet. Later that day when I picked it up the latex had melted, oozing through the racquet’s net. I was devastated.

People usually put alot of time, effort and money into a weapon and knowing how to properly take care of it will extend the life of any weapon.

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During game play, I’ve observed dynamics that are related to our discussions on social setting in the past. However, there is more to character (and player) interaction than determining an ‘alpha’–most LARPs have money and treasure, and more advanced games even have an economy. In Seventh Kingdom IGE, some races and professions naturally lend themselves to success in trade and economy. It is the staff’s hope that this will facilitate game play and increase the quality of role play. This should also enhance plot potential and allow the players to have a certain amount of influence on the plot, rather than just playing out a pre-written story.

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