LARP, or Live Action RolePlaying, is an immersion storytelling event in which you assume the role of a character in an interactive drama. You create a detailed background story for your character, with strengths and weaknesses, goals and desires and personality, and a Storyteller creates a situation for you and other such players of characters to react to and with. It can be lighthearted or quite serious, scary or romantic. It is really whatever the players/characters make of it.
I have been LARPing since about 1999, and my favorite game is the World of Darkness system by White Wolf Publishing. The World of Darkness, or WoD, encompasses several distinct games that share the same universe – Vampire: the Masquerade, Werewolf: the Apocalypse, Mage: the Ascension, and others. (Note: these are the “old” game names – a few years back, White Wolf rebooted their entire WoD universe and created the New World of Darkness, or NWoD, with games like Vampire: the Requiem and Mage: the Awakening.) I started with Vampire and moved through most of the rest of the games, at times playing in at least 7 sessions a month! I was a complete addict – the stories were fun to participate in and also it was a great social activity. After many games we’d all go to dinner together, and we’d have parties at each other’s homes from time to time.
For one reason or another I’d gotten out of playing lately. I suffer from Depression and that had something to do with it, but also most games are held at least 15 to 30 miles from my house (with some few being held as close as 5 miles away), and so it was a chore to get out every weekend to participate. I whittled down the games I was playing down to one or two a month, and then stopped going altogether. Did I miss it? Sure, every now and then. I missed seeing my friends more than playing the game, but over the years we’ve moved even further from each other. Some were up in Simi Valley, some out in Glendale, others in Riverside county, and yet more down in Deepest, Darkest Orange County. Although I live in a sort of center point to all these places, it just makes them equally far from me.
Anyway, this past weekend was a local gaming convention that is held 3 times a year near the LAX airport. We have gone religiously in the past, but again had stopped going in recent times, mainly due to the cost of the convention. When I started going, the weekend pass was $30, and now it’s up to $50 per person. Still, we hadn’t been in a while, and my husband was interested in going, so we did.
I had planned to play some table-top roleplaying games (think old-school D&D, a bunch of
nerdsgamers around a table with character sheets and dice, screaming about cheetos), but nothing on the schedule once I got there seemed overly interesting. I ended up spending much of the first day just hanging out with my computer and seeing old friends, and painting miniatures at the Paint-and-Take table.
Some of my friends convinced me to come play the Vampire LARP that was one of the last ones I’d played regularly in, and so at 8pm I brought my old character sheet (still faithfully carried around in my purse even though I don’t play anymore) and prepared to make trouble. I wont go into the details of the game or my character, but suffice to say she doesn’t fit in very well with the group at large, though she does have some very powerful friends. Games in which I play tend to be interesting, to say the least. I forgot how much I likeed causing all that trouble, and so I quite enjoyed myself that night. And, some things happened in game that make it easy and important for my character to be involved in future games.
So, I’m thinking I might get back into it, a little bit.
I’m just hoping “a little bit” means 1 or 2 games a month and not 7ish. Hehe.
Do you play role-playing games or LARPs? If so, what’s your favorite character ever? How much of yourself is in that character?