Definition of LARP
As noted on our LARP calendar, I have chosen to narrowly define LARP for the purposes of this blog. There is a large and growing umbrella of Live Action Role-Paying games from Vampire the Masquerade and other “hotel” events (fun fact; where I actually, really got my start back in like 1994…I’ll Rock, Paper, Scissors YOU my friend!), to combat skirmish games more reminiscent of the SCA. Also LARP has expanded not only in the US but in Europe, with reports of massive, culturally supported games occurring in Germany, Norway, and the like. I don’t really care about all of that, because when you open the scope too wide you end up arguing with some Finnish asshole about latex weapons for far longer than is good for your health or their economy.
Instead, I chose to define and concentrate on the following criteria, which I call “New England Sport LARPing”:
–The Events must take place in New England: MA, CT, ME, NH or RI (lulz). I’ve heard there are incredible things going on at a LARP-only site in New Jersey; Alliance has their own hippie commune in Pennsylvania, and NERO always seems to be buying land somewhere in Georgia or North Carolina where they invite local children to sit around dry creek beds and answer riddles (I wish I were joking). Unfortunately, I can barely track down the 54+ events and dozen campsites locally to even begin considering a wider scope.
–The Events must take place over the course of at least a Friday and Saturday. Single weekend-long-events per year and few one days are ok, but I do not want to spend much time on single day or once a year events right now (exception; the bi-annual and frequently excellent Lovecraft’s Legacies game).
–The Events must offer boffer (I so loathe that word…but I loathe “foam fighting” even more) combat as a conflict resolution mechanic. I do so love boffer (ugh) combat and all the trappings that come with it.
–The Events must occur at a campsite or other overnight adventure space. While some nascent games began as literal backyard weekends I don’t want to end up offering a critique of your mom’s house.
–The Events should have an ongoing storyline and feature recurring NPCs, a cohesive game world, and a cosmology.
“But what about X game?” I’m sure I’ll eventually hear. In short, if someone is passionate about their system and it comes somewhat close to the criteria (Dagohiriririr, or however that is spelled, for instance) I’ll make an effort to get out that way and have a look around. With my…1 free weekend this year. So. Yeah. But if you’re a part of something cool, let me know!