Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My LARPing Background

The idea for this website and blog came to me while I was at, of course, a LARP. Everyone was packing up to go home. While rolling up my tent and chatting with everyone, one fellow commented it seemed to him that every time he went to a LARP or asked about one, my name had come up. I thought about it briefly, and realized he was right. I'd managed to hit nearly every LARP in the Southern California area at least once or twice. Well, I thought, I've been trying to come up with a good idea for a website for awhile - why not make one about LARPing?

And so, HowtoLARP.com was born.

For this first post, I thought I'd take some time to talk about my background LARPing.

I started roleplaying my junior year of high school with AD&D (which makes me sound older than I am - really, 3rd edition Dungeons and Dragons came out six months later). I had always been vaguely interested by LARPing, but it wasn't until my junior year of college that I started dating a gentleman involved with One World by Night, who helped me create my first character (a Toreador neonate named Lily, his childe). Lily met a quick end - her sire had angered too many people, and we found ourselves on the wrong end of an Assamite's fangs within a few months of my starting the game.

I wasn't too dismayed by her end - the character had begun to bore me, and I'd been reading the clanbooks. When it came to character concepts, I was full of them. I made a Giovanni and a Follower of Set in quick succession. Out of all the characters I've ever played, Eden the Setite was my favorite.

My relationship with the gentleman who had brought me into the game ended, one of many factors which influenced my leaving One World for the Camarilla Fan Club and the new World of Darkness. I created a Daeva in the Circle of the Crone named Marie, found a delightfully twisted 'family' and proceeded to have a blast with my fellow players. I also played around in a few troupe Sabbat games.

Despite my love of the World of Darkness, however, there are a few things about the Cam Club I didn't particularly enjoy. For one, combat scenes bored me to tears. One on one fights were not bad, but any combat involving more than three characters was bound to take at least half an hour. I also am not a huge fan of PvP. I don't mind it being a threat to the lives of vampires, but my particular chapter of the Cam Club was fairly famous for the rate at which PCs were killed by other characters.

A friend of mine had just started up a boffer game. I'd never been to a boffer LARP before, but I wanted to support my friend and so started going. I created a ditzy little druid who, within a few games was turned into... a vampire.

From there, I started hitting the other local boffer LARPs, sometimes as an NPC, sometimes as a PC. I even wrote a book, Game of Tears, based partly on my LARPing experiences with my co-author. Currently, I play Thera - a retired courtesan who's now the queen of her own small island; and Irene, an irascible engineer in a post-apocalyptic fantasy world.

I've run a few games of my own, mostly one-shots at convention games (a Call of Cthulhu game set in the Egyptian desert shortly before the outbreak of WWI; and a Babylon 5 game set on a cruise liner about to dock with the station).

I LARP because I like acting but the life of a working actress doesn't really appeal to me. I've played in games, run games and watched games start, rise and then fail. I've also watched games wildly succeed. I've talked about LARP, the culture of LARP and the issues related to LARP over many a beer with my fellow players and game designers. And so I've started this website, which I hope will become a resource for LARPers of all stripes.

So that's my story! Thank you for visiting, and leave a comment below telling me what you think of LARP!

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