An exhausted barbarian woman sits down at the table with an ale in hand and dictates: “Today has been a tough day. My friends and I got jumped by bandits, who demanded we hand over our bottles of wine. An hour later we were chased slowly by persistent zombies, which we only lost because we had to scale a cliff. We finally made it to the ruins, only to find it now home to Orcs who fought in a blind rage.
“But in the end, the trip was worth it. We found out where the Orb of Oshana is.”
These are the words of a Live Action Role Player (LARP) after a solid four hours of tracking through the woods in costume with fellow role players.
Throughout the day they had battled with foam swords called “boffers” as if they were young kids, encountered puzzles to solve, and spent time ad-libbing with the game’s crew to resolve situations.
Essentially, it’s “improv” theater meets Dungeons and Dragons, or “cosplay” (costume play) meets World of Warcraft online
There are three different types of Live Action Role Playing games; Troupe, Boffer, and Re-enactment.
In Troupe participants in costume ad-lib scenes but use dice or cards to determine the outcome of the conflict. Local examples are Gates of Nirvana and Nova Albion, at several locations within the lower mainland. Find them on Facebook via LaLARP Vancouver.
In Boffer participants dress in costume and use padded foam weapons to hit each other lightly. They will have adventures and quests. Local examples are Aalutan’s Nexus and Compose Rose, in Aldergrove-Langley. See the websites: anlarp.com, and compassroselarp.com
In Re-enactment participants are in period costume, taking on the persona of someone from medieval times. Some dress in armor and test their skills versus one another with functional wood replicas of weapons.
In this LARP, the focus is to learn about history by living it. This is a fantastic place to learn how things were built or done during the medieval era. It has the largest following and local examples are SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) or EMP (Empire of Medieval Pursuits). See the websites: sca.org, and empiremp.com
The Grene Wode Square is a group meant to introduce people to the styles of LARP. New people interested in the hobby are encouraged to attend one of their events.
The next event is the Fantasy Medieval Tavern on July 8; to find out more and to join the fun, contact Bryce Garnons-Williams at TavernNight@gmail.com