Disclosure: Reprinted with permission from AwesomeShit.Ninja

The shock has worn off recently with the number of times I’m asked this question.

Imagine yourself in Medieval Europe, a fantastical paradise filled with thievery, bloodshed, and lust. Not your thing? Do futuristic scenarios entice you more? Defeating aliens in a post-apocalyptic world and fighting failed mutated experiments from the chemistry lab up the street?

LARPing or live action role-playing is one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life. LARPing is an interactive gaming environment, or an IGE, where you act out a character’s actions and persona. Think of it from an actor’s perspective: they get up on stage, recite a few lines, move across the provided space they’re given, and once the show is over, they take a bow. We don’t do that…unless our specific characters die.

Believe it or not, LARP has been around since the ‘70s. I tell people that fantasy campaign LARPing is a lot like table top game, like Dungeons & Dragons. Table top games simply means sitting around a table and yeah know…playing a game. Basically, every player represents one character and they represent them in a fictional setting. Take the game outdoors in the woods (or a local park), it’s called LARPing.J, Asuna, & NPC

Before I continue, let me introduce myself: my name is Ashlynn! I’ll be totally honest, that is not my name. That is my character’s name. My one year anniversary of LARPing just passed in July and I play at a game called Seventh Kingdom IGE currently located in Central New Jersey. 7k (Seventh Kingdom) is a fantasy LARP, compared to others like Oblivion or Vorydian Chronicles – two non-fantasy LARPs also located in New Jersey. There are many types of LARPs out in the world and probably very close to where you live. Although, we do have one couple at our game who comes out a few times a year from Nevada.

Each game is built around a purpose. 7k is built around a small frontier town called Freehold, which will one day be the Seventh Kingdom (in so many words); FaeGlen is the only kingdom left in the world of Tellus, where the Elemental Gods look over them. Oblivion takes place in during 23rd century New Jersey.

A friend of mine just LARPed in Polish castle that was Harry Potter inspired. Another one in Maine had their first event in June called Beyond the Wall. Choose your class of Ranger, Builder or Steward under Jon Snow’s command. And if you’re a fan of Lord of the Rings series…just head out to Czech Republic.

One game that’s really buzzing in the community right now is The Voyage North – LARP Trip to Bicolline in Canada. A week-long event with three main battles a day and complete character immersion.

“Ya ever hear of D&D? I run around the woods a weekend a month in costume, hitting people with latex weapons an’ talk with an accent.”

The articles that I will write for you are mostly focused on my own experiences of LARPing, so I’ll be talking about my home game primarily. Also, interactions with other players, traveling, how-to prep, budgeting, relationships, and a bunch of other awesome shit that will hopefully convince you to attend an event!

To find LARPs near you, visit www.LARPing.org.