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Swords Are Awesome

SWORDS ARE AWESOME

At one point in Your Face Tomorrow, Javier Marias’ epic three-novel digression on truth, violence, and transgression, the narrator flips his intellectual bean because his boss takes out a sword in a bathroom.

Swords Are Awesome, Your Face Tomorrow.

Your Face Tomorrow, Swords Are Awesome.

You don’t take out a sword just to intimidate a person, he says. It’s such an inconvenient, impossible to conceal, wonky tool that any 21st century person looking to intimidate someone would just use a gun or a shank.

The very presence of the sword drips with violence and murder.

They’re among the most primitive crafted weapons—basically just sharpened clubs—and were the main element of war for so long that our collective creative consciousness won’t let go of them.

Beside the fact that all of the best fight scenes in movies have swords in them, and the fact that the leader of any group better have a sword or else he ain’t really the leader, they continue popping up in symbolic, fictional, and practical uses. From duels, to raunchy 19th century novels, to military ceremony, swords remain.

The symbolic and emotional connection of the sword to the human heart is complex and richly varied.

At least 50% of the appeal of Star Wars comes from how it drags the nobility of the sword and the knight into space travel. It’s not only about cool-looking, light-saber fights. Even Darth Vader knows that he’s got to fight Luke and Obi Wan sword-to-sword—nobly, light a knight.

Of course, they’re not always noble. The Hound prefers a sword, too. His just happens to be massive, and excellent at hacking people in half.

A sword is, literally, an extension of the self. It extends your arm in a 2, 3, or 4 foot arc around your body and gives it a killing edge, turning a fleshy little target into a tiger: elegant, terrifying, and deadly. It also, like those people who start to look like their dogs, provides a physical representation for who a person is.

Thing is, swords are awesome because they just look cool. And when you hold one you look like a Bad Ass. You aren’t holding a little plastic lead projector and telling people to stay away or you’ll shoot.

You’re holding a three-foot shard of steel and saying, come at me bro. See what happens.

LARPing is critical to the success of the future

LARPing is critical to the success of the future

LARPing is critical to the success of the future

Live Action Role Playing (heretofore referred to as LARPing or larping) is fundamentally critical to the success of the future. It is the bridge between every race and class in this world. Anyone, anywhere in the world has everything they need to do it at a moment’s notice. It does not care in the least how young or old, healthy or sick you are, and in many cases, it does not even matter what language you speak. All you need to know is how to play. As long as you participate within the framework of any given larping scenario, you are an active part of the game, building the experience for the other players around you. It doesn’t mean you will be great at it, it doesn’t mean you will be the brave hero in every story, and for thousands of players all over the world, you may never fight a single monster or finish a single quest. You will have simply taken another step on your journey, experiencing something deep and rich along the way.

The ability to transcend time and space, remove and rebuild social constructs as you see fit, these are not tools to be taken lightly and they come with some responsibilities for those of us who feel called to organize and support this community. It takes a lot of work and a lot of effort to keep a LARP community engaged, but the rewards are rich and lasting. A community that grows and plays together can experience wonders that literally cannot be found anywhere on the planet. By combining the imaginations of human beings, each infinite in its own way, the endless possibilities for exploring together can become the basis for friendships that last a lifetime, through thick and thin.

My name is Clinton Graybill and I’ve been larping for over a decade. I direct a live-action role playing theater company called Epic Adventurez and we’ve been directing events for adults and children all over the greater Philadelphia area for the last five years. Our core belief is that through play we can dissolve the barriers that plague or society and allow ourselves to become more than we think we can be. I’d like to explore the power of LARPing, its unique properties that make it perfectly suited helping both the introverted to look outside of themselves and the extrovert to learn to care about their own needs instead of being so interested in others. Larping gets the nerdy bookworm outside running around and the sporty jock dressing up and pouring his heart out. It is the bridge we want, it is the game we need, I believe LARPing is critical to the success of the future.

Playologist

Playologist

Playologist

Playologist was on the placard sitting on my mentors desk. Someone made this rule that we all have to do something. That we all have to be something. We’ll it wasn’t until I saw this tile, immortalized in brass like so many professors door plates I has seen before that I knew what I wanted to be.  Ology, the study of, and play, the focus of the study was just so elegantly simple and joyful and instantly recognizable that I was like a bucket cold water.  My mentor Howard Moody had given me the gift of a magnifying glass. The gift of clarity. He was the most intensely playful individual that took his calling so seriously that he was guilty of taking it TOO serious. A Playologist was the name that fit him very well. Perfect state of being. Since that day over 20 years ago I have devoted my life to “building healthy community through play.” A mission that Epic Toys is keystone in serving. My favorite game is, without a doubt capture eh flag with fo swords. And let me explain why. It combine so many elements of play  that grip me. Physical sport that both challenge gone player personally and the player competitively. I love it because we have to honor our opponent by acting out our wounds while trying to defeat them. Helping the enemy so I can have a better game. Awesome!

Let's Dance

Playologist

LARP Gambling

LARP Gambling

LARP gambling can be very common in the fantasy/combat world.

Almost every larp has some sort of gambling going on. It adds to the atmosphere, gives players more things to do when things are slow, and makes the setting more believable by giving it another real-world facet. Characters ma

Cosplay – “I Wanted to Be a Dwarf”

Dwarves

Dwarves (Photo credit: Jane Starz)

Dwarf

“I wanted to be a dwarf!”

Whether to dress up as a dwarf, a werewolf, or an elf: cosplay is a part of the whole Live Action Role Playing Experience. Not only do players need the necessary weapons, but they must dress the part. LARP activants escape into a world where fantasy becomes real. In this article, we explore the process of  creating costumes through a man named Louis Debruyne.

Louis Debruyne  is a French Larper, but prefers to be called “Gimlee” as a reference to Gimli in The Lord of the Rings and “Bruce Lee” as a great man. He is in a LARP association, Le consortium de Griffe.

He was Kandorya, the biggest French LARP, playing a dwarf when he ran into a little problem. He was too tall to play a dwarf! Because of this he devised a plan to make him appear smaller. After much thought and blueprints, he came up with the idea of barrel-boots. The structure itself is in PVC, easy to buy in a building material store, and the exterior is made of groundsheets. It’s cheap and easy to mold. When the barrels were done, he had to paint them with some waterproof paint to protect the interior and limit the damage to the structure. Then, he painted with colors. He wanted a render cartoon, like World of Warcraft. It was a two-month project, but the product is something he is proud of. He plans to make repairs and upgrade it! Read the full article to find out more about his creative process and gain advice on making your own LARP costume and weapons.

Boffer Arrows VS Packet Arrows: the Pros and Cons

Archers

Archers (Photo credit: Jane Starz) Boffer Arrows

Boffer Arrows

Boffer arrows and packet arrows are two different weapons that archers can choose from in battle. Every Live Action Role Playing game is different, and each game has different rules when it comes to combat. For archers, the rules are even more diverse. Some games allow foam-tipped boffer arrows that are similar to actual arrows, which are fired from actual bows. Other LARPs require boffer bows covered in foam that do not fire, but that ranged combatants throw packets full of bird seed by hand. While each player may have a strong preference over the other, each method has their advantages and disadvantages. The Boffer arrow is more realistic looking. It can shoot your arrow multiple feet away. In the same instance, this is what makes it more dangerous. The packet arrows on the other hand are more game friendly. You have to throw the packets, which takes away from the realism.

One Live Action Role Playing adventurer respects both methods, but her current LARP group requires members to use packet arrows due to the regulations in the state park they use for their game. She asks what fellow archers prefer and the benefits they see in the boffer arrow and the packet arrows.

Click here to view full article

I will be taking between 10 and 40 inner-city youth out LARPing

English: Amtgard fighters prepare to storm Cas...

English: Amtgard fighters prepare to storm Castle Discord. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) inner-city youth out LARPing

This summer, I will be taking between 10 and 40 inner-city youth out LARPing once a week for around 2.5 hours a session. What can I do to make the experience more entertaining for them?

Basically, I work for a Youth organization and I have a decent amount of kids who LARP with me. Most of our stuff is pretty basic and fun, but I fear they are getting a bit bored as attendance has dropped a bit over the past couple months.

To combat this, I enlisted the help of a second staff, and we will now be going to a neary by park to play once a week. The park is cool, it has some tree coverage and old stone pathways and a little bridge. I figured the change of location would peek the interest of our players, but I want to be able to give them one hell of an awesome summer experience!

The weapons we have are mostly level 1 Boffer swords, the kinds made from pool noodles, tape, and PVC cores. They work well for the kids since they are pretty soft. But we don’t have much variety.

What are some ideas I can do to make the story more interesting or the game more engaging?

Phys-rep everything. Put your monsters in full makeup and costumes. Build a dungeon maze with tomato stakes or PVC pipe and black plastic tarp (or some other cheap mazey-making material) and make it as real as you possibly can.

Nothing makes the immersion of larping as fun as it can be like easing suspension of disbelief.

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[–]shash1 3 points 4 days ago

Small sessions, low level equipment. Hmm here’s something

Play some bloodbowl. That is – find a suitable opening, mark a small playfield. Get/make a “ball”. Rules are simple – basic combat ones. Ball related ones – on every round ball it tossed in the middle of the field by the referee. The ball can only be carried by hand in an empty hand. Passing by throwing is allowed. Scoring is only done via a touchdown.

There ya go. thank me later.

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[–]TonightsWhiteKnight[S] 1 point 4 days ago

AWESOME! So, if I understand, you could still lop of the other teams limbs or kill them in the middle of the game while they are running the ball?

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[–]shash1 3 points 4 days ago

Well duh… thats why its called bloodbowl.

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[–]Salaris 1 point 3 days ago

This is a good idea. There are some more formalized versions of this game out there, such as “Jugging” in Amtgard.

http://www.amtgard.ca/files/jugging.pdf

You can make changes to suit your needs, of course.

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[–]brumguvnor 3 points 4 days ago

Circle of treachery!

Everyone stands in a circle and you can kill anyone you like; you can form alliances, gang up on people, turn round and backstab your partner: anything goes: last man standing wins!

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[–]Lady_LARPer 2 points 4 days ago

If you’re going the short fun games route there’s always gladiator or kill your killer.

Gladiator is where you get all the participants to stand in a circle with all the weapons in a big pile in the middle. When the ref calls go everyone rushes in and grabs whatever weapon they can (if they can). Normally this is more dramatic with a wider array of weapons but lvl 1 boffers work too. Players can’t go past the original circle where they started and the last one standing wins 🙂 Really what makes the game is the ref calling out the action, and deciding the fate of the last battles victim like an actually gladiator match. That and the players who fall early continue to cheer on the remaining players.

Kill your killer is pretty much dodgeball rules. When you get killed you stand out, and can only re enter the game when the person who killed you gets killed by another active player. Simple rules, simple game, amazing fun. Last man standing wins.

Hope this helps, and good on you for introducing Larp to the next generation!

Post script fun fact; I fell in love with my soon to be husband during a game of gladiator. 🙂

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[–]Valkeron 2 points 4 days ago

Shinobi hunt is always fun if you have a nice wooded area. split the group in half, or 1/3-2/3 the 1/3 being the shinobi, and send the shinobi out into the woods, the samurai count to 50 and the shinobi hide, standard killing rules apply and the shinobi get a backstab if they remain undetected. It’s like super intense team hide and seek.

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[–]elosodiablo 2 points 4 days ago

I was going to mention Jugging, but Bloodbowl got mentioned and is probably way easier to teach and the kids will probably relate to it more.

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[–]hyperspacedisco 2 points 4 days ago

How many experienced larpers have you got helping you? Do you do much in the way of RPing? Maybe increasing immersion might help keeping them interested?