Advice for a first-time LARPer.
October 9, 2004 1:46 PM   Subscribe

Lightning bolt! Lightning bolt! [more inside]

I've been invited to join a live action role play (LARP) group, when their new cycle starts up in November. Other than the invite, I have no idea what system they're using or what have you. They call themselves Nocturn, so I'm thinking Vampire or something equally geeky. And as I have free time and geek runs in the blood, this sounds like super fun.

But I've never LARPed before. Ever.

I'm reading up on it as fast as I can, but I was wondering if anyone has tips or advince along the lines of things no one told you, but you wish they did? What are the newbie pitfalls that I should avoid?
posted by FunkyHelix to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (14 answers total)
 
...advice. Not advince.
posted by FunkyHelix at 1:51 PM on October 9, 2004


A lot of the real "action" happens before/after the game. High-power negotion and plotting is often done over the phone or email.

Join up with your appropriate faction (other characters of your race/type/clan/whatever) ASAP, or face having no one to talk to or being beaten up by player-killers.

Don't get too attached to your chacter. It is inevitable that once you've been playing the same character for awhile, you'll grow attached and protective and your character will stagnate. You should be willing to let your character die / be killed if it will further a story or interaction.

There are always "house rules" about certain powers and abilities, make sure you ask what they are.

For the love of god, stay away from creating cliched characters. Do not make a character who is insane or suffers from a mental affliction. Do not make a character who is a child. DO give your character a motivation and a raison d'etre.

[/reformed LARPer... been clean for 7 years]
posted by falconred at 2:41 PM on October 9, 2004


I think I get what LARP is, but what does it have to do with " Lightning bolt! Lightning bolt!"?
posted by grumblebee at 2:44 PM on October 9, 2004


The people in the infamous "lightning bolt" video were, in fact, LARPing.
posted by falconred at 2:58 PM on October 9, 2004


I thought this was going to be a question about Lightning Bolt. It isn't. 30 seconds of my life down the drain. If you'd have put something about role playing in the post, I could have avoided clicking the [more inside] and I could have put those wasted 30 seconds to better use, by chopping vegetables or masturbating or something. Thanks for nothing.
posted by nylon at 3:05 PM on October 9, 2004


30 seconds of my life down the drain.

way more than that, dude, unless you're a fast typer.
posted by fishfucker at 4:03 PM on October 9, 2004


cool website though, nylon. great concepts. the packaging for the field recordings is genius.
posted by fishfucker at 4:48 PM on October 9, 2004


If you're making a vampire character, don't create a vampire. Create a person, and then figure out what would have happened to him (internally and externally) after he became a vampire. You'll end up with a much more well-rounded character.

Aside from that, always remember: Other characters lie.
posted by Jairus at 5:44 PM on October 9, 2004


Two bits of advice:

It rarely works but it's worth a shot: if you're trapped and down to your last few hitpoints and a horrific monster is stalking towards you, try shouting, "I Disbelieve!" Maybe the thing is an illusion and it will vanish. If not, at least the other players will get a laugh out of it.

Burn the book: in horror games, books have teeth. Once you open a tome and absorb the blasphemous knowlege within, your brain will likely turn to oatmeal. Play it safe: Burn the book!
posted by SPrintF at 6:23 PM on October 9, 2004


I always like the Cthulhu Lives Website for a look into some of the more elaborate LARPing.
posted by Sangre Azul at 9:07 PM on October 9, 2004


When I helped to run a LARP back in my most geekery of days, one of the best ice breakers I ever saw on behalf of a new player was to die, multiple times, before the game even started. This let him meet many of the players, get known in a memorable way, and get a feel for the game at large before creating a main PC.

If this is a WoD LARP, ask the STs if they'd like some NPC victims for a night.* If they're good at their jobs, they should find some jobs for you (ghoul patsy, hapless juicebag #2, etc) that will let you get to know the game. One of the worst problems a new player has is making a character that not only fits the game, but would be a good match for it. Make it clear that you don't mind dying, take loss as a good sport, and consider the whole experience a "try before you buy" deal.

* If you understood all of this, I am sorry.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 12:13 PM on October 10, 2004


I only ever LARPed twice in my life, and neither of them was in a World of Darkness type thing. I wasn't very good at it. My advice is, if you're not good at awkward small talk with total strangers, be prepared in advance with some shit to say. Being in character and moving the plot forward was hard, for me at least, because you have to try to have realistic conversations that also give people a roleplaying hook. It always ended up, for me, sounding something like this:

Guy: "Good evening. I don't believe we've met,"
Me (trying to sound mysterious): "No... no, we have not."
Guy: "So..."
Me: "Is anybody trying to murder you? That you know of."

I imagine LARPing could be lots of fun if you had certain conversational skills which I don't possess, though. Have fun!
posted by Hildago at 2:09 PM on October 10, 2004


Lightning Bolt
posted by oaf at 3:15 PM on October 10, 2004


mmmmmm... Lightning Bolt.... time to go home and have me a listen. Enough of this blasted "work" (reading mefi) for the day.
posted by Lizc at 4:52 PM on October 20, 2004


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