November 1st 2019, the night was young after the Haunted Attraction of which I worked had shut down for the season. We gathered around the karaoke stage, drinks in hand. In our drunken stupor, one of my managers pulled out a plethora of homemade pvc pipe weapons and asked if anyone was interested in instigating a mighty battle. Of course around six of us ran at the opportunity, and each obtained a weapon from the large pile. After she explained how everything worked (Don’t beat each other senseless, you each have 50 points of health when you’re out, you’re dead, call one normal when you hit someone, etc..), we went ham on each other. My demise came very swiftly, as did the unfortunate end of my phone screen, but it was worth it. I later inquired with this manager on where I could go to LARP, explaining that I had been interested since my teen years, but never had the chance. This manager had then quickly become one of my best friends, only a week later I was sitting at her dining room table, building my character, as well as my own pvc pipe weapon.
In the weeks leading up to the event, I had ordered a shirt off of wish, made a cloak out of an old blanket, altered a thrifted vest, and watched many makeup tutorials. I was prepared for whatever this game threw at me. Until I walked in the door of the offseason venue… I remember wondering who everyone was, What I was supposed to do, if my costume was good enough, or my weapon. Everyone was talking about things I couldn’t comprehend,laughing about jokes I only half understood, it was like entering a new world, and I had to relearn everything I once thought I knew. I was hearing terms I knew from D&D, but they seemed to mean something slightly different here.
Once everything began to settle down, I was greeted by a man with dark makeup under his eyes, a white robe, and a snake on his shoulder. He had a very friendly tone to him, and even though he seemed slightly stressed out, he took the time to explain how everything worked to me and a few other new people. Soon after, he told us he had to “do log” then left us in the hands of another man. A very tall man. Now I, as a very short man, was quite intimidated, but by the end of the day, this goliath of a human being seemed just as friendly as any other.
During the day, I was offered free divination lessons, and taught by a very kind mage. This mage is now my mentor, teaching me to become a druid.
After my first game, I was invited to “afters,” a very interesting experience. I, being the shy person I am, had never been invited anywhere with a group of people. Once we got to the location, I was honestly shocked to see as many people as I did. Almost the entire LARP group was there, taking up a quarter of the massive pub. We all got wings and drinks, and talked about game highlights. It was the first time I had ever felt included in a group, still slightly confused, but included nonetheless.
Going into new things can be scary, especially when they involve so many new people who are already well established. LARP, being a community based atmosphere, brings together many people from different walks of life. The patrons involved want to make sure that new players feel welcomed and love the adventure as much as they do.
If you have been wanting to try LARP, but are too nervous, I can guarantee you have nothing to fear. Everyone is kind and will help you out. It’s okay to not know things. We’ve all been there, and we’re happy to help you grow into the character you dream of being.
Article By: WillowsWriting