Introduction to LARPing

What is LARP?

Live Action Roleplaying, or LARPing for short, is type of gaming wherein players dress and physically act as their characters would. The characters pursue their personal or group goals in a fictional setting.

The LARPing experience is similar to a number of other hobbies. It is most similar to a combination of tabletop roleplaying games, such as D&D where players describe their characters actions, and improv theatre in which the actors interact with each other without a planned script. Fantasy LARPs, such as Interphaze, also have ties to Renaissance Festivals, which immerse people in a time period very different from their own through use of costumes and settings based on history.

How do you do it?

The basics of LARPing include dressing in a costume then acting as your character would act, you will have the opportunity to interact with other characters in a variety of settings, such as in a town, a castle court, a tournament of skill, a trail adventure, or a combat.

The combat system that Interphaze uses is basically a slow motion, turn based system. Each count a player gets to move and take an action. Judges resolve the outcome of actions, then announce the beginning of the next count. Anyone can participate in this type of combat, no matter what their physical capabilities are. It is even easy and fun for children.

If you can pretend to be someone else, then you can LARP. It is as simple as a game of pretend. Veteran players are always willing to help new players get the hang of things, and if a new player has any questions the judges are available to help. Don’t be afraid of asking questions!

What should I bring?

There are two basic things to consider when packing for a LARPing event. The first is the costume and props you need for your character. The second is all the gear you need for camping on location at the event.

Costume

Costumes help players immerse themselves in the fantasy setting. Most are based on Medieval or Renaissance time periods, but our setting also allows for heroes from other ancient times as well, characters all the way from gladiators to pirates. See our gallery for costume ideas.

Cloak

No matter what type of costume you have, consider bringing some kind of cloak to keep you warm and dry. Even in the summer, it can get cool in the evenings. Despite its expense, wool is probably the best overall material for a cloak, as it keeps the wearer warm even when wet, and is somewhat resistant to life’s little inconveniences, such as sparks coming off that nearby fire.

Armor

There are three different classes of armor: light, medium, and heavy. These roughly correspond to leather, mail, and plate armor respectively. These can be represented by the real thing, or you can replicate them with anything from cardboard to craft foam to styrene to fabric that looks metallic.

Weapons

Weapons may be made out of padded foam, plastic, or wood. If you are using wooden weapons, be especially careful how you swing them. Foam and plastic are recommended.

THE FOLLOWING ARE ABSOLUTELY FORBIDDEN IN WEAPONS PROPS:

  1. Metal. Certain incidental uses, such as pennies as end caps for pvc lined foam weapons are acceptable.
  2. Bowstrings. Bow props must not be strung in a manner so as to be functional.  The Logistics Chief makes the final determination if a bow prop’s functionality is called into question.

In all cases, props are subject to judge approval. If the judge deems a prop to be unsafe, it may not be used. If you have any questions, ask the Head Judge or Logistics Chief.

Spellbooks and Pouches

If you choose to be a spellcaster class or a cleric, you will be given small index sized cards with your spells/ prayers written on them when you arrive. To keep these organized, you will probably want to bring either a small blank book and some scotch tape OR a small photo album to keep your spells organized. Also, belt pouches are a convenient way to keep your miscellaneous items under control.

Camping Gear

If you’re going to survive the weekend, you’re going to need more than just a costume and a weapon. There is, of course, food and shelter to consider, in a very real life sense. In winter we stay indoors, with meals provided, so less gear is required.  This is a list of things you may want to consider packing for camping at Summerphaze and Fallphaze:

Sleeping stuff

Sleeping bag, sleeping cushion, pillow

Clothes

Street clothes suitable for the weather, pajamas

Toiletries

Toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, hand towel

Camping gear:

  1. Shelter: tent, ground cloth, extra stakes
  2. Food: Sandwiches, cereal, hot dogs, s’mores materials, or whatever else you want to make for yourself. Winter court is more of a luxury: all meals are prepared by the king’s excellent chefs.
  3. Cooking: anything you need to cook or properly store the above, camp stove, cooler
  4. Cleaning up: environmentally friendly dish soap, wash cloth, garbage bags
  5. Dishes: plate, cup, bowl, utensils

Rain gear

It is safest to assume that it will rain at Phaze, regardless of what the weather reports say. Umbrellas, ponchos, or wool cloaks are good options. Phaze will go on, in spite of the weather.

Water Bottle

Staying hydrated is very important, especially if you are hiking around in armor.

Medical Concerns and Safety at the Event

Interphaze always has at least 1 staff member trained in First Aid and CPR, at a minimum.  This person (or people) is clearly identified at the beginning of every event.  If you have a medical issue or concern arise during an event, you should seek out the nearest judge and ask for assistance.  They will help you get to the medically trained staff or attend to your need.