I’m receiving a lot of “compliments” tonight.
“You play a very convincing coke addict.”
That’s something I don’t have a good response to. Other than asking how many coke addicts they know.
We’re wrapping up for the night, the debriefing is going well. I look around the room and see my friends chatting, the birthday celebrant laughing, and the GMs smiling a good bit.
I just finished my first LARP game.
And I had a good time, despite my initial reservations. The word, “LARP” has a negative connotation. One not helped by videos freely available on the internet. In my recollection, “Lightning bolt” was my first introduction to the concept.
It means Live Action Role Playing. So, basically, take any of the various tabletop roleplaying systems out there and then act it out in real life.
I know. Very geeky. To the point where it makes me uncomfortable even thinking about doing anything LARP related.
But there I was, invited to a Murder Mystery Party that turned into a full on LARP experience, complete with character sheets for all the attendees, Game Masters to keep the game orderly, and all of us exchanging worried looks and shaking our heads to ourselves when we thought the GMs weren’t looking.
I approached the GM and she asked me a few questions about what kind of a character I wanted to play.
“Active or more of a passive role?”
“Something in between would be fine.” I didn’t know what I was getting into, I figured I might as well keep my options open.
She nodded and started going through the character sheets. “What’s your name?”
“Oh.” Her eyes widened. “I already have a character for you. I was under very specific instructions that no one else play this character.”
I blinked as I got my character sheet. I looked over the character portrait. My character was wearing a suit and tie, and had long hair in a ponytail. I started reading the biography. My character was an confident, self absorbed talk show host with the reputation of being a troublemaker. Also, he’s a coke addict that absolutely needs to score within the next hour or things, “get gnarly.”
The 80s called, they want their slang back.
To be honest, I had no idea whether or not I was going to be able to pull this off—but I was there for Nick, and I was going to do the best I could for his birthday party.
Fortunately, I was already wearing a suit and tie, and my hair, well, it was in its usual state. So I already looked the part.
I looked over my character sheet, trying to get as much crammed into my memory as possible. I needed to exchange some jewels for plans, exchange plans for money, exchange the money for not getting my kneecaps blown off, oh, and I needed to score coke.
The game officially started at eight, and we had been eating and drinking before then. The first thirty minutes were hard. Everyone was at a loss of what to do. Then as people relaxed, the game began in earnest.
Before the night was over, I got shot twice in the back, scored some coke, stole a lot of money, scored more coke, got electrocuted and hit in the head with a shoe simultaneously, jumped out of a second story window, and finally, I shot a man holding a time bomb and he dropped it, setting it off and killing everyone at the party.
Which was good because it was getting late, and I had a doctor’s appointment the next day.
Overall, something I’d do again. Not regularly, but with this group of people, I’d do it again, maybe next year or something. There were some “veterans” there and I think they did a great job raising everyone’s level of play.
Now, I’m not a LARPer or anything, but I am a fan of interactive theater with a little stage combat thrown in the mix to make things really interesting.
I’d appreciate it if you didn’t tell anyone about it.