LARP Like Your LOTR-Style Weapon Has Never Been Broken

For those of you who are unsure whether LARP means a type of poetic songbird or a blob of pig fat, and are also unsure why people spell it in all caps as if they’re yelling (as in “Hey Johnny! Can you toss some more larp on the frying pan? That’s right, I said LARP!”), take comfort in this blog. For here, we do a brief overview of what a LARP is and from whence it came…

“LARP” stands for “live action role-playing” game. “LARPing” (yes, it can become a verb – this is the 21st century! #facebooking #tweeting #srsly) involves playing a character in a fictional setting that is represented by the real world. Unlike improvisational theater, the game doesn’t typically have an audience, but rather, is done for the entertainment of the players. However, similarly to theater, players may dress as their character and carry appropriate props or weaponry, and more elaborate LARPs may decorate their environments to reflect their fictional settings.

The setting and rules of the game are generally decided on ahead of time by “gamemasters.” Many LARPs will have rules that determine the consequences for a character’s actions. Players choose goals for their characters to pursue, and their interaction with one another is the main aspect of the game. LARPers usually enter the game with little or no prior knowledge of the set-up or “plot” that will be presented to them. “Fun” doesn’t have an “i” in it, but if it did, it would stand for “intrigue”!

Dark Drake Complete: 

Dark Drake Complete Armor Set

LARPs can range from small private events that only last a few hours to large-scale public events that last for days.  The largest LARP events are festivals, all based in Europe or Canada, that involve thousands of participants split into competing character groups who camp in separate areas of a massive venue.

The first LARPs appeared in the late 1970s, inspired by tabletop role-playing games like the famed Dungeons and Dragons. Early LARP subculture focused on Tolkien-esque fantasy, but later expanded to other genres. Genres for LARPs include historical eras, modern-day, futuristic, military, fantasy, sci-fi, and anything else your heart desires. The hobby spread internationally during the 1980s. Of course, live-action role-playing isn’t an entirely new phenomenon. Ever play “Cowboys and Indians,” “House,” or “Doctor” as a child? If so, you’ve engaged in a rudimentary LARP!

Epic Warrior Complete: 

Epic Warrior Complete Set

Now that you’re LARP-ready, pick up some fantastical costuming from our selection of LARP-approved armor:

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