Call it nerdy! Call it lame! Call it what you will, but live action role playing (LARP) games have never been more popular than they are in today’s times. People of all ages are desperate to find a way to escape reality for a bit and to exercise their imaginations. In this case, LARP seems like a viable option to fit the bill with it’s loose rules and many different types of games. So, before you gather your LARP armor and weapons, you may as well be aware of what you are getting into.
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As with any game, rules must be followed and LARP is no exception. LARP rules may come from publications or developed by game masters, who serve as moderators and referees. These rules set boundaries for character capabilities, functionality of weapons and objects, and how characters are to spend their down time between events. Very specific rules are put into place and widely publicized since the game masters are not able to be present for every aspect of the game, as action takes place in several different locations. Therefore, players are held to the honor code and called to exhibit integrity.
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When it comes to the actual games, LARPs have endless freedom. Any game may be created. These games usually use themes and settings from game fiction, fantasy works (such as The Lord of the Rings), and real world or historical settings. Some LARP games are also set in modern day and venture to explore everyday issues and special interests like military or espionage activities. These games are known as Alternate Reality Games or Assassins Games, which involves live combat with airsoft, paintball, and laser tag markers.
The most popular LARP game worldwide is the Fantasy Game. The settings for these games are pseudo-historical periods that blend fantastical elements together, which incorporate magic, fantasy races, and limited technology. There are also science fiction LARP games that have fantasy characteristics combined with high technology and alien life. The aim of fantasy games is adventure or competition between character factions.
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Another embraced LARP game I the Horror Game, based on horror fiction. These games consist of sub-games like zombie apocalypse or Cthulhu Mythos. A widely used goth-punk setting for horror games comes from the “World of Darkness” publication put out by White Wolf Publishing and allows players to portray such supernatural being as vampires and werewolves. These games a typically played as chronicles, a series of events that occur at regular intervals and are a favorite at conventions.
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