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by Patrick Penning

Dark Arts in LARPWe all know for a fact that any character participating in the dark arts known as witchcraft can never show their true nature or be caught carrying pertinent information with them. They dare not show their true colors to the people in the village or arouse suspicion. The fact that they in the arts is enough to get them killed and are usually less trusted. Needless to say that you should never be seen with or around them unless of course if you prefer their company. There are thousands of ways to get around the peasant folk to do your deeds, but you must be wise and try to gain their trust before alerting them to your craft.


Any shaman or dark wizard carries a book of spells, and within its pages are usually incriminating evidence that the local magistrates should never be aware of. One great idea we had was to use black light paint on objects so that secrets remain hidden. Blacklight paint can be found that becomes transparent and can only be viewed with the help of a black light lamp. The lamps can be found in several formats, led flashlights, portable neon lights, etc. The best would be to mount it on a staff or wand and used to reveal your writings. Get creative to hide the light. I am quite sure you can think of something. The UV Paint could be found in marker format, permanent ink or liquid for larger surfaces. You can mark trees with information, scrolls for hidden spells on people to symbolize possession. Use your imagination to create something new!


Don't be afraid to try new, or unheard-of things like a duel costume. One to get around unnoticed and the other to practice your magic and perform sacrifices. Remember that theatrics are what is needed to conceal your true identity. A double-lined reversible cloak can be one idea as well as a mask. Costuming is a simple way to quickly change and reappear unnoticed and easier to blend into a crowd. Always carry a locked chest to hide your crow's feet and pickled toads. Try not to dress in black with upside-down crosses or anything that gives away your intent. This does not mean that you should not have props, to the contrary, just give your props a good background and make everything you have useful.


Any evil person should know well in advance that a lot of what you do will be solitary. Any mage knows that you should never reveal your secrets, even to your kin or King. You will often find yourself performing a ritual somewhere alone in the woods, where your victim's screams cannot be heard. Use the blacklight paint to mark your way and to find your way back, and to set glyph of warding to unsuspecting travelers. Never bring real candles into the woods or do anything that may cause injury, remember that an accident is called an accident for a reason, and you cannot always predict what can happen in advance.


Dive deep into your character, reach into your own fears to create a memorable character. Read up on your local larp chapters to find out the past history. Sometimes they will post old game stories and backgrounds that will help you lend a little depth to your character. Maybe bring to life an old religion or a reincarnation of a powerful evil lord. No matter what, remember to have fun!

Patrick Penning, Owner
Epic Armoury Unlimited