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WHAT IS LARPING?

by Epic Armoury Unlimited

What is Larping?

LARPing is an acronym for Live Action Role Playing, where its participants must physically interact in an ongoing storyline. Players must physically simulate the life and time of that character in a semi-imaginary environment and react to situations that can be both physical and emotional as in real life.

Goals predetermined by Game masters and NPC (nonplayer characters) are set in a storyboard, and each player must interact with one another to attain the goal established by the player.

Here is how it goes.

Once a player has chosen the LARP they want to attend now comes the challenge of character creation. Like in every tabletop game, the player is faced with a rulebook that gives them character choices based on race, religion, faction (Heraldry), or character class (Fighter, Ranger, Mage, Healer, Theif and so on).

The player must create a character using these stats as basic rules, but they have a complete creative expression on how to bring that said character to life. You can create your own personal background to help develop a more in-depth and realistic character.

Similar to Dungeons & Dragons, the player is then immersed into a fantasy realm that will pose certain physical and emotional challenges to help solve the mysteries found in the game.

The character will be prompted to make choices that will impact the lives of other player characters in the game. This can be either through live battles or decisions that can lead to the death of a or several characters. All this is all pretending, but the challenge is to accept it as real for the character you portray.

This form of escapism is perfect for developing your educational, personal, and physical skills and helps you use your imagination to focus on the goals at hand.


What does LARPing mean?

LARPing is a verb for Live Action Role Playing. It is about portraying a character that you create and physically act out your actions through battle and conversation. Live-Action Role Playing is a collaborative event-based on theatrical entertainment where participants follow a set of rules or guidelines that help them pursue their characters' goals.

LARPing is the action of pretending to play by acting out the life of a character in a fantasy world by partaking in a physical game. It is about taking on a persona that is not your own and developing it into something real using the game's fantasy world as a backdrop. It is a form of improvisational and interactive theatre where you can create a character's speech, look, and movement based on your vision of how that character must resemble in corporal form.

LARPing is a gathering of fantasy-based character roles that induce synergy to generate random results and challenges that one must overcome to advance in the game. It provides a means to escape reality by creating another reality that allows a single action to change the outcome of the entire game. It is a cross between make-believe and reality that focuses on active combat or an unfolding storyline through immersion. It is also a form of social interaction that is both therapeutic and intense at the same time. It is freedom for the soul and mind that is needed to remain young and alive.


What does LARPing stand for?

LARPing stands for Live Action Role Playing and can be defined by an interactive improvisational theater with a continually changing storyline where your character's actions directly affect the outcome of the scenario that becomes permanently altered. In other words, every cause has an effect, and every action has a reaction.


What are the rules of LARPing?

LARP game rules allow you to create a unique character experience by setting the LARP player's limitations in regards to race, fighting abilities, and/or magical powers or resistance.

Similar to tabletop games, you get to create your character according to a class such as a thief, knight, barbarian, or priest. Some LARPs have a point system that allows you to choose your abilities such as spells, hide in shadow, or lock picking. This system will enable you to choose freely using your limited number of points, while others have a strict set of rules with predetermined limitations.

Basic Rules for LARPING

Hit Points - Like in Tabletop games, hit points are awarded to players according to their character class and get modifiers for their racial class (elven, orc, dwarf, etc.) Every time you take a hit from a weapon or spell, you lose points until reduced to zero, where you are either unconscious, or you die. In general, each body part is treated individually for hit points, but some LARPs used a general total body hit point number to make it easier for their players.

Armor Points - LARP Armor is often used to boost the character's body hit points and makes them more resistant to hits in combat. In general, Metal Armor is the most resistant and offers the most hit points. Chainmail or scalemail would be second, thick leather or hardened leather 3rd, soft leather or foam armor forth, and finally gambeson or padding. Some rule systems allow you to accumulate points by combining armor and padding layers. The more you wear, the more points you have, but also, the slower you become.

Magic - Magic, or spells come in a wide variety of casting styles. Some LARPs force you to chant out cryptic phases, use components, and others you throw small bean bags at your victims known as spell packets. Each spell has an area effect, duration, or range that the wizard must know in order to complete the spell properly. Spells are limited, but a smart wizard is a powerful one.

Death - Dying is all part of LARPing. A character will get to know death rather quickly the first few times you attend. Death in some LARPs can be either temporary or permanent. Some have cat lives, limiting the number of deaths the player can receive before that character is permanently lost, and others just get raised after a determined amount of time or through resurrection places such as cemeteries. Some deaths cause consequences to the raised character, but in most cases, when your character dies, you lose the last five minutes of his/her memory. This is necessary so that you don't always go back and kill the one who killed you.

Healing - Like death, healers will be a steady part of your LARP diet. Priests, druids, and paladins are often the only ones that can heal and are usually in great demand, especially after a battle. Healing is usually considered non-magical; rather, the priest is a channel to a God that allows him/her to heal. In most cases, a sand timer determines the length of time it takes to heal a character, but sometimes it can be a ritual or incantation of sorts.

Like everything in life, your choices will affect your character's ability in certain situations and in combat. A Barbarian Fighter might get berserker mode but cannot cast spells unless you become a Druid Barbarian with limited spell powers. Or a priest can only wield a hammer unless that priest happens to have taken a unique fighting ability.

LARPing always allows you to choose what you want to play, and you just have to live with the consequences or die and start over...lol


What different types of LARP events are there?

OMG, there are boundless types of LARPs that exist, and if you cannot find one that suits your style, then you are destined to become the owner of the next LARP!

Larp Themes

There are various Larp themes that exist on the market. And although each one is unique in their own right, some follow already set genres to help players identify with them. Here is a shortlist of some of the LARP themes that exist in the world.

SCI-Fi Larps - SCI-Fi Larps that take place in the future on hostile planets in outer space. This could be Starwars, Battlestar Galactica, or Star Trek-inspired themes that take place indoors or out depending on the scenario. They use modern props, nerf guns as blasters and lightsabers instead of swords.

Vampire Larps - Vampire inspired Larps can be more theatrical than physical, involving rituals and vampire hunters seeking to destroy them. Murder mystery or political style involving alliances to fend off attacks in this ruthless world. Vampire "The Masquerade" is a player versus player game that shares in storytelling and focuses on the secret world of that character.

Monster Larps - Monster Larps have inverted the roles as monsters that are usually played by the NPC's (Nonplayer Characters) are now played by the P.C.s (Player Characters). Humans are now the minority allowing room for extremely creative games based on races that do not exist and their vision on the world.

Fantasy Medieval Larps - Fantasy Medieval Larps is a cross between authentic medieval and Lord of the Rings. Although it might seem medieval, these LARPs are usually open to anything from pirates, to knights and even Egyptians or Barbarians or anything in between.

Post-Apocalyptic LARPs - Post-Apocalyptic LARPs involve humans, mutants, and of course, zombies. Usually set in a bleak semi-industrialized environment, the ultimate goal of this game is survival. You are always on your guard because you have no real allies when the end of the world is near. The weapons used in the world are usually modern like pipe wrenches, saws, riot shields, and cog bats.

Larp Combat Themes

Larp Combat also comes in several themes. Some are fast-paced and hard-hitting, and some are non-violent and have no combat as we know it.

Dice LARPs - There are LARPs that are more roleplay than battle, and they resolve conflict through the role of the dice. This can be used for political games, or fantasy games and removes any disparity from skills and talent or class or gender. It falls on a game of chance to decide the outcome.

Battle LARPs - There are battle LARPs like Dagorhir, Amtguard which are fast-paced battles that focus more on the combat than the roleplay. This is a fast-paced game where hitting the opponent as quickly as possible wins the battle. Little armor is used because it slows you down, and the weapons tend to be as light as a feather so that the opponent never gets a chance to strike or block quickly enough.

Regular LARPS - A normal LARP combines Dice LARPs and Battle LARPs into one. There is as much roleplay as there is battle, and since immersion is required, so is the necessary upgrade for realistic armor and weapons. (Realistic to the world they occupy). Since roleplaying requires acting out, the battles take longer as the players must simulate the blows they take or give to other players.

Blockbuster LARPs - Blockbuster LARPs such as Bicolline Conquest Mythodea and Drachenfest that host thousands of people and have huge budgets. These events are a cross between a LARP, an epic battle, and a fair, and draw crowds from all over the globe. These events usually have huge epic battles with thousands of players on the battlefield.

Countless other LARPs exist, ranging from the historical to high fantasy, from intense horror to the basic non-violent. But the single thing in common is that LARPs are all designed to give the player an extraordinary experience in a safe environment.


What are LARP weapons made out of?

Larp weapons are made from a wide variety of materials, but all are chosen for their safety. Every combination of foam, be it either Polyethylene, Neoprene, EVA, or Polyurethane foam, must be used with a core that best works with that material.

Polyethylene is the least resistant for LARP swords. It is basically pool noodle stuff, and the foam is used more as flotation than compression. It is a foam that, when compressed, the cells get destroyed and have little to no elasticity, but it is also the lightest and cheapest to use when making boffer swords. (Best to use a PVC tube as a core with this material)

Neoprene foam is commonly used as refrigeration insulation and weather stripping. Although better than Polyethylene, it tends to shred and tear apart rather than crush when hit on hard surfaces. It looks nicer and is easier to shape and glue, but that's it. (Best to use a PVC tube as a core with this material)

EVA foam (Evazote is a brand name) is more elastic and comes in a variety of densities. Choose wisely. If the foam compresses too much, your opponent will feel the rod, and if it is too hard, it will hurt. EVA is a great choice to make LARP weapons with. It is easy to work, shape, glue, and can be coated in latex then painted. (You use a PVC tube or a fiberglass rod as a core with this material)

Polyurethane foam is the best for LARP Weapons but also the most difficult to master because you need to get the right chemical combination to produce the right foam. This foam requires a mould, and skills to create, but it tends to be the best material combining tear strength and resistance and weight. (Long strand fiberglass rod is best)  


What are the LARP Weapon types?

At Epic Armoury Unlimited you can buy all our LARP weapons by type and size. We have taken our time to sort out our huge selection of LARP Weapons into a comprehensive list categorized by model to make it easier for you to choose. Begin your quest for your preferred LARP weapon here.


What basic equipment do I bring to a LARP event?

What basic equipment do I bring to a LARP event?

The best way to determine what you need to bring to a LARP event would depend mostly on the LARP you choose to attend and the region in which it is hosted. Essential gear is period-appropriate costuming, a pouch or coin purse, good boots, and sleeping gear. But some Larpers offer its players an offer all in one package so that changes everything. Asking the LARP you attend is the best way to get all your information, but here is a basic checklist.

  • Change of clothes, socks, and undergarments
  • Sunscreen (no deet) 
  • Cooler with lots of ice
  • Food and water (quick, easy meals)
  • Power snacks for energy
  • Camping gear and cooking equipment
  • Safe lighting
  • Toiletries (Toilet paper, wipes, feminine products, etc.)
  • Soap and Sanitizers
  • Earplugs
  • Bug spray (no deet)
  • First aid kit and medication if necessary
  • Cash

What gear do I need to start LARPing?

Here is a comprehensive list of items you may need to begin LARPing. You have to take into account your own needs and the event duration to determine what to bring. But the first rule of LARPing is to bring MORE! Also, check the weather because, sadly, it almost always rains.

Clothing

  • Shirts or tunics
  • Pants
  • Undergarments
  • Socks (lots, 2 per day)
  • Water-resistant quality walking boots
  • Hood, cowl or headwear
  • Light cotton cape
  • Heavy cape for rain or to keep warm
  • Gloves for nicks and bumps
  • Padding (gambeson if wearing armor)

Camping Equipment

  • Food (precooked and light for easy meals)
  • Power or snack bars for quick energy
  • Drinks (lots of water, electrolyte drinks)
  • Cooler
  • Ice
  • Cooking pit (hibachi or firepit)
  • Cooking pots and pans and kettle
  • Cutting Utensils (knife, spatula, soup spoon)
  • Utensils and plates (biodegradable and disposable are best)
  • cleaning supplies (Pan, detergent, towel)
  • Garbage bags
  • Tent and tent spikes
  • Tent under mat
  • Awning canvas (hang in trees for shade)
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping cot or pad
  • Pillow
  • Spare rope (clothesline, snapped tent string)
  • Seat
  • lighting with spare batteries

Personal gear

  • Sunscreen (no deet) 
  • Toiletries (Toilet paper, wipes, feminine products, etc.)
  • Soap and Sanitizers
  • Baby powder or soothing lotion (chafing)
  • Earplugs
  • Bug spray (no deet)
  • First aid kit and medication if necessary
  • medication
  • towels and face cloth
  • Duct tape (100% essential)
  • Small strings for quick fixes
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Unscented Deodorant (avoids detection, lol)
  • Sewing kit
  • Spare car keys
  • Portable cellphone charger
  • Mirror
  • Eyewear and maintenance supplies
  • Cash
  • Character supplies (think maintenance also)
  • Makeup
  • Mask or special effects gear

Weapons and Armor

  • Sword
  • Shield
  • Axe or Mace
  • Armor
  • Props & accessories 
  • Always one spare and a dagger

What is LARP food?

LARP food needs to be quick and easy to prepare so you can be ready for the next charge or attack. You need food that gives you energy, that does not constipate or give you upset stomachs because toilets are a rare and precious thing at LARPs.

Since LARPing is an around the clock activity, the majority of LARPers either overestimate or underestimate the quantity of food for their event. Try prepping your food the night before, either precooked and frozen or easy to cook food. Bring energy bars with you at all times and avoid meals that require a lot of clean up.


What is LARPing like?

LARPing is like being in a movie or tv show where you get to act out a character. The only twist is that your story has yet to be written, so beware of your actions. You can choose to sit in a puddle of mud all day, act as a beggar, and become a brave knight or an evil wizard. It is your choice to make alone, but everyone around you is continually altering the ever-evolving story. Believing that you are part of that world is the only way to experience the LARP game fully.


What is the difference between cosplay and LARPing?

LARPing is creating a physical role using set rules and acting out that character physically in a game. LARPing is about overcoming real-life challenges. Games can last one evening, day, week, or last for several years and even decades. LARping involves physical battles ranging from just a few to several thousand participants at a time. Larping is a game that can be played indoors or outdoors, where the participants play characters and follow a plot (Story). Character's styles, looks, and personalities are usually unique to each player, and they get to see their character evolve as the game advances.

Cosplay is portraying, depicting, or replicating a character that exists in comics, movies, or anime. Some try to draw inspiration from that particular character by movement or style. Cosplayers are usually unique and seek star attention at Comicon or Dragoncon style events. They are passionate about their roles and often always try to have the perfect costume that is recognizable at a glance. Cosplay does not involve combat or storylines, and there are no game masters involved. Cosplay is more of a form of art or dress-up, and cosplayers participate in a competition to acknowledge their talents.


What LARP character can I create?

What LARP character can I create?

Since LARPing has no limits, you can totally be anything you wish by following the rules of the game. There are LARPers who exploit the game by analyzing the game rules and using them to their advantage and others who simply create a basic character and barely even participate. Enjoying the environment more than the game itself. So you can play a sorcerer, wizard, druid, fighter, thief, rogue, assassin, or any variation and combination of these roles. You can be a genius or play a simpleton—one from high society or the scum of the earth. You have the right to choose to be Barbarian, a Viking, a Knight, or a Paladin. It is basically up to you to open the rulebook and discover what character awaits you.


Where can I go LARPing?

If you want to go LARPing, chances are there is a LARP in your community, and you just never saw or heard about it. Not all LARPs have websites. Some are found on platforms and some on social media sites, and some can be discovered through word of mouth. The best way is to ask around on Facebook. Because there are so many LARPs out there, there is probably someone who knows when the next meetup is and where.


Where did LARPing originate?

There is no clear answer to the origins in LARPing, but LARPs did begin in America as early as 1977. You do not have to look very hard to discover that LARPs, in one form or another, have existed for a long time. They just weren't called that.

Improv theatre is a form of LARPing that can be traced back as early as the 16th century. Also, military reenactments were and are often used for training exercises and are considered to be games where soldiers can learn new skills safely.

Live-action roleplaying as we know it began to be popular in the States sometime in the 1970's and spread to every corner of the world. In 1977 Dagorhir Battle Games organized live outdoor combats in the Washington DC area, which quickly grew a large fanbase.

Clearly influenced by tabletop games, LARPing took on a fiction and fantasy appearance by involving storylines, characters, and monsters. In 1990 the LARP hobby achieved a popular status that helped determine the game we so love today. Large Groups like Nero, Empires in Flames, Assassins Guilds, Bicolline started sprouting up, conferences were given at major events, and big players began to emerge.


Where is LARPing popular?

Where isn't LARPing popular would be an easier question to answer. Since LARPing is a hobby, the more wealthy countries are the ones who have the luxury to spend on these games.

Also, you can find them in less industrialized countries, LARPS are primarily found in America, Australia, Russia, Ukraine, and all over Europe. This in no way means there isn't a LARP, or many LARP's, in your country, there are certainly some.


Where to buy LARP armor?

Where to buy LARP armor?

Epic Armoury Unlimited is the best place to buy armor because they understand the game. Epic Armoury Unlimited sells Leather Armor, Steel Armor, and now Foam Armor in many models and fantastic styles. We know that LARPers love a unique look, a great price, and great quality, so we give them the most choices possible.

We try to take away your worries while shopping for armor. With every armor, we have a measurement guide to help you decide your sizing when considering what breastplate, leg armor, or helmet you want to buy. We also have some instructional videos as well as videos of LARPers wearing our armor to show you it's movement.

When you are shopping for LARP armor, you will be able to mix and match armor parts or buy complete kits as a starter pack. Don't be afraid to mix metal armor and leather armor parts when creating your roleplay gear. Get out there and experiment with your LARP armor and see what new style awaits you.

Try using our Epic Circle when creating your perfect fantasy armor. The Epic Circle is our creative solution for pairing products across our many unique collections. We manufacture a wide range of costumes, makeup, and props for Live Action Role Play (LARP), aiming to serve your needs as costumers and role players. With so many designs to choose from, we wanted to create an easy way for you to sort through our collections--while being inspired by the possibilities!


Where to buy LARP gear?

The best and most reputable websites like Epic Armoury Unlimited sell only safe and tested LARP gear. We have a medieval store in Brossard, Canada that is open to the public and a huge warehouse full of LARP gear. Our staff is not only experienced in Live Action Role Playing, but the owner is also an armor who can consult you on every purchase. Try to steer away from sites that sell real swords, t-shirts, or toy swords. These sites are usually out for the buck or have never really LARPed; thus, don't understand about safety.

One must be really careful when buying LARP gear. There are so many fraudulent websites promoting their roleplay gear as LARP safe that are in fact, dangerous or ill-conceived.


Where to buy LARP weapons?

If you ever want to buy a LARP sword, ask our experts here at Epic Armoury Unlimited. They can advise you on your purchase, whether you buy their brand or not. Remember that if it says LARP safe, it doesn't mean squat. Don't buy Nerf, Roogee, or any cosplay sword. There are so many cheap copycat basement-dwelling knockoffs that knowing what to buy and from who can tend to get confusing. LARP swords are tricky to make safe, and with the wrong materials can be quite dangerous to wield. So be careful out there, safety matters, so get informed.


What is LARP foam?

LARP foam can be a variety of open and closed cell foam used in the construction of LARP Weapons. Safety is the singular goal for all LARPers, and there is a strict evaluation when it comes to the construction materials used. 

Open-cell foam is a rubber-like product made by combining an inflating agent into the rubber compound. The agent gives off a gas that expands the rubber during the cure. It is classified as open-cell foam because more than half of its cells are open.

Closed-cell foam is defined as a foam that is totally enclosed by its walls and hence not interconnecting with other cells. It is usually made by injecting a gas into the rubber. This type of foam may also be made by incorporating gas-forming materials into the compound. These foams are usually waterproof.

Types of Foam typically used to make LARP swords

  • Polyethylene
  • Cross-linked Polyethelene
  • Craft Foam (open-cell foam)
  • Medium Density Polyurethane Foam
  • Neoprene
  • Plastazote
  • EVA or Evazote

How do you play LARP?

How do you play LARP?

You begin by arriving at the event where you will be remaining for the duration of that particular event. If you did not read the rules for that LARP or create your character, don't worry, there is always someone on hand to help guide you through.

The Game Master and NPC's (Nonplayer Characters) are always ready to help you set up a character and describe the rules for your stats. You first choose a character class (Fighter, Wizard, Thief, or Priest). The character's abilities will then be defined and limited by that class. Remember that every action you take in character creation will directly influence how you play your role.

LARPing is a physical game, so expect lots of running and action throughout the weekend. You will be possibly forced to sword fight or run from hill trolls, so get ready for the challenge.

You will be expected to act out your character's life. Be sure to create a role that appeals to you the most. Be you good or evil; there is no judgment here.

Playing a character at a larp may seem complicated but is as simple as any other tabletop game. The fun part about LARP is that you have the freedom to do as you choose. There are no set rules on how you play a character you design, other than the basic rulebook. So you just do what you want for your persona.

There is no need to worry about how you played your role in the game. As long as when you remove the costume, you don't take what happens personally. Then all is good.


How does LARP combat work?

How does LARP combat work?

Larp Combat is probably the best and most explosive part of LARPing because it is incredibly physical. The use of foam weapons to strike your opponents is extremely fun and safe. Although you might see a bruise pop up from time to time, LARP combat is entirely safe due to vigilant weapons marshals.

Hit points are allocated to body parts and adjusted according to armor types or character abilities. Each character accumulates a determined number of hit points to the protected body parts (Arms, Legs, Torso, and Back). Each time the player is hit, he/she loses hit points. Once the body or body part is reduced to zero, that part of the body dies and will require healing or regeneration to be used again. 

15 easy to remember basic rules for LARP combat

  • Simulate the weight of the blade.
  • Hold the force of your blows.
  • Never aim for the face or head.
  • Never hit in the groin or on women's breasts.
  • Never poking.
  • When you die, lie down and don't move or speak.
  • Count your hit points, not your opponents.
  • If you are not sure you got hit, count it anyways.
  • Respect other fighters, and don't cheat.
  • Don't get aggressive; pull out of the fight.
  • Don't yell obscenities.
  • Never charge an opponent.
  • No shield bashing.
  • Do not intentionally try to break an opponent's weapon.
  • No hand to hand contact. 

Get to know your character and combat rules before trying to train. It is important to get to know the game and not rely on what you see in movies or video games. This does not directly apply as to what you can do on the battlefield. Fighting in armor also takes on a whole new and exciting challenge. Fighting in Chainmail is far different than plate mail, and Leather is quite different than scale mail. There is also the added factor of fighting in the woods or in grassy fields, in groups or alone. Each poses a new challenge that you will eventually discover. But you will enjoy every last minute of it.

Acting is also another part of fighting that tends to be overlooked. Remember that you don't exist, your character does, and as such, should be afflicted by pain when slashed by a sword or stabbed with a spear. Make it so that your training encompasses the physical hindrances associated with battle.

Types of LARP combat

Duels - Duels require one on one skills, and this is where your true talents will shine or reveal itself. You will have to be focussed on the one fighter who will be matched against you in combat.

Skirmishes - A skirmish is a frenzy combining several participants against each other. This battle is fast-paced and requires you to maneuver or outflank your opponent to gain a tactical advantage. Attacking your opponent while distracted is a great way to score points quickly.

Line Battle - Line Battle or Battlefront works best in larger groups. With the right tactics, a Linebattle can be over in seconds or can last several minutes. Most line battles require tower shields and polearms like halberds or spears for it to be effective. The perfect line battle is a fluid movement of displacement, reinforcement, and a well-coordinated effort with clear directives and orders. This can be obtained through lots of practice together as a group or years experience LARPing.

Every system has its rules, but the roleplay combat is basically no different than what you did when you were kids with twigs as swords. Hit the other fighter as quickly as possible and simulate your death or injury. 

Since safety is paramount, weapons check is the most important part for the safety of others. There are so many companies and players producing their own weapons, the safety team sets individual rules for every event. Check with the event organizers to ensure your weapon passes the test before purchasing it from Epic Armoury Unlimited.


How much does LARPing cost?

The cost to attend a LARP itself is relatively inexpensive. The average LARP will charge between $20 and $65. Participating at a LARP for the weekend is as cheap as camping, and you get a show included. Some LARPs supply the meals, some of the costumes, and some of the amenities. Some of the larger, fully immersive LARPs (4,000-10,000 people) are as expensive as vacations but well worth it if you can afford it.


How much does LARPing gear cost?

The cost of LARPing gear can be high for some, depending on if you are the do-it-yourselfer or the compulsory consumer. You can buy a simple costume from Epic Armoury Unlimited, starting from $250 to the more complete ultimate warrior kits at $1500. But for most gamers, the average cost to equip yourself the first time, from head to toe, would be in the range of $500. Larping, in general, is less than most sporting events, and you get to do it for entire weekends.

Typical Starter kit prices will range according to your character archetype. Here are some examples to get you into gear.

Archer/Ranger

A typical ranger will need to be light and mobile and will only have light armor protection, preferably Leather. As a possible hunter or tracker, you will have to move in tight spaces and run real quick.
Basic Ranger Kit Price: Between $800 - $975 CAD

Such a kit would include:

  • Leather Helmet
  • Leather Body Armor
  • Bracers
  • Greaves
  • Belt
  • Quiver
  • Bow
  • Arrows
  • Short Sword
  • Scabbard
  • Dagger
  • Holder
  • Pouch
  • Clothing (Tunic, Pants)

Heavy Warrior

A typical heavy warrior would need to be well armored because they usually lead the charge or are on the front lines defending the castle.

Basic Warrior Kit Price: Between $1200 - $3000 CAD

Such a kit would include:

  • Metal Helmet
  • Metal Body Armor
  • Metal Bracers
  • Metal Greaves
  • Belt
  • Large Shield
  • Long Sword
  • Scabbard
  • Short Sword
  • Scabbard
  • Dagger
  • Holder
  • Pouch
  • Clothing (Tunic, Pants)

Light Warrior/Barbarian

A light warrior is usually considered a skirmisher. One who does raiders and who have a berserker fighting style. Speed and agility are preferred over bulky or heavy armor, so Leather is usually the preferred choice.

Basic Barbarian Kit Price: Between $950 - $1700 CAD

Such a kit would include:

  • Leather Helmet
  • Leather Body Armor
  • Leather Bracers
  • Leather Greaves
  • Belt
  • Small Shield
  • Medium Sword
  • Scabbard
  • Axe
  • Ring Holder
  • Dagger
  • Holder
  • Pouch
  • Clothing (Tunic, Pants)

Druid/Mage

 Magician or druid is often the least equipped in gear because they have spells to defend them. For this reason, only the basics are needed for this character.

Basic Mage Kit Price: Between $750 - $900 CAD

Such a kit would include:

  • Wand
  • Staff
  • Spellbook
  • Dagger
  • Holder
  • Bag
  • Pouch
  • Clothing (Tunic, Pants, Robe, Cloak/Cape)

Rogue/Thief

 Sneaking around or infiltrating the enemy requires stealth and silence. It also means a limited number of pieces that do not bulk up your costume. Think lightweight and thief trinkets to get ahead.

Basic Thieves Complete Kit Price: Between $875 - $1900 CAD

Such a kit would include:

  • Leather Body Armor
  • Leather Bracers
  • Leather Greaves
  • Belt
  • Buckler Shield
  • Medium Sword
  • Scabbard
  • Bow
  • Arrows
  • Quiver
  • Dagger
  • Holder
  • Throwing Dagger Kit
  • Thieves kit (Lock pick and Trinkets)
  • Pouch
  • Clothing (Tunic, Pants, Robe, Cloak/Cape, hood)

How to begin LARPing?

How to begin LARPing?<

To begin LARPing, all you have to do is find the courage to ask questions. You will find every LARP community to be open, engaging, and willing to help you discover this awesome world.

Here are some helpful tips for finding a LARP in North America.

Choosing a LARP that is right for you can be a bit of a challenge because there are so many variations or the game that exists. There are LARPs with different universes, fandoms, genres, and styles of combat that range from the high fantasy to the middle ages. Larps can be played in caves, buildings outdoors, on ships, and anywhere in between. There are international LARPs with a multitude of languages and LARPs for children.

Once you have chosen the LARP, you wish to attend now begin your task of gathering all the information. Delve into the world and the lore. Get to know your character and the world you occupy. The game's story could be simple or easy to get to know. Some LARPs have a simple storyline that is different every time and others that have such intense depth to them that the lore can seem intimidating. But either way, understanding the world is always useful to a player.

Since every character is unique, so will be the equipment you need to portray this personality. Costuming, Larp safe armor, props, and LARP safe weapons are all options that you will have to decide on to incarnate this character. You don't have to spend a lot of money, just be imaginative in your costume conception.

Before going to a LARP, find out if there are any local Meetups. These sessions are usually filled with power gamers who attend every event. These players know the game and are an excellent source of information on events around. Try to go a few rounds sparring with them to see if you like it, but chances are you are already an addict, and you don't know it.

Take it easy when getting interested in the game. Don't be a know it all, or a spend-a-holic. Buy the essentials to avoid buying LARP stuff you won't use. Take the time to discover your hidden talents before spending on Medieval Armor and LARP Weapons. 


How to LARP at home?

There are already games that exist that do not require physical interactions. These games can easily be adapted to use programs like Skype or Zoom and played in small groups. A Game Master(GM) would narrate and let the players react similarly to tabletop roleplaying. Maybe ask them to dress their parts and reenact certain scenes such as spell casting, swordplay, healing prayers, or rituals. I guess the sky is the limit.

If you play Dungeons & Dragons, then LARPing from your home is not much different other than the fact you get the chance to dress up. Create a storyline that involves political intrigues and social interaction with interludes of mayhem. You can create plots that are a bit more daring and controversial because you have less risk of physical interaction. Just make sure your rule system is clear on setting the limits or tone of the game. One of the best gifts in life is the ability to pretend, and playing from home is a great way to get started.


How to LARP with a small group?

Guilds are an integral part of LARPing, and it is common to find many small groups roaming about the lands. Try inviting friends that have like minded interests on LARPing. Some may want to play evil creatures and other paladins, so if you don't choose right, the group may not survive the weekend. And let's face it, LARPing is all about having fun with friends so get the ones you can have a blast with.

Choosing a leader for your guild is about the hardest thing to do because that person will have to be the driving force behind the group for it to work. A Military General who can not only lead on the battlefield but coordinate off the field.

Learn how to work together as a team when creating background stories and try to ensure that everyone has a role to play in the group. Some might want to just follow at first, but as your group evolves in the roleplaying game. Try to take note of all the strengths and weaknesses of the group as a whole.

The leader must be:

  • Responsible
  • Able to make decisions on the go
  • Able to take criticism
  • Able to convince or persuade
  • Be diplomatic 
  • Take charge of the group before and after the LARP
  • Needs to be very organized

How to make a LARPing sword/weapons?

Making LARP swords is a fun project that can require certain skills but is also rather easy to make depending on what type of sword you desire to produce.

The simplest sword is the Boffer, which is basically glue applied on a PVC rod with foam wrapped around it and duct tape or a sort of tube sock covering the foam. The foam can be camping foam, pipe insulation foam, or any other closed-cell foam you desire. Boffer swords remain the least expensive and most used LARP Swords in the United States due to the simplicity of its construction and the low cost to produce. It is very safe when well done, and there are no limits to what you can produce.

https://geekandsundry.com/diy-building-your-own-LARP-sword/

But the best practice for realism in LARP is to purchase LARP safe weapons from reputable resources like Epic Armoury Unlimited. This way, you can choose the weapon according to your LARPs specifications and never have to worry about its safety in combat. Plus, you get the advantage of knowing that we've got your back with an awesome 2-year warranty.


How do you roleplay at a LARP?

How do you roleplay at a LARP?

Roleplaying is basically acting. Gamers who wish to accomplish in-game goals, either through roleplay or manipulating the game mechanics, are simply a failed effort because there are simply no winners or losers in a LARP.

There is no real competitive advantage other than to advance your character's role in the game. For a roleplayer, successfully achieving a profound immersion should be the main goal. Since every dire is different, so are the goals you must attain to get to that status.

The player character is the entire creation and tries to project that creation in the game as if on stage. You have the sole responsibility to play that character while reacting to external events to help drive your persona. Live out your character as if it really exists in this imaginary world. Acting is about ⅓ of the role, but it is what makes your character real to others around you. Using costuming, the actor becomes more physically connected to the character and ultimately becomes one with the character.

  • Choose an archetype
  • Develop your characters bio
  • Choose your character's personality
  • Choose your character's motivation
  • Choose your character's morality
  • Determine if your character has flaws
  • Ect

Choosing an archetype will help you set clear goals as defined by the rules of the game. These rules are the tools you need to play a comprehensive character, but you are not limited to those rules to attain your goals. Archetypes are character types like a fighter, barbarian, paladin, thief, wizard, or druid. Each archetype has its strengths and weaknesses that will force you to choose your outcome in the conflict. The imperfect character you choose to play is all part of the dynamics of the game. Creating challenges for the players to overcome is a must.

LARPing is very spontaneous, and you must be aware of others around you, especially when a battle erupts. It's the little things that make LARPing exciting like giving yourself an accent, a handicap (drunk heavily, can't speak properly, limp, etc..) Focus on building up a believable character that is easily identifiable both visually and through character traits.


Is LARPing a sport?

Larping is not only a sport; it is improvisational theatre. While game owners make it essential for safe combat and game mechanics, this sport often shows strains of high levels of testosterone. Some take their character too personally, and their failures on the battlefield can come off as mean spirited, but in general, players tend to respect the rules and play fair. Since every LARP is different, it is important to note that choosing the right LARP for you is critical to a favorable experience.

There are LARPs like Amtguard, Dagorhir, and Belgarth are mainly focused on combat over costume or character. This is a great way to experience safe combat in an environment built for fighting. These events allow foam-padded weapons over the newer latex swords or foam injected weaponry due to strict rules that govern their game. The rules are easy to learn, and the action is face-paced.

Mind's Eye Society is strictly a roleplaying event. There is no contact, and combat is resolved through simple game mechanics like dice, card, or rock paper scissors.

There are the classic LARPs that encompass both of these into one thrilling game. Some offer one night, weekend, or week-long events like Conquest Mythodea, Drachenfest, and Bicolline in North America. These week log events draw huge crowds and offer a full immersion into the world of larping.


Why is LARPing fun?

Why is LARPing fun?

Larping is a blast! Where else can you go and dodge arrows, partake in epic battles versus knights and monsters or wear armor? I am sure that you have, at one time or another, tried to act out your character during a D&D fight. Moving nervously on the chair as you D.M. describes the fight ahead of you. LARPing gives you the chance to do it, LIVE and in person, and in full gear. You get to feel the rush and the ferocity of battle, experience character death, and make fortunes selling the treasures of your victims. Live-Action Role Playing is the best place to go out and just have fun and forget about your daily routines.

LARPing is about being free and social interaction. It is about discovering your abilities and overcoming your fears. Roleplaying allows you to enjoy a new way of gaming. It is about friendship and alliances and playing outside. What could be better than that?

Larping is not only fun; it is a perfect tool for social and physical interaction done within a safe and neutral environment free from racism. LARPing is no longer only for geeks; it is a way of exploring new ways to keep your mind and body entertained. Sometimes larp is goofy, funny, or scary, but it is always fun.


Is LARPing Sexist?

Sexism in LARPs does still exist, but that is definitely changing. Roleplaying helps us escape society downfalls and helps us correct the problem by being politically correct, so we may enjoy this hobby. It is true that LARPing is still overwhelmingly occupied by men, but women are always welcome and always bring new dynamics into the game. Women love nerdy things just as much as the men and LARPing have grown past the men's only club routine.

The gender gap at LARPs shows men are the majority (around 30%), but there is a strong presence of women LARPing in many countries. In some instances, women can sometimes make up approximately 50% of the players.

Gender should not become an issue, and there are feminist LARPer groups that give open discussions for men to understand that gender should not be an issue when involved in a fantasy-based setting. Making the game more accessible to women means that we (as men) must encourage their participation in all aspects of this game.

Watch this video to learn more: Nordic LARP Talks


Is LARPing real?

LARPing is definitely not real, but the experience is. LARPing is a form of escapism for the mind that mixes in real emotions and physical attributes. So although your emotions you face while acting out the part is real, there are no real-life consequences other than the emotional and physical scarring you take when playing that character.

LARPS can place players in a vulnerable or emotional situation rather quickly. In most tabletop games, players are meant to connect with their characters but do not remain in character for the entirety of the game.

Live-Action Role-Playing is often about the possibility to experience life as another personality and to walk the line within those extremes. You are expected to feel helpless at times, rejected, fear and loathing, grief, and even be rejected or destroyed over greed or power.

Designers of the game (Game Masters) try to tie in all those emotions to get the maximum out of players in a safe and secure environment. How we relate to the game is what makes it real or not.


What is Emotional Bleed at a LARP?

Emotional bleeding is a phenomenon where there is a crossover between the emotions of the player and the character in and out of the game. When a LARPer plates a character for a prolonged period of time, it is quite easy to get intertwined in the emotions of the character.

This emotional link can become strong within a battle, romantic scenes, and character death. It can become so strong that other players may want to stop interacting with you because they cannot tell the difference between you and your character. 


Is LARPing safe?

LARPing is safer than most sports and events like paintball or baseball. Even though LARPing is all about provocation and battle, game mechanics often dictate the level of safety the game will employ.

In other words, if the game allows arrows, then rules would not authorize projectiles to aim for the head, or in battle, no hand to hand physical contact is allowed during the event. There are strict rules about Head Safety in LARPs, and it is important that these rules be accepted and understood for the ultimate gaming experience.

Since LARPing is done in a safe environment, the distinction between real danger and perceived danger is drastically different. Knowing that the world around you is not real allows us a sense of security, we cannot feel in the real world. However, there is no way to protect someone psychologically because you are the only one who will perceive this fantasy world in your own way.


Is LARPing similar to tabletop roleplaying games?

Is LARPing similar to tabletop roleplaying games?

There is a huge difference between LARPing and Tabletop games. Live-Action Role-Playing allows you to wear armor and go fight epic creatures in a real-life setting. You get all the advantages of tabletop but with the extra bonus of real-life interaction. I mean, let's face it, we all want to be Aragorn or Éowyn swinging your sword to slay those nasty vile and malicious creatures.

Sure, there are certain similarities between tabletop games and LARPs, but the main difference is that you get to physically partake in activities with more than a small group of friends. There are guidelines and rules for character creation, but what you do on the battlefield does not have to be controlled by the DM. You are, in a way, your own Dungeon Master.

Tabletop interacts with a description of the emotions, the environment, or the general feeling being emulated where LARPing is the real thing. LARPs allow you to become your character and act out the abilities in real-time. Also, the game masters have a little less say in the outcome of the game, often leaving the options to the players rather than following a written story with predetermined results.


Is LARPing still a thing?

LARPing has shown continual growth since its inception. Every year, hundreds of thousands of players partake in epic battles though thousands of different gaming systems in almost every country on the globe. For most, it is like a vacation, a way to socially interact and communicate with people of similar interest. Movies like Conan the Barbarian, Excalibur, Lord of the Rings, and Role Models helped LARPs grow by inspiring LARPers to dress up as knights, wizards, and orcs and fight each other in fantasy settings. Video Games and tabletop games continually help contribute to the popularity of the game that can be seen through the costumes players wear.


Is LARPing discriminatory?

There is still a presence of racial and sexual discrimination in LARPing. Although there is no intentional barrier and players, in general, seem to find no inequality, there are still barriers that need to be broken. LARPing still seems to a white male-dominated activity; however, there are now more than 30% women and a low but rising number of ethnic players. Although discrimination exists between the fictitious races, real-life discrimination in or out of character on the grounds of gender, sex, transgender status, disability, sexual orientation, or sexual behavior is never seen as acceptable.

https://scholarworks.umt.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=12334&context=etd


Are American LARP and European LARP different?

The main difference between an American (USA) LARP and a European LARP is that certain American LARPs are more focussed on the combat sport of LARPing over the story and costuming or theatrical aspects of LARPing. Combat LARPs are extremely inclusive and are similar to a community picnic. People get together and fight in short battles, discuss techniques, and show off their fighting skills in a series of battles. Garb an armor is optional and not really relevant to the game but rather adds to that particular player's immersion. Larpers usually make their own weapons for battle and are inspected by the marshals to ensure safety is met.

European LARPs are focussed on intense storylines, costuming as well as combat. They like to dive deep into their character but also enjoy the fight aspects. Since their focus is fixed on the character, their weapons and costumes must also fit the role in order to participate. LARPers spend a vast amount of time analyzing their character before making or buying costumes and armor. They do not always choose what gives them the best advantage on the field, they often choose their weapons according to what their character would like.


Are there celebrities who LARP/Role Play?

There are many celebrities that LARP Here are some that we know of. You will be surprised at some of the names we found that are gamers.

  • Stephen Colbert, Talk show host
  • Jim Butcher, Actor (Dresden Files)
  • Alex Astier, Actor (Kamelott)
  • Adam Savage, TV Host (Mythbusters)
  • Vin Diesel, Actor (Riddick, The Last Witch Hunter)
  • Jeff Goldblum, Actor (The Fly, Jurassic Park)
  • Joe Manganiello, Actor (Spiderman, Big Bang Theory)
  • Marilyn Manson, Singer Song Writer
  • Felicia Day, Actrice (Red: Werewolf hunter)
  • Anderson Cooper, CNN News Anchor
  • Deborah Ann Woll, Actress (Daredevil, The Punisher)
  • Martin Starr, Actor (Ironborn Soldier: Game of Thrones)
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Singer, director, actor
  • Jon Favreau, Actor/director (Iron man, Cowboys, and Aliens)
  • John Bradley, Actor (Game of Thrones, Merlin)
  • Drew Barrymore, Actress (E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, 50 First Dates)
  • Patton Oswalt, Actor, Comedian (22 Jump Street, Seinfeld)
  • Terry Crews, Actor (Terminator: Salvation, Deadpool 2)
  • Mike Myers, Actor, director Comedian (Austin Powers, Shrek)
  • Robin Williams, Actor Comedian (Good Morning Vietnam, Aladdin)
  • Dan Harmon, Producer, Actor (Rick and Morty, Kung Fu Panda)
  • Ben Affleck, Actor, Screenwriter (Batman vs Superman, Daredevil)
  • Sean Astin, actor (LOTR trilogy, Asterix and the Vikings)
  • Bruce Campbell, Actor (The Evil Dead, Spiderman)
  • Dave Chappelle, Comedian
  • Billy Crystal, Actor, Comedian, TV Host
  • Rivers Cuomo, Musician, Singer, Songwriter (Weezer)
  • Conchata Ferrell, Actress (L.A. Law, Erin Brockovich)
  • Johnny Knoxville, Actor (Jackass, The Dukes of Hazard)
  • Matthew Lillard, actor (Scream, Wing Commander)
  • Jennifer Lopez, Actress, Singer (Monster-in-Law, Selena)
  • Ewen MacGregor, actor (Star Wars Prequels, The Island)
  • Jason Statham, Actor (Death Race, The Mechanic)
  • Jacques Villeneuve, race car driver (Indy 1995 winner, Formula 1)
  • Wil Wheaton, Actor (Star Trek: Next Generation, Big Bang Theory)
  • Mike Brown, Coach (L.A. Lakers)
  • Peter Mayhew, Actor (Star Wars Series: Chewbacca)
  • Jake Lloyd, actor; (Anakin Skywalker)
  • Ron Howard, Actor and Director (Solo: A Star Wars Story, Apollo 13)
  • Steven Spielberg, Director (Raiders of the Lost Ark, War of the Worlds)
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