So, today I went to a larp. Yes, I am that much of a nerd! It was so much fun, even though I really kind of...underplayed my character. I mean, that was more or less in character, but I spoke up a little too rarely...but that's in part because my character didn't really know any information relevant to the trial that was going on and was just determined to make up her own mind about it...and boy that plot was complicated! I think it was significantly less complicated than the average larp though. Because geeks are insane. And most of them are much, much smarter than me.
So...for those who don't know. Larp=live action role-play, which depending on who you ask is either a bunch of geeks bashing each other with enchanted weapons (made of foam) until everyone's dead, like WoW in real life, or it's more or less an improvised play, which is what this was. You're given the background info that your character knows and a set of objectives to achieve (or attempt to achieve, of course often one character's objectives will be at odds with another's so they can't all come out in the end). You can do or say basically anything as long as it's in character, but depending on the larp there might be certain plot points that have to occur for it to end or certain mechanics used to decide the outcome of battles, etc. This one was much more open-ended in that regard, which...basically simplified it a lot, too, I think, so it was a really good larp for a first timer just getting her feet wet.
Aaaaanyway, this was a Middle-earth setting but not the most typical one, set in the small town of Fennas Drúnin after the initial uprising of the Witch King made the kingdom of Rhudaur go away, so it's kinda this tiny little island of civilization on the border of empty wilderness, though not far from Cardolan which...still half exists at this point--but didn't come into play whatsoever in the game (Arthedain, Cardolan and Rhudaur were the three kingdoms into which Arnor was broken due to civil war, if there are any fellow Tolkien nerds who still aren't following that). This town is run by a Council (led by a Mayor) that manages taxes and maintaining the walls and such, and also has the ability to try and sentence criminals...I was one of the Council members. The new one, trying to establish myself but afraid of alienating the others and losing my position entirely. Dunlendings are not meant to be on the Council, according to most, much less Dunlending women. Jim was also a Council member, and Mike was the bargeman that had all the stories and rumors to tell that he never really knew the truth of for himself. XD It was a fun role.
On a random note, you'd be surprised how many different ways there are to butcher the seemingly innocuous word "Dunlending." Maybe I should have been offended. XP
So, the concept of this larp was very interesting. While as I said there were no gameplay mechanics, no battle, and while there were definite elements of the mystery story there wasn't exactly a definitive way to unravel everything in the game...it was just a game of debate and even politics, and deciding who you trust more.
And somehow by the end Jim ended up being the Mayor, which was amusing in the way he was clearly NOT expecting it at all. XDDD Also, there were many extremely amusing semi-ooc comments made during this play, and most amusingly the writer of the game filled in for the other gm/referee/npc when there was one point he couldn't remember or find in his character sheet. Someone asked if he was related to that other guy we were just talking to. XDDD
Anyway, there were headaches involved, literal and figurative, but on the whole I had a blast, and I'd love to do more of this. I'd still better stick to minor roles, considering how much I had to push myself to do even as much as I did (I swear, as it turns out I had like one piece of relevant information to disclose through this whole game and doing so made me shake like a leaf even though I didn't feel emotional or nervous, or much of anything at all; this was some much deeper gut reaction, and I guess I just must be much shyer than I even knew I was!), and how confused I got especially earlier on...but seriously, this was ridiculous loads of fun and incredibly nerdy, and these people were all wonderful and had great senses of humor, and the whole concept is just so darned intriguing...I can hardly wait for the next one!