Live Role Play
The abbreviation LARP is an english term and stands for "Live-Action-Roleplay". We will try to explain the basics of this fascinating and complex hobby to you:
A Larp event (in short: "Con" from "Convention") offers the participants the possibility to play a fictional character in a world which is fictional as well but nevertheless becomes quite real through the players actions. The difference to a mere paper&pen roleplaying game is, that the player actually is present and experiences for real all the action, the thrill of "combat", or the natural scenery. Its "live".
To guarantee fairness for the players, most Larps are played using a certain set of rules which may differ from Larp to Larp.
The most important aspect of a Larp is to have fun. Winning or losing are of secondary importance. Most Larps have a backgroundstory and a certain agenda or objectives which are to be reached by the players.
Before one can join a Larp, one has to create a "character". This is the fictional person with which the player acts in the Larp world. He should have a name, a backgroundstory, certain weaknesses or strenghts etc. This character can then be equipped as the player sees fit. Of course one should stay true to the genre of this or that Con. There are many different kinds of Cons, from relaxed evenings in a roadside tavern to great balls or epic battles! Many genres have developped in the Larp scene: although the medieval world and fantasy settings account for most of the events, other genres like western, science fiction or post-nuclear Larps attract a growing number of players. There are Larps in castles, in the woods, aboard sailing ships or in bunkers, so there should be some kind of event that suits you!
Some of the backgrounds created for Larps are very extensive and detailed. There are even whole countries or cultures that have created by the players to add to the flavour of their gaming world. Every Larper can be as much creative as he wants to but there are no obligatory standards that have to be adhered to by every player. There are many worlds that can be experienced and brought to life if you want to!
Finally, it is a basic rule in Larp that it is important to play in a way that not only yourself, but your fellow players as well can share in the fun and that "winning" or "losing" is not the ultimate goal of larping!