LARP or LRP stands for “Live Action Role Play,” a hobby which has been recently gaining in worldwide popularity. Like most forms of role play, LARPers will adopt a unique persona that they use to tell a story in concert with other players. Unlike the traditional idea of a tabletop role playing game, the participants in a LRP do not sit at a table and narrate what their character is doing. Instead, they walk, talk and even fight (safely and cinematically) in character. Some very involved LARPers will dress in special costumes or use theatrical makeup to portray their character. Most of the time, LRPs have an adjudicating officer, variously called a Marshall, Game master, Storyteller, Narrator or other, who sets up the initial plot and referees character conflict.
A good way to describe LRP is by comparing it to a style of improvisational theater. Each LARPer is an actor, who portrays a single character which they have devised and written themselves. But instead of a script defining how the story should go, everything evolves and unfolds on the spot. There is no audience; the players are all performing for each other. And in place of the director is the Storyteller, who provides the characters with setting, conflict and perhaps a supporting cast of non-player characters. Like theatrical plays, each LRP has its own setting. They can take place in a magical world, a dystopian future, an alternate history or even the modern day. A single game can run multiple events over the span of years; or take place within the course of a single evening.
This website has several goals. First, to explain to someone new to the game what, exactly, LARP is and how to play it; secondly to give LARPers advice on how to have the best possible experience while playing the games; and third, to offer support to people who are interested in running their own game. If you’re new to the LRP community, start with our Introduction or Lexicon pages, which explain more thoroughly the nature of the game. If you’re a player looking for advice, try looking in Costumes or Props. Running a Game contains advice for would be Storytellers. The Culture section contains articles that players and those interested in the art of Live Action Role Play will find useful. LARP in the Media details books and movies in which LARPers have played a role. And lastly, if you’re looking for a community near you, try our Find a LARP!