Before we get started on the more in-depth aspects of the game, we understand that not everyone is familiar with LARPing or game structures in general. On this page, you'll find the most basic information about LARPing as a concept as well as some general info on the structure that our system employs for its staff.
LARP is an acronym for Live Action Role Playing. It is often used as both a noun and a verb. As a noun, it means “Live Action Role Playing Game.” For example, “I went to a LARP this weekend.” It can also be used as a verb. For example, “Did you LARP this weekend?” It is even an acronym that can have suffixes added to it in order for it to be used in other word forms, such as past tense, adjectives, or other nouns.
As such, LARPing in general is as varied as the number of forms its acronym can take on. LARPing, more specifically, is a type of game in which a person can dress into a costume and improvisationally act or role-play with other people. There are many different types of LARPs and each has a separate set of rules and plotlines which govern how people can interact with the specific game that he or she may be playing at. These rules and plotlines are usually created by the people who conceptualized and created the game, which they also usually run or host. The people who run or host the game are often referred to as “Staff.”
Game Events are the gatherings in which all members of staff as well as the people who wish to play the game attend. Game Events, also referred to as “Events,” usually take place on some kind of camp, be it boyscout, girlscout, or other. The camps are rented by the staff and used exclusively for the game. Events typically last from Friday night to Sunday morning.
Systems of interaction are designed in ways to guide a person on how he or she can mechanically and logistically interact with the game.
For every rule, there is usually the possibility of an exception to that rule. It will be specified when these exceptions exist. Exceptions can exist for a multitude of reasons, including those that may be driven by storyline appropriateness or mechanical balance. All exceptions to the typical rules within the system will be explicitly defined and outlined.
Everyone who attends a game will have one or multiple roles at the game. These roles help define what level of authority, responsibility, and knowledge a person has in relation to the game.
- Players and Marshals
- Typically, there are two general types of people at a LARP. There are the players and there are staff members. Players are typically just people who come and pay to play at the event but otherwise have no influence in how the LARP or game is run. Staff members and sometimes senior players at a game may be Marshals. Marshals are like referees. While exact titles, names, and job responsibilities may vary from game to game or from department to department, for the purposes of this online guide, the term “Marshal” will be used to define any person who can authoritatively govern and referee any situation with respective authoritative power within the context of which the term is used herein.
- Concept of Characters
- Characters are personas which are created and portrayed by players who wish to attend a game. Characters are uniquely developed by players with various concepts in mind, such as how the character will be role-played and what kind of mechanical development is intended for that character. As such, it is important to understand how to conceptually design a character. When developing a character, one must decide what kind of moral compass he or she wants the character to have, what kind of culture he or she wants to play, and what kind of abilities he or she wants the character to have.
- It is important to note that character goals and development can change over the course of playing a game and not only is perfectly fine, but often encouraged, for characters to develop in ways not originally intended.
Game Structure and Departments
Interested in how it all works behind the scenes? Take a look at our Staff Handbook: Oblivion LARP Staff Handbook
- Joining Staff
- We're almost always looking for volunteers and this may lead to a staff position depending on your performance and dedication as well as our needs. Anyone interested in joining staff should read the handbook and, if still interested, speak with one of the game owners or higher up staff members for details.