Live Action Roleplaying Game
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LARP; An acronym for "Live Action Role-Playing" game.
"Remember, these are all just games and all games are about, really, is crushing your enemies, seeing them driven before you and hearing the lamentation of the women (or other appropriatly girly individuals). "-Asmund
What are Larps?
LARPS include everything from combat-intensive games like Amtgard to rock-paper-scissors live action games like White Wolf's live action vampire.
LARP or Sport?
There is discussion amongst groups that boffer "sports" may or may not be LARPs. Some have said "...Belegarth nor Dagorhir should be considered "LARPs" as they do not allow for magic, classes, or any of the other things that would generally constitute something as one." Others who look at any of the three main boffer "sports" (namely Belegarth, Dagorhir, and Amtgard) tend to see the same thing: People dressed in clothing styles that generally predate the 1600's, swinging items called boffers, and portraying fantasy effects such as dying, and alternative races or personas.
As was mentioned, the one thing that is generally compared is the use of magic and classes. Now while Amtgard has classes, and a complex magic system, the rules of play for the game never actually use the word LARP, and in fact, the word role play (or other forms of it) only appears 3 times across 72 pages. People have argued that classes are similar to positions on a sports team. Other people say that because they are called classes or use abilities that they must be part of a role playing system. Admittedly all three games include a position/class called archer. This position entails extra abilities in both Belegarth and Amtgard (potentially in Dagorhir as well, but this author does not know at this time). In Belegarth, the archer is given the abilities of being able to call shots on people they hit(normally reserved for the position of Marshal) and to launch a projectile that is considered to go through weapons. In Amtgard, there are many abilities, some of which include: The ability to have arrows that go through shields, the ability to destroy weapons, (this author suggests you look at the corresponding rules of play for the full lists).
Also of note, all three games require participants to wear clothing that resembles styles of a medieval fashion. All three include large groups of people who claim to be non-human races and act as such. All three have some sort of ruling government setup within the game that includes things like: knighthood, kings and queens, realms/kingdoms, and "feasts" with a medieval setting.
So which is a LARP and which is not? Where does the sport end, and the larp begin?
There are many LARP organizations in the world, we believe that Amtgard is one of the largest and most widespread in the United States. Some are run as for-profit corporations, others like Amtgard are basically free.
A short list of other LARPS:
Related to Amtgard
- Dagorhir - Game that shares a common history with Amtgard
- Belegarth - Split off larp from Dagorhir
- Emarthngarth - Game that shares a common history with Amtgard
- HFS - High Fantasy Society, amtgard split-off group
- Amtburgsboro - Amtgard-based Civil War Larp
- Adrian Empires -
- IFGS - International Fantasy Gaming Socity
- Markland Militia -
- NERO - New England Role-playing Organization
- End of Seasons
- Archaea - Defunct Flurby LARP