LARPing Gains Traction In New York

Live Action Role Playing is here to stay. But what exactly is it, and where can you find it?


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From left: Marcus Raskob, Zachary Weber, Julia Bordowitz, and Zachary Young are part of an adventuring party.

Chances are more than good that you’ve never come across Live Action Role Playing, but “LARPing” is becoming increasingly popular among people of varying backgrounds and ages —and Westchesterites are no exception. So, here’s a quick primer on LARPing to keep you in the know.

Boffer LARP

Named after the lightweight weapons used, boffer is the most common type of LARPing, with events ranging from 5 to 100 people. It’s best for people who desire a deep role-playing experience—or those looking to hit nerds with foam sticks. These LARP games may last a few hours or an entire weekend, and they’re mostly associated with a build-your-own-character experience. 

Photos by Kyle Perler

Where to go: Vanguard LARP at Inwood Hill Park in New York City; Alliance LARP Gettysburg in Cornwall, PA (wwww.alliancelarp.com); and The Wayfinder Experience (www.wayfinderexperience.com) in Kingston, NY

Crow Underberg-Davis as a treasure hunter

Theatrical LARP

This LARP focuses entirely on role-playing, plot, and character interaction, with little to no physical contact. These short games last two to six hours, and players usually take on roles pre-made by the game maker. The characters have their own personalities and motivations, but there’s no script. 

Where to go: ARC Stages in Pleasantville with Warren Tusk (www.paracelsus-games.com)

Medieval Combat Sport/Heavy-Combat LARP

These LARPs are more physical than others. Sometimes, actual plated armor and metal weapons are used, and punching or grappling may be allowed. Heavy-Combat LARP involves role-playing and a story, whereas Medieval Combat Sport does not have role-playing and is purely a sport to test martial skill. Participation in either of these will result in at least bruising or even more serious injuries, but both are a hell of a lot of fun.

Where to go: You can find Heavy-Combat LARP in Central Park in New York City (www.amtgard.com). For Medieval Combat Sport, check out Novi Antiqui Dagorhir Battle, in Astoria Park, Queens (www.larping.org/larps/listing/novi-antiqui-dagorhir-battle/).

Samuel Kalb as a spaceship captain

 

 

 

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