5 Questions You’ll Ask Yourself Before Your First LARP

It’s a big week for Fanspeak Files as we step into the night (or very early morning, depending on how you look at it) and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure.

This Thursday, Kaitlin and I embark on a journey to Virginia, where we will participate in a live action roleplay weekend hosted at the University of Richmond. For three and a half days, we will no longer be the same writers from Fanspeak Files you all know, but Arista and Arabella, New World Magischola students, and budding young mages.

That’s right, New World Magischola is a role playing opportunity where you, along with over 100 other adventurers, attend college level classes covering subjects such as Alchemy, Cryptozoology, Magical Ethics, and many more. In your free time you make friends, and enemies, with your fellow students, perfect your potions and spells, and trade in your everyday troubles and concerns of those of the Magimundi community.

As exciting as this is, and of course it is, as newbie larpers it’s a little intimidating.

Am I prepared?


Kam Abbott/Flickr

In roleplaying, much of the entertainment comes from the escapism of it all, and for many first-timers it’s difficult to let go of the planning and simply immerse yourself in the experience. When you’re only days away from the LARP event, it’s time to let go. Sure, continue double checking that you’ve packed the pieces of your costume, and be sure to have your travel arrangements prepared, but story and character wise it’s good to take a step back.

Will people like my costume?

Whether you’re playing a mage, a troll, or a space alien, costumes can truly help you slide straight into character and into the story of the LARP. Once you don each piece and look in the mirror, do you like your costume? As long as your costume isn’t damaging to anyone else or their game, then how you feel about what you’re wearing is all that matters.

Will I be able to adjust to my character?



There are different strategies for dipping into your character and transitioning from reality to roleplay, but what’s important is which is the best strategy for you. You can start at the character itself, planning someone completely different from you to create that divide, or you can play a character with some of your same personality traits to ease yourself into the game.

Once the LARP has begun, you can dive in head first or slowly adapt at a speed that’s comfortable for you. Even with difficulty adjusting to the character, it’s important to not stress, because the other players won’t know you’re throwing in tidbits of yourself. Nobody knows what’s going on in your head. Be sure to remember that your game is your own, so relax and go along for the ride.

Am I brave enough?

LARP events can push you to the limits, so it’s worth mentioning that certain situation may put your bravery to the test. Whether you’re entering the creepy woods at night or approaching a stranger about playing out a plot together, brave acts come in all shapes and sizes. Recognize your bravery, because every act is call for celebration.

Will I be good enough?


Tom Garnett/Flickr

In the end, LARP newbies just want to do a good job. We just want to be included in the story and make a contribution as a player, and the biggest question we’ll ask ourselves is if we are good enough. The truly magical thing about a LARP organized with love and respect for everyone involved is that every single player is good enough for their game. There are no expectations to live up to, and there is no wrong way to play, as long as you’re safe and are helping others to be safe.

Here’s to an exciting weekend filled with new friends, new experiences, and a lot of magic.

Want more LARP advice? I talked with Cheyenne Rain of LARP House for Geek & Sundry, and she shared some great tips on where to start for your first LARP.

For more information on New World Magischola specifically, check out their website, or hear about the experience from a recent player in her video here.


Featured Image Credit: Tom Garnett/Flickr


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