Earlier this week, Bekah shared with you a few questions someone new to the world of LARP may ask themselves before their first event. Now here we are, the day before our adventure when we’ll be diving headfirst into the uncharted territory of the wonderful world of LARP. The idea of LARPing(or live action role playing) may conjure up mental images like this:
Honestly, that’s how I imagined all LARPs would be. However, in the short time that I have been preparing for New World Magischola, my perception of LARPing has been totally transformed. Here are the five most important lessons I’ve learned before stepping into New World Magischola:
1. In fleshing out the character you portray, intense emotions may “bleed” over from the LARP into the real world. Events in-game may trigger intense emotions, memories, or strong feelings. Players should be aware of the interesting dynamic this creates and take a mental/physical break if needed. This may mean skipping Magical Combat class to take a nap, heading to bed a little early, or taking time out in the neutral Sanctuary for some self-reflection.
2. There may be a highly immersive world brought to life by the brilliant creators, but you don’t have to come in knowing everything. NWM provides a hugely detailed world document, family trees, and spells that I enjoyed poring over, but some players will come in with a fresh slate. No matter how much knowledge players choose to come in with, all are welcome in this inclusive LARP environment.
3. This is an opt-in world where players can actively choose whether to participate in shenanigans or go their own way. If someone hurls a spell in your direction, you decide the ultimate consequences. As a first-time player, it’s comforting to have that amount of control over everything from dueling injuries to romantic pursuits. There will be a range of participation levels, and that’s perfectly fine!
4. It’s okay to “play to lose” or let your character fail in some of their pursuits. I think this was the most complicated lesson to wrap my head around. I’m a planner and a bit of a perfectionist, so it’s going to take some effort to loosen the reigns and let things go haywire. Spells may backfire, romantic angst may ensue, or potions may have unexpected results. I have a feeling that the resulting drama and character interactions will make a game infinitely more interesting!
5. No plot is too small! This means that players don’t have to take on the Olympian task of saving the school or banishing all evildoers. Sometimes the most fascinating experiences can develop from sharing a meal with someone new, spilling a terrible secret, teaming up with NPCs (Non Player Characters) for shenanigans, or engaging in some good-natured house rivalry. It’s a relief to know that unlike Harry Potter, we students don’t have to worry about taking down Voldemort-style villains every school term!
These are just a sampling of the tips I’ve taken away before being swept up into New World Magischola’s intrigue and plots both large and small. Stay tuned as Bekah and I keep you posted on all of our NWM shenanigans!
Featured Image Credit: The CW