Have you ever watched an epic fantasy film and thought, “That looks awesome, I wish I could do something like that,” only to discover that when you walk into the nearest bar and ask if they have any quests, most people just laugh at you? Unfortunately, we live in a world where there aren’t any dragons that need to be slain, or bandits who need to be rounded up.
Let’s face it, living a fantasy life in today’s world just isn’t possible.
Or is it?
“LARP” or “Live Action Role Play” is the act of dressing up and staying in character for a certain amount of time in a specific setting. Most LARP groups have a fantasy setting, but some are targeted towards Steampunk, Zombie Apocalypse, or even Cyberpunk settings to name a few.
LARPing can be difficult to get into, but once you have gotten the hang of all the rules, it can be one of the most enriching and fun activities you will ever do. I still claim that it is THE most fun thing I have ever done, and I will stand by that until I find something better.
LARPing is meant to be immersive. From the attention to detail that goes into the costumes, the characters, the weapons, and the story, to the fact that it often takes place far from any city where the light pollution would ruin our view of the night sky; LARPing is one of the most extreme forms of escapism.
I recently visited the Underworld Ashendael group east of Ottawa to try them out for the first time.
My character, Jack Crimson, is a wizard who specializes in fire magic and has an ego the size of the sun. He has a terrible sense of direction, but loves puns. I like to compare him to a campfire. He brings people together, but if left alone, he will burn your house down.
So, as Jack Crimson, I set out to start my grand adventure in the land of Ashendael. Along with my friends, the stalwart mercenary Roy Silver, the gregarious bard Gick Nibbins, the shadowy rogue Myf Norovir, and the meek but trustworthy Iszara Perwright, we slayed many dangerous creatures. From some easily handled slimes and bats, to the more powerful vampire pirates, none could stand against our combined might.
A 22-year-old college student with a passion for nerdy things, John is currently attending Algonquin College for Professional Writing and dreams of one day being a novelist. He enjoys reading, writing, playing video games, and LARPing. He also occasionally streams his shenanigans on his Twitch channel.