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LARPing at Fort Lewis College

LARPing at Fort Lewis College

Kimberly Cassels

Thursday, October 04, 2018 | Number of views (354)

Fort Lewis College had a live action role playing event by the clock tower Wednesday Sep. 26. The theme for the LARP was Game of Thrones.  

Participants split into different Game of Thrones houses. Two of the houses, the Targaryens and Starks, played capture the flag, battling one another with foam swords and daggers along with duct taped cardboard shields, Carson O’Brien, president of A+ Games said.

The event wasn’t a true LARP. LARPing is a process that requires a script, planning for the characters and space, and immense  participation, O’Brien said.

“It’s actually a long process traditionally.” Lorrie Narcisse, the SkyFest chair, said, “There’s a whole script and you have to go through certain obstacles that the game master actually creates for you. For example, you have to go through magical tests and it’s a lot more scripted. It takes between 6 and 9 months for someone to write a script for something like this apparently.”

Capture the flag has similar aspects to it by having two opposing teams which made it more accessible for anyone to join in the fun, O’Brien said.

“This is a beginner’s way of LARPing,” Meg Langhoff, an A+ Gaming member, said.

The hosts of the event, A+ Gaming and Student Union Productions constructed the harmless weaponry, which was made out of PVC pipe, pool noodles and panty hose, O’Brien, said.

Between 20 and 30 participants signed safety waivers before going into combat, Narcisse said

Some students wore their own costumes to the event in spirit of the Game of Thrones theme, Narcisse said.

Capture the flag has two teams who each have their own territory base and flag. Each team attempts to capture the flag of the opposing team to take to their home base, said O’Brien.

The Stark territory was at the bridge while the Targaryen base was the amphitheatre. The players went on the battlefield for 20 minute sessions of capture the flag, O’Brien said.

Players in this particular version prevent their flag from being captured by attacking their adversaries with foam swords and daggers. If a player is hit anywhere but their neck, head or hands, they are considered dead, O’Brien said.

“Once you get killed so-to-speak, you have to walk back to your base, and then you can run back into the action.” Langhoff said, “Once a flag is captured, the person who has the flag has to walk back and they can’t use their weapon, so their team has to protect them.”

Many participants had never heard of LARPing and even bystanders became interested and volunteered to go to war, O’Brien said.

“I have never larped before, this is all new to me,” O’Brien said. “ I’m having a blast. We’re just trying stuff out.”   

The basic idea behind LARPing is creating a live action video or tabletop game based upon a particular theme or subject. Dungeons and Dragons is a popular theme, O’Brien said.

“To run full the LARP, you need someone who has the written story and can act out the player characters, and they go and talk to the bar keepers or bosses or dungeons.” O’Brien said,  “And then you need 4 or 5 other people to play orks and stuff and run around. It takes a lot setup time, a lot of prothstetics if you want to do it correctly, but this is the bare minimum.”

O’Brien does have experience with script writing for role playing games, such as Dungeons and Dragons, which A+ Gaming plays everyday, he said.

A+ Gaming and SUP saw the event as a success, as it gave students a new activity to participate in, Narcisse said.

Grace Chang, the SUP programming coordinator, ensured that the logistics of the event would be safe and carried out appropriately. She also acted as a referee for the LARP, Chang said.

“I think it requires a lot of creativity and a lot student input.” Chang said, “I think this is a bit more unique than what we usually do from anything else. Bringing this into the docket was a little bit interesting and it turned out pretty well.”

The Game of Thrones inspired LARP brought a new form of entertainment to FLC’s campus, Narcisse said.

“When you love what you do it shows, and it’s awesome to watch that come to life,” Chang said.


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