I’ve only been to the Renaissance Fair in Larkspur, CO, once, and while any reasonable person might have had their fill of live-action roleplaying after that, my LARPing story continues on past that.
Through a friend of mine from high school, I made some friends who were into LARPing, and they invited me to come along one summer day. Assuming that my friend would be attending as well, and that I could at least lean on him if things got a little too odd for me, I agreed. Would it surprise you to learn that our mutual friend had no intention of having anything to do with this little adventure? It shouldn’t, because he didn’t.
When I showed up at the park (because of course this couldn’t go down anywhere besides a public park), I was greeted by close to a dozen people in duct-taped, foam-padded, homemade medieval armor. The leader of the pack had a full-fledged evil knight costume on, and he led us to the site of the initial “battle” of the day. Since I didn’t have a character, he said, I’d have to play the parts of different NPC villains. First up, a zombie that attacked the group.
I figured I’d try and make the best of a seemingly lousy situation, and I affected my best zombie groan-and-shuffle. I didn’t even get through a full breath before the heroic horde descended upon me and pummeled me to the ground with their foam weapons, all yelling out the damage in hit points they were doing to me. I still can clearly recall their cries of, “Two damage! Two damage!” ringing out through the jogging path.
After that, I recall having to be some kind of goblin guard, holding hostage the princess our heroes were ostensibly trying to rescue. The evil knight made some kind of inappropriately ominous declaration of hostilities to the heroes, and told me that I actually had to hold this girl (who was dressed a lot like Zelda in The Legend of Zelda, now that I think about it) back, so as to keep her from escaping. I remember she looked particularly angry, angry to the point that I didn’t feel comfortable invading any kind of personal bubble she might have had, so I placed the backs of my hands on her shoulders. She turned back and me and glared.
“If I was playing my real character, I’d kill you right now.”
If the entire day thus far hadn’t been an argument for my leaving LARPing to folks more passionate about it, that one sentence would’ve been. After the adventure concluded (I think I played five or six characters that bit the dust), I thanked them all for being so friendly, and promptly never spoke to any of them ever again.
Eagle-eyed readers might recognize Newton’s laser gun. Or maybe not.