Live action role-playing games, also known as LARP is a kind of free time activity where particpants represent several kind of characters with the help of items like clothings, or inoffensive copies of weapons. In contrast to traditional role games, where plares sitting around a table pley their role only in an oral way.
Live role players usually act, move theirselves, speak and behave like a real actor on the stage. While in traditional role players use their imagination, in live role physical involvement is required. For this reason, acting skills become more important than the story’s quality . So we could claim that live role is theatre and role game is a storyteller’s stuff.
In live role there is no audience or public, whoever attends become a participant or player. There’s no limit for the number of players and neither for the ambiance where it can take place. So it may be indoors or outdoors. Additionnaly, the game can last several days in which it can be interrupted for eating, sleeping or resting.
The creation of an atmosphere or an setting becomes essential in live role. While traditional role can take place anywhere, a coffee shop, a room…live role needs a prepared environment. If the story is developed in the current world, a few scenographic elements will be necessary. But if the story happens in a fantastic world or from another period of time, we could search special locations or even building big structures to simulate the scenery.
Interaction with the real world is enriched with scenogrraphy, not only for decorating but also for becoming a vital part of the game. representing items that can be exchanged or places of the game with a specific fonction, like the doors of a fortress, a castle the Holy Grail…
There is no limit in the realism of a setting, but it’s accepted that we can’t disturb those don’t take part and avoiding settings, scenographies and dangerous behaviours. The most well prepared settings were the ones related to historical recreation. A kind of live role game and incredibly attractive is medieval role.
Just like in theatre , clothings and dressings can make a difference between the player and role he plays. So, a twenty years old guy can play the role of a old man with some make up, for faking wrinkles and grey hair. The goal of this characterizations is to allow people to identify the character, at first sight, the person is representing. Even in little games which are played in public and open places, players must be unnoticed by people unconnected to the game. For only being recognised by other players.
Not necessarily live role has a combat system. But sometimes its games are based on combat. This is one of the parts which receive more attention, given that they are the most worked. Some settings or games are entirely combative (a medieval tournament, for example). Others are not conceived originally in that way, however, two or more characters might fight each other due to their characters, because they could represent a duel with guns or a vinkings combat.
Develop those confrontations in a safe way, has implied the creation of several systems from the most abstracts (iron, paper, scissors) to the most realistics (like in Canada in Russia where medieval combats take place with no edge swords and entire metal armours, sometimes combats on horse have taken place).
It’s very frequent to see in LARP medieval combats simulation with swords made of latex. In Spain combats with realistic weapons are only done by medieval fencing or airsoft recreation groups. Particular precincts are home to white weapons combats, but also for combats with latex or foam rubber swords.
According to Record Guinness Book, the biggest LARP in Spain took place in Irmandiños: a revolta, in Monterrey’s castle in Galicia from 2006-2008 and was organised by 13NEGATIVO, in collaboration with Junta de Andalucía.
The game went about the Irmandiña’s revolt happened in Galicia during the XVth century in which farmers rised agains nobles. Although, there were others multitudinaries events in other countries. (Conquest, Drachenfest) Irmandiños: a revolta has been until now the one with higher participation. Every year about 500-600 people joined there to play live role.