What is LARP?

Live Action Role Playing (LARP) is a type of role-playing game where the players act and physically portray character actions. In the Mind’s Eye Society, a LARP organization, we play in a fictional game world based on the real world (but darker, and with a more supernatural focus). Each game has a storyteller who develops plots and setting materials, and uses the game rules to determine certain outcomes. In short, you get the chance to create a character, play dress up, and pretend to be a vampire (or changeling, or mage, etc).

…That’s still not very clear

Think of LARP like improvisational theatre, but with a character sheet that determines some of the things that your character is good (or bad) at. Working with the storyteller, you create your character based around whatever concept you have in mind, work out some “in character” ties and connections with other players, and then portray that character in person at a game. As you attend more games, your character gets more involved, and also learns and develops. You earn experience points (XP) for games you attend, and you can then “spend” those XP to add new skills and abilities to your character sheet, reflecting the development of your character.

Before each game, a storyteller might give you a general synopsis of the setting (i.e. where you’re meeting), and give you some information about local events (i.e. potential plots that you might want your character to investigate). You work with (or against) other characters to tell a rich, and unpredictable, story.

What games can I play?

Mind’s Eye Philly is currently playing five different venues, four of which are in the “Classic” or “Old” World of Darkness. There are three different Vampire The Masquerade games currently being run, which includes: Camarilla, Anarch and Sabbat. Additionally, we run a Werewolf the Apocalypse game. In the “New” World of Darkness, we have a Changeling the Lost venue. Further details can be found on each of the venue’s pages on our website.

It’s not just a local game

One of the best things about gaming as part of the Mind’s Eye Society is that your character isn’t limited to just a single game. You can travel to other local games with the same character, or go to regional and national events where you can interact with hundreds of players. There are also lots of mailing lists to let you role-play outside of game events.

The Mind’s Eye Society has a comprehensive guide to getting started.

Article written by Rachel Sanks. Graciously published with the author’s permission and some minor adaptations for our site. Originally posted on the Mind’s Eye NJ website.