This is mostly just going to be me rambling for a while.
So, I've stayed out of the various LARPs run by people in know in Chicago, usually turning them down with a note that "LARPing isn't my thing" or something similar, and I think that was pretty true at the time. But I'm not sure that it's an enduring truth, because I played in a Vampire LARP for about a year and had a pretty good time other than some problems that were mostly my fault.
It was when I was dating schoolpsychnerd
and we'd trade off weekends visiting each other. Her college had a LARP, and I figured I'd join up because it took up the Saturday nights on weekends I visited her and sitting in her room for hours was pretty boring, really. So I made Ye Stereotypical Celtic Gangrel, Ciarán O'Connor, and signed on.
Alright, let me justify myself. I figured that since I was coming from out of town and didn't really know many people except through schoolpsychnerd
, and certainly didn't talk to them when I wasn't in town, playing a loner made sense. And I didn't want to haul a lot of costuming material back and forth, so a rootless Gangrel made that easy. I wore the same clothes to every LARP--black t-shirt with white lettering, green cargo pants, no shoes (that was fun in the winter, especially for scenes outside). I did have a kind of meta-joke in that I changed out my shirt every game while keeping the same theme, but no one ever commented on it. I changed my posture so instead of striding everywhere like I usually do, I slinked
. I kept my eyes always in motion, looking all around the room and constantly glancing away from people who were talking to me.
One of the aspects I was most proud of was what I came up with for my Gangrel's bestial feature. I have little (read: no) skill with makeup, theatrical or otherwise, and I didn't want to take the cop-out of writing something on an index card. So I came up with a bestial voice
. I spoke with a feral growl whenever I talked and several times I had the satisfaction of seeing people who hadn't previously interacted with Ciarán jump when I opened my mouth. It was great
The problem, of course, is that the LARP was around four and a half hours long and talking in a throat-ripping growl meant I had about ten minutes of conversation in me spread out over that length of time. That inability to interact with people kind of shot one of the main points of LARPing in the foot, and coupled with the lack of in-game connections I spent a lot of time sitting around in silence, which isn't fun no matter what the setting is. Eventually, when Ciarán sat on the Primogen Council for a night while the primogen and whip were both busy, he figured that the spotlight had gotten too hot and it was time to move on before heat led to fire, and various things meant I didn't really want to make a new character.
However, the basic premise--dressing up, adopting different mannerisms, acting everything out instead of saying "my character does..."--was a lot of fun, and maybe I've been letting some mistakes I made taint my appreciation for the whole. Maybe I should give it a try again.