Women who LARP talk system rules and LARP costume

live action roleplay

How important is it to learn LRP rules / sort out LRP costume for an event?

Girls speak: best things about LRP
What’s great about LRP?
Are rules / costume important?
What events would you start with?
What’s crap about LRP?
Do LRP women get a rough deal?
Player backgrounds
Hot tips for newcomers

Chow: Rules, they have rules?, Seriously, you have to know the safety guidleines, but I prefer to know as few of the rules as possible as I find it restrictive. Plus I tend to play a warrior as you get into the fights more! Costume is very important of course, you have to look your best!

Rhona: Well, the rules are important so you don’t get yourself or somebody else hurt. And with the costume, you would look kinda stupid if you turned up to a western dressed as an elf…

Lilian: Getting a good costume together is VITAL – it doesn’t have to be expensive, complicated or fancy but it does have to be convincing – a shirt waistcoast, plain trousers and belt will do. If you’re not wearing a decent costume you will feel uncomfortable and out of place. Learn safety rules, and if you can face it, important game rules such as damage and healing rules. Magic/skill rules can be checked up in books and things or queried during the game.

Carrie – It’s not important to know every little detail of the rules for your first game, but after a few games you should be catching on to its flavour. If not, then ask. By ‘flavour’ I mean is it mostly a hitty-game or a talky-game? Will you be more likely to be rolling around in the mud fighting zombies, or having tea with the Prime Minister discussing the imminent zombie threat? Costume is extremely important to me; it helps me ‘become’ my character when I put it on. I tend to use a combination of found items (from charity shops mostly) with designing and sewing pieces I want but can’t find. Accessories are also very important – what does your character have in her pockets? One carries a big gun and a supply of drugs, but also a religious pamphlet. Another carries a medical kit, but also a small vial of ashes of a friend she couldn’t save.

Clare: For the 1st few events/sessions, people aren’t going to expect you to have full kit. Or even semi-full kit. LRPers are a friendly bunch and you can probably borrow a tunic or something from someone. But no jeans, no white trainers and no ‘modern’ t-shirts for fantasy! A lot of female LRPers are overjoyed the current fashion recently has been ‘boho’ and ‘military’ because sales stuff is perfect for LRP and generally cheap! Sci-fi you can get away with more, I’ve been to events where everyone, or 99% of the players were in head-to-toe black. It looked cool!

Safety rules – you must learn these. No shouting Man down (in the unlikely event that someone gets hurt – Mooky Eds) unless it’s a real life injury, in any game. Generally it’s useful to read the combat rules, even if you’re not playing a combat character, as in some systems it’s quite hard to stay out of combat, and any magic rules even if it’s just to know how to react to certain calls. Basically, learn the rules for what you’re playing and any you might need to react to. If you’re new people won’t get annoyed at you not knowing, and you can always quietly ask a ref (referee, or someone who’s organising the event and knows what’s going on – they’re all over the place at these things, usually in fluorescent jackets, you can’t miss them – Mooky Eds)

Emii: Costume for me is one of the best parts of LARP – I love dressing up in all the funky stuff you can’t get away with everyday, and doing my own makeup.

Heather: Things like combat and the more complicated number juggling you can get by without. Trust me, I have yet to learn an entire rule system – including my own – and I manage pretty well.

Bridie: With a huge event like ‘the Gathering’, I don’t bother myself over-much with rules, as I know that it’s highly unlikely I’ll get anywhere near any plot. Costume on the other hand is vital. The suspension of disbelief is already stretched to the max as you are trying to convince yourself that the scout hut you are in is really a medieval banqueting hall, so a good costume that is more than just a curtain with a hole in the middle and belted at the waist is crucial to carry the mood.

Lol: Every system I have attended has been happy to explain their ways to all noobs (that’s the name given to all new people at LRP events, it’s a great title, don’t be ashamed of it). You will pick up the essentials if you keep to one system for a few events. Costumes are usually provided if you crew the event, as are weapons. (Crewing is a great way to have a go at live roleplaying – it’s a lot cheaper, you don’t need kit or costume because it’s provided, and you get free food and alcohol and a place to sleep. Huzzah! – Mooky eds)

Next: What sort of event is best for a first-timer?

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