Women in LARP – the big Q&A

live action roleplay

What is LRP, exactly? Think dressing up, for a few hours or for a weekend, and becoming someone else entirely. Making decisions you’d never get to make in real life. Risking the life of yourself and your friends (in-character, of course). Sleeping on a rug by a fire under the stars, battling – if you like – in dark woods, solving puzzles or hiding in the local inn. Most importantly, laughing and seeing you and your friends change as people and characters before your very eyes.

What is LRP? Basically, people get together to form a play for you, the player, to perform – but there are no words to learn, and although the LRP crew know what the plot is, the players don’t. You’re told the genre (Lord of the Rings-esque fantasy, 1920s horror, modern-day mystery, cyberomp – the list is endless) and the basic scenario (so-and-so has died and left a will, perhaps, and all their friends and enemies have gathered under one roof to see how the will might affect them…)

It’s up to you to choose a character. Journalist? It-girl? Ass-kicking warrior? Mercenary? Nosy old witch? Up to you. The only rule, really, is that you pick a character that fits with the tone of the event and one you might enjoy playing, otherwise there’s no point. Then you let the people putting on the event know who you’ve decided to be, so they can work your character into the story. Everyone agrees that at least half the fun is running around trying to find a costume to match.

When you look at it like this, LRP as a hobby is nothing to be ashamed of. Books, fashion and computer games are all a form of escapism. What’s embarrassing about escapism? It’s glorious! Live action roleplaying just takes escapism to another level, one where everyone knows the score (IT’S NOT REAL, IT’S A GAME), and there are so many different-flavoured LRP events around, you’re bound to find one at which you’d feel comfortable. Plus you’ll really feel like you did something that weekend. Usually you’ve got the muddy tent to prove it.

To find out more about roleplaying and see if it was underrated classy fun or too silly for words, Mookychick scoured the land for a bunch of wonderful girls who do UK live action roleplaying regularly, to see if they could sway critics from an attitude of ‘Hell no, we won’t go’ to ‘LRP? Ready for some of that.’

lrp: live action roleplay