A handful of students and community members made the journey to the Memorial Union Ballroom for a live action roleplaying (LARP) session hosted by the Gamers Guild last Friday. The scenario was a murder mystery theme.
In LARP, players act out their character’s actions, pursuing goals within a fictional setting represented by the real world, while interacting with each other in character.
“The style of live action roleplaying that we participate in is called ‘parlor LARP,’” said John Brown, senior English major and distance education student. “There’s not a lot of jumping around and stuff, but there’s still a lot of action and costume play.”
LARPers participated in a session of steampunk-styled Brass & Steel, published by Pamean Games, which combines elements of LARP and tabletop role playing games.
Brown said he plans to set up more LARP events in the Ballroom and that the events will be open to all students.
“We are not exclusively Gamers Guild associated, but a few people from that group are part of this or have shown interest in ‘LARPing,’” Brown said.
Brown said he “usually plays mages,” which are characters that use magic.
“I think the new ballroom is perfect for ‘LARPing’ because of the satellite rooms we can use,” Brown said.
Brown’s wife, Anna Guiltner, was the “storyteller” for the game. The storyteller’s job in the game is to impartially narrate events taking place in the plot as well as smaller environmental events, which usually affect the characters in some way. Storytellers effectively run all the parts of the game that the characters do not. Guiltner said it was her first time running the game.
“I got into LARPing because I did a lot of historical reenactments at the Old Cowtown Museum in Wichita,” Guiltner said. “My husband took me to a gaming convention in Indianapolis called GenCon, and I first started doing ‘LARPs’ there. I did historical ‘LARPs’ and Brass & Steel games.”
Guiltner said she usually plays bards, magic users that utilize their artistic talents to induce magical effects, and clerics, magic users that have divine healing powers and tend to be lawful and good.
“I’d like to see both smaller and larger groups,” said Philip Stair, another LARPer at Friday night’s session. “Different gamers like different groups.”
Stair’s wife, Katy, also participated in Friday night’s session. She said her husband also got her into it.
“I’d like to do more of these and see if I can get more students into it,” Brown said. “We weren’t as successful in bringing in people tonight, but I think we can bring in a larger amount of students in the future. This was just kind of a test run.”