Starting is as easy as attending an event! It is recommended if you are new to LARP that you NPC your first event. This will give you a bit of feel for how the game plays, what combat is like, and what is expected of players during game. All attendees, both PC and NPC are required to pay the membership fee before attending their first event. (See Membership and Fees.)
What is LARP?
LARP is an acronym for "Live Action Role Play." LARP itself is a broad term covering many different types and styles. There are games that are combat only, games that are role play only, some are historical, some are futuristic. There is no one type of LARP game or style.
Utah LARP offers a more realistic and immersive style of gameplay, while still managing to retain the focus on story and plot, like many of our European counterparts. Our rules are simple to learn and to easy play for people new to the hobby as well as those who have been participating for decades. Combat is fast, fun, and more realistic, while still being safe. Storylines are complicated and have depth - there won't always be an obvious or right answer to problems.
Utah LARP's primary campaign, Rexerit, is a high fantasy LARP game that blends role play and combat in order to add to the world's story and history.
Most importantly, unlike video games there is no winning in this style of LARP. Events are not contests. One person does not win or lose. Instead, events involve a community of people coming together to tell stories filled with challenges. Sometimes losing, even if that means your character dies, can lead to a better story.
NPC vs PC vs Plot
On and off events, you will likely hear the terms NPC, PC, and Plot Team used frequently. These are designations for the three different types of players on an event.
NPCs, or non-player characters, are instructed by the plot team to assume certain roles. They will typically assume multiple roles on an event. These can range from, but are certainly not limited to, townsfolk and shopkeepers to politicians and rival mercenary bands. NPCs get more opportunity to play different types and styles of characters, refine their acting skills, and try different combat styles.
PCs, or player characters, are designed by a player and approved by the plot team. They do not receive instruction (though they are welcome to ask for guidance before or after an event) on how to act as the character. They are typically considered the protagonists of the story.
The Plot Team is a group of individuals who work together to decide how the world reacts. They are NPCs who work on and off event to make a living world that is not only focused on the area where the PCs adventure.
Creating a character (PC)
When you are ready to attend an event as a PC, you will need to create your character. Starting with an idea of the type of character you want to play can be helpful, but is not necessary. To create the character, you will need to decide on these four elements:
- Their name.
- Their race or nationality (Setting information is available under Campaigns).
- A backstory (this can be as long or as short as you'd like).
- Your character's build. (See Rules for information on how to build a new character.)
Once you have these four elements ready, please email the plot team for the campaign and get your character approved. Also, feel free to reach out to the plot team at any point during your character creation, or even before starting if you have questions! They will happily assist you through the process.
When coming up with a character's backstory it is always helpful to write in a reason that they are adventuring, as well as a goal they may be trying to accomplish.
Strive to avoid frequently used/cliche character concepts - "I'm a noble who has gone adventuring", "I have no memory!", "Prophecy foretold of my coming", etc. While these ideas can be interesting, they usually serve to rob you of a rewarding, unique character. Give a character different strengths and flaws (such as someone who is level headed under dire situations, but will lose all of their composure on a boat). Try to make them believable, while still being fantastical. Your character's actions in game will set them apart from the rest of the world.
Minimum costume requirements must be met by all event attendees. Minimum requirements are the following:
- No obvious modern pants. This includes items such as blue jeans or khakis.
- No obvious modern footwear. This includes items such as brightly colored sneakers. If black or brown modern footwear is used, it is highly encouraged that you use boot covers. (See our Useful Links for some inexpensive suggestions.)
- No visible modern shirts. This can be anything from dress shirts, to t-shirts, to underarmor. If you do intend to use a modern shirt as part of your costume (such as underarmor, which is useful in both summer and winter events) please have other layers over it so that it is not clearly visible.
- All edges to metal or hardened armor must be folded or finished to prevent injury.
If you are attending as an NPC, costume pieces and weapons will be provided for your use, but you are welcome to bring your own as well! You are encouraged to wear neutral clothing (typically browns and blacks) as they blend well under the costumes.
If you are attending as a PC, you are expected to provide your character's costumes and weaponry, though costumes and weapons are available to rent for events. Rented costumes and weapons must be returned at check-out.
The local LARP community is always excited and willing to help someone assemble a new outfit, so if you're feeling lost feel free to post in the forums and ask for community input!
The costume should fit the race or nationality of your character. Style suggestions and requirements are listed under each society's description. Costume requirements are just that, requirements. If you are unwilling or unable to wear the makeup required for a specific race or culture, please choose a different race or nationality for your character.