To be honest, pretty much all my preconceived notions about LARPing come from the somewhat ridiculous movie Role Models, with Paul Rudd. So I headed there half expecting a bunch of people in outrageous costumes to be hitting each other over the head with nerf foam weapons.
There were indeed some amazingly intricate and beautiful costumes in evidence but nothing in the way of foam weapons at all. In fact I would say that foam weapons were conspicuous by their absence.
I registered, and then wandered the halls hoping to learn more about LARPing. However I quickly realized to my dismay once the games started, all the participants would disappear into their designated rooms and their doors would shut securely behind them. I did ask a couple of gentlemen if I could perhaps watch a session in progress and was politely but firmly refused. In all fairness, I did have my camera in my hand and perhaps that created the impression I intended to disturb their session with a bunch of flash photography.
I returned to the registration desk thinking this venture had been a bust, and asked if there was anything they knew of that I could participate in. One of the staff explained to me that the individual LARP game sessions filled months in advance during the planning phase, and the only chance I had to join is if they had any no-shows. If that were the case it would be announced on the whiteboard additional players were needed, or the individual session GMs would scour the halls moments before game start searching for replacement bodies.
However, the staff member added as an afterthought, there was a Cards Against Humanity game just starting in Salon A. I thought what the heck, better than leaving empty-handed as it were, and went to check it out . . .
. . . and it was, simply stated – brilliant. The GM or Show Host, used meticulous planning, a sharp wit and amazing articulation skills to create a jovial, fast paced and thoroughly enjoyable three hour (I’m honestly not sure, we were at it for a while), game session. I haven’t laughed that hard in quite some time.
My fellow game players were delightfully clever and amusing, albeit a bit twisted, in other words just my sort of people. They allowed a complete (and slightly befuddled), stranger join in their fun, and I thank them wholeheartedly for it.
I was on my way out the door afterwards when I was invited to play a round of Cosmic Encounter a fun sci-fi board game. I gave it my best shot but was thoroughly trounced. That by no means made it any less fun and it was a great end to the day.
So yeah, I did end up having fun after all . . . but I still have no idea what LARPing is all about. My current presumption is that it’s like a large improv session, but I really don’t know. Oh well, maybe next year. Anyway, here are my InterCon N Noir 2014 Pictures . . .