Hello LARPers, or LARP-curious folx. Let's get to know one another! What LARP traditions do you hail from, what's your backstory, what do you love about LARP, what would you like to get out of these forums? I'll go first, but no one needs to be as long winded as me! (You should see the length of my larp character sheets...) LARP terms are notoriously difficult to define, so I'll try to define mine best I can as I go. <3 (You can find some resources on some definitions here: https://nordiclarp.org/wiki/)
I’m Laura "Laura47" Boylan. I use they/them or she/her pronouns. I'm a queer larp designer across a variety of styles, and I use LARP and larp interchangeably. I’m based in Boston, MA in the US. I’ve been LARPing since 2000, and I’m always excited to talk to people about how they LARP wherever they are. Let’s talk!
- Fun Fact: The thing I would most love to do in LARPs is ballroom dance. :-)
- Goal list:
- As a designer/organizer/GM: To encourage empathy and personal growth. To help grow healthy communities, and to help larpers around the world learn from and understand each other. To provide players the opportunity to experience a taste of lives unlike their own, to give them a structure with which they can look at the world and their own lives through a new lens... and crying and catharsis and human connection and all that jazz. ;-)
- As a player: To experience as many different kinds of LARP as possible, for my own enlightenment and enjoyment to continue trying help LARPers across communities learn from each other. You can see almost everything I've played and run here: http://larpresume.boldlygoingnowhere.org/people/laura47/
- In this forum: To meet y'all and see what we can learn from each other! (And to look for larpers who will be in Seattle at the end of April.)
- Favorite themes (partial list): memory, love, gender, mental illness, regret, forgiveness, catharsis, time travel
- Backstory: I’ve been playing larps since 2000 and writing and running them since 2004. While I’ve played and run freeform larps and boffer larp campaigns and attended some large scale/blockbuster/destination LARPs, my first love is the New England tradition of one shot larps [pick one of more terms: secrets & power, parlor larps, interactive literature, MIT Assassins’ Guild games, intercon-style…]. I’ve also done a fair bit of organizing, primarily at Intercon (yearly Boston area all-larp convention) and MIT (proudly larping since the early 80s!). I volunteered for Living Games Confrence 2018 (Boston area) and Just a Little Lovin’ 2017 (Minnesota, US). I’ve attended the nordic LARP conference Knutepunkt twice, in Oslo, Norway and Lund, Sweden, and I played Witches of Åstad Farm in Sweden. In the US, I’ve played Immerton, Just a Little Lovin’, Legend of the Stars, and New World Magischola.
- Current Projects: I just finished running three LARPs at Intercon S, including a boffer/secrets & powers one shot. Right now I’m working on a GM guide to eventually publish my favorite of my one shot larps. (A Single Silver Coin, coming eventually) and musing about a larp about sex to submit to an upcoming collection. I’ve got ideas simmering for a larp about my experience at a Catholic AFAB-only high school, and one about a generational space ship (with cyrostasis, because cryo makes everything better!)
April: Cozy LARP (Los Angeles, CA, US). https://cozylarp.wordpress.com/
June: Origins (Columbus, Ohio, US) http://originsgamefair.com Note: I just go for Indie Games on Demand ;-)
September: Be-Con (Chicago, IL, US) https://beconlarp.com/ (probably)
October: Big Bag Con (San Francisco, CA area, US https://www.bigbadcon.com/
 Freeform - high transparency, high collaboration. The short form ones often have short instructions and a lot player generated content.
 Boffer - combat larps, often in the woods. Usually some combination of latex/foam swords, nerf, arrows, and little balls of cloth filled with birdseed. In the US, this is many lay person's only association with LARP, and there are a number LARPers who are also mostly unaware of other styles.
 Multiday LARPs, often high production value, often therefore expensive. Often most or all people are traveling a significant distance to attend. Especially the ones that are in Castles in Denmark and Poland!
 One shot only, most common length is 4-6 hours. GMs do all of the character and scenario writing. Low transparency, varying levels of Character vs Character conflict, Characters vs Environment. I love them because I can create very detailed characters in a tightly intertwined world, hand it to the players and let them surprise each other.
 Assigned female at birth - no one used that term in the 90s, but that’s what it was.
[edit for more links]
Okay, I think these are links to everything I mentioned
- Intercon: - Boston area all larp convention, I’ve attended every year since 2002. I’ve served in many roles, including convention chair. https://t.interconlarp.org/
- MIT Assassins’ Guild: - Proudly larping since the early 80s, and where I started LARPing at the tender age of 17. I still do sometimes! http://web.mit.edu/assassin/
- Legend of the Stars: - My most recent large scale larp, a sci-fi story played on a parked battleship in the Boston area. This month I helped run a kids version of the same larp! https://www.facebook.com/legendsofthestars/
- Just a Little Lovin’: A Norwegian larp set in the early 80s in New York, as the AIDS crisis arrives and changes everything forever. I can talk about it indefinitely if given the opportunity. https://jall.us/
- Witches of Åstad Farm: Set and played on a farm in rural Sweden, in a world where witches are considered weapons of mass destruction. The setting is a witch internment camp during WWII, and it was really damn intense. https://witchesofastadfarm.wordpress.com/english/
- New World Magischola: The first “blockbuster” LARP to get a lot of attention in the United States, it’s brought hundreds of people into LARP. http://magimundi.wiki/index.php?title=New_World_Magischola
- Living Games Conference: LGC 2016 changed my life for the better in more ways that I likely even know. I helped organize the 2018 edition. http://www.livinggamesconference.com/
- Immerton: A beautiful larp in the California desert, for people who identify in some way as women. I got to do rituals in a pool and do a ritual under the full moon around a bonfire while the goddess of destruction and cleansing was manifest with us. https://learnlarp.com/our-worlds/immerton/