So, long ago… but not so long ago that I have completely forgotten about it, I used to do something that would be hard to explain to some people… OK, most people who’ve never really done any hardcore gaming (pencil and paper type, not video games).
Now I admit, I love me some RPGs. I do. They tend to make up a lot of my favorite video games. I’m not afraid to admit that. I even enjoy a good pen and paper RPG. It’s been some time since I’ve played any… and I miss it.
And man, have I played a lot of different pencil and paper RPGs. I would list it all, but then it would turn out to be a long list of games I have played. I can surmise it to the following: D&D (all versions of 2nd ed. And 3rd ed.), the World of Darkness (medieval editions as well), Star Wars, Legend of the 5 Rings, 7 Skies, Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, Warhammer PnP, Call of Cthulhu (pre-D&D), Stormbringer, GURPS, Rifts, Heroes, and so on… It really can become quite the list.
I love playing those characters… even creating characters (so, that last part shouldn’t really come as a surprise). I also enjoyed becoming the character. The act of acting. Even if I’m not that good at it, it’s something that I enjoy immensely. I like being someone else… even if that someone else still has aspects of me. I love creating characters that are flawed, sometimes even insane. Playing those characters is equally fun. It’s more fun than playing the perfect character.
And in many ways, I enjoy it… and I miss it. I miss it a lot.
I used to game so much that I would also engage in LARPing. What better way to take the smaller pencil and paper setting and actually do something akin to improv acting. You’re still taking on the role, you’re playing all of their good and bad flaws.
Of course there was still the tabletop dynamics. Depending on the game, the dynamics are no longer dice rolls. In some cases it’s playing rock, paper, scissors (no lizard or Spock for that game) or you would throw bean bags. Each live-action RPG has its own system way adjudicating it’s role-playing aspects.
Is it everybody’s cup of tea?
Not really. Some people just aren’t into the character aspect of RPGs. Some people prefer the combat aspects… in that sense, LARPing may not be their cup of tea. It also does no favors for people who are complete introverts or are terribly shy. It’s hard to put yourself out there to other people… even if you are playing another character.
It certainly is another gaming outlet… and might be worth checking out if you’re otherwise inclined.
I’m more comfortable sticking with my pencil and paper games… or my video games. I tend to be overly shy and uncomfortable putting myself out there.
I have tried Lessing, but I will also admit that my experience is that a lot of the inter-character intrigue and drama didn’t just stay in-game. I simply don’t have the emotional bandwidth to deal with that.
That’s not to say that all groups are like that. That was merely my experience.
I suggest trying out LARPing if it’s something that you are interested in. You never know if you’ll like something until you try it, am I right?