Live Action Role-playing, or LARPing, is a free-form style of role-playing where gamers, rather than roll dice to determine outcomes, physically act out their characters actions. Starting in the late 70's and spreading internationally, LARPs run the gamut of styles - some games are combat focused, while others might be more concerned with the dramatic aspects. LARPs are also not limited to specific genres either with systems ranging from historical recreation settings to low and high fantasy or even futuristic eras; nor are LARPs limited in scope when it comes to production values and costuming - players can use basic outfits and foam weapons to detailed costuming and replica latex weaponry.
Rushka Venter plays characters in the two longest running LARPs in South Africa: Mead Legends and Tales of Teana - both fantasy settings but each with their own background and focus. Rushka kindly sat down with us to discuss many things about herself and this popular geek subculture, including:
- Getting her geeky start thanks to having a library across the road while growing up, then finding DragonballZ on tv
- How she moved from anime to collectible card games, then role-playing and eventually LARPing
- And the basics of creating your own LARP costumes and weapons and the learning curve she went through when it came to using makeup for her first LARP character, and it was very much a learning through experience process.
Plus we talk about her first exposure to late night anime screenings which includes completely accidental and innocent brush with Urotsukidoji.
We discussed a few LARPs during the course of the podcast - if you'd like more information about them, you can check out these links:
Mead Legends - South Africa's longest running LARP. A high fantasy setting with sweeping storylines of epic scale.
Tales of Teana - a boffer LARP based on the Nero system, Teana provides a low fantasy setting where the focus is on telling 'your story'.
Pala de Nata - a LARP using the 'Houses of the Blooded' ruleset, that uses social cunning rather than combat to set the scene.