What Is LARPing To You
What is a live action roleplaying system?
Many people have different answers to such a question. It's not an easy answer. To many it is a game and nothing more. It is a way to entertain themselves, meet with friends, have a good time. To others it is a way of life. It is something they think about most of the time. Plotting and planning various things they plan to do with their character (or to others). There is no one right or wrong answer.
It is a game.
It is a group of friends having fun.
It is a set of rules.
It is administrators, marshals, players, NPC's. Monsters and fantasy races.
It is costuming and makeup. Weapons, armor, spells and poisons.
It is all these things and much, much more.
If someone were to ask me this question, I only have one answer that I think fits. It's all of the stories
How many of you were drawn into whatever games you played by only following a website? A billboard? A book on a shelf? An ad in a magazine?
I believe that a majority, if not all, of the people reading this got interested in at least one of the games that you play by getting involved in a conversation about the game. You got told stories about what they did or saw in that game. And I bet they were some awesome stories too.
How many of you have spent time with friends telling stories about what you have experienced? Regardless of what game it was you were playing at the time?
Trust me, it is all about the stories.
Games can come and go. Systems can come and go. The stories live on. They get more outrageous and awesome with each retelling. There are no stories without the people to get involved.
Take David and Goliath for example. Everyone knows how that story ends. It certainly wasn't Goliath telling the story in the end. But in our fantasy systems, you can be Goliath and still tell the story after its all over with. And that won't be a story about how many hit points you had as Goliath. It won't be a story about how unfair it was that David's stone flew true no matter how badly you tried to get out of the way. It will be a story about how you laughed at David, thinking he had no chance, and yet in the end he was standing over you, victorious. And it will still be a good story.
A good roleplaying system needs all of the things mentioned before. It needs rules. It needs administrators. It needs NPC's. In the end what truly matters is the people and the stories they tell. The stories you can become a part of and tell in the future.
The rules can change. The system can change. The stories get better no matter what. Keep that in mind when you play ULTRA, when you design your character, write up your history. You can make your story your own and continue to have fun, whether you are David or Goliath.
Consider this essay as an ideal we want to keep while laying out the rules for ULTRA. The rules may change or be interpreted differently. There may be mistakes. None of that is important as long as the stories live on.
Tell your story. Make it an awesome one.