Because I work 3 jobs as well as have stuff going on in my personal life, my best friend decided I needed to get out of the house for something not related to work or errands. He asked me how I’d feel about running around in the woods hunting people. I was pretty sure they hadn’t made that legal in the last legislative session (though in my state you never know….). Turns out he wanted me to go LARPing. For those not in the know this means I would run around with foam weapons hitting people in costume who’d paid very good money to be chased by other people in far less elaborate costume trying to hit them with padded weapons. Those doing the chasing, the NPC’s, interestingly enough, are not charged for their role. But they die. A lot. Because they are, in gamer parlance, the monsters filled with tasty XP. So I said sure, why not, and signed up to be one of the ones dying a lot.
I haven’t had so much fun since I can’t remember when. The LARP was run by two very nice, especially to a newbie, very creative people and the rules were the Accelerant version. Since this is the only one I’ve done, I have no idea what the differences are, I just know this worked great. They provided weapons, costumes, make-up. Though in the future I am so getting my own pair of custom long swords. Being ambidextrous is totally a plus in this world. So Friday night I went out, was in 2 field events, got my ass handed to me repeatedly. And wondered where the hell my reflexes, sparring skills, and general awareness that I used to have when I was doing martial arts back in high school (when the world was young and dinosaurs roamed the earth), had gotten to. It was 3:30 AM before I knew what happened and loved every minute of it.
Because I live conveniently close to where the event was being held, I didn’t bother to stay on site but went home to sleep. Got home with way more energy than expected, fed and watered the cats, and fell into bed. 4 hours later (because the fuzzy alarm clock apparently feels that water that was put out 4 hours ago is no longer fresh after the sun rises), I got up, and went back. This time I could see the people I was fighting and fighting along side. It was still awesome. As an NPC you don’t get much of the plot explained, but you do get plenty of the action sequences. The people at the event were awesome. Nobody was crazy gung-ho and even when trying to kill you there was still respect and a desire to keep everyone safe and respected. One guy couldn’t find my shoulder in the dark to call a search on me as I knelt on the ground dead so settled for patting my head to stay respectful. And slowly, with each encounter, my skills, started to come back to me. Tunnel vision/hyperfocus receded, muscles remembered how to move in combat/sparing situations, the ability to spot openings and strategize on the fly returned, and so did my play acting – everyone enjoys a good death scene. And so I fought, and died, and rose to fight again. Because even if you die a hundred times, and I did, NPC’s always re-spawn, and the PC’s are always ready to go another round.
This morning I ache. I can barely walk down stairs. My arms are limp noodles. I have blisters the size of quarters. I can’t wait for the next event.