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So I'm sifting through my daily E-Mail, and I happen to chance upon a letter from some RPG guy in my local area.

"Come join our LARP," he says to me in his letter, "you'll love it!"

And I'm a little curious, so I do some digging on the web. I visit sites for all of the major LARPS and, at first, I love what I see.

A LARP is apparently an "outing" that happens every couple of months. I can either choose to be an "active" participant - meaning I'm an adventurer in the story - or I can be an NPC, which equates to "bad guy, barkeep, etc. Either way, I earn "experience points" that move my character (or future-character if I'm an NPC) toward the next level. The outing can be as short as an afternoon or as long as a whole weekend.

Okay, it's a bit too D&D for my taste, but I'm still a bit intrigued.

So I read on, and one of the web pages for the more popular nation-wide LARPS is describing a possible outing. I arrive in town late at night. The streets are empty save a few drunks wandering out from the taverns. Suddenly, three orcs (NPCs who are waiting for me) jump out from the shadows, weapons drawn. I draw my sword (pvc pipe padded with foam insulation) and defend.

One orc gets past my block and calls out, "three" (this being the number of HPs my character is hit for). I'm not down yet, but I give ground and call out into the night darkness for help. With a lucky shot, I tag one of the orcs, calling out, "two" (I hit him for two HPs). Just when my character is a bout to croak (aka, I'll lay down in the street and "play dead"), three other players show up from a nearby tavern and start attacking the orcs. The spellcaster takes out a small bean bag the size of a baseball and calls out, "sleep." She throws the thing and it hits the lead orc. He promptly lays down in the street. The other two orcs (NPCs) are outnumbered and flee while one of my newfound saviours goes to work on picking the sleeping orc's pockets. The cleric in the group tends to my (imaginary) wounds and my HPs are soon back up to full. All four of us head back to the tavern and chum it up with the town until morning.

Wow, this sounds really cool-albeit a little strange. But my interest has peaked. I look at some more web pages, and discover pictures of LARPers and cities, and battles, and-


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Copyright 2001 The Magius