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What to play?

What to play?

Quite a while ago I learnt from Piotr Bałtroczyk, a well-known Polish stand-up comedian, what a glazier does when there’s no glass. The answer is: he drinks from a bottle. And what can a larper do when there are no larps? Of course, also drink from a bottle. But there are many other interesting things one can do. Here you can find 5 simple ideas:

1. Let’s reminisce

Memories are what always remains after a larp. Sometimes they can fade a bit, but there are scenes and moments that stay with us for a long time. And others can always resurface. The time of a pandemic is a great moment to browse through photo and movie galleries from old games, read through posts in long inactive Facebook groups. And not necessarily alone – online discussions about the fun we had and making new plans for the future can turn every evening into a really great one.

Be ready for the next season!

Many larps in 2020 have been cancelled; many others – postponed to later dates. It is irritating, but fully understandable in the current situation. Still, there’s a bright side to everything – we can make better preparations for all those larps that have been postponed.   

We have quite a lot of time to work on our costumes and props. If you want to do it yourselves, but are not sure if you are able to handcraft or repair a costume’s element on your own, you can always look for help in the Larping Craft Guild. Or, if like me, you are quite incompetent when it comes to sewing, leather-making and all other types of craft, you can at least find some time to finally browse through all those offers from larp manufacturers (which we recommend), stores (which we recommend) and Ali-express (which we don’t recommend).

You can also spend some time gained due to the pandemic on a close inspection of materials relating to a larp and a more profound research. The postponed larp you were supposed to play takes place in Victorian England? Ancient Egypt? In a community of CERN scientists? In a Soviet internment camp? Maybe it’s a good idea to read about it a bit? Learn more, build-up your character, give her a bit of an extra depth and background?

Try playing online

Hard times demand desperate measures. During the pandemic creators are looking for substitute forms for traditional larping. Online larp projects have appeared, as well as correspondence larps. Although it’s impossible to transfer some of our favourite settings, and communicators and letters are not a real substitute for a real-life meeting, it may turn out that we will find value in them. And they will certainly make the waiting more comfortable.

You don’t see yourself larping online? We recommend returning to the roots and playing RPG sessions (also on-line) in the settings of your favourite larps. All you need is imagination – and we can’t say that we lack that. And a reasonable gamemaster – but you can easily find those among larpers. Such a tabletop session can be a great introduction and a way to establish relations between characters in a larp for which you have to wait a little bit longer; it can also be an epilogue to a larp you took part in before Covid-19 became a thing; or a side-quest between the episodes of a cyclic larp.

4. Create a game for others

The pandemic time is a perfect moment to create new larping projects. It’s a time to come up with scenarios, to write-down ideas that have been on your minds for a while, to create games you would gladly play yourselves. You have no experience in such things? No problem. First of all, you don’t have to do it on your own. Online conferences and meetings on Discord have become an everyday thing for many of us, so you won’t have a problem with involving in your project people from your whole country, or even from around the world. Second of all, you can find online (if you just make a bit of an effort) quite a lot of materials regarding creation of games. So sit down and write! We hope that next year we will meet you on larps created by you!

5. Take part in larp-related activities

There are people among us who sing. Who play instruments. Draw and paint. Take pictures. Write poems and prose. There are quite a lot of talented people among larpers. We encourage you to share your talents during this difficult time. A song or an online concert; an awesome art; a photoshoot with larp characters; a poem or a short story referring to a larp – all of that can become a source of joy to our whole community, if you decide to share it with us. We will surely be very grateful!

Tomasz Lewandowski

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