What is LARP?

LARP, or Live Action Role Play, is an exciting hobby where people pretend to be other people, or characters, for the sake of creating detailed and interesting stories. There are as many kinds of LARP as you can imagine, and many different reasons for playing as there are stars in the sky!

Boffer or Parlour?

The most common type of LARP that Pulsar Experiences deals with is what's known as a boffer LARP. In a boffer LARP, players can hit each other with foam weapons, known as boffers, in designated locations of the body. Nerf guns and darts may also be acceptable, as may be bows and LARP arrows (shafts with fletching and a large foam tip) and packets (small squares filled with birdseed used to "cast magic" or denote other types of effects). While this is the most common type, non-boffer LARPs, often referred to as Parlour LARPs, are also accepted under the Pulsar Experiences umbrella. Parlour LARPs generally have other methods of resolving conflict - such as decks of cards or games of rock-paper-scissors.

Camp Sites

In a standard weekend event - which are generally the types of events that Pulsar Experience LARPs run - you arrive at a campsite on Friday afternoon/evening, and stay until Sunday morning. Campsites vary in their rustic-ness, from a literal campground with places to pitch tents, to lodge-like accomodations with heated and powered cabins, showers, and the like. Feel free to enquire with a game about their accomodations and be prepared for those to change somewhat regularly.

PC or NPC?

When you start playing a LARP, you are usually asked to choose between being a player character, or PC, and a non-player character, or NPC. PCs are characters you create and fully control as the player of that character, while NPCs are characters created and essentially controlled by Plot (more on this in a minute). People have many different opinions on how to start in any given game, so try to reach out on game servers and determine which route is best for you. At the end of the day, the best path is on you enjoy, so don't worry too much about which is the right plan for your first game.

If you are a PC, expect to remain in character for a large portion of the weekend, if not the whole time. "Game On" will generally be announced after an opening of some kind, and "Game Off" will follow on some set time later in the weekend (perhaps Sunday morning or Saturday night). PCs are generally requested to stay in character for most of this time. They can take breaks in their cabins, sleep out of game, or otherwise relax - depending on the game - but please follow the requests of the gamerunners when it comes to how those moments should look, and keep an eye on other PCs for how often those moments should happen.

NPCing varies dramatically by game, so check in with your local game runners - often known as a plot team - for more information about that.

Plot Teams

Plot teams are in charge of telling the story of the weekend by offering prompts to the players. Players will interact with NPCs (sometimes not even knowing they are NPCs) and build a back-and-forth story that other players can interact with. Plots often have many threads, and most plot teams are open to hearing about what interests you, so reach out if you don't find anything interesting in your first game or two.

Yes, And...

One of the core tenants of LARPing comes from improv work: "Yes, and..." This tenant highlights the way the best stories get told. If you've never been in an improv class, "Yes, and..." is the suggestion for how to respond to basically anything another improver says. The back-and-forth might look like...

"Look at that fish!"

"Yes! I've never seen a fish quite that color before!"

"I wonder where it got those stripes?"

"Maybe it had them painted on?"

"I'd love to meet that fish painter! I bet they're super friendly!"

And so forth. You'll note that the "yes, and..." is never actually stated, but it is implied at every part of the exchange. No one says "no" to what the other has just said, they accept it as the truth and move on with the story. This is what "yes, and..." means. It doesn't mean you shouldn't be skeptical of things, but in general, better stories happen when you accept people's strange stories and ask for more details, or offer up your own.

And More...

Have other questions about LARPing? Reach out to the game you're interested in, or feel free to contact us. We'll be happy to share more details.

Meet Barbara


Meet Barbara, one of the owners of Pulsar Experiences, and get to know thier vision of gaming.

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Meet Brian


Meet Brian, one of the owners of Pulsar Experiences, and get to know his vision of gaming.

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Meet our Game Runners

Learn more about the people running games under the Pulsar Experiences banner.

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Meet Our Players

Hear player testimonials and see what kinds of things are in store for you at a Pulsar Experiences game.

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