LARP? What is that exactly?
So what do Skyrim, Gothic, World of Warcraft, Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder & Shadowrun all have in common. Exactly, they are all roleplaying games. It doesn’t matter if you are the sole hero in a mysterious fantasy world such as Skyrim or Gothic, if you are one of many heroes that face dangers together in raids like in World of Warcraft or if you are a part of a small group of heroes or mercenaries fighting against the evil beings and corporations in a Pen & Paper round.
All these games start with you creating your own character that you go on adventures with. LARP is an acronym for Live-action role-playing. Meaning it falls into the same category as the formerly mentioned games. Computer games give you the opportunity to digitally create and play a character, this does not require of you to talk or behave in the same manner as your created character, Pen & Paper on the other hand requires of you to sit at a table or in front of a computer and to act, talk and generally behave like your character. The setting is not created by someone who programmed the game but instead by the Dungeon Master who describes your surroundings and narrates your story. Now, LARP takes it even one more step further.
During Pen & Paper rounds you usually sit around a table and enjoy a rather good time with your friends (including a lot of snacks) and sporadically jump in-character to deal with NPCs or play out different scenes verbally. You describe the actions to the Dungeon Master that you want to do next and they decide if you are able to pull off that action. LARPs however play out on a specified (real life) location like a castle or an open field over the period of several days instead of a couple of hours. During these days you literally are the character you created and play out (not only verbalize) your actions. If you want to steal something from another character, you try and if you fail and get caught… Well, hope that the other player has mercy on you.
There are LARP groups for virtually any fandom you can imagine. Spanning from Fantasy, where you might be a mighty ork trying to get rid off the nasty men taking your home land. Steampunk, where you can be a wealthy noble in a London victorian house or even Apocalypse settings, where your sole purpose is to survive the deadly virus that spreads around the globe. This blog focusses on my character within the MMM LARP e.V., which is set in the 70s of the Harry Potter universe.
Why Harry Potter?
For as long as I can remember I loved the Harry Potter universe and have read the books multiple times. I listened to the audiobooks and of course watched all the movies when they came out. I have been fascinated with the whole world for the major time of my life. In 2017 a friend of mine started talking about that group she was part of that met on a regular basis to play out the lives of Hogwarts students.
Back then I had heard about LARP groups but for me the whole experience felt alienated and strange. I mean how would I look like in front of others waving a small twig and yelling latin-esque phrases only to pretend something magical happens. However, as the stories went on and my friend kept on telling me about those events I got more and more intrigued (she is a good story teller). Eventually, there came this one point in early 2018 when she asked me if I wanted to join since the group of people was looking for new members. That is when my LARP adventures begun.
The Setting of the LARP
As mentioned earlier the setting we play in are the 70s of the Harry Potter universe. Currently it is 1976 to be exact. This is the time Harry’s parents James Potter and Lily Evans as well as their friends Remus Lupin, Peter Pettigrew and Sirius Black and their rival Severus Snape visited Hogwarts. The height of the First Wizarding World is currently close and inside the school a mysterious dark magic mirror is keeping the students and staff on edge. Dumbledore hired a new Defense against the Dark Arts teacher Prof. Woodburn to destroy the magical artifact. The Daily Prophet tries everything to cover up activities by a group who call themselves Death Eaters. One thing every player has to keep in mind that they know nothing about Horcruxes and other secrets (What? Remus is a werewolf? Yeah, sure!). Some of the players are trying to become Death Eaters while others have formed a secret group called The Order but most other students have no idea that either exist.
When a new player joins the group they can decide which Hogwarts House the character should belong to. The player can then decide if they want to play an OC (Original Character), which is a character they create from scratch or if they want to play as a Canon Character, which is a character known from the books. Deciding on the first has the advantage of being able to shape the character freely, while deciding on the latter binds the character somewhat to the storyline given to the character in the books. Furthermore, the latter is subject to other rules. First of all the character must be free to take, that is no other player has claimed it yet. As of now several book characters have players assigned to them, such as Barty Crouch Jr., Gilderoy Lockhart or Regulus Black. Most of the characters however are original characters.
Edwin Ichabod Deimos
So, enough beating around the bush. Let me introduce my player character. His name is Edwin Ichabod Deimos and he is born on 27.02.1961. He is a Gryffindor and currently lives with his mother Cornelia Lisa Nacht in a small flat in London. At the moment he is in his fifth year. His nickname among his friends is Eddie.
He is a Half-Blood, meaning one of his parents is a Muggle and the other a magically affine person. In his case his mother is the latter while his father is a professor for Astronomy at the University of Liverpool. Edwin visited a muggle primary school before going to Hogwarts and his parents raised him with minimal to no magic, although he got a children’s flying broom on his 6th birthday.
Cornelia Lisa Nacht
Cornelia Lisa Nacht is a German pureblood of the Nacht family. She was outcast by her family upon she marrying a muggleborn named Ichabod Haywood Deimos. However after divorcingm she was welcomed back into the family, probably also because Edwin is the only male heir to the Nacht family. Cornelia changed her name back from Deimos to Nacht after the divorce. Her best friend is her cousin Margaret King the mother of Donna Vigila Cadena a classmate of Edwin. Cornelia works in the Diagon Alley inside the bookshop Flourish & Blotts.
Ichabod Haywood Deimos
Edwins father Ichabod Haywood Deimos is a muggle living in Liverpool with his new family. When Edwin was little Ichabod tried to ignite a passion for astronomy in Edwin. He was deeply disappointed when Edwin was accepted to Hogwarts. He was hoping that his son would one day follow in his footsteps. Ever since the acceptance letter to Hogwarts the relationship between Edwin and Ichabod suffered. Ichabod has married again. His new wife Ava Deimos brought a son into the marriage named Jacob Deimos. Ichabod adopted Jacob rather quickly. Jacob accepted the surname of his new father.
So what now?
Well, I haven’t spoken about the actual format of this diary itself. The diary entries will shed a light on Edwin’s life and thoughts. In essence they will show my experiences and the most important and prominent scenes I experienced with Edwin. Furthermore, I might give some more details on how the events take place in general. What locations we visit and what the preparations for such an event are.