LARPing club makes for a great escape from stress
Live action role-playing, or LARP, is an activity where participants portray fictional characters and engage in activities such as mock combat and puzzles.
Southern’s LARP club, “The Guild,” has been on campus since 2014.
“We have overarching storylines that involve medieval times, magical apocalypse, ‘oh man every guy for himself’ kind of deal,” said club president Jocelyn Marsto. We also have individual one shots where a story that can be started and finished within the amount of time allotted by the club.”
Tuesdays, the LARP club hosts an event called “Tabletop Tuesdays,” where members participate in games such as War Hammer 40K, Magic the Gathering, and a common favorite among the group, Dungeons and Dragons.
“A lot of imagination is involved,” said graduate student Kerstin Moreau. “We’re in our one group and our characters are people in the world doing what we wanna do.”
Moreau, an original LARP club member and cosplay fan, said her game character is named Dylan and has one desire to stay as far north as possible.
“He had a bad homelife and was able to leave,” she said, “so he doesn’t care what he does so long as he doesn’t stay in one place too long, that’s his main goal.”
Senior Edward Cordero has his own character, a Dark Elf Rogue which, gaming site Lineage II says, have high attack and strike critical rate.
“This is the first time I’ve been able to make a character from scratch and have my own storyline,” he said, “and having this group is pretty nice with your imagination.”
Another character Voxie, accompanied by her pet badger Bartholomew, is portrayed by Marston, a senior.
“She goes wherever the wind takes her, she’s whatever race is short like gnome or dwarf and she does whatever she pleases,” Marston, a biology major said.
Another event the organization partakes in is Utopia Descending, a futuristic game where players are under control of capitalistic corporations and must fight monsters, to put it very simply, Marston said.
As president, Marston said she helps run parlors, create overarching storylines, and buy supplies to make gaming tools like boffers.
Boffers, she said, are swordlike items made of PVC pipes, pool noodles, and “a lot” of duct tape, and are soft enough to whack opponents with, often made along with spell packets when the club gets together for crafts.
Xavier Hopkins, a junior, said he has been with the LARP club for three years and said it is like a little adventure for everyone.
“I love the concept of figuring out what we’re doing,” said Hopkins, a film major. “We have combat nights where we battle one another. It’s always intense a good bonding experience.”
Moreau said occasionally, LARP clubs from nearby visit. The club also does things for different holidays, one being Valentine’s Day, where Marston said they created a speed dating service featuring characters like hillbillies and Gollum from Lord of the Rings.
Hopkins said when he first heard of the LARP club, he jumped at the opportunity to join and now loves the people surrounding him in it.
“It’s very therapeutic and a great way to have an escape from the stress college can bring,” he said. “We’ve become very close here, it’s a great club with great people in it.”