Live-action roleplaying games, called "LARPs" for short, are a singular phenomena. They take the situations and some of the mechanics from tabletop roleplaying games (that is, those played with paper, pencil and dice) and allow the players to act out much of the action of the game. The result resembles improvisational acting quite strongly: players create characters for a particular game, and then start to move, speak and act as those characters would.

It should be noted that if the development of the game leads to a situation where violence would be employed, the players do not whip out guns and start shooting one another, or start beating each other up, or anything of the sort. Each game has a different system for resolving combat, simulating supernatural abilities, and the like; White Wolf Game Studio's live action system has players use rock-paper-scissors to resolve these situations, with a complex system of bidding traits to account for differences in ability level between characters.

People who play live-action roleplaying games often find that they have a chance to get into character more deeply than in tabletop games, and find that this emphasis on characterization helps prevent the descent into hack-and-slash gaming as is often found in poor-quality Dungeons & Dragons sessions.

The most commonly-played LARP is a live-action version of White Wolf's Vampire:The Masquerade, but there are many other games as well, such as Werewolf, Changeling, Wraith, and (coming in 2001) Mage. There are a number of non-White Wolf live-action systems available as well, such as In Nomine and Purgatory.

There is(was) a LARP in Montreal called Terres d'Aragon (Aragorn's land). It is based on the battle between three(and more) religions:

The Avalons are King Arthur's army consisting of its mages, soldiers (fighters) and priests. It is the major religion in Terres d'Aragon and is also one of the strongest (or perhaps, The strongest). Some characters that I remember were Bartur, Furegore and of course, King Arthur. Their colour was Red.

Odinic (Odinique from the God, Odin)
The Odinics (or the Anglo-Saxons) were supposedly barbarians, but if you ask me we were more like Goths (which is funny considering the Romans called barbarians, Goths, but I'm talking about today-Goths). Anyways, the Odinics were organized in a hierarchial style IIRC: bosses (these were from various classes) -> mages -> thieves -> fighters. Not consistently like this however. Odinics were also (supposedly) the evil dudes. Their colour was Black.

Christians were supposedly the peaceful religion. They were dominated by Priests, but also had fighters (crusaders). They were probably the fewest and one of the weakest religions. Their colour was yellow.

There are more religions, but the above were the dominating ones. Some others were Myrcule, Gaia and Satanists.

The rules were quite simple. For fighters, if you had a weapon held with one hand, it hit 1 of damage. If you had a weapon that was held with two hands, it hit 2 of damage. But the used sword must be respectively used by one or two hands. You would not use a long sword with two hands. That's just cheating. Then if there was a handy Priest that could empower your sword, it may hit additional damage (like +1 or +2).

Then there was backstabbing, if you backstabbed with any weapon, it'd hit double its normal damage. Thieves had additional damage I believe, as they raised levels.

Mages and Priests had various spells (I do not know as I've never been a Priest or a Mage), but you had to memorize certain spells and throw white powder (starch) at people. Some spells were sleep, paralyze or call monster.

Gaining levels. This was based on how many times you'd go to LARP (a marketing strategy perhaps). As you gained levels, your hit points increased.

Armor class changed with the number of Armoring objects you had. This was determined by an official in LARP. Some examples are Leather Armor, shields or chain mails.

Terres d'Aragon was in Montreal-Nord. I don't really remember where it was exactly, but it was near Pointes-Aux-Trembles (ok, I know I'm not helping, but whatev. Just go ask somebody! I don't know if it still exists though.). It was really fun, costed about $20 CA for a night and we'd go at about 8 till 1 in the morning or later. There'd be battles between the religions, battles against goblins and sometimes you'd just sit there watching dramatic scenes/fights between two dudes. It was in an abandoned house (la maison des jeunes).

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