LARPing Club has become official Truman organization

Down the road a little ways at Rotary Park, an adventure takes place every Sunday. Battles between warriors, assassins, spell casters, Romans and Vikings are just a few of this year’s obstacles to victory — but never fear, the Truman State LARPing club has it covered.

LARP stands for Live Action Role Play, where people dress up in costumes and act out battles against other LARPers. Although LARPing has existed on campus before this year, Truman’s club became official last week.

Treasurer junior Jason Bladow said the group revised its constitution in time for the Activities Fair. He said he was impressed with how many people were interested in joining the club — names and emails of those thinking about joining filled a full sheet of paper front and back.

Bladow said the club mainly plays Amtgard, a specific LARP game that has its own set of rules. Amtgard participants are a mix of Truman students and Kirksville residents.

“It’s really fun to see people who live here and people who are just here for school coming together and enjoying the same activity as a community,” Bladow said.

Although the club usually plays Amtgard, Bladow said since the organization is a LARP club, they’re hoping to explore the possibilities of other LARPs. He said if people want to, they can write their own LARPs.

For example, Bladow said one club member wrote a “Star Wars” LARP where people act out characters in the “Star Wars” universe, which he said he thinks will be popular because of the upcoming release date of “Star Wars: Episode VII.” Bladow said he has written the rules to a “Star Trek” LARP, but has not written the plots and adventures yet. Even so, Bladow said his “Star Trek” LARP is ready for play testing.

LARPing is a combination of scripted events and improvisation, Bladow said.

“If you’re the one overseeing it — if you’re the storyteller — you can only do so much to control the story because it’s also about the players’ own adventure,” Bladow said. “Sometimes, they do something very unexpected and you have to play along with that and improvise a little bit.”

Along with the “Star Trek” and “Star Wars” LARP, Bladow said historical LARPs involving the Hundred Years’ War, a 1920s mafia LARP and a steampunk LARP are in the works for this year.

Bladow said the club meets twice a week — 5 p.m. Wednesdays on The Quad primarily for fighter practice and 1 p.m. Sundays at Rotary Park for the actual battle or adventure. Bladow said if the club has enough people, it’ll plan other adventures whenever it wants.

Bladow said he first started LARPing during high school, but no experience is required for anyone who wants to join.

“We hope to educate people on what LARPing is, hopefully destigmatize it a little bit, because a lot of people think it’s the epitome of nerdiness,” Bladow said. “But it’s a really fun, really unique activity that combines acting, athleticism and having a good time.”

Club president junior Adrien Zambrano said the club was formed out of necessity. He said the group played during the winter of last year, but they had nowhere to meet other than Rotary Park, which meant cold weather was a factor. He said the goal was to make sure they were an official club by the time it started getting cold again so they could rent out the gyms.

Zambrano said the club is Amtgard-centric because that’s the international organization from which it stems. Becoming a part of the international organization was the first step to becoming a club here at Truman, Zambrano said…

To find out more about what the LARPers are up to, pick up a copy of the Index on newsstands now.