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It's at least as cool as it looks.

"And so LARPing was born! Dignity died shortly thereafter."

LARP stands for Live-Action Role-Play. It's like role playing, but instead of sitting around a table and describing what your character is doing, you generally actually get up and do it (or act it out). Think of it as cross country improv theatre.

LARPing has multiple sub-genres. In the US, these include Boffer (which generally includes actually swinging padded weapons at one another)note  and Theater (which is generally based around pre-written characters accomplishing social and political goals, with combat frequently represented by abstract mechanics. Theater LARPing also goes by a variety of other names.) It should be noted that most boffer games also include a fair amount of roleplaying and that logic puzzles also play a large role in both types.

In Europe, LARP usually sits between these genres, mixing character development and role-playing with combat. Weapons are far more realistic than their American counterparts, manufactured using latex-covered foam, or harder, unpadded plastic in some systems; consequently, the style of combat includes taking care not to hit too hard; some variant on "Pull your blows" is a standard rule.

In Democratic Russia, LARP is often indistinguishable from historical reconstruction, not that anyone but hardass living-history types (and, more importantly, Jerk Jocks who are in historical reenactment for the fighting) tries to enforce the distinction much. There is a huge sliding scale, from theater RP, where the absolute worst thing that can IRL happen to you is a rubber knife somewhere uncomfortable, to buhurt-style faintly-story-driven mass violence, broken bones included.

The main distinction of ex-USSR LARP scene lies in players' attitude. Around one third of the players treat it as combat sport with lots of DIY. Other two thirds are composed of teenage counterculture wannabees who are in it for the chicks, said chicks, escapists (mostly teenage, though there are quite a few more mature players) and plain old fantasy fans.

Ex-USSR LARP Weapons are made from aviation-grade glass-fiber plastic, running-track rubber, duraluminum, reforged leaf springs, PVC piping and hardwood, with repurposed sports implements and furniture parts considered a thing of shameful past and frowned upon. Western-style padded weapons are slowly gaining ground in the ex-USSR, but many people still view them as "sissy" and "cowardly" and limit their use to players below the age of maturity (and thus unable to give consent to broken bones). The "pull your blows" rule either only applies to unarmored targets or is absent altogether, and wearing armor is considered the manly way to avoid injury. Likewise, armor has evolved from cardboard, wood and plastic to complex sets of canon-accurate gear tailored to a specific setting, historically-accurate getups brought over from living history and historical combat (which are either past or future hobbies of more than half of LARPers around this parts), sports\hidden armor kits, replicating the construction pinciples of ballistic armor with DIY-store materials, and wide use of fencing, motorcycling and other off-the-shelf protective gear.

Worthwhile games are either multi-day (up to a week) forays into the wild, far from any civilisation, with a large part of baggage being vodka (no, really — and this applies to LARP worldwide, not just Russia!), or sizeable social events with elaborate costumes and convoluted plotlines held in university ballrooms.

Settings are often some variant of the standard fantasy setting (of varying levels of "yeah, we nicked this straight out of The Silmarillion"), possibly with a dash of Alternate History, or taken directly from a popular RPG.

LARPs have their own set of common tropes, including some form of Closed Circle or Enclosed Space (which give players an excuse to stay in game even if their character's smartest option would be to leave) and Time Travel (regardless of genre.) However, the largest LARP events (sometimes called "fests", for festivals), who host thousands of players, occur on large swaths of land, which gives players space to flee while remaining in the game.

LARP, especially boffer LARP, is considered one of the easy targets of nerddom. This is mainly due to the widespread popularity of the "Lightning bolt" video on YouTube, which features boffer combat in all its anarchic "foam weapons and spell packets" glory. Strangely, LARP makes an easier target among nerds than outside of geekdom. The occasional small-press article on LARPing is usually sympathetic, and Role Models, while pointing out the inherent goofiness of LARP, still treats it as a great way for people to socialize and build confidence. On the other hand, the "Lightning bolt" video is usually circulated around message boards and geek-oriented blogs, often as a way of saying, "I may be a nerd, but..."

In several European countries, LARP is viewed in a different light. Especially in the Nordic countries, LARP is increasingly considered Serious Business, to the point where it is no longer considered an acronym, but represents an entirely independent concept, "larp" (similar to how "laser", "radar", and "modem" went from acronyms to proper nouns). This is not so much "nerds acting out D&D in a forest somewhere" anymore, but more serious historical/mythological reenactment (in the same way that 18th-19th century reenactment groups like Napoleonic Era, Wild West, Colonial America etc. tend to be taken more seriously). While your mileage may always vary, LARP is creeping into the realm of the mainstream. For example, there are more Danish kids participating in LARPs (often school or daycare related) than there are kids in football clubs and a popular LARP-show is aired on Danish national television (and exported to Sweden) . (Denmark also has a LARP boarding school - see 'Examples' below.) The inter-nordic "Meating Point" or "Node" convention in particular strive to advance LARP as a medium in many ways, and serious academical papers on LARP is becoming an increasingly common phenomenon. In The New '10s, LARP is even becoming a subject of academic studies at the Nordic universities, with a large chunk of the contemporary role-playing theory penned there.


  • Accelerant - Formerly the nTeraction system, and forms the core ruleset for several New England-based LARPs (a few of which are listed below). Developed by Robert Ciccolini.
  • AIR Maelstrom - An alternate-earth Steampunk-themed LARP based in Atlanta, GA, by lead writer G.D. Falksen, lead designer Chris Dodson, and many others at Hatboy Studios. Makes use of nerf guns as well as traditional foam swords, but also features robust economic and social systems for those not as keen on battle, and is well balanced between different player interests. Storylines are set up by the staff but players are highly encouraged to participate in the storymaking process. Also, airships!
  • Amtgard
  • Dagorhir Battle Games
    • Belegarth — A very closely-related group which spun off from Dagorhir, focusing mainly on the boffer combat aspect but still maintaining subtle RP element.
  • The Darkon Wargaming Club - A central Maryland and Northern Virginia based medieval fantasy Sword and Sorcery boffer style LARP. Founded in 1985 and built upon the rules of the now-defunct Emarthnguarth Outdoor Wargaming System, Darkon grew from a handful of LARP enthusiasts to almost 2,000 members in 2005, with a small number of chapters dotting the country.
  • The Duchy Of Linnagond
  • Dystopia Rising : Dystopia Rising is a nationwide LARP in the United States that takes place after a Zombie Apocalypse. It uses a lightest-touch combat system and features a fairly involved economy which includes resources and blueprints unique to different settlements.
    • Endgame
    • Madrigal
    • The Calling
    • Seven Virtues
    • Valhalla
  • Adventurers Wanted : Medeval High Fantasy LARP in East, Central Pensylvania
  • Eras Chronicals :Medeval Low Fantasy LARP newly relocated to a site near Montrose Pensylvania [1]
  • Knight Realms: A high fantasy LARP which owns its own 200 acre camp[2] in Sparta, New Jersey. It rents the land to other area LARPs including"
    • Dystopia Rising - New Jersey Chapter
    • LAIRE
    • Realm of Adventure
  • The Wayfinder Experience, a mainly upstate New York based LARP camp. Falls somewhere in between Boffer and Theatre, depending on the camp.
  • Xanodria Productions Incorporated A high fantasy larp located in South Eastern PA, which boasts a simple live combat system combined with high immersion and a focus on roleplay over stats and skills.
  • Westfinder, a rules-lite LARPing community in California's Bay Area.
  • Adventuez, the Philadelphia offshoot of the above two
    • Uncharted Horizons, a smaller group in the area with many of the same people which split off after internal conflicts
  • Lorien Trust - probably the largest in Britain, it is a Kitchen Sink High Fantasy system using high-quality rubber weaponry. The final event of each year, the Gathering, pulls in as many as three thousand participants.
  • Curious Pastimes - Originally the same gameworld as the Gathering, there was a split after disagreements between the organisers. Now very different and more deadly, whilst still being the same style of LARP.
  • Profound Decisions run large-scale fest LARPs in the UK.
    • Maelstrom, a colonial-era fantasy fest, ran for nine years - Notable for its insanely detailed and complex setting (4 different currencies, a complex and omnipresent economy, a prayer system and a very detailed set of downtime mechanics, as vast skill system (At well over 1000 skills) and an almost entirely player-driven plot)
    • Odyssey, a Time of Myths - era system
    • Empire (website), a classic fantasy setting, with orcs, wizards, etc. More specifically it is about a series of nations bound together in an Empire that has been in steady decline for decades surrounded by Barbarians on all sides struggling to re-invigorate its self or die. Noted for it's interesting take on religion (Focused on reincarnation and the embodiment of certain virtues but utterly rejecting the concepts of Gods) high grade costume, large scale battles and politics as major elements.
  • Minds Eye Theater: The White Wolf LARP system. Organizations within the system include
    • Camarilla (now Mind's Eye Society)
    • The Garou Nation
    • Isles of Darkness
    • One World By Night
    • City of Resonance
    • Beyond the Sunset
  • NERO (New England Roleplaying Organization) - Originally one system, but internal schisms have resulted in NERO International and Alliance, formerly NERO Alliance. This system or ones inspired by it are what most Americans think of when asked about Fantasy LARPs. As well as the main Heroic Fantasy style, at least one branch has also run games of a Dark Fantasy bent and some games based on the Cthulhu Mythos.
    • Besides the Alliance other LARPs springing from NERO include
      • LIONE (Living Imagination Of New England) Rampant
      • SOLAR (Southern Organization for Live Action Reenactment)
      • Dragoncrest.
  • Middlehaven: A medieval dark fantasy American LARP with events most often located in Riverhead, a town on Long Island.
  • Fanwar (Fantasy Warplay) is another Long Runner, having existed since the early 1980s as a more accessible version of Dagorhir. The rules are based mainly on a combination of NERO and (strangely enough) Magic: The Gathering.
  • The Realms - a New England-based community-run fantasy boffer LARP.
  • Squadra dei Falchi di Gradara (Band of the Hawks of Gradara) - an Italian fantasy/medieval/renaissance/steampunk kitchen sink LARP set in the eponymous town. Unrelated to Berserk.
  • Systems Malfunction: A small science-fiction LARP played in/around Westchester County NY. Unique in that it emphasizes both Boffer & Spacket combat and Theater-style role-playing & goal structure.
  • Relkin: A small low-fantasy boffer LARP run in New York State.
  • "Murder mystery games", either at parties or special dinner events, are a semi-mainstream variant.
  • Treasure Trap - One of the oldest LARP groups in the UK, beginning in the 1970's. The original system is now defunct but a student spin-offs is still running in Durham and one previously ran for 10 year in Cambridge.
  • IFGS: The International Fantasy Gaming Society, inspired by the Larry Niven and Steve Barnes Dream Park series.
  • Skullduggery. A medium sized LARP based in the south east of England who have been featured on British TV several times, most notably when Dara O'Brien tried his hand at LARP for the Tough Gig series.
  • Model United Nations has been described — including on its page — as LARPing in suits and getting away with calling it "an educational activity". In all fairness, MUN involves a lot less fighting between characters — although there's usually a lot of backstabbing all the same.
  • Krigslive("War LARP") is a Danish Warhammer-inspired LARP series currently nearing the 7th game. Examples here and here.
  • Conquest of Mythodea, Germany's largest recurring LARP, possibly the biggest in the world.
  • Drachenfest, the second largest annual event in Germany.
  • Labyrinthe, a high-fantasy system run mainly in Chislehurst Caves for literal dungeon-crawling.
  • Tol-Galen, a mid-low fantasy LARP system native to the channel Islands and parts of Manchester, with themes varying by chapter. The Guernsey chapter's setting is quite possibly the most pop-culture saturated LARP in existence with an unusual atmosphere that bounces between tongue-in-cheek comedy, genre deconstruction and in many cases psychological horror. It uses the same equipment and maintains some links with the Lorien Trust system mentioned above. It operates via tavern evenings (In-depth, noncombat/combat-lite sessions that focus on intrigue and character development) and adventures (sessions at various sites with a heavy focus on combat and puzzle solving, usually working through scripted encounters in a linear or branching order, mainly due to monster crew constraints. Overall gameplay is NPC/plot-crew driven and skirmish based.
  • Tales of the Crystals, a product of the '90s that was essentially an at-home LARP for young girls and was advertised as an "imagination" game. The game, set in the fantasy world of Collingwood, provided four player character roles with unique powers and responsibilities, various props including flags to put around to mark select locations, a list of NPCs and places to visit, a cassette tape that guided players through four different adventures, and a journal for recording the highlights of each adventure.
  • Swordcraft, a fantasy LARP based in Melbourne, Australia (although other chapters have started springing up around the country), which draws heavy inspiration from the Warhammer mythos. Promises "as much or as little roleplaying as you want". Their major event is Swordcraft Quest, which is structured around an ongoing storyline, and can easily draw a couple of thousand attendees. Is generally regarded as one of the biggest and most successful LARP groups in Australia.
  • Hobbitskiye Igrischa (Rus. "The Hobbit Games") are the stereotypical post-Soviet LARP event, the oldest long-running LARP series which started back in the halcyon days of the USSR. They are a yearly event loosely based upon the world of Arda by J. R. R. Tolkien and various plots from its history. The rest is vodka, traumatism, total lack of seriousness and plot driven by inter-team warfare.
  • Cambridge LARP Society, is a Cambridge based larp society that previously ran Cambridge University Treasure Trap.
  • Lands of Exile*, a North Carolina-based fantasy LARP, in its first active season as of 2015.
  • Following on the late-2000s craze for Zombie Apocalypse themes, at least one "haunted hayride" Halloween event now incorporates elements of this trope, arming its passengers with paintball guns and letting them shoot at (well-protected) live targets in zombie outfits during their ride.
  • Humans vs. Zombies is (of course) a Zombie Apocalypse-themed LARP/tag hybrid popular in college campuses across the United States that's primarily played on a seasonal basis (usually one week-long game per semester/term). It arguably has the most mainstream popularity/recognition out of all the LARP-based activities in the USA, thanks in part to one of the simplest rulesets in all of LARPing and a very low entry barrier in terms of equipment (though NERF blasters are popular, many of even the best players bring only a bandana and some balled-up socks, and zombie players don't even need the latter).
  • Illuve LARP is the LARP club run on the SUNY New Paltz campus in New York. It is a unique high/dark fantasy system featuring several unique continents, races, religions, and character classes. The main storyline focuses on a group called the Crusaders, who fight to protect the world. The club has had several sub-campaigns over the years, including an urban low fantasy military campaign, a dystopian fantasy campaign, and an "evil" campaign that runs alongside the main system, but features the villains creating the problems that need to be fixed in the main storyline by the Crusaders. The system has been running since late 2011.
  • Østerskov Efterskole is an efterskole (boarding school) in Denmark dedicated to roleplaying of all kinds, but most especially LARP. Essentially, the school sets up different LARP scenarios and has the students learn the national curriculum by playing through those scenarios.
  • Ravn, possibly (traditions differ) the oldest LARP community in Norway, began as a small fanbase for Medieval Fantasy in Oslo in 1989, and grew immensely over the years, spawning a number of subgroups. The group also spawned their own fantasy setting, Ravnariket (The Raven Kingdom), rapidly expanding to cover an entire continent with several countries, a complicated backstory and a lot of tribes, conflicting interests and politics. This happened over the years because the game masters involved understood the need for more plot. The different groups involved in the different settings also improvised to make the world more complicated and somewhat crazy at times. From this group sprang the [[]] site, a netbased forum for new ideas and new groups. The different settings, apart from said fantasy world, covers contemporary settings, historical settings, horror, vampire and western.
  • Oldtown (outside link), the biggest yearly postapocalyptic LARP event in Stargard, Poland. Since its beginnings in 2006 as a local Fallout fans convention, it has grown to become a week-long event, including a 72h LARP, with almost a thousand participants from all over Europe.
  • Waking Nightmare is a small scale UK system that started out as "could we do an XCOM-style larp?" but evolved into something more like "Les Miserables meets Hammer Horror".
  • Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser at Walt Disney World's version of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge is a mix of non-combat LARPing and Dinner Theatre. While the story is largely driven by the crew of the "cruise ship" that the guests are passengers on, said guests are given missions to assist either the Resistance or the First Order in their goals.

Fan Conventions

  • Otakon has the Otakon LARP, a Theatre-style LARP which has been going on for decades.
  • Katsucon has the Katsucon LARP/Katsu LARP, which runs on a modified version of the G Otaku system with the blessing of the previous LARP staff.
  • In general, many sci-fi/fantasy cons feature LARP modules.

Media Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • The Tabletop Games Club from Kaguya-sama: Love Is War is shown LARPing on at least one occasion. It is later revisted in the spin-off light novel where Fujiwara ropes Shirogane, Ishigami, Kashiwagi, and her boyfriend into playing.

    Comic Books 
  • The second arc of Powers, "Roleplay," deals with a college LARP group that pretend to be superheroes (in a universe that actually has superheroes) complete with "calls to action" from the rooftops. Things start to go horribly, horribly wrong...

    Fan Works 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The movie Sydney White has the title character, an Expy of Snow White, rooming with "seven dorks" one of whose hobbies is this.
  • One of the mentored kids in Role Models is a LARPer. The movie's central plot, a pair of adults learning to be less cynical and enjoy life more, reaches a critical point when one of the men decides to blow off a court-date in order to join in the kid's LARP and help him almost win the big annual free-for-all. He even admits to one of the game organisers that he'll probably be back some time.
  • Darkon a documentary film chronicling the club of the same name.
  • The Wild Hunt is about a fantasy LARP (a Canadian group, so more like the Russian style) where jealousy and personal issues between the players result in things going hideously wrong.
  • Monster Camp, another documentary this one of the Seattle branch of Alliance.
  • Knights of Badassdom is about LARPers who accidentally summon demons into the real world and then have to battle them.
  • Unicorn City is about a group of table-top gamers. The main character Voss is trying to get a job at Warlocks of the Beach, but needs to show he has leadership skills. So, having never heard of LARP, he tricks his friends into proving his leadership skills by creating "Unicorn City" together, a LARP camp (although noone ever says the word LARP) a plan which both succeeds brilliantly and fails miserably at different points.
  • The protagonists of Shakma are playing a puzzle-oriented LARP before the eponymous killer baboon makes itself known.
  • Heavy Trip: Impaled Rektum, the amateur metal band, encounter a group of Viking LARPers at a fjord on their way to Norway, who help them get to the metal festival on their longboat. One of the players wears a Legolas costume instead of a Viking one.

  • The Larry Niven and Steven Barnes series Dream Park, which was something of a Trope Codifier for the medium.
  • In The Dresden Files short story "It's My Birthday Too", the action takes place in a mall that's been rented for a LARP very similar to Minds Eye Theater. Ironically one of the people participating is Thomas, who is a vampire.
  • Honor Harrington is a member of the SCA, though her branch deals with reenacting the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Her skill with present-day pistols becomes a plot device in Field of Dishonor and Honor Among Enemies.
  • Many founding members of the Portland Protective Association in S. M. Stirling's Emberverse series were originally SCA members.
  • Unexpectedly Older Than Radio: Perhaps the oddest example is found in Louisa May Alcott's Little Women. In the first chapter the girls reminisce about having created what was essentially a dungeon crawl based on Pilgrim's Progress.
  • Dagmar, the heroine of Walter Jon Williams' This is Not a Game and Deep State produces ARGS, Augmented Reality Games, which contain elements of both LARPs and MMPORGs for a living.
  • In Cory Doctorow's Little Brother the hero is a former LARPer
  • The Relativity story "Game Night" involves several of the main characters going out into the woods for a LARP session. Of course, they run into a band of actual criminals and have to fight them using foam weapons.
  • In The Ship Who... Won there's a clear general expy of Dungeons and Dragons in "Myths and Legends" or "M&L". Brainship-brawn team Carialle and Keff started playing it to while away the time they spend in transit between planets. Carialle enjoys being the Game Master, setting up quests, obstacles, and characters, and holographically projecting a world inside her hold for Keff to inhabit. While Keff is perfectly capable of telling that the game is fiction, he also on some level does see himself as a Knight in Shining Armor - he even stood a night-long candlelight vigil to "earn" his knighthood - and applies something of his game persona to his real life. By the time the book starts, they've been working together for fourteen years and fully see M&L as a lifestyle.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Bones:
    • A super hero LARPing group appear in Season 1, Episode 12 episode of. Booth and Brennan each compare the other to one of them (specifically to the victim of the week).
    • The victim of the week was found by a group of LARPers on a convention-run game in "The Princess & The Pear".
  • One of the Geeks in a season of Beauty and the Geek. In fact his was the pairing that won that season.
  • Supernatural:
  • An episode of Good Luck Charlie titled "LARP in the Park" has Teddy falling for a teen, but discovers that he's into LARPing... and she gets roped into one of their sessions.
  • A group very similar to the SCA features in an episode of House.
  • Glen, a LARPer and the nephew of the title character of FETCH! with Ruff Ruffman is a recurring character and in his debut episode runs the episode as a LARP. Because it's a kids show however there's no physical conflict, just a series of logic puzzles (which are also often featured in real LARPs)
  • iCarly: Aruthor (Spencer's 'avatar') and Aspartamay's (Jack Black's character's 'avatar') battle, combined with spoofed references from MMORPG like Dungeons & Dragons and World of Warcraft.
  • Anya in Degrassi is a LARPer. She even gets her boyfriend to join in on it.
  • Castle:
    • In one episode, Rick Castle mentions a group he once researched for a book that roleplays fairy tale characters, although none of them appear in the episode, which revolves around women being murdered and found dressed up as fairy tale heroines.
    • Another episode features a "zombie run".
    • One episode had a character played by Mitch Pileggi who was suspected of murder and was thought to be a spy later. He didn't realize his arrest was a real thing because he was LARPing.
  • The Jessie episode "Ride To Riches" features Bertram as king of a medieval LARP. Luke and Emma join in after they follow Bertram there.
  • In the shortlived MTV series The Phone contestants were given a situation (example plunged into the middle of an undercover cop's plan to bust a Mafia family) and run through a series of tasks they had to perform. At the end one contestant was given the choice to share the reward with their partner or keep it all to themself so there was even some roleplaying.
  • In the series Great Escape teams of paired contestants, imprisoned in varying scenarios (Alcatraz, a mental institution etc) have to go through four levels while solving mental and physical challenges, evading guards and picking up keys and equipment..
  • CSI: NY:
    • In "Down th Rabbit Hole," Mac has to go undercover inside Second Life in order to find info on a victim and her killer. At one point he has to switch genders to lure the guy, so Stella takes over the audio because Mac is completely inept at flirting like a girl. Later, Adam takes over the action when battle skills are required.
    • "The Box," opens with a group of guys battling it out in a junkyard they're using as a post-apocalyptic playground. Flack tells Stella they're LARPing. She's never heard of it so he explains.
      Flack: LARP: Live Action Role Play. Once a month they get together and go all Gladiator on each other.
    • In "Brooklyn 'Til I Die," a pair of LARPers encounter some real-life bad guys but think they're part of their spy game. The girl gets shot to death when she pulls her fake gun on them, but the guy gets kidnapped. It's up to Mac and the team to figure out why.
  • The series Cult has already depicted a number of LARPers of the Show Within a Show.
  • ABC show The Quest is basically LARPing meets reality television.
  • The Shakespeare & Hathaway - Private Investigators episode "The Play's The Thing" has the investigators go undercover at a local LARP to get evidence of a cheating spouse, only to find themselves investigating an attempted murder when someone switches a LARPer's arrows for real ones.
  • Hawkeye (2021): Clint has to get the Ronin costume back after it winds up in the hands of a LARPer. Since he doesn't want to cause a scene or wait twelve hours for the game to be over, he begrudgingly signs up for the LARP (in costume and everything) to confront the guy. The guy agrees to give the costume back if Clint throws a duel against him, so he can say he beat Hawkeye in a fight. Clint keeps in touch with the group afterwards; his ally Kate is impressed by the quality of their homemade costumes and commissions new superhero suits, and they provide assistance during the finale by helping to fight off the mafia goons.
  • Manhattan Love Story: Dana turns out to like playing a female elven archer. She's afraid Peter will mock her for it and at first pretends that the event is for something else. However when he finds out Peter's fine with it and plays a bit as well, getting into the game.
  • Intimate: Oskar and his friends Leo and Max are invited to a LARP session in the local park by the geeky son of Oskar's landlord; Oskar reluctantly agrees to go as he's about to get kicked out of his apartment. He starts getting interested in the game when he finds out the aim is to rescue a Damsel in Distress, and, under the impression he'll genuinely get to spend a night with her as a reward, even wins the final duel. When he tries to take the 'maiden' home, she, the other players, and the game leader are appalled as they've worked hard to push back against the Nerds Are Pervs stereotype.

  • A Hawk and a Hacksaw's music video for "Cervantine" depicts a LARP sword battle, and plays it up for maximum Mundane Made Awesome-ness.
  • The video for Turisa's "Battle Metal 08" features fan contributions from what looks like a LARP

  • There is an In-Universe crew of LARP-ers on NoPixel called the Guild, aka the Nerds, who (in their backstory) originally met on a Dungeons & Dragons internet forum and got together in Los Santos.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Transhuman Space this is how Lunar kids spend their time, since they can easily reform Lunar City's smart buildings into whatever environment is appropriate, and don't have realtime access to the Earth-based Net games.

    Video Games 
  • In Life Is Strange: True Colors, Steph is a very active LARPer and is planning on taking Ethan and Gabe to a LARP in Denver. After Gabe dies, Steph organizes a LARP in Haven Springs centered on Ethan playing as Thaynor, a fantasy hero he created for a comic book. Alex plays Thaynor's bard sidekick while Steph and several other residents of Haven Springs (including a few, like Jed and Duckie, who are well outside the usual demographic for LARPing) participate as characters or monsters that Ethan and Alex encounter.
  • The setting for South Park: The Stick of Truth involves a city-wide live-action fantasy roleplay which escalates into a battle between good and evil. The sequel South Park: The Fractured but Whole revolves around a superhero-based LARP that's also a get-rich-quick scheme for most of the kids that ends up involving Cosmic Horrors and Time Travel.
  • One of the main factions Sunset Overdrive are a group of delusional fantasy LARPers who maintain their act after the mutant outbreak and refuse to use any modern technology.

    Web Comics 
  • Tai of Questionable Content combines this with Flash Mob for interesting results.
  • Geebas On Parade is all about this and is based on the experiences of creator Jennie Breeden in both NERO and SOLAR. Her half-orc character has also appeared in her other strip The Devil's Panties.
  • The protagonists in Weregeek participate in a Minds Eye Theater vampire LARP and, less often, a fantasy boffer LARP. In one arc they also inadvertently stumble into a horror LARP without knowing it. Then they joined a werewolf Minds Eye Theater game. Then came an arc that took place during a SCAdian style weekend. Then it was revealed that the entire Hunter/Geek war was an elaborate LARP. To mixed fan reaction.
    • Right now the guys behind the Minds Eye Theater vampire LARP are doing a Changing The Lost LARP
  • PvP has an arc where the magazine's staff decides to engage in a boffer LARP as part of a company picnic. They end up sharing a park with Civil War re-enactors, which leads to some "who's dorkier" tension.
    • And then they run into some Trekkies, and a pie fight breaks out.
  • Some of the trolls in Homestuck enjoy an "Extreme Role Playing" system called FLARP (the F is for fatal), which tends to have much higher risks and potential real-life consequences than normal LARPing. Most of them stopped roleplaying after couple of them had "accidents" and the game descended into a downward spiral of revenge that left one of them crippled from the waist down, one of them blind, one of them lacking one eye and one arm, and one of them a ghost. Aka dead. Later revealed to be an odd example of Generation Xerox – most of the trolls are basically FLARPing as their own ancestors.
  • The cast of Something*Positive have spent plenty of time engaging in various LARPs, predominantly Steampunk-esque ones. In fact, some of the popular minor characters (such as Spooky) appear almost exclusively in the LARP-related arcs.
  • Adam Barrett of Boomer Express is into roleplaying and once bested Vikki at a Renaissance Faire fencing tournament.
  • The level of manliness is quantified when someone receives a scar from a LARPing sword fight in this comic from Statistical Fact.
  • In Penny Arcade, Gabe and his son get into LARPing on occasion, to Tycho's disapproval.
  • In Leftover Soup, Max is prohibited from voice-acting her tabletop RPG characters or the group ends up "running around the park in costumes hitting each other with foam swords".
  • Lady Celia from Awful Hospital is a sentient mold spore who goes on Fetch Quests for fun, and whose day job is theatrically mugging the local worms and bactera for keratin coins (but she purposefully misses on, um, well, let's call them "people" who are higher level than her because THAC0). It's that kind of comic; did I mention it's by Bogleech?.

    Web Original 
  • Empires SMP: In Season 2, GeminiTay LARPs on Empires as a self-proclaimed princess while also living a double life on Hermitcraft. She treats this as her Dark Secret, and things greatly start to complicate when half of the Hermitcraft cast visit Empires during a crossover event. The only other Empires member in the know is Pixlriffs, due to being the narrator of the Hermitcraft Recap and being in a similar situation to her.
  • House Cerberus aka This One Time At Larp Camp is a greentext story from 4Chan that details the adventures of a group of friends at a LARP camp, where they run afoul of a corrupt GMPC and his cronies, eventually kicking off a movement to free the roleplay from his tyranny.
  • Channel Awesome third year anniversary video Suburban Knights seems like it revolves around this at first. Until the magic becomes all too real...
  • In season 5 of The Guild Clara briefly joins a Steampunk group only to get thrown out.
  • The Geek and Sundry series LARPs: The Series follows a small fantasy LARP as the players deal with both out-of-character drama and the in-character plot.
  • neverland, an independently produced LARP Sitcom on Youtube, takes place entirely at a high-fantasy Live Action Role Playing game deep in the woods of New Jersey.
  • The Nostalgia Chick points out that Sarah from Labyrinth is a LARPer, and manages to get in a little affectionate ribbing while doing so:
    Chick: She seems to be the loneliest LARPer in town, and that's saying something for her social skills... or acting skills, for that matter.
  • Youtuber Mo Mo O'Brian is a participant and reviewer of LARPS in her native Canada, the US and farther afield.

    Western Animation 
  • Motorcity: Chuck is part of a group that does this, but then two members of their party go missing for real. The group seems to view Chuck as their Fake Ultimate Hero.
  • There are a few episodes of South Park revolving around LARPs, such as "The Return of the Fellowship of the Ring to the Two Towers", "Lil' Crime Stoppers", and the "Coon and Friends" and "Black Friday" trilogies (with video games South Park: The Stick of Truth and South Park: The Fractured but Whole taking those concepts and expanding on them greatly).
  • Henchman 21/Gary from The Venture Brothers Took a Level in Badass between season 3 and 4 after the death of his best friend, Henchman 24, in part by training with a LARP group, the "Orchard Street Wolf Pack."
  • An episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012) involved the turtles LARPing, only to get caught up in a real fantasy quest. There's even a set of action figures based on the guys' fantasy personas, with "Live Action Role Play" right on the labels.
  • Soos from Gravity Falls mentions doing "FCLORP", or Foam and Cardboard Legitimate Outdoor Role-Play, as a reference to LARP.
  • Phineas and Ferb: Phineas and Ferb start a LARP war in the nerd convention between barbarians and science-fantasy.
  • The Life and Times of Juniper Lee: June's older brother Dennis is into LARP with his friends.
  • Leonard from Total Drama Pakhitew Island, whose label is literally "The LARPer". He always dresses in a wizard costume and believes he actually is capable of casting magic spells. The spinoff Total Drama Presents: The Ridonculous Race introduces Leonard's friend and fellow LARPer Tammy, who has an equally loose grip on reality.
  • Pasila has an episode about LARPers where they are portrayed as the biggest nerds imaginable. Mind you, any group of people is usually portrayed in the most negative way possible in the series. They tend to kneel down to throw dice instead of actually doing stuff even in real life, which is of course a possibly intentional mix-up with Tabletop Role Playing Games. One of them confesses to the murder of one of his friends who really just fell and hit his head, just so that he can feel significant for once.
  • Steve Smith and his friends from American Dad! do this sometimes. One episode focused on Francine joining them to escape her boring life as a housewife (again), though after getting praised a lot she quickly takes rule of their fantasies, annoying Steve, until she snaps out of it.
  • Bob's Burgers: "Zero LARP Thirty" has Bob and Linda attending a LARP based on Winthrop Manor, a Downton Abbey-esque show Linda likes. Bob, who is skeptical at first, quickly ends up getting into it; Linda, on the other hand, is given the role of a servant, and treated as such by the "upper-class" Larpers; she soon leads a rebellion among the other servant Larpers.
  • The Owl House: When Luz comes clean to her mom about where she's been spending the summer, her mom initially assumes it's an immersive LARP.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Live Action Role Play, MMIRLRPG


A LARP session in New York

Clint Barton discovers the wonders of being in a LARPing session. And he finds the person he's looking for . However, said person insist he's a viking while wearing his Ronin suit.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (28 votes)

Example of:

Main / LARP

Media sources: