What is Larping: Live action role-playing?

It is a wonderful time to be alive. We can now do things that were either impossibly expensive or accessible only to the super-rich in the past. Thanks to the internet and its ability to connect different groups of people with similar interest, role-playing has got a new meaning and method.

Larping or Live action role-playing is basically a type of role-playing and cosplay where a costume wearing player re-enacts the character. In this article, we will try to explain how Larping works.


LARP started as an entertainment activity and came into existence in different forms in Australia, North America and Europe. In most cases, it evolved from a game being enacted on a tabletop board to the one where people donned the costumes and brought their characters to life. It is also a step up from the games we played as children like sword fighting, costume parties and other role-playing activities.

Why do they LARP?

Larping is typically done for entertainment. Creating a story collaboratively, overcoming obstacles, and reliving history or a fictional event gives a sense of belongingness and joy to people. In the past, Larping was confined to history geeks and game aficionados. But with the passage of time and communities connecting with each other across different regions, Larping has become so big that many sporting goods companies have started a line of equipment for LARP. Objects like bows and arrows were made by hand and thus were time-consuming and expensive. Now you can buy a medieval bow and arrow set for a reasonable price. It has become easier to recreate a fantasy now than ever before.

 How is it done?

Typically all Larp activities are bound by some rules. Each character has a predetermined effect on other characters. For example, Character A can be killed only if you have a magical sword. A regular sword will not have any effect on him.

The rules are either defined by a game master or are printed by the publisher of the game. They specify the traits of each character and their abilities. In most larp activities, there are no referees and players are expected to follow the rules of the game with honesty.

Cultural shift

 Historically, most people enjoyed being a spectator to activities. But today, they consider participation to be better forms of entertainment than watching others play. This is one of the primary reasons why larping and Cosplay have become popular in the recent years.


 Larping is more popular in the Nordic countries than even Australia and North America. In fact, Norway is said to have the most respected larping communities in the world. But, despite its popularity, it is still not recognised as a cultural activity by any government agencies.

As a testament to its presence, In recent years many movies and TV series have shown larping as an activity.

Styles of Larp

There are different styles of larp today. You can take part in a demonstrative larp, a theatre-style called Salon or a ‘Live Steel’ which uses heavy combat gear.