One of the great things about running LARP Book is that it has helped to expose me to LARP ideas from all around the world. One of the terms I’ve run into and that has been new to me is Boffer LARP.
The name seems to come from the US, and is given to games that involve physical combat using LARP safe weapons. My understanding is that it distinguishes between games that involve physical combat and those that do not. Boffer games seem to range from ones that are little more than a sport, to those involving complex costumes, characters and plot; plus combat.
There seems to a distinction between games with a high role playing content and those that involve combat. Some Role Play games in the US have also introduced an element of combat to role-play heavy games.
I’m finding this interesting. Although there are very combat heavy games in the UK, and games that avoid combat. Most systems I’ve played in allow for a blending of combat and role-playing. This feels distinctly different to the idea behind using a classification like boffer LARP
I also get the feeling that part of this classification are the weapons. A good many of the picture of boffer weapons I’ve seen look somewhat lumpy, large and crude.
As you can see I find the boffer concept a little difficult – I’ve always focused and the game, story-telling and making sure it is a good experience rather than wondering what kind of game it is. Though – and this is one thing I am sure of – all the fantasy games I have played in would be classed as boffer larp.
What I hope to do is as I explore LARP and as LARPBook grows is that we can look at the differences in how people think about LARP and maybe debate these. If that happens everyone wins
The photograph above is licensed under the creative commons scheme and comes from: