In today’s culture it is normal for someone to upgrade what they already have. People with cars modify them to have nitrous. A popular vape box mod is adding an atomizer to an e-cigarette. PC gamers will mod their computers so that the graphics on their games can run at high frame rates. Those who LARP are not afraid to modify their equipment either!
A LARP, or a live-action role playing game, is the process of pretending to be a character from a board game or fictional universe. People playing a LARP will act as if they are their favorite character from a particular role-playing game, donning that character’s clothing and using the character’s weaponry to play-act scenarios from a game in a real-world context. The idea behind live-action roleplay is to bring fictional universes into the real world.
Live-action roleplay games started in the 1970s, when game enthusiasts started re enacting events from their favorite board games. The LARP phenomenon has continued to grow ever since, and there are game festivals, conventions, and tournaments throughout Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Canada, and the United States.
LARP Gameplay Rules
Like regular role-playing games, LARP participants create rules so that their live-action game coincides with the rules of the board game or fictional universe it was inspired by. Generally speaking, these rules dictate how a live-action character can act in the wider context of the game, tournament, or competition itself.
Just as importantly, LARP rules tell players what weaponry they can use during gameplay. Most of the time, game participants are allowed to use foam swords, airsoft guns, or a NERF Gun to re-create game situations.
Modifying LARP Weapons
Because they are so easy to make, the majority of LARP players make their own swords before joining a game. To make your own sword at home, all you need is a few tubes of pipe insulation foam, duct tape, and a polypropylene pipe. In terms of tools, it’s best to have a pocketknife and a sharp pair of scissors handy.
Now that you have your insulation foam, pipe, and duct tape at the ready, start making your own LARP weapon modification by cutting the insulation foam vertically, from top-to-bottom, so that you can wrap the foam around the pipe. If you can’t cover the polypropylene pipe with just one piece of insulation foam, cut your extra tubes of insulation foam into smaller strips and duct tape the foam around the pipe. The idea here is to wrap your pipe with a couple layers of insulation foam so that if you accidentally hit an opponent in the heat of battle, the impact won’t hurt them.
Expert LARP weapon designers tell us that you shouldn’t cover the entire length of the pipe with insulation foam — you’ll need room for a handle, after all. To create your very own LARP weapon handle, simply wrap one end of the pipe in several layers of duct tape. Duct tape is a great material to use for the handle because it will offer good grip when you are swinging your sword during a roleplay battle.
From an aesthetic standpoint, most LARP weapon makers like to paint or spray paint their sword when they are done constructing it.
NERF Gun Modifications for LARP Games
Besides foam swords, NERF guns are frequently used in LARP scenarios. And, like foam swords, LARP players frequently modify NERF guns to better represent the weaponry used in the game they are re-imagining.
At the moment, many LARP players are creating their own NERF wrist guns that can be hidden underneath the sleeve of a sweater or jacket. To create your own, simply take a small NERF gun and remove the yellow or orange-colored casing so that all you’re left with is the actual NERF blaster itself.
From there, screw VELCRO straps around the NERF blaster. This will enable you to strap the NERF gun to your wrist. If you want, you can further accessorize your NERF gun. Many LARP players also spray paint their NERF weapons black or dark grey to make them look more realistic.
I’d like to take a moment to welcome Devin Caldwell to LARPBook. Dean if a UK based freelance writer and larping enthusiast. We’re hoping to see more of Devins work in the future.
The image used in this article is from Flickr user Anton Olsen that shows a Nerf gun being modified. You can learn more about this image and Anton if you follow this link