New Zealand History
New Zealand has an established and growing community of LARPers.
An assassin-style LARP was run by KAOS in 1981, and other LARPs have been run in New Zealand since at least the mid 1980s, though at the time the term "wide game" or "council game" was generally used because the term LARP had not been introduced. At NatCon 86 in Nelson, a game based around the ruling council of the city of New Pavis in Glorantha dealing with the approaching Lunar Army was run.
Several major events were held during the 1990s, the largest probably being the Aliens Apocalypse event run in 1999 as the culmination of a series of games based around the Aliens movies.
Several long-term campaigns have been and are currently running. Typical genres include vampire, medieval fantasy, science fiction (including popular single-evening events of live Paranoia and post-apocalyptic settings), horror, and 1920s/1930s gangsters.
Emphasis in long-term campaigns varies depends on the setting. For example, Mordavia is a medieval dark fantasy which emphasises roleplaying very strongly, where Skirmish is more combat-based, and games such as Vampire: The Requiem are strongly political.
Most games are non-contact using Mind's Eye Theatre or similar systems, whilst a few encourage live combat with foam weapons. Magical and other special effects are usually narrated, but are sometimes symbolised by reading of scrolls, throwing of spell packets, and circles outlined in rope for traps and magical portals. In a few one-off LARPS, significant special effects have been produced, often with the help of local professionals, such as Weta Workshop, and lighting and sound are often used to assist mood.
Level of costume varies. Large one-off games usually see a lot of work put in by players with appropriate skills, or professional costumes are hired or borrowed. In long-term campaigns, great care is often taken on player character costumes, as the character (personality, abilities, and background) will most often be invented by the player themselves. Non-player character costume is sometimes less detailed, but favourite monsters or villains may reappear frequently as they become well loved by the players.
There are LARP communities in all the major cities, especially Auckland and Wellington.
The New Zealand Live Action Role Playing Society is an umbrella organisation created to promote and support LARP throughout New Zealand. It is a parent organisation of Mordavia, and is affiliated with other groups such as Skirmish.
A large-scale LARP is usually run each year as part of New Zealand's largest roleplaying convention, Kapcon.
Read more about this topic: History Of Live Action Role-playing Games
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