I first got into role playing games in college. Nothing huge, just a little Dungeons & Dragons here, a bit of Shadowrun there. I enjoyed it, secretly, because it was a different time for my kind. Before the highest grossing films were all based on comic books, before the bro-mmunity co-opted video games, before Steve Jobs proved that nerds can be sexy; the geek had yet to inherit the earth. Still, even in my very narrow world, there were outcasts: rebels who refused to stay in the dark, limiting their gaming to 20-sided die or MUDs (ask you parents). We called them LARPers, or Live Action Role Players.
LARPers are the bad-asses of the nerds; our own Hell’s Angels. And much like a biker gang, they wear leather, they wantonly brandish weapons and they draw looks of distrust from authority figures. LARP is a hodgepodge: the rules of D&D, the dress of cosplay and the weapon-play of the SCA; a tur-geek-en of activities that pushes the idea that escapism can be a social activity.
Bringing that same mentality to Nagoya, Underworld LARP Japan is Aichi’s first live action role-playing group. Started by GM Steven Smith, who believes that Underworld, a popular Canadian roleplaying system with many similarities to Dungeons and Dragons and World of Warcraft, is a good storyline for beginners to the LARPing community.
He’s hosting an interactive demo this month at Coat of Arms Pub and Restaurant. There you can find out how the game works, with a detailed look at the races, classes, economy, fighting and spell casting of Underworld. They will also introduce new players to the armor and outfits they can wear, provided by professional designers such as Epic Armory from Denmark.
Japan is no stranger to subcultural lifestyles; this is the land of the otaku. But whether or not it’s ready for mages casting Magic Missile at dark elves remains to be seen. So, Nagoya geeks, do you even LARP?
For more details, check out www.underworldlarp.ca/ or join Underworld LARP Japan on Facebook.
Underworld LARP Workshop & Demo
Coat of Arms in Maruonochi
Sunday, April 19 at 14:00