Duct Tape Destroyers: The Life of LARPers

Seth Dooley, Staff Writer

The crash of shields dominated the air. The smell of sweat and blood hung putrid in every nostril within a mile radius. The roar of a hundred warriors thirsting for battle flew forth and was heard for miles around as champions hailing from far and wide came to the battlefield for their chance at victory.

“Most people play Skyrim. We live it.” None says it better than Danny Metcalf, referring to LARP (Live Action Role Play) that happens at Columbia Park every Sunday from 1-5 p.m. Although different days hold different events, on some Sundays, the agenda for the day is to train and hone your skills for upcoming battles, while every other Sunday usually tends to be an event day, where lads and lassies from all over come to compete in games such as Last Man Standing, BRAAAIINNSS, and Battle for the Crown.

Before the battles even start, you can find champions conversing with each other giving tips, yelling insane insults to rivals, and dueling under the pavilion at the top of the park. If you’re hungry, barbequed steak, hotdogs, and hamburgers are for sale nearby, courtesy of the L.A.R.P. grill crew. Here is the base of operations for signing in, trading in weapons, or just getting some war paint. Everything you need to destroy your foes can be found here. After signing in, the real fun starts. Participants gather in a wide circle; wary eyes darting between opponents as they find weaknesses in others defenses. As soon as the Game Masters, Jason or Aaron, blow a whistle, the combatants rush at one another, intent on anything but defeat.

Last Man Standing is self-explanatory, the last person “alive” at the end of the match emerges the victor. BRAAAIINNSS however is slightly different. Up to four people start the round as a “zombie,” they then proceed to run around and try to “infect” the other players, who then become allies.
The game ends when everyone is infected.

Battle for the Crown is in a whole new category. Each player is either part of a respectable Clan, namely the Sacarious, Legion of the Forgotten, Knights of Oblivion, Nightwatch, Bloodshed, or Lethal Vixens. If you are unaffiliated with any of these clans, you’re considered a mercenary and you can be sold to the highest bidder, earning your loyalty until the end of the round. In another scenario, someone pays you to take down a teammate. Teams compete for “The Crown,” the symbol of power within the kingdom. The Crown is passed every other week to the person who wins. Recently, for the first time in P.H.L.A.R.P., a Queen was crowned.

Live Action Role Playing is more than a hobby. It’s a chance to hang out with friends and access another world where anything is possible. From slaying goblins, to becoming King (or Queen), Larping is for anyone who wants to have a good time and make friends, whether you’re reconnecting with old ones, or making new ones. You’re also getting some exercise. No need to pay for Yoga classes…just head to Columbia Park every Sunday and join the fun.