Larping in Auckland
If you live in the Auckland region and are keen to try out live action roleplaying, you're in luck! Auckland has a very active and varied larp calendar that eagerly welcomes new larpers.
Chimera is New Zealand's largest live action roleplaying convention, held annually on the last weekend of August at Motu Moana Scout Camp. Featuring over thirty games across six rounds, Chimera encompasses the complete variety of styles and genres that New Zealand larping has to offer and is one of the biggest events of the New Zealand calendar. Registrations open in late May and newcomers are encouraged to sign up and give it a go. Because all the games are only three hours long, and designed to be so easy to pick up that anyone could walk in off the street and participate, it's the perfect way to try out a range of larps. For more information on what a Chimera convention is like, visit the website for the 2016 convention at chimera.nzlarps.org.
Live Combat Campaigns
A series of events based on one setting using one set of rules and usually with a recurring cast of characters is called a campaign. The campaigns listed here are all live action combat campaigns, which means that if there is a combat encounter, it is resolved by participants engaging in combat using larp-safe weapons (in contrast to games where combat is resolved through paper scissors rock or card draws.) Campaigns of this nature usually last several years, and newcomers are welcome at any point in the campaign's story arch. Participants choose between being players ('player characters' or PCs) or crew members ('non-player characters' or NPCs.) Participants who choose to be players write their own character for the setting, guided by the game's official setting and rulebook, usually in consultation with the game organisers. They provide their own costuming and play as these characters from the start of an event until the end of an event (or until the character becomes unplayable) The role of the crew is to play a wide variety of characters in a single event under the game master's guidance, to help bring the world of the game to life.
Weekend events in campaigns typically begin on Friday night and last until early Sunday afternoon. With everything including food and accommodation being in-character for the duration of the event, every weekend game is a fun experience in immersing yourself into a fantasy world for a whole weekend. Don't let the prospect of a weekend sound too daunting, there is lots of support for new larpers. Many campaigns also run day events, which last for anywhere between several hours in an afternoon or evening, to a whole day.
Moonbright by Larp in the Park Productions, is light hearted fantasy adventure larp, run as a series of day games (3-5 hours each) in public parks around the Auckland area. The story centres around a group of new recruits to The Moonbright Adventurers Society who are asked to test their mettle in order to win fame and fortune. There are four prevalent races within the Known Lands: Hu (Humans), Sphynxes (Cat people), Naga (Lizard/snake people) and Spriggan (insect people/fairies). Options to both play (be one of the main characters of the story) or crew (make the world come alive with friends and foes). The games have a small cost, but are free for anyone who has yet to try larp. For more information please visit the Moonbright forum on Diatribe.
Hogwarts LARP is a Harry Potter inspired roleplaying campaign, filled with magical intrigue and teen hijinks. There is an option to play both a student or teacher at the esteemed Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizard, 20 years after the famous battle of Hogwarts. Players have fun going to wizarding classes, getting up to mischief, exploring the Forbidden forest, and fending off strange creatures. Hogwarts LARP is run as a series of sessions over a weekend every 3 months (the format of 3 "watches" over 2 days) in an accessible Auckland location, and is perfect for newcomers who want to try out larp in a much loved setting. To find out more information you can visit the website or join the discussion on the Facebook group.
The World That Is is a post-apocalyptic game, set at an undefined point in the future and inspired by sources as the Fallout series of computer games. More details can be found by joining the The World That Is community on Facebook or on The World That Is forum on Diatribe.
Dry Spell is a noir live action roleplaying game inspired by Jim Butcher's Dresden Files novels. The year is 1937, the Hindenburg has crashed on its maiden voyage, and the rumblings of a possible Second World War weigh heavily on the minds of the people. For the not so normal, the echoes of this turbulence ripple through the supernatural communities and into the NeverNever. Even the most dense troll feels the winds of change starting to blow. Something big is happening. And it is happening soon. Dry Spell runs in both Auckland and Wellington, with the Auckland games being set in New York. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or check out the campaign's Facebook group for more information.
Musketeers is a swashbuckling larp of romance, espionage, and heroic adventure where fortune favours the bold! Set in Paris in 1625, it tells the stories of diplomats, spies, assassins, guttersnipes, and of course bold and dashing musketeers. More information can be found on the Musketeers website, and interested people are encouraged to join the campaign's Facebook group.
Monthly World of Darkness Games
Right now, there are three campaigns in Auckland which run on one regular evening a month. They are all based on the World of Darkness setting and rules published by the major gaming company, White Wolf. These games do not feature any live combat and instead resolve all actions through abstract resolution, usually by drawing cards or engaging in a paper-scissors-rock challenge. All three campaigns are set in a darker, more grim version of modern day Auckland. Typically, all participants in White Wolf campaigns play their own characters and there are no crew members, though Fates Unbound has a rich cast of non-player characters that can be played on request.
The Phoenix Rising is a Vampire game that runs on the second Saturday evening each month at the Western Districts Fast Draw Club, corner of Tomo St and Croydon Rd, Glen Eden. The game lasts from 6.30pm-10pm. The setting is White Wolf's old World of Darkness, and specifically, the Vampire: the Masquerade system. This is Auckland's longest running larp campaign, where characters are a secret society of vampires that fight external threats, and vie politically against each other against the backdrop of a global setting. To get involved, contact the story tellers, Chris and Kirsten.
The Duchy of Flint is a Changeling game that runs monthly. It is also set in White Wolf's World of Darkness, but in this game the players are changelings, fae who are trapped in human bodies and living in the south of England. For those familiar with White Wolf, this campaign uses the old World of Darkness "Shining Host" rules. To get involved sign up on their forum and say hello.
Fates Unbound uses Changeling: The Lost, a game of beautiful madness. It is the fifth supplement in the New World of Darkness line released by White Wolf. This game focuses on the themes of the pain of loss, human nature, and the quest to find one's way home. This is a mature game with strong tones of horror, and as such is strictly R18. Fates Unbound is a Changeling game set in modern day Auckland, following the trials, tribulations, and drama of the freehold as the seasonal courts attempt to move forward into a new age of unity. Games are run on the third Saturday of the month. For more information, visit the Fates Unbound forum.
One-off Events and Conventions
Auckland regularly runs one-off theatreform events, including reruns of popular games from Chimera, Wellington or events run by overseas visitors. Theatreform games typically provide participants with a pre-written character instead of asking players to write their own. Larp events are also run at gaming conventions put together by the University of Auckland's roleplaying club, AMERICA. Their annual conventions Battlecry (February) and America's Cup (July) usually include at least one major larping event. To keep up with what's coming up in Auckland, keep an eye on the NZLARPS webpage or the Auckland forum on Diatribe.