Belegarth
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Thoughts on RP role in Bel
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Author:  Big King Jimmy [ Thu May 21, 2009 2:48 am ]
Post subject:  Thoughts on RP role in Bel

So, I had a kind of random train of thought the other day, and it was role play related. I've always hated when our group gets called a LARP, and that debate is old and stale for sure. But every time I tell a non-fighter friend I'm going to an event I'm likely to hear "oh, that larp thing you do?"

So, this is just my train of thought, it's sort of anti-larp/rp, but since it deals with that side of things I thought this forum was most appropriate. Just looking for some help sifting through my brain.

So, what makes a LARP? Well, LARP is short for "Live Action Role Play." And I really don't have any problems with the terms live, action or play (though one could argue that role play is a single word at this point) it's really "role" I have an issue with.

See, role implies that you are trying to play as something else. I never feel that way. Just like any other stick jock I'm a dude swinging a chunk of safety coated fiber glass that we call a sword because it looks like one and "safety coated fiber glass" is a mouth full. I'm dressed in some funny clothes, but so are football players. I don't see too many people walking around in jerseys and stretchy pants (thank god.) See, role play to me sounds like you're attempting to be something else. You're trying to play another role, one you don't usually have. I'm not doing that. I'm not emulating a knight, or a viking, or a barbarian. I don't feel a suspension of disbelief that I'm in another time period. I don't care about another time period. I mean, I love the medieval stuff for sure, I just don't associate with Belegarth.

Now, what really sparked all of this is garb. In garb, I find there are 3 kinds of really really really broad groups. 1. Historical. 2. Fantasy. 3. Other. I'm definitely in the "other" category. When period people want garb ideas they go look at historical stuff and such. When fantasy people want garb they go look at movies and books. As a member of the other category, when I want new garb I go look at old event pictures.

That's the real issue for me. I'm not trying to emulate a historical or fantasy persona, I'm taking what I see in the sport, keeping what I like and throwing away the rest. I did a presentation for a class once on Belegarth culture, and if you look around there's a lot of it. Garb is pretty key here. There are historical kits, and fantasy kits, but there's a **** ton of stuff that falls into this "other" category. Now, not everyone agrees with all of it, I know that. Under armor for example. But at the same time you see hakama mixed with European style tabards. You see tunics with their bottoms cut at a 45 degree angle. This is belegarth style, and it's unique.

Now, I think of belegarth as a sport. The reason I do is that games are never things I want to get better at. They're things I do casually to kill an afternoon and then put away. Once you work to improve your abilities it's no longer a game to me. And the common arguments are "you don't keep score, what are you trying to win, you're dressing up in funny clothes and hitting eachother with swords."

Now, not everyone keeps score, I agree. And not every lay on is tallied somewhere, agree again. But score is kept all over Belegarth. Numinor has a banner with the names of the winners of their tournaments at each oct'fest. I can tell you for sure that Dunharrow won a realm battle at each major IL event last year (SW,'Geddon and Oct), people talk back and forth about what the capture the flag "score" is after each battle. And above all else, we know when we've had a **** event fighting wise. Everyones come home at some point and gone "Man, my fighting was craptastic this event."

Then there's "What are you trying to win?" Every super major sport has something you get for winning the big game. A trophy, a ring, that kind of thing. But it's not like it has value without the win to back it up. And often team members get nothing but pride for winning in their sport. Sure, the TEAM brings home a trophy, but dude c on said team doesn't always get anything. In all sports, their are people that play "for the thrill of the game." They play for the win, just to know they did awesome. Belegarth is like that, I'm trying to win satisfaction.

Now, everything up until now has really been just kind of on the fly. When all this was thought up the first time, this is where I started, and I worked my way backwards. The statement "we dress up in funny clothing and hit eachother with foam swords." is kind of the backbone of a lot of our recruiting. I mean, it does really boil down what we do. And this statement is often what makes us most sound like a game. But all a baseball player does is dress up in funny clothes (his helmet only covers one ear, that's WEIRD!) and whack at a ball thrown at him with a chunk of wood, then run in a circle. In Football they fight over a chunk of inflated leather, and that's not even the weird part. When that piece of inflated leather hits the ground they all stop, and then line back up and start over. And don't make me mention the stretchy pants again.

All sports are silly silly games. They all have you dressing up in outfits that aren't normal, using equipment that is outside of the everyday norm and have you do things that taken out of context seem really weird. I'm doing that same thing. I'm not trying to play a role, I don't care about what some dude was wearing in 1394 on the southern shores of what is now the UK. I care about that **** sick tunic that Goat has (The one that used to be Bhakdar's) or the way that Morbian's pants have those cool colored parts at the bottom of each leg that match his knights colors. I like the way under armor looks when it matches garb (although, again, I understand that it's not garb.) The way we practice combat doesn't feel to me like we're trying to be ancient people fighting ancient wars, I can only assume that the way I feel is the way a fencer feels when someone tries to tell him he's role playing.

I am not role playing.

I'm not attacking role playing. I'm not trying to rain on anyones parade or poke anyone with sharp sticks. I really just kind of had this floating around inside my head and thought I'd throw it down on paper and see what people could do to expand it or argue it. This just seemed like the best forum since it's sort of aimed at role playing. Also, that isn't to say that there isn't a place for all spectrum of fighter in Belegarth. Just, the next time someone calls what we do a LARP, I want to be able to give them a well rehearsed line of reasoning that hits them like a donkey punch about how they're wrong.

Author:  No'Vak [ Thu May 21, 2009 1:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Thoughts on RP role in Bel

Quote:
Stuff


Jimmy I couldn't agree with you more. I'm going to print this out and memorize it, you don't know how many times every day (when I leave my house) somebody says something about us and role models.

QFT Jimmy QFT.

~Noik; Affiliation : Other.

Author:  Sir Anastasia [ Thu May 21, 2009 2:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Thoughts on RP role in Bel

Hrm... I passionately agree with much of what you are saying, especially regarding the emotional drive for improvement in this fine sport we have. However, I think that many RPers could probably say the same things about what they do. More importantly, our costumes didn't evolve slowly over time in response to injury-(such as baseball) they have a pretty distinct theme independent of game play. I'm sorry, I really can't see the difference between you dressing up medieval and hitting someone and them dressing up medieval and hitting someone. Do you determine who is the RPer based on the # of hours they practice? how good their garb is?

The reason people think we are LARPing is because our activities look exactly the same, honestly they are pretty much the same. If YOU didn't think it was such a dirty word, you wouldn't think twice about this. Everybody needs to get over how "cool" they need to feel. Own up to your dorkiness and say, "Yeah, it's like LARP, but with a heavy emphasis on full-contact combat, and we don't have rules about the characters we play."
There is no reason to go "Ugh, LARP, I would never do that!" Think on this the next time you hit a goblin or an orc on the field. Down be down on LARP, don't be a self-hater.

-AoC

Author:  Chicken [ Thu May 21, 2009 2:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Thoughts on RP role in Bel

There's one huge difference between what we do and any LARP (and even Amtgard & Darkon, outside of ditching) - the only skill and ability you have is what you bring to the field in your body and mind. There are larps out there that don't even determine hitting real time, it's really D&D in the woods with funny clothes. A larp requires significant suspension of disbelief - "that's a deadly fireball, not a seed packet", "that's a terrifying werewolf, not guy with a thing for faux fur", "I'm a mighty warrior so I'm really hard to kill." If you don't engage in the RP, it sucks (trust me). That isn't true for what we do - I take the field in what's essentially a uniform, get called what's basically a nickname, and try to hit people with sticks before they hit me. Sure, I could say I'm a mighty warrior, but not doing so in no way detracts from my personal enjoyment or ability to participate.

I think Jimmy's point is not that RPers don't share his motivations, but rather that you can fully participate in this sport without any bit of roleplaying whatsoever. To carry the fencing analogy further, you could be a driven, competitive fencer and feel that you're channeling the three musketeers. Of course, if you started speaking in a funny accent and wearing a fopish hat people would think you were nuts because it isn't culturally acceptable there and it is here, but just because we don't as a whole look down on people who do choose to roleplay doesn't mean that it's intrinisic to our sport.

As for garb, while it has obvious fantasy and historical origins even for the most sport-oriented players, it's evolved in ways which are independent of those aspects and are instead driven largely by practicality (underarmor, hakama) and fashion.

Author:  Soo Ma Tai [ Thu May 21, 2009 2:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Thoughts on RP role in Bel

As someone who plays a monster character, and does RP some (talk funny and act like Orc), I would say we are a LARP. THough heavily focused on combat...so much so that you don't even have to RP. You can RP, and many people do, to many varying degrees, but it's not necessary to enjoy the game/sport. I know many people who view this the same way Jimmy does, and I have no problem with that. We are both a LARP and an Action Combat Sport at the same time. Some folks just sit more to one side or the other. I am of the middle ground, I strive to be better at fighting, but also to provide a better show of orcishness every event I go to as well.

Author:  Sir Anastasia [ Thu May 21, 2009 9:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Thoughts on RP role in Bel

I'm with Soo here. Also, I think you guys don't want to be a LARP because people make fun of LARPers. Even if you choose not to RP here, you will be ridiculed all the same. I'll agree that you can avoid RP in our sport, but I'll also agree someone could RP here without the pursuit of skill development. What you get out of it, doesn't change our origins, now come fight in some "hobbit wars."

-AoC

Author:  warwell [ Fri May 22, 2009 4:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Thoughts on RP role in Bel

I disagree with Jimmy.

Is Bel Live-Action? Yep. We do it in the flesh (OK this sounds rude, but I hope you get the point), not on a video screen or on paper.

Is Bel Role-playing? Yep. We are playing the role of medieval/fantasy warriors. True, it is not historically accurate, but Bel was inspired by fiction not reality so it doesn't have to be accurate.

Obviously, there are some people who take the RP part to a greater level than others. But I submit that those who just do it for the "sport" are still role-playing. They still are required to wear medeivalish garb. If Bel were simply a sport, T-shirts would be acceptable. The garb requirements are there to enhance the medieval roles that we play.

Of course, there are different styles of role-playing. Bel is not like Amt. As Chicken said: "the only skill and ability you have is what you bring to the field in your body and mind." Nevertheless, we are still playing a role, but using our real physical abilities as the basis for our role-playing. For example, I play a warrior named Rufus, whose physical abilities are the same as mine.

So Bel is a LARP. To deny this, in my opinion, is to be in denial.

Kevin (Rufus)

Author:  warwell [ Fri May 22, 2009 7:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Thoughts on RP role in Bel

I had some additional thoughts I'd like to add.

I do agree with Jimmy on one aspect. Bel IS a sport. It is a a competitive physical activity with defined rules. Players compete using their own, actual abilities. I have no issue with Bel being called a sport.

However, I contend that being a LARP and being a sport are not mutually exclusive. I see Bel as a combination of the two, which is what I love about it. I get physical exercise playing a sport but I also have the experience of playing a LARP in a quasi-medieval setting.

I say embrace both aspects of Bel. It is a sport. If that's your thing, you can focus on that. But it is also a LARP. Have fun with that aspect, too.

Kevin (Rufus)

Author:  D-9-13 [ Fri May 22, 2009 9:49 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Thoughts on RP role in Bel

I hope I can throw two cents or so in here too...I tried LARP for the first time last year after not finding the enjoyment I was seeking at SCA (again), and loved the use of the foam latex weapons rather than boffers becuase they looked so darn real! I wish we used those in Bel too, I know they are more expensive, but they just look so darn cool...but I digress...

What drew me to Bel as opposed to a LARP, and I am way new, only having been involved in Bel at all for about two weeks now, is that it was full speed, and that we weren't "calling out damage." I swear, if I had to yell out "6 normal 6 normal 6 normal" one more time, I was going to vomit....I wanted a LARP where I didn't need to role play too much but could still find some form of fun escapism and a combat system that expected and allowed everyone to know when they were injured or "killed" by the intensity and location of the hits without having to tell everyone how much damage your sword does over someone elses....

It kept it faster, with a flexible form of historical fantasy or both thrown in for individualized fun. not a LARP, Medieval combat...thats how I saw it as a newcomer, and I love it thus far...its a perfect blend, and what makes it so is the openness for everyone to interpret it a bit differently, thus allowing them to find exactly what it is they are looking for...

Author:  warwell [ Fri May 22, 2009 10:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Thoughts on RP role in Bel

While there are certainly differences between Bel and the game that Cälde'r describes, I disagree that one is a LARP and another (Bel) something different. It is a false dichotomy.

I contend that they are two different types of LARPs. Both involve role-playing in that participants play the role of medieval/fantasy warriors, so they are both LARPs. They simply differ in the rules used instead of being different categories of games.

Author:  No'Vak [ Fri May 22, 2009 11:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Thoughts on RP role in Bel

I love how medieval looking a non printed t shirt and scrub pants are.

~Noik

Author:  warwell [ Fri May 22, 2009 12:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Thoughts on RP role in Bel

Quote:
I love how medieval looking a non printed t shirt and scrub pants are.


Alone, those would be against the garb rules. You'd need a least a tabard to meet basic minimum standards.

The idea behind the garb rules is to create a medievalish environment. They would not be needed if we weren't doing some form of LARP.

Kevin

Author:  Big King Jimmy [ Fri May 22, 2009 1:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Thoughts on RP role in Bel

The garb rules is a required uniform, no different than any other sport. I don't pick my garb based on anything but what gives me the best edge in combat (Loose fitting garb = high mobility and it's harder to know where your limbs are) same as most other sports. Football players in particular wear gear that is as slick as possible while still being legal.

Author:  Satanaka [ Fri May 22, 2009 1:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Thoughts on RP role in Bel

Webster: Sport: (2): a particular activity (as an athletic game) so engaged in.
Baseball GAME, Football GAME, Basketball GAME, Soccer GAME .....

I think we are a GAME- yes- there is 'role playing' since it was loosley based of Tolkien's "Lord of the Ring" (Fantasy)
"...Dagorhir was founded in 1977 by a bunch of college friends who shared an enthusiasm for Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and medieval history...."
"...Belegarth Medieval Combat Society (or Belegarth, for short) is a live-action battlegame.."

If your on the field (as stated above) -your role playing. Some people just REALLY sux at it. Although I doubt it takes a genius to do it- some people fail for the most part. Also- some people take it TO FAR...

Belegarth has a good mixture- BUT still remains focused on the fighting. I am sure thankful for all the people that have the sense and ability to balance the right combination to be able to have both- Fighting and Role Play. I applaud those that do and I believe that is the heart, soul and spirit of the game.

Even in a pure Stick Jock land- I just don't think it would be as much fun- else- go play hocky- if you can. I think it would be sad to just be in jeans and t-shirts hitting each other with sticks.

We have Garb, Characters, Feast, Themed battles, A "Castle"- hmmmm sounds like like a Game- like a fantasy or roles playing game.

But- that just the way I think in my head- thoughts that float around... blah, blah blah...

Author:  warwell [ Fri May 22, 2009 2:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Thoughts on RP role in Bel

I disagree with the idea that garb "is a required uniform, no different than any other sport."

If it is no different, then:

why do the rules require garb that is essentially medieval in style?
why is there a 4-page forum topic on improving garb in Bel?
why isn't underarmor legal by itself?

Because the garb rules are there to enhance the medieval atmosphere of the game. And that atmosphere is the heart of the LARP experience.

Now just because some people go with the minimum garb and focus on the sport aspect of Bel does not mean that Bel is not a LARP. It just means that those people are de-emphasizing the LARP aspect in their personal style of play.

Author:  Satanaka [ Fri May 22, 2009 2:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Thoughts on RP role in Bel

**** Applaud****
:devil:


warwell wrote:
Now just because some people go with the minimum garb and focus on the sport aspect of Bel does not mean that Bel is not a LARP. It just means that those people are de-emphasizing the LARP aspect in their personal style of play.

Author:  D-9-13 [ Fri May 29, 2009 9:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Thoughts on RP role in Bel

warwell wrote:
While there are certainly differences between Bel and the game that Cälde'r describes, I disagree that one is a LARP and another (Bel) something different. It is a false dichotomy.

I contend that they are two different types of LARPs. Both involve role-playing in that participants play the role of medieval/fantasy warriors, so they are both LARPs. They simply differ in the rules used instead of being different categories of games.

Good point Warwell, good point. I can see that...it is essentially a form of role-playing isnt it? One having less or more of certain aspects of the other...I guess sinc eI don't wear the same clothing for bel as i am wearing at work right now, it is in fact,a form of role-playing as a medieval/fantasy warrior.
I can also see why to some it has more of a sport aspect too. I think that is what is so cool, that each can take it in their own frame of mind, and yet somehow, everyone still can enjoy the same game. It doesn't affect my enjoyment of the game or rather I don't want to let it affect my own personal enjoyment, if everyone isn't dressed in a completely amazing garb kit, as cool as I think that would be, I think the freedom to choose is even more important...just my thought....

Author:  Quickie [ Fri May 29, 2009 11:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Thoughts on RP role in Bel

I kinda feel like I'm beating a dead horse here, but... the idea still stands that while this game has many role playing tendencies, it is not a larp. its the same concept as Civil War/ WW2 reinactment. They're not always 100% historically acurate. They're completely based on people eiminating another character persona, while acting out that character's life through a series of real world actions. Essentially that is a larp, but we don't consider it as such. Why? Because it's not fantasy based? Because some people have more respect for it? What?

Our sport/game/whatever is based off of a time period, in which we draw our inspiration-true--it helps us with a name and with garb choices-also true- it is relatively fantasy. Hell we have races.

But the point is, that while role playing is a large part of this sport but, it is not at all required. There are no classes. They're no races that you must choose from. There are no rules regarding role playing or magic. It is solely optional. The game itself is a full contact reinactment sport, when you die you don't make a new charecter. There are no boundries a "team" will invade. There are no feats to make anyone person harder to kill than any other. We don't live out a persona, the chareter is us, we're out their to have fun and improve ourselves, not level up.

The only reason this game could be considered a larp is because of how a select group of people treat it. And i'm ok with that i'm a gob. I rp a little, its fun. I call this my nerdsport, it is. But it is not a larp.

Author:  Sir Anastasia [ Fri May 29, 2009 2:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Thoughts on RP role in Bel

I would argue that because garb is required it has a requirement of LARP. I have many players in my group who HATE garb and really would like to just play the sport. If it were only the sport, the garb would not be required. Maintaining the medieval and fantasy environment is required in our game, therefore its LARP. Not all LARPS have character class rules as such, but the environment they maintain is key for their play, and in that regard, we are no different. I would also argue that rein-actors are Live-action-role-playing. I don't think theme matters here, just whether or not it is Live, and you are playing a role (role of a soldier) ect. It's the same * dirty word. Deal with your insecurities-LARPer. I recommend LARPing in a themed fantasy world where the LARP you do isn't really a LARP at all, but is actually considered cool by "mundanes," and you are your town's hero.

-AoC doesn't care if its called LARP or Polka

Author:  Satanaka [ Sat May 30, 2009 8:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Thoughts on RP role in Bel

I think that the word "LARP" is the issue.
We, 'Belegarth' are not a Reinactment. Else we would ONLY play out the actual medieval battles and RE- INACT the battles as they once were. So- I don't think we are a 'reinactment' group. Time span? Tolkien's "Lord of the Ring" or the "Before gun powder"?

Don't you mean: 'A full Contact Combat Game'

I don't care for the word 'LARP'- I think of 'The Mascarade' - Vampire LARP. I think we are a class to our own. When I describe Belegarth I use: '... a little like football, a little like martial arts, a little acting/ larping, lots of creativity, adventure, forging, workout, friends, fun, comradery, competition, weapons, feast, trials, Events, New people, travel, and many, many other associated words.

Many see Belegarth as a game- some as a 'sport'. (a sport is a game) We do have characters, garb, race, both historical and fantasy, and competition.
(and here is Gobbo- he is playing the "goblin" position, his number is 3-bones and 1 Crow's foot- on the front ranks of the bridge battle...) :devil:

I just call it: "A Great Adventure"





Quickie wrote:
I kinda feel like I'm beating a dead horse here, but... the idea still stands that while this game has many role playing tendencies, it is not a larp. its the same concept as Civil War/ WW2 reinactment. They're not always 100% historically acurate. They're completely based on people eiminating another character persona, while acting out that character's life through a series of real world actions. Essentially that is a larp, but we don't consider it as such. Why? Because it's not fantasy based? Because some people have more respect for it? What?
Our sport/game/whatever is based off of a time period, in which we draw our inspiration-true--it helps us with a name and with garb choices-also true- it is relatively fantasy. Hell we have races.
But the point is, that while role playing is a large part of this sport but, it is not at all required. There are no classes. They're no races that you must choose from. There are no rules regarding role playing or magic. It is solely optional. The game itself is a full contact reinactment sport, when you die you don't make a new charecter. There are no boundries a "team" will invade. There are no feats to make anyone person harder to kill than any other. We don't live out a persona, the chareter is us, we're out their to have fun and improve ourselves, not level up.

The only reason this game could be considered a larp is because of how a select group of people treat it. And i'm ok with that i'm a gob. I rp a little, its fun. I call this my nerdsport, it is. But it is not a larp.

Author:  warwell [ Sun May 31, 2009 10:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Thoughts on RP role in Bel

It depends on how one defines LARP. The people who say Bel is not a LARP use a narrow definition. For example :

Quote:
There are no classes. They're no races that you must choose from.


My whole argument is that it is a LARP in a broader sense of the word. You don't need classes to be a LARP. You only need to Live Action Role Play. Bel is live action (as is any sport). Bel IS role-play because EVERYONE is pretending to medieval/fantasy warriors, whether they do it in detail or just essentially play themselves with a sword.

My additional argument was that those who choose to use a narrower definition of LARP so thay they can say they don't LARP are in denial. As long as Bel maintains ANY trappings of a medieval/fantasy setting, it remains a form of live-action roleplaying. It is a different form from Amtgard or Vampire the Masquerade (like football and baseball are different forms of sport) . In fact, Bel is an interesting LARP because it is also a sport (it is a combination). Nevertheless, it is still a LARP.

Now that I beat this horse, also, I will refrain from additional long-winded responses. I'll just react to those who say Bel is not a LARP by saying "You are in denial."

YIS,
Rufus

Author:  Sir Anastasia [ Sun May 31, 2009 9:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Thoughts on RP role in Bel

warwell wrote:
I'll just react to those who say Bel is not a LARP by saying "You are in denial."


LOL...so true.

Author:  Titan G [ Tue Jun 23, 2009 7:39 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Thoughts on RP role in Bel

not a larper, larps are gay. look up my past discussions with peregrine on the subject. my word is law. also we are not larpers because on occasion someone actually has had sex at an event and no one has ever actually had sex with a larper. because if they did self esteem as we know it would end for the human race. that girl in the stileproject video getting pee'd on while crying that she WILL make it in porn? yea even she wouldn't **** a larper.

Author:  warwell [ Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Thoughts on RP role in Bel

Denial

Author:  Satanaka [ Tue Jun 23, 2009 11:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Thoughts on RP role in Bel

and Gay
:devil:


Quote:
warwell Said: Denial


graavish1 wrote:
not a larper, larps are gay. look up my past discussions with peregrine on the subject. my word is law. also we are not larpers because on occasion someone actually has had sex at an event and no one has ever actually had sex with a larper. because if they did self esteem as we know it would end for the human race. that girl in the stileproject video getting pee'd on while crying that she WILL make it in porn? yea even she wouldn't **** a larper.

Author:  The Great Gigsby [ Wed Jun 24, 2009 2:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Thoughts on RP role in Bel

Those of you suggesting that Belegarth is a LARP by virtue of it being live action and involving roleplaying are being dense. If that were the case than me going to work is a LARP, Sean Connery shooting a film is LARPing, and your girlfriend feigning enthusiasm during sex is also LARPing.

The main problem is that there is no static definition of LARP. It's an extremely new term used to describe an extremely narrow activity. It's self-defining in the sense that Joe Public probably doesn't know what the word LARP means, so why use it as a descriptor at all? The second problem is that it has such a negative connotation amongst the majority of people who know what it is about. Grouping Belegarth in with the LARPing world at large is detrimental to our expansion. Our target demographic isn't LARPers, it's the poor college guy with nothing to do on a Saturday afternoon.

And all of that doesn't really matter because Belegarth is not a LARP. There's no persistent setting (which is widely considered to be the distinguishing factor between a LARP and a combat game), all roleplaying that does occur is encouraged only on an individual level, not a global one. It's not like the Camarilla, where everyone is a participant in the same global storyline. There's hardly any focus on roleplaying at all. Characterization, a persona, and costuming are all optional in Belegarth. You've gotta wear minimum garb, but it doesn't have to represent anything.

Anyway, I'll spell it out for y'all. LARP sounds stupid. It sounds like lark, larth, lard, larf, etc. LARP is the sound your fat drunk uncle makes when he sits down in a lawn chair. It sounds gay. LARPing sounds like something Andy * does with himself when he's alone in the woods. Socio-normative people cringe when we hear the word LARP because it conjures up the images in the Bad LARP Pictures thread. Because it reminds us of the LIGHTNING BOLT video on youtube, and because it's frankly a dorky, socially abnormal, stupid, and frequently homo erotic hobby.

Belegarth: Medieval Combat Society.

Author:  warwell [ Wed Jun 24, 2009 4:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Thoughts on RP role in Bel

Giggles,
Thank you for your post. I was getting frustrated because those arguing against Bel being a LARP made no effort to refute my primary argument. At least you did that.

However, I must reject your argument. At work and in the bedroom, you are yourself. You are not pretending to be a medieval warrior (at least most of the time). Furthermore, I do not accept that a LARP requires a "persistent setting." I argue that you are narrowly defining the term in order to put Bel outside of its ranks. I prefer a broader definition. Your other arguments - such as its negative connotations - are irrelevant. Bel either meets the definition or it doesn't. I say that it does and that we should accept it, do matter how vigorously many try to deny it.

Best wishes for your LARP enjoyment,
Rufus of Dragon Coast

Author:  The Great Gigsby [ Wed Jun 24, 2009 8:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Thoughts on RP role in Bel

Uhhh... as a member of a LARP, and someone who walks the line between LARP and nonLARP, I think I have some perspective pertaining to the difference between the two. Belegarth isn't a LARP. NERO is a LARP. Camarilla is a LARP. Any NERO/CAM offshoot is easily a LARP. Anything else ,SCA/Avalon/EMP/The D-Game/Amgtgard/Darkon. The D-Game/MELEE, ad naseum is not a LARP.

Like I said; me wearing a shirt and tie and pretending to be thankful for answering your calls is not a LARP (life). Why should wearing a funny a shirt and hitting you with a foam stick be any different?

[EDIT]I kind of skimmed your reply without actually answering anything.

No, I am not myself when I go to work. My collared shirt and tie are "costume" that I wear to help me "stay in character." It's the same deal when I go to play ultimate frisbee with my friends. I wear "shorts and a t shirt" because it's what's expected of me. It's not necessarily who I am, it's what I do (a role I play in live action). It's different from when I LARP or do a tabletop RP, where the goal is to develop a fictional story where I am an active participant or character. In that case, I bring props, clothing, and backstory to achieve that goal (tell a story/roleplay).

When I do Belegarth, I just want to dress funny, drink a beer, and wail on someone with a stick without getting arrested. Does RP occur? Sometimes. Does that make what I do a LARP? Hell no.

I gotta ask Warwell, have you actually been a member of a LARP group? I have. They function completely differently than the games I listed do (Bel, Dag, Amt, SCA, etc.). It's not a plus or a minus, it just is what it is.

Author:  Big King Jimmy [ Thu Jun 25, 2009 2:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Thoughts on RP role in Bel

Yah, whenever garb in my opinion is the worst argument ever.

What I wear accomplishes 3 goals: It's comfortable, it's effective for fighting and it displays my group affiliations. It has nothing to do with looking medieval. Fighting garb, specifically.

Author:  Chicken [ Thu Jun 25, 2009 8:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Thoughts on RP role in Bel

warwell wrote:
[...]However, I must reject your argument. At work and in the bedroom, you are yourself. You are not pretending to be a medieval warrior (at least most of the time).[...]


I think part of the problem here is that many people who do roleplay in this sport think everyone else does too, whether they acknowledge it or not, just by virtue of the fact that we wear funny clothes and get called funny names.

We don't. Like most sports, we're wearing what we wear because it's practical and culturally mandated, and we get get called funny names because it's in the rules and in the culture. Role playing is actively pretending to be someone other than who you are - you don't just happen to do it and not notice.

Hell, I'm even squiring to be a knight and I'm not pretending to be a medieval warrior. Honestly. I am a squire - meaning someone in this sport in a mentoring relationship who's working to improve himself to be able to improve the sport while completing a list of tasks to develop and prove skill. I am not role-playing a 13-14 year old boy brought into battle to carry my knight's armor, flag, spare weapons and horse, hoping to one day become a land-owning professional heavy cavalryman. Inexplicably named Chicken.

There's nothing wrong with roleplaying - if you want to, then do and have fun! But you don't have to do it to fully immerse yourself in this sport, which alone means it definitely isn't a LARP.

Author:  Spike [ Thu Jun 25, 2009 3:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Thoughts on RP role in Bel

Chicken wrote:
[...]many people who do roleplay in this sport think everyone else does too, whether they acknowledge it or not, just by virtue of the fact that we wear funny clothes and get called funny names.[...]

That's a little broad, don't you think? I believe that the minority of people who just don't get it are just flat out noobs. I'm referring to those who come from small local groups and have been to few events, or just stayed in their camp without venturing out. If playing ninjas in their back yards with their friends is these relatively new or unsocialized fighters are exposed to, then they're naturally going to assume it's the norm.

Give those poor kids in Halloween masks a break, man. They'll come around or drop off the face of the earth. It's a win-win.

Those of us who come from larger realms and actually leave camp at night to interact with others aren't oblivious, let alone unsympathetic, to our athletic combatants. It's just a bizarre and surreal way to interact with one another. (It's just atmosphere, baby.) For the most part, the act usually just gets dropped around "stickjocks." It's not like we're * insane or have any intention of making other people do it too.

Author:  Titan G [ Fri Jun 26, 2009 8:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Thoughts on RP role in Bel

i think we should enforce roleplay. with hot iron pokers. and finger nail pulling. and water boarding. it worked for america it can work for belegarth.

Author:  Chicken [ Fri Jun 26, 2009 11:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Thoughts on RP role in Bel

Spike wrote:
Chicken wrote:
[...]many people who do roleplay in this sport think everyone else does too, whether they acknowledge it or not, just by virtue of the fact that we wear funny clothes and get called funny names.[...]

That's a little broad, don't you think? [...]
Those of us who come from larger realms and actually leave camp at night to interact with others aren't oblivious, let alone unsympathetic, to our athletic combatants. It's just a bizarre and surreal way to interact with one another. (It's just atmosphere, baby.) For the most part, the act usually just gets dropped around "stickjocks." It's not like we're * insane or have any intention of making other people do it too.


Sorry, I didn't mean for that to be taken as broadly as it perhaps came out. I'm glad that (I think) we have generally good relations between the RPers and the stickjock/sport crowd - plenty of mostly good-natured crap thrown both ways, but I think for the most part everyone doesn't get in the way of other people having a good time however they want.

I was specifically referring to attitudes like these:

Satanaka wrote:
and Gay
:devil:
Quote:
warwell Said: Denial


Anastasia of Chamonix wrote:
warwell wrote:
I'll just react to those who say Bel is not a LARP by saying "You are in denial."


LOL...so true.


which is just kind of insulting. "You are role playing, you just think you're acting like you always do."

Author:  The Great Gigsby [ Fri Jun 26, 2009 2:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Thoughts on RP role in Bel

I don't think it's a stretch to think that those kind of blanket statements are coming from people that are probably a little insecure and confused about their geekiness or in some cases their homo-erotic urges and need to reinforce their beliefs through black and white thinking. Unless their being ironic (like graavish), which I don't think is likely.

Author:  Satanaka [ Fri Jun 26, 2009 3:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Thoughts on RP role in Bel

Remarks on a board ARE the truth chicken- don't you know that. Al Gore invented the internet so it MUST be true... So Adjust YOUR attitude. :devil:
(of course I am joking-Duh)

Chicken wrote:
Sorry, I didn't mean for that to be taken as broadly as it perhaps came out. I'm glad that (I think) we have generally good relations between the RPers and the stickjock/sport crowd - plenty of mostly good-natured crap thrown both ways, but I think for the most part everyone doesn't get in the way of other people having a good time however they want.

I was specifically referring to attitudes like these:

which is just kind of insulting. "You are role playing, you just think you're acting like you always do."

Author:  Satanaka [ Fri Jun 26, 2009 3:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Thoughts on RP role in Bel

Your like a freaking camp counselor- WOW- Sarcasm on our boards- Why would you ever think that happens? Our Disfunctional family of Belegarth is like the Cleavers... :devil:



Giggles wrote:
I don't think it's a stretch to think that those kind of blanket statements are coming from people that are probably a little insecure and confused about their geekiness or in some cases their homo-erotic urges and need to reinforce their beliefs through black and white thinking. Unless their being ironic (like graavish), which I don't think is likely.

Author:  Titan G [ Mon Jun 29, 2009 9:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Thoughts on RP role in Bel

i think one divergent that hasn't been added is on and off the field. this game as it is encompasses more than just fighting. you have the jimmys and others who are pure stick jocks. they are here to fight and in jimmy's case to suck ;). then you have medium people like me and vokor. when i pick up a weapon im a fighter and this is a sport i don't give a **** about garb, i don't give a **** about characters or classes. i care about winning. now get me off the field and sure i will rock some monster speak and totally throw down some character. then you have the roleplay idiots. " i won't use such and such weapon because my character wouldn't use that" or " i'm not going to take of this wool over coat in 100* weather because my character is a northern character." this people are smucks they should go to actually larps where they can throw seed at people and suck by themselves. they take up space on my field, make my arm tired from swinging and killing so many of them, and overall just make my fighting expierience less enjoyable due to the need to slaughter my way through them to get to someone actually worth fighting.

and giggles i'm not being ironic, i'm just a *. it's ironic that you think i'm ironic though

Author:  Salamander [ Wed Jul 01, 2009 4:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Thoughts on RP role in Bel

Why can't we have both? Why can't I get into the spirit of the game, pretend to be a golbin for a weekend, and still fight like I mean it?
This game is an form of escapism. Some may play harder than others.
Let he who is perfect cast the first stone.

Author:  Titan G [ Fri Jul 03, 2009 9:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Thoughts on RP role in Bel

stone cast

Author:  Satanaka [ Fri Jul 03, 2009 11:15 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Thoughts on RP role in Bel

I like your response and I think it fits most people.




Titan G wrote:
i think one divergent that hasn't been added is on and off the field. this game as it is encompasses more than just fighting. you have the jimmys and others who are pure stick jocks. they are here to fight and in jimmy's case to suck ;). then you have medium people like me and vokor. when i pick up a weapon im a fighter and this is a sport i don't give a **** about garb, i don't give a **** about characters or classes. i care about winning. now get me off the field and sure i will rock some monster speak and totally throw down some character. then you have the roleplay idiots. " i won't use such and such weapon because my character wouldn't use that" or " i'm not going to take of this wool over coat in 100* weather because my character is a northern character." this people are smucks they should go to actually larps where they can throw seed at people and suck by themselves. they take up space on my field, make my arm tired from swinging and killing so many of them, and overall just make my fighting expierience less enjoyable due to the need to slaughter my way through them to get to someone actually worth fighting.

and giggles i'm not being ironic, i'm just a *. it's ironic that you think i'm ironic though

Author:  FrankManic [ Sun Jul 12, 2009 3:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Thoughts on RP role in Bel

you know, I'm an Anthro major, and I'm going to chime in and say that almost everything that anyone does is role playing. When a baseball player puts on his uniform and hits a ball that's not just who he is, he's also playing the role of 'professional baseball player'. The dude at McDonald's is playing the role of 'McWorker'. You don't call a judge 'your honor' because you actually respect him, or even neccesarily because he'll throw your * in jail if you don't. You do it because you're playing the role of 'Citizen in court'.

Frankly... Who cares if we're a LARP? The geeks won. We're the hot **** now. Videogames are mainstream, everyone and quite literally their mom plays WoW, Morgan Webb is a sex goddess, and you can buy Bawls at the 7-11. No one looks at you funny if you make your own websites, can type a thousand words a minute, or have a wacky hobby. Nerds throw the best parties, Penny Arcade is the voice of the culture, and girls working in Lingerie stores get really excited when you invite them to the local Sci-Fi convention

We Won. Geek is good. Nerds are in. Frankly, everyone knows what a LARP is, now. And when they hear 'funny clothes, orcs, and swords' they're going to think LARP. Instead of getting all defensive and trying to get them to think of you in the same way they think of hockey and soccer, why not own it? Yeah, we're a LARP, but we're not those fireball fireball fireball guys. They're intramural T-ball, we're Australian rules Rugby.

Actually, one thing I will say distinguishes Belegarth from Sports. In all my years playing sports I never saw any honor. People were there to win, and it was the Refs job to make sure they weren't cheating. In this game, you call your own wounds, You make sure your weapons and armor won't hurt other players, and if you're not sure of a hit maybe you take it anyway, just to err for caution. I know there are exceptions, but for most people in Bel it seems like being respected by your fellow players is more important than winning at any cost.

Author:  FrankManic [ Sun Jul 12, 2009 3:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Thoughts on RP role in Bel

Chicken wrote:
There's one huge difference between what we do and any LARP (and even Amtgard & Darkon, outside of ditching) - the only skill and ability you have is what you bring to the field in your body and mind.


You go make a war ax, and I'll go make a kite shield, and we'll see if you can break it in two solid blows. And while we're at it, I bet you a nickel I could run a man through with a good, solid jab of a one handed spear, 12 oz. leather or no 12 oz. leather. And I never saw a sword made that couldn't stab a man in the gut or smash him in the face with the pommel.

The rules may not be as intrusive as in other games, but they're still there, and they still have a significant effect on the flow of the game. Guys with beat sticks and flails that would be far too light and flimsy to work as actual weapons can dish out damage with them just as effectively as someone with a realistically weighted two pound blue sword because the rules say so.

Author:  Tonaho [ Mon Jul 13, 2009 1:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Thoughts on RP role in Bel

I've seen a lot of "can't we just get along" and yeah, we do... mostly.

Seems to me that what's being called into question isn't "Is RP allowed?" It's "Is Bel inherently a LARP?"
Answer: No.

Sorry for not remembering names, but to you who says that at work I am me and at bel I am a mediveal warrior, I argue that at work I happen to be this super-nice person who wouldn't dream of uttering a cuss word, doing anything incongruent with city procedures, and Oh-so loves the swimming pool.
In reality I am an indoor night-owl who wants to punch children for ordering snow-cones when I've just cleaned the machine, spits on "standard procedure" and follows his own moral compass instead, and has a pretty god * dirty mouth to boot. bonus points if anyone can identify the god * dirty mouth reference To further this, as a teen I often fought my friends with sticks because it was a great workout, made me feel confident, and also made me feel like when cornered in a dark alley, I might actually be safe. I've never done it to walk in the shoes of a great warrior or to escape being me. That's what my tabletop and internet roleplays were for, not to mention the video games.
I play Bel for the same reason Johnny plays football or Billy plays LaCrosse: because I enjoy the game, feel I'm fairly good at it, and it honestly makes me feel pretty good about myself. Similarly, I wear garb for much the same reason any goth kid wears a polo shirt and khakis to school: Because I risk being kicked out if I don't. (Well, that and good garb is **** comfortable.)

Author:  NessiePop [ Thu Dec 02, 2010 12:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Thoughts on RP role in Bel

FrankManic wrote:
Yeah, we're a LARP, but we're not those fireball fireball fireball guys. They're intramural T-ball, we're Australian rules Rugby.


Sigged

Author:  Caleidah [ Thu Dec 02, 2010 5:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Thoughts on RP role in Bel

Lachlan_McClung wrote:
FrankManic wrote:
Yeah, we're a LARP, but we're not those fireball fireball fireball guys. They're intramural T-ball, we're Australian rules Rugby.


Sigged

You don't have to rez a thread to mention that. We would have seen it one way or another.

Author:  Dondarian [ Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Thoughts on RP role in Bel

Caleidah wrote:
You don't have to rez a thread to mention that. We would have seen it one way or another.


True, but I probably wouldn't have seen this awesome Jimmy dissertation if he hadn't.

Author:  NessiePop [ Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Thoughts on RP role in Bel

Yer welcome. And I didn't realize I'd rezzed it. I'm usually good about not doing that.

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