We’ve all been a new player. We’ve all had that fear that we’ll say the wrong thing at the wrong time and dread it for years to come. Over time this feeling dissipates and is filled with a desire to delve into these game worlds created for us. The problem still stands, how do you get through that stage of dread and make conversation with others in character (ic).
The answer to this is quite simple. There are two things that almost all LARPers enjoy. The first is drinking and the second is talking about their characters. People love telling the stories they’ve created and the ins and outs of their background. Bearing this in mind we can take advantage of this to help us make conversation. We’re going to use ‘FORD’, a model for making general conversation. It’s good to think of some questions for each of the sections to have on standby.
Ask people where they’re from. You can also ask them if their part of a group or there alone. This section is one of the easiest to start with as it’s information most people will share freely.
Questions on this area begin to delve a little more into the character’s backstory. Does the person you’re talking to fight, are they an apothecary, healer, magician and so on?
This set of questions is slightly harder to answer than the others. This is because many people who create LARP characters may not think about what their character does on their days off. If you’re on the second day of an event asking a simple question like ‘what did you do yesterday?’ is a good way of sparking one such conversation.
Is there a person of power in the LARP your playing? Maybe a king, queen or empress? Does the person you’re talking to one day want to ascend to those ranks or are they happy where they are? In a LARP field, most people will be happy to talk to you about their characters dreams. That is of course unless they’re doing something they shouldn’t.