Live-action role-playing game

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A live-action role-playing game is a type of role-playing game in which the participants physically play the role of their characters, and may move about the play area to interact with other players and the environment. Live-action role-playing is often abbreviated to LARP or LRP by those within the hobby. Depending on the game, the play area may be a large room in a hired venue, someone's house, a campus, a field or even a large woodland. This sub-genre of gaming can cover everything from "Murder Mystery Weekends", to "rubber sword" battles, to real weapon use by such organisations as the Society for Creative Anachronism. Historical re-enactment is not generally considered to be live-action role-playing. The number of players in a single game can range from a few individuals to several thousand.

Types of LARP

"Murder Mystery"

This type of game is probably the most familiar to those outside the gaming hobby, as boxed games such as How to Host a Murder[1] have been available for many years and many companies and venues run "Murder Mystery Weekends" as commercial enterprises. Many organisations will book their staff into such events as a combined bonus and/or team-building exercise.

In a murder mystery LARP, the players will each be given a character to play. The information given to the players will include, for example, the personality of their character, some useful information he or she may know, and which of the other characters are already known to him or her.

A referee or "game-master" may introduce the plot, as well as providing props such as clues which may be discovered in the course of the game. At a commercial game, one or more players may actually be actors who assist the referee - their role being to provide further information at various points to advance the plot.

Over the course of the game, the players must interact with each other as if they were their characters, and can move about the environment, searching for clues as to the murderer's identity, etc.


  1. Commercial website: Available: [1] Accessed: 7th November 2007.