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How to maximize your LARP experience at HARVEST

Whether you're larping for the first time or have been doing it for years, here are some tips on ho to make your weekend escape rock.

1. Play to have fun, not to win:

It’s always way more fun if you go into game with the mindset of how many laughs you can get, how cool something would be, versus if you did it to compete. It’s easy to get caught up in the idea of being the best at this game, collecting the most stuff and doing the best you can. It’s where the fun is, in challenging yourself or committing yourself to a role, and there is undoubtedly a sense of pride that comes from doing a lot of challenging work, making a great costume, or building a cool prop. But it’s important to remember that because you are doing a lot of work, that doesn’t make you the “winner” of the game. In a LARP like Harvest, the game is designed to be non-linear, and at some point, you might lose all your stuff, die a horrible death, etc. What’s more important in LARPing is having fun, even if a situation is not in your favor at the time.

2. Don’t ruin someone’s awesome moment: It might mean you must die, get murdered, and lose all your stuff, the world might end and dreadful things might happen, but let someone have their time to shine. Besides, you can always scheme your revenge later. Everyone likes a comeback kid.

3. Cheating doesn’t ruin the game, it ruins your game: Cheating, also called “meta gaming”, happens. We do our best to mitigate it but on occasion, someone intentionally puts their desires before the rules and sometimes they get away with it. It won’t affect Harvest because the game masters can undo anything that has been done, but it does ruin the cheater’s game, as cheating is easy to spot.

4. Don’t go broke on gear: It’s common for people to get excited about the game and spend a lot of money on gear, costuming, etc. But remember, at the end of the day, real-life bills still must be paid. Please don’t break your wallet trying to play.

5. Keep the weather in mind: Please keep the seasonal environment in mind when you are coming to play. Just because it is summer, does not mean it will be warm all the time, Alberta weather gets chilly at night! Always pack extra socks, wet and dry gear, and check the weather before you head out. WET KIT: (contain in tote bin to keep rain weather sealed) 1x rain poncho, 1x pair of rain boots, 1x water-resistant/repellant outfit, 3x change of socks (wool), 1x pair of longjohns , 5x pack of hand warmers, 1x warm outfit (hoodie, sweatpants), 1x Tarp for shelter and rope to suspend/support. DRY KIT: 1x bottle of sunscreen, 1x bottle of aloe vera, 1x weekend supply of water, 1x bug bite ointment, 1x cold night outfit, 1x hot day outfit, 1x pair of sneakers or other outdoor appropriate footwear

6. Stay Healthy: It’s very common for people to forget to eat, put off going to the bathroom, or sleep because they get really into the game. Please remember that getting sick is no fun for you or the people who care about you, and we’d all rather prefer you went home in one piece. Please self-care while you are gaming, nobody should make you feel bad about taking the time to sleep, eat or do your business. As well, it is important to pack healthy snacks, instead of junk food.

7. Don’t hit other people as hard as you can: Boffer LARPing lets you hit strangers with foam weapons. Even though the weapons are basically giant pool noodles, you can still hurt someone if you hit them as hard you can. Please don’t go nuts on other people, and do not hit them in the groin, head, or breast area on purpose. If you consistently end up “accidentally” hitting people in these areas, your weapons will be taken away from you.

8. Be respectful: Do not yell at other people, bully people, or harass people. If you have a character who is a jerk, always remember that the emotions you portray will impact your fellow actor. It’s never a bad idea to check up with the person once a scene is done to see if they took it badly (see: bleed under the mental health policy).

9. Make a Character to explore yourself or others: Ask any seasoned LARPer, and they’ll describe a character they’ve portrayed for a while with fondness (and often at length). A lot of planning and time goes into taking on a character, and you often meet friends for life this way. The dark side to it is sometimes you’ll take on a character that is a less desirable person than who you are: so, keep in mind that character portrayal is often a journey of your own mind. Try to have fun with it.

10. Fun is not a zero-sum game: If your idea of fun is to stop someone else from having fun, it is not encouraged at LARP. Assassin type characters and player versus player mentality is welcomed in small doses.

11. Pretending to be a Jerk VS Being a Jerk: When you LARP, you are taking on a role just like an actor would in a movie. Who you portray as a character can be different than who you are in real life. There is a difference between pretending to be a jerk and being a jerk out of game. As the player, the consequences for your in-game actions come with emotional responsibility. If you decide to assassinate someone, or are assassinated as a character yourself, there should be no problems with the take-away being that is another character attacking your character, and not you. We are all playing pretend for a weekend at LARP and some people just want to be murder hobos. That isn’t personal. If you feel that someone is targeting you unfairly, perhaps because the two of you don’t get along in real life, and keeps assassinating you, stealing your stuff, or making you feel bad, we consider that Griefing and will deal with it by issuing the person a warning. Each case can be different and so we will treat it on a case by case basis. The goal is for everyone to have fun.