The north wall has fallen to the Undead Horde, the Dragons can be seen approaching on the horizon, the Celtic berserkers are throwing themselves at the south wall, and the evil wizards just set the beard of the Margrave on fire. And it is only just noon. Just another typical day in Durholme, then? Durham University Treasure Trap is the longest continuously-running LARP [live-action role play] group in the world, and you can be part of it. We also make up a large part of the Lions faction at The Gathering, so joining is a good way to get into other systems as well. We run weekly Interactives and Adventures, including a large weekend adventure at the end of the year, as well as other events such as the annual Medieval Banquet.
Join Durham University Treasure Trap, and you can take part in the ongoing war against anything that isn't nice, and even some things that pretend to be but aren't really. Go on quests to rescue damsels, slay dragons and conquer Undead Hordes. And above all, come along and have fun.
Live Action Role-playing (LARP)
Live Action Role-playing (otherwise known as LARP or LRP) has been described in many ways; perhaps my favourite description is 'cross country pantomime'. What the hobby really entails is taking on a persona or 'character' and acting out that character's actions in a fictional setting. Oh, alright, I admit it - it's dressing up in costume and speaking funny. You may be familiar with what is known as 'table-top' role-playing such as AD&D and Rolemaster; well, LARP is along similar lines to that but, as I say, we dress-up in costume and act it all out.
Durham Treasure Trap
LARP is about playing a character. In Treasure Trap, we play fictional characters in and around the fantasy city of Durholme - based on mediaeval Durham - in the year . These characters are our own creation, and all are different and unique. Some are good, some are evil, some are greedy, some are selfless, some are happy and bouncy ... we have all sorts! These characters are made up by the players who act out their personalities.
When we are playing the game, we act out the character we have chosen. We say what they would say and do what they would do. The characters are not necessarily a reflection of the players, or of their own personality. This means that people can play a wide range of characters, doing things that normally, in real life, they would not do.
So you dress up in funny clothes?
Yes, we do! We try to look fairly closely to how the characters we are playing would look. But don't worry - the society can lend you all the costume and equipment you need when you start out.
It's set in a medieval setting, and I've seen you all carrying around big swords and stuff. Do you actually use them?
Yes, we do. In the world of Durholme, fighting is a way of life for some people. When fights occur, the winner is decided by, well, actually doing the fighting. The people involved use their swords, or whatever, to hit each other until there is a winner.
Don't worry. The weapons that are used are all 'safe' weapons, specially made for LARP with foam as padding. All weapons used are checked by the Armourer, a member of the exec with specific responsibility for weapon safety. And, all those taking part are taught how to fight safely, pulling their blows so that nobody is hurt. The combat is resolved through a 'hit-point' system that tells you how hurt your character is.