Bringing The Campaign Into Another Realm
The imagination of a single person is at a level that has greater capacity and potential than many realize. Look at George Lucas or Isaac Newton or Gene Roddenberry or Christopher Nolan or Albert Einstein. Consider the potential of a single individual—it’s quite exceptional when you get right down to it. And at the core of that potentiality is imagination.
Those who regularly play non-digital Role Playing Games, or RPGs, understand this all too well. Written fiction is sort of an example of a solo “campaign” as seen in Dungeons and Dragons. D&D, or DND alternatively, is a sort of entertainment pastime which depends on imagination. Without imagination, the game wouldn’t exist.
One of the most exciting transitions which define this genre of imagination stimulation is the live-action element. Live Action Role Playing, or LARPing, has gained a lot of prominences now. On a fine day in spring or summer, dozens—sometimes hundreds—of players will get together; waging campaigns in fields and forests as it suits them.
Those campaigns can be very diverse, and they can really be quite a lot of fun. Everyone decks themselves out in costumes which reflect the characters they’ve carefully crafted in varying campaigns with friends. Those characters get some “real” experience out in “the field” through such LARPing efforts. Halloween is perfect for such get-togethers.
The Next Level Above Traditional Live-Action Campaigns
Here’s the thing about going this route: as fun as it is to stage mock battles between orcs and elves in a park on a fine Saturday afternoon, there’s a limit to the fun which can be had. For one thing, the players stand out. Those driving by on the roadside can see battle lines set up for a diverting conflict. Furthermore, parks are public and have to be available for everyone.
This means there are limiting factors excluding the total potential of a LARPing campaign. However, there is a situation where that can be overcome, and that situation develops once a year, every year. It’s a spooky, scary type of situation—one where you’ve got the whole night ahead of you: Halloween.
Halloween has a deep history that very likely extends well beyond the “All Hallows Eve” tradition many understand it to be anchored in. If you want to go down the rabbit hole of lore, some believe Halloween is a commemoration of the day when flood waters wrapped the Earth and helped Noah float the boat—though that’s conjectural.
Here’s the point: this holiday has a deep history, and involves not just one country, but many countries. In America exists perhaps the most profound Halloween celebration, but there’s more potential for the holiday than is often explored. As pertains to role-playing exploits, a golden opportunity awaits and is often under-utilized.
Everybody’s Already Decked Out In Complex Costumes
On Halloween evening, those who celebrate tend to dress-up themselves in a variety of costumes. Young children will choose superheroes or mythical creatures. Adults tend to have more fun—they’ll dress up as pop culture icons or political figures; sometimes even cashing in on reality TV celebrities for a gag outfit. But they, too, could do much more.
Imagine waging a LARPing campaign across your entire town. Imagine not just getting in costume as the characters you’ve created and met in a park. Imagine making the campaign extend all the way around your locality—from one side of town to another. You could get together with DMs (Dungeon Masters) of either side to designate territory.
Maybe downtown represents the neutral zone, whereas the college campus is the “battleground”. Perhaps the lake with the trail around it has a special “item” hidden there which either team must find, but which can’t be fully utilized until some other artifact is discovered. There’s a lot of potential here, and the game can go all night.
Getting The Most From Your Live Action Campaigns
Look at it this way: if you want to have a fun paintball war, you and your friends could run out into a hilly field or forest and have at each other. However, what’s often a lot more fun than that is going to an actual arena designed for the purpose, where flickering fluorescent lights, UV illumination, and strobes bathe an area full of places to hide; or set up exceptional shots.
Similarly, with LARPing, or any role-playing endeavor, though it’s possible to use your imagination anywhere you can set aside space for a campaign, you can have a lot more fun if you extend the boundaries of that campaign beyond the dice table. A DND campaign waged across your entire town with multiple teams in full LARPing gear would be epic.
Also, such an opportunity can be perfectly capitalized on during Halloween. The community will be dressed up anyway, and so takes on a sort of “secondary world” setting. It’s a great opportunity to wear DND tops like those in the link—you could use them to designate different parties contending for a specific “goal” across the “battlefield” of your town.
A Halloween Night To Remember
Halloween night is a long one, and there are going to be parties all around town. It’s a holiday children love for the candy, and adults love for the mental confections that come in the form of adult beverages and costuming.
A LARPing campaign across town doubles down on all those things and allows you to realize the full potential of the characters you’ve built more fully than would be possible otherwise. Alternatively, you don’t have to wage a LARPing campaign across your town on All Hallows Eve; you might just get fully decked out in your RPG character for the pure fun of it.
Halloween is one of the few nights of the year where such costuming is socially acceptable, and even a little bit cool. So think outside the box this Halloween, and perhaps consider bringing your character into new realms of excitement.
The imagination is powerful, and the amount of stimulation available on the evening of October 31 is certainly considerable. At a minimum, doing this one year out of your life is worth it.