When I heard about larp first time, I imagined crazy people in weird costumes running around in the woods. So I went into the larp-world without any hope of having fun. Luckily, it turned out to be very different from what I thought and I was stuck after my first larp.
LARP is short for Live action role playing. You choose a character to play, and interact against other participants like an improvisational theater without an audience. You dress up and act like the character you've chosen. You write a backstory about this fictional character to make it feel more alive and send it to the organizers who gives you a plot to play on at the larp. For example, find a magic red necklace that a woodelf is carrying. Some other person might have gotten that same mission to make the larp as interesting as possible.
There are many different kinds of larp, medieval, future, science-fiction, steampunk, fantasy, vampire but I only participate in medieval fantasy larp. In those larps we play fairytale figures such as witches, goblin, orcs, and various types of elves, etc but also ordinary humans. Every race have their own guidelines which often is described on the specifik larps website so you know how to play your role and why. However, it is not required to play that way. Do you feel that your gnome character wants to be best friends with an orch you can of course try it but it is not certain that the orch have the same attitude...
If you want to start larping the best way is to check your city for the nearest larp and maybe find people who want to take you under their wings the first larp. :D These are great swedish facebookgroups to start with and talk to people: here and here
A fantasy larp usually last between 2-5 days. It takes place in the woods and all the participants are living in tents, wooden houses, or pavilions. (We built or own house though so this is where I live)
EVERYTHING is supposed to be medieval. This means that you can not run around waving with your phone or so. If you want to be offlarp for a while, then whisper to the person you want to talk to and ask if they want it. But quiet, and in a tent.
What makes larp both educational and a fun experience is just that you live out in the woods and cook all your food over an open fire. If I larp, it's a proof that anyone can do it. When I was younger I was involved in the Scouts but quit because we had to sleep in the woods, haha! And look at me now. :P
When you are out in the woods as your character the feeling is almost magical at times, especially if everyone plays their roles believable.
There are some guidelines to follow such as whether you can kill anyone. The weapons are made from foam and latex. A character can only be killed by a cut to your throat. You must also have a very good reason to kill the character. This is to prevent ruining other peoples larpexperience unnecessarily. This must also be approved by the organizer.
There are various reasons why people of all ages choose to larp and I think there is something for everyone. I knew from the beginning that my reason was to get away from the real world for a while. But it could simply be that you just are fascinated by everything medieval and want to wear the clothes.
Hunter, princess or magician, it is you who decide and anything is possible.