Hello there, sweetie.
Come closer. I won’t bite. And even if I did, you would enjoy it.
I will tell you about the thrills of playing a vampire, a blood-sucking creature of the night.
It is a game of horror and the most horrific thing in this world is yourself. And all people around you are as ruthless as you are.
LARP is the abbreviation for Live-Action-Role-Play. You invent a character and you act out his decisions. It will be nearly completely up to you if your character survives or not.
In order to survive in this political kind of game, you have to gather power and allegiances. The more power and allegiances you have, the better you can fend off attacks. But the more power you have, the more envy you cause. And the more allegiances you have, the more likely one of them will betray you. Danger lurks in every corner.
So let me give you some advice to play the game. And to have fun – in success or in downfall.
Rule #1: Dare to do things.
No risk, no fun. And the possible regret of having done something is nothing compared to the gnawing feeling of “what if”.
Rule #2: Don’t get caught.
Everything’s possible. Nothing is forbidden. As long as no one catches you doing it. If you’re caught, it will be your head that rolls.
Rule #3: Catch others.
Trust is nice, control is better. If you know your opponent’s weakness, you own him.
Rule #4: Be paranoid.
Being paranoid does not mean they are not after you. So you better neutralise them before they get to you.
Rule #5: Improvise.
Or rather, lie. Truth is just the version most people believe in. But keep track of your lies and don’t overdo it. If you get caught up in your own lies, you’ll trip and fall.
Rule #6: Mask your intentions.
One can smile and smile and still be a villain. If you smile, they won’t see the dagger coming.
Rule #7: Don’t trust yourself.
There’s a monster inside you. And it will get stronger the more you feed it. And one night you will be the strongest monster in the area, but you will not be in control any longer.
Rule #8: Know thyself.
Know what you’re best at. Are you a fighter? Let your enemies know what happens if they anger you.
Are you a socializer? Gossip around and ruin your enemy’s reputation.
Rule #9: You’re not mortal. But you’re not immortal either.
Death is part of the game. You are a dead creature. You kill. You are surrounded by dead creatures that kill.
Rule #10: There’s no greater elation than in success…
Revel in the glory of winning. Smear it in the face of your enemies if you dare to do so.
Rule # 11: … Except in your downfall.
The highest form of poetry is, for good reason, tragedy. If you have to go down, do so with style. The thrill you get when you know that it’s over and you can embrace your destruction is beyond compare.
Rule #12: Everyone loses in the end.
Always keep that in mind. But why play the game without the chance of finally winning? To see how long you can survive. To see how far you can rise before your haters bring you down. To see your revenge on them coming to fruition. And maybe, if you’re strong enough, to rise again. Until one night, when your luck runs out.
Rule #13: Fairplay
Remember to play unfair in character and to play fair as a player.
Since “The Masquerade” is often a player-vs-player-game, it is harsher and more personal than other kinds of LARPS. The harsher the game, the more you have to keep in mind: Every character around you was invented by someone who has put some thought into him. To attack another character your own character must have enough reason to do so. Should a fellow player whose character got killed ask you “why”, you must have a logical reason for it.
No cheating. If you cheat, you will not cheat boss opponents out of their victory but fellow players out of their fun.
When in doubt about something within the game, decide to the disadvantage of your own character.
Rieke Krömmelbein is a long-time vampire LARPer, appreciates good movies and loves a good book. She studied German and English literature and currently juggles books in her working life. Her analytical mind is a force to be reckoned with.