Drew

Tell us a bit about yourself and what got you into larping

I had zero interest in roleplaying games until my freshman year of high school, when I heard one friend talking to another about a game where you actually got to have a weapon in your hand and run around in the woods. Neither of them really lasted, but 24 years later, here I am, like the victim of a mummy curse.

What are your other interests?

A lot of exercise. I lift three days a week every week. I also raced bicycles for ten years, I hung that up after getting tired of taking corners while bumping into competitors in a pack, mostly naked, at 35 mph, but I still ride for fun. Like most LARPers, I'm an avid reader. My day job as a copywriter made me push into other creative outlets, so I've recently leaned into planning and making my own costuming in a way I never have before.

Tell us a bit about your character(s)!

Oh boy. These are in sequence, but many existed in parallel.

Way way back, I was a dark elf named Rah, the less said there the better- peak teen angst manifested as being mostly dour and grumpy. Then there was a red drake named Torch who was absolutely convinced a high level character named Grey was his mother. The longest run was as a mystic wood elf (who was also at various times either a goblin or a halfling-type race) named Feelgood Willis. He was the member of a large family of player character brothers (Jackson, Alpine, Booger, Feelgood, Tinker, Five-strings, and Lucky, with adopted sis Tia) all spread across the country, mostly playing in Texas and Georgia. In a post-apocalyptic game, I played a half-zombie priest of a radiation cult named Jaaack. Back to my fantasy roots, there was Samantha!, an orc rogue who was more hunter (and cannibal) than thief.

Today, Samantha! lives on as a cursed war born in Convergence as part of a group of friendly monsters that include werewolves, vampires, flesh golems, fish-people, etc. (There's one rule to join: your archetype has to align in some way with one of the Universal Monsters).

What is your favorite larping memory?

It's been 24 years, and I have dozens upon dozens of big kills, wild saves, and crazy chases.

My favorite memories are always things my friends do, though.

•There was the time my character's brother had his head stolen by Fae and instead of trying to get it back, he just insisted on just living without one (with his shirt pulled up over his scalp) for months.

•There was a five hour fight against waves of death knights where we got so tired, the lines between reality and fantasy got blurry.

•Once, I was sleeping in a closet after a very long day and was woken up out of game by a curious new player opening random doors. They screamed at the top of their lungs as I lurched upright, forgetting I was still in zombie makeup.

•Pals Trog and Sewer realized we couldn't take out some monsters, so they threw quick snowballs at the bows of a tree, causing relentless buckets of snow to shake loose and hit the NPCs while we hoofed it.

•A half-snake pal and local entrepreneur named Shady (pictured with me on this profile) who often seemed very naïve, approached me about going on a mod because there was a boat involved and their character had never seen one. Shady was denied by the group because nobody (rightfully) trusted Shady.
"I want to see the boat, Jaaack."
"So go!"
"They say I can't."
"I guess you can't."
It was at this point, Shady's eyes went flat, dead like a shark's and I was truly chilled by this person with no weapon, half my size, as they stepped forward and repeated, "I want to see the boat."

Really though, what I'm about to say sounds cliché but I mean it. The real takeaway has been the tears-streaming, pants-peeing laughs between the epic adventures; then there's the weddings, births, even funerals that have come from the friends I've made all over.

When someone meets you at larp, how can they best get to know you/engage with you?

Just start talking or, in some cases, stand nearby and be quiet and I'll start talking.

No matter what my character concept is in any setting or circumstance, I'm a firm believer in "play to lift," which means always making room for the other player and engaging with them. Even amidst conflict, the other player has to be brought in, not left out or pushed away. This is managed through everything from body language to tone. There are a lot of ways to have conflicts that don't shut people out of a game or experience, and I try to use all of them to keep people from feeling left out or diminished, especially newer players or (real life) strangers.