Thursday, September 16, 2010


I knew I wasn't in Kansas any more, as I watched a lizard pushing a pram across the field.

The Little Ducks are in Spain and I am in a field in Derbyshire wearing armour, chain mail, a tail*, ears** and carrying a sword.

My face is painted white, silver and black and a laminated card hanging from my belt around my neck proclaims me as Uncia - Daemon Snow Leopard.

No, I haven’t been eating cheese late at night. This is for real.

I was always a big Dungeons and Dragons fan at university and I am still a big reader of fantasy novels. JP is also very into Magic Cards – thanks to the Crazy Russian generously gifting him a big box with some great decks in.

I am not a fan of computer games and virtual worlds and avatars. I’m quite enjoying this First Life, thank you very much. And besides, I wouldn’t fancy fighting Tiddler for access to the PS3, when there are vital, virtual football matches to be won and lost.

But it had never occurred to me that you could go and do this stuff in the real world

Oh Yes.

My name is Duck and I am a LARPer.

But this is not the stuff of serious re-enactment societies.

Oh No.

I spend my days and nights with vampires, werewolfs, goblins, orcs, trolls, elves, demons, incantors, necromancers, imps, and all manner of bestial and human creatures – not to mention the undead*** and the unliving***

There are rituals and rites to be performed, like short, improvised street theatre for an appreciative audience – but with the possible rewards of high scores and increased powers for the ritual subjects.

There are battles to be fought – honour to be upheld, nations to be vanquished and monsters to be overcome. I spent Saturday afternoon as a vengeance zombie, whose key characteristic was to regenerate after 10 seconds, each time it got killed. Just as well really, as my first foray into battle got me killed at least 10 times.

On the negative side there is some shopping to be done. Marks and Spencer doesn’t really cater for the kinds of outfits required and desired for LARPing. My wardrobe has distinctly more leather and fur these days – not to mention the daggers – locked away from Tiddler for safekeeping.

Oh, and of course there is a beer tent. Happily it seems that snow leopards like the black stuff as much as I do.

*made out of a scart lead and some suede curtains
** made out of leopard-print shoulder pads
*** Not quite certain of the difference yet.