Too many people focus so much of their energy on optimizing their mechanical abilities in a LARP, that they fail to flesh out their character’s general life skills, and thus fail to detail another role-play element of their character.

Even for only being played for 36 hours once per month or so, LARP characters are complex–or at least, they should be. However, most LARPers appear to tend to put their role-play energy into their character backstory, and focus the rest of their efforts on spending their Skill Points with mathematical precision to offer the most benefit in combat. Doing so effectively fails to acknowledge the vast majority of what makes the character who they are as a person: Their background, their interests, their hobbies, and the handy little lessons they’ve learned over the years.

Consider this: As an avid martial artist with nearly 20 years of experience under my belt, I’m not going to know ONLY how to fight. Rather, I’m going to have a normal background on top of my combative background, as the martial arts aspects are only a small portion of the greater picture that makes up my life. 
As a character, I would ensure I’m represented mechanically as a capable fighter, of course, but I would have much more. Considering my interests in history, wilderness survival, woodworking, leatherworking, and my career as a freelance writer, I’d also have crafting skills, the ability to act as a scribe, and various lore knowledge to allot my Skill Points to.

At the end of the day, how realistic your character is, will depend on your ability to act as the character, and the effort you’ve put into detailing their behaviors and interests. It just tends to help reaffirm those details when you can back them up with stats.


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