A new made-in-Montreal web series scheduled for release next month delves into the curious world of live action role playing, better known as LARP.
Created by longtime friends Julian Stamboulieh, Benjamin Warner and Jon Verrall, LARPs: The Series is an affectionate, humorous portrayal of five fictional LARP loyalists.
Larping is described as “collaborative pretending with rules” by those in the know at larping.org. According to the website, most larpers dedicate themselves to role-playing within a specific scenario or genre, including medieval, fantasy, sci-fi, parlour and Nordic.
“It’s very similar to how we used to play as children, but there are sets of rules that are kind of adjudicated throughout. It’s almost like an old Dungeons & Dragons game, but acted out in character and it takes the immersion one step higher,” says Stamboulieh.
The characters in LARPs: The Series are loosely based on Stamboulieh and his brothers. The idea took root about seven years ago and came to life through his collaboration with writer Jon Verrall.
“Together we completely restructured the story line and the story arcs to these new characters that we fleshed out together,” says Stamboulieh.
The dedication of larpers to the characters they play provides fascinating insight into the role of fantasy and alter-ego in our day-to-day existence, which Stamboulieh says is a key interest of the series.
“I liked that idea as a way of talking about alter-egos and to explore why someone may want to explore a character other than themselves,” Stamboulieh says.
The trailer for the series, which went online a week ago, has already generated more than 20,000 views on YouTube.
Larping.org is heralding the web series as the most accurate portrayal of the fine art of larping yet.
"Finally, the show that will let the world know what our hobby is really about and like. No small feat," says the website's review.
LARPs: The Series begins March 10.