As I’ve mentioned several times by now on this blog, my current boffer campaign LARP, Lost Eidolons, is winding down… or… rather building up to an epic finish. The other boffer campaign I’ve joined and played a single weekend of, Endgame, is also coming to an end relatively soon. (I believe there are 4 events left, including this weekend.) I see the next boffer LARP I play as kind of a fresh start, and as such I have some lofty goals to make the best of it, one of which is to have insane costuming, with appropriate versions for different weather. Another is to actually come into the LARP with some reasonable amount of skill with boffer weapons. Right now, I only hold a boffer weapon in my hands a handful of times per year, with large gaps between events (especially in the summer and winter).
So to correct this, I contacted a friend of some friends of mine, who has something of a fearsome reputation with boffer weapons. (I recall a teammate realizing he was the LARPer behind the mask of an NPC champion the PCs had to defeat. His response was a vulgar version of “oh, we are in trouble.”) We practiced for a while with two swords, one sword, and a staff. I’m sure practice can only help, but right now I’m feeling just as helpless with a weapon as I did when I started. And I noticed that when I get frustrated, it’s easy to start wondering how much a shorter reach (I’m 5’3, which short arms and legs to match) and less upper body strength (my arms tired from holding the right position, especially my left) affects boffer combat… but maybe that’s just me looking for excuses. Gotta actually keep this up, I suppose. (And invest in weapons with lighter cores!)
I think I like the two sword fighting style best. The staff looks cool (I think its stronger resemblance to an actual staff makes it slightly less goofy looking) and is fun to use, but I’m finding it considerably harder to block with. It seems like a good choice for group fighting, where I might be reaching around allies to tag NPCs from a safe distance, but not so much for one on one.
After practice, I was delighted to discover that my practice partner had made one brief foray into theater LARPing- he played Daemon Blackfyre in A Game of Thrones: Blackfyre Rising, the LARP based on my current favorite book series, which I loved enough to play twice (his run was before either of mine.)
I’ll close with a shot of my cloak from my Blackfyre Rising costume. If you’re a fan of the A Song of Ice and Fire books, or the HBO series A Game of Thrones, feel free to guess which House my character hailed from.