I just recently NPCed at the Shadows of Amun summer one day event. Shadow of Amun is one of the local Accelerant LARPs that was originally set in WWI-era Egypt, before the PCs jumped back in time to 1168, then jumped back again to 30 BC. For this event, the PCs traveled to Herodian Judea, which I thought sounded like a particularly intriguing period of history to explore in LARP, so I decided to NPC.
My first role was a slave in a mine where kittens (stuffed animal props) were being used as the canaries in the coal mine, and the PCs were tasked by a priestess of Bastet (the cat-headed goddess) to rescue them. (The module was inspired by a nightmare one of the staff had.) The guard tried to use me as a human shield when the PCs showed up. I thought the soundtrack of cats endlessly meowing was a nice touch.
It took a bit longer for the PCs to find all of the cats than we expected (and one got caught in the tarps separating out the areas in the mine) but part of the mechanics of the mine dictated that they had to take breaks outside for fresh air, which, as one of them pointed out after the event, ruined their dark vision and made the task much harder than it had seemed to those of us waiting inside the dark building. It was one of those moments that reminds you how hard it is to predict what factors can alter the challenge level of a task for PCs.
While political plot between the Egyptians, Romans, and Judeans, the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes went on, I did a fair amount of crunching — playings roles that primarily exist for the PCs to fight off. I played a Roman soldier demanding they send out the traitor Marcus Antonius, a violent cultist looking for an artifact stolen by the PCs, and a scarab cultist archer defending the lovely scarab queen. It was nice to get in some archery practice (aka working on my aim with packets) and I had some fun moments trading shots with PCs with ranged attacks and trying to chase down PCs and getting chased down by them in return.
Unfortunately, I missed one of the modules involving the Cave of Doubles that I was rather curious to see. And sadly, I also missed my chance to fire boffer ballistas at the PCs. But my last two modules of the event were among my favorite experiences as an NPC. In one, I played a fire elemental guardian, while the PCs carefully aimed a laser beam of green light to make it bounce off of three small mirrors and hit a crystal. In the second, I fought PCs as another guardian, and played statues that had to be given the right password before they could advance and finally obtain an artifact — a (really well crafted boffer) spear.
I rather enjoyed LARPing in Herodian Judea. (I understand Herod himself was leading an army while I was playing a spear-distributing animated statue.) It’s a pity none of the future events include a return to Judea, but there’s always plenty of action in Cleopatra’s Egypt to explore.