LARP in the Park

Well, technically it was Belegarth, a sort of “sport” played with foam swords and shields.

I was in Golden Gate Park this weekend for a friend’s barbecue and saw a group of about ten folks, some in cosplay-esque garb, whacking each other with foam medieval weaponry. Naturally, I could not just let this slide. I approached and started a Periscope live stream, conveniently archived here:

As it turns out, Belegarth is surprisingly physical, differentiating it from the more technical dice-roll-in-real-life style of traditional LARPing.

The rules are dead simple: hit to the limb = limb no longer works, two limb hits = dead, body shot = dead.

As you can see in the video, it’s definitely skill-based. With practice, I might be able to avoid getting my limbs hacked off in three seconds.

Apparently there are tons of groups that do this, for free, all around the world (mostly in the US). The guys and ladies I met were super nice and welcoming. If it looks like it might be for you, give it a shot! Just don’t say “lightning bolt” around them.

Details about this particular group

Gray Haven (wiki page)
Saturdays, 11am-5pm
Hellman Hollow, Golden Gate Park


Article about Gray Haven (via)
Official Belegarth Site
LARP documentaries: Darkon (kind of depressing), Monster Camp (more lighthearted)

Drew Scanlon