It's the oddest things that get you to pondering the what ifs and what could have beens. Linked below is Geek & Sundry's new LARP-centric scripted show, called oddly enough LARPs
, and it looks pretty good. I have to admit that I like watching foam combat when it has a story with it, as I've been known to inflict two popular LARP documentaries (Darkon
and Monster Camp
) on unsuspecting friends. Still, this looks like it's going to be highly entertaining.
What got me to thinking was how good looking the gear is in the show, which led to a websearch on professionally made LARP weapons and armor, where I found that the internet has been really nice to the "foamsmiths" out there. Seriously, the quality of this stuff for the cost is staggering to a former SCAdian like myself. One place I found (these guys: http://www.darkknightarmoury.com/c-490-larp-armor.aspx
) are offering full suits of TV-quality looking armour for less than what my last SCA helmet cost, all told. And I get that part of it is cheaper because it doesn't have to meet minimum combat standards in a sport where rattan is swung at speed and with intent, or it's made out of plastic or leather to look like steel, but damn.
Yeah, it makes me wonder. I admit, I got into the SCA more because of an intense D&D addiction than an intense love of recreating 14th century Hessian state Germans. If this kind of gear had been available at this price point (adjusted for inflation to two decades in the past) and I had been near a big enough LARP'ing group, I probably would have followed the Way of the Foam, instead of Rattan Style like I did. Don't get me wrong, I may have retired from the SCA, but I don't begrudge my time in the hobby, as it was fun and the full contact aspect of the sport has been very useful in the Army (exhibit: the telescoping baton on my battle rattle instead of the Rambo-style pigsticker most troops go for... I've never stabbed or carved up anybody, but I've got over a decade of beating people with sticks). And the historical focus of the SCA taught me a lot of interesting things about the time before gunpowder, which led to learning about other historical events, like the Pax Britannica
(an Army-style tab I wear on my ACU-colored backpack, by the way) which is the reason we're stuck in Iraq and the Middle East, and probably will be when my daughter's kids are in the military, following in grandpa's footsteps.