Larp Conventions in New Zealand are awesome! Check out Chimera

A larper at Forgotten Gods poses.

Chimera is a larp convention in Auckland, New Zealand. Its modelled partly on InterCon, partly on KapCon, a local tabletop convention with a tradition of hosting large larps. Its currently in its fifth year; I’ve attended three of them, and in a month I’ll be attending my fourth.

Most of the games are theatre-style, of the same sort run at InterCon and Consequences. But Chimera was specifically established to allow people to try a variety of different styles of larp, and it runs short outdoor live-combat games as well (fortunately, the venue has a decent patch of bush – which is pretty good considering its smack in the middle of suburban Auckland). So, you can go from a psychological Science Fiction thriller to a Nordic game about cults to live-combat Asterix (complete with piles of helmets) to Wodehousian comedy to a swashbuckling Robert E. Howard fantasy quest in the space of one weekend.

In addition, Saturday night is given over to a single “flagship” larp. Originally this was one theatre-style game large enough to provide a shared experience for the entire con – which meant 115 people in last year’s Gordian Knot. But as the con has grown, its now impossible to fit everyone in the same room, so now it is two simultaneous runs of a slightly-smaller game (2 x 80 players this year, and likely more next year).

Once you get there, its full-on. The con officially opens at 7:30 on a Friday night, and by 8 the first game is meant to start. Games officially last for three hours, and people will socialise well into the night. Then its up by 10 to do it all again. There’s only an hour between games for eating and costume change, but fortunately they feed us, so its a lot less hassle than it could be. Even so, by the end of the weekend the participants are completely fragged out.

There’s an expectation of high costume standards, and six games in one weekend means a lot of costume changes. This year I have to pack to be a flickering shadow servant, a passenger on the Titanic, a medieval knight, a fairy-tale prince, a cowboy, and a destitute Russian watching their country fall to pieces around them. Which is going to mean at least three different pairs of boots, a suit of armour, several different weapons, a trenchcoat, and possibly a top-hat and tails. Which is going to be rather fun to get into one suitcase.

Pictures from Chimera 2011

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Photos courtesy of Photo Ninja.

New Zealand is a long way from anywhere. But even here at the bottom of the world, we larp. Why don’t you come and visit us sometime?

Today’s post comes from IdiotSavant, who is a larper from New Zealand. He mostly plays (and writes) theatreform larps, but is partial to the odd combat larp. His larp resume is here.

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6 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Te Kahurangi Patuwai-Findlay July 26, 2012 Subscriber

    I am an old hand at LARP.

  2. Jared Hansen July 26, 2012 Subscriber

    Great to see our convention featured on the world stage. I ran Asterix and Council of Carnutes in 2011… if you’re visiting our fair shores (and it is Middle Earth to boot) then consider our larps. www, and forum

  3. Azuma July 27, 2012 Subscriber

    Wooo! Chimera is Anna Klein’s baby. It’s because of her ambition that this great convention exists. Without her larping in NZ wouldn’t be as big as it is. I can’t wait for this year’s Chimera, and Hydra next year too!

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