This bank holiday
Monday, 27th August, over 4,000 goblins, elves, ogres, dragons, hobbits,
imps, and other creatures will be heading this way for the biggest
live role playing event in Europe.
in battle is an impressive sight
home to Games Workshop, has a long heritage of role-playing groups,
and many will be amongst the hordes taking part in The Gathering.
for the cow
Think of any fantasy
creature and you can bet it will turn up at this, one of the biggest
Live Action Role-playing games in the world.
Live Action Role-playing, or 'LARPing' as it's referred to, can
be described as freeform theatre.
Take a game like
Dungeons and Dragons, usually played around a table with dice and
a lot of imagination. Move it out doors, wear costumes made of fur
and chainmail and run around with foam weapons fighting fantastical
Started in the
mid eighties, LARPing has grown into a hobby enjoyed by lots of
different people, needing only a good imagination.
Likened to big
re-enactments, The Gathering is different in that it's not a spectator
activity. You are fully involved, the weapons are made of foam,
and it's based on fantasy rather than history.
New players are always encouraged by 'veterans' of the game, and
you can get involved as much or as little as you like.
The Gathering, run by The Lorien Trust, is one of the largest of
these events in the world, and regularly attracts thousands of players
from all over Europe.
Some games are
run in a single day, although most Lorien Trust games are camping-based
events, taking place over a weekend. The Gathering starts on Friday
and continues until the Bank Holiday Monday, at Locko park near
Spondon, just over the Nottinghamshire border.
Most of the
games are pre-booked although you can pay on the gate for The Gathering.
It's £50, and if you come remember all your camping gear.
To give you
an idea, I once heard someone describe it as "...like a music
festival, without the bands but much more to do".
How come I know
so much about this? Well, I'm a veteran role-player. If you don't
believe me, see if you can spot me in our picture gallery.
See more pictures of The Gathering.