Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.)
Feel free to contact us if you have any more questions. We would love to hear from you!
Link to the WAIVER all participants must print and sign yearly
What is Extreme Roleplaying?
Imagine a virtual reality in which you are transported into a fantasy movie like the Fellowship of the Ring, Conan the Barbarian, or Willow. Imagine that you could become a character in that movie, but without a script. Imagine that you could be a hero in the struggle against evil for a day. Imagine that you could feel the pulse pounding excitement of a fantasy adventure without real danger. Imagine the feeling of magic at your fingertips. Imagine yourself fighting hand to hand against savage foes, with victory decided not by dice, but by your own skill. Imagine a world created for you to adventure in, as complete as possible. As real as possible.
No dice. No computers. Imagine… that you do not NEED to use your imagination…because it is all there before you.
Also called “LARP” (Live Action Role Playing), Extreme role-playing is a hobby in which you portray an imaginary character, “Live”, as though you were an actor in a movie, but without a script. To put it more simply, it’s about picking up a (padded) sword, and heading out into the woods to enter a fantasy world complete with props, sets, actors and costumes for a day.
What is the Maine Adventure Society Inc.?
The Maine Adventure Society, or MASI, is a non-profit organization devoted to promoting “Adventure”, usually though not always in the form of Extreme Role-playing (LARP), in Maine.
How is Combat handled?
Combat is a sport, in which you swing specially constructed padded swords and other weapons at your opponent, while trying to avoid being struck by them. It is not a particularly “Realistic” simulation of sword fighting, but it is fun, safe, exciting, and easy to get into.
Does it hurt?
When conducted properly, no. The weapons used are very safe, but they can sting or bruise when used with too much force. Hits to the head and other vulnerable areas are not allowed. Anyone causing another player pain is breaking the rules, and will be in big trouble if the problem persists.
Poorly constructed weapons are another problem. Some people have encountered larp combat with heavy swords poorly padded with too much duct tape, used with too much force, and found it painful and intimidating. MASI combat strives to avoid this. Even the most delicate person should be able to participate in combat in (relative) comfort.
So it’s like Martial Arts?
Not really. It bears little resemblance to things like Kick boxing. Since the objective is NOT to hurt (or even bruise) your opponent, real life combat skills are not as helpful as they would be in a real fight. However, many of the principles of the martial arts apply, and anyone trained in Martial arts should have no problem mastering LARP combat.
How do you know when you’re dead?
Most MASI games use a “Hit Point” system. For example, a certain character might have 5 “Hit Points” or HP. They could be struck with a sword 5 times before being taken out. If they were hit by something that did 3 points of damage, they would subtract this from their HP total, and 2 HP left.
I’m no Bruce Lee. Do I still stand a chance in combat?
Absolutely. LARP combat is a sport, and like any sport, there are those who are VERY good at it. However, it is a sport that is easy to become competent in. A few weeks of practice is enough to enable most people to hold their own. The weapons are light enough for just about anyone to use, so you don’t have to build up strength, as you would have to in order to wield a real sword. Since you aren’t really trying to hurt people, large folk are actually at a DISADVANTAGE, since they present a larger target, and get no benefit from their generally greater strength.
Teamwork and Tactics are often more important than raw skill and fitness. This isn’t a movie where extras attack the hero one at a time to be conveniently slaughtered, leaving themselves wide open. Two fighters working together can defeat most single foes, and anyone can be defeated by a well-placed attack from behind.
What about Magic?
Magic is simulated in a variety of ways. Some spells work automatically - the person points at you, and says the effect of the spell. Most though require that the magician throw a “spell packet”, a basically a birdseed beanbag (hacky sack sized), at you. If it misses, the spell fails.
Is Combat the only thing going on?
Not at all. Combat is exciting, and plays a large role in most LARPs, but usually an equal emphasis is placed on role-playing characters, costumes, sets, special effects, the “Story” of the game, challenges of physical skill (such as leaping from platform to platform), or mental ability (solving puzzles), entertainment and feasts.
Do I have to wear a costume?
Yes - you wouldn't want someone in khakis and a metallica t-shirt wandering though a "Lord of the Rings" movie set would you? However, costumes can generally be borrowed from the staff if need be; though its better to find your own.
What are “NPCs” and “PCs”?
PC stands for “Player Character”. A person so participates as a PC plays a single character for an entire event - a hero or heroine of the story. The player creates a “Character” - an imaginary persona, who has various skills and abilities defined in the rules. Such characters are the central focus of the story, and the action revolves around them. Think of them as the Main characters of a movie. As time passes, Player characters progress and gain power and experience.
NPCs are the “Extras”. During an event, an NPC will play many roles, often enemies of the Pcs. Thus in a fantasy game they might be peasants, marauding brigands, wise sages, winsome maidens, foppish rakes, or hideous monsters. The parts are assigned by the game STAFF, the people who actually organize the event, and NPCs must play the part assigned as best they can, until it is time to receive a new one.
What’s the Difference between Extreme Role-playing and a Ren Faire?
A Renaissance faire is a large production, which most people go to watch. At an extreme roleplaying event is much smaller and there are no spectators (though see “Watchers” below), and everyone is involved in the action. Another difference is that Ren Fairs stage choreographed battles between professionals, using steel weapons, while LARP combat is unchoreographed, with NO steel weapons allowed. Everyone at a larp is “in game”, and you are a direct participant in the action, not a spectator. You don’t watch the goodly knight thwart the evil sheriff – you do it yourself, or try to anyway. There is no script, so success or failure depends on your skill, cunning, teamwork, and luck. There also aren’t large numbers of people trying to sell you stuff.
How does Extreme Role-playing compare with the Society for Creative Anachronism (S.C.A.)?
Though they often appeal to the same sort of people, the experiences are very different. The main differences are two fold: First, LARP combat is much less demanding, and consequently, not as realistic as that of the SCA. On the plus side, that means you can do a lot more of it. Second, in an Extreme Role-playing Larp you are continuously “in character”. The goal is to create as complete a world of sight, sound, touch and even taste as possible. There is also an ongoing story - things happen to the PC s, events transpire, choices are made. The SCA on the other hand, works to recreate historical arts and situations rather than a fantasy world.
So there’s an Ongoing Story?
Absolutely. The “Player characters” continue from event to event, learning more about their world, learning new skills, gaining new abilities, encountering new and old friends and enemies, and generally living a fantasy adventure.
What does it actually LOOK like?
The Live Action role-playing hobby has reached the point where costuming and effects could be compared to a “B grade” movie - and they are getting better all the time. At a MASI event all inhabitants, monsters, and other creatures wear costumes, often quite elaborate. A variety of masks and makeup are used to simulate non human beings. Clothing is worn that is appropriate to a fantasy world. The Village where the game takes place is specially constructed as a “set” to appear as a fortified settlement from the past. Other “sets” are used for ruins and tunnels. Music, fog machines, light, and other “special effects” are also sometimes used.
Who Can Play?
Age limits vary by game. Some allow those under 18, some do not. Everyone must sign a waiver, those under 18 must have a waiver signed by a parent. More information for parents can be found HERE. Link to the WAIVER
Where does it happen?
Most events are held at an 80-acre site in Jefferson, Maine, near Augusta. Directions HERE
How often does it happen?
About once a month in the late spring, summer and fall. Our schedule is updated seasonally and can be found HERE
How long are events?
They rang from an 8 hour day to a full 3 day weekend.
What does it cost?
In 2022 most events cost $40-60 for a weekend, and $20-30 for a day as a player, however NPCing is usually free. This is cheaper than most larps, but is balanced by the fact that MASI’s site is a wilderness campground with few amenities.
So there are other Live Action Role-playing Games?
There are dozens in the New England area alone. The hobby is growing in leaps and bounds. If for some reason the Maine Adventure Society doesn’t suit you, or you don’t live near Maine, a quick internet search will turn up dozens of other larps.
Sounds Great. What do I do next?
Contact MASI to find out more, or click on the links on the front page to learn about the different games being sponsored at the moment.