Live action role play group keeps imagination alive in Mount Pleasant
Wizards and werewolves and changelings, oh my! Central Michigan University’s live action role play group (LARP), Mount Pleasant by Night, fuels student creativity while developing lifelong friends and community.
“The cool thing about our group is that everybody is really good friends outside of character as well as inside of character. We all just kind of hang out,” said Sabrina Cunningham, Mount Pleasant by Night president.
LARP gained popularity in the 2000s, but many people are still unaware of its existence. In LARP, students create a character with its own personality and backstory to attend group events. They interact with other characters and act them out at the will of the storyteller, who controls the plot.
“The storyteller kind of lays the pieces of a puzzle and it’s our job (as characters) to put the pieces together,” said Erin Skibo, Mount Pleasant by Night’s treasurer.
During games, characters come together to interact and move through plots and subplots. Each player responds to the events in the game according to their character’s personality. In their stories, Mount Pleasant by Night aims to combine urban fantasy with supernatural horror.
“I like the creativity of (live action role play) to make your own character and basically just do whatever you want within the rules” said Elijah Moomau, Mount Pleasant by Night's vice president.
Since "creation night," Sept. 5th, the organization has been on the rise and gaining more members rapidly. During creation night, new participants work on character sheets to develop and design aspects of their chosen role.
“We’re basically a bunch of adults playing pretend on the weekends,” Cunningham said.
After its separation from national LARP organization, Mind’s Eye Society, due to cost and regulations associated with membership, all events for Mount Pleasant By Night are free to both spectators and participants. To act out their games, the club meets in a variety of locations, from Powers Hall to local parks in the summertime.
“Games take place every second and fourth weekend starting at noon on Saturday with our Madge The Awakening game and Sunday starting at 11 is the Change Everlost game," Cunningham said. "Every once in awhile our stories intersect, so we’ll have werewolves meeting the mages or the changelings meet everyone else.”
There are several ways to get involved in Mount Pleasant by Night. The organization positions range from president, vice president and treasurer to storytellers, assistant storytellers and general members. Regardless of positions, Cunningham said the most important aspect of Mount Pleasant by Night is the people and relates the success of the group to the family-like atmosphere.
“It’s one thing to have a really great character concept, it’s another to have a good plot, but if you can’t get along and enjoy being around the other people that are playing then it’s not really fun," she said. "It's the people make it the most fun.”