Sci-fi & Post-Apocalyptic

If you want to survive, you're going to have to learn to be ruthless.

LORE

Sci-fi & Post-Apocalyptic, LARP character Icon

Science fiction as a genre has long been associated with fantasy, and the two types of fiction have been influencing each other since their beginnings.

The line between the fantastical and speculative science isn’t so easy to define, for both dwell with ideas and concepts that do not exist in our world, and ask us to imagine things that escape our mundane experiences. What may have started with Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is now one of the most popular genres in fiction.

Science fiction includes many subgenres, with some of the most famous being post-apocalyptic, cyberpunk, space opera, science fantasy, steampunk, and dystopian fictions. The legacy of science fiction is colossal. Many modern inventions have been named not by their creators, but by the author that first predicted them. Furthemore, the genre led to some of the most influential franchises of our time, including Star Wars, Star Trek, the Matrix, Mad Max, or Alien.

Many impressive roleplaying games are also rooted in the science fiction genre, may it be Mass Effect, Fallout, Halo, Dead Space, Bioshock, or Horizon 0, showcasing the immense diversity of stories that can be told through the lens of sci-fi. Aside from these video games, tabletops such as Warhammer 40k, Cyberpunk, or Shadowrun have also been influential on the popularity of the genre, some table games even making it to book and series adaptation like in the case of The Expanse.

LARP

While a majority of LARP are dedicated to medieval fantasy, science fiction and post-apocalyptic events are probably some of the most popular ones outside the classic sword and sorcery settings. Post-apocalyptic in particular is a favorite, with numerous wasteland and zombie-themed activities occurring all over the world. From nuclear fallout to deadly viruses, alien invasion, or escaped scientific abomination, the post-apo genre rules over survival and horror-themed LARPs, putting the players against a world in ruin and the ruthlessness of those that still inhabit it.

Less common but still relevant are the fandom LARP such as those set in the Star Wars universe, or events taking inspiration from iconic space exploration in the style of Star Trek. With a very dedicated fan base, these can be amazing opportunities to introduce new players to roleplaying through their interest in a franchise.

Steampunk is also a noticeable aspect of science fiction in LARP, with not only dedicated events set in worlds inspired by the Industrial Revolution, but also as a sort of science fantasy or magitech that is often added within more typical fantasy settings. That kind of steampunk touch inside fantasy can be seen quite a bit in games like World of Warcraft or League of Legends and its series adaptation Arcane, and LARPs often follow the same logic.

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Costumes

While medieval fantasy has the past to take inspiration from and has very iconic types of outfit associated with typical character classes, science fiction aesthetics can be a little more complicated to nail down. Sometimes, a good look can easily be achieved with well picked modern clothes. A post-apocalyptic survivor could simply wear practical outdoor clothing, paramilitary gear, or whatever they had on when things went wrong in the world. Similarly, a space worker or sci-fi technician could wear a good old set of coveralls or a jumpsuit.

However, some events may have very particular looks that will require more than buying some second-hand clothes. Wasteland type events are famous for the intricacy of their costumes, with clothes being stained and aged by hand to look utterly dirty and ancient, while also supporting extravagant accessories made of scraps and metal parts. An extra from Walking Dead wouldn’t fit in the middle of a band of Mad Max style raiders, so it’s important to get a good idea of the look that is expected at your event.

Fortunately, tools and pipes used as bludgeons, as well as classics like baseball bats, combat knives, and fireman axes are almost always a good weapon choice for post-apocalyptic LARP. For science fiction, tools can still often be used as improvised weapons, and modern bladed weapons can also be a good fit, with the katana being a very popular sword type for cyberpunk and zombie events in particular.