|The Flurbs of Summer
[12/02/2002] [Sir Angrist]
The tired old argument is that Amtgard is a sport, not a LARP. Most of this comes from the same people who don't like magic-using classes and generally babble on about the sanctity of the ditch and all that bullshit. Why is it, then, that most of the websites and on-line groups refer to it as Amtgard LIVE ACTION ROLE PLAYING? Is it because they're flurby idiots? Or is it because that's the name of the organization? I think it's the latter, not the former.
The folks who argue against the organization being a LARP are also the ones that generally make fun of folks who have a good time doing things other than ditching or calling new members such things like "flurb." Tell me, does this lack of general respect come from the fact that most of them were picked on by the football team in high-school (those that weren't on it, anyway) because they were geeky nerds that played D&D and generally didn't fit the bill? I guess now that they're the big guys, they think they can piss on the new kids, treat them like dog shit and call them names.
When I first came out, there was none of that. If it had happened, I would have turned my back on the organization and told everyone where to stick it after the first day. Has this general lack of decency come about because people just don't give a rat's ass anymore or is it because they feel like they have to prove their dick is bigger than everyone else's? Guess what, guys. You were newbies too. Or have you forgotten that because you have your eight Warriors and your Lord title?
Personally, I don't care. I know I'm not going to be playing forever. I try to treat all the newbies in my shire with a little bit of friendliness. People say "Oh! You're a knight, you must be really good." I tell them I'm not and they get the chance to see how good they are compared to me. Sometimes I win, sometimes I don't. No big deal. If I lose, I tell the guy he did a good job and go back out and hand him his ass after I'm done with my smoke.
I digress, though. The game is a LARP, guys. It even recognizes it as such in the new rules, if you look at Page 3. A LARP means we get a whole range of nifty classes. You don't have to play them, but not everyone has the physical ability to swing a weapon. Maybe he or she was injured in an accident and don't have very good motor control. Maybe they were born with a minor birth defect that won't let them move as fast as Leif or some of the big-named Sword knights. What's their option, besides spending all their cash on Warhammer and Magic cards? Healer, Druid, Wizard and Bard.
I guess maybe we aren't ready to be so diverse yet as to allow people with physical inability to take part. I remember seeing a video of Pennsic where there was a charge and some dude with no legs was being pushed by some of his bro's into the fight. That was highly cool.
We, however, have some classes that folks can play if they can't move as well as others. It's awful hard to swing a blade in a wheel chair, but you can cast with the best of them, and it's a lot harder to move your legs. In fact, if a guy paralyzed from the waist down moved his legs while casting, I'd call a hold to celebrate his medical breakthrough on the field. They'll never be sword knights, sure. Not everyone aspires to be one. But come on, it takes a little more work for me playing a war healer, keeping an eye on my team mates, listening for someone calling, hearing my company CO calling out an order WHILE keeping my eyes on the guys on the other side and those coming around to get my bro's than it would be for me to just to have to beat down the guy in front of me.
It's a LARP, kids, like it or not, just like NERO or IFGS. You want a game with no magic and lots of hard hitting, go join the SCA (unless you left them, in which case, stop being a bully). Don't mock the newbie because he or she doesn't know any better or they prefer a magic class. Hell, in my park we've been trying the Awakened Soul (kinda like the Raider in 6.1). They're immune to verbals and have two points of invulnerability. I think it's gourmet Velveeta, because the newbie only learns how to take hits from it and can run around like a fool. Do I discourage its use? No, because I can kill everyone at my park with a word when I'm doing the druid thing. I can also hand most of our newbies their asses while smoking and making a grocery list.
But the newbies are going to be the leaders when I'm gone. I treat them with the respect they deserve, not like a festering bowl of dog snot. And I don't discourage them from playing chuckers, not even the wannabe bards. I tell them what fighting classes are cooler and that, in the long run, paladin and anti-paladin suck ass. And that's how it should be done... encourage, not discourage.
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