Imagine joining 5,000 new friends in the German countryside for six days of live-action role-playing (LARP) fun. DrachenFest is the second largest LARP gathering in the world and celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2022. No matter where you hail from, you’re welcome in one of the 13 camps. One of the camps is just for orcs, if that’s your cup of tea. Here you’ll transform yourself into a fighting medieval alter ego and play a real-life version of a video game. But don’t worry, you get unlimited lives. Watch the video below for highlights of every aspect of LARP life at DrachenFest, from scrimmages to showers.
The video shares some of the rules of DrachenFest. The quest for dragon eggs and dominance played out this year at the first in-person event since 2019. Each of the 10 dragons has a camp of supporters. The costumes are intricate and almost everything in the festival simulates life in a fantasy realm. There’s plenty of battles and one-on-one fighting, but there’s also healers, taverns, and lots of singing.
Interested in LARP festivals but not sure how to get started? Maybe you’ve known about the pastime for decades or just saw it recently thanks to the fun Hawkeye sequence. Either way, you can learn some skills at the Witcher School, which teaches fencing, archery, and alchemy, among others. We also have a to-do list for setting up your own small-scale LARP event. And when you’re ready to head out to a large camping convention like DrachenFest, make sure to check out this packing list.
Melissa is Nerdist’s science & technology staff writer. She also moderates “science of” panels at conventions and co-hosts Star Warsologies, a podcast about science and Star Wars. Follow her on Twitter @melissatruth.