Wichita State News
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Nerd Union members (from left): Forrest Jenkins, Chandler Bolen, Alex Pennington, Ally Guerrero, Colby Camp, Naaman Williams, Parker Amos and Reid Owen.

Nerd Union at Wichita State to host 'War of Thrones' event

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Get out your cloaks and elf ears and prepare for war – Wichita State University’s Nerd Union is hosting its first Live Action Role-Playing (LARP) event, “War of Thrones,” at 11:45 a.m. Saturday, April 26, at Fairmount Park, south of the WSU campus.

The deadline for signing up teams is 5 p.m., Friday, April 11, at the Student Involvement office, Rhatigan Student Center, Room 262. Advanced registration is required, along with a $25 entry fee per 4-5 person team. For more information about the “War of Thrones” event, download the registration form.

Costumes are optional for this “Game of Thrones” themed event, but the unusual activity is generating a lot of buzz around campus. Nerd Union is anticipating 10 teams to participate, about 50 people, and is seeking more. Those teams include two groups from the Student Activities Council, a team of WSU staff members, fraternity groups and more.

Members of the Nerd Union have been staffing tables consistently in the Rhatigan Student Center, passing out fliers and telling curious classmates about larping.

A nerdy sport

Larping is a nerdy sport that’s been around since the 1970s. Typically, larpers dress in costumes and wield homemade padded weapons, known as “boffers,” in simulated hand-to-hand combat with varying degrees of role-playing. LARPS can take place in different settings and genres, from high fantasy to gothic horror to cyberpunk to historical. “War of Thrones” will be light on role-playing and heavy on action; just a fun way to let off steam as Wichita State students move into finals.

“We’re using a rule set where it’s going to be hardcore and fast paced,” said Alex Pennington, president of the Nerd Union. “The basic rules are you only have as much life as you have limbs, more or less. If you get hit in the arm you lose the arm. If you get hit in the leg you lose the leg, and if you get hit in the torso or lose more than two legs you’re out – not that you’d be able to do much anyway.”

Pennington says that the rules will keep the game basic for everyone.

“There’s going to be a lot of people coming in who have never done this before,” he said. “We want to make it so they’ll be able to keep up with those who LARP ‘professionally.’”

Prior to the event, representatives from the Nerd Union will meet with registered teams to help build their own inexpensive boffer weapons made from duct tape and foam-wrapped PVC pipes. The advisers will ensure the equipment is up to safety standards.

“We’re hoping to get some spectators, too,” said Pennington. “A lot of people stopped by our table in the RSC and said it wasn’t their thing but they’d come to watch. That’s what we’re counting on, to get a good group together and have fun.”

The LARP event will feature several melee rounds: a champion’s mode, team death match, free-for-all and a finale; the “War of Thrones” showdown between all teams.

“You’ll be making alliances with other groups, but you might be backstabbing them later in order to be the last team standing,” Pennington explained.

The prize for the “War of Thrones” melee will be a boffer replica of “Ice,” the legendary sword that belonged to Ned Stark in “A Game of Thrones,” the first novel in George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy series, “A Song of Fire and Ice,” which is currently a TV series on HBO.

This is the Nerd Union’s their first big event since forming in the September 2013. They meet twice a week from 6:30-8:30 p.m., Mondays and Wednesdays, in 220 Ahlberg Hall.

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Created on Thursday, April 10, 2014; Last modified on Friday, April 11, 2014