A Birthday LARP

My daughter Amelia has always been crazy about games. Not surprising, since I’m a gaming geek myself, and her first exposure to board games was at 2 years old, helping me punch out components from a new board game.

For her 6th birthday, I ran a birthday adventure for her and three of her friends (also available in the Kids LARP PDF). We gave them each a special ability, and foam swords, and they arrived at the castle of a king that needed help. Turns out the king’s enchanted golden goblet had been stolen by a pirate! The group naturally agreed to help recover the goblet.

One of the characters was a woodsman, so he took the lead in tracking the pirate. The trail led to a forest labyrinth, where the other characters kept getting lost. The woodsman was able to lead them to the center of the labyrinth, where they found a trapped fairy. They rescued the fairy by solving a color mixing puzzle, and she agreed to travel with them and heal them if needed.

The trail led on, deeper into the woods, where they met the invulnerable troll! They’d been told the troll could not be hurt by weapons (which didn’t stop one little princess from trying), and that they’d have to win at whatever game he set to pass. The troll chose to give them riddles…they answered the first correctly, and being a sore loser the troll said he’d do the best two out of three. When they answered all three correctly, he reneged and said he’d play a dice game with them.

Losing the dice game, the troll challenged them all to a foot race. Unbeknownst to the group, the troll had a magic carpet of slowness, so that he could only be beat by the swiftest in the land. One by one, the group lost to the troll, until one of the princesses, who had the ability Swift, finally beat him. The troll gave up at that point and pointed them in the direction of the pirate’s ship.

The pirate, brandishing two swords, challenged the knights to single combat. The pirate bested the two knights, and then revealed that he was protected by a magic spell that could only be broken by the touch of a True Heart. One of the princesses had a True Heart, so the two princesses went to battle. The other princess distracted the pirate so the one with the True Heart could sneak up behind him and touch him, breaking his protective spell.

The pirate went down quickly, under a flurry of sword blows. He revealed that he had stolen the king’s treasure, including the golden goblet, but that the dragon had stolen it from him! He led the group to the dragon’s cave, which was warded with magical lines of force. The group had to sneak into the dragon’s cave without touching the lines, to avoid waking the sleeping dragon.

The dragon roused slightly a couple of times, as the lines were tweaked, but quickly went back to sleep. The group recovered the treasure chest and took it back to the king, who opened it to reveal gold coins, jewels, and more! The king took the golden goblet out, and gave the rest of the treasure to the brave adventurers.

All told, we took a couple of hours from start to finish, including a medieval styled meal at the beginning. The fight with the pirate let the boys blow off some energy, even if they couldn’t win it. Everyone had a great time, and we didn’t need any rules beyond, “If you get hit with a sword, act like you got hit with a sword.”

I’ll definitely do this again, more than just once a year. I think the kids will shape up into great LARPers!

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