LARPing in the Med City: The Ethereal Tides

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(ABC 6 News) – A local live-action role-playing group, the Ethereal Tides, had practice Sunday afternoon at Chip Shots in Rochester.

The Ethereal tides say the game they play, Amtgard, is like a real-action video game. This type of LARPing features a wide variety of characters that battle each other using spells and powers. The park’s leader, or monarch, says they hope to show the community what the group is all about.

“What I love about the live-action role-playing game of Amtgard is it tends to consolidate a lot of the hobbies that I like to do,” said the Ethereal Tides monarch John D. Crow. “There’s aspects of cosplay, a team sport. It’s very similar to a game of paintball or airsoft or nerf fighting.”

Each member of the chapter, or park, creates their own character. They create their own outfit and set of skills/powers they possess. Then, each character takes to the battlefield.

Crow says he has been playing Amtgard for years and says it’s changed his life.

“It gave me a sense of belonging and meeting all sorts of interesting people and developing all sorts of cool skills with it,” he explained.

There are many parks across the globe.

While this was just a practice for the Ethereal Tides, there are various major battles, or competitions, against other parks throughout the year.

“We have larger events that come about five times a year that are bigger battle games. We have 200 people in a battlefield, upwards of 1,000 people on the battlefield, and we try to raid castles, take objectives, grab points, move heavy objects…Various different fantasy-based games that we have condensed into a buffer sport,” explained “Merric the 15th” the monarch of Polaris Kingdom.

The Polaris Kingdom reigns over the northern Midwest parks.

While many playing the game say they love acting out the game’s fantasy, they mostly do it because of the joy it brings them.

“It’s just a lot of fun too. I feel like you shouldn’t stop having fun at a certain age, you should be able to have fun at any age,” added Crow.

For more information about this park in Rochester, click here.

More information about Amtgard can be found here.