Player Profile: Tarquin

Tarquin in the Woods - Photo by Tyler Anderson

The players that I LARP with helped shape who I wanted Tarquin to be.

Jessica K has played one full season of Underworld LARP. She plays a Savar healing mage named Tarquin, and lives in camp Blackwood.

How did you find out about Underworld?

I found out about LARP through Anime North. Underworld had an amazing booth set up there and they took us on a mini adventure. I fell in love with it there

What inspired you in creating your character?

Tarquin actually started from a character in a book… but went in a complete opposite direction once I actually came to an event. From there I chose to be a sweet and kind character who heals people, while also having strong leadership skills to help and run my camp.

What is it like to be Tarquin?

Playing as a Savar is greatly rewarding, their race is very political and as such it brings a lot of opportunity for role play and involvement. Savar women have strong leadership roles, and they are above men in their culture. As leader of a human dominated camp trying to find balance between being a strong female Savar and playing to the human side of the camp has been challenging at times. I find that, at these times, my class helps me. Quinn is very nice because of her class as a healing mage. Playing as a healer has been a slow process, but one that has really been rewarding. You get known as a healer and people begin coming to you, because they know you and your abilities. That, and you can save the tanks, so they in turn can save you. Self preservation is always important.

Tarquin in the trees

The experience of being able to play as someone else is unlike anything. I can strip away all stresses of life, pick up my spell book and become a strong character who almost always knows what she wants. You make everlasting bonds with the people that you play with. Your thrown into a world of magic and chaos and somehow you survive with the help of your friends, and some luck (and sometimes just running away in pure terror). It’s really just an amazing experience.

What do you like most about UW’s game world?

I love the storyline. You’re really there and your PC can actually make a difference in the world. You can play as a really evil or good PC, or anything in between. If there is a big story line going on you can RP your way in there, help people and overcome the evil that seems to always be plaguing Jericho. Be it a giant monster of some sort, or a puzzle that needs to be solved… having the choice to be able to do that is amazing.

What is your favourite aspect of the UW game system & mechanics?

My favorite mechanic would have to be the spell system. It’s set up in the pyramid shape so you can’t learn too quickly, and the more you stick with it the better and more rewarding it is in game. It limits the amount of low level spells you have until you get the correct amount of higher level spells, and the same in reverse. You have to really focus on spells to become proficient in using them. I also like how you can fumble your casting. If you cannot say your spell correctly, then the spell doesn’t work and is used up. As a caster it’s very important you word everything correctly, and that you can throw your packets properly. If not, you could end up healing your enemy, or hurting your friends.

Tarquin reads a book

Player Profile: Asphodel

Asphodel by Tyler Anderson (National Post)

“In under a year, Asphodel’s been transformed into an infected abomination, left religion in favor of dragons, found an alchemy master, gained a home within a camp in Jericho, found employment with the town’s archaeologist, advanced to the second in command of the alchemists guild, braved spider caves and defeated countless creatures.”

Lorne B has been playing Underworld LARP for almost a year, he has spent the last 11 months playing a Dark Elf alchemist named Asphodel. I asked Lorne some questions about his experience playing at Underworld LARP, and what it’s like to live in the fantasy world of Jericho as his Player Character (“PC”) – here’s what he had to say!

How did you find out about Underworld?

My girlfriend first wanted to LARP after seeing it on Fanboy Confessional… So I go to my first event and have a total blast, and then go home and tell my girlfriend about it. And she says shes not interested anymore and she thinks it’s silly. But through a combination of the great people and all the action, I’m already hooked by this point. So she’s sort of responsible for my UW addiction now.

What is the inspiration for your character?

Asphodel is a Dark Elf, and is formally (according to the rule book) an assassin. But I chose that model mostly for the [cheaper] alchemy costs… I liked the idea of a stealthy poison-master. Since I have a job that allows me to sell things people like or need, going with the alchemist build is sort of like combining assassin with salesman. I love the idea of alchemy, the combination of science and magic into a potion or gas globe.

Most people say that your first character is pretty similar to yourself. I think Asphodel, my current character, has a small amount of me in him, but with certain aspects about my personality enhanced or improved. Asphodel is more confident, intelligent and well spoken than I am. He also has ambition, which is something I find difficult to muster some days. He’s trying to master alchemy by age 30 just to say he can. A lofty goal, but there’s something inside the idea of being a prodigy in this world that really makes me smile. My experience with Asphodel has been an exceedingly positive one.

What is your favorite aspect of Underworld LARP’s medieval-fantasy universe?

My favorite part of the UW fantasy world is its depth… There are religions, belief systems, cultures and lands with so many different flavors, similar and parallel to our own but also so different (considering the lower end of technology as well as the inclusion of magic and monsters.)

Asphodel prepares to fight a monster in the woods

I love the feeling of escapism when you go to the game for the weekend. Its a way of removing yourself from the entire equation of life. Work, school, money, stress. Its a form of freedom that I honestly think everyone should try out at least once.

What do you like most about the Underworld rules system?

My favorite part of the game mechanics is probably that the classes and character point categorization creates so much variety. People don’t have to be bound to one idea of a warrior, a rogue, or a caster – they can make a Healing Templar who doesn’t fight, or an Alchemist, or so many other variations on the character classes available in the rules.

Asphodel slays a spider - photo by Pat and Sierra