LARPing Guild offers creative escape from reality

Taylor Foxx
Staff Writer

For students at Troy University, the newly-formed Live Action Role-Playing (LARP) Guild provides an outlet for creativity, adventure and fellowship.
“Do you like the world you live in?” said Brandon Leard, a sophomore computer science major from Panama City Beach, Fla.,
A world where chivalry is dead, nobody cares about anyone that they don’t personally know and society tells you how to act, what to do and what you will be? I don’t. I hate it. The Troy University LARPing Guild provides an escape.”
According to, LARP is defined as “a form of role-playing where the participants physically act out their character’s actions.”
The first LARPing events began in the 1970s and drew their inspiration from role-playing board games but spread to incorporate fiction genres such as medieval, fantasy or apocalyptic.
From its humble beginnings, LARPing has grown to include tens of thousands of participants all over North America, Australia and Europe.
The Troy University LARPing Guild was the creation of Leard and two of his close friends: Zeth Vilardo, a sophomore biology major from Celebration, Fla., and Scottie Moore, a sophomore music industry major from Ariton.
The idea to create a LARPing organization was partly inspired by Vilardo’s visit to Florida State University in mid spring of 2013. There, Vilardo had the opportunity to participate in university weekend event.
“After going to the event at Florida State, I thought ‘I really need to get involved with LARPing,’” Vilardo said.
I got some pointers from some of the veteran guys at the event on how to get (an organization)started.”
In the beginning of the fall term, Vilardo, Leard and Moore began to work on creating the group’s constitution.
The group was approved by the SGA on Oct. 15.
Abby Smith, a junior elementary education major from Panama City Beach, Fla., is the newest member of the leadership team.
During group events, Abby is Aisri, a tree nymph from the North of Troy who runs a small shop that sells potions, spells and costume accessories.
“I love LARPing so much because it really lets me be a different person for a little while,” said Abby.
It’s almost an escape from reality for a little bit. It also allows me to be creative in the aspect that I love to sew and do crafts, and so I handmade my entire costume.”
Troy’s LARPing Guild held one event last semester and recently held their first spring event, “The Grand Tournament”, on Jan. 22 in the North Quad. The event had 20 student participants.
For some, this organization is an opportunity to leave a legacy.
“I honestly hope to leave something behind,” Vilardo said.
The best thing you can do as a person or student at this university is leave behind something others can enjoy.”
Troy’s LARP Guild has a partnership with the Troy University “Humans vs Zombies” group and desires to help both groups succeed on campus.
The guild’s next event will be held on Feb. 22 and the organization highly recommends newcomers to see what an event is like.
“I really would encourage students to consider the LARPing Guild,” Leard said. “If students would try out just one event, I guarantee they will come back.”
Those interested in participating can find more information about the Troy University LARPing Guild by liking their page on Facebook, or by contacting Vilardo at

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