Morristown LARP convention helps hundreds shed their skins

Every now and then it’s tempting to try a new persona on for size.

Robert Dixon of sparta

Robert Dixon of Sparta brandishes ersatz weapons at DEXCON 13 gaming convention in Morristown. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

Hundreds of people will be doing just that for the next few days at the Hyatt Morristown, scene of the DEXCON 13 convention.

It’s a gathering of LARPs–Live Action Role Players–and board game aficionados.

There are colorful costumes, convoluted plots and piles of cookies and potato chips. Games run into the wee hours with no winners or losers, kind of like early rounds of the World Cup.

“Celestial otters,” “time-traveling trees,” “mogwips” and “post-apocalyptic boffer larps” are on the itinerary. Tickets range from $30 per day to $65 for the whole show, which runs through Sunday.

“For me, it’s really an escape. You can be someone else for a little while,” said Walter Soto, 27, of Union. His skin was painted goblin-green last night, in preparation for the medieval role-playing fantasy game, Knight Realms.

For heightened adventure, Walter and friends sometimes play outdoors at camps in Sparta and in the Poconos of Pennsylvania.

Walter works in a college bookstore in Caldwell and did some acting in his student days.

“That’s what LARPing is–a lot of people pretending to be someone else,” he said. “We wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t fun.”

Stay tuned for more dispatches from LARPville.

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