Live roleplaying is really just another way of describing an impromptu and scriptless form of acting. Each player has a character or role and they must play out how this person would repond in certain environments and conversations. A defining feature of roleplaying is the existence of a scenario of some kind which the players or participants must address. There are various areas that require live roleplaying:
- Live Roleplaying - generally referred to as "LARP", "LRP" or "freeform roleplaying" (Australia). Various gaming systems have rules that require the players to move about in order to achieve objectives and gather information. Combat is simulated through non-physical means. More information about these sorts of games can be found at the LARPA Homepage.
- Workplace training - A variation of live roleplaying used in a business situation. Employees are given fictional positions and roles and presented with various scenarios to see how they would respond.
- Live Action Roleplaying - also (confusingly) referred to as "LARP" or "LRP". These involve combat using latex or boffer style weapons. They generally also involve simulated spells. In England the number of LARPer's outnumbers the SCA, but in Australia the reverse is true. There is some cross-over of membership between these groups at times.
Recreationists and Reenactors tend not to refer to their activities as roleplaying, preferring re-creation or re-enactment. The main distinction is that there is no moderator or game master in these types of groups and no overall scenario or plot.