Four years ago (!!!), I wondered why no one had come up with a workable template for a Harry Potter-themed live-action roleplaying game. Harry Potter was huge at the time, and people were all too happy to play Hogwarts dress-up... so a LARP seemed like a natural progression at the time.
Admittedly, a few small-time Harry Potter LARPs popped up in the heyday of the fandom - but none managed to garner a strong enough playerbase to keep the momentum going. That's set to change this April, when the Czocha College of Wizardry opens its doors to 180 lucky players during two separate game sessions.
The only downside is that, to attend, you kinda have to be in Poland.
On the upside to those who aren't adverse to travel, you'll get to play out your fantasies in what is - for all intents and purposes - a real life version of Hogwarts castle, which is housed in a beautiful castle / museum in Czocha, Poland.
It's not really Hogwarts of course but - if you're reading this - chances are good that you never received your owl when you turned 11, so it's the closest that any of us will get to living out our Harry Potter dreams with wands and spellbooks in hand.
Also, just look at these castle grounds!
And the costumes!
The LARP begins with a formal, in-character welcome dinner during which NPC house ghosts flit amongst the table and greet return students while delivering a bit of good-natured menace to first-years. In other words, it's pretty much exactly like the opening Hogwarts scene of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - and you can bet your bottom galleon that they'll have some sort of sorting headwear for players to try on.
If you're keen on taking part in this LARP and don't mind the airfare to Poland, registration for the April games kicks off on December 11th at 8pm CET (which works out to 2pm EST or 11am PST).
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to sell a kidney to pay for a plane ticket to Warsaw...
[hat tip to LARPing.org for the pics and YouTube link]