The Evolution of a LARP

Back in the mid to late 1980s I hosted a series of events that I called Quests. These events started as SCA style quests and evolved into something more akin to what is now called a Live Action Roll Playing game (LARP). I have no idea if these Quests had any effect of the evolution and development of modern LARPs, but it may provide some useful information on how such activities develop.

Quest Element Early Quests (SCA Style) Later Quests (Field Guide Based)
Fighting SCA fighting rules. Rattan swords, armor required, fighting restricted to fields with a marshal present. Only trained SAC fighters could participate. Foam swords, no armor required, fighting could occur anywhere but in a sanctuary area (such as the inn). Anyone could participate.
Land of Gorlwyn Not part of the original Quest. The Field Guid describes the mythical land of Gorlwyn which was central to the plots of the Quests. Gorlwyn had its own traditions, religions, magic, and monsters.
Non Player Characters (NPCs) Both fighter (outlaws) and non-fighter (inn keeper, etc.) characters were part of the Quest. Only non-fighter characters were part of the Quest.
Monsters The only monster in the original quest was the dragon. There were lots of monsters in the Field Guide based quests. Some of the monsters could be fought with swords, others required magic to defeat.
Magic Spell were cast by NPCs only and persons under a spell were given a card to carry that indicated what spell they were under. Magic was an important part of the Quest. Some magic could be cast only by NPCs, other by players. Virtually all magic had a physical component to add some realism to the experience.
Religion The only function of clarics was to heal the wounded and resurrect the dead. In addition to being able to heal the wounded and resurrect the dead, clarics gained the ability to ward off some monster. In addition, the struggle between the two "religions" of Gorlwyn, the Orthodox Church of Eclectic Wisdom and the Cult of the Dark was a major plot element in the Quests.