In LARPing, there are two types of participants, Player Characters (PCs) and Non-Player Characters (NPCs). You decide which one you will be before the event and are that for the duration of the entire event (in most cases).
Player Characters (or PCs) are players who design and live out the event as one character. PCs have no knowledge of coming events or plot. PCs are the protagonists, similar to the main characters of a fantasy adventure book or movie. PCs have free choice to act in character however they so choose.
Non-Player Characters (NPCs) are essentially the supporting roles. NPCs play all monsters, townspeople, and anything else that the Plot Team may need them to play, often and frequently changing roles. NPCs must act according to the Plot Team’s instructions and cannot deviate from that. NPCs are the mechanism to make the story move forward, not just to be “enemies” of the PCs.
PCs and NPCs do not have an “us vs. them” relationship. They both rely on the other to make the game work. The NPCs set-up situations to “hook” the PCs into (“Help!” The local merchant’s son is trapped in a cave full of big, nasty spiders!”), but PCs have free will to act (or not act) however they will to the given set-up. PCs can also go to the Plot Team with plot requests during the game (“We’d like to go to the Celestial Magic Guild to see if this nifty looking necklace we found in the spider cave has any magical properties”) and the Plot Team may have NPCs respond to that request. This process is continuously repeated throughout the weekend with several plot lines happening simultaneously. That’s essentially how the game works and how NPCs and PCs interact.
We recommend new players NPC for their first event.