Alliance Gettysburg is a welcoming environment for a varied and diverse set of backgrounds. Therefore, it is essential that all members of our community adhere to the following baseline of conduct.
This applies to all Alliance Gettysburg spaces, including our social media accounts, games, social events, and chat channels, both online and off. Anyone who violates this code of conduct may be sanctioned or expelled from these spaces at the discretion of the owner.
- Offensive comments related to gender, gender identity and expression, sex, sexual orientation, disability, mental illness, parental status (including pregnancy status), marital status, neuro(a)typicality, physical appearance, national or geographic origin, citizenship, veteran status, genetic information, body size, age, current or past socioeconomic status, race, or religion.
- Unwelcome comments regarding a person’s lifestyle choices and practices, including those related to food, health, parenting, drugs, and employment.
- Deliberate misgendering or use of ‘dead’ or rejected names.
- Gratuitous or off-topic sexual images or behavior in spaces where they’re not appropriate. References to explicit sexual behavior or concepts, particularly violent ones, are not allowed, even (especially) in game.
- Physical contact and simulated physical contact (eg, textual descriptions like “*hug*” or “*backrub*”) without consent or after a request to stop.
- Threats of violence. In-game threats should be worded so they are clearly in game.
- Incitement of violence towards any individual, including encouraging a person to commit suicide or to engage in self-harm.
- Deliberate intimidation.
- Stalking or following.
- Harassing photography or recording, including logging online activity for harassment purposes.
- Sustained disruption of discussion or community events.
- Unwelcome sexual attention.
- Pattern of inappropriate social contact, such as requesting/assuming inappropriate levels of intimacy with others.
- Patronizing language or behavior.
- Continued one-on-one communication after requests to cease.
- Deliberate “outing” of any aspect of a person’s identity without their consent except as necessary to protect vulnerable people from intentional abuse.
- Publication of non-harassing private communication.
- Retaliating against anyone who files a formal complaint that someone has violated these codes.
While some allowances are made for in-game actions, phrasing and activities should always be carefully watched to ensure that it is interpreted as purely in-game, consent of the participants should be monitored, and “it was in character” does not mean that it is not also harassment.
If you are being harassed by a member of Alliance Gettysburg, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact the owners at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If a participant engages in harassing behavior, the management team may take any action they deem appropriate, up to and including expulsion from all Alliance Gettysburg events and spaces and identification of the participant as a harasser to other Alliance Gettysburg members or the general public.
Additionally, community organizers are available to help community members engage with local law enforcement or to otherwise help those experiencing unacceptable behavior feel safe. In the context of in-person events, organizers will also provide escorts as desired by the person experiencing distress.
Alliance Gettysburg welcomes minors aged 14 and up at our game. Before deciding to bring an underage participant to an Alliance game, please keep in mind that while we aim for a PG-13 environment, we run a game primarily populated by adults in intense situations, violently combating monsters in the dark. There are no overt sexual themes to the game that we run, but strong language and violent encounters are common. Not only will different people have different levels of tolerance for the dramatic situations they find themselves in, but not all younger players will have the level of maturity necessary to participate in a complex game among adults. Should you feel that a young player is mature and capable enough to participate at our events, we welcome them to give our game a try. However, due to safety concerns, there are a few restrictions regarding their ability to participate.
- For everybody under 18 years old, we need a parent or legal guardian’s signature on a consent form, which should include emergency contact info and medical/allergy information in case of an emergency.
- Any player under the age of 18 is under mandatory Page status. A parent or legal guardian must be on-site as a PC or NPC and is responsible for the player’s actions, and must remove the player from the site if asked. The parent or guardian must keep track of the player and be able to know where the player is at all times. Children under the age of 14 are not allowed to participate in any fashion, even as Pages.
- Any Page who is disruptive, does not obey these rules, or in any other way is deemed to be harmful to the game will be asked to leave.
- Any player may participate as a Page by his or her own choice. Players with medical issues that may affect their safety in combat may be required to take Page status to play the game.
- Pages must wear a colored headband/sash to denote their Page status, as defined below.
- A marshal may recommend that the chapter staff place a player under Page status due to any condition that the marshal deems necessary to provide for the safety of Alliance Gettysburg’s participants, such as health conditions or a player having multiple safety violations marked against them.
- Any Page (whether they are a Page by choice, age, medical, or disciplinary reason) that is disruptive, acts in an immature fashion, does not obey the rules, or in any other way is deemed to be harmful to the game may be asked to leave.
- Tier 1 Pages may not enter combat in any way, including pouring healing potions in unconscious bodies in the middle of battle (though others may drag these bodies to the Pages for healing outside the combat zone). They must stay safely outside any combat zone. This means being sufficiently far that the combat will not sweep into their position before they can safely remove themselves, and is always a minimum of ten feet but may require further distance based on the situation.
- There are effects that might prevent a Page from leaving a combat area when they would otherwise need to do so. These include but are not limited to unconsciousness, Prison, etc. If such a situation occurs, the Page should call a Hold and move themselves out of the way, keeping the effect once the Lay On occurs. Other players are expected to resolve the situation in a safe and appropriate manner – for example, a horde of players should not continue following an unconscious page which would cause multiple Holds to be called.
- Tier 1 Pages may never carry in-game weapons or weapon tags.
- Pages may carry in-game items, and can be searched as per the search rules.
- Tier 1 & 2 Pages may be affected by a normal combatant if the combatant’s weapon is within five feet, by having the combatant announce “Page, I >affect< you.” Legal affects are any that can be applied within the Alliance rules.
- In response to any of the above, a Page may call any legal defenses they have at their disposal.
- Pages earn XP for each event just like any other player. If they were a Page due to their age, then upon reaching the age of 18 they may create a new character with the same amount of BP and deaths or rearrange their current character with the BP they have earned. Additionally, Tier 1 & 2 Pages will be able to rewrite their characters upon being progressed to the next Tier,
There are three distinct tiers of Page status:
- Basic (Tier 1) – All Pages begin at this level or participation. Basic Pages may not purchase any weapon skill or carry a weapon in game. They may purchase spells and alchemy, but are only allowed to touch cast spells, and may not throw gas globes. Basic level Pages must wear an orange headband clearly displaying the word ‘PAGE’ to denote this status (Please provide your own headband).
- Packet (Tier 2) – Once a Page has demonstrated good knowledge of the rules and an ability to interact with the game in a positive manner, they may be granted Packet Page status as defined below. Tier 2 Pages must wear a yellow headband to denote this status (Please provide your own headband).
- Combat (Tier 3) – Once a Page has demonstrated good knowledge of the rules, an ability to interact with the game in a positive manner, and comfort engaging in buffer combat, they may be granted Combat Page status as defined below. Tier 3 Pages must wear a yellow sash outside of all of their costuming, visible from in front and behind, to denote this status. (Please provide your own sash).
Advancement and demotion between Tiers is at the discretion of the Head of Rules, with input from the Page’s parents (in the case of underage players). To move beyond Tier 1, a Page must have played at least one full Alliance LARP event or gameday, and must have displayed both roleplaying competency and understanding of the rules as determined by at least two staff members or marshals present at that Alliance event or gameday.
With the exception of Tier 3 Pages, any Page hit by a melee weapon in combat is REQUIRED TO IMMEDIATELY CALL A HOLD.
Tier 2 Pages must follow all rules for Pages except for the following changes:
Tier 2 Pages may not be affected by “Page, I >effect< you” calls which would normally be packet-delivered. These effects must actually be thrown at the Page as they would a normal player, and the Page may use any means at their disposal (physically dodging the packet, running away, etc.) that a normal player would have.
Tier 2 Pages wear a yellow headband to denote their change in status.
Packet Pages may interact with combat so long as the combat is individual. This means that the Packet Page, and one other participant, are the only ones involved in combat in the immediate area. In this situation and this situation only, the Packet Page is not required to leave the combat area and may in fact initiate combat. As soon as other participants become involved in the combat, however, the Packet Page must attempt to leave the combat area and stay a safe distance away from other participants just like a Basic Page must. This means that an Packet Page might initiate a combat which they must immediately run from if their target gains immediate assistance from others in the area.
If a Packet Page is forced to leave a combat area, they may actively defend themselves via use of packets as they leave the combat area. Packet Pages who are seen abusing this rule to stay in a combat area longer than necessary may be stripped of Packet Page status immediately by any Marshal if necessary.
Packet Pages may purchase the Archery skill. They may use Crossbows only with this skill and may pick up, carry, and utilize Crossbow physreps and tags.
Packet Pages may purchase the Thrown Weapon skill. They may use any Alliance-legal thrown weapon.
Packet Pages may use thrown Alchemy and Traps, thrown spells, and weapon effects, but may not be hit by a melee weapon.
Tier 3 Pages must follow all the rules for Pages except for the following changes:
Tier 3 Pages are not affected by any “Page, I >effect< you” calls and may be hit by any packet or melee weapon attacks. They have full access to the skill list for purchase and may fully interact with ranged combat with no restrictions or with melee combat, as long as it is one on one.
If additional participants join the combat, regardless of if they are friendly, the page must leave melee combat immediately. They can drop back to engage in raged combat with the same enemy.
Combat Pages can purchase all skills and use them fully, minus the above restriction.
Combat Pages must wear a yellow sash, at least 4” in width, on the outside of all of their costuming, so that it is visible from in front and behind. This sash must be marked with the word “PAGE” in large enough lettering to be easily visible.
If you have any questions about this policy, please feel free to either post them here or email me at email@example.com.
- Player must be 18 or older. See Age Policy for further details.
- Items not normally produced under the Production Point system, but that do not contain magical properties (such as livestock, slaves, or miscellaneous treasure), will be accepted on a case by case basis. Potion, Scroll, and Alchemy labs, as well as Weapon/Armor forges are not transferable between campaigns.
- All items or ritual effects marked LCO are non-transferable unless given special permission from both the items home chapter, and Alliance Gettysburg. The Head of Plot, GM or Owner are the only authorized people in Alliance Gettysburg that can give this permission. Alliance Gettysburg currently allows the use of LCO items from both the Crossroads chapter and the Northeast Pennsylvania chapter.
- All other items and rituals created or distributed under the Alliance LARP Ritual Policy, or Treasure Policy are permitted for transfer.
- Note that Ritual Scrolls and Catalysts are LCO, and are not transferable.
- The Alliance Gettysburg staff reserves the right to restrict any magic item, ritual, ritual effect, etc. at any time.
Rules / Marshals
Alliance Gettysburg uses the latest Alliance LARP 2.0 rules set. All players are responsible for a working knowledge of the rules; after all you can’t play if you don’t know how things work. Alliance Gettysburg maintains a current list of rules marshals, who are more than happy to answer any questions. Any and all rules questions, or concerns can be brought to our head of rules for clarification, or resolution of rules disputes
Accidents happen and occasionally a person will get a rule wrong that would have consequences that could extend out of game and the fun of others. If a player is found to be breaking the rules, but through ignorance and not being malicious, will be given a warning by any individual with a marshal badge. They will be instructed where they were wrong and could receive a yellow card from the GM (or proxy)or Owner. Sometimes the infraction may only warrant a “time out” with no card to be issued. If you receive a yellow card that is your official warning to learn your lesson and never do it again (This event or any other). If you suffer a second infraction for the same reason you will be asked to leave the event. This is referred to as a red card. If you receive a red card you will not receive a refund for your event fee.
People who are found to be maliciously breaking rules for any reason will be asked to leave immediately. There does not need to be any warning for serious infractions of the Alliance Rules. (Don’t do it!) This is an immediate red card offense.
Continued problems will see that person banned from Alliance Gettysburg events. This is at the discretion of the GM or Owner of the chapter.
Alliance is a game for all players and their characters. At times it can be blurry as to where you may have heard a specific piece of information about a character. At times it can be difficult to allow your character to forget things that you as a person hear or saw out of game. If you are found to bring information into game that could seriously affect another person’s ability to play along the edges and be sneaky or even evil, when you have no “in game” reason for having that knowledge. You will be warned and immediate corrective action will take place. This may result in “in game revisions of memories of all involved” by Plot to remember it differently.
Understand, not every character is a good guy or a bad guy. If someone commits a crime in the game and does it by the rules and was not witnessed by fact of the marshal involved in witnessing the action, then it better not show up in the discourse of the game. If you get rolled in the woods and it is a legal kill and you resurrect by the rules; then play by the rules and accept the consequences of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Have your PC learn their lesson and move on, don’t try to find a way of getting revenge from out of game knowledge. If you are not sure where that information may have been learned then you should default that you learned of it “out of game” and should not bring it up. If it can be proven that you cheated to get that information into game to get revenge you will be yellow carded at the minimum. (Don’t cheat, ’nuff said)
Out Of Game (OOG)
All players on site during game hours will be considered “In-Game” unless they are CLEARLY wearing a white headband or hand on head (per rule book). Exceptions are made for specifically designated areas, such as bathrooms and logistics.
All items stored under a bed, or in containers marked OOG are considered personal possessions. Putting in-game items into an OOG marked area to hide/protect them is against the rules (and would be a yellow card infraction). Any questions should be directed to a rules marshal/logistics staff who can help you find out.
All “OOG” items that you need to keep on your person (medicine, player card, tag ring, etc), needs to be kept in a pocket away from “in game” items. As a character, all pouches, belts, bags, etc you carry can be stolen if done in accordance to the rule book. if you need to keep medicine or something important in a pouch on you for real world heath reasons please make sure it is appropriately marked OOG so people leave it alone.
When a player has a problem with a rules call, a death taken, or has an out of game conflict with another player, that player has the right to ask for adjudication. This is a procedure where the player can present their case to the adjudication committee and ask that changes be made. The decision of the committee is final and all conflicts will be seen as resolved after the committee makes its decision.
The adjudication committee is created to preserve the integrity of the Alliance LARP rules system and to lessen conflict amongst players. It is the hope that all disputes can be resolved without the need to for a formal adjudication. However this system is in place in case of an emergency. It is important for all players to understand that the adjudication process is in place to protect the players and not the staff of Alliance Gettysburg. The adjudication committee will always act in the spirit of the rules of the game and the traditions of fairness and good sportsmanship that are so important to Alliance Gettysburg, and the Alliance LARP.
The adjudication committee is made up of three people at all times. The general manager or assistant general manager, one plot committee member, and the Head of rules or one marshal. The GM will have the final decision on which members make up the committee for any specific issue. There will always be three members of the committee to remove the possibility of a tie vote. If one committee member is unavailable a suitable replacement will be found, or the adjudication will be postponed. The player requesting the adjudication will have the option of postponing the adjudication if one of the committee members is not available.
Adjudications may only be requested when a player feels that a rules violation has occurred. When a player sees a rules violation they are to first report it to a marshal. If they do not feel that the marshal has properly resolved the conflict, the player can then approach the GM or AGM and request adjudication. The player will be asked to explain the situation and the GM or AGM will decide whether adjudication is needed. The GM or AGM may confer with the other parties in question and other marshals before making a decision.
After the GM or AGM decides to go ahead with adjudication, the player in question can request to have a player representative to help them with presenting their case to the committee. The player can ask another player they know to be their representative, or the chapter will have players that have volunteered to be player reps. After that the adjudication committee will convene. The player will be allowed to present their grievance and request an outcome. If other parties are involved, they will then be allowed to present their story. The committee members will take turns asking any pertinent questions that will help them make a decision. After all parties have said everything they wish to say, the committee will meet in private and make a decision. The decision of the committee will be final and all parties involved should consider the matter closed. If the player wishes to have further explanation of the committees decision, he or she may ask the head of the committee when it is convenient. Minutes will be kept of every adjudication that will be accessible by the player who called for the adjudication.
Any in game ramifications of an adjudication committee decision will be left to the plot committee to repair. Normally, game events will not simply be undone and players expected to forget game events, rather, the plot committee will develop an in game means to implement decisions made as the result of an adjudication. In extreme cases it may be required for something to be undone, if this is the case the reason for the “game change” would be approved by the adjudication committee and implemented. This “game change” would only be for extreme circumstances and needs final approval by the owner to be implemented.
n be used in place of any reagent.
The Plot Committee for the Barran campaign is dedicated to running a dynamic story line that is highly influenced by player actions. Players should expect their actions to directly affect the plot, both positively and negatively. Players who wish to get the most out of the Barran campaign are encouraged to write and submit comprehensive character histories.
It is our goal at Alliance: Gettysburg to provide you with a colorful, rich and immersive environment. We ask that you refrain from dropping out of character as much as possible! Every time you drop out of character you remove an element of the world from everyone around you. The reason most come to play is to forget about the outside world and to get away from themselves for a weekend. Every time you begin talking about the “football game” or “US politics” you can ruin another’s experience. Nothing is worse than you are in a deep RP moment and someone wanders by talking about car trouble or what not. please be respectful of others who have also paid money to be there. Marshals have the right to ask you to refrain from real world conversations while in game, please understand why they are doing it.
Perhaps the best thing any Alliance LARP player can do in the development of their PC is to write a character history. Players who write comprehensive character histories experience a greater depth in their role play, as well as allow the Plot Committee the opportunity to write custom tailored plot specifically designed for you! Advice on how to write a character history is contained in the Alliance LARP Rule Book as well as on the Alliance HQ website.
The Plot Committee of Alliance Gettysburg reserves the right to deny in whole, or in part, any character history that contains material deemed to be outside of the Alliance LARP universe, or the design of the Barran campaign. Players should submit character histories to the Plot Committee at least two weeks in advance of their first event in order to ensure it is approved before play. If a history, or part of one, is denied, a member of the Plot Committee will work with the submitting player to develop an alternative that is acceptable to all involved parties.
In general, the material that could cause a character history not to be accepted involves writing in an unfair advantage to a character’s history that would directly contribute to that character having plot advantages not earned through game play. Therefore no character in the Barran campaign may be directly related to any of the Noble Households nor may they possess any Military rank above soldier or other political title in their history. In addition, players may not write into their histories any followers, minions, or subordinates unless these characters will be played by other willing PCs. Remember, all rewards in The Alliance LARP need to be earned!
Drawing too heavily on religion or religious themes is also a quick way to have a character history disapproved. Many people decide to name their characters after obscure pagan gods or lightly guild a myth for their character histories. This is not only against The Alliance LARP rules, but sometimes it can be offensive. We as a Plot Committee come from very diverse backgrounds both educationally and religiously…and we probably have read every myth you ever did. Please remember that The Alliance LARP rules strictly forbid any religion to be a part of the game.
In addition, no character history involving rape or any form of sexual assault will be permitted in any way. In terms of conceptualization of the game world, rape simply does not exist in the world of Barran; it never even enters into the mind of the most evil of characters. The staff of Alliance Gettysburg is quite aware of the painful psychological effects of sexual assault; we do not want this issue ever to enter into our game, even in a character’s background.
Characters often desire to be born of parents of different races. Your parents may each be from a different race, and you may be one or the other of their races. In essence and in name you may be a half-breed, but in actuality and physically you are representative of one race completely. You must play one race as listed in our Rule Book, and you cannot split or add racial advantages based on the character history you create.
Players are encouraged to make plot submissions concerning their intended actions between events. A plot submission is a description of what a character wishes to do during the “down-time” between Alliance LARP events. This can include research, communication, travel, and various other activities that can be time intensive or otherwise impractical for a character to perform during an event. Performing such activities gives your character a “history” outside of actually attending Alliance LARP events and is a great way to promote your character’s development. While you will not gain experience for doing plot submissions, you may gain information that can prove helpful or even vital in-game. Players Characters that are proactive both in-game and out-of-game (by making Plot Submissions) tend to be the most well informed characters, and therefore, the most involved in plot. Here are a few basic guidelines on making plot submissions:
- Plot submission deadline. In order to ensure that the plot committee has sufficient time to review your submission, we are instituting a submission deadline of two weeks prior to the next Alliance LARP event. Exceptions to this policy will only be made when events are to close together to allow for that time. All Plot submission deadlines are listed with the event descriptions. Submissions received after the cutoff date will not be accepted, no exceptions will be made.
- Submissions not sent to the plot e-mail address will not be accepted. No exceptions.
- Include what you intend to do. Do not assume that anything succeeds. The plot committee will do its best to go over your submission in a timely manner and inform you of what happens as a result by the next event. We will either contact you directly or provide the information in written form at check-in.
- Only one plot submission per PC. With the number of plots running and the volume of PCs, it eases the burden on the plot committee if they only have to worry about one plot submission per PC per month. If you choose to change your plot submission you may do so up until the submission deadline.
- No combat or spell-casting. Because of the complexities involved in the Alliance LARP combat environment, combat and spell-casting need to be handled entirely in-game and thus are prohibited from plot submissions. You can research spell-casting and practice sword-fighting—that is perfectly acceptable—but you cannot declare that you wish to cast a formal magic ritual or kill a dragon, and then expect it to be completed by the next event. If you wish to perform those actions, you must do it in-game at a Alliance LARP event. Using role-playing skills is somewhat different. For example, if you have Craftsman: Tracking and wish to search for tracks between events, which is generally acceptable.
- No production skill benefits. While within a plot submission you can say that you wish to make use of a production skill, you can only earn the benefits of using production skills, such as receiving armor/weapons tags, elixirs, potions or scrolls, at logistics during an event.
- Goblin stamps may be used for influence during a plot write-ups. With the real world intruding on the world of Barran from time to time it is possible for a player who has donated time and money to utilize goblin stamps in a write-up in a similar fashion to what they can get with goblin stamps as production on the night before an event. There are a few rules to this:
- Goblin stamps may be used to purchase services or enact bribes during a plot write-up to help the player spend money to achieve influence with an NPC or Faction. Examples of what could be done would be: paying for expedient passage (travel that is faster than you normally could cover during a plot write-up); Bribes to officials to let you by or to get a message through to someone, etc.
- Goblin stamps could be used to buy “orange” tag goods that only have RP value. Such as Homes, Farm Animals, Property, Boats, Artwork, Etc. [Horses are an exception and will need to be purchased with in game coin only]; any green tag item that has use in game must be purchased with in game coin. Orange tag items can be utilized in RP but may never be sold using the merchant skill for in game coin as they are not purchased with the treasure policy rules outlined by the alliance bylaws. If a player wished to trade or give an orange tag item to an NPC to get influence with that person/organization that is acceptable.
- This would be accomplished on a 1gs = 1cp standard. So if you wanted to bribe a guard a gold piece to look the other way, you will be spending 100 goblin stamps to do so. If you wanted to buy a homestead for 15 gold it would cost you 1500 gobbies. Depending on whose influence you wish to purchase you can spend up to your full balance of gobbies to do so. You may not spend more goblin stamps than you currently have in your balance.
- Goblin Stamps are spent as soon as plot for the action is attempted. If you submit that you are going to dockside and purchase passage on a ship and you spend 5 silver on remaining anonymous, the 50 gobbies are immediately spent as soon as it was resolved by plot that you got to dockside and hopped onto a ship. Logisitcs will be notified and the gobbies will be removed from your total.
- “Influence” spent in this fashion does not guarantee it will be successful. Plot will decide the outcome and will notify you of the actions effects. If it is a risky endeavor and you wish to improve your chances on gaining a key contact in a secret organization, your influence can get you there but it will not guarantee the anticipated result, just like real life. If the situation is too complicated it may require you playing out a special module prior to the beginning of the weekend. Plot will let you know this prior to showing up for the weekend.
- Characters doing joint submissions (which are a good idea, as the more people involved generally the more time can be spent on that submission) should e-mail plot even if they are not the ones sending the final version of the group submission. One person should send in the group submission, with any actions they intend to take separately listed afterwards. People not sending in the final submission, should e-mail plot to indicate their characters involvement, and add any actions they wish to take separately. You WILL NOT be included in a group submission if plot does not receive an e-mail stating that you are going long.
NPCing at Alliance Gettysburg
Certainly the Alliance LARP Rule Book provides great advice on how to be an NPC, but the staff of Alliance Gettysburg feels that this is such an important part of the game that it merits our own thoughts and advice as well.
NPCs are the hardest working players in all of The Alliance LARP. They are goblins one minute and the next are fierce warriors, damsels in distress, cunning Death Knights, and lowly farmers. NPCs are asked to perform a tremendous range of in game roles and tasks to interact and entertain the player characters. Playing an NPC is perhaps the best way for any new player to learn how to play Alliance LARP because it gives you a wide range of exposure to different roles and the combat system without the fear of losing your character. NPCs are vital to moving the plot of the game forward. The old Alliance LARP wisdom is that ninety percent of all the problems with The Alliance LARP could be solved with more NPCs and the staff truly hopes all of the players will incorporate NPCing into their Alliance LARP experience.
The NPC philosophy is a simple one: make the game fun. Don’t be a dick. You as an NPC have been gracious enough to donate your time to helping the paying players to enjoy their game even more. We as the NPC crew provide the extra bit of atmosphere that makes The Alliance LARP really exciting. Whether we are playing evil monsters or a local farmer, we give the players more characters to interact with and grow from. Quite simply, we are there to entertain the PCs. What this means is that we need to be somewhat selfless and play our NPC parts not as our own characters, but as characters that belong to the game collective. This makes NPCing somewhat more restrictive because you do not have free will with your characters, but rather need to play them within the boundaries set by the staff.
Often the NPCs begin to develop a competitive mentality towards the player characters; this is the worst attitude a NPC can have! Remember that we as NPCs are there to entertain the PCs and not to compete against them. Yes, in combats we want to make things difficult and perhaps even deadly, but we are never doing so for our own ends. We are doing so to further the enjoyment of the game by creating the atmosphere. We want all of our NPCs to have the correct attitude to make the game fun for everyone.
Like all players, NPCs need to know the rules! This is particularly important for you as an NPC that will be involved in a lot of combat situations, where knowing the rules are most important. The staff expects all of the players to have a copy of the rulebook that you can learn from (these can be purchased at logistics or online). Now, we know that there are a lot of rules to this game and we don’t expect a first-time player to memorize everything, but you are expected to have a working knowledge of our game system.
Remember, we have a new player training session at the beginning of every event that you should attend if you are unsure about any of the rules. Furthermore, you can always feel free to ask the staff about any questions that you have regarding the rules. When the NPCs know and follow the rules, there are about eighty percent fewer holds to interrupt the flow of the game.
NPCing for the weekend means that you will have a chain of command to follow for what parts you will be given and how they are to be played. Following the chain of command allows for the plot to get accomplished in the most efficient manner possible. It also allows for newer players to get experience in the game with a more experienced player there to give advice and a good example. The chain begins with the Plot Committee who writes the events and plans out the encounters for each day. It continues on to the monster marshal (often a member of plot as well) who is responsible for getting NPCs for parts and explaining the encounter, statistics, and treasure. Finally, each group of NPCs is given an ‘encounter leader’ who is a more experienced player to help make sure things run smoothly on the field. It is a major violation of the rules to play any NPC role that is not given to you by the monster marshal or a member of the plot committee. However, if you have an idea for a part that you would like to play, please ask! The staff are all reasonably nice people and we are always willing to hear new ideas or answer any questions you have.
When you are given a role, the monster marshal will let you know what costume and makeup requirements that your role has. Looking the part is always the first step in creating a good character whether you are PCing or NPCing. When putting on makeup, make sure to cover everything that should be. Nothing looks worse than a NPC who has done a poor makeup job. The monster marshal or encounter leaders will be able to give you makeup tips if you are new to this. To note, a monster marshal has the right to not send you out if he/she believes that your costume is not appropriate. Costume is very important to add a sense of realism and believability to your character. It’s also always fun to try and look your best for the part.
Also, when getting a role you will be given a monster card that has your abilities printed on it. You have only those abilities listed on the card and may not ever add abilities without express permission from the monster marshal. The cards are fairly easy to read once you get the hang of them, but can be confusing for your first few weekends. The monster marshal or encounter leader will be happy to help you understand the monster cards and answer any questions that you have. You will also notice three boxes at the bottom of the cards labeled Search, Steal, and Kill. You may not take items, search buildings, or deliver a killing blow as any NPC you play unless a signature from a member of the Plot Committee is under the appropriate box.
Once you have your NPC part think about how you are to come into game and from where. Don’t step out of the door of NPC Camp and just appear into game, rather try to come in down one of the paths, or in the woods. Remember that when not in game you need to be wearing a white headband. Coming into game should never happen right in front of the players. After all, you are not likely to be just teleporting into town. Rather, go off into the woods out of sight of the players before coming into game. This is very important. Once you have your role and are ready to come into game, you need to make sure you understand the purpose that your role is designed to fill. You should try your very best, within the boundaries of your role, to accomplish this task as soon as possible so that you can return to get another role and keep the game moving. You should never be acting outside of your assigned boundaries. For example, an NPC should never get involved in the plot, combat, or hang out ‘just because’. Every action you take as an NPC should be with purpose and based upon the role you are playing. If you are not too sure what these limits are, please don’t hesitate to ask the monster marshal or your encounter leader. Also, often times you will be asked ‘what do I see’ by players who are trying to figure out what you might be. Every monster card has a description box that you may use to reply to this question; please don’t tell them the actual name of the monster that you are playing because this might give away your monster abilities.
One of the greatest things about being an NPC is that you get to play roles you would never be able to play as a PC. This requires a lot of acting range from the NPCs. Costume, Makeup, and Motivation are great starting points, but once you step into game, you now have to make that character come alive. If you are supposed to be fierce you have to act fierce. If you are supposed to be scared, you have to act scared. The emotions that come along with acting the role are sometimes hard to generate in a believable way. Most people tend to over act and then just become caricatures of the role. Others tend to not act and slip into themselves in funny cloths and makeup. It is hard to find the balance. Many times it helps people to just think of natural reactions to what is happening in the game. If your house was being attacked by monsters in the real world, how would you react, and how would you go to get help? If a bunch of heroes just saved your life and the lives of your family in the real world, how would you react, and how would you thank them? This gets harder when most of the things you do as an NPC can’t happen in the real world, but the emotions of the moment is the same. Use what you already know about life to create believable lives for your NPC characters.
Whenever you are given a part to play the monster marshal should be giving you a time limit for you to be in game, even if you are playing combat parts. Sticking as close as possible to this time limit is essential for monster camp and the plot of the weekend to run smoothly. You might not know what other encounters are planned for the day so it might not seem to you that time limits are important, however, the plot committee has a schedule for the day that they need to stick to. Staying on schedule makes sure that the entire plot for the weekend that was written can be run on time. So when you are given a time limit please stick to it. This is particularly important for parts that are not intended for combat. Remember to ask yourself if your assignment for your part has been filled and then leave game as soon as it has.
One of the big risks when it comes to NPCing is getting a sense of attachment to an NPC role that you are given. Now, this can be very easy to do because from time to time we all find NPC parts that we just fall in love with (particularly if we are the one who wrote the part in the first place). The problem with becoming personally attached to an NPC part is that you begin to think about how you want the character to work and tend to lose sight of the reason the character was created in the first place. Remember the NPC philosophy? Once you play a part for yourself and not for the entertainment of the players bad things tend to happen. You need to always remember that an NPC part is for the rest of the game and not yourself (that’s what PCs are for).
Always remember that as a NPC you are there to entertain the player characters. Always act with the greatest respect for the Alliance LARP rules on sportsmanship. Most of all have fun! NPCing can be the most enjoyable part of the Alliance LARP experience.