Players should note that what follows is a rough guideline only. Curious Pastimes is committed to running a campaign that responds to the actions of its players. If vital information or important victories are won early because of player ingenuity, or important secrets remain concealed through carelessness or sheer bad luck, then so be it. Because of this, actions at one event can influence what transpires at subsequent events critically, and much of what follows is subject to change.
Event Dates and Details
In Archangels Reach:
Paccar Scout Camp.
28th April – 2nd May. Price (Adults): £60-£65.
Catering Wagons/Self Catering.Bar Toilets & Showers.
Arrival from 12 noon Thursday 28th April or Friday 29th April. Depart by 7pm Monday 2nd May.
The Depths of Goedwig Wyllt:
Barnswood Scout Camp.
10th – 12th June. Price (Adults): £50-£60.
Catering Wagons/Self Catering. Bar Toilets & Showers.
Mixed Role-playing/Combat event.
Arrival from 12 noon Friday 10th June. Depart by 6pm Sunday 12th June.
Shadows of the Empire:
Bispham Hall Scout Camp.
8th– 10th July. Price (Adults): £50-£60.
Catering Wagons/Self Catering Bar Toilets & Showers.
Mixed Role-playing/Combat event.
Arrival from 12 noon Friday 8th July. Depart by 6pm Sunday 10th July.
Paccar Scout Camp.
25th -29th August Price (Adults): £65-£75.
Catering Wagons/Self Catering Bar Toilets & Showers.
Mixed Role-playing/Combat event.
Arrival from 12 noon Thursday 25th August or Friday 26th August. Depart by 7pm Monday 29th August.
First and foremost, read the rulebook thoroughly, particularly the Rules of Play and Game Mechanics sections.
Secondly, as soon as you get access to the CP forums, have a read through the Games Mechanics and Monstering sections there. A lot of answers to the questions you may have will be found there. When you get into the forum, at the top will be a drop-down box, “Show Topics”. Choose “All” to see all the posts in this, or any, forum.
Make sure you read the “New to the boards?” topic in the forum before posting this will show you how discussions and topics are handled on the CP forums.
It is very important to remember that discussions on these boards aren’t really classed as “things that have happened”. All in character action and events in the CP campaign happen at events. If you find out some information online outside of an event, your character will not know this information until you have found it out, in person, at an event.
If you are new to Curious Pastimes or LRP there is a Newbie Brief at the first event of the year and Renewal. If your first event is one of the other events, contact your faction referee and they will help you there. These briefings are friendly and informal and are intended to help you enjoy your time with us and get the most out of an event. Please bear in mind, everyone was new to LRP at one point or another, and so the vast majority of people will be happy to help you. If you have something you want to know, in character or out of character, just find someone and ask. If they don’t know, or are too busy, they will more than likely put you on to someone who can help!
When you come to an event take a moment to orientate yourself at the site. Find the traders. This is where you will find food. It’s also where you will find the tavern and quite often the event team, paramedics and GOD will be based close by. Also make sure you know where your out of character tent is as well as the toilets and washing facilities. Make sure you know where the nearest water standpipe is. There will generally be taps local to your camp, which will become extremely useful should the weather turn out hot and you find yourself dehydrated.
FOIP = Find Out In Play.
This is a term commonly used online and it means we can’t or won’t tell you on the boards or in discussion. You will need to talk to somebody in character at an event to find out this information.
OOC = Out Of Character
By putting your hand in the air with a finger raised you are considered Out of Character and for all intents and purposes do not exist within the game world. If you see anybody like this you are to ignore him or her and carry on with play as normal. This can be used by people travelling to and from Monster roles. In normal play you cannot elect to be OOC, you are in character all of the time. Toilet and shower facilities are considered to be out of character. In terms of OOC on the forums, it means the players themselves are talking, not their characters.
IC = In Character
You are your character. You are no longer the person you were on the journey to the event. You are the person you created to live in this world. Do not mix OOC knowledge with IC knowledge, e.g. if you hear something before the event, don’t use that knowledge with your character, who may not have yet learnt it in play.
Rule 7 = Don’t Take Liberties
This saying has become common across many aspects of LRP. It means for you not to act in a way that though it might not strictly be against the rules, is against the spirit of the game or the situation you find yourself in. Quite often this phrase is shortened to “Don’t take the p*ss and referee’s to a potential action that would spoil other peoples experience of the game. You possibly will hear references to “The 15/16 Rules of LARP”. These are an Out Of Character humorous list of things that most players hate
Look at the faction’s page for the descriptions of the factions and see which best suits you. If you are interested in a faction try and contact other members of the faction on the CP forums.
When you first start you might not wish to commit to a faction and you can choose to be a Mercenary, which means you have no faction allegiance within the game. At an event try and spend your time wandering around the camps that interest you, getting to know people, seeing if you think you can settle there. Once you have made up your mind, speak to the head of the faction and ask if you can join them, tell them what your character can do, and they will try to find an appropriate group for you to join.
The game is run by the game team and the referee’s. These can be identified by either the Referee ID Card that they carry, or by the Tabards that they wear. Usually white with a large R on them. If a referee tells you to do something you are required to comply with this request. Curious Pastimes adopts the position that our referee’s are always right at the time they make a judgment. We trust them to make sure our game runs smoothly and safely. Unless the referee has plainly missed an obvious factor please do not argue with the referee, as we will support their decision. If after the time has passed you are unhappy with the call the referee made you should approach your faction referee team to discuss the issue.
You are IC at “time in” until “time out” (10am till 2am) you may only declare yourself out of character if a referee has specified that you can go out of character, and you should know the referee’s name. Declaring yourself OOC is cheating, even if you are travelling to the OOC area. You are not considered OOC until you are out of the play area. If there is a pressing reason why you should go out of character you should leave the play area immediately and resolve the situation. If necessary get the support of a referee if you need to be in the IC area in an OOC manner. Putting your finger in the air to avoid trouble is cheating.
It is important to remember that to engage in LRP you and the people around you are taking on a role that is not their true persona. In doing this though they may act very convincingly that it is the case. This role might be to act unpleasantly or aggressively. If it is directed at you please do not think it is personal. If you feel that somebody has been unpleasant in an OOC manner please raise the issue with a referee or your faction referee’s. This consideration also extends to how your character acts, looks and dresses. So for example if your character wears revealing clothes you might find other characters making IC lewd comments. Sometimes you might find yourself a little shocked by other characters actions and comments but above all remember it is just a role that that person is playing, it is no they themselves saying these things or expressing those views.
The Tavern is designed for In Character interaction and is a great place to socialise and play. The player-managers are happy for people to use the premises just for Role Play – do not feel that you have to buy drinks to meet there. (But bringing your own alcohol would be frowned on). Players are welcome to eat food, meet, gather intelligence, plot and generally be part of the in game world.
Don’t neglect to ask the bar staff about Life, the Universe and current intelligence. They are all players. You are also welcome to go and volunteer for a stint behind the bar – many players find this a good way of getting to understand some of the players and Factions.
Playing a fighter is a good way to get into the rules and style of play, but it’s not an excuse not to learn the spell effects. Knowing how to fall down when someone hits you with a weapon is good. But you also need to know what to do if someone casts a spell on you. If you don’t know exactly what to do, ask someone. If it’s in the middle of a battle, chances are you were hit by a knockdown style spell, or a fumble spell. So, for the first few times, just fall over, and ask later. And remember, no one expects you to be perfect right away. It takes time, and they will be more patient if they know you are new.
A good way for your character to get into the action within the game is to volunteer for tasks. For example if you volunteer yourself out as a bodyguard for people who need to leave the camp, you can learn the layout of the area you are in, and get to meet others in different factions. If you’re not a fighter, but a spell caster, there will generally be some way in which you can help, whether by healing the injured, striking enemies from afar, or making them flee for their lives. The main thing is set yourself a goal and try and achieve it.
Character death is a real part of the CP game. If you are careless or very unlucky your character might get killed. You should be aware of the game around you and take the appropriate IC precautions. Some people like to play different characters and may change often, others like to try and build up a character over time. The choice is yours. You can only ever have one character in the CP game at any time.
There are many suppliers of LRP weapons and they are all familiar with the CP game. Some people like to wait until they meet a trader at an event in order to buy their weapons, so they can feel the weight of the weapon and how it handles. Others are happy to purchase in advance from the many online shops the traders operate.
No matter what weapon you have there are no thrusting weapons in the CP game. Don’t thrust or stab with your weapons. This is very dangerous. Not only may this cause them to get damaged, and make them unsafe to use in combat, but thrusting is dangerous as the weapon core could cause injury as it is pushed forward as it is nearly impossible to safely pull a blow in this manner.
The key to safe fighting in LRP is to be able to pull your blow and therefore not hit your opponent with full force. Even if you are an experienced player you are advised to regularly practice your fighting and make sure you are safe. If you are a new player you will find that there are plenty of people who will willingly spar with you in order to practice pulling your blows and fighting safely. If you are bored in camp, find someone who might be willing to spar with you. You will find the extra practice fun, and it’ll help with interacting with members of your faction, and good for role-play.
It is also important to remember that the weapon you have is a lightweight object and you are able to move it much faster than the weapon it is meant to represent. Hitting with excess speed is often referred to as “drum rolling”. This is of course against the spirit of play. Make sure when fighting your blows are full swing and are as if you were wielding a real weapon.
It is also important to learn how to wield your weapon properly; this is especially applicable to long weapons such as pole arms. The greater length of these weapons can make them difficult to control and more likely to land a non-pulled blow. As mentioned previously learn to use your weapon correctly through constant practice and be sure you are safe during play.
Volunteering to monster is a good way to gain experience fighting, and you might get the opportunity to use different weapons and fight in different ways than your character would. It is important to remember that monsters are set to challenge players and not simply kill them. This would make for a very abrupt and frustrating game. When given the monster statistics by the referee, please stick to them so as not to unbalance play.
When casting a spell in battle, it’s always helpful to add a short description after the spell vocals. “By the power of the Spirits I command thee to cower and fear me. The guy with the big red shield, I mean you!” This avoids confusion as to who the target was, and reduces the number of spells that get accidentally ignored. If you want to use offensive magic, you need to be LOUD. In the middle of a battle there is a lot of noise and if you’re trying to throw a Spirit Bolt at someone, they need to hear you.
In combat it is important to take the spell effects as described. If you get hit by a spell that knocks you over, then fall over, don’t just stumble a little. If the situation means that it would be too dangerous to fall over, or the press of bodies makes it impossible to fall over then make sure you act as incapacitated as if you had been knocked off your feet. Be unable to fight or defend effectively, potentially be in the way of your comrades, try and enact the intention of the spell to the best of your ability.
If you get hit by a Fear effect, you have to run away in terror for 30 seconds. This doesn’t mean run out of the faction’s camp area, wait outside patiently for 20 seconds and then come back. You have just experienced the most terrifying thing you can imagine, and wish to put as much distance between you and the spell caster as you can, for 30 seconds. Once those 30 seconds are up, you turn around and head back, although probably not as fast as you ran away. If you are unable to run away for any reasons, then cowering and screaming for 30 seconds, unable to do anything else, is perfectly acceptable.
Some monsters and opponents will call Strength when they hit. You have been hit with so much force that you have been knocked over physically. You may have a shield, so you don’t take damage, but that’s still a lot of forward momentum hitting it, and it’s enough to force you off your feet. So if you get hit with Strength, drop to the ground. Don’t just stand there and carry on as if nothing happened.
When fighting please try to be aware of the ground you are stepping on, it might not be the best for a good footing. Also be aware of fallen people; try not to stand on them too. If you have been struck down it is acceptable to draw your arms and legs in, to protect yourself, if you are near a busy battle. If by remaining where you have fallen is dangerous, it is also acceptable to move a little to the side so as to maintain your safety. On a battlefield bot the referee’s and members of the Event team will stand over and in front of dangerous ground and obstacles for your safety, they will also stand over fallen players and monsters again for their safety. If you are instructed to move away from an area or obstacle or not to fight over an obstacle please follow these instructions because they are for both yours and others safety.
As you will appreciate part of the immersion into an LRP game is also your responsibility too. The better your kit and costume looks the better the game will be for other people, who in turn will be inspired to improve their kit so as to make your game better.
You should aspire to wear as little modern day clothing as possible. For example your trousers and top should be plain and appear is if from a medieval context. Footwear is especially important and modern sports footwear can be a particularly visible failure of a costume.
You do not need to spend a lot of money on costume and army surplus and charity shops can provide a lot of kit that with a little alteration will look the part. In common with many other aspects of LRP players and traders alike will be happy to advise you on resources and making techniques. Your costume might start out simple but over the year you can add to it in order to make it more in character and visually stimulating for others.