What is Live Action Role-Playing?
Role-playing is simply acting. Whether you are performing a Shakespearian play in your community theater, or only using a silly voice to impersonate your favorite cartoon character, you are assuming a role that is different from yourself and you are role-playing.
Live Action Role-Playing (LARP) is improvisational acting in which you assume the role of an imaginary character. It has the flavor of tabletop role-playing; except, instead of controlling the actions of some fictitious character that exists on paper, you become your fictitious character and are immersed in an environment that has been created to accommodate that character along with many others. Unlike tabletop role-playing games that are organized by one storyteller, live action role-playing games involve a cast of many players who help to bring a story to life. Your job in a live action role-playing game is to react to the story in a way that is appropriate to the character you have created.
What is Magestry?
Magestry is a live action role-playing game that takes place on and in the imaginary world of Magesta. Magesta is just one of many worlds in the Dabbleverse Campaign Setting by PDabble Games (PDabbleGames.com). Its lands are very similar to those of planet Earth, but it is a more fantastical setting. Magesta possesses many of the elements from classic fantasy literature (elves, goblins, magic, etc.), but there are also many elements unique to the Dabbleverse.
Magestry has a system of rules that is different from that of any other live action role-playing game. It has been designed to give the player ultimate flexibility in building and playing his or her character; however, we hope that each player will be more focused on having fun and on role-playing well than on character advancement. For the enjoyment of all the players of Magestry, we are interested in the personalities, backgrounds, and ambitions of each character on Magesta. You don't have to have the most powerful character to have the most fun.
Magestry is more than just a game; it is a family. Everyone in the family enjoys playing with good role-players, so don't be shy about putting on your best act. You will be rewarded for a well developed and well played character. Join the Magestry family and play it up!
Who Can Play?
Anybody who is 14 or older can play Magestry. We do not discriminate for any reason, not even physical disability. The only two things that will stop us from accepting a player are if all the space for an event is full or the player has been suspended from the game for behavioral reasons. A player that is under the age of 18 must have permission from a parent or guardian to play each event, and a player that is under the age of 16 must be accompanied by another player that is at least 18 years old.
There are a few things you must do before you begin playing Magestry:
1. Read and understand the rules and policies. We understand that there are a lot of rules, and we don't expect you to memorize them all. We do, however, expect you to know the function of the skills that you will be using. We've tried to make the skill statements as self-explanatory as possible, and we will go over all safety rules and policies before each game. You can download the Magestry Player's Rulebook for free or find out how to purchase a hard copy of the Magestry Player's Rulebook at Magestry.com. You should bring a copy of the rulebook to each event so you can refer to it if you have any questions.
2. Once you are comfortable with the rules, you must create a character. The next few chapters of this book will guide you through the character creation process.
3. After your character has a unique personality and the proper skills, you must purchase or construct an appropriate costume and weapon(s).
4. Register for an event (of course). See Registering for an Event later in this section.
What You Need to Play
We have compiled the following checklist for you. The following are things you should bring to each event:
-Weapon(s) (assuming you use one)
-Spell packets (assuming you use them)
-Hard copy of the Player's Rulebook (purchased from us or printed off of the internet)
-Warm sleeping bag
-Extra socks and footwear
-Rain gear (something that doesn't appear modern)
-Food (registration fee does not include a full meal plan)
-Personal hygiene items
-Weapon repair kit (duct tape, scissors, extra foam)
-Bug spray and first aid kit
-Glow sticks or lantern
-Pencil and paper
-Emergency Flashlight (should be small and concealed)
Each event will typically begin with some degree of set up. Usually, events will require hours of set up, and anyone who helps will be rewarded with Brownie Points (discussed further in Chapter 13: Rewards). After this set up, players will begin to line up for check-in. At check-in, each player will sign a waiver, pay for the event if the payment had not been made in advance (see section below about pre-registration), receive his or her updated character information, have his or her weapons and armor tested for safety, have his or her armor rated, and be assigned a sleeping arrangement. During check-in, the cast (NPCs) will meet in another location to receive plot information and finalize the plans for the event. While the cast is meeting, all new players will gather near the check-in area for a final rules instruction where any questions will be clarified.
After check-in and the NPC and new player meetings are completed, all players (cast included) will gather near the check-in area for a general meeting. At this meeting, important rules and policies will be repeated, any rules changes will be announced, and we will inform you of which people to find in case of an emergency. After the general meeting: Game On!
The game will run non-stop for the entire event. This means that you are in-game all the time; yes, even to sleep. If you feel that you must go out-of-game for any reason, please go to plot central and tell the director there. Also, it is crucial that you tell us if you need to leave the premises while the game is still on. We may have a plot planned for your character, and sending out cast members to find a player that isn't even on the premises is a waste of everyone's time. More importantly, we need to know where you are in case of an emergency.
After the official Game Over has been called, all players will report to the check-out station (same as check-in) for a closing meeting. After the meeting each player (that's you) will have to check out by returning all in-game money, magic items, pieces of cheesecloth, and alchemical components (anything that we actually own OOG). These items will be returned the next time that character is played. Items that are not turned in will be considered lost and you will not be able to have them at the next game.
Once your character is done with check-out, feel very free to help us take down and clean up the event. Remember: players who help will be rewarded with Brownie Points.
In-Game (IG) and Out-of-Game (OOG)
The term In-Game (IG) refers to the imaginary world of Magesta and things that are considered to be happening there. Out-of-Game (OOG) refers to the real world and things happening there. Things that exist in Magesta (monsters, magic items, weapons, your character, etc.) are considered In-Game. Things that exist in the real world, and are not conducive to the Magestic setting (cars, cell phones, conversations about video games, etc.), are considered Out-of-Game.
While game is on, you are expected to stay in-game as much as possible. You'll lose skill points for going OOG or having unnecessary OOG conversations. If you feel that you must go Out-of-Game for any reason other than an emergency (or to comply with some game rule), please don't disrupt the game for others who want to remain In-Game. If you must use a cell phone (only for emergencies please), set it to vibrate and go Out-of-Game (and away from other players) when you use it.
Everyone will remain In-Game from the beginning of the event right to the end. All areas are In-Game except for staff areas (such as Plot Central and the Module Building), the bathrooms, and the space underneath your bed (DO NOT store In-Game items underneath your bed.)
If you do need to go OOG, you should hold your arm over your head. Doing that is a sign to others that you are not In-Game and they will ignore you.
In case of an emergency, please find a GM or emergency medical personnel (but first be sure that the situation won't get worse without you there). If you aren't properly trained in how to handle an injury, don't! Just get help (after making sure the injured person is in a secure environment).
-Running at Night- This is the number one cause of injury at live action role-playing events. If you don't have a very clear and/or well-lit path, please don't run at night. If you are fleeing from another character (in-game) and you do not feel safe running, simply slow down and tell the other player, "Out-of-game: I'm running." This signifies that you are continuing to run in-game while the situation stays safe and happy out-of-game. If you are the character following the player that says this, please slow down as well. Stay an equal distance behind. You may still pursue the person for as long as you wish. NOTE: You cannot state out-of-game that you are running and then remain still; you must at least continue walking.
There are certain out-of-game commands that you can use in emergency situations. For the safety of everyone, these commands must be followed immediately:
-Time Out- Yell this loudly if you notice an emergency situation that requires the attention of everyone. When a Time Out is called, everyone who hears it must stop what he or she is doing and take notice of (and maybe help) the emergency situation. (At many other games, the command Hold is used instead of Time Out. Because of this, some people may say Hold out of habit. However, Magestry's official safety command is Time Out, so please correct people if they use Hold or any other command word.)
-Caution- This command functions as a mini Time Out. Use this command if you notice a situation that is potentially dangerous to a small number of people. You need only speak this command loud enough for those persons (or person) to hear. Example: You are engaged in combat with another player and you notice that he is about to back into an area filled with slippery rocks. Say Caution to your opponent and then move the combat to a safer location.
-Out-of-Game Help- This command is to be used only in a real (OOG) emergency. If you hear someone yelling this, please stop whatever you are doing to get help to the situation.
Being Considerate In-Game and OOG
Not all situations that require out-of-game attention are emergencies. Sometimes, a situation that is not at all dangerous can use a little consideration on your part. No matter how vicious or diabolical the character is that you are playing, remember that we are all friends out-of-game and we never want to do anything that makes anyone else feel (OOG) uncomfortable. Consideration is especially important when dealing with new players that might not fully understand the rules yet.
On the note of OOG consideration for others, we ask that you please keep your language as clean as possible. Many people find expletives offensive and filthy language detracts from the friendly atmosphere that we try to create. If you must insult someone in-game, for the sake of role-playing, try expanding your vernacular. Instead of cussing at a creature, say something like, "May you be visited in the night by the fleas of a hundred mongrel dogs!" Remember, we consider things like this to be good role-playing and we are always on the lookout for it. We love rewarding players who role-play well, especially the considerate ones.
Magestry is played under the honor system. We have done our best to reduce the possibility of cheating without making the rules so rigid that the atmosphere of the game would suffer. As with any LARP game, there are an infinite number of ways to cheat at Magestry and maybe some loopholes in the rules. You are on your honor to play honestly and as the rules are intended. The spirit of the rules is every bit as important as their specific phrasing. Anyone caught cheating will have to leave the game for one or more events.
Each player is required to memorize the rules that his or her character uses during the game. Claims of, "I didn't know how that skill worked" or "I got the rules confused with the rules of another LARP game" will not be accepted and will be considered cheating. If someone uses a skill against your character that you are unfamiliar with, you must ask for it to be Clarified. If there is any confusion or argument about how a rule works, consult the rulebook or ask a GM.
-Metagaming-There are certain things that you may learn about the world of Magestry that your character never learned in-game. Using this OOG knowledge while in-game is called Metagaming and is considered cheating. Example: If you are part of the cast one event and play a skeleton under the command of an evil necromancer, you may learn where the necromancer's secret lair is; however, if you return to the game as another character who has not learned of the lair's location and use or share any knowledge of the place, you are metagaming.
Real (OOG) Laws
In keeping with the Magestic atmosphere, we will play with a number of in-game laws (like 'No poisoning the kings soup' and 'No brandishing your weapon while in town'), but all players are still subject to all national and state laws. Players caught breaking any of these will be punished to the full extent of the law.
-Theft- In-game items can be stolen during the game; however, by the end of the game it is required that every item returns to its (OOG) owner. Items that are out-of-game, underneath a bed, or in an out-of-game (OOG) area may not be stolen, even if they can be used in-game. Theft of out-of-game items is punishable by the law.
Drugs, Alcohol, and Smoking
The use or possession of alcohol or illegal drugs at a Magestry event is strictly forbidden. Anyone caught with these items or under their influence will be permanently expelled from the game and may face legal consequences. (Alcohol is represented in-game by non-alcoholic beverages like soda or grape juice.)
Smoking is permitted at Magestry but only in designated locations. If people are caught smoking outside of these locations, or we find cigarette butts on the ground, smoking will no longer be allowed at Magestry events. Smoking locations will be revealed at the general meeting before each event.
Lights and Fires
We try very hard to maintain the fantastical atmosphere of Magestry, and one of the most important elements of this atmosphere is the lighting. We do not allow the use of electric or white light (this includes flashlights).
Magestry uses candles, oil lamps, firelight, and glow sticks to light up the night, but no flame may be left unattended, and a GM must approve each campfire before it is lit. Also, no combat is allowed within twenty feet of a flame (open or enclosed). Flashlights and electric lights may only be used in an emergency. NOTE: Some electric lights (such as flicker-bulbs or Christmas lights) may be allowed, but ask a GM first.
Magestry uses safe boffer weapons for its combat system. No player is allowed to carry real weapons (live steel), but we may allow them to be used for decoration in safe places (ask a GM). On the other hand, real armor is permitted (and encouraged) as long as it does not contain spikes, blades, or anything sharp.
We Are Not Liable
We have made the Magestry gaming system as safe as possible, but, as with any physical activity, there is still risk involved. Once or twice a year, each player will be required to sign a waiver acknowledging that Magestry is not liable for injuries sustained during an event. By signing the waiver, you agree to:
-Follow all safety regulations
-Inform us if you discover any problem that might endanger the safety of others
-Inform another player if one of his/her own weapons or props is or becomes unsafe
-Refrain from any (OOG) illegal activities
-Refrain from consuming, possessing, or being under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs while at an event
-Understand all the game's policies and involved risks
Permission From Parents
You must be at least 14 years of age to play Magestry. Any player under the age of 18 is required to submit written permission from a parent or legal guardian at each event and must also have the signature of a parent or legal guardian on his or her most current waiver.
Non-Player Characters (NPCs)
Non-Player Characters (NPCs) are technically the in-game personalities assumed by the cast members, but the term NPCs may also be used to refer to the cast members themselves. Anyone eligible to play Magestry is eligible to be an NPC. NPCs should be familiar with the rules, but they need not have them memorized. No NPC is exempt from the rules or policies of the game.
Game Masters (GMs)
Game Masters (GMs) are the cast members who are in charge of the game. All other cast members report to them for their assignments, and all players must obey anything that a GM tells them regarding the game. Throughout this book, you will notice that there are many instances when you should consult a GM; these are not suggestions but requirements. All GMs will be introduced at the general meeting before each event.
Plot Central (NPCHQ)
Plot Central (sometimes called NPCHQ) is an out-of-game area(s) where the cast members (NPCs) receive their commands and don appropriate costumes. Players are not allowed in this area without permission from a GM unless there is an emergency. There will always be at least one GM in this area unless an emergency brings him or her away. The location(s) of Plot Central will be revealed at the general meeting before each event.
Lost and Found
If you find an out-of-game item that seems to have been lost by its owner, please bring it to the Lost-and-Found at Plot Central. In-game items that were lost or stolen can be used or sold in-game, but they must be returned to their owner or turned in at the Lost-and-Found once the game ends.
If your boffer weapon is stolen in-game, you may retrieve it through in-game means or buy another one in-game. NPC weapons (with a red stripe around the hilt or pommel), armor, and shields are considered useless (unless otherwise noted) and must be given back to the cast member who used it or to Plot Central. (See Taking Weapons and Armor in Chapter 5: Equipment.)
Registering for an Event
The most convenient method of registration is through the Magestry Database at Magestry.com. Log in to the Magestry Database and look for the Register for Future Events area. Select the event date, your character, and where you would like to sleep, and then click the Add To Cart button. Follow the directions on the screen that appears to complete your registration.
Also, you can click the See Who Else is Registered button to see who is planning to attend the upcoming events. By default, the next event date is shown, but you can change the date by altering the selection in the dropdown menu.
The best method of registration is to pre-register by submitting your payment to us no later than one week before an event (Friday). This will lessen the risk of you not being able to play due to event space selling out. Registrations are taken on a first-come first-serve basis. You may not be able to play if you try to pay at the door, and even if there is space, registration may be more expensive. Visit our website, Magestry.com, to see the schedule of events and their rates. You can submit payment in-person by cash or check (made out to Magestry) or by sending a check (not cash) to the address provided at Magestry.com.
-Cancellations-If you cannot attend an event that you have registered for, you may be refunded half of your payment as long as you cancel at least one week [Friday] before an event. Later than that time, you will not receive a refund. Half of your registration fee is a non-refundable deposit. However, if you announce your cancellation far enough in advance, we may allow you to use your payment toward the pre-registration of another event. If, for some crazy reason, an event is cancelled, all players will have the option of a full refund or using his or her payment to pre-register for another event.
Though it is free to be a member of the cast, NPCs should notify us before the event of their intention to play. Space and food for NPCs is limited just as it is for players, and requests to be an NPC will be taken on a first-come first-serve basis.
-Minimal Attendance- A player may register for an event as Minimal Attendance. This allows someone who cannot attend an event have his character still earn Skill Points, although at a reduced rate. The registration cost is the same as for a normal event, since for all purposes, your character is considered as having attended the event. Players who register for an event and do not attend without telling us ahead of time will be marked for minimal attendance unless another arrangement is made out of the kindness of our hearts.
Magestry events will be played in any weather, so come prepared for anything. If some kind of dangerously severe weather interferes, each registered player will be notified of a cancellation.