Pre-event Logistics

Although today is Tuesday, we are now within two weeks of our Summer 2013 event and therefore will not be offering a tale.  Instead, we’d like to remind our players about some logistical matters as we approach the event.

Preparations and packing.  For your convenience, we have compiled a list of items that you should consider bringing to an event:
  1. Character costume
  2. In-game props and decorations
  3. Sturdy, water-proof boots
  4. Boffer weapons, as per regulations
  5. Cabin decor (optional but encouraged)
  6. Gloves
  7. Extra clothing for layering or changing
  8. Extra socks and underwear
  9. Pouch for out-of-game items
  10. Necessary toiletries
  11. Necessary medications
  12. Bath towel and shoes (showers are available)
  13. Bug spray and/or sunscreen
  14. Food and drink (highly recommended)
  15. Money
  16. Pillow
  17. Sleeping bag and blankets
  18. Pajamas
  19. Small flashlight

Before you come, make sure that you eat something, and that you have food to bring with you for game-time.  We provide snacks, drinks, and basic cold-cut sandwiches in the tavern during game, as well as one hot meal on Saturday evening, but that is all.  A good, full meal to begin the weekend is always an excellent idea, and having food on hand during an event guarantees that you will never go hungry.  You alone know how much food you will need to keep you up and energized.

Arrival on site and check-in.  Players are asked to arrive on-site no earlier than 5pm on Friday, May 31 (unless carpooling with staff); staff, no earlier than 3pm.  A staffer wearing a black staff shirt will direct you where to park.  Upon parking your car, please report to General Manager Hilary Umbreit for check in.  She will be seated in the open basement of the main building, just down the hill to the right of the parking area.  At this point, you must pay your event fee and sign your safety waiver, if you have not already done so.  Anyone who does not pay or who refuses to sign the waiver will not be allowed to play.  Additionally, you must present your weapons for inspection and approval at this time.  If you have armor, we recommend that you bring it with you so that Hilary can assign its in-game value.  Once you have paid, signed the safety waiver, and your weapons and armor have been inspected, Hilary will give you three things:

  1. Your character baggie, which includes all of your in-game items and your character sheet.  Please retain this bag, as we ask you to return your in-game items inside the bag at the end of the event.
  2. A map of the campsite (if it is available).  New players and staffers are strongly encouraged to take a walk around the entire campsite and get a feel for the lay of the land before reporting for set-up.  It does not take very long, it is quite scenic, and it ensures that you will not be stumbling around blindly come nightfall.  Remember—we try not to use electric lights at night, so it gets very dark!
  3. A cabin assignment.  Players will be assigned to sleeping quarters in one of the outdoor cabins or within the main building on-site.  Please specify whether or not you would like to sleep in an OOG area at this time.  Volunteer and general staffers may bunk with players if they have the express permission of the GMs, but their presence automatically renders the cabin or room out-of-game.  Otherwise, staffers are expected to sleep all together in the staff bunk room just off of staff center in the main building.

Once you have checked in, you should move your belongings into your cabin (or into the staff sleeping quarters, if you are staffing).  Then you should arrange your cabin however you see fit.  Decorating your cabin is optional, but strongly encouraged.  Having an in-game cabin that is legitimately decked out allows you to host visitors and to spend time in your cabin during the event if you so choose.  Sometimes it can be very nice to have a private place away from other characters, to conduct conversations, business, and so on.

If, after you have set up your cabin, you find that you have a number of extraneous out-of-game items that you definitively won’t need during the event, you may choose to bring one (1) bin or bag up to staff center.  There, we will have sectioned off a small area in which players can leave these bins or bags for the duration of the event.  We ask that all such bags or bins are securely and neatly stowed, labeled with your name, fully zippered or otherwise sealed, and contain no fragile items.  Likewise, make sure not to include anything that you will need during an event, because such bags and bins will be considered off-limits until Sunday afternoon at clean-up.

Set-up.  Only after you have unloaded your own belongings and arranged your cabin to your satisfaction should you report for set-up.  When you are ready to do so, proceed to Staff Center, which is located in the main building.  Here you will report to General Manager Adam Selby.

Tasks range in difficulty and complexity, and include such activities as: planting solar lamps, tiki torches, and other in-game light sources on the paths around the campsite; unpacking and organizing staff center; moving mattresses into the staff sleeping quarters; clearing out, cleaning up, and/or setting up in-game buildings such as the shrine, the forge, the Knight’s Stand, the Silver Raven, and the Oak Bookseller; hanging tarps or other cloth in designated mod halls; and so on.  You will be awarded a given amount of CP per task that you complete; please report back to Adam when you have finished one task and would like another one.

As a general rule, players will be given preference over staffers to undertake set-up tasks.  This is because players earn CP for helping to set up, and because staffers take on a lot of work during the event itself.

That said, there comes a time during set-up that there simply are not any more tasks left to complete.  If this is the case, you should start getting into costume and head to the Silver Raven Tavern for the pre-game player meeting.  Once there, please wait patiently for one of the GMs to arrive.

Pre-game player meeting.  The pre-game player meeting occurs once set-up is complete and the players, now in costume, have gathered in the Tavern.  One of the GMs will arrive and do a head-count; if most of the players are at the Tavern, the GM will blow a (referee’s) whistle outside of the tavern three times, signifying that the pre-game player meeting will start in ten (10) minutes.  If you hear this whistle, you should hurry to put your costume on and get to the Tavern.  We will start whether you are there or not.

This meeting includes significant information about the upcoming event, including important out-of-game calls such as “Caution” and “Emergency,” who among us knows first aid and what to do should an emergency occur, and any unusual circumstances or details that you need to know for the upcoming event.  Please note that, although you may ask for clarifications at this time, the meeting’s function is not to review skill calls or mechanics, as we assume that you already understand them.

In-game arrival to Ravensgate.  Once the pre-game meeting is done, all players with new characters, or established characters who traveled outside of Ravensgate between moons, must scatter beyond the edges of the town commons.  From here, when game-on is called, you will role-play your in-game arrival in town.

If you have an established character who remained in Ravensgate between moons, you may start game in the Silver Raven or within the town commons.

Players are discouraged from clumping together unless it actually makes sense in-game for you to do so—for instance, you might arrive in town with the group of people you were traveling with between moons.  If you feel legitimately uncomfortable traveling into town in this way—if you are a new player, for example, or you do not want to walk alone in the dark—a Town Guard PC or NPC will be stationed on the far side of the river by the footbridge.  You may go there to be escorted into town by that person.

At the beginning of each event, all characters start alive, in good health, with no injuries, and with full use of all of their skills.  We ask that you make sure to keep your character sheet on your person at all times, as it can be useful for reference during game.  You may store any BGS responses or carry them with you as you so choose.  Remember that documents such as letters, some spy responses, sage books or scrolls, and so on are considered in-game, stealable items.

Game-on call.  As everyone scatters, one of the GMs will blow the whistle outside of the Tavern two times.  This signifies that you have approximately ten (10) minutes to find your position and get into character.  After ten minutes, the GM will blow the whistle three more times.  This announces that game is officially on—you should act in-character and expect in-game occurrences to happen from this point onward.

Optimally, we try to start game between 9 and 10pm.  However, due to a variety of factors, this may not always be possible.  Thus, we ask players to remain patient and flexible as staff gears up for the event.

Game-off call.  The Éras Chronicles uses a “soft-stop” to indicate game-off.  At 2am, a staffer or a player in the position of town Crier will blow a whistle or ring a bell outside of the Tavern two times and announce, “Two of the clock and all is quiet” around the campsite.  As soon as this happens, all staff-driven activity stops and every staffer is expected to go to bed.  If you are a staffer and you have not reported to the staff sleeping quarters by 2:15am, the GMs will come looking for you.  (Please do not make us do this.)

Players, on the other hand, may continue to interact and wrap up in-game business or conversations inside of the Silver Raven Tavern.  All other areas and places around the campsite are considered out-of-game; as soon as you leave the Silver Raven for any reason, you are no longer in-game.  Although it is fully your choice to stay up past 2am, we strongly encourage all players to go to bed as soon as possible.  Game-on is at 9am sharp on Saturday morning.

Overnight restoration.  Any player sleeping in an in-game cabin automatically regenerates four (4) CP worth of skills overnight on both Friday and Saturday.  You may apply this restoration to any skill available to you on your character sheet, including vitality, in accordance with the skill’s normal CP cost.  Thus, John can restore two points of vitality (2 CP total, since the skill costs 1 CP per purchase) and one use of Parry (2 CP); two uses of Fumble (2 CP total) and one use of Subdue (2 CP); or two uses of Bind (4 CP total).  Note that the four CP may be applied only to skills that you used up the day before.  If you did not use any of your skills, therefore, you do not gain any of the restorative benefits.

There is a catch to all this, however; namely, your cabin must legitimately look in-game in order to receive your overnight regeneration.  On Saturday morning or afternoon, one or both GMs will conduct a cabin inspection.  If your cabin has out-of-game items or trash lying around, we will post a sign on your cabin door indicating that it has been declared an out-of-game cabin.  Should this happen, you will not gain any CP restoration on Saturday night.

Further details about the course of the event can be found in Chapter 8 of the Rulebook.  Please make sure to look over the different mechanics and skills descriptions as well as in-game information pertaining to the world, in-game law, and so on before the event.  Finally, if you have any questions at all, contact us at well before the event.  Thanks and good luck as you prep for the event.  We are looking forward to seeing all of you!