The Eldritch Player’s Guide has been designed to provide the core rules, policies, player expectations for Eldritch events, character creation process, and managing your between event experience. By the end of this guide you should have a thorough understanding of what we expect our players to know, both in and out of game. The sections below further outline what you can expect to find in each chapter of the Player’s Guide. All players and participants at Eldritch should have some general knowledge of each section listed on this page. We strive to make the experience of getting to your first game and every event thereafter as seamless as possible. If you need help in any step along the way, or just want to drop us a line, please do so at: email@example.com
Using this guide...
The sections below detail what you can expect out of your experience at an Eldritch event. Whether you are new to the hobby of LARP or not, we hope to answer all your basic questions and provide you with the information you need to make getting to, and playing your first event, as easy as possible. First and foremost is the Eldritch Social Contract, which is our personal safety and responsibility promise to you, our players. We want to make sure to set firm guidelines on what you can expect from your game staff to ensure your personal safety and the safety of those around you, as well as what we expect from you in order to help us in this mission. Next, we will walk you through how to prepare for an Eldritch event, from what to bring, to what to expect at check-in and beyond. Lastly, we will discuss some of the out-of-play (real life) concepts of live action role playing that may be unknown to the uninitiated, such as meta-gaming, and various visual cues to indicate out-of-play exchanges between players. And as always, if you have any further questions, please reach out at: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you find yourself in such a situation, and no longer wish to be a part of it, or enact the consequences in which such an encounter would result, the intended course of action would be to call a “Hold,” remove yourself from the situation, and then find a member of staff to further adjudicate.
Fade to Black
Another method is what is referred to as the Fade to Black. However, the Fade to Black entails that you wish to participate in the scene, and accept any resulting consequences as a result, but not to participate in the appropriate role-play. In this situation, simply state, “Fade to Black,” and proceed with play as required.
Player Vs Player Conflict
Eldritch is a PVE game with a consensual PVP option. Characters will likely succeed best by working in friendly competition, but sometimes storylines lead to violence between characters. We encourage players to explore all options before choosing the death of another character as a means to an end. Players must follow the below steps before they choose to have their character attempt to kill another character. These steps can take place anytime; at events or between events.
The player must first reach out to the other player(s) and initiate a discussion. How that discussion goes is largely up to the players involved, but there are some questions that can be asked to help guide the conversation. What is the assailant’s motivation? What is the story that led to this decision? Are there other options that the assailant can attempt before choosing death of another character? How does the other player feel about this? Are they emotionally and mentally prepared for their character’s story to come to an end? Will the assailant succeed in their attempt to kill the other character? Will the victim escape? It is required that all players involved consent to the story.
If the players cannot come to an agreement on their own, or if for whatever reason one or more players do not wish to speak to the other(s), staff can be asked to step in and arbitrate. This can be done via the Contact form on our website, or in person at an Event, at which point a staff member will set up a mediation with the players involved.
Once an agreement has been made, the roleplay can take place. If there is any wiggle room in the scenario for players to make impromptu decisions for their characters, then an attempt should be made to define those parts of the scenario ahead of time. Otherwise, the rest of the roleplay should follow what the players agreed to.
What can you expect from PVE in Eldritch? We can’t guarantee that your character will be safe in every situation. The nature of our setting and story is one of danger and discovery. Players must understand that if they participate in combat or go near combat, they are putting their characters at risk of death. We have defined our “Safe Hours” as 2 A.M. to 8 A.M., where characters are safe from PVE inside their cabins. If a player ventures outside of their cabin during this time, their character could be in danger. These safe do not guarantee protection from PVP, but the PVP should be defined ahead of time following the rules outlined above.
The hobby of live action role playing can be a very rewarding and meaningful personal experience for a lot of people. It is a singular hobby in that it can satisfy many different creative outlets, from acting, crafting, costuming, and even music. Most importantly, it is a hobby of people who have come together under the mutual agreement to tell a story. Inherent in this agreement is a social contract between the players and the staff, who both create and adjudicate the game world of Eldritch. We at Eldritch, as part of our social contract, promise to provide a game space that is not only thrilling, immersive, and engaging, but one that is safe. To this end, we have enacted the following policies that apply to all players, and staff alike. Eldritch contains themes of political intrigue, horror, and the supernatural for ages 21 and older. And as a live action role playing game, Eldritch will drop you into situations and encounters that, while completely safe, may at times be a bit too intense or emotionally charged for your taste. As such, the Eldritch staff fully supports your right to remove yourself from any situation in which you feel unsafe or uncomfortable. It is possible that over the course of play, you may be involved in a scene or encounter to which you may attribute some extreme or negative emotion, or that may evoke some personal trauma. And while we want to give players real, emotional, and immersive experiences, it will never be the intent of the Eldritch staff to make any player relive any such event. Lastly, we ask that all players of Eldritch respect the rights of other players to remove themselves from any such situation.
Metagaming is the use or application of information by a character that was not learned by their character, but by the player, perhaps due to some casual conversation they may have had with another player, for example. While likely unintentional, the use of this information is a form of cheating and multiple infractions on the part of a player will result in expulsion from Eldritch events. Again, much of the content of Eldritch plot or otherwise is hidden, thereby making secret information a treasure in and of itself. We encourage you to do your best to not ruin unknown plot or content for other players by egregiously sharing this content.
This section is to explicitly detail our expectations of player behavior both in and out-of-game, in interactions with Eldritch staff, and other players via Eldritch communication channels. While it is not our desire to keep players from attending Eldritch events, we wish to discourage those behaviors that run counter to the positive, progressive, and healthy LARP community that we wish to foster through Eldritch, and related events.
Before Your Event
Properly preparing for a LARP event is key to having a great time while at the event. This section will give you some pointers on some things you can do, and how to prepare so that you have everything you need. It will also cover some LARP conventions that may be unknown to the uninitiated, such as how to handle out-of-play discussions during game, and how to handle the exchange of information between players and characters, which is an important distinction.
The Eldritch staff and admin want to make sure all players have a good time and a great experience in anything related to Eldritch. And while the world of Arnesse may be dangerous, uncertain, and perilous nothing else about the experience should be. We want to foster a healthy, positive, and creative LARP community, where anyone who has a good attitude and puts forth a good effort feels like they belong. To this end we want to address a few behaviors that have no place in Eldritch and will never be tolerated:
Staff or player harassment or abuse.
Consistent complaints of excessive or unsafe force in combat.
Griefing, which is the intentional bullying of newer or existing players, based on their lack of experience, or otherwise.
Illegal behavior of any kind.
What to Bring
Preparing for a LARP event, in a lot of ways, is pretty similar to packing for a weekend camping trip, except that you’ll have to bring along a few other items that would be pretty out of place at a conventional camping trip. The following are some items you should be sure to pack for your trip to Eldritch events:
Your character’s costuming, weapons and armor, props, and any room décor. You are encouraged to make your sleeping space as immersive for other players as you can, perhaps with LED candles, bits of parchment, dishes, and various other setting-appropriate accoutrements.
Toiletries and bedding items.
Food and other snacks for your lodgings.
Extra clothes for after the event is over.
Cameras are only allowed at the discretion of Eldritch staff. Please do not bring them unless given explicit permission to do so.
In Play vs Out of Play
An important concept of LARP in general is the concept of In Play vs Out of Play. In play refers to any interaction between two characters, not players, and occurs most often during Eldritch events. However, players often like to have interactions between events, and are encouraged to do so. These can take the place of conversations on the Eldritch forums, or some other communication channel. An important distinction here is that while players can have all the conversations they want, when conversations happen between characters, it is best to denote this distinction such that players don’t inadvertently gain access to information that they otherwise shouldn’t know. It is tempting and fairly common to share information and stories with each other, however this can lead to a common pitfall of LARPs called Metagaming. See more on this in the section on metagaming under Player Behavior. Likewise, it is customary for all time between game start and the end of the event to be treated as in-play. If you do wish to go out of play for any reason, it is customary to place a closed fist on top of your head to indicate that you are out of play. It is requested that you do your best not to occupy any in-game spaces during this time.
No illegal activity, per the laws of Washington state will ever be tolerated. There is no exception to this, and any such activity will be immediately reported to the proper authorities and result in expulsion from all current and future Eldritch events.
Give Others a Great Experience
While we encourage conflict and drama within the context of game play, this should never come at the cost of out-of-game disenfranchisement or abuse of other members of the player community. It is the goal of the Eldritch staff to provide every player with a singularly unique, enriching, and personally rewarding live action gaming experience. Required, however, is the mutual cooperation and inclusion of all. To this end, all members of the player community should do their part to make sure every other player is having a great time.
You Are Not Your Character Sheet
Eldritch is a world driven by the rich history of its world and the inhabitants therein. The rules and systems that were designed as a means by which to interact with this simulated world were done so with the intention that they would be secondary to enabling real player creativity and imagination. Play in the Spirit of the Rules While not everything may be explicitly defined, it is your responsibility as a player to play in the spirit of good sportsmanship and in the spirit of the rules. We expect players not look to the rules as means by which to cheat via loopholes or some other mechanism, but as a means through which to interact with the world and other players. If something is not clear, simply ask a member of game staff to help you out. They’re there to make sure you have a good experience. In doing so you’ll not only help us out, but your fellow players as well.
At the Event
So now that you’re all packed up and ready to go, what should you expect when you arrive on site? The sections below detail what to do when arriving on site, from checking in, to getting everything you need for your character, to starting play, to conclusion of the event. More detailed event schedule information can always be found on the upcoming event's homepage.
Check in will take place at the Game Center, which will be a clearly marked building. Can’t find it? Ask around and someone will be able to point you in the right direction. During check in you will:
Sign the liability waiver if you haven’t already.
Receive any resources, lores, or other in-game items due.
Get a lodging assignment if you haven’t one already.
Get any weapons checked and approved for safe use.
Sign up for your volunteer shift time slot.
New Player Workshops
Player workshops occur every event and are a great way to be introduced to the game, if it's your first event as a player or volunteer. The player workshop covers important information, from safety, to logistics, to rules and combat. These workshops take place before each event. Check the event schedule for more information on specific timing.
All Eldritch players are required to perform a 2-hour NPC shift. There will be combat, non-combat, and kitchen assignments available. Please sign up for a time slot at check in or on the website prior to the event. This is mandatory and can be a great way to get access to other aspects of the game or plot that you may not have otherwise.
Over the course of an Eldritch event, you will likely encounter some sort of tagged item, staked-off location, or other such tagged artifact. These tags are different from item, and tracking and perception tags, and are called quest waypoints. Quest waypoints indicate a step in some on-going plot that has been set up by Eldritch staff, prior to or during an event. In an effort to make sure our players get to fully and coherently experience the content produced for events, all content that corresponds to a given quest will be represented as a series of tags or other such indicator. The end goal is to help players make sense of quests that might resolve over multiple steps or objectives, and indicate to other players that a given item, tag, or prop is part of a specific quest and to leave it alone. A quest waypoint will be indicated as such and contain the following information (the graphic is for demo purposes only and does not represent the final product) :
1. Quest - Name of the current quest and the current tag's place in the series, when applicable.
2. Requirements - Denotes any other Quest Waypoint tags you'll need to interact with the current tag.
3. Skills Learned - This is a general list of the skills you'll likely be able to learn when completing this quest.
4. Summary - The quest-relevant information.
5. Players - The recommended number of players for the encounter. Oftentimes, this will be represented by an available number of these quest waypoint tickets in a given location, or per an NPC.
Eldritch Quest Waypoint
Quest: Hansel and Gretel, 2/7
This tag will contain some information about the quest, Hansel and Gretel. Note the requirement to obtain this tag is the 1st tag from the Hansel and Gretel quest. If you do not meet the requirements for the tag, you should leave it and any accompanying items alone.
Requirements: Hansel and Gretel, 1/7
Skills Learned: Tracking, Weapon
Conclusion of the Event
When the event ends, you must clean up your lodging area, and pack up as soon as possible. Your assigned area captain will need to check out with Eldritch staff at the check-in area or as they're available. It is highly encouraged that you help out Eldritch staff in the same, and we have benefits for players that stick around do so.