Orientation

If you're a new player read on for an overview of a Mystic Realms® Event. Here is almost everything a new player needs to know about a Mystic Realms® weekend Event. The day and evening events are pretty much the same minus the sleeping over part!

What should I Bring to an Event?

Live-Action roleplaying requires some effort but the rewards are well worth it.

Money

Everyone pays to play (even troupe presidents!). Mystic Realm is about pooling resources and volunteering effort to create a game. Check the Event fees for current prices and bring cash. Troupes are not set up to take credit cards. After registration, you will no longer need any money in the game area. Please secure your valuables! My suggestion is to lock it in your car.

Weapons

All of the weapons used in Mystic Realms® are made with 3/4" PVC pipe and 5/8" wall pipe insulation, covered lengthwise in either silver duct tape (for metal weapons) or brown duct tape (for wooden weapons). Shields are made with plywood and foam. All weapons and shields must be inspected and approved at registration.

Sleeping Gear

A sleeping bag or blankets (as the weather dictates) and a pillow is a must. A foam cushion or inflated mattress will make a night more comfortable. Troupes do the best they can to get nice facilities, but oftentimes you'll have floor space in a cabin or a bunk in a lean-to. Most sites allow participants to bring tents, but you must ask at registration where you can place your tent because the host sites have different policies.

Campsite Amenities

The basics for all of the campsites will be a bathroom. Some sites do not have showers, or showers that are functional during the winter months. Bring deodorant, cologne, perfume, etc. While this may gross some people out, remember that everybody else is in the exact same position.

Smoking

A quick note for all you smokers out there: Smoking is never allowed in an in-game area! As most of these sites are state forests, the rules on smoking change from place to place. Most places limit smoking to parking lots. The policies for smoking will be made known so you can accommodate your nicotine fixes.

Costume

All participants must wear some kind of appropriate clothing. The genre and setting of the game will generally dictate the costume requirements. For example in fantasy games you cannot wear jeans and a shirt. You must at least make a tabard of cloth to cover your mundane clothing. If its cold put your jacket on under your costuming. Most characters will wear doublets, capes, cloaks, blouses, corsets, skirts, dresses, tunics, tabards, vests, bodices, robes, vestments, gloves, bracers, boots, chemises... you name it. Certain races or cultures will require specific type of dress or even make-up or latex. Mystic Realms® makes these requirements not to make your life difficult, but honestly, how else are you going to get the look and feel of a fantasy game if you are geared up and the dude next to you is wearing jean shorts and a t-shirt?

Regular Clothing

Well, actually, this isn't a requirement. The only reason I included it is because I like to get out of my costume and into some clean clothes that have not been rolling around the forest floor before I hop on the road home. If you are comfortable with going out in your costume, knock yourself out. Due to inclement weather, mud, muck, and other things that will make you icky, it is strongly recommended that you bring extra socks and underwear.

Flashlight

Most of the action in Mystic Realms® occurs in the dark of night, so a flashlight is handy for looking for whatever items you may have dropped or thrown in the night. Flashlights must be small and covered with a red lens if they are to be used around combat. You will be asked to extinguish any flashlights that are disruptive to anybody's night vision.

Bandages and Splints

We mean in-game bandages and splints. For those times when your character has been hurt (and this almost goes without saying), you can temporarily bind the wounds until you get proper magical healing. To make bandages, simply cut up an old white sheet/shirt/whatever into strips at least 12" long. They should at least be long enough to be tied around the arm. Splints are made out of a 1 foot strip of foam and covered with brown duct tape.

Pouches & Small Containers

These are to carry your in-game money and components for rituals. The advantage of pouches is that you can hang them off your belt. Certain card items, like ritual powder, need their own container to carry them around. Old medicine bottles work well for carrying ritual powders and other card items; also, you can go to your average arts and craft shop and buy really small containers for like 30 cents to 50 cents a pop. Some kitchen stores sell small spice bags, which work well also. Another good container is 35mm film canisters, which can be used to hold money, poisons, and most compounds.

Sack

Monsters do have treasure, and most of the time it's not in an easy to carry form. You'll see what I mean after your first trip down the trails.

Real Weapons

No real weapons are allowed. Period. Leave them at home.

Spell Packets and Arrows

The following guilds require spell packets to cast spells: cleric, druid, necromancer, ranger, warlock, and wizard. The following guilds/races/cultures have access to the missile weapons as a starting character: rangers, all elves, and people of the dale (human culture). Spell packets, arrows, and crossbow bolts are simply 2" x 2" bean bags filled with fine birdseed.

Additional Props

This is where we hit a grey area, since it is something that you have to come up with on your own. These are the quirks and little things that make your character unique. Some things that people have been known to bring include playing cards, candles, incense, sketch books, and whetstones. As you get further into the game, you may find yourself performing rituals and thinking "you know what would be a cool prop to use in this ritual?" This is the sort of area this covers.

A Friend

This may sound like a great marketing ploy, but in fact it is what I consider to be the best advice to give to a new player. Speaking from my own experience, my first game I went around on every trail or encounter with my brother. We had an absolute blast. In pairing up with a friend, you can get through the learning stage together, for this FAQ will only take you so far into the game experience. It also helps to start out with someone you know at your side, especially when the monsters come walking your way (and they will).

How do I Check-In at the Event?

Check-in starts around 6:30pm; the game doesn't start until 9:00pm. If you are new, I'd recommend you arrive around 7:00pm to make your character and get settled in. When you drive on the property, there should be someone to direct you where to park. If not park in line with the other vehicles. Please back into the parking space to facilitate departure should there be an emergency evacuation.

Once parked, make your way to the Check-in area. This will usually be the well lit building in the area with people going in and out of it. If you have any trouble, just ask someone. Once inside, go to the registration line.

You'll pay your registration fee, sign an release and indemnification form and fill out some other paperwork. You can buy a rule book and/or put money on your kitchen tab. (See Section on Food). Next, you will given sleeping quarters and sign up for your one hour service duty.

You will receive a blank character sheet to make your character. There will be someone to help you design your character. This person will answer any questions you may have. Once your character has been created and approved, you will be issued your beads (a red bead for each body point, a blue bead for each mana point, etc.). The beads represent the relative strength of your character, and are to be worn prominently upon your person. Next you will be issued your starting equipment, a combination of item cards and game currency. It is up to you as to what combination you want these in.

The last thing you need to do is get your weapons inspected at an area near the registration table and have some fighting training. Once you're comfortable with the Mystic Realms® touch combat system, you're ready to play.

Registration fees paid, sleeping place procured, service assignment set, character created, weapons inspected, fighter trained . . .you are done with registration. Go to your sleeping area and put your stuff down. From now until game time, you have time to get into costume, socialize, set up your bed/tent, and generally hang around.

The Service Requirement- How can I help out?

It takes a lot of effort to maintain the various support functions at the events. To maintain the current price, everybody is required to perform at least one (1) hour of service during the event. This can be working in the kitchen or manning the Guildhall™ table. You will be rewarded for your work in the form of Status, which are the experience points of this game. If there is no one to do these things, these areas will close and their services will not be available to the players.

It has been argued that "Hey, I paid like thirty bucks plus God knows how much money to be here. It's the weekend, I'm just here to have fun, not work. Etc. etc. etc." There is nothing wrong with this argument as a whole, but on the other hand, Mystic Realms® is a volunteer organization. Nobody is gaining a profit in the time they spent making the events or carrying out the various behind the scenes functions. If everyone doesn't help bear the load, there will not be a game.

Is food available?

Most weekend events provide a player run food service. Everyone takes time to operate the kitchen. (Hiring a caterer would raise costs of an event to an unacceptable level, so again Mystic Realms® relies on its principles of shared labor to keep costs down.)

A Mystic Realms® kitchen does not operate with cash during the game. Participants place money on a kitchen tab during Check-In. You can't put more than $20.00 on a tab. The tab money will be carried over from month to month, but is NOT refundable, except under special circumstances. The money is used to purchase the food that is served at events.

You may go out and purchase food or you may bring your own snack food that does not require preparation or refrigeration. Participants do not have general access to kitchen facilities. Campfires may not be allowed depending on the camp and the weather.

Alcohol is not permitted. If you are discovered or suspected of consuming alcohol, you will be told to leave and you will not be allowed to return. Ever.

What does Game-On mean to me?

That's when the fun begins! All the player participants go to the main play area. This is usually the big building that serves as an Inn or Tavern. It's the central hub of the player community. At 9:00pm the troupe president (or appointee) will call for everybody's attention. The administrative staff will be introduced, specific camp rules will be announced and the event producer will make a short speech that will end with the following phrase: "Three, two, one, game on!"

Congratulations, you are now in-game till Sunday closing. You are expected at this point to be in-character while you are on the premises of the campsite. (The parking lot is generally considered out-of-game). Upon completion of the producer's famous last words, the Inn will become a hive of activity as people buy items, perform rituals, and drop into character.

First off, introduce yourself to your fellow players, then get yourself oriented within the Main Play Area. There are two important places in the Inn or Tavern: The Supply Table and the Kitchen. At the Supply Table you can purchase all your item cards, buy and sell ritual components, and turn in any treasure you retrieve from the trails. At the Kitchen you can grab a nice snack in between your runs on the trail or getting that all important first meal on Saturday.

How do I get on adventures?

Shortly after the producer starts the game, various non-player characters will wander into town with a dilemma or situation of one sort or another. These cast members are your tickets to adventure. It's on these trips down the trails where there are monsters, puzzles, traps, pits, waterholes, items, treasure, and/or silver to be found. Some adventures may have just one stop; others may have five or six stops. There is no method to discerning the length of the trip, other than asking the non-player character "Is this a long trip or a short trip?" For each of these adventures, the cast member will be looking for a certain amount of player characters to accompany them.

Each adventure is planned to accommodate a certain number of player characters at a time. Don't worry if you can't get in on a group going out, the adventures run multiple times over the course of the evening or afternoon. In the meantime, you should be able to find another person in distress and lend him some aid. Keep looking, you'll find someone who needs help.

Oh no. . . Monsters! What now?

Well looks like you've got to fight. Check out the rules section for how to cast spells, prayers and powers or swing a weapon. Mystic Realms® fighting concentrates on the manipulation of a weapon through the wrist, not through the arms and shoulders. When you put your arms and shoulders into a strike, the blow becomes much heavier than needed and injuries may result. The emphasis on weapon combat is not on hard hits, but finesse hits.

Time to become mundane once more?

You've spent the weekend slaying monsters, gathering treasure, and hopefully making a name for yourself. You've marched out to face the big bad guy or helped recover ancient items, and now Sunday morning has rolled around. What happens now?

Well, first things first: game off is at 10:00am. You can perform rituals, make weapons and do anything else to your heart's desire up until that time. Afterwards, the game is done. The game ending at 10:00am signals the last step before you can drive away from the camp, hopefully to return soon. Before everyone leaves to go their respective ways, there are a few things you need to do:

Get your character card totaled.

This is usually done at the supply table, and is encouraged to be done before 10:00am. Your status will be totaled according to the formula on the back of your character card.

Clean up your sleeping area.

Get your stuff packed and out to your car. The sleeping area needs to be cleaned thoroughly. Beds need to be pushed back to their place, floors to be swept/mopped, the bathroom to be scrubbed, etc.

Clean up the common area.

More often than not, this is the Inn and kitchen. Mop a floor, wipe down a few sinks, sweep the floor: these are a few things that generally need to be done. With the numerous people in attendance, if these tasks are broken down, each person can do a little and the overall whole will get done. This can also include the trails that we use and the final battle site. All we need is for you to do a small part and we can get this done together.

Hand in your character card.

Once your sleeping area and the common areas are cleaned, you will notice at the bottom of the back of your character sheet is two signature lines. One is for sleeping area, the other for general cleanup. Each of these areas has someone in charge of it (this person is most likely the person who told you what needed to be done). Get them to sign the bottom and you are all set. Hand the character sheet to a designated representative of Logistics (just ask, someone will point them out) or, if you are leaving early, hand it in to the supply table.

Is there anything else?

I left out a the most important thing. A live-action roleplaying game is not like television or a movie, where you sit down and say, "Entertain me." This is interactive drama and it requires your active participation. The cast is there to provide background activity, but this is your weekend and you must make the most of it. Get out there and interact . . . Roleplay! Talk to the other characters. Tell about yourself. Perform some really cool rituals to bring others into character. The key to personal success in LIVE-ACTION!™ is your contribution to the overall roleplaying environment. Making the game more enjoyable for others by your actions will make the game much more enjoyable for you.