Heroes and Heroines
Live Action Roleplaying
Our club has about fifty active and highly enthusiastic members. On any given weekend event between twenty and thirty people generally participate. Half will take the part of the heroes of the story (the Players), and half (the Monsters) will follow the direction of the story tellers (the Refs) acting out various roles in order to make the story of the event happen. We generally recommend new members Monster once or twice in order to better learn the rules, get to know people and learn what they enjoy doing.
Our members have a great time both playing their characters and monstering for other club members. We pride ourselves on being friendly and welcoming. We are not-for-profit and by keeping our prices low, ensure that everybody can afford to play their characters whatever their financial situation.
In order to be a Player on an event, you must invent a character for yourself. Each character must have a back story that explains who they are and where they have come from in the game world, their motivations and their flaws. (Don't worry if this sounds daunting we can help new players with this).
All characters start as inexperienced trainees with only a few skills to learn and remember how to use. By participating in events (as either a Monster or a Player) you earn points with which you can choose new skills for your characters, thus becoming more powerful and able to take on greater threats the next time you play. Eventually your character may earn the exalted title 'Hero of the Protectorate' if they go above and beyond the call of duty! Most club members have multiple characters, each at different points in their 'careers'. Others have only one, and some prefer to only Monster.
Our events vary in difficulty - some are only for trainees (low-ranked), others are for experienced (mid-ranked) characters, and some are reserved for high-ranked characters and heroes. Some events any character can play. Generally events are focussed around a group of characters trying to complete a mission.
Before the weekend, those club members who have a suitably experienced (or inexperienced) character may sign up as a Player. The Players are typically involved in a group 'Mission briefing' via email in the weeks before the event. The Players' characters decide what magical, spiritual and other more mundane resources they should request in order to help them complete the mission successfully. Often the Players discover their characters will be travelling for days or weeks to another area/country.
On Friday night the Players get dressed as their character. When everyone is ready 'Time in' is called. When 'Time over' is called on Sunday lunch time they will have, through a series of conflicts, plot twists, challenges and revelations, either succeeded or failed in their mission. Teamwork and communication often determine the success of a mission. Often the things the players' do in the course of completing their mission have far-reaching consequences, bringing down nations or unleashing ancient evils upon an already war-torn world. Sometimes simply carrying out orders may not be the best thing to do. After Time-over is called there is an opportunity for the players to report what befell them on their mission, as well as share out the spoils of war amongst the group.
Monsters are involved in three main things. 1. Creating and dismantling representations of places and objects (e.g. set dressing) that the Players encounter. 2. Acting out people and creatures (NPCs - non player characters) the heroes meet. These NPCs may be friendly or hostile towards the players based on the heroes and their actions. 3. Socialising and having a good time. All Monsters and Players contribute with cooking, keeping the place tidy, cleaning and packing up at the end of the event etc.
Several of the more experienced Club members hold the title 'ref'. Each has stewardship of certain countries, areas, races and organisations within the fictional world of Idenia. The refs take it in turns to run events, creating settings, plots and characters, choosing from the huge collection of costumes, weapons and props the club owns and packing them ready to be taken to the event. They make or buy (from a small budget) any specific things they may need, write documents, maps, missives and love letters. They determine the abilities of all the NPCs the monster group will be acting out, and hence the difficulty of fights and other encounters. They often also write into their stories specific plot that will influence one or more characters. They try to predict the myriad unexpected or stupid things the Players' characters might do, and plan contingencies for them. A near impossible task. They put a vast amount of time, care and effort (typically months) into creating and then running their events.
This is one of the many reasons why H&H events are absolutely amazing to participate in.