Chapter 1: Introduction
What is LARP?
LARP (or Larping) is an acronym for Live-Action Role Playing. To play, you create a character or persona that you will act out, like a game of pretend. You will experience the things that your character will experience throughout the course of an event. An event is a set amount of time that the Larping experience will last – it can be an afternoon, an entire weekend – or even an entire week! The event staff will run the logistics of the event, including check-in, check-out and the overall plot or continuing story lines for the event. When you attend an event, you will receive character points which can be used to build your character. The only limit to your character is the limit of your imagination!
What is E.O.A.?
Welcome to Echoes of Athus (EOA)! A new LARP that is based out of Southern Louisiana and headed by a diverse team, with over 100 years of collective LARPing experience. We are a medieval fantasy LARP with many flavors and game styles involving various eras of cultural concepts.
In LARP (Live Action Role-playing), you become the character of your fantasies, act out the action, solve the mysteries, and defeat adversaries with wit, intelligence, and/or sword & magic. At EOA events you will use skills that your character has earned, as well as, the skills that you as the player possess.
EOA takes place in a fantasy period that is reminiscent of medieval times. This means that a wide range of clothing and attire exists - ranging from King Arthur, Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, Galavant, and Renaissance Fairs. Additionally this is a fantasy LARP, so a variety of makeup and prosthetic races are at your fingertips. So, grab up your favorite weapon (boffer weapon) and join the campaign. You will find yourself immersed in a world of good, evil, and somewhere in between.
What is Role-Playing?
Echoes of Athus places a strong emphasis on role-playing, and we will reinforce this throughout your adventures with us. Role-playing requires you to create a new persona, acting and reacting as your character would. It is up to you to decide how your character would react to certain situations that he or she will encounter during the game. You should imagine yourself in a fantasy medieval world full of magic, monsters, and adventure, and act accordingly. When hit with a magical spell you should react properly. When hacked at with a weapon, act hurt. This is a live action game, and the more you put into it to make it more believable, the more you will get out of it. If you take enough damage to kill your character or get knocked unconscious, then fall down and look play the part! Kneeling down and saying, “Well, I guess I’m dead now,” adds nothing to the game and is not what EOA is about. Remember, the purpose of our game is to tell a story. You are a character in that story and the more realistic you make that character, the better the story will be for everyone.
Some people describe Live Action Role Playing (or LARPing) as "Improvisational Theatre," however it requires no special training. Everyone can do it. In fact, we all do it on a daily basis whenever we daydream ourselves into different situations. The difference with LARPing is simply the ability to let go and act on how you believe you (or your character) would respond to a certain catalyst. Role-playing at its best should come naturally and fluently, requiring very little in the way of pretending. This concept is sometimes hard to imagine to those who are new to the idea, but when everyone else around you is role-playing you should find it hard to act "normal".
Many people value LARPing as an outlet for personal expression, or as a valuable escape from the mundane world. Others do it simply because it's fun exercise for both the body and mind. Once you experience LARPing a few times, we think you will realize what a healthy concept it is. Anyone can be an expert in Live Action Role-playing; the better ones are simply those who can get into their characters to a higher degree and don't concern themselves with thoughts on "acting". Remember, this is improvisational. It is far more important to know your character than it is to pre-think acting techniques and worry about how you will look. Once you figure this out and become comfortable, we think you will realize just how easy and, more importantly, fun Live Action Role-Playing is.
The Honor System
In Echoes of Athus, we use the Honor System as much as possible. You are expected to keep track of your health points, armor points, skills, and spells. To help with tracking things we use a tag system, which is meant more to help you than it is for checking up on you.
Sometimes, you will become confused as to how much damage you have taken. The Honor System allows you to be the judge of that, and to determine as honestly as possible how much health you have remaining. Sometimes, people will ask out-of-game to see your character tags but don't assume that they think you are cheating. As you play longer you will come to see that some things are confusing for people, or that you are using a new unique ability that they have never heard of.
Checking tags and skills is necessary, even if people trust each other and know that they never cheat. NPCs and Monsters will also have cards, so if you are fighting a creature that uses a skill/ability you have not heard of; their card should describe its effects for you, it is okay for you to ask to these these cards. A player may not want to reveal their tags to someone who is not a staff member. This may be to protect “special” or “secret” abilities or items that they have. This is perfectly okay, just politely ask for a staff member to clear up the situation. Please give people the benefit of the doubt, mistakes are made and can be cleared up by a Staff Member. Please be aware that even Staff Members make mistakes. Accept their ruling even if you know it is wrong, and then the incident can be cleared up later, even if you die because of it. Staff Members are very reasonable and will often elect to not "record" a death on your character record if the death was unfair or due to a mis-ruling. Please help to maintain a fun, fair, safe ,and good spirited game for all players and staff.
The Five Tenant Rules
These rules are extremely important to all participants of EOA. There are other rules throughout the game however, these five rules are highlighted specifically for safety and legal reasons.
1. The Body Contact Rule
EOA prohibits all body contact during combat. All combat must take place with EOA approved safe weapons and certain parts of the body (head, groin, hands) are not allowed to be hit, even with these EOA safe weapons. This rule does not apply to packet delivered attacks, which may hit any part of the body, but please don’t aim specifically for these illegal areas.
2. The Alcohol Rule
EOA absolutely forbids alcohol and illegal drugs at its events! Further, it is not permitted to use these off site and then come to the game under the influence.
3. The Hold Rule
If you hear someone yell “Hold!” stop everything you are doing and drop to one knee. Holds should only be called if there is a real need, and usually only for safety reasons. You cannot call a hold to check on a rule or ask if someone knows that you hit them with a spell or ability, unless, that rule or effect is integral to the situation and would affect every person involved in that situation.
4. The Sneaking Rule
If you wish to sneak into a building or tent (regardless of whether you are sleeping in that building or tent for the event), you must have a staff marshal present. This rule helps ensure that out-of-game items (the personal property of other players) are not accidentally taken if your character chooses to steal items from another player’s building or tent. See Chapter 8 for more details.
5. The Physical Representation (Physrep) Rule
Every physical item in EOA that has a tag must have a Physrep and they must be together. If at anytime an item does not have the tag with it, staff has the discretion to confiscate said item. Additionally this can be constituted as cheating.
What to Expect and What to Bring
Attending your first LARP event can be intimidating if you do not know what to expect, what to bring, or how to be prepared. Preparing for a LARP event is about the same as preparing for a camping trip. For a weekend event, you’ll be sleeping in either tents or cabins, so prepare accordingly with items such as: sleeping gear, toiletries, bug spray, and sunscreen. Don’t forget to bring your costume, armor, weapons, racial makeup and makeup remover, spell packets, and other props like locks or tools necessary to play your character. The plot team will not be able to loan these basic items you will need to be effective. In reference to costuming, be aware that your character’s costume should be fitting of the setting and your character.
Footwear is all-important! Bring shoes in which you will be able to run and hike. Waterproof footwear is a real bonus. Plan to bring extra socks; figure out how many you think you will need for the weekend and then bring twice as many. If it’s rainy, toss in a few more for good measure. Nothing kills an adventuring spirit like soggy feet.
Medications, if you require them. For emergency prescription medications, you will need to inform the Staff Team what you are taking and where you keep it. A special note for asthma sufferers or those who have severe allergies: have your inhaler and/or Epipen on you at all times. Make sure that the people who you are adventuring with know where you keep it, in case you have trouble getting to it when you need it.
A moderately-sized box is helpful to store game-related items you are leaving at or near your bunk. (Extra coin, spare tags/items, plot-related items you may find, etc...). An in-play or physreped lock for the box is also highly recommended as you never know what other characters may be interested in your character’s stuff. Non-game-related personal items, such as car keys, phone, and money, are commonly stowed in with your clothes in a container or a duffel bag marked as out-of-game (OOG) so that there is no confusion to which is yours and what belongs to your character. This should be stored under your bed or cot.
A small amount of cash for purchasing food at the tavern. Do not deny yourself on food or liquids. It is easy to become dehydrated with all of the adventure and activity going on! Watch the weather reports as well. If it’s going to be hot, remember to prepare accordingly by hydrating prior to the event.
When arriving on site, you will be required to check in with the local logistics team. They will provide you with your character sheet and tags. They will also direct you to your sleeping accommodations. Once settled in and unpacked, it is time to get into costume and attend Opening Ceremonies. This is where the staff team will brief you on the campsite and its boundaries, safe and unsafe areas, and the rules for everyone to have a fun, exciting, and safe game. Afterwards, it is time for the game to begin!
After a fun filled weekend of roleplaying, monster slaying, and being the hero (or villain!), the event will come to a close. Each player is required to clean up his or her personal area and one extra area of the campsite (assigned by logistics) before they can check out. When we rent campsites, EOA wants to leave the site cleaner than when we arrived.
You will need to bring your Life Tag, Monstering Tag, and Achievements Tag to the logistics check out. Place your Tags into an envelope along with a Logistic notecard. This process ensures that you get the game day credits for your character that you deserve! All game-related tagged items are yours to keep, so don’t lose them because they will not be replaced under normal circumstances.
Chapter 2: Character Overview
Making a character consists of a couple choices: background, class and race.The class and race portions are defined later within this document. Background is a concept that is sometimes hard to grasp for newer gamers. Below are a few things to consider in assisting in creating your background.
How to Create a Character
In this section, we will go over how to create a character and some of the things to consider when doing so. Before actually addressing defined concepts such as race and class, we suggest a more abstract approach. A good idea is to decide what kind of character you would like to play in terms of personality, background and moral sensibility. Here are some things you might want to ask yourself:
- What is the basic personality-type of my character? (What one word might describe him best?)
- How does my character get along with other people? (Or other types of people/races?)
- Does my character have any quirks or flaws in their personality?
- What does my character like/dislike? Think of this with regard to many things, such as: work, hobbies, moralities, beliefs, etc.
- How would my character react to different emotional situations? (Violence, compassion, awe, etc.)
- What are my character's thoughts on religion, other powers, or forces of nature?
- What does my character do in his spare time? What does he enjoy doing?
- How does he react to society? What does he think of laws? What are his reactions to differing social classes? Where does he fit into society? Does he value wealth/power?
- Where is my character from? What type of society? E.g.: City, village, outcast/bandit/gypsy caravan, etc.
- What were my character's parents like? Brothers/sisters? Is my character no longer with them? Why? Does my character have parents? If not why?
- Why is my character in this location? Did he leave his place of birth or was he born here?
- What did my character do for a living, up to this point? Education? Training? Work?
- Would my character have any good stories to tell people about his past? Exciting tales or deeds he has done?
- What would my character value about his/ past (both good and bad)? What experiences has he gone through that made him what he is today?
- Don’t makeup new places just to fit your backstory. Try to utilize the provided details and information on lands when considering these concepts.
- Also refrain from the tropes of powerful magic items, elite villains or some sort of nobility which no one will likely have heard of anyway.
- Another common pitfall is wanting to be the child of some sort of powerful noble.
When building your character and planning to be a part of a group, one great way to get plot attention is to have a shared story. This allows plot to hook several players in at one time and allows for common goals and detailed player interactions.
- What plans does my character have? What are his goals in life?
- Is my character trying to escape his notorious past, or is he simply adding to it?
What are some other concepts that will likely not be approved in a character history:
- Special powers or abilities which were not purchased or accessible with CP.
- Special contacts (dragons, gods, military generals, kings etc.).
- Magic items that are lost, no longer functional, broken in pieces etc...
- Being part of a major noble family or special NPC organization.
Character Creation Defined
Now that you have a general concept, it is necessary to make some definite decisions for your character. These decisions can be made relatively easily by consulting the remainder of this document. These decisions involve the following topics for initial creation:
- Choose your Race: there are 12 starting races in EOA. Each race has its own unique characteristics and abilities. These races vary in costuming and makeup difficulties. If you are a new to LARPing, it's recommended that you try a simple race to start.
- Choose your Class: 8 beginning classes are offered for players to choose from. There is no way to multi-class so plan and choose wisely.
- Choose your Skills: You'll want to decide which skills you are going to buy at the start, and which skills you want to learn in the future. You will be able to choose from your chosen class and the general chart to start. All skills are purchased with Character Points (CP). These are the game resource used to purchase skills and abilities in EOA.
- All characters start at 3rd level and get 30 CP to begin.
Note: It's okay if you are not exactly happy your first game with your class or race choice. You are allowed 1 free respend of your character. A respend allows you to change your race, class, and spent CP in any manner, so you may start fresh with the your current character point total and any loot gathered along the way. This respend must be taken advantage of by your next attended game.
Chapter 3: Character Creation in Depth
This section will detail out what happens with the fundamentals of building a character along with how those build points affect the outcome of your total character sheet. This can get a little complicated at times, but we want you to understand everything about your character and how it all adds together.
First, you are free to choose one of the 8 classes. All CP spent in your class and in the general chart will be applied to that class, which will affect your total hit points. Unspent CPs are not factored into the Hit Point calculation process.
Everyone starts with 10.
For Total earned CP in Elementalist you gain 1 HP per 10 CP accumulated.
For Total earned CP in Cleric, Reaver you earn 2 HP per 10 CP accumulated.
For Total earned CP in Scoundrel you earn 3 HP per 10 CP accumulated.
For Total earned CP in Warrior you earn 4 HP per 10 CP accumulated.
NOTE: Some skills and race choices may also affect your HP total so keep those in mind if they apply.
Weapons: A quick note about weapons in EOA. It is assumed that anyone can pick up a weapon and use it in some capacity. This means that there are no weapon skills in the EOA system. Anything that is wielded with 1 hand will call base 1 damage. Anything wielded that requires 2 hands will call base 2 damage.
Read and Write: In the universe of EOA nearly every creature is born with and or trained with a basic understanding of how to speak and read the Common Language. Therefore, you will not be required to purchase a read or write skill in the EOA system.
Now that you have spent all of your CP, how do you get more?
How to Level Up
The obvious answer here is that you need to play the game. When you attend the game you will receive a Signature Tag and a Rewards Tag. These two pieces of information will get you all the necessary marks in order to receive your full character experience points (CP).
There are few ways to earn those CPs and we will discuss those a bit later.
- Cap: The term “cap” is the total amount of possible CPs a player can earn per event. The total possible amount reduces incrementally over time based on your level.
- Blanket: Every event you attend* earns you a “blanket” of CP. This starts at 6 CP and goes down by incrementally based on the events you attend until you reach a blanket of 2 CP a game.
|Events of EOA||Event Blanket CP||Possible Cap CP|
|1 - 10||6||10 CP|
|11- 18||4||8 CP|
What is a signature?
You collect Signatures as you play the game for interacting with plot, completing in-game tasks, or role-playing. You can gain a maximum of 5 signatures in a game on your Rewards Tag. Never be afraid to ask a plot member after an encounter if you think it might have been signature worthy. Plot can get excited when telling a story and may forget to sign everyone's tags.
What are rewards?
Rewards are randomly dropped items from wandering monsters in the gameworld. These are typically unique items that are sought out by traders and merchants. In exchange for these rewards players will receive a signature on their rewards tag. Any item that is a reward will have a reward label at the bottom of the item tag.
The world of Terra is a vast land filled with a variety of races. Some of those races are more readily found than others, such as: Humans, Dwarves, Gnomes, and Ricah. Many other races are either found in tight knit communities or in very suspicious cultures, such as Barbarians and Sprites. You will find that some cultures are within what is considered normal, while others are beyond a normal person's understanding.
Step 1: Choose Your Race
Choosing a race can be a difficult decision. However, those races with a culture that is far removed from what you know to be normal, can help in the character creation process. Racial advantages are also something to consider; some will see them as a beginning advantage to play. Neither way of considering this choice is wrong. Something that you will need to consider is specific costuming, appropriate makeup, and any prosthetics that you may need. If you want to play a fantasy race, it is important for you to predetermine that you are not allergic to any of the makeup, and that you will be able to wear it at all times without issue.
In the end it is best to be what defines you to be you. Follow the link below to review all of the current races of EOA.
Step 2: Choose Your Class
Classes listed below in brief detail:
- Warrior - Warriors are stalwart characters who wield a variety of melee weapons in devastating ways and styles.
- Scoundrel - Cunning fighters who utilize field position and reflexes to dance around the battlefield or skulk within the shadows.
- Elementalist - Destructive spell casters who harness their powers from one of the four elemental powers.
- Cleric - Those who chose to worship and embrace the light. Clerics work miracles of healing and dabble in magics of the mind.
- Reaver - Casters who have chosen to harness the powers of shadow. Reavers are mysterious casters, with powers that weaken their foes and strike fear into their opponents.
Follow the link below to reivew classes in detail.
Step 3: Choose Your Skills
The skill system allows players to simulate actions and abilities which aff ect the game world. Keep in mind that personal skill does not equate to character skill in this fantasy game setting. For example, in order to craft armor, you must possess the smithing skill. If a character has not purchased the smithing skill, you would not be able to forge armor as your character. This rule applies to all crafting skills.
Players will purchase abilities using Character Points (CP). The Character Point cost of a particular skill is defined in this section of the rules. Some skills have pre-requistes to be able to access and purchase them, while others may not. Be sure to read each rule associated with the skill. All players have access to General Skills Table and the Class Table they have chosen to play. Your allotted Character Points are a pool of points that you must choose to split between the tables that you have access to.
Note: All classes have access to the General Skills Section.
Follow the link below to reivew all of the various skills of EOA.
Chapter 4: Spells, Runes, and Sigils
What would a fantasy game be without magic? There’s more to life than hitting your enemies until they fall down! Even if you are playing a less than intelligent warrior who can’t tell the difference between a magic spell and a dead fish, you, the player, need to know how magic works in Echoes of Athus. You are certain to be hit by these spells during your time adventuring. You need to play fairly and not unnecessarily take damage or effects from spells.
Spell Rubric: Here is how each spell will be presented and what each letter or heading stands for.
|Spell Name: always underlined||Delivery Type: (A) - Area, (T) - Touch, (P) - Packet or (S) - Self Only||Spell Effect Description|
|V: Spell Verbal|
Warriors and Scoundrels may not be magic casters per say, but they do have the ability to harness magical energies into a variety of effects. The effects are manifested in runes and sigils.
Follow the link below to reivew all of the various class spells and abilities of EOA.
Chapter 5: Crafting
To create game items such as potions, poultices, oils, scrolls, weapons, traps, and armor, you must first buy the appropriate skill with your Character Points. Each time you buy the related crafting skill, you gain access to various production plans and success tools in order to to craft. EOA crafting is done during gameplay to foster game economy and player interaction.
The character must turn in all the required materials to the Marshal, along with the appropriate rank of the skill needed to perform the action. There are currently 4 craft skills that are available to choose from in EOA: smithing, artisan, apothecary, and tinkering.
Chapter 6: Game Effects (Status, Confining, etc.)
When playing Echoes of Athus there will be situations where you are struck with an effect and do not know exactly what it does or how to resolve it. For example you could be struck with poison and be unsure of what it does, its duration, or how to remove the efffect.
Follow the link below to find a breakdown of every status or typed effect that you will encounter in EOA.
Chapter 7: Combat Rules
Echoes of Athus (EOA) has a full fledged LARP combat system, in which we try to mimic real combat as closely as possible; however, we also want every participant to be able to walk away without injury! Although real combat has no rules this is a game. In EOA we must have rules in place to govern combat for fairness and the enjoyment for all players involved. Our number one concern of EOA staff is the safety of its players, and combat is the least safe aspect of most LARPs. For this reason, a MANDATORY safety course is given to all players and the urles for combat MUST BE adhered to in order to reduce the chances of injury.
Chapter 8: Game Mechanics
The Game Mechanics section of the rulebook touches on areas of the game that important to really understand such as thievry, bleeding to death, dissipation, ressurection and permanent death.
Chapter 9: Costuming, Armor and Weapon Construction
In EOA, costuming can contribute a great deal to a character's identity. Your appearance and style not only affect how others view your character, but they also affect how you yourself come to understand and relate to your character's nuances. You may even become aware of the evolution that occurs in your costuming as the character evolves. Perhaps the most influential factor in this evolution of a character's style and costume is the concept of Armor Points.
Chapter 10: The Game Event
Things that a player needs to know about playing EOA and what is expected of you while at the event. The most important thing that you can do is be on-site (at the campground) with enough time to be ready for the start of the game. We recommend that you arrive by no later than 7:00 pm to give you ample time to get settled in before the game begins. Upon arriving to the site you will need to: find the check-In site, create / update your character, unpack and be ready for opening ceremonies (when the game starts).
IMPORTANT: It is necessary for you to bring a legal ID because you will need to sign a legal release form. Even though we do everything possible to maintain one another’s safety, we’re still outdoors and things can happen! You must be 17 years of age or older to play EOA, therefore your birthday must fall on the Friday of the event that you plan to attend in order to be eligible to sign the waiver to play.