Pre-Event Packing and Prep
At a bare minimum, you will want:
- Costuming – Costuming for your character and any NPC you may have been asked to play. Don’t forget your pouches, holster, hat, etc.
- Weapons/Spell Packets/ Ammo – Please plan ahead, Calamity cannot provide these items to the playerbase and maintain enough for running monstertown & NPCs.
- In-Game Items - Money, journals, rituals, personal tokens, in-game items, & tags.
- Clothes – depending on the weather you will want to plan an extra layer for cold events or extra socks (there are never enough socks) for rainy weekends. Waterproof boots are highly recommended.
- Toiletries – Sinks, showers, and bathrooms are available. Bring soap, toothbrush & paste, towels, shower shoes, medicines, inhalers, makeup remover, mirror & first aid kit
- Bedding – You will want to bring bedding appropriate for the season. The sites have beds in most cabins, but you will need to bring your own pillow, sheets, blankets or sleeping bags
- Cabin Decorations – Players are encouraged to add some flavor to their cabin. You may also want to bring a fan or space heater depending on the weather and a well stocked cooler is great for staying hydrated and fed.
- Summer - In summer we highly recommend insect repellant, sunscreen and baby powder (trust us!)
Most parks we use have electricity and outlets available in the cabins, but be frugal with your devices so that your cabin-mates can have an outlet too if they need it and the camp circuits don’t get overloaded.
Arriving on Site and Check-In
Due to the high interest in the game, we currently require that all players pre-register. Doing so will make arriving on site so much swifter. You will be pre-assigned a cabin, emailed your character card, and emailed information about when you need to volunteer. The only thing you’ll need to do as a pre-registered player is drop your belongings in your cabin and then stop by the Saloon to let them know you’ve arrived. You can pick up a parking pass there for your vehicle as well.
After checking in, go finish putting away your gear, decorating your cabin, and get into costume. All cars must be parked in the designated areas by the time game-on begins and have a parking pass prominently displayed.
If you have signed up as a full-time NPC, you should report to Monstertown after checking in, stow your belongings in your cabin, and change into basic blacks.
At many games, opening ceremonies is a time to gather together just before the game starts and hear any last minute announcements that the staff may have. Calamity intends to transition away from Opening Ceremonies. We'd like to keep everyone's site arrival and settling in as in-character as possible and highly encourage soft roleplay (meaning no combat) until game on officially is called at 10pm.
Once game on starts, everything that happens is considered to be in character. Players are expected to be in-play unless absolutely necessary. If you have to be out-of-play for any reason, you must designate it either with a white headband or your arm over your head, and we ask that you remain as unobtrusive as possible to avoid disrupting the experience of other players.
Within the course of the game, you may find yourself fighting an incursion from the Hollow Nation, following the howls of wolves to an encounter just on the outskirts of town, take a job that leads you on a module outside of town, or spend time gambling in the Saloon. We find that players who can make their own fun by interacting with other players have the best time at events. Not only do they simply have an easier time keeping themselves occupied during the event, they also make connections that ultimately let them become involved in stories that they may never have encountered otherwise!
A cardinal rule of Calamity is to take anything that happens In Play. Don’t look for out of play explanations such as “that plot person must be tired, her NPC forgot this important person’s name”. She might be tired, or that NPC might be suffering an effect. We’ve found that when players assume everything is in-play, the whole game world is richer.
Calamity does rely on volunteerism to function. Sadly, we don’t have 50 spare volunteers to keep you all entertained all weekend and deal with clean-up, so we do require players to contribute to the game in some fashion. Generally we ask for 2 hours of your time during the game and will assign players some aspect of post-event cleanup. We strongly recommend that you pre-register your volunteer slot and desired duties in advance. By doing so, you can tell us who you enjoy volunteering with, the kinds of things you like doing, and if there are specific things you really don’t want to miss this time around. In turn, we can review our schedule and make sure you aren’t off tormenting your fellow players just when we’ve scheduled someone to come and challenge you to a shoot out. We can’t promise you’ll always get your ideal pick, but we can promise that we’ll work with you to make volunteering as enjoyable as possible.
We are big fans of empowering our volunteers. To that end, we want everyone to get to do things that they enjoy and we want to take advantage of the many diverse skills in our player base. So we might ask you to play a named role one event, help with set-up an event, fight in the field battle, or even write and run an encounter if that’s something you’d enjoy. All encounters will be reviewed by the Staff for consistency, but we realize we’ve got plenty of people out there with years of experience or who have always wanted to dabble with storytelling. Finally, we always need some extra help at the end of the event with clean-up and break-down. Choosing a clean-up task can be done at the same time you select your mid-game volunteer time.
No matter what your volunteer duty is, it’ll generally start off in Monstertown. So a little before your slated time, you can drop your things in your cabin and change into basic blacks. Some players prefer to leave town in character and set their player’s items off to the side in Monstertown. Either option is fine.
Full-time NPC volunteers are expected to remain in Monstertown when not actively playing a role. If it is necessary for you to go out-of-play, this is repped by placing a fist over your head, or by wearing a white headband. Though just as we ask players to keep such OOP time to a minimum, we ask for our volunteers to do everything in their power to help maintain the IP mystique of the Whispering Hills by staying in play within the town whenever possible, and by being discrete when required to be out of play.
Food is typically available for dinner in the Saloon at Calamity. It’s generally a pot-luck, so just bring something to contribute to the whole to partake. This can be anything from a food dish, a few 2-liters, or a large bag of chips or apples to paper plates and plastic utensils. Many people bring large crock-pots full of various dishes to contribute, and it’s often discussed in the Google Plus community or forums beforehand so not everyone brings the same thing. You may also bring your own food, beverages, and snacks to keep in your cabin. If you need to refrigerate anything, there’s generally enough space in the Saloon fridge for everyone.
If you are a full time NPC, we’ll set you up with a small role so you can join the players for dinner. Contributions are welcome, but you do a lot of running around and heavy lifting as it is. The game will provide some food like cold cuts for sandwiches, but if you want more than that it’s recommended to bring your own little cooler for your cabin like the PCs do.
For both players and volunteers — remember to keep yourself fed and hydrated throughout the event!
The game lasts until 11:00am on Sunday morning. Roleplay on Sundays can be light, but there may be important encounters as well. We believe in making the most of our time on site! No matter what occurs, however, everyone is responsible for cleaning out their cabins and checking out with the appropriate site-marshal on time. Most sites require us to be off site by 1:00pm.
Cleaning the site requires a group effort. We have two hours from end of game until we have to be off site. When all of our players and volunteers commit to cleaning a little bit, site checkout goes lightning fast. So take a few minutes to police the area around your cabin for bullets and packets, volunteer to run a broom or mop over a bathhouse floor, or give a few minutes of time to helping with the Saloon. Though there will be a few volunteers assigned to organize the Sunday cleanup, sites are big! Every extra bit of contribution helps. Besides you can share some great stories while working with your fellow players on tearing down a module setup or checking the main field for bullets.
After the event, be sure to fill out your feedback and check-out forms. You can also pre-register for the next event and discuss matters both in and out of play on our forums, G+ community, or FB community.