We welcome players of all types and experience levels to play at Madrigal! Whether you’re brand new to larping or you’ve been larping in other game campaigns for decades, this page will help to guide you. If you are new to larping as a hobby, we recommend reading our “What Is LARPing” page to learn the very basics how this fun hobby works!
- Introduce Yourself
- Creating A Character
- Registering For An Event
- What to bring / what to expect when you arrive
- What To Do After You Attend An Event
- First Time Player Character Reset Requests
- Special Note: Staff & NPCs
The very first step you’ll want to take when you want to join Madrigal is to send a quick email to us to let us know you’re interested! This lets our staff know that you’re looking to play and keeps us on our toes to watch for your questions and submissions as you start to make your first Madrigal character. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just a simple email to tell us who you are and that you’re thinking of joining the game is sufficient – send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
You should then start to review the information below about creating your first character and registering for an upcoming event.
Take some time to explore the setting information available here on the website, and in the official rulesbook. This will help you to understand the game lore as well as the gameplay mechanics. If you feel you might want to be an NPC at first instead, check out our New NPC page for more information about NPCing!
When you’re ready to make your first character, you’ll need to request access to our Online Character Generator. This tool will allow you to create a basic character, which is loaded into our system so that you and our staff can track your progress as you advance, and staff can grant you points to spend on more character abilities at future games! In order to use the tool, visit the Generator and click “request a login”. Please note that the request is not automated and we review/approve account requests. It can take up to 72 business hours before the account is approved, and until it is approved you will not be able to access the tool with your login. If you’re having trouble, email email@example.com for assistance.
While you’re waiting for your Character Generator login to be approved, it’s a good idea to spend some time thinking of a backstory for your character. What are your character’s goals in life? Why is your character adventuring? What’s their name? These are just a few of the questions you can think about. When you’ve decided on backstory and history for your character, enter your character history in Larportal to tell us about your new character! Character histories can give you something to talk with other players about during game, but if you’re not ready to decide on your character’s backstory details because you’re still getting to know the setting, you can submit it at a later time.
New Player Tip: Don’t worry about making your first character “perfect” – if after your first event you feel that you’d have more fun playing a different kind of character (based on what you experience at your first game), brand new players are allowed to notify the game staff ahead of the next event and request to redo their character – this could be as minor as changing around a few abilities or as broad as a complete overhaul of the character with a new name and completely different backstory. It’s up to you, and the most important part is making sure that the character you’re playing is one that you will have fun with!
It is always a good idea to pre-register for a game event as soon as you know that you’d like to attend! Game events have limited room for players and NPCs, and pre-registering helps to ensure that you get to play if the event sells out/fills up. Additionally, you’ll get extra Character Points for pre-registering, and the staff can sometimes even prepare special storylines connected with your character since they’ll know in advance that you’ll be attending. Even if you change your mind about making a character and decide to NPC instead, it is still important to pre-register (see our NPC page for info).
The cost for participation in a Madrigal event for players is outlined below:
- Game admission: $80 per person
- Three catered meals are available at our Woodstock campsite:
- $20 for the weekend (includes brunch Saturday, dinner Saturday, and brunch Sunday) per person
- If you wish to purchase a meal individually, brunches are $6 per person and dinner is $8 per person
- Our other event campsites may offer different food options from 3rd party vendors; please check our announcements for updates on meal options for non-Woodstock events
Players can pre-pay online or pay at the door with cash.
The following are common things to know ahead of your very first time playing:
Here is a handy packing list for your first game. We recommend many of the following items for new players:
- Extra socks
- Any weapons or spell packets for your character
- Period-looking shoes or boots with good ankle support
- Any makeup required for your character (some races have specific make-up requirements, be sure to check the official rulebook!)
- Street cloths to change into after the event
- Toiletries (soap, toothbrush, deodorant, etc) & shower towel
- Bug spray & sunscreen
- Sleeping bag, pillow, and/or blanket
- Bottled Waters
- Non-perishable snacks & food
- (If not pre-registered: cash for the entry fee and/or meal costs)
- BONUS: Cold Weather Checklist – New England can be chilly during the early spring and late fall, the following items are handy for cold-weather gaming:
- Thermals to wear under your costuming
- Cloaks, scarves, hats or other in-game warm outer layer costuming
- Cold weather rated sleeping bag (check the weather forecast to see how cold it will be during game weekend at the camp site locations)
- Warmer-than-usual socks and footwear – the boots & socks you wear during warm weather may not be warm enough if it snows!
At the event, you’ll be assigned to a particular cabin as listed on our Housing List. Check the housing list update prior to the event, which will tell you what cabin to put your things in when you arrive (staff and players can assist you with finding your cabin if you’re not sure where it is located on the site).
Once you’ve unloaded your things at your assigned cabin, you’ll want to find a place to park your vehicle. Check our camp info pages to see where the appropriate places to park are. We try to keep all cars parked in a discrete location to maintain a more in-character atmosphere, as well as avoid vehicle mishaps from costuming or props brushing against them during gameplay.
Prior to the start of the game, there will be a Check-In desk set up at the camp site. At Check-In all of the follow can occur:
- Payments for admission to the event (if you have not pre-paid via PayPal)
- Payments for any meals (if you have not pre-paid via PayPal)
- Signing the participation Liability Waiver form
- You’ll receive a print out of your character’s skills and abilities as a reminder to review before game. This sheet should be tucked away once game starts.
- You may receive any in-game items owed to your character due to particular skills/abilities you selected (e.g. Alchemy supplies, in-game money)
- Eventually you’ll use Check-In to pay for any in-game costs (such as use of particular information skills or Maintenance), receive any items or effect cards related to activities you may have done during previous games, or other important “special notices”. (These are things that will occur during your subsequent games, and not as likely your very first game.)
The location of Check-In at the camp site may change from event to event – when you arrive ask a member of the game staff or even another player, and they will be able to assist you with locating the Check-In.
Prior to the start of game you should begin to get in costume. Eventually there will be a “Game Opening” ceremony (typically between 10 and 30 minutes prior to the official start of game). During Game Opening, the staff will give reminders about game mechanics, make any important announcements, and provide updates if there have been rule changes or changes to the way certain game mechanics work during that particular event. They will also indicate how much time is left before the official start of game, which tends to occur around 10pm. You should attempt to have all of your costuming on and ready by the time Game Opening occurs, but you are not required to be in character until “Game On” is officially called.
When it is time to begin acting as your character, there will be a loud verbal call of “game on!” from the staff, loud enough to be heard across the camp typically. This is the signal that it is time to take on your role as your character and begin your adventures.
During some events, after the Game Opening ceremony there may be a call for brand new players to gather together with a member of the staff for an orientation module. You may hear the term “Initiates” used, which is an in-game term for newer players. During the new player module, you’ll be introduced to the game setting with other less experienced players. This is very helpful for learning basic information about the world, the story for the weekend, or in some cases you may even get to try your hand at some combat (depending on the scenario). After this module you are free to go forth and interact with the other players/NPCs you encounter on the site. Explore, meet other players, and find the adventures and activities that interest you!
You may interact with any other players or characters you encounter during the weekend. The flow of gameplay is unique at each event, and you can decide what characters and stories interest you most. You can interact with the other characters you meet, investigate props or points of interest, relax in a tavern, or respond to calls to arms. Participate in as many or few activities as you want, the choice is yours! You may return to your cabin as often as you like during the game. As a new player you may hear other characters ask for “initiates,” an in-game word for newer players. This is often an opportunity for you to receive benefits for your character or to go on adventures.
Meal times occur at set times during the event weekends:
- 10am Saturday Brunch
- 6pm Saturday Dinner
- 10am Sunday Brunch
As a reminder: unless otherwise announced by staff, you must pay for meals in advance either through PayPal here on the website or at the Check-In desk on Friday night. Game play often lasts until very late at night (sometimes even overnight!). It is also important to note that if you’re not feeling well (too tired, dehydrated, or otherwise sick) you may return to your cabin and rest and say that you have “the plague”. Players should always be healthy and safe during game, and The Plague is an in-game way for other players and characters (even monsters) to know that you are too ill to play at the moment and need some time to rest. You can rejoin the adventures once you’re feeling well!
On Sunday afternoon, the event officially concludes when staff announce “Game off”. At that time you may break character, change out of costume, and interact with other players and staff to chat about the event. You may return to your cabin to pack up your belongings, and there are additionally opportunities to earn Character Points (CP) for volunteering to help the staff clean up other areas of the camp (e.g. pick up spell packets, help to pack up props).
If you liked your experience, and plan to return to future events, there are a couple of things you’ll want to know about:
We encourage players to send a Summary Letter to tell us about their experiences at the game event! These letters help us to improve future games and help us to craft stories related to your character’s activities/interests. If you submit a summary letter within 2 weeks of attending an event, you’ll also earn extra Character Points (CP)! Click here to use our submission form to send your PEL after you attend the event.
We encourage players to send in a Check-Out form after attending an event. These forms allow us to track and grant you Character Points (CP), and give you any additional CP for volunteering items, submitting a PEL within the 2 week window, or clean-up help.
After your first game, if you feel that you don’t quite like how your character turned out, you can contact our staff to request a one-time reset. This will allow you to recreate the character and make changes to their abilities, story, name, etc. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for this one-time request.
If you are considering playing in the event as a Non-Player Character (NPC), please visit our New NPC info page!