This is a guide to how Magischola is played, expectations of the player, and our safety tools.
Please remember that workshops are mandatory to play in New World Magischola. If you are late arriving, we will hold make-up workshops to go over safety techniques and how to play before you step into game. Workshops are an integral part of the experience and help you establish relationships and bonds with other players and characters. They help you have an excellent time at NWM and to meet your character (and player) goals for the event. Please don’t shortchange your experience by discounting workshops!
How are characters created?
Players will be asked for their preferences for year, house, and major, and organizers will do their best to give players their choices. You will receive a character concept with a character last name, first initial, former school, year, path, house, and heritage. It will also include a basic backstory, some questions about motivation for the player to consider, and some suggestions for goals and relationships. Players will also have access to character coaches, who will help them build on this character concept to take ownership of it and to turn it into their own fully formed character. Major changes to the character need to be cleared with the organizers to ensure that another person’s game is not affected. Characters are not based on attributes, skills, levels, or categories, and there are no points or builds to use or exhaust.
Can I be a professor?
This is a very common question! If we said “yes!” to everyone who wanted to be a professor, we would have a game full of professors and very few students to take their classes. A separate process for interviewing and selecting professors will be held among the people who have purchased tickets for each run. Professors play a very important role in the event, and they will be working closely with the organizers to develop magical curricula and to understand the expectations of this game design and style. We will post more information about applying to be a professor after the tickets for each event are sold.
When will we receive characters?
Players whose tickets are paid in full by April 1 will receive their character concepts and coaches by April 8, 2019. We will have channels through Facebook set up so players can meet other players whose characters are in the same house, path, former school, year, and other groups such as heritage or clubs.
Can I write my own character?
You have a lot of flexibility with adapting the character concept you are given, so we do ask you to use that as a starting point in general. Characters created from the ground up must be approved by the character coach and organizers. We need enough characters in each year, house, major, and heritage status, for example, and many characters have specific relationships or plot elements that affect the larger game for everyone.
Can I be a character from the Harry Potter fiction?
This is a magical school set in the current modern year in North America, with new characters and new plots. The Harry Potter fiction is inspirational, but none of our fiction or content may include that intellectual property.
I took the NWM House Quiz and it put me in [House] when I wanted to be in [Other House], does this mean I have to be a member of [House] in the event?
No! The quiz is intended for entertainment and to get people thinking about their characters and the houses. We will try to get the players into their preferred house as best we can while keeping the distribution even. Players whose characters are first-years will be sorted into their house during the game itself.
I want to be an Artificer, does that mean I have to be in Lakay Laveau?
No! Each house will have students pursuing each path of study. For example, there are Marshals in Dan Obeah, Casa Calisaylá, Lakay Laveau, and House Croatan, not just in Maison Du Bois. Each House Founder is associated with a particular magical tradition, but modern day house members do not need to follow in their footsteps.
Can I still get my pick of the houses if I’m playing as a 1styear?
Like players of any year, you do get some say! First years “apply” to houses, and can make their preferences known to the House Presidents. Your character makes it clear why they would be a good fit during orientation and has a chance to demonstrate their loyalty and advantages.
The House Presidents get together and “draft” first-year students into the houses (and off-game we have oversight of this to try to accommodate preferences). Every 1st-year student has to have a house and the numbers need to balance. There may also be an in-game character reason for certain outcomes so we can’t say that every 1st year will get the house they want (the same as 2nd and 3rd years when characters are distributed). We can, however, guarantee that you won’t get your last choice of house.
Can I bring back a returning character?
If you played a student in a previous game, you may bring them back for another school year at New World Magischola, even if the last game you played them at was another First Semester event. Skipping ahead to another year and coming up with how (or if) they’ve grown or changed can be a lot of fun as a player. While we know some players had been hoping for a Second Semester event to continue their character’s stories, you can still do so in a First Semester game. Likewise, just as in the mundane world, some people end up taking more years than expected to get that diploma, so perhaps you took a semester off for an internship or travel abroad.
If your character graduated, it may be possible to bring them in as a professor and teach at New World Magischola, though as noted above, professor spots are limited, so we can not guarantee this.
What kind of costuming should I bring?
To play in this game, you need a wand. We’ll provide you with a robe and tie so that your character is in uniform. Hats are traditionally the student choice to express fashion sense, but keep in mind that our game takes place in June. You can be as mundane or as wizard-y as you like — whatever suits your character and budget. There is a formal dance at the event Saturday, where the uniform (school robes) is suspended, so your character can be free to wear whatever they choose, which is another costume opportunity. Professors wear whatever they want: robes, jeans, tweed, pajamas, matched, clashing, practical, ridiculous, and no one would dare suggest they look anything but absolutely smashing.
Why aren’t you doing a Second Semester event in 2019?
To ensure that we get sufficient players to make for an optimal New World Magischola experience, we have chosen to focus on making one New World Magischola run this year. There is now much more competition in the world of North American collaborative larp, and as such we’ve had to adjust our expected player numbers to ensure we get enough participants.
For players interested in having their characters graduate, we hope to bring back an improved Second Semester event in 2020, redesigning the event based on player feedback. However, you may still have your returning character attend New World Magischola this year, even if your last game was a First Semester run. There are many in-story reasons that can be used to explain this away, from just skipping ahead a year in their timeline to having taken time off for an internship or study abroad. If you played a first- or second-year character for NWM 9 or Yule in 2018, it makes sense for your character to be at this event. It’s simply the start of the next school year. Many of their friends from 2018 events will be there.
Immersion, & Off-Game Items
Because we are trying to make the best magical immersive experience for everyone, we ask that you not use branded items or off-game items in in-game spaces. This would include cans of soda or bottles of another drink, mobile phones and laptops, etc.
We will have NWM stainless steel water bottles for sale for $10 in the School Store that you can fill with whatever liquid you prefer (hot or cold) and be in-game all the time!