If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
New World Magischola is open to all participants who are age 18 by the date of the event. There is no upper age limit, and we have players of all ages. Participants portray roles as college students or school faculty and staff. For younger players in middle and high school, Magischola Prep is available.
What if I’ve never larped before?
This event is designed for you! We have designed this experience to be easy-to-learn and open to everyone. There are no complicated statistics, character build points, or experience levels. Instead it focuses on relationships, immersion, and story.
There is no physical combat in this game. Spell-casting and play techniques will be taught in workshops prior to the event, and each player will have access to a character coach to help you flesh out the character concept you are given by the organizers. There are no minimum costuming requirements (you need a wand!). You’ll also be part of player groups to help you prepare prior to the event.
June 20-23, 2019
Participants may check-in between noon and 2:00 pm on Thursday the 20th. Check out is at noon on Sunday. The game starts at 8 p.m. on Thursday evening and runs through Saturday night. Sunday morning is for wrap-up and debriefs.
Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts. Mount Holyoke is one of the Seven Sisters, a leader in women’s education in the US.
We will be spending most of our time in four buildings. Dormitory accommodations, House Common Rooms, and social space will in MacGregor Hall and Ham Hall, which are adjacent buildings with a shared courtyard. Classes and some club meetings will be in Ciruti Hall. Meals are in the Dining Commons in the Community Center, and the dance will be in the Community Center as well.
Formal ceremonies like Convocation, Sorting, and Graduation will be in Abbey Memorial Chapel.
All buildings except MacGregor and Ham close at midnight.
Outdoor spaces available for play are: the courtyard between MacGregor and Ham, the hill behind the Willits-Hallowell Center, the Upper Lake, and Pageant Green.
More information about how to get to campus is available here, on the Mount Holyoke College website.
The closest international airport is Bradley International Airport (BDL), just north of Hartford CT, about 45 minutes away. Boston’s Logan Airport (BOS) is about 2 hours away.
Parking is available for free on the campus in lots within accessible walking distance to all buildings. There is a large lot right next to Macgregor Hall. See this map for other visitor lots.
Check-in will be in the lobby of MacGregor Hall starting at 12 noon on Thursday. There, you will sign your waiver and receive your building access card, room key, robe, tie (if any), name badge, store pre-orders, etc. After that, you can drop off your luggage, set up your room, and meet up with your friends.
New World Magischola is open to 160 participants, ages 18+. The experience is conducted in English.
Players will be housed in MacGregor and Ham Hall.
All participants sleep in extra-long twin dormitory beds (twin XL), two students per room.
Each floor has one single-occupancy bathroom with a shower, and one shared-use bathroom with multiple stalls, sinks, and showers.
MacGregor and Ham Hall are not air-conditioned, but you may bring fans.
Roommate requests will be honored as much as is practical; otherwise, participants will be paired according to their preferences on the Rooming Survey. If you prefer a room to your own for any reason, you may purchase the single-room upgrade for $80.
Sheets, pillows, and towels do not come with the price of admission to NWM. You may bring your own linens, or rent a linens package for $25. Since the beds are twin XL, you may find that two flat sheets are easier than a fitted one.
All dorm rooms are by default off-game, meaning you are not in-character while in your dorm room. Common rooms and lounges are in-game at all times. If you would like to make your dorm room an in-character space, you may do so, but only with the active consent of your roommate. Since many of us have mundane medications and devices in our rooms, it is usually easier to keep them off-game.
You may decorate your room as you wish, but you cannot cover the windows or the sprinkler system. You may attach things to the walls with approved adhesive only (painter’s tape, tacky putty, 3M comfort strips).
No open flames are allowed in any buildings at any time. LED candles are fine.
Since Mount Holyoke College is in a residential neighborhood, we must abide by local noise ordinances. We must be quiet outside after 10PM. Please be a good and respectful neighbor.
You’ll have three meals a day from dinner on Thursday evening to breakfast on Sunday morning. Feel free to bring extra snacks for between meals, but we will provide you with food.
All meals will be in the newly-renovated Dining Commons in the Community Center. Meals are buffet style, and the Dining Commons has options to accommodate all dietary restrictions, including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free. Allergens and other ingredients are clearly labeled on all dishes. If you have severe allergies or other dietary needs, you’ll get the chance to enter that on your Player Information form.
All meals will be out-of-character since we will be sharing the Dining Commons with other groups; also, some people need to eat out-of-character for reasons that wouldn’t make sense for their character.
This is an event set at Wizard College, complete with the college parties that come with it.
Alcohol is only allowed in the residence halls. Therefore, formal ceremonies and the dance will be dry events, and any club meeting that involves alcohol must be held in MacGregor Hall or Ham Hall. Please respect the site. Thank you!
Attendees under the age of 21 will have a sticker on their name badges. Please help us comply with Massachusetts law by not providing or purchasing alcohol for those who are not of the legal age to drink in the United States.
Other than the above restrictions, it is up to you to choose whether, when, and how much to imbibe. We ask you to drink responsibly and to use a buddy system to ensure everyone is accounted for and safe. If you notice someone who is disorderly from drinking, please report it to an Organizer, who will assist.
Since alcohol at an event does correlate with an uptick in undesirable behaviors, such as harassment, we ask all players to be circumspect with their own behavior and to hold other players accountable for their remarks and actions. Our commitment to Community Safety and Inclusivity is something that is maintained by everyone.
If you do not drink and are uncomfortable around drinking, there will be designated alcohol-free spaces at the larp after-party on Saturday night. We are also considering a club for non-drinkers for in-game and off-game solidarity.
All of the buildings we will be using are fully wheelchair accessible. Multi-floor buildings (MacGregor Hall, Ham Hall, Ciruti Hall, the Student Center) have elevators inside and ramp access from outside, and there are wheelchair accessible bathrooms on every floor.
Every building has all-gender bathrooms.
There are parking lots with designated disabled-access spots near all of the buildings that we will be using.
There are Braille labels on all residence hall rooms, and Braille and raised-print labels on all elevators, restrooms, and classrooms.
Ciruti Hall and the Student Center are air-conditioned.
Abbey Chapel, Ham Hall, and MacGregor Hall are not air-conditioned.
MacGregor Hall and Ham Hall are right next to each other; Ciruti and the Student Center are a 5-minute walk from the dorms. Abbey Chapel is a 10-minute walk from the dorms. The campus is almost entirely flat, with wide walking paths and ramps on curbs and at entrances.
Some experiences will be conducted in low-light settings. The campus is lit with streetlights and there are emergency “blue light” call boxes at intervals throughout. We suggest you bring a lantern, headlamp, light-up wand, or other flashlight devices if you intend to be in the woods after dark.
You cannot bring children to New World Magischola. We want your full focus on the game. (Certain exceptions for nursing mothers may be made on a case-by-case basis.)
What do I get for the price
- Full room and board from noon on Thursday to noon on Sunday at the Mount Holyoke College. This includes 3 nights, 3 breakfasts, 3 dinners, and 2 lunches. Food is all-you-care-to-eat from the College Dining Facilities.
- A school robe and tie to wear for the week; a wand to borrow if you don’t have one.
- Supplies, props, special effects, set design to transform Mount Holyoke College into a Wizard School and create the five Houses of the school.
- A written character with a background from the magical world.
- Coaching and workshops to develop improvisation, communication, acting, choreography
- A Wizard Ball with a DJ.
- A cast and crew to design, create, and act with you in this immersive theatre experience.
- The dream come true of going to Wizard School!
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!
Lost Key and Robe Fees
Mount Holyoke charges $15.00 for each lost room key and $15.00 for each lost building access card.
Please do not bring the following to NWM:
- Flame candles (LED is fine)
- Liquid ink in bottles
- Loose glitter
- Firearms or lookalikes
- Knives or other bladed weapons (pocket knife in bag or pocket is ok)
- Silly string
- Fake blood (we will supply this if you need it)
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!
Wi-Fi on Campus
There is free Wi-Fi on campus.
Photography & Videography
We will have one or more professional photographers and videographers at each event. Photos will be distributed free to NWM participants and each event will be well-documented, including school pictures of each student and ball portraits.
We ask that you do not photograph or video the event yourself. This violates other people’s privacy and is against our Conduct Guidelines. You may, of course, take photos and selfies in your dorm room. If you want to take a picture with someone else in these private spaces, ask first! Under no circumstances should anyone be taking photos or videos with hidden cameras of any kind.
Members of the media who attend NWM have received permission from the Organizers to photograph or take video, and they comply with guidelines about privacy and quality.
If you ever see one of our photographers approaching and you don’t want to be photographed, simply use the Lookdown sign (we will teach this in workshops) and the photographer will either not take your picture or we will not use that picture in the albums.
Travel and Accommodations
What time should we arrive at the event?
You should plan to arrive on campus for check-in between Noon and 2 p.m. on Thursday, June 20, 2019. The event begins with mandatory workshops at 3 p.m. and ends Sunday at 11 a.m. with checkout at noon.
What is the nearest airport or train station?
Bradley International (BDL) in Hartford, CT is the closest airport and is roughly 45 minutes drive from the college. Springfield, MA is the closest Amtrak station, about 20 minutes away. Boston is about an hour and a half to the east. The College’s website has a nice page about getting to the College that answers many other questions.
Will you provide a shuttle from the airport or train station?
Since our participants arrive from so many places and often are driving, we do not provide a shuttle from a specific location. Most of the time, players group up with others who are arriving to the same location and either carpool or share a rideshare. There will be a travel connections Facebook group for this purpose.
How many nights’ lodging are provided with my ticket?
Three: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights are part of your purchased ticket.
Can players pay to stay an additional night at the dorms?
No, we only have access to the dorms Thursday through Sunday. However, there are many affordable hotels in the South Hadley, Amherst, Springfield area. Players who arrive on Wednesday or stay after the event often group together to share the hotel expenses — and the fun!
Will players be allowed to park on the Mt. Holyoke campus?
Yes. Parking is provided free of charge to players. The lots are across the street from the dorms. You do not need a permit to park in the designated lots on campus. Please do not park in faculty spaces.
Will players have access to the gym on campus during the event?
No, that is not part of our arrangement.
Will players need to bring pillow/sheets/towels etc. for the nights spent in the dorms?
Linens are provided for all participants as part of this year’s ticket price, whether a Benefactor Ticket or a Reduced Price Ticket. The linens package included with your ticket has a set of twin XL sheets, a light blanket, a pillow, a bath towel, hand towel and washcloth.
What will the menu for the event look like?
All meals will take place in the college cafeteria, which has a wide variety of food available at every meal. For lunch and dinner, there is a full salad bar, a pasta bar, a grill, a sandwich bar, dessert bar, and ice cream station. There are also hot entrees served at each meal, which include vegetarian options. All menu items have ingredients lists posted, and indicate if they are gluten-free, lactose-free, vegetarian or vegan. There is also a minimally-processed food station.
Is it true there are desserts available at every meal?
Lodging and Roommates
What dorm buildings are we using for New World Magischola?
We are using MacGregor Hall and Ham Hall. These buildings are ADA-compliant and have elevators. They have a locked exterior door, accessible by your key card, and interior doors which lock with a key.
Are the dorms air-conditioned?
The dorms are not air-conditioned. Average temperatures at Mt. Holyoke in mid-June are in the mid-70s with temperatures falling into the 60s or below in the evening. It may be warmer though. You are encouraged to bring window fans.
If you have a medical necessity for air-conditioning, the college will install a unit in your room for an additional fee and with a prescription from your physician. Because of the style of the windows in these buildings, standard AC window units do not fit and floor units must be installed by their facilities professionals. Additionally, the electrical load in the building cannot handle many AC units. For these reasons, the AC units are in short supply and heavily regulated by the College.
If you have a medical necessity for an AC unit, please email our staff at email@example.com. If you do not have a medical necessity but strongly prefer air-conditioning, it is possible for a few participants to stay in the Willits-Hallowell Center, the college’s inn. This building is across the street from the dorms and on the way to the classroom building and Ciruti Hall. There will be a housing upgrade fee to use this option. Rooms have two double beds and there are five rooms available.
The fee to have an AC unit added to your room or to stay in the Willits-Hallowell Center is the $95 single room upgrade fee.
What size are the beds?
Every bed is a twin XL bed.
Is it possible to get a room to myself?
Yes, but you must purchase a single occupancy upgrade.
I have a particular roommate I want to stay with. Can you put us together?
Both parties should indicate they want to stay with the other person on their survey, and must include their friend’s email. If both do not indicate the other person, the match may not be made (we have to be sure *both* parties agree to the rooming arrangement).
Can I be a roommate with someone who isn’t in the same NWM house as me?
Yes! Rooms are considered off-game by default. Our participants’ comfort with their roommate exceeds any wish to try to keep roommates within an NWM house. Also, many 1st year students will have their room assignments before they have a house anyway.
Can we switch roommates once the room assignments are out?
Any time there are logistical changes, it takes a lot of time and manual labor. We hope you will respond to the requests for roommate preference when we distribute them, so that the initial assignments are as accurate as possible. That said, changes are inevitable, and we will do our best to make it work so that everyone’s happy. If changes are requested less than one week from the event, we must pay a $25 change fee to the college. That fee will be passed on to the person requesting late changes.
Can my room be an in-character area?
Rooms are out of character by default, but if all occupants agree, this can be changed. 1:00 am to 7:00 am is considered sleep time, however, to allow everyone to get some rest. There are no night mods or ambushes in this game. Please get your rest.
How are the bathrooms set up?
Each floor has:
One single occupancy bathroom, with toilet, sink, and shower behind a locking door. These will be all-gender bathrooms.
One large shared bathroom with
Four (4) showers in individual stalls with individual curtains
Five (5) sinks and mirrors
Four (4) toilets in individual stalls (no urinals)
Shared bathrooms may be designated as Women, Men, or All-Gender, depending on preferences and the majority of people on a floor.
There are also gender-neutral public bathrooms in Ciruti (the classroom building), the Dining Hall, and the Campus Student Center.
Do I have to room with someone of a different gender?
On the survey, you will identify your gender and state if you would prefer to room with others of the same gender as you, or if that doesn’t matter to you.
Can I decorate my room?
Yes, but respect the facilities, and keep in mind the rules (such as no open flames, no hot pots), etc. You may attach things to the wall, but please use the adhesive putty and not tape. Check with your roommate or suitemates before applying decoration to shared areas.
When will I get my roommate assignment?
We cannot assign roommates until we get the final housing arrangements from the venue, which will not occur until mid-late May.
I have a medical reason to room with someone. Can you accommodate that?
Yes. Please indicate that in the “Is there anything else we should know?” field on the survey.
I need an ADA compliant room and a place to store or charge my accessibility device. Can you accommodate that?
The dormitory is ADA-compliant and has an elevator. Certain rooms are designated as accessibility rooms.
I have accessibility requirements for attendance, can I use my wheelchair / bring my service animal?
Yes! Our facilities are wheelchair accessible. Service animals are welcome, but the site does require that the animal be clearly marked as such. (Wearing the standard vests is sufficient. Costuming the service animal is welcome as long as the costume doesn’t obscure the vest.) If you have a specific accessibility need, be sure to contact the organizers and we will work with you.
How much walking is expected? Can I use a wheelchair?
While we have worked with the venue to place the dorms, classrooms, and meals as close to each other as possible, an estimated five to ten minutes of walking outdoors will be required for players to get from their dorms to meals. The paths are wheelchair accessible. If this amount of travel in the summer heat is expected to be a problem, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can find a solution.
Rules and Regulations
Is there a code of conduct?
Yes. Please review our Code of Conduct.
How will you handle harassment?
Like Comic Con, Gen Con, and others, NWM does not tolerate any harassment of any kind. Harassment is part of our Code of Conduct. Players are expected to abide by the conduct standard during the game, and in off-game situations. Those who violate the Code of Conduct will receive a sanction that may range from a verbal warning to expulsion from the event, at the organizers’ discretion, as is the case with most major conventions.
Will there be photography or filming of the event?
We will have a professional photographer on site at the event. We then release the edited photo collection for our players to view and to share with your friends and family. We may have a videographer on site during the event as well. We use this footage for our marketing materials and website. Players will be asked to sign a photography release form.
Can I vlog or make my own documentation during the event?
You have permission to film yourself, and others that consent to participating in your documentation, with the understanding that it will be done so in a way that’s not disruptive to others’ experience. You may not record film or take photographs during any part of the event where you may accidentally photograph or film unwilling individuals — such as in classrooms during class, or during our graduation or house drafting ceremonies. You may take photos or record film in your room if your roommate is ok with it. Always check with everyone that may be involved with the film or pictures if they agree to be included.
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.