Pre-Event Packing and Prep
At a bare minimum, you will want weather appropriate clothing for your character, any weapons or armor that your character may wear, basic black clothing (usually pants and a shirt), all tags and items that your character has, and any items that you would normally take with you when heading out of town for a weekend such as soap, a towel, and a toothbrush.
Depending on the event, you will want to bring bedding (for any three-day event) or bedding and a tent (for camp-over events) appropriate for the season. Additionally many people bring cabin decorations, props, well-stocked coolers, and a host of other items.
For summer events, sunscreen and bugspray is essential. If the event is a three-day, an electric fan can be a life-saver. During colder weather, pack thermal underwear (remembering that only your outer layer actually needs to look thematically appropriate) and a space heater or electric blanket. 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.
It helps to check the website for directions, check the forums for last minute information and the weather for help in clothing decisions.
Arriving on Site and Check-In
If you have pre-registered (highly recommended), you should have been assigned a cabin. Feel free to put your gear in your cabin before heading towards check-in. If you didn’t pre-reg, you will be given a cabin when you check-in. During check-in, you will receive your character card, sign up for your required volunteer time (unless you signed up beforehand), and take care of any logistical needs that you may have.
After checking in, go finish putting away your gear (or decorating your cabin if you are so inclined) and get into costume. All cars should be parked in the designated areas by the time game-on begins.
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.
Opening ceremonies is a time to gather together just before the game starts and hear any last minute announcements that the plot committee may have. This is also a good time to meet folks and get an introduction to the people who will be running the game.
After opening ceremonies, there’s about a fifteen to thirty minute break before game on officially begins. Once game on starts, everything that happens is considered to be in character. Players are expected to be in play unless specifically noted as out of play (typically by a white headband). From the time the game starts until it ends, there are any number of things that can happen. The town may be attacked by roving wildlife — or an organized and dangerous opposition force. You may be recruited to go out of town for a bit on a specific errand or mission. Various people may come into town for conversation, assassination or merchanting. You may also choose to sit down and have a lengthy conversation with other PCs about the nature of the universe.
For three-day events, volunteer time is generally three hours. You can sign up for this time during check-in though Eclipse tries to allow for pre-registration of monster times. Just before it’s time to go volunteer, you will typically go back to your cabin, change into basic blacks (pants and a shirt) and then go to Monstertown to sign in. Once there, the Monstertown Manager will assign you to a variety of activities. You might be asked to play a giant spider and go attack the town; you could participate in a huge field battle (as one of the bad guys) or you could be given a roleplaying part. Often you’ll play the part of a number of roles during your three hour shift. There are generally shifts available that include very little monstering if you prefer. These are typically at the very beginning or end of an event and include mostly menial (but necessary!) labor such as module set-up (hanging tarps, rigging traps, setting props), cleaning up the tavern Sunday morning, or the loading/unloading of Monstertown bins. Check with plot before each game to be sure these slots are available as they aren’t always needed.
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.
Food is typically available for dinner (Feast) on Saturday at Eclipse. 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 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 tavern fridge for everyone.
If you are a full time NPC, Monstertown holds its own Saturday night cookout back at base camp. Contributions are welcome, but you do a lot of running around and heavy lifting as it is. All other meals have things like cold cuts available, 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 typically lasts until around 11:00AM on Sunday morning. Most roleplay on Sunday is light as many folks are inclined to sleep in and then begin packing up to head home. Everyone is responsible for cleaning out their cabins and checking out with the appropriate site-marshal (announced during opening ceremonies). For extra Buttons, some folks will stay to help clean the tavern, pick up packets or do other clean-up work around the site; this also may count as volunteer time, if you have signed up to do so at check-in. Most event locations require everyone to be off-site by 1:00pm.
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.