Review

Event 13 - A Fete full event

Organiser: Eventyr LRP

Location: Willesley Scout Campsite, Willesley

Game of Choice

Written by James Turton on 03/04/2012

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I've long since admitted that I am a roleplay addict. I say addict because when you love a hobby to the extent that many of us do then it is a process addiction comparable to gambling or shopping. We spend fortunes on kit when we could go out and socialise instead, we plan months ahead for each event, spend hours daydreaming about our fantasy worlds, search every form of media for a fantasy 'fix', we get withdrawal symptoms post-event and chat about it incessantly, and many of us are embarrassed about our 'condition' and hide it from 'norms', seeking solace in groups of like-minded addicts. But for the sensible majority of us this is not an unhealthy addiction. We enjoy the escapism, expanding our minds with intricate fantasy worlds and heroic characters limited only by our imagination alongside intelligent friends, and still live fulfilling real lives as well. In my opinion, this is the essence of roleplay, this is why roleplaying is enjoyable and has made me the person I am today.

This time last year I was roleplaying every week, had been most of my life and was loving every minute. I think I attended in the region of five different LRP systems the previous year, and intended to continue doing so. Then I went into business for myself, and like many of us that gain responsibilities I had to make sacrifices. Unfortunately my first conclusion was that my roleplay addiction had to be cut back considerably. Gone was the weekly tabletop games and the large fest systems that I was to attend. Gone was the multitude of characters I planned to play at this game or that as well as all the group concepts that I had spent hours discussing with my friends. Gone even were the books I was writing including a novel and a campaign guide for a world I had designed during my time as a GM (any of this sound familiar).

However, I refused point blank at giving up one system and one system alone, and that was Eventyr. This was my addiction of choice. Why I hear you ask? Surely a better known system would be better? A 'professional' game like Maelstrom or Odyssey? A long established game like LT or CP? How about Drachenfest, the largest game in Europe? Or maybe even a national monthly linear like Fools & Heroes or Heroquest? Nope, had to be Eventyr, and here's why.

Comparing Eventyr to any of those systems is like comparing an oven to a microwave. I could make a similar character anywhere I went, but if I kept making the same character elsewhere I guarantee that it would taste somehow processed and always be the same. If I make a character at Eventyr then it somehow feels rewarding, personal and different thanks to the variety of choices available to me and the input and feedback gained from the organisers.

Admittedly I'm relatively new to the system, this previous game being my fourth Eventyr, but from the very first event I have not ceased to be impressed with the passion and dedication to the game that each of the organisers have. Every game, every little detail has been meticulously considered by each of the refs and story designers. There is so much to do each game that I'm surprised that nobody's head explodes trying to remember it all, and the mind boggles at how they manage a real life with the need to read, design and write all the details of each and every character, rule and plot that makes the game world come to life.

And there's the trick, right there. As a character in a game, I want to feel like I'm the hero and everyone else is either a party member or just another character from my story, regardless of whether they're a monster, crew or even another player. In Eventyr you get that. Every time. The organisers and crew put so much effort into me personally. I know if I have a request or suggestion that I'll be listened too. If I have a question then I'll be answered. I know that my character's background and actions have an effect on the plot that everyone will experience, just as their background and actions add to the colour and volume of my character's ongoing story. The scary part is that I know I'm not on a pedestal, everyone is, every player gets treated this way. That's professionalism! That's passion!

Eventyr already has a great basis. It's a class system loosely based on D&D with four basic classes to choose from. The skills work tremendously well, and though the experience points are a bit arbitrary, players are rewarded for both effort and imagination. For advanced characters there is a small range of 'prestige' classes to enter too, which are currently being expanded and (in the case of some of the older ones) updated to fall in line with the newer ones. The refs consider input and suggestions from the players about rules and additions, allowing for a larger pool of ideas and meaning that the players also feel that everything is fair. This has an added benefit in that players like myself kind of feel like we own part of the game and that we have a responsibility to it.

If I have any criticism then they are very minor. Firstly I didn't really like the site that much. I felt it was very public and small, although it did have some nice features like the church which I really enjoyed using during a couple of encounters. Secondly I also feel that the player group is getting rather large, which is actually a credit to the system itself as so many people enjoy playing it. On reflection the number of players there were handled almost perfectly, although I could sense the strain that the crew and ref team were under and think that either a few less players or a lot more crew would have resolved the problem. It was apparent that there was certainly enough plot to go around for everyone despite numbers, although I do feel that greedy players are rewarded more than needy players at times.

All in all though, Eventyr is the one and only system that I would not miss. All systems have faults and little things that can be improved, but hey, lighten up, this is a labour of love not a business or debacle of overly expensive showmanship that will overshadow the players. The pros far outweigh the cons. And I have it on authority that the cons are being ironed out.

This is adventure! This is why you roleplay, and this is the ultimate high your addiction has been craving. Go on, give it a go, I promise you'll like it.

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