Booking and Preparing for a Dark Door event

Introduction

The following is intended to give a general idea as to what to expect when booking for a Dark Door event, what will happen during the build-up to the game and also provide some guidance as to what you may need to bring along when you attend the game. In practice the approach taken with any one game is at the discretion of the event organizers and so the actual details will vary and it is not possible to give a definitive guide. Event organizers are always happy to answer any questions you have and so you should feel free to contact them.

Forthcoming Events

Details of forthcoming events are listed under Future Events on our website. We will always seek to provide some basic information, including the date and location of the event and the game fee, as far in advance as possible but sometimes this may not be too detailed at first. The information provided will be continually updated and become more complete nearer to the time.Full details of the very next event will be made available though an on-line flyer posted on our website that will usually go live a few weeks before bookings open. This flyer will include full details of the event and a dedicated email address to allow you to reach the organizers with any questions. If you are on our mailing list you will be sent a copy of our newsletter or the flyer by email that will include a link to the on-line flyer for the very next event. This information will also be posted to our Facebook group and a dedicated event page will be set up on Facebook. Organizers will use the Facebook group or event page to post regular updates and news.

Questions and Queries

We are always happy to be of assistance with any questions about our events, though please note that at times some information may not be immediately available because we are still in the early planning stages or because we want to avoid revealing certain details that may spoil the game. However, we do respond to all questions. You can raise questions by contacting the event organizers via the dedicated event email address or though the Facebook event page.

Booking for an Event

Bookings will usually open two to three months before the event is due to run. The on-line flyer will usually have been live for a few weeks before hand giving full details of the event and advance notice of the booking date. Most bookings open on a Sunday evening at 8pm, but this may vary and you should refer to the on-line flyer for full details. Bookings are made on-line via our web-site and a link will go live at the allotted time. It is strongly recommended that you be logged on and ready to book at the time that bookings open as places on our events will always be limited and most spaces will go within the first 30 minutes of bookings opening, and on some occasions it has been known for our events to book out entirely within the first hour. Please note that if you do log on to the booking page ahead of time you may need to refresh your browser at the allotted time in order to see the booking link go live. If you are a current Dark Door member you will be sent a members only priority booking link 30 minutes before bookings open to the general public.

You should be sure to familiarize yourself with any specific booking instructions provided in the on-line flyer in advance of bookings opening to ensure that you do not experience any difficulties. This aside the website will guide you through the booking process and set out what steps need to be followed.

You will be sent a booking confirmation by email shortly after you have booked. If there are any problems with your booking the event organizers will seek to contact you as soon as possible to resolve this. Please note that the email you use for the payment transaction on the PayPal website will be the one the referees use to contact you and to submit any pre-game Player Packs (see Player Packs and “FYEO” below).

Deposits and Game Fees

The game fee charged will vary from event to event with an initial deposit due upon booking and the remaining balance to be paid by monthly installments. There will usually be 2 or 3 installments (including the initial Deposit), but there may be more, particularly for more expensive events on order to help make our games as affordable to as many people as possible. All due game fees must all be fully paid up by the payment deadline; No Pay - No Play. Payment is made using PayPal which is a secure on-line payment service. Please note that you do not need to have a PayPal account to use this service.

The Deposit - In order for your booking to be accepted and your place reserved on the game you must pay the initial deposit. There are no exceptions to this and unless a deposit is received your booking will not be accepted. All deposits are non-refundable. Game Fee Balances – The remainder of the game fee will then be paid by 1 or 2 further monthly installments. These will be automatically deducted by PayPal on each due date starting one calendar month from payment of the initial deposit and then again on the same date the following month, etc. If you cancel these installments post booking your deposit will be retained (see also Cancellation Fees, below).

Cancellation Fees

Cancellation Fees apply to all bookings for Dark Door events and form part of the Terms & Conditions of booking to which all players must agree when booking. Funding for our games is dependent upon game fees received and if any bookings are cancelled this can leave us short of funds and may place the whole event at risk of being called off to the disappointment of all concerned. Even where we are still able to proceed, if this is on a reduced budget due to cancellations then changes to the event may be necessary meaning we will not be able to deliver the game experience that we would have wished. Late cancellations in particular can have a significant impact on the event. As such all cancelled bookings carry a cancellation fee.

In all cases Deposits are non-refundable and so should a player cancel their booking at any stage the deposit will be retained by way of a Cancellation Fee. Any bookings that are cancelled after payment of the final installment carry a 100% cancellation charge and all payments made will therefore be retained. A discretionary full refund will be offered on cancelled bookings provided a replacement booking can be secured, in which case refunds will be offered once payment by the replacement player is received. In the case of late cancellations, it may be necessary that the replacement player be asked adopt the Character of the player they are replacing as a condition of booking.

Character Selection and Submission

This is one of the main aspects of booking that may occasionally vary from event to event. In most cases all characters will need to be generated using the standard Dark Door Character Sheet and by following the guidelines set out under Creating a Character. However, very occasionally some events will use alternative versions of the character sheet or set different guidelines for how your character is to be generated. Where this is the case this will be explained in the information provided with the on-line flyer. Most events will give you a free-reign in selecting your character, subject to it fitting within the event scenario and the Dark Door’s game system. Alternatively, some events will use set archetypes that are to be selected when booking, while some others will use a mixture of archetypes and free-choice characters.

Where archetypes are employed the approach taken to them will also vary, with some events using fully pre-drafted characters while others will just set out a character type (i.e. Police Officer, Priest, etc), and leave you to flesh out the full character details when you submit your character. The actual approach being employed for any particular event will be explained by the organizers.The event organizers will usually set a strict post-booking deadline by which you must submit your character. This deadline will usually be just a few weeks after bookings opened. It is important that you comply with the deadline as many events seek to tailor each game to the characters that players create and so the event organizers will need to know what character you will be playing well in advance of the game if this is to be done. Submission of your completed character sheet will usually be by email to an address provided to you.

Player Packs and “FYEO”

A few weeks before the event all players will be sent a Player Pack which will give final information and instructions for the event. This pack will include directions to the event and important information concerning anything that you will need to bring along with you. The pack may be posted to you or they will be emailed to the address provided on the PayPal payment site when booking. The packs will often include some character specific information, referred to as the “FYEO” (For Your Eyes Only). This may include a back story for your character, rumors or other information your character may have heard, or even hand-out sheets. Ordinarily this information should not be discussed with any other player before the event even where your character is closely linked to theirs. Guidance as to whether these rules can be relaxed in regards to individuals or groups of players will be given in the Player Pack.

Game Fees Final Instalment Deadline

The deadline for the payment of the final instalment of the game fee, along with a reminder of the total amount due, will be provided in the player packs, and is often due around 1 week before the event. If you opted to pay by instalments these will have been deducted automatically by PayPal and the final payment will be deducted just before or on the deadline. If you did not opt to pay by instalments then the final balance due must be made via PayPal by the date notified and a link will be set-up on our website to enable you to make your payment. Please note that you do not need to hold a PayPal account to use this service. Whichever payment option is used your game fee must be fully paid-up before the game begins, with no exceptions; No Pay - No Play.

What you will need to bring

All players should wear appropriate period costume (1920’s or whatever alternative period is being used for the event) so as not to detract from the atmosphere. You may also wish to bring period nightwear as it is often known for things to go bump in the night, rousing characters from their beds. Remember to also bring along any props that will help enhance your character. Please note that players must be able to give a good reason for any equipment and weapons their characters are carrying. Where possible all in-character belongings that are to be used in game should be stored in separate in-character luggage or bags. All out of character bags and belongings are strictly out of bounds and you should not interfere with another player’s property, however innocent your intentions.

You will often need to bring a sleeping bag, pillow/pillow case and also a towel. You should also of course bring along toiletries. Any other “out of character” items you may need that are specific to the event or venue will be notified to your in the Player Packs. It is not usually necessary to bring your own food as Dark Door events are fully catered with all meals provided, along with ample cake, biscuits, tea, coffee and soft-drinks throughout! Details of the meal arrangements will be outlined in the Player Packs, with care taken to highlight any arrangements that differ from the usual. If you have any special dietary requirements please be sure to advise us well in advance.

Players are welcome to bring alcohol for consumption during the event, but we would ask that you consume this in moderation as drunkenness is not only potentially dangerous at a LARP event but may also spoil other player’s enjoyment of the game. We always have a social drink at the end of our events and so you may wish to save any alcoholic drinks for after the game has finished.

Arrival and Departure

The start-time for the event will be provided in the Player Packs. Usually there will be a separate arrival time for a pre-game briefing by the referee, with the event commencing shortly after once all the necessary formalities are out of the way. The pre-game briefing will include a safety briefing as well as safety checks on LARP weapons and replica fire-arms. The referee may also want to discuss each player’s character with them privately depending on the needs of the event. This will also give you a chance to raise any last minute queries. We would ask that you make all effort to arrive on-time so as not to delay the game start and inconvenience the other players. If you do find that you are running late please telephone ahead, if possible, and advise us of your expected time of arrival. Contact details for the event organiser will be provided in the Player Packs.

The meeting place for players will usually be off site, often at a nearby pub, and it is not usual for players to be allowed on-site before Time In. Players will then be led to the site at the allotted time, often by car, once the pre-game briefing is complete. The availability of on-site parking facilities are of course site dependant and it may be that parking will be a short distance away. All vehicles and any items in them are left at the owner’s risk. Departure from the site will usually take place after breakfast on Sunday morning, though different events and venues may dictate other arrangements. At Dark Door events the post game clean-up has always been considered a joint effort for crew and players alike and so you are requested to assist in clearing up after the event on Sunday morning. If you have far to travel and must leave early please try and make some contribution and at the very least you should ensure any room that was allocated to you is left tidy and in good condition.