Start Here Guide
Table of Contents
What is Gothic: Age of Ashes?
The experience of LARPing at Gothic: Age of Ashes is intended to be a collaborative one as you participate in storylines meant for small to large groups, and sometimes specifically for your character. You will attempt to solve problems and achieve objectives as your character would, and at times you will suffer losses and frustrations as your character would. The staff at these events will be providing story and plot, delivered through NPCs (non-player characters), props, and interactive mysteries, discoveries, and events to be encountered throughout the game site. Ultimately, however, this is a collaborative storytelling experience where the staff is creating the framework of the narrative, but the story itself is told by the interactions of the players and what you create together.
The setting of Gothic: Age of Ashes is a dark, grim, post-apocalyptic, pre-modern fantasy in which personal choices must be made, and those choices will have consequences. The world is rich with history to discover and mysteries to uncover, and difficult challenges to face. It is designed to be a dark, high-stakes, character-driven roleplaying experience.
What is the world of Gothic? And what is Age of Ashes within it?
The world of Gothic is a home grown setting with a vast history spanning many ages, each epoch with its own particular characteristics, conflicts, and culture. It is primarily the story of humanity, and how it perseveres in a cruel world that forces hard choices and actions. It is about the incredible importance of one individual, and the immense power of many. Gothic stories tell of the burning force and unquenchable drives of the soul, and the infectious corruption of wrongs done that have yet to be made right. The world itself is defiled by the Night Malefic, supernatural creatures and monsters formed by grievous transgressions, and the only way to heal the world and give these creatures peace, is to right the wrongs which created them in the first place.
The Age of Ashes is a particularly sinister and grim age, taking place in a future after the events of the Lion Age. The Lion Age was a time of conquest and the unification of mankind under the banner of the Throne of God on Earth, while the Age of Ashes that follows tells the story of the world after this empire has fallen.
Never heard of Gothic or The Lion Age before? That’s ok! Knowing about or playing one Gothic game is not a requirement to play the other. Their settings are different enough and are separated by enough time that they can be treated as unique games by those who have never played one or the other.
Key Ideas and Design Philosophies Behind Age of Ages
- Character driven drama and development
- This LARP is intended to be an exploration of personal stories, character-driven drama, and hard decisions. When the law and lords have been stripped away, what drives your character? Who are you, and what matters to you, when it’s you against the world?
- The setting is post-apocalyptic, pre-modern fantasy with technology and fashion roughly similar to the 1600-1700s without much concern for historical accuracy. The setting is a fictional world with elements from history to influence and ground players with some sense of familiarity.
- This is a “medium fantasy” setting where magic exists, but is constrained.
- The world is full of mystery and things lost, wrongs to set right, and decisions with consequence. The focus of the game experience will be at events, with treasures and lore to find, Malefic to solve, and hard truths to be faced.
- Downtimes (FAQ) will be designed to add to the at-game experience, increase your sense of player agency and accomplishment, but are built to be simple and reduce between game non-roleplay activity.
- Roleplay focused
- Roleplay, mood, and story are the primary objectives of this LARP. We will strive to have combat be meaningful, intuitive, and deadly – for all actions have repercussions, and to have both combatant and noncombatant characters feel as though they have viable and solid roles within this “medium-fantasy” world, where magic exists, but is constrained.
- A challenge
- While the world is against you, and the odds are meant to feel desperate, there should be a balance of hope and hard-earned wins – some light amidst the horrors of the dark. We will utilize our morality and depravity systems in tandem with a unique death and dying system to allow players to feel they have a greater sense of ownership over the story they desire to tell with their character, and when it ends.
Overall, this game is set in a far darker and more grim era of the Gothic universe, but it is a story of hope, triumph, and the power of the human spirit which we believe our players will craft.
Other Important Things to Note
- Our game is 18+
- This is a mature game of dark themes in which no subject is banned.
- We will not accept players under the age of 18, even if they have parental consent.
- We are an infinite run game
- We plan to continue running Age of Ashes for as long as players continue to want to play it.
- We have PVP and PVE combat
- Players should expect that their characters can be threatened and attacked by other characters and the environment alike (FAQ).
- Death is not often final in Age of Ashes and there is a strong element of player choice in a character’s story and ending. You can read more about our Death & Dying system here.
- We care deeply for the well-being of our players and place an emphasis on personal comfort
- We want our players to have fun and feel safe while they are in a game of personal horror and grim themes. Therefore, we utilize systems of checking in or signaling to others if you are starting to grow uncomfortable with a scene, and “fade to black” (FAQ) if you or another player no longer wishes to participate in a scene.
- While we are a high-immersion game and it is expected that players will be in character while on the “stage” of the LARP, we will also provide safe spaces to decompress if the action gets too intense.
- We have a robust Code of Conduct
- All players and staff must sign our Code of Conduct (located here).
- We will have a reporting system for all concerns, complaints, and reports of Code of Conduct violations, and we sincerely hope that our players will speak up if something is bothering them.
- We expect players to follow the Spirit of the Rules
- This is covered in our Code of Conduct, but we felt it was worth mentioning here. No matter how much time, effort, and testing we put into our mechanics and rules, we are sure that players will find unintended loopholes that can be taken advantage of. We expect our players to follow the “spirit” of the rules, meaning that they should not take advantage of any loopholes they find. If at any point a rule is unclear, we expect players to ask a staff member, rather than assume.
- We emphasize at-game plot
- We have designed Gothic: Age of Ashes to be an experience where your activities, challenges, and story happen at the event. While we do have downtimes, and encourage between game roleplay, staff plans for the main action wherever possible to take place at events.
- Character sheets are designed to augment a person’s natural abilities
- We place a heavy emphasis on activities and actions being portrayed physically. So, if you are sneaking, you the player need to sneak, but your sheet may provide some additional boosts, abilities, or powers so that you can still roleplay as something besides yourself.
- Starting characters are designed to be slightly better than the standard person
- Additionally, characters who have received specialized training as part of an organization can be portrayed either by joining such groups in-game or as already established in such a group at character creation by spending Glory (FAQ), an out of character currency.
- We expect players to be costuming in the event space
- We do not have strict requirements, but players should do their best to represent the setting. The setting is a post-apocalyptic, pre-modern fantasy.
- Props, objects, weapons, and anything that has an in-game effect need to be represented by a physical object that staff will provide an item tag for, as appropriate.
Have more questions?
We’re sure you do! We invite you to check out our various pages to find out more about our world and our rules! Keep scrolling down this page to learn more about our upcoming events, or check out the bottom of this page for our FAQ.
Age of Ashes is still in Beta, but that doesn’t mean you can’t join us! We would love to have you at one of our upcoming Beta events.
Go to the Events Page to Learn More
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What are the differences between the two LARPs, Gothic: The Lion Age and Gothic: Age of Ashes?
While Age of Ashes is a Gothic game, there are quite a few differences between the two LARPs. They both exist within the same world, but they take place during different times. The Throne and Shar’a have fallen, and new cultures now exist. Some of the specialized concepts from the Lion Age are gone, and have been replaced with new ones.
While there are some similarities in the rules, there are a lot of differences. We ask that you please familiarize yourself with the rule set for this game, when it is made available, before you play, as the changes in setting and design philosophy mean that they are very different than what you are used to if you have played in The Lion Age.
Do I need to know about or have played Gothic: The Lion Age in order to play Gothic: Age of Ashes (or vice versa)?
No. Knowing about or playing one Gothic game is not a requirement to play in the other. The settings of the two games are different enough and are separated by enough time that they could be treated as totally unique by those who have never played one or the other.
Will events from one Gothic LARP affect the other?
The Age of Ashes takes place in one possible future timeline within the world of Gothic, and neither game is tied to the other in terms of events. In other words, if a major, world-changing event happens within play at The Lion Age, it is not a given that the effects will be felt in Age of Ashes.
Are Gothic: The Lion Age and Gothic: Age of Ashes working together?
Gothic: The Lion Age and Gothic: Age of Ashes are run by two separate organizations. However, all similarities and content shared between the two Gothic LARPs has been mutually agreed upon and is with the consent of both creators.
Can I play the same character in both Gothic LARPs?
Nope! This is not possible for a multitude of reasons, the primary ones being that too much time has passed between the two Ages for this to be a viable option.
Will there be scheduling conflicts if I play both Gothic LARPs?
No, the creators of both Gothic LARPs have agreed to not schedule over each other.
Can I use Glory/experience that I earn in one Gothic LARP in the other Gothic LARP?
No, as the two games are separate entities, experience and Glory shall not be shared or combined between the two games.
What kind of PVP combat and PVE combat can I expect in Age of Ashes?
Combat is intended to be dangerous and impactful in Age of Ashes. Players can expect that characters may initiate PVP (player versus player) combat with one another at any time. However, death does not work the same way as it does in most games and settings. Death is not often final in Age of Ashes and there is a strong element of player choice in a character’s story and ending. We still encourage our players to be respectful to others and to help others have an enjoyable time, which will be reflected in our Code of Conduct and Social Policies.
You should expect PVE (player versus environment) combat to be just as dangerous, if not more dangerous, than PVP combat. Storytellers will always do their best to make the game as enjoyable as possible for all players, but this is meant to be a dark, mysterious, and dangerous game for your characters. Players should have the expectation that it is quite possible for their characters to be attacked or targeted by the environment of Age of Ashes based on their history, actions, concept, or location. In addition, NPCs are not always reliable narrators, they have sheets with goals and motivations just like players and may not always be truthful.
What kind of non- or limited-combatant PVP and PVE can I expect in Age of Ashes?
Gothic: Age of Ashes places a heavy emphasis on roleplay and there is a large non-combat space for players to utilize, for those who are more interested in social interactions. There will be non-combat skills that both players and NPCs can use for or against your character. You can expect that players and the environment alike can use non-combat methods to help or harm your character.
When I do create a character, how will my character compare to the rest of the people in the world of Age of Ashes?
New characters in Age of Ashes are intended to be slightly more skilled than the average person in the world. Most players will begin play with non-specialized concepts and may seek entry into organizations after they enter the game. Players may spend Glory (an out of character currency earned by helping the game in a number of ways) to begin play as a specialized concept.
How old do I have to be to play Age of Ashes?
You must be 18 years of age or older to play at Gothic: Age of Ashes. We do not make exceptions for those under the age of 18.
Where are your events?
Our events are held at Middleground LARP site in Onalaska.
How do I buy a ticket to an event?
On the main menu of the website, you will find a link to our Events page. On that page, you select one of our upcoming events and purchase a ticket on the corresponding event page. If you do not see any events available, or if you do not see an option to purchase a ticket, then that either means tickets have not been opened up for sale yet or they are sold out.
What is Glory and how do I earn it?
Glory is an out of character currency that can be used by players in a number of ways. In our early stages of development, the main way we intend Glory to be spent is on specialized concepts for new characters. There may be other things that Glory can be spent on. Glory can be earned by volunteering your time or money to the game. There will be volunteer opportunities as well as a donation option on our online store.
What are "Downtimes"?
Downtimes are activities or actions that player characters can perform between live events. It is highly dependent on the LARP, but downtime activities can vary from resource gathering to exploring an area outside the bounds of the LARP “stage” to attacking an enemy with an army in a warfare style setting. Age of Ashes will have downtimes that player characters can perform, but the details of these downtimes are still in development.
What is "Fade to Black"?
Fade to Black is a term often used in the LARP community to mean that two or more players involved in a scene will stop roleplaying that scene. Typically, the scene will be continued by verbally describing in general, narrative terms what happens in the rest of the scene, starting from when the Fade to Black was called. The verbal description does not need to be a verbal roleplay, but it should at least determine how the scene ends. In Age of Ashes, players may call a Fade to Black for any reason, at any time. Typically, players will call Fade to Black if they are uncomfortable roleplaying a particular topic or scene. Players may request that a storyteller be present for the Fade to Black, to help arbitrate or to witness the rest of the scene. If one or more players wishes to not be present at all, even for the Fade to Black portion of the scene, then they may ask a storyteller to take over their character and determine the rest of the scene in their place.
What are "Safe Hours"?
Safe Hours are a period of time at Age of Ashes where characters are “safe” from plot and aggressive actions inside their sleeping areas so that they may actually get some hours of rest without fear of being woken up. Outside of sleeping areas (such as outside of cabins or in the woods), plot and dangers may still be lurking regardless of the hours. Age of Ashes’ Safe Hours are 2am-8am.