Int. Witcher School LARP Spring 2019

17. April 2019 Off By Justus Zeemann

If you remember I wrote an article about the Witcher School event I visited spontaneously in September 2018. You can find it here any maybe you should read it before you read this one.

That event changed my life.
I learned and experienced a lot of new things and met new, really nice people – as also it opened my eyes further to stuff I did know before. So to me it was a clear point to go again. And shortly after the event the next one was announced for march 2019, which this article is about.

The Witcher School is running in three international seasons parallel. All share the same base story, but the individual outcome of the season depends on the behavior of the players. Since I started in season 03 with episode 02, it was time to continue the story in season 03 episode 03 for sure.
But the weekend after episode 03 episode 05 of season 02 was running and I thought it is a good idea to attend both events – even if I never played in season 02 before and it is nearly the end with episode 5 of 6. Having the dates and planning my year around it was fine, traveling around the world from Indonesia through Thailand (getting a Witcher related tattoo, think about it…) and ending up in Poland was 100% the correct decision.

It was a different castle this time and as in the report before I will try to keep the info neutral to not spoiler you. But I have to mention one thing:
Playing a Witcher in Season 03, I didn’t want to do the same thing in Season 02 again. Communication with the organization was no problem and so I was set up not becoming a Witcher. Talking to a lot of people between the two events I had the feeling that season 02 could be a bit depressing for me. So many things were different from “my” season 03.
It was absolute useless to have these thoughts.
Season 02 episode 05 was the most fun LARP event I’ve ever had. I played a human that didn’t become a Witcher neither joined the other available forces. Instead I fooled around with a lot people, counted reasons to die and making bad jokes all the time, as also being one of the greatest womanizer in the story. Thanks to all patient players and sorry to all masters which had to cover their smiles in front of the other adepts 😀
(And thanks to all the ladies I mentioned in character but didn’t even meet :P. One has to keep up the reputation, you know. Who would date a vampire ^^…).

Lets get to the “dry” facts:

Weather – Perfect again. We didn’t had any real rain and temperature was good – bit chill at night.
5 Elements (orga) – Again one of the best helping and friendly group of people I’ve met so far in my life. I will grab a lot of that for real life 😊
Players as also non-players – Again everybody stayed ingame the whole time. I didn’t had any awkward moments at all and loved the atmosphere…
Castle – … in this castle also. Even if it is so different from the other one I played in march. Why? Come and find out!
Lessons I learned – Because I played two episodes behind each other it’s hard to seperate. I learned a lot again and I’m still processing these things.
Countless Memories  I made stronger, better memories and relationships here than at any other Larps. Again.
Language – All English. No issues with that. Great time!

This time it was more expensive because I booked a deluxe room for both events. 475 Euro per event including accommodation, food, clothing, story, all effects is fair from my perspective.
I played for 3 days and there was always an NPC around, there was always a story I could have involved myself into. If I needed anything it was available.

What did I pay:
Apples from Germany (as a part of my season 03 character): 15 Euro
Two nights before the first game plus four nights between the games in private, premium apartments (in Wroclaw), including breakfast + parking: 142 Euro
Food and drinks for the days before and between the events, including all parties, beers etc.: 167 Euro
A new sword and armory which fits the Witcher universe but goes into every other (fantasy) LARP: ~1170 Euro
Tickets for both events: 950 Euro

In total incl. driving from Germany etc. I spend about 2500 Euro.

Mobile connection:
Connection in Wroclaw and at the castle was fine. No issues.

The food was great! The team that provided it did also a great job!
I got breakfast, lunch and dinner and on the first event I did overeat a few times… because it was buffet… you know.
Breakfast is an option of several kinds of bread, meat, cheese, butter, vegetables, eggs, jams, cerials, etc.
Lunch included soups, schnitzel, chicken, potatoes, salads, vegetables, bread, burgers, meats, etc.
Dinner is likely the same as breakfast and lunch, maybe with some extra etc.
This time there where a lot of fruits which I really liked (extra because I’ve been in Bali and Bangkok before…).
There is always free water to grab with glasses and to fill in your own bottle (which is handed out before the game starts).
Tavern worked different in this castle. The normal staff serves you drinks from the bar on request, which worked great all the time around the day. Draft beer was 8PLN, bottled 10PLN. White wine also 10PLN. Whenever I needed something, I was able to get it. Even at day time 😉

Moszna Castle is star-rated hotel. You can see that everywhere and the rooms also show you that. If you were lucky like me you could have also access to huge bathtubs – even if I didn’t take the time to fully enjoy it 😀
This time I had a room shared with 4 other people on the first event and shared with 3 on the second (different room). Clean, warm, roomy – no problems. Beds were easy for me, but comfortable enough. 

Driving from Wroclaw to Moszna is no issue. The highway is nice and costs 9,10PLN one way. Driving time was around 1.5 hours and parking in front of the castle is not a problem. Perfect.
The organized bustransfer from Wroclaw to the castle and back is 20 Euro.

Security and medical situation:
Again I didn’t hear of any stealing, trouble or difficulties between players. Probably because we’re all a bunch of harmelss nerds.

There are a few people writing some bad stuff about the event. I didn’t play with these players and I can’t see any of the points they mention as real. I’m not in the position to judge – but be aware that when you attend a Witcher School LARP you must be able to talk for yourself, stay your woman or man and get help if you need it. Nobody is forcing anybody in these events, and you can always, always find the help you need. Specific workshops before the game teach you everything you have to know to have a save, friendly and awesome larp. Days before you attend the game you even get online information about emotions and reactions that could happen in and after the game. If you miss the fun by not taking responsibilty, it is your fault, not anybodys else. Like in real life. My 2 cents.

First aid is always available. One player twisted her knee at night in the forest, she was driven to the hospital, token care of, brought back to the castle, adjusted to the new circumstances and enjoyed continuing her game till the end. Minor problems and pains were cured direct at the place.

Before the game starts you get a shirt, pants, gambason, water bottle, and the things you ordered before via the internet.
You are also able to buy stuff from the 5 Elements Shop before the game starts.
The maskbuilders can give you scars and wounds even before the ingame breakfast starts, so it feels like you’re really living the game. They do a damn good job and I enjoy always to go there.

There is also a character sheet provided to you. It is set up depending on the information you gave the crew before (in e-mails etc.). This frames your character into the game and gives you a basic story on which you can build up, also with a few suggestions how to do that. Perfect for first time LARPers.
To me that worked in both events. Picking up my character from September and continue his path was great. I mostly take care of him myself, which is fine for me because I can and the story writers can concentrate on new and unexperienced players instead.
For the second event we made some last time adjustments which where designed between the both episodes by me and another player. The organisation found a way to integrate it. That was great and I went “totally crazy” and just followed the things the game gave to me. I’m sure everybody had a good time with my character, so it’s fine.

Different castle, different atmosphere. Instead of being in a kinda basic castle, we entered a palace. It was great and helped to see the difference between two Witcher Schools – I’ll not spoiler any more here. Since the event is without any modern items, all of the outdoor lights are from real fireplaces, candles and torches – I really enjoyed that. Indoor we had little electric candles, but that is easy to oversee if you want to 😊
The intense scenery, the quests and plots, the non-player as also the player-characters, the way how all is connected keeps you in the mindset of becoming this witcher/character for real. If you let go, you can dive deep into the waters of the game. Great job here again.
I had some trouble to get off character after the second game when the after party started. But it’s okay, maybe I should keep something from his “lightness” for myself.

My knowledge/preparation:
Different from the last game I attended in September 2018 I had knowledge now.
A lot of knowledge.
Spending 150+ Hours in the Witcher 3 Game including both DLCs, reading most of the books and talking to the community as also watching the documentary about the Witcher games did a good job.
Did it change my game? Not a lot. Still a really good experience with a lot to learn and good processes in evolving the character. Playing 200 years before the events of Geralt of Riva also helps a lot!

(General) Tips for first-time LARPers:
– Bring something to give to other players, they are thankful, keep you in mind later, and you have something to talk about.
– Bring an in-game looking book/sheets and make notes from time to time, so maybe someone experienced will ask you about what you write and you have another option to play on (are you a spy?).
– Stay in game all the time not to offend other players with off-time items. You don’t know what to say or to talk about? Listen and learn but don’t start off time conversations.
– Maybe bring or order a spare shirt and pants, that could help.
– Bring or buy a belt that fits medieval/fantasy terms.
– Fit your character(s) to your real personality. He will grow with the time, and so will you.
– Enjoy the game and take your time!

Thanks for reading!

And thanks to all players. I can’t throw enough love into your direction!