The acronym LARP stands for Live Action Roleplay and refers to a roleplay game in which you don't just explain what your character is doing based on character statistics on pieces of paper, you do it. LARP is a full immersion game in which you take on the role of your character; wearing the kit, wielding the props and acting as your character would act. In LARP you interact with the game world and its inhabitants, a mixture of other Players and NPCs (non-player characters), as you believe your character would. LARP is in essence an interactive story in which you take part, your actions are influenced by the story and the story is influenced by your actions.
Each player in the LARP creates their own character based upon the rules of the game and continues to play that character, advancing and gaining equipment as time goes on until they either retire or die (it is a perilous world after all). At this point the player creates a new character and re-joins the world with a fresh perspective and a new set of skills.
Catreath is a live action roleplaying game set in a fantasy version of the Kingdom of Northumbria in the 7th century. The game incorporates elements of Anglo-Saxon history with Tolkein-esque fantasy to create a rich world where noble warlords rub shoulders with Elves and Wizards. Catreath is a land in which magic is very real, monsters do roam the wilderness waiting to snare the unsuspecting or unprepared and priests of the various faiths work miracles in their god's name.
As a player in the game, you take the role of a person living in this world, usually in or around the city of Novum Castellum (the in-game name for Newcastle). Your character can interact with the world, gain or lose position and reputation, affect battle tactics or the world of politics, become a hero or fall by the wayside. With each adventure your character gains the right to advance and as time progresses you will gain more skills, more wealth to buy more equipment, even perhaps win the favour of the gods. As you progress, the story progresses also as more and more of the plot is divulged. Over time you may notice that all these separate adventures may not be as unrelated as they may at first seem.
The game runs through different types of events which can be broadly categorised as follows:-
We meet every month on a weekend day and run two adventures. The players in attendance are split into two groups and each group gets to play one adventure and crew one adventure, thus everyone gets to play their character at least once a month. These adventures usually last 3 - 4 hours and generally take the form of the players being hired to perform a specific task on behalf of the realm, the churches or a private individual either important or rich enough to engage their services.
These events are purely social, an opportunity for players to get together in-character and discuss what is going on in the game world. By sharing knowledge that they have gathered separately, either out on adventures or during downtime, characters may piece together enough of the plot to discover what is really going on in the world at large.
Once a year (generally in the summer months) we run a full-time in character event at a recreation dark-ages village. For the duration of the weekend you remain fully in-character, cooking over open fires, sleeping in the village huts and coping with whatever the adventure runners throw at you at any hour of the day or night. These events are fully immersive and offer the perfect opportunity to really experience what live would truly be like for your character.
It is free to try Catreath and there is no cost for the first time you join us for a daysite or social event. Catreath is not a profit making organisation, but there are some costs to help us keep the game running.
There is a yearly insurance cost of £15 for each player to participate; this covers the year from May to May, or any part thereof. Insurance also covers you to participate in our sister game 5000-REM.
There is a charge of £1 for every daysite at which you play your character. This contribution goes towards supplying props and other necessary items for the game.
There is a higher cost for weekend events, on average about £30 an event; however this covers food and accommodation.