Greetings Wonderfolk of the World
Welcome to the last Monday Message of the year! We hope that it reaches you in fine form, fetlock and fettle having had the best year that you could under the difficult circumstances that have been presented to us all.
So that was a year.
365 days ago we were heading into 2021 after a horror year with the understanding that we would be in lockdown for the foreseeable future, which we were. We understood that we wouldn’t be out and about larping, potentially for another year and at least six months which was somewhat horrifying and left us with some pretty big decisions to make.
So we did.
Through January and all the way into March we ran an online version of CODA which was still ROC back then and used it as an opportunity to playtest all of our new, low end, rules which we had been working on through 2020. We realised pretty quickly that without being in the woods week in and week out that this would be a tricky prospect BUT: What a game The Recreant Voice turned out to be!
In those dark days we really brought the story of ROC to people’s homes and some happiness into the server. It certainly highlighted the concept that we could maintain normal woodland events alongside occasional online games for peeps from farflung corners of the world. Not only that but it attracted new players and a whole new corner of the Six Duchies which we are really looking forward to visiting again.
March saw lockdown coming to an end and a number of the Core Team leaving for fresh starts after years locked down and job changes. The system head was even approached for a new job with Larian Games and ended up having a long hard think about where to go with life. That long think led to new people joining up, plans for a bigger brighter future and an expansion outside of just running LARP events.
The first lockdown led us into a world of Discord and late nights which were all about supporting people, feeding people and just generally fighting fires as people struggled with things. The system had always been a lot about community and now we were really having to step up our game. During the latter part of lockdown we had appealed to people through Patreon and that had really taken off.
So we decided to couple all of the things together and started providing more professional avenues to support people. Discord chats turned into having counselling which the system provided alongside providing training for our own troops in mental health first aid alongside the standard flavour of first aid. And we also decided at this point to sort the kit out as it had been hanging around for a while and could probably do with an airing.
In the early Summer we got in contact with a wonderful human called Kristi, a bushcrafter, who offered us the use of the site that her company, Blackwell Bushcraft, operated on and we snapped that up. To facilitate we also organised ourselves a Kit Fayre to pass on our old kit and apparently sell cakes. The Fayre was aces, we met with new people, passed on old kit and everyone got new t-shirts. This felt like a really big step in the right direction back to the woods and really gee’d us up to achieve even more things ahead of the new game.
We chatted to Mark Cordory and skipped up to his to catch up with an old friend and also to make off with what is the oldest LARP monster suit in the world! The Shambling Mound made its way to Hampshire and starred in the first event that we ran at Blackwell which was marvellous. Just getting back out and into the woods, sleeping under canvas and telling stories around the campfire again felt right and proper, we had finally come home albeit in a short lived way!
Two events at Blackwell was enough to tell us that we wanted something a lot different from our previous twenty four years of running RoC. The new rules, the privacy that the site offered and the opportunity to really do our own thing was inspiring. We had this new lease of creativity alongside new players and old, a new crew team of twenty dedicated folks and all things looked bright but we realised that we couldn’t offer that on someone else’s site with untested rules this side of Christmas. So we thought big.
We came to the decision to run one or two more events at a local hall and to concentrate on purchasing our own land and making that ready for a 2022 relaunch in the systems twenty fifth anniversary. After a fair amount of poking around we came across ten acres that we liked and we can now say that we start the sign off on that at the start of January. It has all been really quite exciting but we didn’t want to stop there.
In the background the various cogs of RoC had been growing to an extent that new risings were forming: We have ended up merging with Kristi of Blackwell fame and will be running Bushcraft on our new site near Winchester, sticking on brand we will be calling that the Rising of Countryside. We have also sprouted a Rising of Creativity which is starting to run workshops and offer support in the fields of repair and return for things that folks just can’t fix in a throw away age.
The Rising of Chicanery has spawned a whole new level of gaming in our discord server and on our twitch account with an almost 24 hour presence for people over the Christmas period. They have also started to team up with the Southampton Guild of Roleplayers to find a new venue and give some life back to that club. All of this was growing around the Rising of Community which is providing that support to the people that need it and help where we can.
However the original RoC wasn’t done yet and very much missing the cut and thrust of the woods we decided to run a Cthonian based event over Halloweed and that was awesome. It also meant a demand for more of the same so the latter part of the year became finishing CODA, the new RoC and preparing Discordant Symphony both under the banner of RoC with more and more games planned.
We wanted to finish the year strong but we were thwarted by Covid on the LARPing front and instead concentrated on working alongside the Rising of Chicanery which has been an absolute blast. There is still some of that left to go for the festive fun times and we wholly recommend that you tune in or join in 🙂
Our next post is definitely going to be all about the twenty fifth anniversary, welcome to 2022 and all that with tours of the site, finished rules and all sorts being on the agenda. The release calendar for next year is pretty exciting but we’ll finish off this post with a big old round of thanks and Much Love to all of the people that have made this year possible:
Core Team RoC you have been amazing, whether you are still here or have moved on: Stephen Canfield, Holly Goodall, Anthony Gunfield, Jon Wickenden, Mike Roberts, Shadow Hibbert, Lina Koevchinova, Sarah Gillingham, Neil Gunfield, Kit Brutnell, Ross Davey, Blake Webb, Josh Thomas, Matt Hussey, Mark Cordory, Terry Laverty and Tom Knight.
Support Teams all our love to you: Through Dev Council, Patreon Team, Awareness, Admin, Community, Kit, Site, Props, Social Events, Storytelling, Sustainability, Website and Media and Tech – You have been rocks. Special mention on that list to Craig Beadnall, Pete Walls, Andrew Davies, Kevin Pothecary, James Wood, Matt Collinson and the Mighty Squeegee.
To our wonderful Patreons and donators continued thanks alongside all of you who are watching us twitch out our offerings and have, basically, got us to affiliate in a handful of days.
It has been a rollercoaster of a year and we are super proud of all of you.
So – I guess that is all of us for now! – Please do come and join us as we game our way through Christmas.
The Website will be changing to reflect everything that we have just been through but in the meantime the following Discord handles are who you want to talk to for stuff and things
- Wickonian – CODA System Head
- Hews Fandango – CODA System Head and Tabletop Games PoC
- ƧƬƛƁƁƠ(shadow) – CODA System Head
- Stephen – Discordant Symphony System Head
- Trolley Beans – Discordant Symphony System Head
Remember if you want to get involved, tell stories, play games, run games or whatever we are continuing to build that community and you can find us here and that goes doubly for anything you need for the LARP or just for company on long locked in days. Equally If you want to join us on Patreon and help us support the causes that we do we are here
As ever folks: If you need us, for any reason, let us know and if we can help in any way we will, whatever you are up against.
In the meantime have a Foxes and Crows week people, we look forward to seeing a whole bunch of you at the online game and bumping into even more of you, online, between now and then.
Take Care of Each Other
Stephen and the RoC Core Team x
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