Participating in Once Upon a Time costs NOK 850,-, payable to
6094 05 60902
Once Upon a Time
Christies gate 9
We want your money by Friday, April 1st, 2005. In addition: If someone else wants the same part as you, you'd better pay pretty damn fast... First paid, first served.
- When is it?
The story begins as we all wake up on the morning of Saturday the 30th of July, 2005 and ends on the evening of Wednesday the 3rd of August. All players have to show up Friday afternoon/evening unless you've made some kind of special arrangement with us.
- Where is it?
We're using a reconstruction of a Wells Fargo station/small western street built by western shooting enthusiasts as the basis for the town of Gibson. It's situated on a farm in Ås, a half hour's drive from Oslo.
- Part-time players
Some of you may want to participate only a few days of the larp. In that case you tell us in the 'comments'-field when you want to be there, and pay NOK 200,- per day to the account and address above.
It can't be said too many times: Almost all the functions listed on the form are available to both men and women. In addition, some specific characters are written to be equally playable for both genders. It is important to us that you girls out there are aware of your options. There are other characters than whores and wives here...
A lot of larpers have contacts and resources we can't even begin to imagine. If you have something or know someone you think could make Once Upon a Time a better larp, please let us know. Anything you can think of...
- Can you help us make this larp?
It will take a lot of work to make OUT as visually complete as we want it, and we need your help to do it. We expect all players to help out cleaning up after us, but we also need a dedicated team of workers for a lot of building and scenery construction before the larp. This core group - selected by us based on our needs and your skills and availability - will have their entrance fee refunded, but you still need to pay.
We ask these questions for two very simple reasons. The brothel is an important part of the illusion, and we don't want it to be a happy place. It's a business that depends on male players' ability and willingness to play customers. Some of the characters are already defined as regulars, and your response to this question will help us place these on the right players. The second question isn't really brothel-related, but the larp will for example have homosexual characters of both genders, and we all know that not everybody feel comfortable with these character elements...
- Hat colour
Based on the old truth of all classic Westerns: Bad guys wear black hats, heroes wear white. And then there's those who're somewhere between...
- OUT's policy on rape as a story element
No player will be forced to have rape as an element in his or her story or background. However, some characters will have these elements, and if you don't like them you'll get another part. There may be cases of rape played out during the larp, in two kinds of cases:
- Where both parts have agreed to play a dysfunctional marriage or similar abusive relationship.
- Anyone who agrees to playing a prostitute also in doing so agrees to playing out rapes with anyone on the larp.
- OUT's weapon policy
Authentic rifles and revolvers can contribute to the overall illusion in a way replicas or starter pistols never can.
However, only players we personally trust to be able to safely handle an authentic weapon will be allowed to bring one, and then only with our expressed permission. But there are precautions to be taken.
- All real weapons and their owners will be displayed for all players before the game starts. The guns might also be marked for extra safety.
- Guns and alcohol don't mix. People we let bring a real gun to the larp will not be allowed to drink alcohol during the event. We provide the non-alcoholic alternative.
- Guns are not to be stolen. They may be confiscated by the law, in which case they will be locked away for safekeeping.
- There will be strict rules concerning the discharging of real firearms on the larp.
Three of us were also behind the series of larps that ended with Wanted in 1999, and this has naturally caused some speculation about how Once Upon a Time is going to be. For this reason we've found it necessary to make a few things absolutely clear from the beginning:
- OUT is not a sequel to Wanted in any way. There is no connection between the storylines and nobody will be allowed to play the same or a similar character as they did on their last western larp. For those of you who really want to play a character in roughly the same social group, we'll go to great lengths to make sure you're at least playing a distinctly different personality.
- Anyone referring to this larp as ”Wanted 2” will be shot on sight.
- Character creation
We're making this larp in a slightly different way - to us, anyway. We intend to have all character sketches and relations ready before we let any of you sign on, which means your chances of getting a concept of your own accepted are slim. We're flexible, of course, so when you sign up you'll be offered a character as compatible with your wishes as possible, and we'll make small adjustments from there.
The language is english. No exceptions. All information from us will be in english, and all characters will speak english. Some of you doubt your own language skills and would prefer a way around this policy, but there will be no norwegian immigrants or other excuses for below average speakers. This may sound harsh, but we feel it's the best way to maintain the illusion. On the other hand, we don't expect or require players to be native speakers and we don't want anyone making fun of each others' screwups and bad pronounciations. In our experience ignoring bad accents and the like gives everybody greater confidence, which in turn improves the illusion.
- History vs Hollywood
Once Upon a Time is not a historical larp. Not even close. We use history as background and inspiration and where we're faced with two equally cool choices we'll naturally go with the historical one. But there is a huge difference between a historical reenactment of Wyoming, 1887 and a Western larp set in the same time and area. The most important one is that Western is more fun. We're making a larp where inspirational movies are at least as important as factbooks, and we try to combine the two to make Once Upon a Time a larp to remember.
First thing first: If you want to bring children to OUT they have to either speak english or no language at all. Meaning that if your child isn't bilingual or a native english speaker there is a period roughly between one and twelve years of age where we won't even consider letting him or her come. This doesn't mean bilingual kids are guaranteed a place. We still have to consider the circumstances, the characters in question and who's taking responsibility for them during the larp.
No beer, no saloon. We will serve alcohol, but only beer, wine and watered booze. Nothing strong. There will be a non-alcoholic alternative and steps will be taken to make sure minors (not miners) don't drink.
We don't want to see any plastic guns. There are perfectly good replicas and starter pistol models available, and putting some money into buying one is required by anyone who wants their character to walk around looking armed and dangerous.
In 1887 Wyoming was probably the best place on earth for women's rights. That, combined with the fact that gender had little to say in the daily life on the frontier gives us a good historical starting point as far as equality between the sexes is concerned. There are only a few characters that are off limits to female players, because we feel that these roles have to be filled by men to maintain the illusion. A female priest would be slightly over the top...
Once Upon a Time takes place in a small Wyoming town called Gibson. The majority of the characters will be Gibson citizens, and the small town feeling will have a big part of our focus. There are several elements and conflicts that will be important to the story, and a few of them will be presented here. More may appear as the planning of the larp progresses.
- The Election
Gibson has the best sheriff they could ever want. Sheriff Cade has kept the town and surrounding areas as safe as a frontier town can be, and everybody agrees that he's the best lawman in the territory. But now he's decided to retire, and two candidates and their supporters campaign for the job. The election will take place towards the end of the larp, and the final days of the preparations and campaigns will be an important focus as well as background for other stories.
- The Saloon / Brothel conflict
Gibson has both a saloon - the first building ever raised in the area - and a brothel. These two institutions are in a constant moral and economic conflict, but still - at least until the larp begins - manage to coexist. Most of the locals are either brothel regulars or saloon regulars, and 'switching sides' is frowned upon.
- The Ranchers / Freegrazers conflict
After the hard winter of 1886-87 the first freegrazers - cowboys without ranches or land of their own - appeared in Wyoming. They intruded upon land traditionally controlled and used by the local ranchers, and soon water and grazing was scarce and toes were stepped upon. The conflict was a long and bloody one, but at the time of our larp it hasn't quite gone out of hand yet. There's no love lost between Gibson's local ranchers and cowboys and the drifters who pass through, but the killing hasn't started. Yet.