"Once Upon A Time, in the land of Farraway, there was Cottington Woods."
The Cotting House sits in the middle of enchanted Cottington Woods, where it serves as a meeting place and
the center of commerce for landholdings and craftsmen throughout the community. The House rests south of
Collamoor and Asylum, north of Farraway and Halfway, east of Greencloud and west of UnderMarsh. Travelers
from and to any of those places pass by the house each day. Thus far neither the High King in Farraway nor his
reluctant vassal, the King of Clubs have laid claim to the tiny town, but itís young yet, and hasnít attracted much
The surrounding woods are home not only to humans, and more distantly to goblins and to elves, but to the Fair
Folk as well. And while itís wise to avoid fairies at all costs, in Cottington Woods itís just not possible.
The characters of Cottington Woods are those settlers whose will it is to make the tiny town thrive, and to do so
they will have to overcome many obstacles, not the least of which is the Spirit of the Woods itself. Our players will
explore fairy tales and fables in their darkest form. Wait, fairy tales? Donít for a second think that Cottington
Woods is a game for children. The earliest stories were written as warnings of things to avoid.
Herein, there be dragons!
Weíre back to the basics.
• Player characters are mostly human. While Brer (animals), Golems,
Elves, and Goblins will be allowed, the number of characters of those types
will be limited and require Plot Approval to play.
• Classic character types. We have fighters, rogues, magicians, priests.
We also have witches, sandmen and Men of Science.
• Damage is low. Health is also low! This extends not only to the player
characters, but to the adversaries they will fight.
• Skills are reusable frequently, but the number of actions in an encounter
is low. The focus is on managing your skill use in a single battle, not over
an entire weekend.
That small town feel.
The townsfolk are encouraged to seek solutions to their own problems, since asking for aid will often come with
The characters will fill the major roles about town. Cottington is theirs, and they can develop it in the way they
choose. They should be mindful of the Kingís Law, of course.
Each character is required to declare an occupation. Is he a butcher, a baker, a candlestick maker? Cottington is a small town, and cannot afford to support those who do not help to support it.
Games within Games
The Merchant Board -- This ďmini-gameĒ will determine how the players want
the town to grow. Occupations equal influence, and influence allows a character
to vote on the direction the town will grow.
The Codex -- Part encyclopedia, part bible, part adventurerís journal, the
Codex is a piece of lore that any player may possess. Researching the Codex
will reveal more information that may be helpful over the course of the campaign.
Not every challenge will be won by spell or by sword. Things here like to
play, and they make up the rules. Expect to swing or throw, but expect as
well to miss a turn, or play a card, or move a piece across a board.
Fairy tale influence
Because Cottington Woods takes its inspiration from Fairy Tales, its morality
is more polar than you would find in the real world. Good and evil deeds alike
have profound impact, and the wicked will find that their dark deeds will
have a true toll on their soul. Remember, in fairy tales, the hero often loses
when they do an evil deed or succumb to temptation, but is rewarded in the
end when they do the right thing.
Characters in Cottington Woods may be the common people dealing with uncommon
circumstances, but they are still encouraged to ultimately be Heroic. This
is a fairy tale, after all. Being good does not mean you have to be pure -
the best tales are ones with struggles, internal as well as external, and
a bit of internal strife and actual flaws makes things interesting. We will
not, however, reward evil behavior, and characters that fall or become "wicked"
should not expect to be able to continue playing their character. Staff will
not mitigate the consequences of being villainous.
That said, the oldest fairy tales are dark. They deal with morality and
difficult choices and sometimes with the fact that doing the right thing sometimes
means some bad things have to happen. Sometimes bad things happen to good
people. Sometimes you will lose, but when you win, it is because you earned
We hope to challenge you, terrify you, bring you to tears, and make you
shout with joy.
In an effort to keep that "small town, small world" feeling, we
do try hard to interweave character backstories into the fabric of the world
and make them central to our plotlines. We can't promise we'll always succeed
in doing this as well as we want, but it is our goal.
We do not play a "sandbox" style game: this means that plots
can be interwoven and often are (though it does not mean all plots are connected).
You may find that the Magician taking you to learn about ritual magic is the
person unknowingly being hunted by a villain in an entirely different plotline.
Or the letters you find hidden in one module hold the key to figuring out
where a PC's father is being held prisoner. We thus strongly encourage players
to talk to one another and share information. (We will do our best to put
information out in multiple ways, however, to ensure information is learned.)
This also means that everything in our game has a purpose. While we may
put NPCs into a mod to provide some challenge or a fight, the TYPE of creatures
you find and why they are there are always relevant. If you learn that a villain
always has redcaps protecting them, and you go to what you think is the villain's
tower to find the Treants and Dryads associated with a friendly PC, this is
a clue about what is really going on.
We strive for a "Sixth Sense" style of plot: the information
is out there so that you can piece together he was dead all along, such that
if you were to watch it again, you would wonder how you didn’t figure
it out the first time.
This is your story, too - Live It Up (Be Immersive)!
Remember you are surrounded by many other stories, and many other characters.
Take the time to learn their stories and be a part of it. This includes NPCs:
they each have their own backstories and their own motivations, and we encourage
you to engage with them as you would PCs.
We encourage you to ask yourself: Is my roleplay increasing the fun of
people around me? Do what you can to add to the immersive experience of everyone
at the game.
Create a story for your character, and don't forget their struggles and
goals and flaws. We encourage people to take on flaws that create interesting
stories. Some of the most profound PC stories in Cottington Woods centered
around characters learning to overcome their fears, or who fled from something
that terrified them and how they handled the consequences, or who struggled
to find themselves worthy of being loved. Allowo your characters to have emotional
growth. We, as Staff, very much enjoy the internal stories of your characters
as much as the external quests you may undertake.
Roleplay, roleplay, roleplay! Let your charact feel fear and be willing
to run away, if the situation warrants it.
Do not create a character who is "impervious" or has "seen
and done it all" and thus would not be emotionally affected by what happens
to them. Unphaseable characters detract from everyone’s enjoyment, as
LARPing very much is a forum to immerse and experience the stories around
you. We want you to experience the emotional growth of your character in the
course of play.
Please do not do something because you believe "plot wants you to."
This is your story, and we want you to make the choices you believe your character
We encourage you to be proactive. Please let us know of the things you
want to do, so that we can support them in the course of the game! If you
want to have a party, or start an in-game contest, please do!
Our goal in Cottington Woods is to tell a story where you, the player,
have much agency and influence in the direction we will go. As returning players
from Cottington Woods can attest, we often do not write the ending to plotlines,
or write multiple endings and still toss them out when players do something
unexpected. While we do have stories we want to tell, we especially want to
be able to tell YOUR tale. We believe strongly in collaborative storytelling.
"Every man's life is a fairy tale written by God's fingers"
-Hans Christian Andersen
We are pretty open about what we will let you play, but we insist that every
character has a plot approved character history. To help with the flavor of
the game, we suggest strongly that you decide on a concept before considering
skills. “I am a sword and board fighter” is far less interesting
than “I know the beast that killed my little sister is still out there
somewhere, and I will be ready!” Remember that this is a game influenced
by fairy tales. Your concept should be influenced by them as well.
What does your character do to support himself? Characters in the Cottington
Woods game are not required to pay a maintenance fee. However, each character
must declare what he does to support himself.
Your first occupation is free. Each level after the first must be purchased
using character points, but offers the character additional in game funds at
the start of each weekend event.
Without exception, all characters are from the Houselands (which includes
Woodlanders and Wanderkin). Several cultures are available that may influence
your appearance and the way your character acts. Don’t search for a culture
on the world to fit your needs. If you don’t immediately see one, just
ask. If it isn’t on the map, we can probably add it. The Written World
Step Four: Headers
Choose your header or headers. Consider the skills and flavor you want for
your character. Be mindful that while taking multiple headers opens up more
skills, it reduces the amount you can do with each header.