What to Expect at Your First Knight Realms Event
- The game takes place on Camp Sacajawea, at 844 White Lake Road Sparta, NJ.
- GPS will bring you to the large parking lot; you can park in the large lot or in the limited on-street parking lot in front of the Inn building. Before 10pm on Friday, you can also bring cars onto camp for unpacking, but they must be removed to one of the two parking lots by game start at 10pm.
- Between Fall and Spring, you are welcome to be on camp on Friday starting in the early evening; in the Summer months, a day camp operates on Camp Sacajawea, and you should look for the Director’s Announcements on the Forums and Facebook page for what time you can arrive on site.
- Stop at Out of Game Logistics (the first building heading from the parking lot along White Lake Road), where you can sign in, pick your NPC shift, receive your character card, arrange a sleeping space if you have not already done so or do not plan to camp on a tent platform/in your own personal tent, and get the exact timing and location for New Player Training.
- If you have brought your own boffer or latex weapons, Logistics will have Staff available to clear them for safe play. They cannot be used until they are cleared by a staff member.
- Around 8:00 - 9:00, a New Player Training will be provided in either the Inn or the Barn, which both front onto White Lake Road. This is a mandatory training which includes important safety elements of our game!
- Game begins with Opening Announcements around 10:00 pm on Friday, in the Inn, and what is commonly called “Lay On”. Opening Announcements will include safety and rules reminders, as well as any information about the weekend plot, and an attendance raffle.
- After Lay On, the whole camp is in game with the exception of the Logistics area, kitchen, and bathrooms.
- During the game, everyone takes a 4 hour NPC shift where they help provide content by becoming the “good guys” and “bad guys” (and everything in between) for all the other players to engage with! You select your shift from available options when you sign in to the game. When it’s time for your designated shift, come to Logistics in all black, weather appropriate clothing, with your character card and without any other character equipment or costuming.
- Breakfast is sold for either in-game gold or real cash in the Inn on Saturday and Sunday morning. Players may elect to sell snacks or small meals as well, and all players are allowed to store their own food in the player food storage fridge in the kitchen (left-most refrigerator when entering from the bar room of the Inn). There is a large feast on Saturday around 6-7pm, which is included in admission to the game. You are also permitted to leave camp for food as long as you are not currently on NPC shift; there is a Quick Check a 5 minute drive away from camp, and other fast food and restaurants are available in the nearby area.
- Shower and bathroom facilities are available in three locations across camp; please do not use the showers in the Inn between 10am and 9pm to reserve hot water for preparing and cleaning up from Feast.
- During gameplay, a variety of different content may come up! Some enemies simply attack or threaten anyone they find in the game world, whereas sometimes NPCs come to ask for help or issue a challenge, and players gather to head “somewhere else” in order to engage that content. There may be encounters that require combat, sneaking, puzzle solving, crafting, magic, negotiation—just to name a few options.
- If you have questions about what to do, how to get involved, or any other questions, look for someone with a pin that says “Marshal” or “Player Rep”; these pins are pewter and slightly larger than a quarter, and worn on the costuming of all game staff whose job is to make sure you’re having a great time!
End of Game
- Gameplay will run continuously from Lay On at 10pm Friday until 2pm Sunday, when the Director and Assistant Director will call Lay Off at the Inn.
- Everyone is responsible for cleaning up the area they stayed in, and doing one cleaning task for the game as a whole, which the Director and Assistant Director will assign at Lay Off. You will need to get your card signed to indicate you completed both of these tasks.
- After getting both clean up signatures on your card, leave it at Logistics so you can get credit for the event - and have any new skills you learned added to your card for next game!
- If you need to leave early, see the Director or Assistant Director to get early cleaning assignments.
- Game runs year round, rain, sun, or snow; during the winter most buildings have a source of heat, but no central heating. Content continues to run outside regardless of cold or snow, so bring warm clothing and good boots! Unless inclement weather happens during or directly before game, expect roads within camp to be passable for cars.
If you are a new player to Knight Realms, all of this can seem overwhelming at first. This page is a guideline on what to expect your first weekend - what to bring and what you may want to do at your first event.
To Play or to NPC?
Unless you are ready to dive in headfirst, you may want to consider playing your first event as a Non-Player Character. This has several advantages:
- You will get to try several roles, and find out what part of the game you like best (combat, role-playing, spells, intrigue, etc.).
- You will get to learn the rules first-hand, before you make your character, so that you will know more about how to make it.
- You will earn extra Build Points that can go towards making your Character.
- The weekend costs less, saving you some money.
If you feel comfortable making a character for your first event, by all means, please do so! The option to NPC is encouraged for new players so that you don't feel pressured to come into the game without checking it out - "Try before you buy", as it were. Although some people also claim that NPCing and PCing are two totally different ways to enjoy the game and some prefer one strongly over the other.
Also, keep in mind that EVERYONE must NPC for at least 4 hours each event - even the full-time PCs. You will want to sign up for a NPC slot when you arrive (see below).
What to Bring?
This is always a big question for the first time player. At a minimum, you will want to bring:
- Clothes for being outdoors and active. It's probably going to get dirty, muddy, beat up, and sweated in by the end of the weekend. Make sure you can move in it, and that you are comfortable for long periods of time. Also, please remember to bring something appropriate for atmosphere - plain black clothes are good for NPCing, or for under your costume. Try to avoid clothing with logos or images on it.
- Clothes for the weather. Look at a weather forecast (There is a link on the left, under "Resources" for weather at our camp sites), and then plan for worst. It's not uncommon for the weather to go from steaming hot in the afternoon to freezing cold in the middle of the night. Be prepared for both. Rain is also a factor - be prepared for a surprise summer shower or thunderstorm. In general, you won't have much selection when it comes to the materials that costume clothing is made out of. But as much as possible, look for clothes that wick moisture away from the body. Wool and polyester are both good materials for managing moisture. For more information on proper clothing and camping gear selection, and for detailed advice on how to handle any kind of weather situation, check the Logistics link (to the left) on this web site.
- Bedding. A sleeping bag and pad are highly recommended. Not all sites have beds with padding or mattresses - some just have wooden bunks, or no bunks at all. Make sure your sleeping bag is able to handle the weather conditions.
- Money. Make sure you have enough to play and to cover any additional expenses such as food, fuel, and possibly a rulebook. A list of costs for the game can be found in the Prices (Fees) page of this web site. If this is your first game, you can pay the less expensive Pre-Registration fee at the door.
- Food. A feast is served to the town on Saturday night, covered by the cost of playing for the weekend. Food is occasionally available at other times at the Inn. The availability of food at the Inn varies from event to event, depending on who is present. There may be an out-of-game charge to cover expenses. You are welcome to bring your own food, but keep in mind that you will be at a campsite, and modern, out-of-game food preparation is discouraged (portable electric stoves, coffee makers, etc.). If you can keep the food in-game, please do. Breads, fruits, beef jerky, etc. are all good examples of foods that require minimal preparation and blend well with the atmosphere of the game. Also, you can usually go into town nearby to get food at a diner or such, if you wish to eat out.
- Drink. Water is essential. Tap water at some campsites may be suitable for washing, but not potable drinking water. Drawing water from a natural source (a creek or pond, for example) should not be attempted without a proper filtration system. Basically, bring plenty of water with you. A human generally needs to consume a liter of water per day to remain healthy. If you plan on being active, you will need to drink far more than a liter. In addition, during cold weather, you will need to increase your water intake, regardless of your activity level. Soda may taste good, but very few soft drinks re-hydrate you, as most of them contain caffeine. With all drinks, please keep "modern" containers discretely tucked away so as not to ruin the atmosphere of the game. Alcoholic beverages are strictly prohibited at Knight Realms events.
- Flashlight or other light source. Flashlights are very handy when you first show up to a strange campsite at night, and are trying to unpack. They can be used in-game as a torch or candle, provided they have some sort of cellophane to color them. Red and yellow glow sticks also work well as in-game light sources.
- A change of street clothes. When you prepare to go home at the end of an event, or out into town for food, a set of clean, dry street clothes is always nice to have.
- Safety items. Bug spray, suntan lotion, allergy medicine, or other medical needs are a must. Few things are worse than being an hour or two from civilization, and then being eaten by bugs and getting a sun burn. For convenience, you may want to look into bug & sun lotions that cover both products in one. Personal First Aid kits are a good idea, just in case, but a comprehensive First Aid kit is always available on-site. If you have a medical condition, make sure someone on staff as well as your friends are aware of this, and that you bring any medicine or supplies that you need in sufficient quantity for the weekend.
What to do before you arrive
- Say hello on our Forums on the website or in our Knight Realms Facebook group! Several of our Player Reps or other staff will gladly help you get your card in order ahead of time to ensure you are prepared!
- You may want to bring a donation for the game - while this is not required, it is greatly appreciated, and can earn you Service Points which you can use to improve your character when you make it. For a list of currently needed donations, check out the Donations page of this web site.
- Plan your travel route ahead of time. Check the Calendar page of this web site to see where the event is this month, and from there you can follow the link to get directions to the site.
- Make sure someone knows where you are, and how to get a hold of you. While we don't encourage a cell phone as a regular part of your character's costume, keeping one hidden in a pouch or in your car or cabin is a good idea in case of an emergency.
- Check out the Rulebook. While it's not necessary that you be a rules expert, if you have a grasp of how the game works, you can get to enjoy it that much sooner.
- Make sure you read and understand the Knight Realms Policy document on our website.
When you arrive
- Show up. Don't unpack your car yet! New Player Training begins at 8:00 pm in the Inn (The main building on the site), but you may want to arrive earlier to look around, stretch out, and meet people.
- Check in with Logistics. Tell them you are a new player. Pay any fee for the event, and get your card and / or personal paperwork for the event. If you have any medical needs or such, make sure someone on staff knows about them.
- Sign up for an NPC slot. Everyone must NPC for at least one 4-hour slot; you are welcome (and encouraged) to do more if you want.
- Determine where you will be sleeping. If you are staying with a friend, have him or her show you around the site and to your place.
- Unpack any gear you need for the weekend. If it is Out-Of-Game stuff (soda, a cooler, etc.), store it in a hidden place - under a bunk is recommended. Anything left out is considered In-Game, and may be interacted with by characters and NPCs. Please leave any valuables locked in your car (but not your car keys!).
- Park your car away from the site, in the designated area.
- At about 8:00 pm, there will be New Player Training. Make sure you attend this, so you know the basic game rules, safety rules, and other important information. Feel free to ask any questions you have. It's usually a good idea to show up in costume, with all of your gear (armor & weapons) to be checked out.
- Go to the Opening Ceremonies (usually right after New Player Training), and be prepared to play.
- Game On!
When it's time to go home, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- The game typically runs until mid-afternoon, weather permitting (We've had to call a few events short due to incoming snow storms or such). There is no set time to depart, but most people are off the site and headed home by 4:00.
- Before you leave the site, you must do the following:
- Clean up your sleeping area
- Clean up your Camp Assignment
- Turn in your Character Card at Logistics
- The two clean-up assignments have sign-off slots on your card, and are required or you do not get credit (Build) for the event. There is a game-wide Hold at about Noon on Sunday in which these cleanups take place.
- Please remember that someone owns everything at KR, including the site itself! Leave it in good condition, and treat it with respect, and we'll have a good site to return to next month!