Clanthia New Player Committee: ClanthiaNPC@gmail.com
We welcome emails from new, prospective, interested players, parents of teenage players, players returning from a long break, visiting players from our sister chapters, and even current players. If we cannot answer your questions, we will get you in touch with someone who can.
We have a *NEW* 14-page “study guide” for the rules available for our players here: New Player Study Guide
Additionally, we have some new player incentives here: 2018 New Player Changes v1
If you have never been to a SOLAR event, try to make it onto site before 9:00 p.m. on Friday night. This way, you will have ample time to get registered and settled in before the game begins. Below is a list of procedures to help you get started.
The tavern is the largest building on site, somewhere in the middle of the camp. There are always lights on there and it should be the most crowded building. Once inside, there will be a table near the door where you check in. (Look for the cash register.) Pay at the Check-In counter, where you will also receive your cabin assignment, paid chit, and get answers for any initial questions or concerns you (if over 18) or your legal guardian may have.
Further into the tavern is Logistics, which is where you go once you have checked in. This is where you make your character and collect all the Skill Tags and other information necessary for you to play the game. It is necessary for you to bring a legal ID, because you or your legal guardian will need to sign a legal release form; while we do everything possible to maintain one another’s safety, we’re still outdoors! If you are new, there will always be someone waiting for you to help design your character and get you started.
Double check to make sure you have your paid chit, which will have your cabin or bed number written on it. Feel free to drive directly to your cabin if it is before midnight on Friday. After this, there will be too many players walking around as their characters, and we ask you do not drive beyond the parking area. Once you have found your cabin, find your bed and get unpacked. This is a great time to meet your cabin mates and others in the area, as well as to locate the nearest bathroom and showering facility.
Park your car in the parking area. Never, ever leave a car in front of a cabin during the game—this can cost you lives and build! Once parked, be back in the tavern by 10:00 p.m. Friday night for introductions from the staff, game news, and important announcements. Immediately following opening ceremonies is the New Player meeting where rules are discussed, a mandatory safety course is administered, and any new questions you may have will be answered. Soon after Opening Ceremonies is also the best time to get your armor evaluated and your weapons checked for safety.
The event begins immediately following Opening Ceremonies. It runs all weekend long until Sunday at 4:00 p.m., when we go “out-of-play” and begin cleaning the site. Remember, you are staying in a State Park—a limited resource that we must protect—so always make sure you leave your sleeping area a little cleaner than you found it. Clean your cabin and surrounding area, pack your belongings, and turn in your Paid/Work chit and Life Ticket at the check-out box located at the tavern. Remember to have all this done by no later than 6:00 p.m. on Sunday night. This ensures that the SOLAR staff will have enough time to finish cleaning the site.
At SOLAR’s winter game site, Indian Springs, there is a pay phone in the tavern. At both Indian Springs and Hard Labor Creek, however, it is easiest to use a cell phone if you have service (some cell phones do not have service in the parks). Make sure that anyone who might need to reach you during the weekend has your number. In a medical emergency contact an on-site medic for immediate assistance.
The function of Logistics is to distribute and replace tags and materials required for the game to function. Beginning around 6:00 p.m. on Friday night and lasting until after midnight, this is known as “Check-In” and occurs at the tavern. Many items of business are accomplished during these hours. Most importantly, you can pay for the event, check in, update your character, receive your Spell/Skill Tags, and listen to Opening Ceremonies, where a great deal of important in- and out-of-play information can be gathered.
So you’ve found Logistics, paid for your weekend and parking pass, and now need to Check-In. If this is your first time, our logistical staff will guide you through the Check-In process. The first thing to do is to get in the appropriate line with the sign stating “New Characters”. If you have played recently, you should have turned in an envelope containing your Life Ticket, Paid chit, and marked on your envelope what you would like to purchase with the build acquired at the event attended. If you turned in your envelope correctly at the last event you attended, then you should have an envelope waiting for you containing your Life ticket, Body Tags, and Spell/Skill/Magic Item cards when you pay for your weekend. If you do not have an envelope waiting for you, get in the appropriate line (divided into the two halves of the alphabet by your last name) and our logistical staff will find your character and manually update you so that you can walk away from the Check-In table with the aforementioned items. Note that Friday tags and cards are tan while Saturday tags/cards are green. This can be easily remembered by the mnemonic “tan today, green to be seen.”
Having already received your Daily Spell/Skill Cards, you must now fill out the request portion with the appropriate amount of spells/skills that your character possesses. Some skills and spells require individual tags that will be asked for in the course of the game. These include(but are not limited to) all Cure/Heal/Cause spells, Life spells, Death spells, Revive spells and all “stacking” of any kind. These spells/skills/abilities will be noted with “Tag Required” on your card(s). In order to receive these tags, you must present the Spell/Skill cards that you received at Check-In and a valid (stamped and signed) Spellbook card that contains the magic spells you wish to memorize. Adjacent to the tables containing spell tags is where you will pick up Magic Item per-event tags in a similar manner. After receiving your daily Spell Tags/Cards, move on to the table containing date stamps and proceed to date stamp each of your daily tags as well as any created production. Note that this includes all Skill Tags, Spell Tags, Body Tags, Life Ticket, and any Magic Item tags (which are gray or on notecards). As a note, should your character be a Rogue with an Assassinate/Dodge and you do not possess at least three of them, you must choose which you would like to use that day.
When you Check-In, you will receive an Item Bonding card for the weekend that you must fill out with the magical items your character will be bonding to for the weekend. This includes: all magical items that grant any special ability, spell, or other enhancement; Master Controlled creatures, and Enchanted Item foci. You are to keep this card, showing which items are Bonded to your character, on you for the duration of the weekend – turning it in when you check out at the end of the event. For more on Item Bonding, see Item Bonding in the Magic Items section.
“Reset” is the period from 6 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, when the new “game day” begins, for purposes of Logistics.
At any point during this time, spell casters are required to set aside a minimum of ten minutes in order to study their spells while warriors and rogues must rest for the same period of time to replenish their skills and/or work in their laboratories. This is also the time in which a character may change out his Bonded Items and Cloaks (for more on this, see Item Bonding and Cloaks in the Magical Items section). At this time, you should change out cards and tags to the color used for the rest of the event. The typical tag color for the second half of the event is green.
Production skills work much the same as daily Skill/Spell tags do during the hours of Logistics at the start of game. Get an appropriate production request form from the request form table, and complete it with the production you wish to create for the event. You must bring your blue, signed Skill tag (received when skill was purchased), formula book (only if producing Alchemy/Poisons), and production request form to the production table during Logistics to obtain that production which you created for the weekend. The number of production points used to create your production can be increased by Labs, which may only have one user and must be found or created in game.
These production points may also be increased by Production Enhancer tags found in-play. If a character cannot afford to make a particular item with his levels of a Production Skill with bonus from a Laboratory, then he cannot make said item using the bonus points of a production enhancer tag. If you are planning on creating your production using a Lab, be sure to bring the card and item to show the Marshal.
It is possible to use special Production Enhancers, found in-play, to enhance the amount of production that a character can create. The maximum number of points a character can gain from these Production Enhancers, for a given type of production, at a given event is equal to ten times the level of the character’s production skill and the maximum number of any given production type that can be created, using enhancers is ten(10). These Production Enhancers are not multiplied by the use of a Production Lab.
Late Logistics is for those who arrive to the game after normal Logistics hours are over. Just remember that most Logistics members are also players, so please give them the common courtesy to wait to and ask for assistance during a lull in the game, or when they have free time. Late Logistics serves all the same functions as normal Logistics, but in a much more limited capacity, due to lack of staffing during off-hours.
Typical Weekend Schedule
Check-In 6:00 p.m.–Midnight
Opening Ceremonies 10:00 p.m.
In-Play 11:00 p.m.
Spell/Skill Reset 6:00 p.m.–8:00p.m.
Event ends/Out-of-Play 4:00 p.m.
Clean-up 4:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m.
Off site 6:00 p.m.
Players may be out-of-game; buildings and items may be out-of-play. This means that the person or thing is not in the game world, and therefore, cannot affect nor be affected by anyone or anything that is in-game/play, nor can an out-of-game player affect anyone or anything that is in-game.
A player who is out-of-play must wear a white headband to signify he is out-of-game. Anyone who is not wearing a white headband is in-play. Though frowned upon, in a scenario where one finds oneself without a white headband a hand or weapon over the head also signifies that a player is out-of-play.
Certain buildings are always out-of-play and anyone in these buildings is out-of-game. A person in an out-of-play building must have a good reason for being in there, it is not permissible for a player to run into an out-of-play building to get away from someone or something.
A person may take himself out-of-game at any time provided that doing so will not change the course of action of other characters around him and that he is doing so for good reason. For instance, if a group of monsters is charging a character, the player of that character may not remove himself from the situation by going out-of-game.
Bath Houses—A player is out-of-game while in a bathhouse.
Plot Cabin—This is out-of-play and may only be entered by Plot Members. If anyone else other than a Plot Member enters the Plot Cabin, his character sheet will be destroyed, and the player may be asked to never play SOLAR again. SO STAY OUT!
Tavern—The tavern is always in-play, however the kitchen is a no-combat area. If a player is being chased by a monster, he may not run into the kitchen and claim that the monster cannot attack. If this occurs, the monster may find a Marshal who will have the player either give up his Life Tag or fight the monster.
Armorsmiths’ Guild—It is out-of-play until midnight on the first night of the event. This is because each player needs to go to the Armorsmiths’ to have his armor evaluated and have his weapon inspected for safety. Afterwards, the Armorsmiths’ is always in-play, and armor may be purchased there.
Going to the Bath House—A player going to the bathroom or to take a shower may take his character out-of-play. No in-game items may be carried.
Medical Reasons—A player who has been physically hurt may take his character out-of-game until he recuperates. If it is an emergency, the player should send for a Marshal or Medic.
Eating—Although it is discouraged, it is understood that some people do not want to be disturbed by a Goblin while they are eating. Players are encouraged to eat in-play and handle the consequences.
Sleeping with the Enemy—Sometimes bed space is limited and may cause the players of rival characters to share a cabin. Since these characters would not sleep in the same cabin with each other, it is permissible for them to sleep out-of-game. However, an individual’s character must be somewhere at all times of the day and night—if a player is sleeping in a cabin out-of-play, his character must be physically represented by a body-sized object, items showing that it is the character(i.e., .a tabard, a sash, etc.), tags, and all of the in-play belongings on the character. Other in-play items not on the character must be stored in an in-play location, elsewhere if necessary.
The SOLAR Code of Conduct
SOLAR will neither permit any activity nor accept any suggestion which promotes the use of any of the following: alcohol, drugs, hazardous or toxic materials, dangerous non-game violence, damage to or theft of non-game items or property (including personal physical representations of in-game items), vandalism, pornographic materials, open and gross lewdness, or any actions by an individual or group which demonstrates a wanton lack of respect for the safety or security of the people, property, or environment at any SOLAR event.
In addition, SOLAR rules prohibit any form of bigotry or discrimination against any individual or group because of their out-of-game affiliations, including but not limited to: race, gender, age, religion, ethnic background, ideology, sexual orientation, physical appearance, handicap or disability, or any other condition which may be part of a player’s background, but not of his character (for example, it is permissible to hunt someone down for being a necromancer, vampire, elf, etc., but it is not permissible to hunt someone down for being a woman, member of a minority, minor, etc.).
Anyone taking medication under a physician’s supervision or having a chronic medical condition (such as an allergy, drug sensitivity, etc.) should inform the SOLAR medical staff so that this information will be available in case of an emergency. There is a form included with this book for listing medical information. You are permitted to photocopy this form to turn in to SOLAR. The SOLAR staff includes trained and certified/licensed emergency medical personnel. They operate in full accordance with standard medical practices, and will maintain full confidentiality. All players do reserve the right to refuse treatment, if preferred.
There is a no physical contact rule enforced at all SOLAR events. You are not allowed to touch someone with anything other than a SOLAR approved weapon or spell packet. This means HANDS OFF. Unless the other person agrees to it, no one is allowed to touch anyone, even when using in-game skills such as First Aid.
Lanyards, or the tying off of weapons to oneself – hand, arm, belt, etc. to be used in combat is strictly forbidden as the length of cord between oneself and the weapon can entangle combatants and cause safety issues.
Alcohol is not allowed at any SOLAR event, regardless of a player’s age. Anyone caught with alcohol or illegal drugs will be subject to immediate disciplinary action, ejected from the game, and may never return to any SOLAR– sponsored activity.
Candles and lanterns add to the atmosphere of the game and players are allowed to cautiously use them for light sources at SOLAR events. However, no flame may ever be left unattended for any reason. It must be extinguished before leaving the area.
Players are discouraged from using flashlights while adventuring and electric lights while in the cabins.
Headbands and Headgear
People frequently make headbands a part of their costume, but a player needs to keep two things in mind:
A white headband signifies the player is out-of-game (see below) and is not able to interact in any way with the game world.
An orange headband signifies the player has been given a special medical status by game Marshals. This player can role-play and interact with others in a role-playing setting, but can in no way engage in combat. Spells cast in combat are not effective, however, if the character is a spell caster, he or she may cast “stacking” and healing spells, but ONLY if not near active combat. NEVER SWING AT OR OTHERWISE ENGAGE IN COMBAT WITH A PERSON WEARING AN ORANGE HEADBAND. If you have a reason for wearing an orange headband at an event, you must report it to game Marshals at Check-In.
Because of these two situations, a character’s in-game headband cannot be white or orange.
If a player brings a real weapon into the game, he will be asked to put it away. Real weapons may be used for decoration only and may not be carried around by a player. While they add to the game atmosphere, they also add a great deal to the danger. Therefore, we encourage their use as a cabin decoration, but not as a personal one. Only decorate with weapons that would be considered appropriate for a fantasy setting.
Cheating in SOLAR takes a lot away from the game. If you get hit by a spell, take the spell. If you get hit by a weapon, take the damage. Surviving is not as important as playing fair.
As a matter of fact, some characters are remembered for years for their dramatic deaths following their epic lives. These players have written their way into the mythology of SOLAR. And here, death is not always the end. The greatest players, the ones who truly contribute to the story, aren’t cheaters. Just follow the rules and you’ll be fine. Known cheaters make a lot of enemies and when the right people find out, are quickly ejected from SOLAR. Please do not hesitate to report cheating offenses to Marshals.
Smoking is generally discouraged because it takes away from the atmosphere of the game. If you must smoke you may do so in permitted areas. You MUST police your butts—never throw them on the ground. Those caught tossing butts or any trash upon the ground will find severe repercussions brought against them (usually the loss of a life tag). Smoking in cabins is not allowed.
Each player is expected to clean his or her cabin and the surrounding area before leaving site. (SOLAR takes pride in leaving the sites cleaner than when we arrived.) All trash must be taken to the dumpster, not left in the cabin or placed in the bathhouse trashcan. If the SOLAR staff must clean a cabin, each player who stayed in the cabin will be fined $5.00. If a player leaves a messy cabin he will forfeit his Build Blanket as well as one Life from his character sheet. In addition, after the second such sanction against a player, the player will no longer be allowed to stay in a cabin at a SOLAR site.
SOLAR is not responsible for anything left on site. All items that are unclaimed when the staff leaves the site become the property of SOLAR.
Property labeled with the player’s name will be returned, but costumes, weapons, and other phys-reps will be given to the Plot Committee or will be disposed of; too much stuff gets left behind to carry to and from events.
Costuming is very important to the game environment. A good costume can make the difference between a good character and a great one. As you will see, there are some really nice costumes in-play and add more to the atmosphere of the game than you can imagine. A good costume does not have to be an expensive one. A pair of plain pants, stretch pants, or tights and a long shirt belted at the waist and worn with leather boots or moccasins works fine and is relatively inexpensive. Avoid outwardly displaying any religious symbols, as there is no religion in SOLAR.
Your costume will most likely evolve as you continue to play the game. If you don’t have a full costume at your first few events, don’t worry; very few people start with full costumes. However, you really should try to have something period-looking by your third event. For exceptional efforts at costuming, there is even an armor bonus one can get (See the Armor Rating System). Most veteran players are a good source of information. If you need help with your costume, please ask.
Since SOLAR is a fantasy setting, there are various modern trappings we discourage open use of, to help preserve the aesthetic of a time before modernity, and a society which has not experienced any sort of industrial revolution. Basic costuming styles we encourage players to cultivate have a pseudo-European influence and cover a spectrum of historical fashion influences that range between savage cave-dweller all the way to Victorian and Edwardian high society. We also welcome the somewhat outside of time Renaissance/Fantasy Festival garb. With that in mind, there are some basic items and conveniences we’ve found disrupt the atmosphere we try to create, so things like jeans, sports shoes, watches, t-shirts, PDAs, beepers, cell phones, should not be visible. Players should also leave soda cans, candy wrappers, etc., in their cabins or in the kitchen, or transfer contents to a less blatantly anachronistic container. Please use your best judgment when it comes to other items not listed here, or consult with other players. Please feel free to continue to wear anything that protects your basic health and functioning, including glasses and medic alert bracelets.
Because there is no religion in SOLAR and because there is such a diversity of religion in the world, players should not bring anything with an overtly religious symbol on it, regardless of the religion, out of respect for other players’ beliefs. This includes crosses, stars of David, etc.