What is Mütvia?
Welcome to Mütvia, a theatrical sports live-action roleplaying experience (LARP) where the rules take a backseat to an immersive environment ultimately controlled by the players through encouraged heightened roleplay.
As a setting
Mütvia is a dark land of lore and superstition where spirits roam and the Land is alive with beings from myths and legends. Yet Mütvia is not “high fantasy”, the denizens of the Land are personifications of nature and the people just mere humans. The more nightmarish beings that stalk the night air are rarely seen before their impact is felt, creatures beholden to ancient practices and traditions such as offerings and sacrifice.
As a live-action roleplaying game
Mütvia uses the Evindale Live universal LARP rules, a lightweight system with a heavy concentration on role-play. Character creation is simple, the system nearly point-less, and all involved are encouraged to “play to lose” thus casting out personal ego. Cast members like yourself contribute to the overall story by portraying their characters in an immersive environment for roughly 36 hours over the course of a weekend, often on the grounds of a multi-acre camp. Combat is handled with latex weapon replicas where grunts and groans replace the calling out of numbers, magic is infrequent and semi-improvisational, and fear is in the air.
As a tale of horror
…the storytellers try to prey upon the imaginations of the cast with stories and plots deeply steeped in 30+ years of fantasy world development, with individually directed cast creatures and beings that each have their own story to tell.
As an immersive experience
Mütvia relies on you as cast as much as on the props and set pieces to be accumulated over time as the game matures. Armor worn by participants must be made of the representative material and weapons to appear as real as possible. Costumes should convey a cultural identity while personal props be convincing.
Lastly, as a new game
we are currently in a beta state with rules being polished, canon material being written, and an ever-growing desire to provide a high-quality experience for all involved. We’ve had one highly successful event in the October 2016 Open Beta. A strong cast of motivated participants attended and now we seek more.
If you believe adventure and opportunity must be sought through taking initiative, that role-play trumps mere game mechanics, that the story your main goal in attending such an event, we think you may enjoy Mütvia.
As a country, Mütvia is the “Land of 1,000 Princes”, a country inhabited by a highly superstitious people where anyone with a plot of land may declare themselves a ströikas (STROY-kuhss), or prince. The nobles are draconian brutes, the commoners are hearty suspicious xenophobes, and the drósti — itinerant spiritualists with a high degree of folk tradition — are suspected of all things evil and probably with good reason.
The game is set in the northern part of the country in a principality known as Vöhjesti (voyzh-ESS-tee), named after the ruling noble house that lorded over the area for centuries. Within Vöhjesti is the province of Moldev, the seat of power within the principality, and finally within a demesne of the same name, now a tiny hamlet where our action takes place.
The hamlet of Moldev was once attached to the ströikasoi, or manor house of the Ströikas Vöhj who abdicated his throne by slaughterin his own court members in 1133, five years before our story started. Now abandoned and overrun by horrible things that go bump in the night, your character — a human noble, commoner, or drósti — joins others in solving the mystery of the Land, a seemingly sentient force of nature, and perhaps even ruling over Moldev itself.
What is LARP?
From the book…
As the reader of a book, you act as witness to a character’s deeds and experience the story as the author intended while also allowing your imagination to fill in details left undescribed.
…to the table-top…
When role-playing games (RPGs) become a popular hobby in the late 1970s, readers were introduced to a new way of experiencing the story. No longer passive witnesses as a mere reader, you were encouraged to create a character that would exist and experience the world around them as told by a new brand of author now called a Judge, Dungeon Master, Game Master, or a myriad of other titles. With everyone sitting around a table, the setting of the story to unfold would be described by the judge and the players described their characters’ interactions in that story. In this way, the story was no longer fixed and soon enough polyhedral dice were introduced as a way to randomly determine conflicts or challenges the characters may face, often by being modified by the statistics each character possessed.
LARPs grew out of the fast-growing hobby of table-top RPGs as players and judges now stood up from their tables, moved around, and related to each other on a more active level. Thus was born live action role-play wherein participants are half-player, half-actor and interact with each other as their characters would. Conflict such as combat could be resolved by cards, dice, rock-paper-scissors, or any number of other methods. Boffer LARPs take this one step further by allowing the use of boffer weapons, or weapon replicas made safe via its use of a light PVC pipe core with surrounding pipe insulation, the whole of which was then covered in duct tape to form a crude though effective and safe physical representation of the character’s weapon.
In Mütvia, we believe in creating as immersive an experience as possible. We call participants cast members as befitting the theatrical nature of the game and have chosen to replace the PVC and duct tape weapons with realistic, affordable, and professionally-created latex replicas. Furthermore, cast members are encouraged to invest in their costuming while Mütvia management seeks and creates realistic props and set pieces.
Organizational Roles within Mütvia
Many come together to create a story.
- Storytellers. Those that oversee the overarching plot of the game. They are responsible for the fictitious world in which all characters live and interact.
- Directors. Specific plot lines are overseen by the Directors who must have flexibility to adjust to whatever comes their way as characters affect these plots.
- Marshals. Marshals adjudicate the rules for players during the game. They represent the mutable system of physics and magic within Mütvia and strive to assist in creating a balanced world. They may be sought after for rulings or to provide clarification on a particular issue. Marshals are identified by a particular armband on their character at all times. On the field, they are the rules authority and their decisions are backed by the Directors and Storytellers.
- Cast Members: the player-participants. Cast Members breathe life into the world, interact with its many inhabitants, and through their actions affect plot. By and large, they are the most important of all roles and the most populous. For the entirety of each book (defined as one calendar year’s worth of plot), you choose to join either Free Cast, Directed Cast, or Support Cast. This choice directly affects what kind of character one portrays.
- Free Cast. Also known as a PC, or Player Character in other LARP systems. As a Free Cast (FC) you may create your character however you wish within the confines of Character Creation. While you won’t have any inherent knowledge of the plot, you may certainly affect it through their actions and always have complete reign to explore their character to its greatest depths.
- Directed Cast. As a Directed Cast (DC) member, you will portray characters managed by a Director. DCs provide needed support characters such as teachers, evil doers, and creatures. The DC may continually portray this character and have particular goals to achieve (and be created with skills to achieve that goal), but also has the ability to diverge from the plot line providing it tells a good story. Just like a Free Cast member, costuming, accessories, weapons, armor, and the like are mostly up to the player to provide. As the game grows, so will the costuming inventory and therefore the game’s ability to assist in supplying a DC with items for their character.
- Support Cast. A very crucial role in any LARP, these are the NPCs, or non-player characters. With many roles and sometimes a lot of make-up, the Support Cast takes words on a page and brings to life the very denizens of the land of Mütvia. From free-roaming spirits to ravaging sanji, from merchants to recurring face roles, the Support Cast make Mütvia horrorific… in a good way.
Free Cast must choose a four hour slot during sign-in or pre-registration in which they will take a break from their normal character and portray something different from the other cast. About five minutes prior to the beginning of your Swap Shift, report to Logistics.
Directed Cast have this as an option to swap to Free Cast for four hours or they may continue as their Directed Cast Character. DCs may also be pulled from the field at any time to fill in needed roles.
Support Cast may also swap out into a four hour breather during the event either as a character of their own creation or choose to go out as one they already know and love that plot created for them, if the plot would allow for it.
For LARP veterans:
Mütvia in a nutshell
For those accustomed to North American LARP systems, here are a few things you may find different in Mütvia.
- There are no body points, hit points, or health.
- There are no “killing blows”. Characters instead Bleed Out (q.v.)
- There is no “machine gunning” or “drum rolling”, i.e. all melee attacks are roleplayed with the heaviness of the weapon, 1-2 attacks/second for most weapons.
- Combat is location-based, i.e. each arm, leg, front and back of torso can be damaged independently and are rendered useless if unarmored and struck. Torsos can withstand three hits.
- Mütvia does not call out numerical damage in melee. Instead, a single hit from a weapon on an unarmored limb disables that limb.
- Most skills are performed by the player as their character; what the player can do, the character can do.
- Endeavors is the collective noun for things that may not be performed safely, sanely, legally, or realistically.
- Of the combat-related Endeavors, there are Skilled Hits one may deliver.
- Armor is classified as light, medium, and heavy. Light armor may include leather, hides, and furs absorb one hit before hitting body; medium may include chainmail, scales, or certain heavy hides and absorb two hits; heavy may include chitinous plates or metal and absorbs three hits.
- Weapon are classified as light, medium, and heavy. Light weapons (up to 19” in length) always use one hand; medium (20” to 38”) and may use one or two hands; heavy (39” +) and always use two hands to swing.
- If a weapon is legally swung with two hands, i.e. medium or heavy, it can do two levels of damage to the torso. Otherwise, all weapons do one level of damage regardless of hit location.
- There are no experience, build, or character points to spend. Each character chooses one between-game action to advance their character which is increased to two actions between contiguous games.
- All characters can use all weapons and armor.
- Magical effects do not employ tossed spell packets. The caster merely points, blurts out a 1-2 second personalized incant, and says a standardized keyword.
For the newcomer:
How does combat work in Mütvia?
Mütvia uses foam latex weapons, though in the early stages of developed (“Beta”), standard boffer weapons will be permitted. Combat consists of you and your weapon in a live environment facing off against others also armed. You’ll swing your weapon, learn to block theirs, advance and retreat, run, limp (acting), and get involved. You’ll be hit many times but the rules are there to provide a safe environment. If you face off against someone wearing a full suit of armor, better get good at aiming for those weak spots — they’re honor-bound to acknowledge such skill!
Are there non-com rules? (Non-Combatant)
Non-combatant rules have not yet been developed. Instead, those that have a medical or physical condition that prohibits LARP-safe combat are encouraged to wear a safety orange armband on their left upper arm. This will designate the wearer as a non-combatant. If someone approaches the non-combatant with a melee weapon, the non-com should calmly hold out their hand as in “Stop” and then point to the safety orange armband, saying “non-combatant” if need be. If someone persists in engaging the non-com, call CAUTION! NON-COM! If they persist, you have permission to call HOLD! and request that a marshal attend as this may very well be an emergency.