Avegost (pronounced: Av-ā-gost) is a Georgia based live action role-playing game (or LARP) that follows a full-immersion doctrine and attempts to mimic european larps, specifically danish, in an attempt to provide the most immersive experience possible. Avegost's influences include the Manifesto of the Turku School and Dogma 99 philosophies. It is influenced by other larps such as Bicolline (Canada). Avegost's core setting is medieval European inspired with a focus on the dark ages and closely resembles the Medieval Europe of 900 AD to 1100 AD as its setting is intended to be very realistic. While it's combat is full contact the game's primary focus is political and combat, while intensive, is not a common occurrence. Players must be 18 years or older to participate due to the presence of alcohol and strong story content.
Avegost has a cost of $35.00 an event, most of which goes towards savings for private property. The game is an all-outdoor game and does not feature any cabins. It takes place in woodlands and player's provide their own housing for the events duration.
New members may play free for their first two events, provided they are consecutive.
Avegost takes place in the 'Rivermarch' a region in western 'Ottenby' on the border of 'Greca' and 'Vlarisia'. Avegost's focus is on the small villages that dot the countryside of the Rivermarch and how the characters who inhabit the region deal with the military, political, and economic threats that might reasonably face a 10th century medieval community. A large portion of the game involves characters belonging to various groups and leveraging their political advantages against others for increased control of the region through establishing laws, treaties, and trade agreements with player-led or npd-led factions. The monthly event which constitutes Avegost takes place on the fictional river island of Victis in the outskirts of the village of Four Rivers in the Rivermarch. Players have varying motivations for coming to the monthly gathering.
The game features a vast number of human cultures inspired by dark age European civilizations and a large amount of the 'drama' of the narrative is the clash between various cultures and religions as they try to settle, dominate, and control the Rivermarch and expand their world view and culture. Characters band together and represent the population of the various villages in the Rivermarch. To simulate the game's setting properly an extensive web-based program is used between games in which players build, destroy, and conquer on a living regional map. The game also has a large focus on player's housing and feeding their characters and this often leads to 'food' being a fought over resource as characters who do not feed themselves die.
The game's setting does feature fantasy elements such as fantasy races (elves) and magic however these aspects of the setting are not typically utilized by players. Veterans of the game can submit applications to access fantasy elements of the setting however 'caps' exist to prevent fantasy elements from being seen in more than 1 per every 60 players, or 1 per every 100 players. This keeps the game's demographics appropriate to the setting and minimizes the opportunity for fantasy elements to disrupt immersion.
The game's primary focus is to use the setting of Avegost and the medium of larp to completely and realistically simulate the medieval reality and living situations which were forged by Feudalism in medieval Europe and to do this in a way that is highly believable and immersive to participants. To this end most players will play the game as landless laborers, known as serfs, whose life and trade are owned by their feudal lord, typically another player. The drama of the narrative, which is mutually forged by the actions of attendees, often is the result of various competing political and economic interests between lords and those below them. Serfs often strive to see their lord, and thus their village, succeed or they strive to gain their freedom.
Avegost is very serious concerning the decorum of the game with regards to costuming in an effort to maintain immersion. The setting of Avegost resembles 900 AD to 1100 AD in real-world medieval Europe and players must have costuming styles that fit within that period. A decorum handbook is available to assist players with this goal and a player-run decorum committee researches historical fashion precedents and has oversight of new member costuming. New players have three events by which they must adhere to the decorum rules which gives players enough time to meet these requirements.
Brief History and Driving Philosophy
Avegost was founded in July 2009 by Joseph Landolfi in east Georgia using the sum of $400.00. At the time most Georgia larps were centered in or around Atlanta and larpers in Georgia's east had long drives in addition to high costs ($45.00 to $75.00 per event). Avegost's first events were $10.00 and consisted of one-days in and around Savannah, Georgia itself. It followed the traditional formula used by most American-Style larps including hit-points and spell-packets. Its focus on immersion during this time was relatively minor. As it grew however, many of its players began to research larp success at home and abroad. Danish larp was heavily discussed in the community and eventually the game began to shape itself more like the foreign European larps that not only seemed more successful than their American counterparts based on attendance but also seemed to be more immersive. This focus on immersion appealed to many of Avegost's members as most of them had never experienced larp outside of Avegost and did not have preconceived notions of what larp in America was supposed to be.
By July 2010 Avegost had made strides to increase its immersion with rule changes intended to remove rules and policies that had been adopted by Avegost as the 'status-quot' of larp in America. This included legalizing head shots, discouraging the use of glasses, and removing the idea of 'lightest touch' from combat. Avegost continued to evolve and by July 2011 Avegost had continued to increase its immersion, albeit slowly, by becoming a limb-system or 'hit location' game and by removing most magic and fantasy from its setting. The game was also made a 'full contact' game in which the traditional limitations in American larp of 'no touching' were removed. Instead, the use of grappling and bodily contact with others during combat is encouraged. The rules were completely revamped from their Phoenix larp (New Orleans) and CARPS larp (Michigan) origins with very few inspirations remaining as the metamorphosis from American larp to European styled larp became very apparent.
Several key aspects of the immersion led larp philosophy used by Avegost are as follows;
- No mythos, lore, setting element, mechanic, rule, or logistical tool should exist that disrupts the immersion of the player.
- Fantasy within the mythos must be minimized (though may be present) to increase realism and, as a result, immersion of the player.
- Anachronisms to the setting must not be visibly present in any form.
- The 'narrative' of the experience must be crafted by recreation and reenactment of the setting instead of artificially written and led by an outside force (such as a 'plot team').
- Immersion must always be maintained with the exception of medical emergencies.
World History & Setting
To explain Avegost's world history an extensive wikipedia exists known as the Avegost Wiki. It has over 800 articles and is consistently updated and maintained by a team of volunteers known as 'Approved Authors' led by the game's creator.