25th Classic College of Wizardry

Graduation is a time for endings and new beginnings. Those of you in your Senior year will – we trust – be leaving us this weekend. You will, I hope, have fond memories of your time at Czocha. Perhaps not of your Graduation Trials this weekend, but of the rest of your time. You might be thinking of your next step, your future career, or your relationships here. Some of you will have found fast friendships, friendships that will last a lifetime. Others will leave college flings behind. Sophomores may choose to stand for Prefect of their House.

Headmaster Percival Brunet

Overview Document

This document contains important information about what you should expect and what you should not expect, the structure of the event and also about some material changes to the rules and norms.

What are the themes of the larp?

CoW25 is a coming-of-age story. It’s a game about the anticipation and excitement of leaving the safety of student life behind and preparing to venture out into the world. It’s about passing the torch and about traditions. It’s about missed opportunities and unannounced love. It’s about what comes next. 

Will there be a ball?

Yes. CoW25 will see the Graduation Ball – a celebration of the Seniors graduating, the awarding of the House cup and the remaining students, hopefully, moving forward a year. It is the final ball of the school year, which makes it a spectacular event – full of emotion and excitement. 

Play Hours

Whilst this is subject to change, our intention is that there will be plot and play after midnight, but events will finish by 2am. The school day will begin at 9; breakfast will be from 8am.

Character Approvals

Any and all self-written characters will need approval from us. We reserve the right to not approve characters that we feel do not fit with the theme or tone of the game. 

We will work with you to tweak your concepts into something that will work within the scope and framework of Classic Witchard games. 

Please contact us on [email protected] to run your idea by us.

Boffer weapons & Nerf Guns

Please do not bring boffer weapons, nerf guns etc. to the larp. This is not a combat game.

Explosions / Pyros

There might be explosions and pyros in use at CoW25.

Scenes of violence

There may be scenes of violence at this larp, though we do not plan for it. As a player you can leave at any time using the lookdown mechanic, but due to the nature of the larp, we cannot guarantee that you will not witness these scenes.

Character Death

The standard rules for death apply at this game; only you as the player can decide when your character dies.

Death is an incredibly impactful event that can severely impact others stories in a negative way. A character death is incredibly difficult to opt-out of and ignore. As such, we strongly encourage you to not make your characters death a part of your story. 

Sophomores attending class

Structure of the larp

The 25th Classic College of Wizardry has a number of changes from the normal Classic experience. This game focuses on the graduation of the Seniors, and thus takes place at the end of term. That means that there is no Junior sorting. All Juniors are already sorted into their Houses, and have been there for the entire term leading up to Graduation. 

This game also features the Graduation Ball and handing out Senior diplomas.

Graduation Trials 

We know exams are difficult, and many find them incredibly anxiety inducing. However, we believe we’ve come up with a model for this game that circumvents the feeling of being in front of a firing squad. We believe we’ve designed an experience that, while challenging, will be both fun and engaging. 

For the Seniors, the game is centred around the graduation trial – a final test of their skills before they leave Czocha. As is tradition, Czocha attempts to bring real world stakes into the trials, allowing Seniors a taste of the challenges they will face once they leave the school. For the class of 2023 a diplomatic crisis has arisen, and it is up to the Seniors of Czocha to come up with a peaceful resolution. Students are also encouraged to involve their fellow students from the lower Years.

Prefect Selection

Prefects are always Seniors, and thus the Prefects of each House are now graduating. Which means it is also the time to select their replacement from among the Sophomores. Each House approaches the task in a different way – often inline with the core tenets of the Houses. 

Some Houses simply have a line of succession once a candidate has been deemed worthy. Others hold elections. Others again have more … esoteric traditions. 

Club Challenges

Czocha is home to many clubs and societies, and the end of term is where, traditionally, they show what they are capable of. It is convention that each club performs a memorable deed at the end of the term – whether it be the Horse without Wings performing a flash poetry recital; or the Ancient Order of Mischief pulling of the years largest collaborative prank; the student body get to vote on their favourite, during the ball, and the winners are announced before the final house cup award of the year. 

These challenges will be designed and enacted by the players with support from the organizers, and with Seniors busy with their Trials, Sophomores tend to be the ones in charge.

The Kasztelan’s Gauntlet

Each year, at the end of the year, the Kasztelan of Czocha sets a contest. A series of tasks that are to be attempted by the Juniors of each House working together against their rival Houses. House points are awarded for each task, with a bounty of bonus points for the overall winning teams. Ranging from simple scavenger hunts, with goals as diverse as manticore blood, the favour of a fae or the darkest secret of a professor; to more complex team tasks requiring the Juniors to put into practice their year’s lessons; it is always exciting. And to add to the thrill, school rules are often suspended for some of the tasks, allowing the Juniors their first (official) unaccompanied visit to the dark forest, or to probe the depths of the secret passageways!

Passing the Junior Year

For Juniors, the end of their first year is an important milestone in their life. They have now studied at Czocha for a Year – are they doing well enough? Have they adjusted to school life? As is tradition, the Juniors need to have discussions with older students and Staff, and get the approval of three different Staff members to prove that they’re ready to move on to the next year. It’s also the last chance for them to decide whether they’re studying the right Path or whether switching might be more beneficial to them – the choices they make here will affect the rest of their life.

However, Juniors are not alone with this task – it’s also equally the responsibility of their Sophomore Mentor to complete this task with them and help them to get the approval of the Professors. A failure of a Junior would also reflect poorly on their mentor, so Sophomores take great pride in ensuring that their Junior makes the correct choices.

Career Fair, headhunters and sponsorships

At the end of the year, many entities from outside Czocha arrive at the school to have a look at the students and their growing skills. There might be representatives from the Guardian Order or other magical organizations advertising their line of work, recruiters from different companies, Fireball Dragon scouts offering sponsorships to future stars… And it’s not only for the graduating Seniors – a promising Junior or Sophomore might turn their life upside down by finding a new career path or an influential supporter!

Character types

People at Czocha are as varied as can be, but the character you’re cast as can have a big impact on your experience at the larp. In particular, your Year decides your main social group: 

Student Characters

The vast majority of student characters are human. 

Playing a Junior

For Juniors this is the story of young adults who are coming into their own. You’ve been sorted into your houses at the start of term, and for many they’ve finally found their footing at Czocha.  

Relationships are blooming, and there’s excitement as soon you won’t be “tiny” Juniors anymore, but the Sophomores ruling the school. You are the future and the choices you make will greatly influence the future of your House and Path. 

As a Junior you will

  • Participate in the Kasztelan’s Gauntlet with the Juniors of your House
  • Make sure you pass your first year and decide whether you’re on the right Path
  • Participate in your Club Challenge and Prefect selection
  • Help Seniors with their Graduation trials, if you want

Playing a Sophomore

Sophomores have a big job ahead of them. The school year is ending, and when they come back they will be the ones with all the secrets and all the knowledge. Moving up is no small thing, and maybe it’s time for one final fling before you have to behave like an “adult”. 

The Seniors will need to rely on your help to pass their Graduation Trials. 

As a Sophomore you will

  • Participate in the Prefect selection, and maybe become a Prefect candidate yourself
  • Take charge of your Club Challenge
  • Help your Junior mentee pass their first year
  • Help Seniors with their Graduation trials, if you want

Playing a Senior

If you opt to play a Senior you are opting into Graduation play. Your character will have to complete their Graduation Trial, with the aid of their fellow students.

It’s Graduation time. For some a time of excitement, for others a time of anxiety. This is what it’s all been about – soon you’ll leave Czocha behind, and take your newfound knowledge into the world. 

But not before completing your Graduation Trial. 

As a Senior you will

  • Participate in the Graduation Trial
  • Contemplate career options and make decisions on your future
  • Have your last chance to leave your mark in the history of the school

On Prefects

The prefects at CoW25 are in a unique position. Their term is ending, and their houses have to select their replacements. It is the responsibility of the prefects to guide their houses safely through this process – using challenges, trickery and whatever else they have up their sleeve. 

It is not unheard of for a deadlock to occur in the selection process. In that scenario the Kasztelan usually ends up selecting the new prefects. 

Each House has their own method for choosing new prefects, and the organisers will work with players of each House to work out the most fun way of representing the House in this state of transition. 

Playing a Staff member

Professors and other Staff members are the backbone of the larp. With the leadership of the Head of School, they teach various magical subjects, organise extracurricular activities, and guide students to become extraordinary witchards.

They are at the top of the school hierarchy, both loved and feared by the student body. Some of them act as Monitors for the schools old Houses, being their closest contact to go to in case of trouble. As Staff, you will have a big impact on the larp content and what kind of experiences the students will have, but also your own stories and relations to explore.

Staff players form a close-knit team that coordinates all kinds of matters related to running the school in the months leading up to the larp. They discuss the overall mood and vision, school rules, lesson plans, and much more. They can also plan extra activities and plotlines if they so wish. Playing Staff means being a playmaker and having more responsibilities than an average player, but help and support from the organisers is always available.

A diplomatic crisis has also arisen and whilst the Headmaster has decided that its resolution will form the Graduation Trials this year, many of the dramatis personae involved are known to the staff of the school. As such, we will work with the staff members to develop personal connections and relationships to those involved in this plot. 

The Staff also has their own problem to sort out: Headmaster Brunet is retiring, and a successor must be found. Some Staff members might be eyeing the position, and there are some renowned witchards from outside Czocha that have arrived to try their luck. The selection process is always filled with surprises for both candidates and other Staff members, but one thing is certain: by the end of the weekend, Czocha will have a new Head of School.

Head of School

For the 25th Classic College of Wizardry the Head of School is part of the Helper crew, and as such not a player. 

Kasztelan

Often the Head’s right hand and a memorable figure at school, their main task is the Safety of the School. Kasztelan is also in charge of the Book of Points and runs the Kasztelan’s Gauntlet, with support from the organizers.

Professors

Each Professor runs a number of 45-minute events (probably 4-6) over two days pertaining to their specific subject or specialism. The contents of these events are entirely up to you: there are lots of existing ideas to draw from, but you can also bring in something entirely new. 

Professors are not expected to prepare exams, in spite of it being a Graduation run. We will provide all plot and mechanics for the Graduation Trials. However, if you wish to help execute and run some of the Trials (or part of the trials) please reach out to us. 

Assistant Professors

Assistant Professors fulfill many different functions, and while they have the least status among Staff, they also have the least set responsibilities.  Because of the varying nature of the job, Assistant Professors can sometimes be replaced by other Staff positions such as a Head Guardian, School Counselor or Head Healer. Assistant Professors (and other equivalent positions) are also the first in line to cover for the teaching Staff positions in case of last-minute cancellations.

Visiting Professors

For CoW25, not all Staff members have permanent positions at the school. Due to the Headmaster retiring, it is also an option to play a visiting professor who has arrived at the school to get the position – or for some other reasons of their own. These Staff members can either fill in for one of the usual teaching positions – maybe the current Professor had an accident or left for a vacation? – or take a more flexible, Assistant Professor type role. The challenge of each Visiting Professor will be to convince the resident Staff that even though they’re an outsider, they would absolutely be the most suitable person to be the next Head of School.