The Social Structure

There are four player groups in Hartwood: the Elite, the Wealthy, the Popular, and the Aspirants. People from each group have been invited by the Duke and Duchess because of their unique back stories, social standing, or tendency towards excitement, and scandal. Each player will receive a colorful ribbon to identify which group they belong to, and these ribbons will serve as a meta-tool for players to identify which group other participants are in.

The Elite

Characters in this group have it all… including a hundred eyes on them, waiting for them to stumble and fall from society’s highest perch. Characters in this group will have a great deal of social clout and wealth, and they will enjoy all the privileges that their status affords them. They will have no profession, and will have likely inherited their wealth and status from family members. However, being at the top of society means that they also have the furthest to fall if they step out of line, and it’s no secret that many people under them would relish at the chance to see one of society’s elite embroiled in scandal...

In this group, you’d expect to find...

  • The Bridgerton Family, The Duke and I.
  • Lady Catherine de Bourgh, Pride and Prejudice.
  • The Young family, Crazy Rich Asians.
  • The Rockefeller Family.

The Wealthy

Money may be able to buy you glittering jewels and beautiful horses, but it cannot buy you respect or authority. Such is the plight of the wealthy. Characters in this group may have earned their money, or they may have recently inherited it and are unknown in society. Additionally, you might find people here who were once part of The Elite, but have lost their social standing through scandal, yet retained their wealth. They might find themselves as “fish out of water” in that they do not understand the social guidelines of their new status, despite their fortunes. But with hard work, and no small amount of coin, these people may be able to buy their way into society’s good graces...

In this group, you’d expect to find...

  • Consuelo Vanderbilt, American heiress and “Buccaneer.”
  • Edmund Dantes, The Count of Monte Cristo.
  • Countess Olenska, The Age of Innocence.
  • The Clampitt Family, Beverly Hillbillies.

The Popular

It’s been said that having a good name is worth more than gold, a fact that people in this group can attest to. The people in this group may not have much money, but they have either a good, honest reputation or a name that opens doors for them. These people may have had their money swindled from them, they may have lost it in a tragic accident, or they may simply be new in society but living off the graces of others. Like many in The Wealthy, they might feel uncomfortable in their surroundings, as they are forced to economize and make do with less than many others. Fortunately, there are people who are willing to pay to be respectable, and some of these people might be ready to make a deal...

In this group, you’d expect to find...

  • Elinor and Marianne Dashwood, Sense and Sensibility.
  • Nicholas Nickleby, Nicholas Nickleby.
  • The Rose Family, Schitt’s Creek.
  • Charles Richard John Spencer-Churchill, 9th Duke of Marlborough.

The Aspirants

There’s no shame in wanting to improve one’s station in life, but there are challenges to doing so. People in this group have neither significant money nor wealth, but that does not mean that they are all servants or farmers. These people might be writers, shopkeepers, modistes, or penniless cousins living off their relatives’ good fortune. These people are often invisible or overlooked in society, but as such, are privy to gossip that they hear in darkened corners when the more affluent think no one is listening. People in this group will have more to gain than they will to lose, but it will take more than a charming personality and willingness to work to move up to another social class.

In this group, you’d expect to find...

  • Jane Eyre, Jane Eyre.
  • Becky Sharp, Vanity Fair.
  • Brantley Foster, The Secret of My Success.
  • Dolly Parton.

The Characters

Before the event, each player will receive a “blurb” to accept. This will contain the name of their character, the group they belong to, and a brief description of their character. This will give players time to plan costuming, connect with others in their group, and prepare for the event. At least 2 months before the event, players are scheduled to receive their full character sheet. These will include:

  • Your character’s full name and titles, if applicable.
  • A snippet from a gossip column about your character.
  • A brief biography, as well as a summary of what your character has been doing this season.
  • Roleplaying tips.
  • Goals and Ambitions.
  • Character connections, both those “in your favor” and “out of your favor.”

Consent and Safety Mechanics

Journeys & Tales LLC has various policies in place to help our events be a good and safe space for our participants, facilitators and staff. By putting them in place, we also want build a framework that allows our players to “go all out” in their roleplaying. We want to build common expectations and mechanics so players can interact and have easier, safer play with each other.

For Hartwood we will be using the standard J&T policies, which are can be found in the design doc, and on our website. The players that participate in the event will also have them sent separately. And, like many larps of this size, we require our participants to sign a standard liability waiver from out the event check in.

The policies that covers our event in general are:

  • The Code of conduct – This sets out how J&T expects any of our participants, players, partners or others to act at our events.
  • Anti-harassment policy– J&T as a company and any J&T event is committed to providing a harassment free experience.
  • Consent policy and mechanics – Larp is a medium which inherently involved feelings and pushes boundaries. Our policies and mechanics around this is created to a safe environment for our players, and tailored to each specific event.
  • Flagging policy - A way we ensure that all participants in the larp are safe to play with.
The full language of these policies can be found in our Design Document, and will also be sent out to each participant prior to the event.