£70 000 This is the amount we need to run the event for 150 players.
£75 000 When we reach this we can run at least one event next year.
£80 000 When we reach this we can run two events next year.
£85 000 When we reach this we can run three events next year. (subject to availability)
£90 000 When we reach this we will write the official book for Bothwell School of Witchcraft.
£100 000 When we reach £100k we can run events for under 18s next year.
The Bothwell School of Witchcraft (www.bothwellschoolofwitchcraft.com) is in a world where magic exists, completely undetected by the mundane (non-magic) world. Bothwell School of Witchcraft is a live action magical experience which takes place at Herstmonceux Castle in East Sussex in the U.K.
Surrounded by about 150 other dedicated players, at the Bothwell School of Witchcraft you will
Take part in a fully immersive live action, role playing experience and interact with the world around you.
- Represent one of our four unique Houses and compete for the coveted Bothwell Shield.
Explore the castle and meet the magical creatures that roam the grounds.
Take part in lessons in the art of witchcraft.
Stay at a spectacular 15th century castle.
Celebrate at the school's lavish banquet.
Make new friends and form long lasting bonds with fellow witches.
Engage in discussions, stir up shenanigans, and play games.
Perhaps a little (in-character) romance?
Breakfast, lunch, dinner and accommodation are of course included.
- 11-13 August 2017
We believe that the UK needs its own magical experience and we decided to partner with the organisers who created both the College of Wizardry (cowlarp.com) in Poland and New World Magischola (magischola.com) in the USA to bring a similar experience to the UK. Although similar in many respects there are also many differences.
In order to bring this event to you, we need to raise a minimum of £25 500 and 60 people to run our first edition. Our ideal target is £70 000 to run this event for 150 people and raise enough further funds to book the castle for future events in 2018.
Even if you can’t make it to the first edition, we’d love to have your support to ensure we can book more dates at the Castle for next year. As this is the first time we are running this event we are reliant on your support to make it a success. You can find out more about the pledge details below and on the right.
The event runs much like a murder mystery. You'll be given a role to play and a story will unfold around you where you have to interact with other characters. It's just just like being in a movie or video game! We'll provide the robes, so all you'll need is a wand and good humour. If you've never experienced anything like this before, don't worry. We cater for all backgrounds; you can get as much or as little involved as you like and we will have all you need to have a great time.
Bothwell School of Witchcraft is an all new addition to the College of Wizardry Universe based in the UK. This event is for over 18s only.
When: 11th-13th August 2017.
Where: Herstmonceux Castle.
The video below shows off our fantastic castle location where we will be running this event.
Below is our first draft of the schedule for Bothwell School of Witchcraft. This may be subject to small changes after the Kickstarter, as we may have a few more surprises in store. Don’t forget, how you choose to play determines what happens. As a player, you’re welcome to go truant from classes and explore the castle (but remember, if you get caught by a professor you may lose house points!). There will also be plenty of “extra-curricular” activities you can take part in. Perhaps talking to a castle ghost will reveal a task that needs to be done or a teacher needs assistance catching a loose creature in the forest, it’s up to you to explore and find out. Each lesson block will be 45 minutes and there will be 15 minutes to get between classes, meet fellow students and perhaps bump into a creature or two.
To find out more detail, please find our design document here:
Much like a video game each participant will be given a character to play throughout the experience. How you interact with others will determine the outcome! Participants will be given a questionnaire upon purchasing their ticket which will help to determine what character they play. You may play a student or a professor. Students will be sorted into one of the four Bothwell houses. As a student, you may play a character between years one to three, or you may even be selected to become your house prefect. Professors will be selected to teach one of the subjects at Bothwell School of Witchcraft (note, Falconry will be taught by the castle's resident expert and is not a playable position). One lucky player will also get to play the role of headmaster. The headmaster will work closely with the organisers to bring life and story to the experience and will also have a large say in which direction to take the school. You can get involved as much or as little as you want. This is what the questionnaire will help us determine in terms of character allocation. While parts of your character will be pre-written, you will be able to add more history and background and develop your character’s personality. You might want to sit back and just participate in the school, or perhaps you’d like to be prefect and lead your house to greatness. Everything is in the hands of the player, and how you choose to play is entirely up to you!
Early Bird Ticket (£400):
The fastest 10 people will be able to get the discounted early bird ticket for £400. This is a ticket to the event including all your meals, a space in a twin room, your robe and tie hire, your own character, workshop tuition and all the activities we have planned for you.
This is a ticket to the event including all your meals, a bed in a shared twin room, your robe and tie hire, your own character, workshop tuition and all the activities we have planned for you.
This ticket will include all of the Standard Ticket however the tie and robe are yours to keep. You'll also get to create a custom plot line involving your character in game.
Besides ticket types we have two room types available:
This will put you in a room shared with 1 other person. If you wish to share with a friend, please let us know in the form we will send you post kickstarter.
Deluxe room with en-suite
We have double rooms with en-suites available for those who wish to have more privacy or for couples.
Standard Room upgrade
Finally you can upgrade your twin room to have the room to yourself if you wish to have more privacy. (Subject to availability)
*All rooms bar the castle apartment are in a modern accommodation block ajacent to the castle in the castle grounds.
Platinum Castle Apartment (£1300)
This is the only room in the castle and limited to just one ticket. The purchaser of this will also get the opportunity to play the headmaster and be heavily involved in the design of the event.
March 2017: Launch Project Kickstarter
April 2017: Main event organisation and story writing takes place.
May 2017: Players receive their Characters and build relations in online groups.
June 2017: Take deliveries of event material and prepare for the event.
July 2017: Final preparation for the event
August 2017: Event takes place
The Bothwell School of witchcraft was founded long before the concept of “primary schools” and “high schools” and operates much like a university. It is a place of learning, study and research of the magical arts. The terms “witches” applies to both genders at Bothwell, as was the case at the schools founding in the 17th century. There are three years of education at Bothwell. Typically witches enter the school on turning 18, however, for some their talents are not discovered until a later age and their education is just as important. Some have had previous magical education, some haven’t. Secluded and selective the Bothwell School of Witchcraft identifies talent using the “seeing stones” an artefact created by the founder himself, Sir Frances Stuart, to locate those with an aptitude for magic.
Here at the Bothwell School of Witchcraft you'll receive your character and some basic elements of your costume, the rest is for you to decide! You can accessorise your costume to best fit your character. Oh! And you'll also need to bring your wand, after all, the wand chooses the wizard.
The classes taught at Bothwell School of Witchcraft are listed below. There are a few specialty subjects at Bothwell, including falconry, and the controversial subject of Demonology.
In Alchemy, students learn how to mix potions and magical elixirs. These range from disease-removing liquids and concentration-boosters to poisonous concoctions and bizarre elixirs that enhance the brewer.
In Beastology, students learn how to deal with magical creatures and humanoids. This can be anything from hands-on- training in how to calm down enraged minotaurs to learning how to seduce merfolk in the water.
A controversial subject, which plunges into the depths of other worlds to summon infernal creatures, technically banned by the Treaty of Avalon. Demonology has been a subject at Bothwell since its conception due to the intensive works done by the founder, Sir Frances Stuart. It operates on the premise that you can’t defend yourself from what you don’t know.
The ancient art of falconry is a tradition also followed by the mundanes. However, harnessing these birds' magical properties is a useful skill for any witch.
In Herbology, students learn how to identify and use magical plants for arcane purposes. Some of these are extremely powerful and dangerous, and the field trips into the Dark Forest are seldom uneventful.
In Magical Defence, students learn how to defend against magical attacks, sharpening their skills in magic duels. The idea is to train in a safe environment, but often the word “safe” is put in quotation marks for these classes.
In magical history students learn about the history of the magical world and all of its complexities. They also learn about the history of witchcraft in Britain and the schools mired and murky past.
In Runic Magic, students learn to use the power of runes to produce a variety of different magical results. Education in Runic Magic often focus both on the practical application of runes and the theory of their use.
Games focuses on the sporting element of the witching world. A keen body as well as keen mind is essential for any witch.
The houses at the Bothwell School of Witchcraft are named for some of the protectors of the school early in its conception. Trained by Frances Stuart, they defended the castle while it was still a sanctuary for young witches and wizards and helped to fight injustices against their kind. To conceal themselves amongst the non-magic folk, these brave witches transfigured themselves into the form of animals; known to the ordinary people as ‘familiars’.
The Civil War in Britain was pivotal in the relations between Witches and the non-magic community. Charles I, son of James I, was much fairer on witches than his father. Witch burnings declined during his reign and was seen by many of the common people as a witch sympathiser. When the banners were raised in rebellion to the crown, many of the witch hunter squads who had thrived under James I joined the “roundhead” rebels. To defend their world, the witch community found themselves on the side of the crown (the “cavaliers”), who was desperate for their assistance. The houses of Bothwell School of Witchcraft are named for the 4 bravest witches, pivotal in the defence of the crown and the survival of their kind!
The four houses are:
Boyeswick whose motto “Fortis” translates to Brave.
Wisenforth whose motto motto “Sapiens” means wise.
Tabwen's motto “Callidus” means cunning
MacNewthorn's motto is “Furtivus” which means clandestine.
College of Wizardry is a four-day Wizard School live action role play (LARP) and a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, where you can act out your dreams of being a student witch or wizard at a beautiful fairytale castle in Poland. You can visit their webpage here.
New World Magischola™ is a four-day live action role play event set in a wizard school in a brand new North American magical universe. You can visit their webpage here.
Situated in East Sussex, England, Herstmonceux Castle is a 300 acre estate including woodland, formal themed gardens and of course a 15th century moated castle. Made from red brick, Herstmonceux Castle is one of the earliest examples of a brick built building in England. Rose Garden Rose Garden
As well as operating throughout spring and summer as a popular tourist attraction, Herstmonceux Castle also operates as an International Study Centre. Owned by Queen’s University, Canada, the castle hosts international students every year who come to England to study within this tranquil setting.
Herstmonceux Castle is a stunning 15th century moated castle in Sussex, in the south-east of England. For the past 500 years and more people have been visiting the gardens & grounds of Herstmonceux Castle to admire its impressive design, unique brickwork, beautiful gardens and setting within the Sussex landscape. Visit our location page or their website to find out more.
What is Bothwell School of Witchcraft?
Bothwell School of Witchcraft is a fictional school of magic where guests can come and immerse themselves in a live action magical experience - think murder mystery but with charms, curses and potions! Bothwell School of Witchcraft takes place from 11-13 August 2017 at Herstmonceux Castle, East Sussex, UK.
Where is the Bothwell School of Witchcraft?
The Bothwell School of Witchcraft will take place at Herstmonceux Castle, East Sussex from 11-13 August 2017. Please see the location page for more information.
Who can attend the Bothwell School of Witchcraft?
The Bothwell School of Witchcraft is open to all participants over the age of 18 by the start of the event. There is no upper age limit. Participants will play school students, or teachers.
I’ve never done anything like this, is this for me?
Absolutely! We have designed this event to accommodate all.
Why are you using Kickstarter?
Since we have created this ambitious project from scratch, we don’t have the required capital available to fully fund this project. We are therefore running the crowdfunding campaign in order to raise the capital required to not only make this edition happen but also to set stretch targets to secure future dates in 2018 by raising the required funds to put further deposits down on the castle. The more pledges we receive, the better we can make the event and the more events we can plan for the future.
Will you be running more events in the future?
For 2017 we are running just one event however if we hit our funding stretch targets we will be able to secure more dates for 2018. It is therefore really important that we receive as many pledges as possible, even if you don’t intend to attend this year. Every £1 pledged will bring us closer to making this a reality.
I'm under 18 can I attend?
Unfortunately not for our 2017 edition. We have received this question a lot and we really want to make this happen. If we hit our funding stretch targets then we will be able to plan events for under 18s for 2018. It’s therefore very important that we receive as much support during our Kickstarter campaign as possible.
I'm disabled, can I attend?
We hope so! Please message us! This entirely depends on your needs. In terms of disabled access, the castle operates primarily as a university and therefore has some provision for disabled access, however parts of the castle are not wheelchair accessible. Since professors, teachers and most of the characters you’ll interact with are also guests at the event, there is a limited amount we can do to cater for all needs. The event will take place much like a murder mystery, where interaction with other characters is all part of the fun. If you have specialised needs, this should be taken into consideration when deciding if you’ll fully be able to enjoy this event.
What kind of costuming do I need?
All you need is your wand, which you can get here off Kickstarter. We will provide the robes and ties for the weekend, which will also be available to purchase should you wish. Much like most British boarding schools, Bothwell will have a uniform policy. (Your character may wish to ignore this but be prepared to lose house points!). There will be a formal dance, where the uniform is suspended, so your character can be free to wear whatever they choose and will be a great costume opportunity. Professors have a wider scope to wear whatever they want in order to give them more character.
How are characters created?
Players will receive a questionnaire upon booking their ticket which will ask for preferences. Guests will have the opportunity to play teachers as well as students. We will then issue all players with a synopsis and a character brief. Outside of this we welcome you to add your own personal characteristics to your character.
Where can I get wands?
The Bothwell School of Witchcraft is a ‘bring your own wand’ event due to the personal nature of wands. You are encouraged to design your own wand. Alternatively, we will provide a list of some vendors who make wands that you can purchase here on our Kickstarter.
Will people be filming the event?
Yes, we will be filming at the event for future event promotion and our website.
Can I be a character from the Harry Potter fiction?
Bothwell School of Witchcraft is not affiliated with Warner Brothers, Bloomsbury publishing or J.K. Rowling. However, this means the Bothwell School of Witchcraft is set in an entirely different universe and time with entirely new characters and new plots!
If my friends and I sign up, will we be able to room together?
As much as possible, we will try to accommodate every request with regard to housing and roommates.
Can I volunteer?
We will be providing the opportunity for people to volunteer to be our Non-Playable Characters (NPCs). If this sounds like something you'd be interested in, fill out our contact form with the subject heading volunteer. We won't be able to accept everybody and will make selections after the kickstarter (April/May) so people can make travel arrangements.
Is there a code of conduct?
YES. The full code of conduct will be made available soon.
Please note that this event is NOT based on nor will it involve the use of any Harry Potter stories, characters, names or elements. It is not a Harry Potter fan event, but is for those event participants who wish to play in a generic magic school setting. Bothwell School of Witchcraft events will NOT take place in the Harry Potter universe, but in a universe created by the College of Wizardry.
We can refund you your ticket (minus 10% to cover Kickstarter fees, transfer fees, etc) as long as you cancel within two months before the start of the event. If you need to switch your ticket with somebody else you can do so free of charge however you must do so via the organisers since we need to know this for character writing and room allocation, etc.
Risks and challenges
We are fully committed to running the Bothwell School of Witchcraft at the beautiful location of Hearstmonceux Castle in West Sussex, UK.
The deposit on the Castle has been paid and the dates are firmly in the diary for 11-13 August 2017.
As a start up company and event, we have considered the risks, which mainly lie with the costs. The main risk to this campaign is not reaching our funding target and being unable to collect the raised funds from Kickstarter.
We have calculated that the minimum amount of players we need to run this event is 60. If we fail to meet this target we will not run the event and the tickets will be refunded.
Although this is a start up operation with only two staff we have got a lot of support from friends, family, sponsor, investors and the Collage of Wizardry which is a similar operation running in Poland.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)