Beyond the Aether: An interactive outdoor theater experience!
In 1883, a British colony was lost in Faerieland. In the forty years since, the colony has shattered into seven nations, each with its own vision of the world. Now, they all converge on a single town, attempting to claim an artifact of unimaginable power.
Will You Join In the Story?
Come play in a world you help create! Much of the setting is left open, so you can create freely within a basic framework. Cast members like you are responsible for bringing our world to life, and we want your stories! Your ideas will go into a living world that changes with every game.
We will combine all the ideas from our cast and create one gigantic collaborative story once every three months. You will play a character of your own design, built from the ground up to emphasize your style of play. Do you want to play a diplomat who holds the world in their hands? An investigator striving to discover the answers to their burning questions? A soldier holding back nightmarish creatures at the gates? All these options and much more will arise at Beyond the Aether!
Your character will acquire abilities during the game, written on pieces of paper. These abilities, referred to as "scripts," will allow you to swordfight, invent steampunk machines, cast magic spells, heal the sick, and other dramatic actions. While there are only a few scripts at the beginning, you will be able to design new abilities for your character as the game goes on!
You will trade in currencies both mundane and magical. From simple brass coins (pence), to magical pieces of compressed emotion (Gobbets). You will have an entire economy at your fingertips to explore.
Want to start building your character? Go to our website, www.beyondtheaether.com, and check out the links there! Get briefed on the nations, understand the Principles, and then join our forums to discuss them with your fellow player!
Where Will You Play?
Our site is the beautiful outdoors setting Millersylvania State Park ELC, near Olympia, Washington. For a full weekend, we will enjoy creature comforts while indulging in a game of intrigue, mystery, and battles (involving foam swords and NERF blasters). Come play in the woods as you struggle to help your nation control the Cauldron and its magical powers. Develop your character to raise your influence and power, and unleash your creativity through character abilities you help design!
Between weekends, you can continue to play online. Use our forums to discuss ideas with other players or characters, set up plot for the next game, or even start designing your character's unique rules! Communicate in secret with your team so that each player gets the most out of the game. Plan, plot, and scheme so that your nation ultimately rules the Cauldron!
Your Story, Your Character
Beyond the Aether allows players to share their creativity with each other. The simple framework allows anyone to pick up the game and start imagining right away. Help us create a game where your ideas come to life!
The role of staff and crew is quite familiar to those who have worked with theater groups before: everyone strives towards a common goal. In this case, the goal is not just to produce a performance, but to actively adapt the story to your character's actions! Rather than fitting your character into a pre-set list of choices, we will allow you to explore in a world, and react to your character's actions no matter what they are!
In addition, your fellow players help you to create a story. Those who are in your nation, or those allied to you, will help you on your journey. Those who are opposed will seek to thwart your ambitions at every step. But no matter how much conflict there is between characters, the players are all there to share in the story. No matter how tense the game gets, at the end of each day we sit down with each other to discuss our experiences and plan even more dramatic scenes!
Who is Beyond the Aether?
Beyond the Aether is the inaugural project from Vorvick Productions LLC. It is run by a small group of artists with many years of experience in community theater and a passion for interactive storytelling. We each know how joyous it is to collaborate on creative work, and we want to share that joy with you through our game.
Paul Vorvick, the creator of Beyond the Aether, has spent nine years working with theater groups producing exactly this kind of game. He has played in all sorts of genres, from midcentury murder mysteries to high fantasy adventures. His most recent game, Trust No One, ran at Marlboro College in 2010, and gathered a full 20% of the campus population. Paul Vorvick has also spent almost two decades involved in all kinds of theater, from small-scale musicals to Shakespearean drama.
Katrina Acaster has been active at HART theatre, Masque Alfresco and other theatre communities for over 20 years. An ever-curious woman who can "wear many hats", Katrina often finds herself doing much more than just the acting. After writing and directing her first mainstage play at 16, Katrina has blossomed as a producer, director and a costume designer. She is also the owner of Seams-Unusual, a fashion design company based in Portland, Oregon.
Cassi Boggio has spent many years involved in theater projects of all kinds, and has a strong grounding in the improvisational theater tradition. Her final project at the Pacific Northwest College of Art involved a supervillain plot executed by a bumbling group of characters. Her work in illustration and graphics has provided Beyond the Aether with a large part of its concept art. Check out her art at cassi-boggio.weebly.com.
We want to establish a sense of collaboration and shared storytelling early in our game. Kickstarter allows us to not just gather our backers and players together, but also allows them to see what we are doing to improve their experience.
We would like to provide the best story we can. Kickstarter is our most effective way to do that quickly. We will be starting Beyond the Aether regardless of the experience with this Kickstarter, but the pledges we collect will allow us to accelerate our game to the quality it needs.
Without your support, we will spend possibly as long as two years paying back our initial investment in props, costuming, legal help, and campsite rentals. While this is possible, it leaves us no room to grow until our game is quite far advanced. We'd like to get our reputation for a high-quality experience established early, and Kickstarter is a practical way to get there. Not only does it give us flexibility, but it allows our backers to see the purpose behind our game up front: each person contributes to making the story. And because each person contributes, the game can reach its full potential for everyone.
We hope to use Beyond the Aether and this Kickstarter to show that the time is right for projects like this. As we go on to develop other stories, we would like to look back on this Kickstarter and show that you, the backer, want this kind of project to succeed. Thank you. We hope to see you soon.
What will my pledge go towards?
10% of the pledges we receive goes directly to Kickstarter. This is our contribution to them for giving us a space to accept your support. We will receive just over $10,000 if we meet our funding goal.
Our first priority is to purchase American-made props for our game that we can't make ourselves. We will be ordering coins and poker chips (representing pence and Gobbets) to serve as currency in our game. In addition, we will be getting our foam swords from a local manufacturer. We can personally oversee the process, giving us a guarantee of quality and safety. And on the note of safety, we plan to purchase lighting so that even when it is dark, it is still safe to play Beyond the Aether.
Our next priority is to meet our financial obligations to our legal advisers. Without them, we would not be able to make this game a professional endeavor. Their help has laid the groundwork for Beyond the Aether, and many more theater games to come!
Finally, there are quite a few basic tools that we need to create the experience we are looking to provide. Chief among these are handheld radios, so our staff can stay in contact during the game. We are also looking to acquire a makeup airbrush, so we can do movie-like visuals on our crew. We also plan to begin building latex masks, based on a head armature and our prior experience in mask making.
What's the difference between a standard ticket and a transferable ticket?
Both standard tickets and transferable tickets can be used at any Beyond the Aether event. However, if you miss the event, these two tickets are treated differently. If you've used a standard ticket for an event and you miss it, the ticket is voided and we give you a 25% discount on your next single ticket purchase. If you've used a transferable ticket, the ticket is not voided by this and you retain it to use again.
All tickets gotten through Kickstarter can be used at any Beyond the Aether game, not just our first one. Just answer our backer survey to let us know whether you want to attend our game in November, February, or at some other point in the future!
If you are uncertain about whether you can make it to one of our games, we suggest getting one of the transferable tickets. These are Kickstarter-exclusive, however, so make sure you grab them now while they are still available!
I have a great idea already!
Awesome! We'd love to hear about it! Go onto our forums and post about your concepts. We've got a lot of players who would love to welcome you to our game and show you how to create a story with us. Welcome!
Can I play a creature of Faerieland from the start of the game?
We are trying to focus the drama of Beyond the Aether on the essential nature of humanity. We therefore respectfully require that your character begin the game being completely human. How long that lasts is, of course, up to you.
I'm interested in playing a character who fights. How does that work?
You will be able to use foam swords, axes, shields, and foam dart blasters that are safety-approved by Beyond the Aether. For a full list of the ways you can engage in furious, bloody conflict with the Grimm, go read our rulebook at www.beyondtheaether.com!
Wait a minute . . . This is a LARP!
Yes, indeed! This is a Live-Action Roleplaying Game. However, we do not advertise it as such for two main reasons. Our first is that we want to attract new people to our game, and using terms that are unfamiliar is a good way to make ourselves difficult to understand.
Our second is that calling ourselves a theater game gives us a very good way to present our ideal: a game where everyone works together to create a story. Reminding everyone that we are all in this together to have fun helps to keep the environment friendly when characters come into conflict.
Why are you being produced by an LLC?
Having a production company allows us to explore some avenues that would otherwise be closed to us. Being part of an LLC strikes the best balance between giving us these options and requiring us to fulfill onerous requirements. We want to be inclusive, and we want to produce a fantastic story. Being produced by an LLC lets us do both.