RFR Board Election #3

This Winter, @baniszew’s term as Game Director comes to an end, and @kenclary has been selected by the board to serve for the next two-year term. By precedent, and in keeping with our value of Stewardship, the Game Director cannot also be a member of the Red Feather Roleplaying Board, and so we must prepare for the vacancy this transition will create.

As per usual, the board has decided to hold a community-wide election to fill this seat, and have asked the board’s Ombudsperson (that’s me!) to serve as Election Commissioner. So here’s a quick outline of how this is going to work.


To be eligible to vote in the upcoming election or to endorse a candidate for nomination (see below), you must have attended at least two (2) of the past four (4) full-weekend Witchwood events held in 2015-2016. This includes both players and staff.


A nominee must fill out the attached form and collect no fewer than five (5) endorsements from eligible community members. The completed form must be received by me no later than 11:59 PM on Monday, September 26th 2016. You are allowed and encouraged to nominate yourself; if you are nominating someone else, they have the right to refuse the nomination prior to the start of the polling period. You may endorse more than one candidate for nomination.

Nomination Form


Red Feather Roleplaying is the parent organization that produces Witchwood; it makes administrative decisions regarding budget, campsite rentals, insurance, policy, etc. As a board member of Red Feather Roleplaying you will be required to attend no fewer than two (2) board meetings per year. Meetings last approximately six hours and may be attended remotely via video-conference.

At these meetings it is your duty to civilly discuss the issues on the agenda and to vote in good conscience in what you believe to be the best interests of Red Feather Roleplaying. You may also submit items to be included in the agenda.

In the past, board members have also been primary investors in Witchwood. To be clear: we will NOT be requiring any sort of buy-in or investment from the newly-elected board member. It is our hope that whomever is elected to the vacant seat will be sufficiently invested in the well-being of the community as to make a financial stake unnecessary.


Once all the nominations are in, the election will be held between Thursday, October 13th and the date of the Winter Feast (TBD.) Ballots will be cast anonymously, using instant-runoff voting, and tabulated once all the votes are in.

Any questions, comments or concerns can be directed to me, or asked right here in this forum thread. I will try to keep this process as painless as possible.

I apologize for not following up on this sooner (I had some annoying life circumstances get in my way.) Congratulations to our two nominees: Adrian Tatro (@hey_a_tay) and Seamus Reynolds (@Taeo). Voting will commence in two days (this time around via the website, rather than paper ballots) and the voting period will continue through the date of the Winter Feast (TBD.)

Good luck to both candidates, and thank you all!

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A few hours early, the polls are officially open: https://www.witchwoodroleplaying.com/votes/new

Candidacy Statement

Hi everyone,

As Eben announced, I’ve decided to run for the Board! Just as an introduction, my name’s Seamus Reynolds. I’ve been playing Witchwood for a bit over 3 years now, and have been larping as a player, NPC, writer, and staffer for almost 8 years now. Witchwood was the first boffer larp I ever played, and it’s remained my standard that I compare other boffer larps against. In addition to incredible storytelling and an incredible community, Witchwood has been my go-to example for how to create a progressive larp founded on strong principles. Our public financial statements, Code of Conduct, Conduct Committee, and Red Feather Initiative are all things I’ve used as examples, encouraging other larps to implement similar ideas.

However, like any game, there’s always room for improvement. To that end, I’ve written a bit about my stance on two particular issues - Increasing Transparency and Communication Between the Board and the Community, and Improving First Experiences for New Players & New Staff. Both are fairly self-explanatory, but I definitely invite you to read more about my positions on them below. They’re issues that I believe are really important to keeping all of our experiences enjoyable and fulfilling, and I want to make a priority of both of them.

Our game and our community have become very near and dear to my heart over these past 3 years. With the end of Taeo’s story in sight, I want to do my part to maintain and grow this game of ours - make sure it’s something that’s rewarding and fulfilling for all of us: players, staff, and newcomers. I hope you’ll consider voting for me, and strongly encourage you to cast a vote, no matter your preference.

If you’d like to get in touch with me, I definitely welcome any questions, comments, suggestions, concerns, etc that you might have! I can be reached by email at Seamus.Reynolds@gmail.com, and I’ll be at Fall 2 in person. Additionally, if you’re around the Boston area, I’m always happy to meet up and talk Witchwood in person.

Thanks for reading!

Transparency and Communication Between the Board and the Community

So, Red Feather Roleplaying has a very excellent set of values that we share on the website. One of those is “We believe in Open Dialogue”. An excellent example of that is in how the Board publishes RFR’s financial statements every year, promoting transparency and stewardship of our finances.

But, in other areas with the Board, that value has been notably lacking. The Board considers, discusses, and decides on issues that affect all of us, but there are no strong official channels for other community members to either learn about or comment on these issues until after they’ve already been decided and announced. The website does provide some limited contact information, but I feel that it is unclear and insufficient, especially for new players.

There are a number of possibilities for how to address this, but some simple practices I’ve picked up working in other organizations could be very helpful here. Specifically, as a board member, I’ll propose and work to implement the following:

  1. Publicly posting agendas for Board meetings, with intended topics of discussions, at least two weeks ahead of the actual meeting *
  2. Publicly posting notes from the Board meetings no more than one week after any given meeting &
  3. Providing contact information for each board member and/or the board as a whole on the website, along with a description of the board’s purpose and functions

* with an exception for topics that would compromise individual confidentiality

These are fairly simple, standard practices for us to implement, and they would go a long way towards fostering a greater sense of belonging, ownership, and responsibility for the game throughout the community. Many of us, myself included, are fortunate enough to be friends with board members outside of the game, which has allowed us to have personal ways of engaging with the Board. But that’s a privilege that not everyone has - especially new members of our community. No one should need to be friends with a board member to learn about issues that the Board is considering. As our leading body, the Board should embody all of RFR’s core values. I believe improving transparency and communication is a simple and strong first step towards helping our entire community better embody not just our value of Open Dialogue, but our values of Stewardship, Fellowship, Fair Play, and Community as well.

New Staff and Player Experience and Retention

Witchwood has an awesome, tight-knit community, both in and out of character. A lot of us have been here for a year or more, which has given us a great opportunity to build lasting and complex relationships. Coming to Oak Harbor feels like coming home to me, and I bet to many of us.

But traditionally, Witchwood has not been the best at retaining new players. Usually, there’s about one event each year where we get a big influx of new characters. Fall 1 of 2015, for instance, or Spring 1 of this year. Every time, I meet a bunch of cool and interesting characters that I’m excited to have come back. Yet many of them have not come back for a second event, particularly in the past year or two. I want to change that.

As pretty much all of us can attest to, Witchwood has a lot of diverse and unique things to offer to players! However, I think there’s a lot we could do to try and improve the experience for new players. For instance, Nuance and I have already been talking to Beth about forming an OOC Welcoming Committee of sorts - a group of player volunteers who work with staff to reach out to new players, acting as optional liaisons, who can help with builds, backstories, connections, understanding the world, and even just basic logistics like finding things at the campsite.

CP and power level is another area that could be improved for new players. Plenty of us remember starting out with 30 CP and finding ourselves nearly out of skills by Saturday afternoon. With Witchwood turning 4 years old at this event, and older characters nearing the CP cap, that power differential is growing a lot more apparent to newer players, and it’s harder for them to feel like they can contribute. CP and character growth is always a complex issue, and there’s probably no one right solution, but I hope that by soliciting ideas from the community, we can help new players not just enjoy their first event, but be really excited to come back for their second.

Finally, it’s easy for us, as players, to focus on other new players, but staff is faced with similar challenges. Our staff and NPCs routinely pull off miracles to make Witchwood what it is, but I’ve heard from many of them that it just isn’t feasible for them to do that forever. While our NPC turnout is usually decent, our plot-writing staff has slowly but steadily shrunk over the course of the game. It’s the Board’s responsibility, as leaders and stewards of the game, to help staff find and connect with new potential staff, and retain both new and existing staff. Figuring out different solutions we can pursue on that front is something I’ll prioritize if elected.


Even if I’m not elected, I do hope that the community and the Board take heed of these issues, and consider both my ideas and others in how to address them. These aren’t the only things that could be improved about Witchwood, of course, but I believe they’re a good place to start. I think that addressing them will positively impact many areas of the game, whereas failing to address them could cause us additional challenges down the road.

Okay, done with issues and problems. I do want to reiterate, though, how much I love our game and our community, and how proud of it I am. Witchwood started with and continues to actively pursue a vision that is more progressive than almost any other campaign larp I know of. Financial transparency, a code of conduct and a conduct committee, clear and public values - Witchwood was built with these things, while most other larps are only now getting around to adding them. I consistently point to it as an example when helping new writers starting up new games. But as a community, we always strive to do even better. If you elect me, I will do my best to help us grow and improve in the years to come. Thank you for reading!

-Seamus Reynolds

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Hello everyone!

For those who may not know, my name is Adrian Tatro, and I am one of the candidates for the currently vacant seat on the Witchwood Board of Directors. I’ve been a player at Witchwood for three and a half years, and have been boffer larping for the past 6! Despite my being relatively new in the larping community, my wide range of larping experience has helped me to develop strong beliefs about the structure and running of games. I have been involved with 10 different boffer larps to some capacity, half of which I have had the pleasure to play, the other half of which I have had the honor to staff. Across these games, I have been exposed to many different ways larps structure their rules, staff, plots, and games, as well as their logistics, work, and communities. I’ve seen countless examples of what works, what doesn’t work, and how changes and policies can affect the feel of a game. I would be honored to be able to apply my experience as a member of the board for the betterment of our (already excellent) community!

Spending time in so many different larp communities has highlighted to me the sort of game that Witchwood is. I am continually impressed by Witchwood’s community, and it’s dedication to keeping the game a safe place for all its participants. I treasure the fact that Witchwood is a place where we actively work to make people feel welcome and listen to voices within our community. Personally, Witchwood has become a large part of my life, being the larp where I have played the longest, met many friends, and met my fiance. This larp is a place where I feel at home. Being a part of the board of directors is a way that I can give back and help the game to be its best. I plan to continue my efforts in recruiting players and staffers, reaching out IG and OOG to new members of our community, and pitching in to make our game great. I hope that you will allow me to take on this role as a member of the board.

With all my love,
Adrian Tatro

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The board has expressed that the voting period is comically (some might say unreasonably) long, and also will not produce a winner in time for the Winter board meeting. In my capacity as Election Commissioner, my intention was to give people two games in which to vote, Fall Two and the Winter Feast, as that had been the precedent in the era of paper ballots. However, an equally-reasonable reading of the precedent is a 5-week voting period, and voting has been simplified considerably with the introduction of electronic balloting. As a result:

Effective Immediately

The voting period is hereby amended to 5 weeks. Since voting began on Thursday, October 13th, the polls will close at midnight on Thursday, November 17 (one week before Thanksgiving.)

I appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding with this process, as I endeavor to keep things fair and transparent. If anyone has any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.

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Reminder, voting ends tomorrow!

The polls are closed, the votes are cast – and with the new system, I can tabulate the results with the push of a button.

Congratulations to @hey_a_tay , the newest elected member of the Red Feather Roleplaying Board of Directors.

Thank you to everyone who voted.