I have some good news for you all: overlands are back as a regular fixture!
Following a few years without a regular site we have managed to secure a new home for overlands, Buckmore Park Scout Camp in Kent.
We held one overland and a 3-day there this year and it works very well for what we need. It has a 100+ acres of woodland, a secure car park, a clean toilet block and relative privacy from muggles. Thanks need to go to Ed and Stacey for their organisation with the site owner last year which allowed us to book it on good terms this year.
We have arranged some events already this year for people who had already spoken to/pestered me about overlands and left some free open for anyone to book. The dates and details are as follows:
Sunday 19th March - Max 10k Amles 3-day lead up
8th and 9th April - Overland Only Weekend, 2 linked events: A max 1K and max 3k Saturday, 1.5k and 5250 Sunday
Saturday 29th April - An open Max 1500
Saturday 20th May - Max 3k Mortai guild special reffed by Will P
Sunday 21st May - Max 4k Claws of Circle Guild special
4th June - Max 1k Syltanthian themed dungeon
1st July - Unity Picnic, Max 5250 Julian W booked to ref
9th July - Max 10K Knights Errant Guild Special
30th July - Dead Heroes Guild Special, level TBC
19th & 20th August - Overland Only Weekend: A max 1.5k Saturday and Max 2k Sunday plus an event each day open to booking
Sunday 27th August - Unity Picnic, Max 5250 Julian W booked to ref
Monday 28th August - Rite of Life Druid Themeday - 2 party - Max 16k for highs, max 4 k for lows
9th September - Young Player Overland day
If you are interested in booking one of the open slots please drop me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org. It will be roughly first come first served, with a max of 2 being allowed to be booked first of for any one guild/theme. We will however try and juggle things about so everyone can get what they want.
Duncan will be adding the open ones to the event diary shortly (probably after he has finished writing Sunday's dungeon) and I will confirm when they open for booking. We will also obviously need refs and crew for them.
I will do a post nearer the the first event with the various site details and relevant rules, nothing to worry about but we obviously need to make sure we obey them so that we don't lose use of this site. The events will all be triple lengths, costing £60 with a £20 minimum cash payment. We will have use of the site from 9am till about 7pm.
For more information about the site see here: http://www.buckmorepark.org.uk/
I have updated the above list with the overlands that people have been requested, there are still some spaces if people want them.
These are now all up and open for bookings as well. Will post on the relevent guild boards shortly as well
So, as we come to towards the end of overland season I think we can safely say they haven't been as popular this year as we were first expecting. We have had to cancel more of them then have actually run, and most of those that have run have been fairly short on players and crew.
Just wondering why people haven't been keen to get involved in them this year?
Is it location/issue with site? Just prefer caves? Not the right levels? Get outdoor fix on all the extended lengths running instead?
We welcome any and all feed back here for us to consider for next year
I was really looking forward to overlands again. Was it that they were mostly guild specials or themed that stopped people playing them?
Being a nondriver the site is not great and losing 2hours to a bbq just means caves works better for me.
In terms of practicalities, Chatham station is ~15 mins away and people could easily provide lifts to/from it, or lifts to/from the caves much like people did from Caterham station or the Caves to J6 for decades. Yes, if you live in West London it is likely a frustratingly long way away, which is a factor, for sure (though I guess that will be the case no matter where you pick a site - someone will always be a longer way away than others). As ever, if you don't have your own transport there is a co-ordination factor in any overland event/site, not just this one.
We should squash the BBQ Myth though.
People aren't 'loosing' 2 hours of event to a BBQ if there is one. Events don't need to be 100% fight/wards wall to wall - you can have a bunch of interesting role-play encounters, intrigue to solve, things to work out, plot developments and so on which work well over lunch. In my experience the BBQ takes maybe an hour, which is probably about the same length as lunch at the caves and for some parties it fits in very well (and has some IC things to do/get involved in, instead of chatting OOC outside the cafe). For others just don't have one. Only the Unity events have been billed as having a BBQ/Picnic. We did plenty of over-lands with food in bags before and it worked fine (and would I imagine on all the overlands this year).
I love the new site, and have thoroughly enjoyed the overlands I did this year. Think I did 3, and none of them had a BBQ. And felt like a lot more time in, and very challenging. Good value for the extra cost, and 165 max points doesn't hurt either.
I suspect a lot of the issues are that people just don't have experience of doing them, and haven't "given them a go". Sure some people just won't like overlands, each to their own.
But I would strongly suggest keep on trying, I think they will gradually grow in popularity. I would definitely choose an overland in preference next year when I do get to play. And any time I do would be happy to help with transport. And am sure plenty of others happy to help, once more people have dipped a toe logistically it should get easier to organise.
I love overlands both as a player and monster.
It would be a shame if we couldn't maintain them.
I really like over lands. Have tried to get some running this year to no avail. Wouldn't want to lose them.
Edit to add:
Also always happy to help with transport. Whether it's picking up from Dartford station, the caves or whatever. Keen to get more people playing and helping get over the barriers
I'd would also encourage new players to try overlands, always loved them. Having a time in lunch is cool to. Plus as a caster you get to use walk ons more .
Not intended as cynical just my own reasons for not having played most of the overlands this year.
I enjoy role play sections as much as the next person and granted sometime ic lunchtime works, some times it doesn't, again my opinion.
I have done some great overlands and enjoy them, however huw does mke a point that travel does make a difference as to what and where I play.
Not saying bin them just maybe not such a scatter gun approach next season.
Is it a case of not having enough members anymore , seems like most are content on doing the extended lengths throughout the summer and that takes away crew players and refs, your not left with enough other members to play x amount of overlands ,just an observation, I maybe hideously wrong , oh plus all the other stuff with distance etc but with team work that can be overcome easy enough
Also for what it's worth I really miss the overland and overland themedays they were amazing fun
Exactly the mini campaigns have gone down well at.the caves so no reason why not for overlands.
It's not usually the player slots that are the issue with overlands, it's the crew (surprise crew shortages!). Most people who crew aren't drivers or have alot of cash for trains to somewhere "further" than the caves. Also the incentives aren't much better than the caves, as it's only one additional section, so again some may not feel it's "worth" it.
People who crew for things usually fall into two categories; those who do it for the community in general or those who are "repaying favours". Usually both these fall into the catch all of needing credits to pay for games and it's an easier day at the caves for the return in effort, so they will book to cave events rather than overlands. There are exceptions obviously, but this seems to be the average.
I personally love overlands, but with the stable sites that were well known and loved (J10 and J6), they fell away and became a little harder to get going and thus people just made do with the caves dungeons. Not sure why I didn't book onto overlands this year, but for some reason it feel like this was the first time I have seen this post. Oh well, there is always next year (I hope).
Like others have already said crew is the main a massive problem, players won't book on without crew as they assuming its going to fold and it becomes a self fulfilling prophesy!!!
Equally there seems to be more and more GS with the change to keep guilds running, and people are getting bored of so many! They are becoming standard instead of interesting!
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