Capture-the-Flag Party Variation: FANTASY
Posted January 7, 2010on:
Here is the first of the variations on the basic idea in the previous post.
THEME: Fantastic genre exemplified by J. R. R. Tolkien’s and J. K. Rowling’s novels, i.e. elves, wizards, dwarves, giants, etc.
INVITATIONS: Elaborate, rune-like calligraphy on a parchment scroll should inform guests of pertinent information, as well as assigning each guest a chosen identity on one of the two teams (good or evil). Ask guests to dress in costume and bring an appropriate dish for the finale feast. These invitations should ideally be hand-delivered.
MATERIALS FOR ACTIVITIES: Large, wooded area such as a park or private acreage (make sure permission for use is granted); one “magic talisman” or “amulet” for each team, such as a ring or pendant; maps of the land (such as found in fantasy novels) and/or any other props desired (such as ropes, magic wand or potion, spyglass, etc.); long table(s) and chairs.
FOOD: In the invitations, give guests an idea of what types of dishes you might like them to bring. The fantasy theme suggests two different directions you could go with your feast: simple, traditional British Renaissance fare; or a more exotic, health-food type of repast, with ingredients found largely in nature. You might want to supply the entree, such as a roast goose or a hearty stew, and have the guests bring side dishes, salads, vegetables, fruits, breads, desserts, etc. Grape juice or apple cider would make good beverages to serve.
DECORATIONS: As this is an outdoor party, very little need be done to create the atmosphere. However, you can set up whatever props you need to help designate the two territories. You might prepare the two “headquarters” ahead of time, or you could allow the teams to choose their own hideouts as long as you send them off in opposite directions. You may wish to mark off the dividing line between the two territories, or use a natural border, such as a creek. Or, you may simply give a general idea of the middle of the area and allow the guests to wander more freely–but carefully–”behind enemy lines.” The table and chairs should be set up in an open, neutral area. Table covering and centerpieces should follow the theme for the feast.
BLOW-BY-BLOW: As guests arrive, seat them by teams in an open space near the feast table. (Generally–for this genre–elves, wizards, dwarves, “hobbits” and humans such as warriors and huntresses are on the “good” team. Sorcerers, witches, goblins, trolls, wraiths and the like are on the “evil” team.) When all have arrived, each guest introduces himself or herself as the character he or she was given in the invitation. You, the host or hostess, then bestow upon each guest either a “magic” prop or a special talent or power.
The teams then choose leaders, and you give the leader of each team its treasured talisman, explaining as you do so the nature of the conflict between the two teams. (Perhaps the wicked sorcerer plans to use his powerful amulet to enslave all dwarves and turn them against their allies to wreak war and conquer the whole land.) Explain the rules, stating that, when one team has captured the talisman of the other, both teams will then come to the feast table. If neither team accomplishes the task in a specified amount of time, call a stalemate and let the feast begin.
You will also need to give each team a map of the area or explain the division of the land. Then direct them to their hideouts to form their plans, or send them in opposite directions, giving them ten minutes or so to find a “headquarters” and set up operations.
From here on out, the imagination of the players takes over! Plans are formed, missions carried out. Perhaps prisoners are captured and rescued. Quests succeed or fail, all dependant upon the creativity and wit of the players. If you are not yourself on one of the teams, you may wander the woods as an “invisible” referee, making sure that all rules are obeyed, powers respected, and that roughness is avoided.
When the teams have returned to the feast table, a “treaty” is signed and the props are returned to you. The feast begins in celebration of magic, and during or after the meal the players relate the epic tales of their exploits.