I first learned about Weekend Warrior on Facebook. People were suddenly talking about backing this thing where they could go live as medieval adventurers for a weekend. I knew I had to check it out to learn more. I caught up with Zan Campbell, the head of Fell and Fair who is arranging this awesome endeavor, and asked him all about it.
Hi there, welcome to the Once and Future Podcast Blog! Could you tell us a little about your campaign on Kickstarter for Weekend Warrior? What is this, exactly?
Zan Campbell: Our goal with Weekend Warrior is to create an immersive experience where you can go and loose yourself in a fantasy world for a few days. Leave the problems of daily life behind and take on the mantle of a medieval warrior and fight or feast to your heart's delight. We aim to achieve this by bringing together amazing craftsmen, medieval fighting experts and professional storytellers to put on an event that sets a new standard for entertainment. We launched the Kickstarter in order to pre-sell tickets to the first event, and provide the capital to make sure it was really excellent.
For those who aren’t familiar with this, is this the same thing as LARPing (Live Action Role Playing)?
ZC: It is somewhat different from LARP, especially as it is practiced in America. We are going to be treating the costuming and set design like a film in order to build the most believable fantasy world possible. There are also not as many extensive rules of play as often exist in American LARPs. It is closer to a real-life open world video game. You have whatever gear, skills and knowledge that you can bring to the fight and are not limited to any sort of level progression and you will be able to choose your own level of immersion without compromising anyone else's. While we fully support LARP in the US, our aim is to foster a level of quality that it creates a whole new genre.
I see you have a map on the Kickstarter page of The World of Adrasil, the fantasy world where the adventure will take place. What sort of research did you do to learn about the venue and how hard was it to find a place that worked?
ZC: Another cool aspect of Weekend Warrior is that it falls within an existing cinematic universe. So we already have an idea of the sort of terrain we were looking for. We wanted forested hills and streams along with, stone and wood structures. So we searched all over the East Coast to find a place that would give us the space to "get lost" in the world, while still allowing access to local airports, lodging and utilities. We settled on Mountain Run Winery in rural Culpeper, VA as the perfect location for out first event.
If someone has never done anything like this before, is Weekend Warrior something to try? Is this something only “geeks” can get into, or would anyone have fun?
ZC: Our goal is to make this an event that everyone, from the girl who has seen Game of Thrones and wants to use a sword, to the experienced LARPer or HEMA swordsman can enjoy. The rules are simple and no matter your skill level, there are ways for you to impact the game and enjoy yourself too.
Zan, you used to be a naval officer, but you’ve always been interested in medieval weaponry. Can you tell us a bit about what inspired you to start Fell and Fair, the force behind Weekend Warrior?
ZC: From my early days going to archery camp to the seven years I spent in uniform, I have loved adventure, chivalry, weapons and warfare. I especially loved the art of depicting those things, through painting, storytelling, film-making and actually crafting the arms and armor. Through Instagram I began meeting more people who loved the same things. Soon we had a community, but we wanted to expand. So this is our next step, share our skills, knowledge and love of fantasy adventure with the culture at-large in one epic event.
Tell us a little about the movie/cinematic aspect of Weekend Warrior. What is the hope for this?
ZC: First, Weekend Warrior is based on a cinematic universe developed by The Forge Studios. We at Fell & Fair had the chance to jump in to that universe with our miniseries The Rangers: Sons of Throi which will be released in the coming weeks. So attendees will have the chance to get to know the world before they enter it. Second, we are having a hidden film crew actually record the whole event! So after attending, participants will (within a few months) be able to show all their friends a film they actually took part in, and perhaps even change the course of the story!
What’s the best way folks can support this endeavor, and where can people find out more info?
ZC: No matter if you plan on attending or if you just want to support us, you can get to our Kickstarter by going to: www.WeekendWarrior.World There you can find all the details on the event as well as sign up and support us. You can also follow Fell & Fair on Instagram and Facebook to see updates and learn more about what we do on a regular basis.
Thanks so much for answering my questions, Zan, and best of luck to you and the entire Weekend Warrior Team!
Melanie R. Meadors is an author of fantasy where heroes don't always carry swords and knights in shining armor often lose to nerds who study their weaknesses. She has edited two upcoming genre anthologies, MECH: Age of Steel and HATH NO FURY, and is the science and pop culture blogger at The Once and Future Podcast. You can find her at her website, melaniermeadors.com, on Facebook, and Twitter, @melaniermeadors.