Here's a run-through of how Otherworld works, start to finish:
You sign up with friends or on your own
Otherworld participants spend most of the weekend in groups of 6. If you sign up with 5 friends, great! If you attend by yourself, or with one or two friends, that's terrific too. In that case, we'll match you with others whose company you'll enjoy.
You get an information packet in the mail
The packet contains a booklet explaining our safety rules and the conventions we use to create another world. If you find yourself with questions, we have nice people who'll be happy to answer them by phone or email.
You pack for your adventure
You don't have to bring much to Otherworld: a sleeping bag, any important medications, comfortable shoes. If you're someone who thinks it'd be fun to wear a simple costume for the weekend, you can bring one or borrow one from us, but that's optional.
You head to the event
Otherworld events are held in Pomfret, Connecticut, 2 hours from Boston and 3.5 hours from NYC. You'll need to arrive between 2-3pm on Friday and stay until 5pm on Sunday. If you need a ride, we'll try to help find one. If you're flying in, Bradley Airport in CT is an hour away. We can help with transportation from the airport, too.
You arrive at our site
Otherworld staff volunteers will take your bag and get you some coffee and cookies. You'll meet your Companion, the staff person who'll be with your group most of the weekend. We choose our friendliest, kindest staff for this job. If you ever have a question or need a band-aid/a kind word/dry socks, your Companion is there to help.
You get reminded of the rules
We hope you'll have had a chance to read your info packet, but we know you didn't memorize it, so we'll make sure everybody's clear on conventions and safety rules. We're proud that, in the years we've been doing this, we've never had an injury worse than a bruise or twisted ankle.
You enter the story
This is the part we've all been waiting for (even if everybody is a bit nervous, too.) You'll walk into the Inn at World's Edge, and with candles flickering on tables, pewter plates heaped with bread, cheese and fruit, and the fire burning in the big stone fireplace, it will look like a scene out of a storybook.
At many of the tables, people will sit - talking, arguing, laughing. These people are the same staffers who helped unload bags from your car, but now they're costumed and playing roles as citizens of the village of World's Edge.
But you won't be playing a role or pretending to be somebody else. That is, clearly you won't be exactly like you are at home, because you'll be sitting in an inn, about to embark on an adventure. But you also won't be someone completely different. Coming to Otherworld isn't like being in a play. You'll still talk like you and act like you. And because of the opportunities for adventure/glory/honor all around, we suspect that you, like most people, will end up acting as a "heroic version of yourself" - you, with all your best traits amplified. It's a nice way to spend a weekend!
You hunger for adventure... and dinner
We serve three hearty meals a day at the Inn at World's Edge. They're included in your admission price, and we're happy to accommodate allergies or special diets. Participants often comment on how delicious our food is.
You make your way to your cabin
An Adventure Weekend is immersive, but it doesn't go non-stop. After some time to walk around and meet people, you'll head to bed. There's a complete description of the cabins in Accommodations.
You meet other groups of adventurers
Your party isn't the only group of participants, of course. There are usually nine groups at each event. Although you'll see other groups periodically and will probably find it advantageous to cooperate with them at times, there won't ever be a case where you're competing against them. We find that this makes for a friendlier experience for everybody.
You explore World's Edge
Our site has miles of trails, as well as in forest clearings ringed by autumn foliage, two lakes, and a wooden bridge that spans a waterfall. As you explore, you'll encounter more of the characters you met the night before. Some may have stories to tell, others might ask for help of some kind. In these encounters, it will be up to your group to decide how to respond, and the choices you make will shape the story that unfolds around you.
You encounter challenges
Many of the staff characters you'll meet are sympathetic ones, but all stories need villains, too. Some of them (like the greedy cardshark eager to cheat you) can be reasoned with, some (maybe that jilted beautician bent on revenge?) you might just avoid.
Then there are some bad guys who carry swords... and who intend to use them. Of course, those swords are safe, foam-padded ones. And fortunately, you and your group will have them too!
The challenges you'll face take many forms. Your group might need to solve a riddle to find the item you need. Maybe you'll help an elderly woodsman safely across a river. The mad scientist might tell her secrets only after you've successfully earned her trust.
You have an extraordinary adventure
We can't tell you how the weekend will end, because we don't want to spoil the surprise, and because Otherworld is a story YOU bring to life. We know this much: by Sunday, it will feel like you've been away far longer than two days. You'll have been scared once or twice, even if you pretended you weren't. You will have laughed a ton. You'll have the sense of satisfaction that comes from overcoming whatever challenges stood in your way. And you'll have stories and memories that will last a long, long time.
Hey! Read This! It answers many important questions that you might have about our events.