Greetings Members & Community,
After a lengthy discussion and review of our organizational documents, the Board of Directors has decided to call for a membership vote on whether or not to dissolve the club.
Right now, we only have one Chapter that is reporting in as actively holding games (St. Paul – Minneapolis). We have one Chapter that is on hiatus (Sacramento), and a couple of chapters that have been non-responsive to inquiries on their status. We recognize that this environment is not viable for a LARP network.
Over the past year, our club has struggled with sustainable and long-term growth.
- A portion of our initial growth came from the existing World of Darkness fan community and were either current or former members of other clubs. Unfortunately, we did not have a solid plan on how to recruit players who never played in this setting or system, and thus faced member attrition when our club was no longer “new”.
- We had difficulty recruiting and retaining volunteers to meet our club’s needs. While some of this has been due to issues with communication and expectations, one of the core problems has been finding people with the free time to get tasks done. Many of our members juggle game with other life obligations such as work, school, family and relationships, and our focus on “real life first” means that LARP obligations tend to get put on the back-burner.
- The Hidden Parlor also faced issues with focus and identity. In an attempt to respond to member concerns and feedback – as well as community and industry trends – we changed at a pace where some members had difficulty keeping up.
Over the past few years, we have had successes within our own organization and have influenced other clubs and the overall World of Darkness fan community. Here are a few examples of such:
- One World by Night adopted a Code of Conduct and Ethics that is similar to the one that we developed for our own club in late 2016.
- Mind’s Eye Society adopted a Volunteer Incentive Program, similar to our own Volunteer Incentive Point system.
- We were one of the few LARP organizations that promoted and supported By Night Studios through their Kickstarter campaigns for Vampire the Masquerade and Werewolf the Apocalypse.
- Our club also supported the development of Mind’s Eye Theatre: Werewolf the Apocalypse through club-sponsored play-tests, where members could earn Volunteer Incentive Points for taking part in such play-tests.
- We hosted a Mind’s Eye Theatre: Changeling the Dreaming playtest at Orycon 2017, thus becoming the first club to host an organized play-test of the new setting and system and provide feedback.
- We took part in the World of Darkness Community Meeting at The Grand Masquerade 2016. This was an event where the World of Darkness community leaders met with the leadership of White Wolf to discuss an ongoing working relationship between the publishers/IP holders and the fan clubs.
- Members of our club assisted in the testing of the World of Darkness community portal (www.worldofdarkness.com). We also provided input on functionality to make the portal more useful for multi-city LARP organizations.
- We developed several essays on LARP community health that are available on our club’s website. In addition, one of our club leaders contributed an essay on player/storyteller communication that was not only included in the Mind’s Eye Theatre: Immersions Secrets anthology, but among the few essays previewed at World of Darkness Berlin in 2017. This contribution to the World of Darkness community gave our club international recognition.
Even with our struggles, we are proud to have had a positive and lasting influence on the World of Darkness meta-community.
What this membership vote means:
Per our club’s bylaws, 45 days from now (October 11, 2018), all members of The Hidden Parlor will be eligible to vote on whether or not to dissolve the 501(c)(7) organizational structure of our club.
Should the membership vote to dissolve the national organization, local games will be free to choose whether to run as troupe games or to join other LARP networks. Once our clubs final expenses are paid, any remaining funds will be donated equally between two nonprofits: The RPG Creators Relief Fund and Games to Grow.
The Roleplaying Game Creators Relief Fund (RCRF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization founded to provide financial assistance to tabletop roleplaying game creators suffering hardship due to medical emergencies, natural disasters, and other catastrophic situations.
Game to Grow is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 2017 on the belief that games of all kinds have the power to improve people’s lives. Game to Grow’s weekly therapeutic social skills groups help young people become more confident, creative, and socially capable using tabletop games, most notably Dungeons and Dragons.
We thank you for being a loyal member of our community.
The Hidden Parlor Board of Directors