A busy elf is a happy elf!
All Midwinter characters are available to participants of any gender. All participants must be 18 at the time of sign-up. Each character is written and modified based on individual casting preferences. Apart from getting familiar with the pre-written material, participants are not expected to engage with further character creation or relationship building before the larp: All of this takes place in the pre-larp workshops.
The elves of Midwinter are creatures of fairytales: not quite human, but not unlike human, either. Some are childlike, some are ancient, some have gender, some do not. Playing an elf leaves a lot of room for exploring different expressions of gender and different types of interpersonal relationships.
Pre-written character responsibilities (like work assignments and management duties) are facilitated by organizers. Participants do not need to know how to craft toys or run a production line. Characters with important ingame responsibilities may get offgame instructions from the organizers to help them fulfill their tasks.
Workers are the fuel that keeps The Workshop, Inc. running. Their life is seemingly a simple one: Everything is scheduled and monitored, and the only task is to remain jolly and productive at all times!
Playing a worker elf means experiencing the larp with very little concern for duties or responsibilities. Workers go to their shifts, tinker and craft toys (no out-of-character crafting skills required), socialize with family and friends, and take part in hobbies and activities. However, first and foremost they do what they are told, when they are told, or pay the consequences. Underneath their jolly smiles, a quiet rebellion and self-realization are slowly cooking.
mommy & daddy elves
Mommies and Daddies are worker elves with extra duties as the Guardians of their family units. Elves of any gender can be Mommies and Daddies: The roles are defined by their functions only.
A Mommy is responsible for the emotional well-being of their family. Their task is to make everyone feel safe, jolly, and loved. A Daddy is responsible for the family income and expenses, and faces the consequences of unproductivity and debt. Both Guardians share the responsibility for guiding and disciplining their wards, so that they perform well as workers, and stay out of the Naughty List.
The Workshop, Inc. makes it extraordinarily hard to keep family members safe and provided for, so playing a Guardian is a guaranteed way to get involved with complex worries and trouble.
Upstanding worker elves can be promoted to shift leaders. Shift leaders are in charge of the work groups, and report on the productivity and jollity of their crew members. They decide how tasks are divided in order to fulfill quotas, and handle the salaries for their crew, sometimes making hard calls on who has earned their pay, and who goes home empty-handed.
Playing a shift leader means dealing with a lot of in-character pressure to keep up the productivity of the crew. As middlemen between the management and the workers, shift leaders have to constantly decide whose side they are on: their crew’s, the corporation’s, or their own.
Line managers are responsible for the different Workshop Products™. They devise production plans and distribute tools and materials to the work groups. With exclusive access to workshop resources they can prioritize between product lines, and make sure the right crews are able to fulfill their quotas — all with the best interests of The Workshop in mind, of course.
Playing a manager involves a variety of in-character duties: meetings, logistics, executive decision making — and bossing around other elves. On the surface level, managers are the most respected elves in the workshop. However, their privileges and power are not appreciated by all, and can be a source of intense personal conflicts and drama.
The Head Manager is the CEO (Chief Elf Officer) of The Workshop, Inc. They are personally responsible for all operations in the workshop, and act as the liaison to Santa himself! However, even the Head Manager is under the evaluation of the Jollity Assurance and the Krampus.
An election for a new Head Manager takes place during the larp. All the candidates are believers in the system: With efficient management, The Workshop Inc. can surely keep delivering joy and happiness to all the children of the world!
Playing the head manager means experiencing the dystopian corporate play from the driver’s seat. The role involves public speaking and taking moderate amounts of offgame responsibility over certain key moments in the larp.
Jollity Assurance is a special unit of elves that monitors and documents all workshop operations. Their job is to ensure the productivity and jollity of all elves, and to inspect the quality of the toys they produce.
The JA elves are the grey bureaucrats of The Workshop, Inc., rendering individuals into numbers on spreadsheets, asking unfair questions in confusing surveys, and causing chaos and suffering by stamping paperwork. Concurrently they, too, have families and loved ones — elves they may want to keep safe and happy.
Playing a JA elf includes taking part in different inspections, interviews, and evaluations, and sticking one's nose into everyone's business. JA has access to the top secret paperwork of all the elves, and can use that information as they see fit.
The Reindeer Guard is in charge of the security of the workshop. Any sign of naughtiness, and the Guard will deal with the culprits swiftly and efficiently. While the Guard is rarely needlessly brutal, they take their role as custodians and disciplinarians quite seriously: Think of the children who wouldn’t get their presents at Christmas if tomfoolery and sabotage were overlooked!
Playing a member of the Reindeer Guard means engaging with physical and often openly abusive play. Yet, guards are still like other elves, performing a function, even seeing themselves as the good guys willing to do what’s necessary to keep the workshop safe.
Individual guard characters may have specific NPC duties, and some guards will be played by organizers.
The Krampus are the mysterious, uncanny entities in charge of the Naughty List. Every report, every rumor, and every jollity evaluation seems to find its way to the Krampus. Any deviance is followed up on, and elves deemed as a threat to productivity are whisked away for intense reeducation.
Playing in the Krampus means taking on significant NPC duties — but also becoming a part of the very core of Midwinter’s design. The Krampus are an unusual cast of characters, and their Training Center acts as an important stage for the edgier play in the larp. The Krampus get specific briefing and support from the organizers, and include some full-time NPCs.
The Grinch are the caretakers of The Workshop. They are full-time NPCs that help things run smoothly. Other characters may seek out Grinch if they need help with their tasks, or information about the Workshop. The Grinch have maintained The Workshop for as long as anyone can remember. Surely they could tell interesting stories of its past?