This guide is provides helpful information to assist you in your
Mosswood journey, from Critter Creation to world details to interaction tips.
This Guide contains three main sections:
• Critter Guide has all your creature creation options
• World Guide has an overview of Mosswood
• Letter Guide has tips for correspondence gaming
If you ever have a question, check the Guide first! If the answer isn't here, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are 22 Critters you can choose from when creating your character. These are divided into three Social Groups, based on general characteristics: Gentle Critters, Bold Beasts, and Savvy Skyfolk. Critters are also divided into three Neighborhoods based on their natural habitats: Willowglade, Brambleton, and Pebblebrook.
These are the little folk of Mosswood, the right and proper friendly neighbors. They are timid when strangers enter their hometown but quite love to socialize and gossip. The Chipmunks, Squirrels, and Skunks reside in Willowglade. The Hedgehogs, Mice, and Hares live in Brambleton. The Beavers and Otters make their homes in Pebblebrook.
These Critters are made of tougher stuff and will fiercely protect their homes and loved ones, though others may be wary of or even fear them! The Bobcats, Badgers, and Wolves live in Willowglade. The Raccoons, Foxes, and Boars enjoy their lives in Brambleton. The Opossums and Rats enjoy riverside shore life in bustling Pebblebrook.
The winged whimsies of the sky! Because of their unique ability to gather information from above, you never know when the Skyfolk might be listening. The Owls and Blue Jays live in the trees of Willowglade. The Cardinals and Robins happily nest in Brambleton. And the Chickadees, Geese, Bullfinches, and Titmice live among the reeds of Pebblebrook.
Critter Creation goes far beyond the type of animal you'll play! When you first sign up to play, you'll receive an email with the first of two forms.
In this form, you'll answer questions about yourself and briefly describe the kind of character you'd like to play in Mosswood. After this initial form is reviewed and accepted, we'll either reach out with follow-up questions or send you the second form. This second form spans several aspects of your character, including those below.
Name & Pronouns
Both a first and last name are required for your Critter, but the sky's the limit from there! Are they a Mr., Mx., or Mrs.? Or do they have a title, like Lord or Lieutenant? Character pronouns can be whatever best fits them, which may or may not match your own.
Looks & Personality
Share as much or as little as you wish! Remember: the more we know, even if it's not common knowledge for other players, the better we can include them in plots and news! Consider things like their aspirations and fears, ideal Saturday morning activity, and so on.
The animals of Mosswood have their very own zodiac signs, based on the world around them. The elements of Fire, Air, Earth, and Water are represented as Acting, Thinking, Owning, and Feeling. These signs can help guide your Critter's reactions to certain situations, their goals, and their approach to the world.
January - Sage
ambitious • community-minded • proactive
materialistic • arrogant • stubborn
April - Cattail
spiritual • calm • artistic
needy• sensitive to rejection • detached
July - Dandelion
organized • persistent • socially adept
thrives on drama • judgmental • stubborn
October - Oak
grounded • thoughtful • wise
indecisive • avoidant • emotionally closed off
February - Laurel
analytical • courageous • insightful
overthinks everything • anxious • cynical
May - Cactus
resilient • perceptive • independent
anti-social • defensive • haughty
August - Water Lily
generous • perceptive • quiet
avoidant • lack of follow-through • standoffish
November - Ivy
opportunistic • intellectual • problem solver
high energy • overly intense • busybody
March - Beachgrass
natural leader • communicative • outgoing
overbearing • self-centered • impulsive
June - Tulip
tenacious • adaptive • charming
homebody • easily led •distractible
September - Eucalyptus
spontaneous • assertive • entertaining
aggressive • argumentative • dominating
December - Willow
compassionate • creative • nurturing
easily bent • over-emotional • self-unaware
In addition to Personality and Zodiac, you can select two Interests that help define the kinds of things your character is interested in. These can help you connect to other characters and relevant plots in Mosswood.
An Adventurer loves to explore. If they hear about something new, an Adventurer is the first to go and check it out (even if that something is just a new biscuit shop!) An Adventurer might be OK with a little danger, but loves having a nice home to return to.
A Crafter loves to make things. This can include knitting, sewing, baking, painting and drawing, candle-making, building houses, laying roads, and more! A Crafter can create items to sell to others, or they can make things for their family and loved ones.
Farmers do quite a bit more than plant crops here in Mosswood! They also gather nuts and seeds, and even sell them in town to others! Have you wondered who harvests the wool and flax to make your dapper little sweaters and spats? I bet it’s a Farmer!
Is there magic in Mosswood? Those with Mojo sure believe so, and may even have some of their very own. Players who select the Mojo interest will be reached out to by Mosswood Staff for the specifics on their individual Mojo and Mojo rules.
The Protectors of Mosswood do exactly what you think: they keep the borders safe from outside threats, such as Bears and Hawks! They also serve as a sort of “Neighborhood Watch” in the three Neighborhoods during these peaceful times.
Teachers help keep Mosswood thriving. They're not just the educators teaching the kits and pups in school, but all instructors- from the kindly grandmother who teaches the best recipes to the helpful gent who shows you how to fix a squeaky cart wheel.
These starry-eyed romantics are actively looking to settle down and raise little Critters of their own. Note: Wooing is an “opt-in” function of the Mosswood community and comes with its own guidelines, which can be found on the Rules page.
Pre-negotiated connections to other characters at the start of game are a great way to begin writing in a Letter LARP. Before filling out your second Critter Creation form, we recommend joining the official Mosswood Discord server and posting a brief summary of the type of connection you're looking for (friend, enemy, relative, business partner, etc.).
All parties involved in pre-negotiated connections must include them in their second Critter Creation form for the connection to become canon.
Connections made through game play become canon in other ways.
Character backgrounds may be enriched or enhanced by having one or more Non-Player Characters (NPCs), such as family members, partners, or rivals. In Mosswood, your Critter may have as many NPCs as makes sense for your story, however only one NPC may be registered to send and receive letters with other Critters.
The Registered NPC (R-NPC) may send up to five (5) of your 15 allotted monthly letters. These letters may only be sent to any active player character; there is no NPC-to-NPC interaction via letter writing.
The R-NPC writing topics are limited, in order to ensure equitable play among player characters. For example, an R-NPC cannot fight or woo another. More information on letter topics can be found further in this Guide and in the Rules.
The R-NPC must live in the same Neighborhood as your Critter. While this is a game of frivolity and fantasy, we must avoid some nonsensical things such as a Boar living in a Beaver dam or a Squirrel living in a Wolf den.
The R-NPC must have some relation to or connection with your Critter. They can be a parent, child, sibling, spouse, best friend, nemesis, coworker, employee, mentor, apprentice, nosy neighbor…as long as it makes sense that the R-NPC would write about your Critter!
Mosswood is a purely fantastical cottage core world, without humans. The setting and characters are a mix of our favorite themes from a variety of sources. For inspiration, check out the reading and viewing list of recommendations on the Resources page! To maintain a low-stress, welcoming atmosphere, the topics, activities, and plots in Mosswood are kept PG-13.
The animals of Mosswood live in a section of Ancient Shademoor Forest. There is a large clearing, many wooded areas, and the mighty Phloxfield River running right through it. There are four full seasons and weather of every extreme, just like our real world! By all accounts, the town of Mosswood could be just like any fantasy town: there are shoppes, inns, schools, churches, a tavern, and a post office. In addition to little houses and structures built in the usual way, one might also come across a shoppe carved out of a tree, a school built by Beavers under a low-hanging branch, or a pub made of pebbles and boulders with a mushroom circle on top!
If humans have ever existed, the Critters of Mosswood have never heard of them or been affected by them in any way. Time moves slowly in Mosswood and its inhabitants enjoy the little things in life. These Critters walk upright on their hindpaws, and wear dapper suits, darling dresses, and fanciful country attire. Birds, of course, dress a bit differently so as to accommodate for flight, but still enjoy jaunty hats and accessories worn around the neck and ankles. Take a close look at some of the examples on our Resources page. In many fantasy animal worlds, you have everything from fully dressed geese to completely nude mice! No choice is off the table here in Mosswood.
Passage of Time & Holidays
Time is an illusion here in Mosswood. For gameplay’s sake, we use the same calendar as our own modern one, with the same days of the week and months. This is so that players can easily set things like birthdates and a timeframe for past and future events. For holidays and other dates, check the Forest Calendar!
In order to distance Mosswood from our Earth, our Critters celebrate simple nature holidays in their very own way. They may share some similarities to some holidays of our own, but with a Mosswood twist!
There is no ruling class system in Mosswood. Any and all conflict comes from either the three distinct Social Groups within the selection of playable Critters or external forces. These external forces might be other animals, the weather, or other phenomena revealed in Game Play.
There is a sort of religion in the game, which is a nature-based faith akin to some pagan faiths. The main deities are the Sun and the Moon. How your character approaches, participates in, or practices this faith is entirely up to you! There is a weekly service for the more devout and several holidays.
The lack of a ruling class and the broad unity of faith eliminates most potential for war and battle. The only fighting is protection against external forces to defend the townsfolk. Sure, there are individual fights between groups of Critters, but there is no “military” as we know it.
In any Letter LARP, the story is told through letters and letters alone. While there is often backstory and role playing to create plot, the main goal is to write letters about those things. It can diminish the fun of players to send out letters and not receive replies, or to receive letters that are difficult to reply to and do not engage the reader. There are a few tips that we would like to offer to keep in mind while writing.
Does my letter seek to engage the reader in my plot?
Does my letter seek to entice the reader into engaging me into their plot?
Does my letter follow a “Yes, and…” or "No, but..." mindset, leaving it open-ended for intriguing reply?
Is my letter easy to read and follow?
Once your letter is either printed or hand-written, it must be scanned or saved as a PDF file and uploaded to our system. If we receive mail that has not been uploaded, it won't be sent until we have a PDF. If one cannot be provided, the letter will be opened and scanned by our staff.
Your letter can be sent in any sort of envelope or wrapping you wish, as long as it follows standard USPS regulations and Mosswood rules. Mail your letter(s) to our PO Box. We send mail packets twice monthly in a 6”x9” non-padded envelope, so make sure yours will fit that!
The uploading procedure has a few simple steps for our players’ safety and comfort. You may upload and send up to 15 letters every month. Up to 5 of those letters may be sent from your Registered NPC.
Select from the list of checkboxes that identify the topic(s) of your letter. This serves two purposes: it allows us to see at a glance who is talking about what, so that we have an internal guide for our NPC letters and the Forest Report; it ensures that safety rules are not broken, and alerts us to anything that we may need to follow up with. We don't anticipate anything untoward happening, but it's in everyone’s best interest to be prepared rather than to be caught off guard! Below, you'll find brief examples of the categories you may select. Those marked with * will prompt a follow-up question in the form, for further information.
“Hello, my name is Sir Hampton T. Wheatgrass!”
“We met at the gathering near the cat-tails.”
“My beloved Thom got a promotion at the bank!”
“I am afraid that I must no longer write to you.”
Gossip About Others*
“Did you hear that Eve has had SEVEN litters??”
“Dot told me Gerard, the wolf, is eyeing Rose.”
General Social Calls
“I would like to invite you over for tea.”
“That was a lovely picnic we had together!”
“I haven’t told anyone this before, but…”
“I would rather you hear this from me first…”
“I saw a snake the other day, by the stumps!”
“One of the baby bunnies has gone missing.”
“I believe you have stolen my parasol, sir.”
“My neighbor is throwing rocks over my hedges!”
“You have the most beautiful whiskers, my dear.”
“I think I am falling for that lad from the picnic!”
“I made you a festive pinecone for the Solstice!”
“I saw this doily, and I just had to get it for you.”
We check the PO box throughout the week. When letters are received they are checked for valid uploads and game-appropriate content, sorted, and prepared to be mailed off to their recipients.
We send outgoing mail on the 1st and 15th of every month. If either of those dates are a Sunday or a holiday on which USPS is closed, the mail will go out the next business day. We send letter bundles via USPS First Class. This standard rate is included in your monthly subscription cost. Additional shipping upgrades are available, and additional outgoing letter bundles may be available in the future!
In the last year of active Letter LARPing in the United States, mail in various games has taken anywhere from one to four weeks to get from the LARP HQ to the final recipient. To receive your mail faster, purchase the Priority Mail Upgrade add-on in our shop. This also includes tracking information that will be provided if a letter packet goes missing.