Dear Riverside Opera

Dear Riverside Opera,

For the last four years, it has been my honor and privilege to be your Storyteller.  We have told so many amazing stories—from the dastardly Eckard Von Gotz to the heroic House of M, from the menacing Roman to all-too-vulnerable Frank Overwater, from Piper Talbot to Redfinger and Pirelli, from Ramona Stone to David Bowie.  It has been an incredible ride, and I would not trade the memories or the friends I made along the way for anything.

But as with all good things, even Riverside Opera must come to an end.

It is with sincere regret and a heavy heart that I must announce that Finale at MCFC in November will be the last run of Riverside Opera.

I made a promise two years ago.  When you all came together to get me the Doomhammer, I told you all that for as long as you wanted to play, I would keep running the game.  At the time, I meant it.  At the time, I thought you’d all get sick of me eventually.  But then the damnedest thing happened: We kept growing.

At the time I said that, we had about 100 characters in the database and 50 or so unique players.  Now, we have more than 800 characters and over100 unique players.  I have been blown away by the success of this game and just how much all of you have loved it.  I have been humbled by your love for the things we made together.  This game has meant more to me than almost everything else in the world, but, as the now-famous line goes, “The world has something to say.”

For all the joy running the game has brought me, real life has been unforgiving.  I lost my job, we must find a new place to live, I have been having to juggle two or three jobs at once to make ends meet, and my depression has been kicking my ass.  All of that combines to us losing the ability to put on the game the way we want to, losing our venue, and having less and less time we can devote to putting in the work required to put on the game month after month. So, we have to make hard decisions.

Do we go through all the struggles of putting band-aids on the problems we’re facing?  Do we fight to keep it alive?  Normally, I’d say yes, but that’s just my stubbornness talking.  Realistically, if we keep running, the game will have to fundamentally change into something that is just not up to our standards.  So, do we run a worse game, just for the sake of it?  We could keep the game on life support and eventually have its remaining embers die slowly, or we could go out on our terms.  Personally, I choose to go out on my own terms.

What does this mean for the wonderful community we have built?

First, the Riverside Opera Discord server will stick around.  Heck, the website and wiki will stay up, too!  In fact, we don’t even want you guys to stop playing your characters.  Instead, we’re going to go more open form.  Play whatever character you want.  Hell, play multiple characters if you like.  There will be IC channels open where everyone can get together and RP.  We aren’t sure what that’s going to look like necessarily, but that will largely be up to the community to decide.  The only thing we know at this point is that everything that happens in these channels will be consent-based roleplaying like you see in various forum RP around the internet.  We will keep you updated as those ideas take shape.

Whatever it ends up becoming, we will continue to offer the world we have built together as a place to tell stories.  We love this community so, so much, and the last thing we want is for it to vanish for want of a game.

Special thanks to my incredible wife Caitlin, without whom this LARP never would have even gotten off the ground, much less kept running for as long as it has.  Her dedication and work have been the driving force keeping this game going through everything, and all praise you would give to me should be given to her instead.  She really is the backbone of this community, and she deserves the recognition and appreciation for her years of dedication and hard work.

I love all of you.  Thank you so much for making this game so great for so long.