Tortuga Nights has long been known as the event where ships and houses gather to celebrate in Grand Style. Long ago, a tradition began in which the Hosts of the “Best Party” were awarded the mock titles of “King and Queen of Tortuga”. Eventually, these titles became more than frivolous bragging rights. They evolved into positions of respect, authority, and privilege. As the titles evolved, so too did the nature of parties, with each passing year seeing various groups attempt to outshine all others with libations, cuisine, entertainment, and other temptations. The competition became fierce, and many began to view it as corrupt, wrought with bribery, deception, and behavior that even Pirates scorn. There were many who denounced the parties as being elitist in the extravagance and expense. Still others opposed the power granted the monarchs and sought to overturn the entire system.
And then… Calamity. The system was in disarray. An attempt was made to restore Balance and Fairness, with a new method for electing the King and Queen, by detaching them from the lavish and elaborate Party competition. The Party Circle was no more, and various ships and households held their own celebrations, scattered throughout the Nation. Some were confused, others bewildered. Most agreed that there was a hole… an emptiness… in the heart of the Nation.
Some say it was fate, some say it was a blessing, but soon after, a Plague fell upon the Nation. A Plague that scattered every house, every ship, and every fleet, to the far reaches of the world, leaving the port abandoned.
Eventually, the Plague subsided… and in its wake, the Nation was reborn. And with rebirth comes change. Including new opportunities and new challenges, while honoring the traditions and spirit long established by the people of the Nation.
–Note from the Lore Master
Tortuga, also known as “Port Nassau: Tortuga Nights”, is when the ships of the fleets gather with other houses, camps, and various Peoples of the Nation of Nassau to join together in epic celebration and merriment. Our Nation has long had a tradition of Parties being the central focus of the Tortuga gathering, and this tradition has evolved and been kept alive with a renewed system.
First, the Producers and the Event Staff wish to thank everyone who chooses to be part of the Event experience and for helping to create the environment of celebration for all attendees. Being part of Tavern Row is no menial task and we commend all those who choose to do so.
Tavern Row will be a designated area in the central part of the event where each Party neighbors the others, allowing attendees a way to visit them all without miles of walking. A central focal point of the event, with Parties sharing guests and boosting each other in cooperative celebration, rather than a competitive wheel.
So welcome! Please take the time to thoroughly read through this document created by the Tortuga Party Coordinator, the Immersion Coordinator, and the Producers, to ensure that we all have a fun, exciting, and safe event.
WHY HOST A PARTY?
Many will ask “What is the point of throwing an Official Party?” Well, there are many. These reasons have shifted, due to feedback, and gone are the days of excessive and expensive parties in pursuit of winning fancy Titles, as well as the perceived popularity contests and rumors of shady deals. Being Pirates (and those Pirate adjacent), having a King and Queen “rule” over the Nation did not sit well with many, as the very point of being a Pirate is to seek liberation FROM, not service TO, a Monarchy. This has led, by edict of the Producers, to the creation of the Pirate Council and the parties thrown at Tortuga will no longer be part of that election system. Please refer to the “Codex Pyratical” and the “Rules and Governance for the Election of the Council of Nassau” for information regarding the competition to earn election to the Pirate Council.
The primary reason now to host a party is to show that your group can throw a kick-ass party. The only goal is FUN! There will no longer be a voting system to determine who threw “the best” party. Other benefits include custom engraved tokens, discounts, and additional prizes.
You may be asking what the “in game” reason for the Parties is, without the election connected to it. Besides the fun, Tortuga has a new element attached directly to Parties which will create in-game Role Play opportunities. Relics. The groups hosting Parties are not JUST throwing Parties, they are celebrating recent adventure and intrigue. Your crew has procured an incredible find which you have brought back to port, and this is your chance to show it off to your fellow Pirates and fantasy folk. Bask in the glory of your acquisition.
But beware… for with Glory always comes those who seek to steal it. There may be others who wish claim your Glory as their own.
The Parties of Tortuga have long had a tradition of incorporating a Theme. Themes are completely optional, but any Themes used must NOT detract heavily from the overall immersion of the event. Anachronisms reworked to fit into the Fantasy Pirate theme of the event are absolutely acceptable, but clearly “modern” or “futuristic” Themes are to be avoided. If you have a Theme in mind and are uncertain if it is allowed or how to adapt it to suit the event, please contact the Tortuga Party Coordinator or the Immersion Coordinator.
Tortuga will introduce a new game that takes place only during party hours. This game is similar to the newly created Larceny Game (see the “Codex Pyratical” section on Artifacts). Each party must design and create a Relic. While Themes are not required, if you choose to have a Theme, this Relic should represent or reflect that Theme in some way. You may also give your Relic a backstory, which you may then advertise as part of your Party if you choose.
“What do we do with these Relics?” you might ask. Display them but protect them! If your Relic is important enough to throw this kind of party to celebrate its discovery, there are surely pirates and other ne’er-do-wells who want that booty for themselves. You must protect your Relic from being taken by the other Parties and even the very guests you are hosting who may be working on their behalf. There are additional Incentives for every Party that is able to keep its Relic safe for the duration of the Party.
Your Relic, and any other Relics your Party may acquire, must be placed in a central location in your Party during the Party Hours. You may place guards around your Relic but you cannot secure it or encase it in anything. The only deterrent to attempting to take the Relic should be getting caught. This is all in good fun.
Anyone who is caught while trying to take a Relic is required put it back without a fight. This is not an invitation to Raid a Party, and open combat should NOT be held within the Parties, as this creates a potential safety hazard. The act of being caught is enough to stop someone. Additionally, Relics are not to leave the general area of Tavern Row and the Town Square during party hours. Anyone found not playing in the spirit of this may be asked to leave Tavern Row, or in cases of deliberate malice, the event itself.
You must bring your Relic, and any additional Relics you acquired, to the Tortuga Party Coordinator between 11am and 12pm Sunday to receive your Reward. This will ensure every Party gets their relic back as they will be the ones designing and creating their own Relics. Under NO circumstances is anyone to keep, or remove from the site, a Relic not belonging to them. All Relics will be returned to their creators before Closing Court on Sunday.
Your Relic needs to be big enough to be seen but not too big it can’t be carried away by one person. Your Relic must meet the following criteria:
• Be at least 10″ tall and 5″ wide and less than 15″ tall and 8″ wide.
• Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis if there is sufficient reason, but must be pre-approved by the Tortuga Party Coordinator
• Be no more than 15 pounds in weight.
• Be sturdy enough to be able to be moved by hand without risk of easily breaking
You must provide the Tortuga Party Coordinator a picture of your Relic by the deadline, along with dimensions. When you arrive at the event, you have until 3pm Saturday to bring your Relic to the Tortuga Party Coordinator or Immersion Coordinator to verify it meets the requirements and so it can be marked with an official stamp.
Relics are meant to be both focal pieces in your Party, and souvenirs of the experience. All Relics will remain Property of and be Returned, in the event of Larceny, to their creator no later than Closing Court on Sunday.
Following are the various deadlines in place for artwork, newspaper articles, etc. Please email ALL information to email@example.com with the name of your crew/group in the subject line. Deadlines are in place to allow the staff plenty of time to organize, create, and distribute everything needed for your party.
If you miss the deadline to send artwork and did not make contact with the Tortuga Party Coordinator prior to the deadline, artwork will be created for you. This artwork will be used for both your Tokens and in other official publications and may not reflect the design you wanted.
List of Deadlines:
• Theme Information: August 4
• Picture of Relic with Dimensions: August 4
• Artwork for Tokens: August 4
• News Article information: August 11
• Officially Scheduled Events and Activities submissions: August 11
Please do NOT miss a deadline. If you need assistance with artwork or need an extension, please contact the Tortuga Party Coordinator. You will most likely be accommodated, but without notification things become more difficult for everyone. Thank you in advance.
Party Hosts are asked to submit Artwork to be used on their Pieces of Eight Token.
• The Token artwork is the artwork that will be engraved on wooden tokens to be passed out (by the method of your choosing) at your Party.
• This artwork must be appropriate and be related to the theme of your Party or to the Relic which your Party will feature. It may have your ship or household logo incorporated into it, but it must not contain ONLY your ship or household logo. This is so that each token is different each year for collectors.
• File format does not matter. It can be converted into what is needed.
• Please choose which shape your Token will be:
‣ Square (1.25” width & height)
‣ Circle (1.25” diameter)
‣ Rectangle (1.5” x 1”)
‣ Oval (1.5” x 1”)
‣ Triangle (1.5” edge length)
‣ If there is a different shape you would like, please email us to discuss it. Many shapes are possible with a laser engraver.
• If you would like your artwork to be created for you, please let us know at least a month before the deadline, so that we may discuss it with you.
Also known as the Pieces of Eight, Tokens have always been a pivotal part of Tortuga Parties. Many attendees collect these Tokens, and some will display or trade them. These Tokens are meant to show that you hosted a Party on Tavern Row and often display the Theme you are incorporating into your Party. With the addition of Relics, the Token may also reflect the Relic which your Party will feature.
• Each Party will be provided with 500 Tokens to give out, but these guidelines MUST be followed:
‣ Tokens are meant to be given out on Saturday, during the Party hours of 8pm -12am. You may not distribute Tokens prior to 8pm on Saturday, and attendees must be allowed opportunity to acquire them beginning at 8pm on Saturday.
‣ Challenges, games, or other small tasks may be required before giving attendees a Token, but you are not allowed to charge for them (neither Sterlings nor mundane currency)
‣ All attendees must be given equal opportunity to procure a Token, but distribution IS first come first serve, so when your Party runs out, please make sure that is known.
• 30 Tokens (of the provided 500) should be reserved for the Rum Runners Olympic event on Saturday. This has long been a tradition of Tortuga
• Your Tokens should be made available to you at least a week prior to the event. This will allow you time to make any additions to them you desire, such as painting, to make your Tokens unique and interesting. Additions are NOT required, though.
• Each Party may request an enlarged version of their Token as a memento of their Party. These will not be provided unless specifically requested.
There are two ways you can advertise your Party:
• Posting onto the Port Nassau: Sea Dogs and Tortuga Event Information group on Facebook
‣ You may post a flyer one time and bump your post. If you cannot find your post in the feed, you may post again and bump that one. DO NOT post over and over again and spam the feed. Your posts may be deleted if this occurs.
• You may submit a flyer that will be posted on the Tortuga Nights website.
You may be asking, “if there’s no competition, why do we need to advertise?” There may be many reasons. You may simply wish to draw attention to your group, you may have a special event planned to entertain the Nation, or you may want to make your Theme known to encourage others to engage with that Theme. There can many reasons.
Pursuant to the new registration requirements of Port Nassau and Tortuga, all attendees, including those hosting Parties, will need to pre-register for the event. This means that any performers, entertainment, or other people you may wish to add to your Party MUST be pre-registered for the event. See the Facebook group or website for Registration dates and fees.
EARLY ACCESS TO SITE
All Tavern Row parties will have access to the site at the same time as Vendors, to ensure ample time to set-up their Party. Anyone from the Hosting group may arrive on site at this time. Make sure that all who need early access pre-register under the “Party” section. This will designate you as a Party member, and ensure you are on the early access list. No exceptions! If you cannot find the correct party section, contact us before pre-registering.
TAVERN ROW LAYOUT & CAMPING
Tavern Row will be set up along one side of the roadway across from the Town Square. Each Party will be given at least one Land Grant plot along that road and may request more. Approval of plots behind those along the road will be based on availability of space.
The plot along the road is intended for use of hosting a Party, accessible to all attendees of Tortuga. The entirety of the roadway edge shall be maintained as “Party space” and no less than two-thirds of the plot MUST be dedicated to the Party, with the entirety of the edge facing the road being part of the “Party space”. The back third of the plot may be used for camping and should be CLEARLY marked so that attendees do not accidentally enter the camping area. There are additional plots available behind the Party plots if your group needs more room for camping, or for your Party. Any group who occupies more than one plot MAY use more than the minimum two-thirds of their road facing plot, and any additional space they choose in adjacent plots for their Party area.
Tavern Row is open on Saturday night, from 8pm – Midnight, but any group who wishes to allow open access to their Party area prior to this, or later than this, is welcome to at their discretion.
EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES
Many Parties will host events and activities that they want to draw crows to (i.e., Burlesque, Talent Auctions, etc.). All events must be approved by the Producers and Coordinator before they will be put onto the Official Program.
Friday is the day that many attendees of Tortuga arrive on site and set up. Some Parties may wish to have events that enhance or otherwise add to their Party on Friday night, but this is never required. Having your Party area open and ready for people to stop by and socialize is always encouraged, though.
Saturday during the day is the Tortuga Olympics. Many attendees will be busy participating in the Olympics, and as such, hosting events during the day is not always advisable. You may, however, choose to host a casual event to give attendees an option should they not choose the physical nature of the Olympics. You may also wish to field your own team in the Olympics, whether directly connected to your Party or not.
Saturday night is the Main Event. If you have elected to occupy a space on Tavern Row, you are required to have your space open to attendees on Saturday Night from 8pm – Midnight (known as Party Hours). This is the whole point of Tavern Row, to offer options to attendees in a party atmosphere. While there are no minimum requirements and no set definition of what makes a “party”, and there will no longer be voting, the expectation is that your Party will provide refreshments and activities to all guests. This is a Party after all. Please plan and budget within your means but be creative and inventive in how you choose to provide a fun experience for the Nation.
PIRATE COUNCIL AND TORTUGA ELECTIONS
As Tavern Row is not in any way connected to the new Election Game for Tortuga, wherein the Pirate Council is elected, there is to be NO coordination between any parties and any candidates. Parties shall NOT endorse, campaign for, nor promote specific candidates. That’s not to say that the members of a group hosting a Party cannot support a particular candidate. Everyone is free to vote as they choose. But no Party may act as a campaign tool of a candidate, nor encourage its guests to vote for a particular candidate over others. Any Party found to be endorsing, sponsoring, or otherwise promoting a specific candidate may be subject to loss of some or all Incentives, depending on the nature of the issue, at the discretion of the Producers and the Tortuga Party Coordinator.
If you plan on hosting activities or events that you would like entered into the official schedule, they need to be submitted to the Programming Director by the Deadline. These would be outside of the standard Tavern Row hours, or a special performance or entertainment that you would like to draw specific attention to.
SOUND AND MUSIC
In an effort to increase the immersive feeling of events, any music played inside your Party must be appropriate for the event. All music should be kept “thematic” and should not detract from anyone’s experience. This does NOT mean it needs to be period authentic, although that is highly encouraged, but it must have the “feel” that doesn’t take people out of the Fantasy Pirate theme of our events. Anachronistic music is acceptable. Any music that is deemed by the Producers or Coordinator to be not in the spirit of immersion will be disallowed and you will be asked to turn it off.
Electronics, such as speakers and amplifiers, may be used only to enhance the experience within your Party, but should not be easily heard outside of your designated area. You will be next to other Parties and it is not polite to pollute their atmosphere with your music and sounds. If your music is too loud, we will ask you to turn it down or stop using electronic amplification.
Obviously, noise travels, and the din of conversation, merriment, and acoustic music will not cause a violation of these rules.
If you plan on serving alcohol at your Party, you must check everyone’s ID where it is served. Although Tortuga is a 21+ event, we all know pirates will be pirates and there may be underage people present, even if not permitted. You are permitted to check IDs at the entrance to your Party as well, to prevent underage stowaways, but this does not negate the need to check where alcohol is served. If it is found that your Party was not verifying IDs, your party will be shut down and your will forfeit the Incentives gives by the Event in exchange for Hosting a Party.
As always, Tear Down begins Sunday night and goes into Monday morning. All attendees, including Tavern Row Parties, must be off site by 12pm on Monday. No exceptions. Each Party is responsible for the Tear Down and clean up of their claimed space. Failure to leave your space clean may result in a loss of some Incentives, at the discretion of the Producers and Party Coordinator.
If you can spare people to help tear down and clean up along Party Row, please let us know. We can always use more people for Tear Down.
Since there is no long a competition to be won, and no King or Queen Title along with it, a new set of incentives has been created as a sign of appreciation from the Event Staff for Hosting a Party. As previously stated, bragging about hosting an epic Party is certainly one thing, especially without the negativity of not receiving enough votes. Still not enough? Ok, here are more incentives:
• Each Party will receive a space large enough to host their Party. Any group hosting a Party will receive one Land Grant plot without the volunteer hours requirement (additional lots will still be subject to the volunteer hours requirement). Your Party is considered your crew’s volunteer time for the space provided. If you wish to camp in the same plot as your Party, you must dedicate at least two-thirds of the plot to the “Party space” (see Tavern Row Layout & Camping)
• Early admittance to the event to allow time to set up your Party space.
• Each Party will receive 500 custom Party Tokens to commemorate the Event, to distribute during their Party
• If your Party meets the standards set forth in this document, as judged by the Producers and Tortuga Party Coordinator, for the entire duration of the Party Hours, your crew will be rewarded with 10 Free admissions to Port Nassau or Tortuga the following year (this is 10 admissions in total and may be split between the events at your discretion).
• If your Party retains its Relic at the end of the Party Hours (even if it was stolen and then recovered), you will be rewarded with an additional five free admissions to Port Nassau or Tortuga for the following year.
• If you are a Party Host group and successfully steal another Party’s Relic, and are able to keep your own, you will receive two additional free admissions per additional Relic acquired. (You MUST retain your own Relic for this to apply).
• If your Party is able to retain its own Relic and retrieve ALL of the other Relics, having 8 in total, you will receive an additional bonus free admission to Port Nassau or Tortuga for the following year.
A party may be subject to loss of some or all of their incentives, at the discretion of the Producers or the Party Coordinator, if found participating in any of the following:
• Closure of the Party area during the Party Hours of 8pm – Midnight on Saturday.
• Holding a “private” party where only certain people are welcome during Party Hours. Tavern Row is intended for all attendees and must remain open to the general event public
• Hiding, concealing, or otherwise making your Relic unable to be taken, or another Party’s Relic unable to be retrieved
• Removal of any Relic from Tavern Row during the Party Hours
• Sponsoring, endorsing, or openly campaigning for a particular Pirate Council candidate within a Party.
• Intentionally interfering with, or causing damage to, another Party.
• Leaving garbage or other debris in the area you claimed for the event
We hope these changes and new mechanisms will allow everyone at Tortuga a chance to enjoy hosting and attending Parties once again.