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December 30th Krvomeđe review

Yesterday's Krvomeđe - the last battle larp (or larp of any kind) of this year - was one of the best incarnations of Krvomeđe I took part in ever. There were 9 players in total and the majority of players were new larpers who haven't been to Krvomeđe before, so the atmosphere was very positive and excited. And the weather was good too. We played a variety of battle games - Capture the Flag being most popular, and we ran it three times to the score of five.

In the end, there was an 8-people long sword tournament, I placed second (I lost in the finals by Pavle, who by the way took these photos), after which most of us went for a drink.


January will also be a busy month. Next Krvomeđe has been scheduled for January 20th, and next larp in general will be Terra Nova: Zimograd on January 11-13. Two days from now - on January 2nd - there will be an Ognjeni Mač general yearly assembly, where the new leadership (and OzOI) will be chosen.

The final weekend of 2012

I have closed the long-running survey about larp and Terra Nova in general. A total of 33 people have responded to the survey - only two more since I published the preliminary results over three months ago. I'll prepare a new survey after Terra Nova: Zimograd. In the meanwhile, however, Sven Horvatić is running a survey of his own - what would you like to see in 2013? You can fill the survey (in Croatian) here.


If you're looking for fun stuff to do this weekend - the final weekend of 2012 - there's Krvomeđe this Sunday in Zagreb. Weather forecast for Sunday is cold (below freezing) but dry, so it should be a nice run. I plan to attend - see you there?

If reading is your pleasure (and you've already read all the knutebooks which I linked some time ago), Wyrd Con (a convention in California) has published its own collection of RP (mostly larp) essays as a free PDF available here - it offers some interesting perspectives as well as some insight in the US larp scene.

Also…

2012 Season's Greetings

Dear readers, I wish you all to have a happy and cheerful holiday season with your families and friends!

Are you planning a cozy Christmas Eve? If you run and play Death of the Japanese Emperor today, it will happen on the same day in larp as in real life.

On Sunday we'll have Krvomeđe, the last (publicly run) larp this year. Hopefully, the weather will be good.

Are you into some reading? Here's a very nice, detailed and thoughtful three-article series about larp on Rhizome:

This is a Game
This is More Than a Game
Everything is a Game

Enjoy!

Transmedia and larp

Transmedia and larp was the presentation given yesterday in SRP by +Irena Krčelić. It was quite interesting - it basically showcased some things from the Croatian movie industry. I'm the person who's very skeptical of our movies, however what was shown surprized me as being very promising - and all of it were movie projects I've never heard of.

In that light, larp was seen as the potential transmedia tie-in product - and we explored those possibilities. As movies fund the other tie-in products - board games, computer games, online games, miniatures, TV shows, cartoons, comics, books etc. - why not their own custom-made larps?

It will have a limited audience compared to most other products, but compared to those products and their associated manufacturing and distribution costs, a larp can be produced at a fraction of the price. In a wider context - enriching the movie or other media product and its world is something that could be very powerful.

Part of the challenge woul…

The Wedding of Sowa and Matilda

This Wednesday there was an event - wedding of Sowa and Matilda - at Ognjeni Mač. I played my (nowadays) regular character of Kain - a ragged, mysterious, unnerving character with shifting purple regions on his skin. Apart from the grey robe I wore, I was barefoot (with parts of the skin painted purple), giving others weird looks and trying to freak them out (just a little bit). Fun stuff.


The event itself was easygoing, it started with the wedding itself - which was comic, as Matilda was played by one of our male organizers wearing drag. Another organizer who played her father was having an all-too-serious face during the whole ordeal. The marriage ritual was nicely done, though also featuring some comic relief - it involved simulating cutting of palm by the groom, bride, best man, maid of honor and bride's father who was performing the marriage, having a few drops of blood fall into a bowl of water - too bad there was no fake blood involved - and then having them all sprayed wi…

Interview with Alpay Görgülü, larp Turkey

Larp is played everywhere - and a new group is starting up the scene in Turkey. Started by Alpay Görgülü, who's bringing in larp from Italy where he used to play, it already sparked a great interest.

Alpay was interviewed by Pavle "Bliss" Pelikan, and this interview was first published 12 days ago in Croatian on Larp Hrvatska blog. Thanks to Petra - owner of that blog - I now have the chance to republish the interview in its original English. Read on.


1. How long do you play larp in Turkey? 

LARP Turkiye is a new group born in april when I decided to import here in Turkey the LARP passion i have since I was a child (I am born and grew up in Italy where i played and organized for more or less 20 years). In the last 11 years I am living in Turkey and I always wanted to play also here cause there is an anormous potential but until this year I had no courage to start. For the moment we are still in the organization phase and there is not yet any event. With the help of my assi…

The 15 rules of larp

The following 15 rules (warning: strong language) were written some years ago in Great Britain, and have been pretty much generally accepted on the British larp scene. Especially popular is rule 7 - widely known by its number and commonly considered to be the most imortant rule of all (and I agree). Even the biggest British larp forum has taken Rule7 as its name.

The rules have been originally created by the Drunken Monkeys and edited by Rick Wynne who added some extra stuff in the explanations to make them more understandable to international audience (it still contains some British larp lingo though), more work-safe and to throw in his two cents. (copy of the original wording is available here)

1. Don’t play a mighty warrior; play a warrior and be mighty.
Don’t label your character. As soon as you say that you are the best swordsman in the land someone will come along and kick your ass. Just get into the mindset of the person and role-play it out.

2. No one cares about your character b…

Late December 2012 larping

These are some of the darkest days of the year. But still, the Croatian larp community remains active. First of all some news: it looks like the Death of the Japanese Emperor larp has found some people who are interested in running it - both in Croatia and abroad. Awesome! Can't wait to hear how it went :) (maybe run it on Christmas Eve when it's actually supposed to happen?)

Second, tomorrow (wednesday, December 19th) is the last Ognjeni Mač event of the year - the Wedding of Sowa and Matilda, starting at 18:00 at Ognjeni Mač (at the marketplace on Trg kralja Petra Krešimira IV, Zagreb). It will also be the final larp of the current OzOI team before the new one is selected - and one of the rare larps in Croatia not organized on weekend.

Third, on Thursday (December 20th) on SRP there will be a presentation of transmedia and larp by Irena Krčelić. FFZG, A306, 19:15, you know the drill.

This weekend? Probably nothing will happen then. However, you can still step in and organiz…

A visit to Zelingrad

Zelingrad is a ruined medieval fortress-city near Sveti Ivan Zelina. I went there today with Red Srebrnog Zmaja (my reenactment/living history group) to a party organized by Vitezovi Zelingradski (the local group) and for the other living history groups.

Most people were in their medieval garb, helping to increase the atmosphere - which was quite good. Very high-profile costuming and props. Which made me think... What's stopping us from equipping our fantasy larps with a similar level of quality gear?


I'll leave this unanswered for now. The program included a short review of everything that happened on a living history scene this year. Overall, it was a great party with plenty of interesting people to meet and talk to. And drinks to drink, and meat to grill.


I think something like this was exactly what I needed to make this a very nice Sunday. A big thank you to the organizers! It was relaxing and inspiring in these cold and dark days, and I got some new ideas.

Here's a s…

Smrt japanskog cara - Death of the Japanese Emperor

After the larp had been run three times - on a private playtest and two times on a convention yesterday - both with positive results, I've decided to release the larp to the public in full, with all its documentation - including versions in Croatian, English and documentation of all the runs. Use them if you're interested in reading - or run this larp yourself with your friends.


Basically, Smrt japanskog cara is a modern one-shot larp about murder, prison and friendship with a 2 hour running time - of that, there's a 1 hour larp time and the rest is preparation and short debrief.

Get the Croatian version here.
Get the English version here.



If you're interested in hearing how it was on all those larps, click here. That document will grow in time. Since this larp is small, simple and free to use, you can run it with your friends. If you do, let me know how it was and I'll put your group's experiences in the documentation above.


Questions? Comments? Ask below. This…

Hyped about Smrt japanskog cara premiere tomorrow...

Tomorrow I'll be premiering my one-shot larp "Smrt japanskog cara" (Death of the Japanese Emperor), and I'm strangely excited about it. It's some sort of creative trepidation, as I'm hyped up to see what will come of it in two runs that await me tomorrow. Last weekend was the playtest (which was quite positive), now the real thing comes - tomorrow we'll have many important "firsts" in Croatian larp.

It'll be the first time three larps will be organized in a single day - Krvomeđe and two runs of Smrt japanskog cara.

Smrt japanskog cara itself will be a first - first Croatian one-shot larp written for a small number of people and short runtime, and designed to be replayable.

The first run at 17:00 will also be the first larp in Croatia where women are not in the minority - of 7 players signed up so far, 4 are women. There is still one last spot available at the time of writing - first one to sign up gets it!

And finally, this larp will get co…

The Tolkien Effect

2002-2004 were the years of highest fantasy larp growth in Croatia, the unprecedented growth when the population of larpers doubled in three short years. This growth coincides with the release of "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, from December 2001. to December 2003.


Peter Jackson's trilogy - an adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's epic - had a tremendous impact on the industry, popularizing the fantasy genre (both in literature, onscreen, in video games and in role-play), and making it it more mainstream and commonplace.

The Hobbit, which comes out this week, could make another impact. Probably not as much as LoTR, but significant enough to contribute to an increase in the general interest about fantasy in the next three years as movies come out (probably helped by the ongoing Game of Thrones on HBO, which already caused a spark of interest of its own).


This is a likely window of opportunity for all fantasy larps to gather as much interested people as possible and ride th…

Snowstorm and larps

I awoke yesterday with heavy snow in front of my house. That snowstorm continued until evening, contributing to a traffic collapse in Zagreb. Still, by the evening we managed to clean the front yard and drive to meet a group of friends. Driving in that weather was a bit eerie, I don't believe I've ever seen less traffic in Zagreb.

Once we arrived, the mood was good enough, so - after everyone agreed to participate - I ran the playtest version of "Smrt japanskog cara" larp ("Death of the Japanese Emperor") with six players - the larp will otherwise premiere on "ZaKon Dalekog Istoka" convention next weekend, with two runs on Saturday, at 17 and 19. The playtest was quite successful, with all players liking the game. Final runs of the game will run with game materials unchanged, though slightly different GM approach.
While the snow was cleared from most of the major roads, it's still knee-height outside of those roads, and Krvomeđe - which was su…

Interview: Rick Wynne

To put it simply, Rick is one of the most awesome, friendly and helpful larpers I've ever met. The first time I contacted him was in April 2011, as someone who's interested in going to Drachenfest. Rick was just starting the Grand Expedition to Drachenfest and Mythodea, which is nowadays probably the best-known English-speaking group on those two larps. We didn't go in 2011, but we met him live when we went there this year. I was not in the Expedition (Petar and Martin were), but I did get to meet Rick and spend some time with him and the Expedition. Anyways, Rick is awesome - get him a drink if you see him.
Apart from the Grand Expedition - which is probably a topic of interest to everyone who wants to visit Drachenfest and ConQuest of Mythodea, has trouble speaking German and would like the RP involved - Rick is also involved with the newest, upcoming big UK larp, Empire. Find out more below...


1. Thank you for your time! Could you tell us a bit about yourself? I am a Yank…

Tonight's presentation of Drachenfest and ConQuest

So, as it was previously announced this evening at SRP Petar Janković will hold a presentation about Drachenfest and ConQuest of Mythodea, based around experiences we had this year. I don't know how many people from Croatia will choose to attend next year, but so far it seems like plenty of people are interested in hearing how it was and what's it all about.


ConQuest being the biggest larp in the world - and Drachenfest not lagging far behind - those two larps will be fascinating, and quite a different experience than is available on small larps. If you're interested in larp - be there :)

The presentation will be held tonightt at 20:00 (yes, it has been postponed from the usual 19:15) in A306, at FFZG (Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Zagreb).


By the way, Jasminka and I will be returning to both events in 2013. We'll be at the Copper camp again on Drachenfest. On ConQuest, I'll be once again with the Black Ice, while Jasminka will join the Grand Expediti…

Feasts - an evolution of a larp format

Feast (Gozba in Croatian) is a rather interesting larp format commonly used in Croatian campaign larps, getting more and more popular in the last few years. Its name is a result of misunderstanding. Amtgard rules were the only larp rules used for Croatian larps until last year, and they're still dominant - whether in use by Krvomeđe, the official Amtgard chapter, or other groups which use Amtgard rules, or variants thereof. Since Croatia was very isolated from the Amtgard in USA, some things were interpreted in a very different manner.

One of them was feasts. In original interpretation, it's a meal served on an event. In Croatian interpretation, it's an event centered around a meal and drinking, with very little action - and an in-character excuse to throw a party.

It was (IIRC) in 2007. when the first feast in Croatia was organized by Ognjeni Mač. Organized by Tomislav Prodanovski and Kosjenka Munđer in the association's headquarters, it had a small fee to cover the …

December 2012 in Croatian larp

Krvomeđe will be both first and the last larp of December. The next Krvomeđe battlegame is planned this Sunday (December 9th), from 2 PM until 4 PM. Sunday, December 30th in the same timeslot will be the last Krvomeđe of the year, and the last larp of 2012.

On Saturday the 15th, I'll run a short larp "Death of a Japanese Emperor" as I announced in the previous post, as part of the ZaKon Dalekog Istoka convention. It's possible that the last Ognjeni Mač event of the year - Sowa's Wedding - will be held on the same day or on Sunday after - to provide closure for this year's OzOI - but I'll update you with the exact date, time and details once they're decided on. It will be set at Fran's basement like the Wake of Morana. (update, 18:00 - it will be at the regular Ognjeni Mač place instead, on a different date - either Dec 12th, 16th or 19th)

Some time ago, Ognjeni Mač stopped doing Wednesday workshops, but this Wednesday (December 5th) there will be…

ZaKon Dalekog Istoka

SRP will run its fourth mini-gaming convention on Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, from December 13.-16. It will be called ZaKon Dalekog Istoka (The Law of the Far East). The convention's subject will be - you guessed it - far East. Thursday and Friday will be featuring evening classes, while Saturday and Sunday will also feature gaming from noon until 11 PM.


These conventions often held larps. In fact, I'll be running a larp on this convention. It will start on Saturday, December 15th, at 20 o'clock, and it will be a modern-era, short, one-shot larp for eight participants. Actually, for me it will be the first time writing a larp in this form. It will fit in 2 hours, together with the introduction and the ending.


The larp will be called "The Death of the Japanese Emperor". Imagine that the Japanese Emperor got assassinated while in your presence - and you got arrested because you're one of the suspects...

Interested? Hope to see you there.

Interview: Ognjeni Mač OzOI candidates for next year

Ognjeni Mač is the biggest larp group in Croatia. Since last year, it's games have been organized by a plot team of three, called OzOI, which is short for "Odbor za Organizaciju Igre" (Board for Game Organization) and which gets re-elected every year. The last year's OzOI was Lovro Radovčić, Andrija Urban and Pavle Pelikan (later replaced by Petar Ratković). In 2012 new (and currently active) OzOI was selected, consisting of Mladen Miletić, Andrej Mihajlović and Fran Putar.

We already got four candidates who plan to run for 2013 OzOI elections: Damjan Gavran, Petar Janković, Ines Josić and Tijana Migić (in alphabetical order). Of the four candidates (at the moment of writing), three will be eventually elected. The task of the OzOI members is a demanding one - next year they'll have to co-organize Crolarp 2013, run Jaska larps (one or two), Maksimir larps, and possibly some more. They'll have to come up with the storyline, decide how larps are run and what else…