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Sljeme 2 LARP and Steampunk LARP "Automaton"

There's no doubt about it - Croatian LARP scene is growing, and this weekend we were - again - blessed with two excellent LARPs we could attend, though both of them happened yesterday and there was some clash between them.

One of them was Ognjeni Mač's "Sljeme 2" LARP, combining standard fantasy LARP with mountain climbing. I was not on it, however, from peoples' comments it was great, very cool and well-worth visiting. If you were on it, you're welcome to provide more info in the comment section.

The one I was on, however, was Sven Nemet's second Steampunk LARP "Para pokreće svijet". This one was called "Automaton", and for a good reason - but more about that later. I managed to get my parents to take care of our son that afternoon/evening, so I headed there with my wife. We played complimentary roles, which was quite fun.

I did miss the first Sven's Steampunk event nearly two months ago (that weekend was a bit crowded), so I was quite excited about visiting this one. Actually it's a rather interesting LARP, located in Eko selo, Žumberak - same as Sunčev Potočić. The setting is a rather unique steampunk mix - pseudo-historical, Austria-Hungary, with plenty of elements of steampunk, SF and even some fantasy elements. The game happens in a small tax-free gambling house close to Zagreb, currently in year 1900 in the mentioned setting... And plenty of world politics is influenced there.

Calling it a political LARP would be wrong, as plenty of players are not playing politicians, however the building and development of that alternate history is a big part of the "Para pokreće svijet" LARP - the majority of the work is done by Sven, who is main GM and collects all the experiences and does all the number-crunching after the event. There's even an in-character "newspaper" that acts as a commentary to the "recent" events.

The money system worked surprisingly well, helped in part by some crafters (scientists and alchemists) selling their goods and inventions, in another part by mercenaries and other people willing to work for in-character money, and of course fueled by the gambling part and the character class-based disparity of wealth.

Rulebook is very light, defining only a few things loosely, and the game itself is also very rule-light and mostly freeform apart from some special abilities, salary, world and setting info that's contained in the rules. However, everything is mutable and expandable. We had some people wanting to play something different than what was in there, and Sven as a GM created new classes for that rather quickly. Expandable.

Clothing for Steampunk is rather easy. Nearly everyone has some passable clothes in the closet, and there are even special accomodations made for medieval-like clothing for fantasy LARPers. Costuming there ranged from period-passable clothing to over-the-top steampunk style, and noone looked like out of the place. With plenty of new LARP-ers there - first-timers or second-timers - it's a notable accomplishment.

And so was their roleplaying. Plenty of new LARPers did some amazing and enjoyable roleplaying. With everyone looking in-place, that made for some very effective immersion. On top of it, quests were great - the (in my opinion) most memorable one had Vjeko playing an automaton - a man-shaped, buggy steampunk robot - wearing an excellent costume and providing an excellent performance.

There was some action - with robot, and some brigands later. Some people got shot, me included (I was helped, so I was feeling better later), and some fishy business happened. Several secret societies were mentioned (another particularity of that LARP) and overall this was a very pleasant and good LARP and I'm looking forward to returning on one of the next games.

The next weekend there's Ognjeni Mač's feast, and a weekend after that it's this season's first big LARP, Jaska 10. And in four weeks from now there's Terra Nova 2012. Looks like a very good LARP season.


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