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Showing posts from June, 2012

Start a LARP 3: Preparing and running an event

This is the third article in the Start a LARP series. If you have followed us so far, great! You know already that the best way to start a LARP is simply to do it. Grab a few buddies, choose a location, agree upon the ruleset and go.

A location can be one of the following:

A parkConvention groundsForestBackyardBasementReally anything Only things limiting you are: How much are you willing to suppress modern details? And how much action do you want to have? Obviously, the less you need to suppress modern details, the better. Immersion is a powerful tool in any LARP, and the better the illusion the better the experience. Good costuming, props and no visible signs of any modern stuff can make for a quite powerful experience, but it's better to consider it a goal than to consider it a requirement. Many first-time LARPs are barely deeper than tabletop roleplaying experience - but that's OK too. Jumping from blankets & boffers to period accurate & Calimacil is visually quite l…

Utvrda Svjetlosti 2012 video

As I mentioned in my previous post, I recorded some videos on this year's Utvrda Svjetlosti (The Fortress of Light). They've been edited and uploaded to Youtube. Enjoy!


Scenes:

A walkaround of the guest campA walkaround of the fortressFighting scenes from the 1vs1 tournament

Utvrda Svjetlosti 2012 review

I just came back from this year's Utvrda Svjetlosti (Fortress of Light) LARP. As it was the last year, it was certainly a very special LARP, organized by Osijek LARPers in the ruins of 13th century fortress of Korogyvar at Ivanovac, near the city of Osijek.


The stereotype of people from Slavonia is that they're hospitable, with good rakija and hot and spicy food. All of this proved correct, as we were welcomed warmly, and given plenty of attention by the locals. The fortress was decorated better than last time, making it appear even more epic.


One of the bad sides of the terrain is that it's not too friendly for either rainy weather, or for the hot and sunny weather. This year - as well as the last - it was hot and sunny weather that was the issue, making the game during the midday impossible, so on Saturday everything was pretty much offgame until afternoon. That made some players unhappy, but on the other side intensified the night play. The bugs - which are the usual p…

SCA Croatia

There's plenty of new things going on in LARP this year. In the first 6 months we already got the first Croatian Green Banner LARP, Robert's feast, and two Steampunk and Terra Nova events (Intro and Terra Nova 2012), as well as the new larp association. And there's more! However, the newest kid on the block is actually one of the oldest such groups in the world.


It's SCA, Society for Creative Anachronism, and its Croatian branch has just started forming. SCA takes the middle ground between medieval reenactment and LARP, although that's a pretty shallow description as not everyone has the same idea of what LARP is, or what reenactment is.

Like our fantasy LARPs, it covers a wide time range, it's done primarily for the participants themselves, not as a display to the general public, and it's designed to be fun without a lot of expensive gear. SCA usually offers arts and crafts classes such as (historically accurate) sewing, heraldry, dancing etc. One of the …

LARP Utvrda Svjetlosti 2012

Utvrda Svjetlosti (Fortress of Light), also known as Istočna Anarhija (Eastern Anarchy), one of the longest-running LARPs in Croatia is being held this weekend, in its standard location (Ivanovac) near the city of Osijek. This year it seems to be going upscale - it costs more than last year, and includes a warm meal in its price.



Last year it was great, dramatic storyline, excellent roleplay and very friendly hosts (not to mention the awesome fortress), and I believe it will still hold true this year. I'm looking forward to visiting them again this weekend, and I hope the weather (and bugs) remain kind to us.


Start a LARP 2: Simple LARP System

Three days ago I wrote an article about starting a LARP. I got contacted by a few people, and decided to expand that article into a full series of articles, to cover the basics of what you need to start a new LARP. And yes, you can do it even if you never played, even if you have a minimum of space, a shoestring budget, and only a few friends.

The most important thing you need to play is a ruleset... Or is it? Nordic larps seem to do fine without a written system of rules. But instead they depend on the social code of conduct and a set of techniques, which can take a while explaining or getting used to.

There are many different rulesets out there, and most are quite long, elaborate and complex. I've seen people interested in LARP, but scared away by the size of the rulebooks.

So, the question remains... What is the best way to introduce people to LARP? I decided to write a rule system using the following guidelines:
it has to be fantasy (which is the most popular sort of LARP)it ha…

Maksimir 58 is today

The big LARP season is in its high. There was a Steampunk LARP, Jaska, Terra Nova, and next week there's Utvrda Svjetlosti. Between these, there was some little time for short LARPs - Krvomeđe two weeks ago, and Maksimir 58 (yes, 58!) today, in Maksimir park in Zagreb. But they're still an important part of our LARP scene, as they are small and free, filling the space in-between. And if you're nearby, you'll always be welcome.

Start a LARP

This is a call to everyone who's reading this, Croatian or otherwise, who's not LARPing. It's a call to you personally, to your friends, family and acquaintances.

Start LARPing.
If you can get to one of the big, estabilished events, go there. Single or as a group. Contact the organizers if you have any questions. Start LARPing.

If we're talking about fantasy LARP (which is certainly the most popular), you can have basic clothing and a boffer weapon ready for the cost of around €10, or 75 kn. For the cheapest and most basic clothing available, you can buy cheap, white fleece blankets at Jysk, they're around 17 kn and 130x160 size. Fleece is not historically accurate, but can pass for a wool from afar, and you can make two tabards from that piece without any sewing skills (fleece does not fray, so you don't need to hem it). You can make basic boffer weapons from fiberglass/bamboo/pvc core and some foam and cover (and/or tape). That's all very basic, but it w…

Ars Amandi - lovemaking in Nordic larp

Most larps in Croatia - and indeed most mainstream larps worldwide - usually have some mechanics in place which, basically, allows you to kill other characters, or prevent your character from getting killed. While this provides for some excellent action, it is also quite limited in scope, as other parts of character life are not covered. Unlike in real life, in a larp you're far more likely to kill or get killed than to e.g. start a family or make love.

This is a slightly tricky ground. Fighting is OK, because you usually have some sort of rules and props (latex weapons, boffers etc) in place that make it possible to have a combat simulation which is safe and enjoyable, and not lethal and painful. You would not use boffers to simulate sex (OK, bad images...).


Ars Amandi ("The Art of Love") is a Nordic larp mechanic for simulating romance, sex and intimacy. It allows simulation that protects the safety, reputation, integrity and comfort of players, while they can remain …

Terra Nova in 3D

Zag-Zag was kind enough to take a couple of photos and short clips of Terra Nova using his 3D camera, and put it all in this 3D slideshow/movie.


If you don't know how to watch 3D movies on Youtube, I recommend crossing your eyes - it actually gives you an excellent 3D picture, check out this article. As far as I know, this is the first time a Croatian LARP has been recorded in 3D :)

Most clips are from the tournament on Sunday. Apart from regular LARP fighting, our Hungarian guests spiced it up with a little wrestling...

Terra Nova 2012 - how it was

Attending an event and organizing one are two different things, and so experiences would naturally differ a lot. Logistically, the event was a nightmare. What we'd get on the terrain changed, plenty of people canceled their arrival including all NPCs apart from the organizers, and we ended up with a LARP of half the size we counted on just two weeks before, and many other logistical issues caused us to drive back and forth plenty of times to get the basic necessities done and transport all the stuff. We decided that we wouldn't reschedule the event despite being hit by all the cancellations.


In the end, it was worth it. We ended up with 17 players in total - which is slightly small for a Croatian multi-day LARP, but there have been smaller ones before. Most of the attendees were not Croatian speakers - as we had 8 Hungarian players, and Martin. Because of that, the LARP was played (apart from some private discussions) completely in English - to my knowledge, it's the firs…

Nordic larp, Lateralus and Terra Nova

This has been a hectic evening, and I'm probably insane for not going to sleep and blogging instead... But oh well. Most of the stuff for Terra Nova tomorrow is ready and packed. Few final things to do in the morning and good to go to the terrain. The game starts today afternoon, and there's a lot of work to be done before that.
And apart from packing, I've been to a SRP class about Nordic larp and Lateralus association as I mentioned in my previous post. Nordic larp class was long, detailed, and very interesting. I did know most of the stuff that was said (not all of it though), I even added a few details myself, but it was very interesting looking at how some people reacted to several ideas that would be considered quite radical in our environment. Photos were shown, movies were played, and overall it was a huge and well done presentation of some 2 hours in which plenty was covered, and Ana was very prepared in giving the lecture and answering the questions.


Lateralus a…