Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from October, 2012

Larp knowledge must be free

It is my deepest belief that the knowledge about larp must be free. I'm not refering here to the storyline, but on things such as larp design, tips from all around the world, and knowledge how larp works in various places. Knowledge benefits everyone - knowledge of non-larpers will help the popularity of the larp medium, and the knowledge of larpers will help make better larps.

I'm not writing this blog to earn money (though if you wish to donate to help it keep running, I'll be grateful - same goes for buying me a drink ;)). I'm writing this blog to popularize the larp hobby, help connect larping communities, hopefully help to improve quality where possible, or at least write something of interest.

I've been asked several times by other larp bloggers if they can republish something I wrote, and I always agreed. A few times I made the offer myself. So I think it's time to make my policy on such matters clear.


For everyone interested in republishing my works or…

Halloween and ConQuest teasers

Halloween will be here tomorrow. It's not traditionally celebrated in Croatia - traditionally, we do costuming and trick-or-treating in February, during carnival. But lately, it's becoming an "imported" celebration, much like St. Patrick's day. There are no larps planned on Halloween, but there will be a costumed party by Ognjeni Mač which is open for everyone, so if you're somewhere in Zagreb tomorrow evening, feel free to drop by.

In other news, Live Adventure has released a series of three teasers for ConQuest 2013 - The Road to Mythodea, Doubt in Your Heart, and I am adamant. Check them out below, or click here if you prefer German versions.




Interview with Michael A Ventrella, Alliance larp

I've covered non-Croatian stuff on this blog before. Drachenfest, Mythodea, news from the regional larp scene (Serbia, Hungary, Slovenia), Nordic larp theories, Petra's interview with Claus Raasted, etc. Today we're having an interview with Michael A Ventrella, who's one of the people who basically invented American larp (which is not SCA or a battlegame group). Personally, I'm fascinated by just hearing all the different viewpoints and experiences. Anyways, there are really few people who've either been into larp as long as Michael or worked as hard making larp happen. An experienced role-player and GM and one of the founders of NERO, Michael is the owner of Alliance larp (formerly NERO Alliance), probably the largest group which split from NERO and one of the most significant USA larps. He's got lots of information and tips to share, so here it goes.



1. Thank you for your time! Could you tell us a bit about yourself and Alliance larp?

I was one of the foun…

Krvomeđe postponed until next week; plans for next year's Chronicles of Demgard revealed

Today's planned Krvomeđe battlegames have been postponed until next Sunday, November 4th. It has been cold and raining for a while, and the terrain is muddy - the rain (bordering with snow) will continue falling for the rest of the day. Long-term forecasts say that next weekend should be much warmer and drier, so hopefully next weekend Krvomeđe will be held - in the same time, which would be starting at 14:00.


For the Hungarian larp campaign The Cronicles of Demgard - which has been sort of focus this week if you haven't noticed - plans for 2013. have been revealed. It will have two events, similar to what it had this year - the summer event (this year it clashed with Rajski Vrhovi XVI) will be fully in Hungarian (like it was this year) while the autumn event will once again be a fully internationalized event (like the Secret of Hartwigstein last weekend).

Upcoming larps this autumn; Demgard gets an epilogue.

There are talks of possibly two more single-evening fantasy feasts possibly organized in Zagreb by Ognjeni Mač in the next month or two. Their themes will probably be quite different, and will be the closing of this year's OzOI story (if you recently joined us: OzOI is Ognjeni Mač's yearly elected GM team). More info once events are announced.


Along with these, several small fantasy events are likely, including planned Amtgard battles on Krvomeđe next Sunday from 2 to 5 PM, if weather permits. No multi-day events have been planned so far until Terra Nova: Zimograd in January, though I don't know what form Carmen SF larp will take if it gets organized this year.


Also, another review of the past Chronicles of Demgard is now available - the one written by our in-character brewmaster. You can read it here. But that's not all - Kildar wrote an epic epilogue about what happened after the game - it also reveals the main plot of the game.

More about Chronicles of Demgard and Carmen larp

The development of the upcoming Carmen distant-future Sci-Fi larp is coming along nicely. The early logo version has been revealed, as well as the early version of the rulebook (in Croatian only). It lists skills, items, game mechanics and it's written as much as possible from the in-character perspective as a welcome brochure, giving away some flavor of the game in 17 A5 pages. One interesting mechanic: any in-game items you bring (including weapons and energy shields, but not armor) are considered stealable in game unless you "biochip" them (you have 2 or more biochips available).



Apart from Carmen, Chronicles of Demgard is still getting actively discussed. I might have written my review a bit too early. It's only yesterday that I actually heard the full story (which not everyone found out in game), and suddenly everything clicked into place and made sense and I have to say that this ranks among the best and most complex larp stories I've experienced as a play…

Chronicles of Demgard - The Secret of Hartwigstein

Chronicles of Demgard (or Demgardi Krónikák as it is known in Hungarian) is a fantasy larp campaign played on the outskirts of Tatabánya, a city in northwestern Hungary, some 60 km west of Budapest. A group of Hungarian players which is gathered around that larp visited us on Terra Nova 2012 where they made almost half the population. Terra Nova was made an international event where English was used for communication - they liked the concept, so this event, ninth in Chronicles of Demgard series, would also be an international event where English was used, and game documents were translated to English: Brief guide to Demgard, Core rules, Magic system, Character creation and Equipment standards. Important to note: all events from Chronicles of Demgard make a campaign, but each one is more like a one-shot - a larp with characters mostly generated for that one larp, and a wrapped-up storyline with a few ties with previous or upcoming events.

Unfortunately, plenty of people canceled so on…

Lateralus announcements for next year and Tragači zore - days after

Yesterday evening was quite exciting. The presentation of Tragači zore was given, and the larp was discussed, as well as our experiences. Ana and Božo also gave an overview of what they tried to accomplish, and we went once again through everything for people who were not there.



We all shared our moments of play and suggestions. Sanja Lovrenčić, the author of "Zmije Nikonimora" trilogy was also there, she was touched that we brought her world to life and held a small speech.



Two projects by Lateralus for 2013 were also announced.

One of them will be a larp convention on Filozofski fakultet (Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences) in Zagreb, scheduled for March 1st - 3rd, 2013. It will be open to all interested participants (domestic and international larp groups) who sign-in prior to the convention. It's planned to be more of a "by larpers, for larpers" in content, to advance larp among larpers, not a what-is-larp promo to the general public (though everyon…

Common Croatian fantasy larp game world

I've mentioned it already a couple of times, so I thought it would be handy to finally describe it - a common Croatian fantasy larp game world.

"Common" might be a bit of a misnomer, as not all fantasy larps use it. Terra Nova is in its own world, and Tragači zore were in a very specific world from works of Croatian fantasy authors. Nevertheless, fantasy larps from Ognjeni Mač (Jaska, Maksimir, etc), Shire of Krvomeđe (Krvomeđe, Rajski Vrhovi, Labuđa Rijeka, etc), Gaia (Utvrda Svjetlosti, etc), Green Banner Croatia (Sunčev Potočić), Majčin Gaj and several other independent events are all set into this common fantasy larp world - as well as Crolarp, and several defunct larps such as Summer Session (Nepokoreno Kraljevstvo) and Motovun (Histria). Basically, all Croatian fantasy larps in the first 15 years of Croatian larp (until Terra Nova intro) were set in this world, and most still are.

From the above list it's visible that pretty much every Amtgard-ish larp in Croa…

Tragači zore - days after

Tragači zore are having major post-larp analyses, evaluations, surveys and documentation. Today is the public evaluation of the event - all players and everyone who's interested is invited today at 19:15 on Filozofski fakultet (Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences) in Zagreb, in classroom D6 on this school year's first SRP meeting called "Tragači zore - dani nakon" ("days after") where the event will be discussed. If you're interested, be there.


If you can read Croatian, a post-larp page has also been started, with reviews and character biographies gathered into one place. It will probably get filled over time as more and more stuff is documented.

Maksimir 62 announced

As it has been said after Jaska 11's cancelation last week, larp Maksimir 62 will take place this Saturday, October 20th. Like last year's Maksimir 50, this will be a longer event, and Maksimir 62 will last 12 hours in total - from 10 AM to 10 PM. It will not be 24 hours of Jaska 11 which it tries to partially replace, but it's definitely more than usual four(ish) hours that Maksimir larps typically last.


Players are advised to bring warm clothes, water and some food for the duration of the event.

If you joined us recently and don't know what Maksimir larps are, here's a short breakdown. Ognjeni Mač larp campaign - placed in common Croatian fantasy larp world - is mainly played on two locations: Jaska larps - multi-day camping events in Gornja Kupčina near Jastrebarsko - and Maksimir larps - single-day non-camping events played in Zagreb's largest park, Maksimir, usually around fifth lake. No entrance fee is typically charged for Maksimir larps.

It's worth…

Meta-gaming and you

Meta-gaming. The word is used often these days in Croatian larp - some would say overused. So let's talk about it for a bit.


Regarding larp (and pretty much all roleplaying games), there are three separate levels of knowledge.

Your character's knowledge is usually called in-game knowledge, in-character knowledge, in-time knowledge or some variation thereof. It's your character's knowledge of his or her gameworld. Nothing from real world (which is not a part of your game world) matters or has any influence.

Your personal knowledge is usually called off-game knowledge, out-of-character knowledge, out-time knowledge or some other variation. It's your personal knowledge of worldly subjects, such as your family, your job, music, movies, cars, football etc.

Meta-knowledge is your knowledge about the game's in-game details, which you found out (or is available to you) out-of-character, but your character doesn't know it in-character. Meta-gaming is using that met…

Bleed: when larp changes you

Whether we realize it or not, and whether we try to hide it or actively embrace it, one thing is certain - our in-character and out-of-character personalities often mix, and perceptions and emotion often mix. In Nordic larp there's even a word used specifically for it - bleed. From the jeepform dictionary:

Bleed is experienced by a player when her thoghts and feelings are influenced by those of her character, or vice versa. With increasing bleed, the border between player and character becomes more and more transparent. It makes sense to think of the degree of bleed as a measure of how separated different levels of play (actual/inner/meta) are.

There are two concepts for designing larp characters in terms of closeness.

Differentiation allows us to play characters which are radically different from ourselves. A mighty warrior. A religious fanatic. A wealthy statesman. A stealthy assassin. A powerful wizard. And many more. Differentiation can help us learn new insights about other p…

Rikon report. Carmen SF larp in the works! News and some poker.

The sci-fi conventions in Croatia function like central meeting points of Croatian SF, Fantasy and roleplaying fandom. This is visible even in smaller conventions like Rikon. They had no big-name guests (Eurocon and Liburnicon had them) but still the people came and had fun on various lectures, presentations, games and demos, or just hanging around with people.

The new campus building - to which Rikon relocated last year, from what I've heard - is quite neat, and is probably the best looking convention space in Croatia. It was a bit underutilized, as there were several holes in schedule where a classroom was empty, and despite there being a lot of people, a few more would fit too.

After Jaska 11 was canceled, I had a weekend off so I scheduled to go on a show with Red Srebrnog Zmaja on Friday. However, that show got canceled too. So around 2 PM on Friday I decided to go to Rikon with my wife and kid.

We would spend the night in our apartment in Klenovica, some 50 km away from Rij…