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Common Croatian fantasy larp game world

Map of all active lands (2011.)

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 Croatia uses this game world. It's a legacy of Croatian larp history - with every Amtgard or Amtgard-ish larp in Croatia descending from Summer Session in Kutina (in-character: "Grad od vinske gore" on the above map, capital city of Nepokoreno kraljevstvo, currently in ruins IC due to that chapter being defunct), all other larps with ties to it continued their own storyline.

Every larp is running its own "region" more or less independently, with full authority and in its own style. In the last two years, there has been increased effort between groups to tie all the lands and storylines into one continuous game world.

2010. map of the Bergamot region (Jaska larp)

The world itself has no specific name. That's because it's based on a real world and its geography - however, it's not really historically accurate, and it's veiled in myth and high fantasy. Most of all, it's rather generic. The locals are typically described only as "slavic people", and the slavic pantheon is most commonly worshipped one (modified game version - simplified and somewhat different from the actual historical or neopagan one).

The Croatian common fantasy larp world is also in a way connected with the game worlds from Serbian larps and with Bulgarian larps through Serbia (also, possibly with Slovenian larps though there have been only few of those and there hasn't been any cross-gaming yet to set the precedent). This has been made somewhat more official via the USEL initiative (which connects various larps from these countries).

Characters can travel freely between lands of this common fantasy world, and larp groups usually acknowledge character experience gathered elsewhere. Characters bring stories from their own larps to wherever they go. In agreement with event organizers, sometimes quests or other elements are run which are connected to a storyline from another larp.

The downside is, with so many people running the world throughout the years, it can appear bland, incoherent, illogical and random. And that's a rather correct assumption. But many players feel that upsides are more important, and cross-gaming in common Croatian larp world is becoming increasingly common, with Crolarp this year probably being the crowning achievement of it.

In a way, there's currently a divide in thought - between larps crafting their own worlds for maximum intended effect, and common world larps providing rewards to characters originally from other larps when players visit them...

Where do you stand? What are your thoughts? Write your comments below.

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