Skip to main content

Terra Nova 2013 - how it was

Scroll of Law of New Ardonia

Reviewing an event which you have done yourself is different than reviewing an event you have visited, as experience had shown. Terra Nova series is now over a year old. It had four events since March last year: intro, 2012, Zimograd, and now 2013. Its fourth event was also its third big event, and the second summer event. Like all Terra Nova events so far, this one was done on a different terrain - both in-game and out-of-game - and it was played in Starigrad near Koprivnica. The terrain consisted of a narrow valley which housed camps (and a house which was on terrain), a hill, and a nearby forest, and it represented a mountain in the larp storyline.

An Ur-Tuk and the air altar

Due to some terrain issues, organisation started later than I wanted to. There were some other issues as well - as I have switched jobs I was unable to take a day off at Friday, and Zagreb was overcrowded that day, which means me and other organizers arrived after some guests. And it was raining, which made ground wet and soft, spelling trouble for canvas tent users with no flooring. Despite the time and weather issues, Friday started strong, and after sign-ups and brief intro speech, most of the players got in-character soon and started to tackle the various issues between the characters and the environment.


As the previous two Terra Nova events, this one was international and played in English due to our visitors from Hungary (IC: The Phoenix Brigade), whose larp "Chronicles of Demgard" I visited last year (and plan to do so again this year). Last time on Zimograd they created some player conflict between themselves and the members of the Colonial Guard, which didn't manage to play itself over here as well due to several of Colonial Guard players who were involved in conflict not showing up.

The Phoenix Brigade

The Colonial Guard, however, has managed to reorganize and reinvent itself mostly after the larp itself, so it should grow into something much better organized and unified by next time - and perhaps we'll see more of the competition we missed this time, if the Brigade returns as those characters. Other guilds also started functioning better than on Zimograd - especially healers and alchemists.

A hospital on Terra Nova 2013
Alchemists' corner

There were other sources of character conflict. The in-character laws which had been passed mentioned land claims and sales, which polarized players as intended. And there was a love triangle, when one character's wife reappeared after he got in-character remarried on Zimograd because he thought her dead...

The resulting situation caused him to flip, join the undead and convert his first wife...

Him and several other powerful opponents were the primary antagonists of the combat part of Terra Nova 2013. Combat was more common here than on previous Terra Nova events, supplementing other drama, discovery, religious issues etc.

And not only against NPCs - there was some PvP involved in the form of ambushes and murders. Out of significant peaceful moments there was a mass which was quite nice. Quicker than the religious ceremony on Zimograd, but very involved. And lots of rituals of every kind, with special effects...

And, thanks to dedicated players, some amazing costumes.

The reviews were mixed, depending on whom you asked and according to playing style. Croatian players generally rated the event the best Terra Nova so far and one of the top open-air fantasy larps ever, while from the feedback received by Hungarian players, it appeared as it did not click as much to them as the previous two events due to various reasons. Still, Terra Nova is continuing its evolution, and every lesson is a lesson learned. One of the things which arrived too late to be used fully on this larp is a Tuk-u language, which is slowly evolving into a usable constructed language.

Some in-character journals already started appearing. So far we have Reinhart's letter (which is a sequel to previously unpublished one from Zimograd), but more should appear soon. One of the interesting things which appeared after this event was a large number of memes and demotivational posters which players made from various event photos. Check them all here.

You can see the photo gallery here. Other photo galleries are by Sonir, Valentin, Martina and Ivana.

As a summary: it was an awesome event to do, and players and NPCs - experienced and first-timers - were all a bunch of amazing folks which has managed to surprise me as well with how awesome they are, with their role-play, costuming and general effort. It was a great larp, a learning experience, and I'm looking forward to playing with you again.

To get updates on Terra Nova follow it on Facebook or its Google group.


Popular posts from this blog

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…

These 10 Easy Steps Are All You Need To Start Larping!

"How to become a larper? How to start larping? Where do you begin? How to join a larp? How to prepare for your first event? How to gear up? What do I need to know for my first larp?" Etc.

These are all questions that people interested in larp ask all the time. And in over three years of writing this blog and over 350 posts on it, I just remembered I haven't written any decent advice for new and potential players. And that's why it's harder than it seems. Not preparing for your first larp, but writing about it. Different larps can be quite different, and can be even more confusing to existing larpers (used to another style) than to those who never larped before.

However, I decided to do it - and write a comprehensive guide about it, with a catchy Upworthy-style title that's sure to catch the attention, right? After all, it did catch yours. Below you will find a 10-step guide that will answer the most fundamental questions about larping that you might have.


Guide: Sleeping and shelter systems on fantasy larps

I'd like to talk a bit about sleeping systems and accommodations on multi-day fantasy larps - to provide a review of what is currently used in Croatian larps and what is generally available and possible, as well as benefits, downsides and costs of each option. I'll divide it into three sections: modern, coolthentic and authentic.

This review doesn't mention cabins, yurts, cottages etc. - which could be any of the three, depending on how they're built and decorated. It's focused on larps where you typically camp.

Modern tents Modern tents are the first thing that comes to one's mind when tents are mentioned. They're widely available in all camping stores (and most general stores too). They're compact, lightweight and space-efficient, and they're reasonably priced - cheap ones start from around €10, but they're typically awful - you can get a very decent one for €50. Cheap ones will not last for a long time. Top of the line models can easil…