Skip to main content

Terra Nova 2014 - how it was

Terra Nova 2014 was the sixth event of the series, in just a bit over two years. How quickly the time passes. Like all Terra Nova events so far, this one was played at a different terrain. The terrain of TN2014 was owned by the family of one of our players and co-organizers, Ivan Kalinić. In total, 30 players took part in Terra Nova 2014 - 23 Croats, 5 Hungarians and 2 Bulgarians.

This was the first Terra Nova event where players were separated into several camps - there were three camps in total (the colonists' camp, a camp of the tribal Tuk-u culture, and the undead camp), and in addition the colonists' camp was split in two. The terrain was bigger than on previous Terra Nova events and - due to camps being spread around - better utilized, with a large part of the larp happening in the forest between the camps. Also, this was the first camping Terra Nova event where there was a specific NPC camp, with their own goals and missions - and a significant NPC population that's playing the larp.

The undead camp did their own clothing and makeup. Unfortunately, we had no professional make-up artist this time (as we had on Rise of Rashalan) so the undead make-up was not on that level, but it was still looking far better than in other Terra Nova events so far. In addition, several players brought in some cool masks for their undead characters, and they looked awesome.

Five colonist characters died over the course of a larp, and three of them were subsequently turned into undead characters in what was role-played as a "desecration ritual". The make-up was first applied, then their "modifications" were played out, and then they had some trials. Overall, the undead had really nice, focused and involved play both in camp and out of camp. They worked as I hoped they will.

The Tuk-u - a rather unique player culture consisting of natives of Terra Nova - had a camp of their own, however they were often not in it. They could often be found roaming the forests of the terrain, scouting, hiding from the undead etc. and in general did their best to really make this event stand out with its' own unique cultural elements.

But they weren't the only ones doing that. The players playing colonists also saw the more fundamentalist followers of their religion that came into power.

As the different character values and goals clashed, many players found themselves stuck in the middle - either to profit from the unfolding events, or they ended up "disappearing" altogether.

In the end, a new order was established among the colonists, with new people in their positions of power.

The internal struggle of the colonists happened at the same time as the external struggle they had with other factions involved. But they were not the only ones with internal struggles - undead also had them, and this caused a switch in the leadership for the undead, where king Yngvar was challenged and beaten by the new queen Kolfinna of the undead that took his place - mirroring the earlier battle in which Kolfinna got killed and raised to the ranks of the undead, but with a different result. Two factions with new leadership, and new leaders who promised to do things differently.

Yngvar and Kolfinna - a struggle for power in the ranks of the undead

And then there were pirates, stirring trouble but making things more fun for everyone - and doing it while looking cool. They were in the colonial camp, and they introduced the much-needed element into the colony that made it a complex, multifaceted society instead of something that's single-minded or two-party.

They were also armed with model flintlock pistols, and they placed small firecrackers inside to fire them which ended up looking and sounding quite cool - also causing a few misfires along the way.

Several expeditions were made into the forest, and many of them ended up with battles between the colonists and the undead (and/or other opponents, although there were relatively few of those compared to the number of the undead).

Regarding other NPCs, there were a few who were friendly to the players. Avatars of air and water made several appearances throughout the larp, aiding the colonists and the Tuk-u in battle and giving them advice.

Yngvar and Aera

Water altar prop
Plague seal prop

And in the end, this was one area in which I believe this larp failed. As a main organizer, I didn't communicate enough with those two NPCs, which created communication issues and important information would simply not reach the players, or it would end up misinterpreted. So as a result the players didn't receive the necessary lore or hints that they should have received. And it showed in the reactions - while a large number of players loved the event, part of the players didn't have the experience they could - mainly due to the lack of information.

A large number of organizational issues from the past larps was fixed this time (due to setting the terrain early enough and arriving early to get stuff done), but this issue unfortunately remained. Needless to say, this is of the highest priority on the To-Do list for the next events. Other issues included not reading the rules, and some conflicts about what is acceptable to do and what is not.

I wish I'd have done some things better and I plan to fix the issues encountered, but overall I'm very happy with this Terra Nova - probably happier than with the first two main events. It was an amazing experience to organize that left me quite happy in the end, and I'm glad to have received plenty of positive feedback about it.

Hereby I'd like to thank my fellow co-organizers, Undead, other NPCs, Colonial guard, Alchemists, Phoenix Brigade, Pirates, Tuk-u, my wife and everyone else who helped make this larp happen. Hope to see you guys (as well as all those who couldn't make it this time) on future Terra Nova events.

Photos in this post have been taken by Martina Šestić, Lucija Miškić and myself.

Got any comments? Reviews of your own? In-character journals? They would be most welcome - post them below :)


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 you

Mind's Eye Theatre: Werewolf The Apocalypse rulebook review

Available on DriveThruRPG Just under three years ago I wrote a review for  Mind’s Eye Theatre: Vampire the Masquerade rulebook . It was the first book published by By Nights Studio, and a year later I reviewed one of its supplements - Storyteller Secrets . Now, after a long period of work, after the success of their kickstarter campaign, By Night Studios finally released the full version of the new larp rules for Werewolf the Apocalypse setting. This was preceded by various alpha, beta, gamma, delta and omega slices - each containing a different playtest version of the rules, slowly released from September last year until July this year. First impressions were that the artwork is very cool, and that the book is HUGE. Numbering at 762 pages, that's over 200 pages more than Vampire the Masquerade. But before I start going in-depth, I'd like to mention that this blog's readers come from various backgrounds - and I'll adjust my review accordingly. I assume I'

Larps in EU

Today Croatia has acceeded into the European Union as its 28th state. EU has loads of diverse and different larp scenes and cultures in them. Some of them are local, some are national, some encompass all speakers of a certain language, some are regional, and some are world-famous. Here's a short window into a couple of EU larps and larp scenes, carefully selected and profiled by the criteria of "those I actually visited myself" and "those who bothered to answer my survey on facebook on a short notice", with a dash of "this is like elementary culture you should know". So this is not a full list - not even close - and not even the fully representative one, despite it being the largest post on this blog ever. Even keeping track of the Croatian scene is quite a job and there are still many language barriers around. But hopefully you'll find plenty of new and interesting material here. If you want your larp represented - whether it's battle