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Showing posts from 2015

Vampire Night Chronicles - how the larp got started

Vampire Night Chronicles - also known as Vampiri - noćne kronike in Croatian is a new Vampire larp organized in Zagreb, Croatia.

Unlike most larps which have been designed with the top-down approach, this one has been designed from the bottoms up. A group of players basically agreed and voted on several key design elements, and I was asked to be a part of the organizer/storyteller team. I said yes. And truth be told, at first I was more than a little cautious about it due to some of my previous bad experiences. But now I'm very very glad that I said yes.

First of all, some design elements we agreed upon: it will be a setting in which it will be possible to play characters from (almost) all the vampire factions of the classic World of Darkness setting, including regular interaction of Camarilla, Anarch and Sabbat. Organizers are a committee and we'd do our best to give everyone their chances to shine IC, and to create a welcoming environment OOC. It would be set in modern-time …

Steampunk: World War climax review

In the Steampunk larp series Para pokreće svijet by Sven Nemet, World War 1 started over a decade too early, mostly due to the act of several random assholes *whistles innocently*.

So, considering there were several "spin off" events for Para pokreće svijet - one of them which involved us actually climbing in the indoor rock climbing gym, and another which involved a chase in the snow-covered mountains - this was another such spin-off event, meant to add depth to the larp world while being different to the usual social larping style. It would involve a few people trying to move the plotline of the larp in new directions by controlling the armies in the world which already went far away from its' historical inspirations.

Our larp location was an apartment of one of our players. In total there were 9 of us: 4 per side, plus one of the GMs. As my usual character on the Steampunk larp was a French ambassador who turned out to become a minister of war, I played that characte…

Warcraft Live 2015 review

"You guys have Warcraft larp?!?" was my first reaction when I heard it several years ago from Hungarian players. Considering that I spent a significant portion of my childhood playing Warcraft 1, 2 and 3 and a lot of time playing World of Warcraft later on (here's a shout-out to all my guildies from Final Equilibrium, EU-Aggramar, you guys rock) I knew I also want to visit this larp, eventually.

So after meeting the GM in person on Demgard and a few days of consideration, I decided to attend this year - see what's it all about, so I signed up for Warcraft Live 2015, the sixth larp in the series. The storyline of the larp was set during The Burning Crusade expansion, and I built myself a blood elf costume - from a red robe and armor that were just laying around my larp collection, and the GM had a Blood Knight tabard to go with it. Perfect. I had some elf ears to go with it (cheap ones, now I regret not making better ones) and I made some fake eyebrows using a braid …

Chronicles of Demgard 2015/2 - Trail of Ages Past review

The Hungarian Chronicles of Demgard larp series is played twice a year. One event is strictly for people who speak Hungarian, while the other is for both locals and international players, and a lot of people make an effort to speak English and translate stuff for us. All docs exist in English too. And since last year's event, the international Demgard larp has been played in the more attractive summer term.
The story revolved around the recently discovered dig site. The Empire - a nation inspired by both Warhammer's Empire and the historical Holy Roman Empire - was once again the center of the larp's setting and story, but this time players explored the academic life of a fantasy country. The majority of players played students or professors of the Marengart Academy of Free Arts. Some of the faculties were mundane, while others were magical. There were also several tribal groups, a local noble and his entourage, and our group - the Sterrenfels fencing school, a rival to t…

Orahovačke kronike review

Ognjeni Mač association's last two years were turbulent. They stopped their old campaign, and ran two larps (plus several test and battle scenarios) with the new setting and system last year: Put istine and Maska sumraka. I had fun on both, but despite that there were some issues which ultimately resulted in the system and the campaign getting canned.

After one year of nothing much going on with Ognjeni Mač, this April 1st we got treated to the announcement for Orahovačke kronike. A medieval larp which was supposed to be a simulationist/immersionist soap opera, instead of a fantasy combat larp. Minimalist rules (available here in Croatian, but they're largely the "improvise everything" type), unthinkable years ago but nowadays common on a lot of Croatian larp, rounded up the announcement and made us all go "seriously guys, this is one of the best April Fools Day jokes ever". But it turned out to actually be real. Play site: Eko selo Žumberak. No floods thi…

Star Wars larp 2.2 review

The fifth larp in the Croatian Star Wars series was labeled Star Wars 2.2 - noting second season, second event. This storyline started in February, but this was a very different event (despite the same location and some of the same characters).

Like last larp, the story of this event was set in the early Rebellion era. The in-character location was the Imperial military academy on the planet Courlag. Many people were trying to sign up for it: loyal Imperial citizens, misfits, opportunists, children of the powerful, and quite likely a few rebels trying to infiltrate the Empire... if they are detected, of course. This larp was about the sign up process for the academy.

All of this was actually scheduled. After candidates were signed up, we had a headmaster of the Academy holding an entry speech. Then we had our first exam - coordination was measured by doing the hand tap test.

We had a short break after - and after every other program point - that allowed for social play familiar from …

Dishonored larp review

Ten days ago I played a larp based on the Dishonored PC game. Unfortunately, I didn't have the opportunity to play Dishonored (and to be frank, I still have a long list of games on Steam that I have yet to play), but the larp organizers - Nikola Habek and Andriana Lacković - assured us that this was not required. The larp itself was set 10 years after the events of the PC game. Well, for the sake of completion here's a PC game trailer:

The larp itself was labeled as a steampunk larp. Naturally, this brings a question to mind - how different can it be from an already existing Steampunk campaign that we've grown accustomed to, Para pokreće svijet? Well, the answer is: quite a lot.

Para pokreće svijet is a wacky, lighthearted larp based on international diplomacy and crazy technology. Dishonored is a disease-ridden dystopia, leaning strongly on exploitation and poverty. How well was the setting from the game represented, I cannot say - I will leave that to those who played t…

Land of Arcadia webseries

Last weekend I had the honor of visiting a fascinating group of creative artists calling themselves "Rune Gear". Their project is called Land of Arcadia, and it's a fantasy webseries.

A fantasy webseries which looks like it's made in expensive Hollywood studios, instead of a small (but lively) workshop in Zagreb's Bukovac district.

This is especially noteworthy considering that the regular Croatian cinematography is usually focused on dramas, war movies and bad comedies - not something with tons of SFX. Much less good SFX. And now we have a small, independent project that is pushing the borders.

I was treated to a preview of the pilot episode, and I had the chance to talk to the production crew and see plenty of props - both those used in pilot episode, and several which are planned for future episodes. This week, they've gone public with their indiegogo campaign and their pilot episode.

Now, you might be asking yourself why is a webseries being covered on a…

The Witcher School

Haven't had your fill of cool larps in castles of Poland? Harry Potter not your style? How about... The Witcher?

Probably the most famous computer game from Poland (and one of the biggest fantasy franchises) is now getting a larp based on it - also in Poland. Some organizers visited us on PoRtaL...

Anyway, the press release is below. You can also check their website and facebook page.

The Witcher school is a new Polish project set in The Witcher universe, organised by Agencja 5 Żywiołów in Moszna Castle. 

The Witcher school is a larp (life-action role playing game) intended for adult fans of The Witcher and the people looking for unusual experiences. The game is going to last for 3 days (nights included) and will be preceded by the workshop during which the players will be given their roles and costumes. 

The participants are going to play witcher novices that have already undergone part of the trials, but still have not received their medallions nor the swords. Under the supervisio…

PoRtaL3 - how it was

The third regional larp convention PoRtaL has been held in Zagreb just over two weeks ago. On this blog I've also covered two previous PoRtaL conventions, so you may check the links from the convention in Zagreb, 2013 and the convention in Budapest, 2014.

For reference, the convention schedule can be found here - program details and blurbs are available on the details page, and all the files used in the presentations are available here. The convention website is available here.

This year I was the main organizer. Several other Croatian larpers helped with housing of foreign guests, although the room was limited so several visitors took the hostel.

The location was Kinoklub Zagreb (you might recognize it from my other posts, as it's a common location for indoor larps in Zagreb), with a presentation room and adjacent bar.

Besides locals, there were larpers from Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Slovenia and Germany - and all of them had program points to contribute.

We began a few min…

Star Wars larp 4 review

The fourth Star Wars larp by Ivo Turk and Matija Mihoković felt fresh. The reason for it was the entire setting reset thing. While the first three larps were played in the post-episode 6 timeline, this one was played in pre-episode 4. The characters were new, as was the in-game location. I played a character from Alderaan called Wones Ann. Unlike my previous Star Wars characters - which were basically social - this one was armed to the teeth, sporting my new NERF gun (which are used to represent blasters in this larp).

The character was mostly pre-generated, with me submitting only a few basics such as character type and faction. This is one of the few larps offering full pre-generated characters, and (apart from the occasional hard to remember name) I found that this option works well enough. It was also interesting to note that other characters I was immediately connected with were also made in the same fashion. Character relationships - as described on the character sheet - were la…

Guest appearance on LARPBook podcast

Last evening I made a guest appearance on LARPBook podcast. We talked a little about larp in Croatia and elsewhere, talked about several Croatian larps, projects such as PoRtaL and touched on a question which is asked in both Croatia and UK - is it a larp or LRP?

However, these terms are used very differently in those countries.

To find out more, here's a link to the podcast. Enjoy :)

Cug review (Steampunk larp)

Cug is a Croatian spelling of the German word Zug, which means train. In several Croatian dialects, it is still commonly used to refer to trains, rather than the Croatian word for train, vlak. Cug is also a name of the train-themed cafe bar near Zagreb's main railroad station, where the new installment of Steampunk larp "Para pokreće svijet" was held. The name of the event was also Cug, and - unsurprisingly - the location represented a train in-character. A super-fast Steampunk train running a zig-zag north-south route through the fictional version of 1902's Austria-Hungary.

The event - held 10 days ago - was structured around certain train stops, which provided embarkation / disembarkation points for various player characters and NPCs. The train would remain at the railroad station for a while (giving characters the opportunity to exit the train) and then it continued along the way. Since the larp was held on Sunday - a bit odd time for larps - that actually worked…