Skip to main content

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 this time.


Historical accuracy is often a touchy subject when it comes to larpers, reenactors, living history buffs and the others. We were supposed to portray 12th century characters with reasonably accurate visuals - we were not terribly historically accurate on that larp, there were a few costumes which missed a century or were made of inauthentic materials, but overall this was a step forward in establishing an uniformed, historically accurate look - something most other Croatian larps don't pay too much attention to. If you're interested, you can read more on the subject of authenticity on larps here.

Intro speech

The larp was set in a fictional village to Orahovac in Croatian Slavonia region. Many have noted that the village has the same name as a certain alcoholic drink, or that it's very similar to the real-life town in Slavonia called Orahovica. The year was 1148, and it was set during the Second Crusade, which left the village depleted of young men who went off to fight a war, and there were few peasants left to do plenty of work.

The village was divided between the two noble families: the local family Gorjanski, and the newcomers - the Kis family which arrived from Hungary. Noble families and peasants serfs who worked for them were all portrayed by players.

Work, work

My character was called Slavoljub Zec, and I was one of the serfs working for the Kis family. Unfortunately, as it's common in Croatian larps lately, we got hit by a wave of cancelations, and among others this included the two players who were supposed to portray my son and daughter. One of the organizers, however, played my niece for a while and we got some cool role-playing moments. From my perspective, most of the day was spent talking to people - especially other serfs - and working whatever tasks we were assigned to by the nobility. Which included handling a drunken guy who wandered into a village, and later conveniently forgetting what happened and what we saw.

Not like anything suspicious happened at all.



The central part of the event was a wedding between a couple from two peasant families which served different masters. This happened on Saturday, about 6 hours after larp started. Most of the early larp content was about preparations for the wedding, talk about the wedding, a few scandals leading to wedding, and the wedding itself was done properly - with procession, church ceremony, and prayers and rites in Latin, of course. Because 12th century.

After the ceremony, it was the time for reception - which was done in the Eko selo restaurant, the meal which we paid for. Bean stew with sausage and grilled meat were on the menu.



Naturally, nobility was separated from the serfs during the meal
After the meal, there was of course the dance... we didn't have any instruments with us, but we sang some appropriate stuff, like this:


After the reception was when the trouble started. Well, there were a few issues before - since Eko selo was not exclusively booked by us, we had some non-players walking by, there was a guy making a fence with a chainsaw and another part was booked by a local country band (yes, a country band from Croatia - it's not a typo) called Picksiebner. But players were mostly ignoring these issues, since otherwise larp worked well.

The drama started in-game and turned out-of-game, when the innocent Medieval soap opera suddenly became Game of Thrones. The killing - done by the Kis family - started in order to protect a secret, and then it kinda escalated from there. In the end, most characters from the Gorjanski family - and some of their serfs - were dead, and their players were pissed off because that happened. A few attempts to save character lives were done amidst that chaos, but nevertheless - players who got killed got angry OOC.


The night was late, so after a visit by a NPC party and talking to GMs the game was paused until morning - when we received a party of templars, who - after a bit of finding out what was going on - press ganged the Kis family (and everyone else who committed a murder) into the Crusade, which provided some closure for the players whose characters got killed.

And so ended the first Orahovačke kronike larp - it's planned to be a campaign, so it's possible there will be sequels. Besides all the drama (and a few other kinks) it was fun.

Photos by Petar Ratković and Joško Frančeski.

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.

But…

Mind's Eye Theatre: Werewolf The Apocalypse rulebook review

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'll have some larpers who haven't p…