Skip to main content

Divlja Krajina 1 review



Who are player characters? What is their purpose? Each larp defines that differently. Or perhaps it would be better to say, early Croatian fantasy larps did not do that at all, they were designed as a blank canvas allowing (at least in theory) every player to choose that for themselves. As these larps themselves progressed, various concepts would be more or less viable and playable.


Terra Nova 2012 was the first fantasy larp to cast player characters specifically as colonists of a foreign land (other factions were added later, and from this year new setting will have factions designed from various player choices in last 4 years). TESC larps were a series of one-shots, each with their own factions which generally helped form what players are.

And now comes Divlja Krajina, which focuses on a very specific role: all player characters are adventurers, braving the undiscovered divlja krajina ("wild region" would be an approximate translation) in hopes of fame and fortune.


Divlja Krajina is a new larp by Ognjeni Mač. It has a history though. The first era of Ognjeni Mač larps were played between 2006 and 2013, starting from once common Croatian setting, played using Amtgard 7.0 rules - which were quickly modified, and more modifications were added as the time went by. This was followed by a setting and rules reboot in 2014, which used the new "Trinity" ruleset focused around three forces, three classes etc., but only three larps were played using these rules: a demo event, Put istine and Maska sumraka. The reactions to them were mixed though, and Ognjeni Mač ran no larps for over a year, until Orahovačke Kronike historical larp which was overall good, except for the murder spree that happened in the evening.

Divlja Krajina builds upon the first two phases - it uses what is by name the same setting as the original phase, but moved forward into the future. As a ruleset, it uses redesigned and streamlined Trinity rules. The pre-event for this setting was already done last summer...

Actually, it is the same setting in name only. And that is perhaps the best thing about it - the origin regions of characters is divided into several villages which players can originate from, all with their specific flavor and sets of prejudices against others. In that way, it's more similar to a lightweight version of Tragači zore than Rajski vrhovi (which continues the original setting).


The setting itself takes itself less seriously than other fantasy settings - the locations, religions etc. are full of humor and puns. However, it's not really a full parody setting like some larps can be.

The game offers two classes, "ordinary" and "magically gifted". I rolled a "magically gifted" character (which seem to be in majority), playing a warrior-monk of a sardine goddess from a fisherman village of Padele, trying to amass richess for his temple.

Divlja Krajina 1 was played in Maksimir park on April 2, and the attendance was free - both of these were features of previous short larps organized by Ognjeni Mač in that same location. First 72 were numbered, then there was Put istine, so this would in fact be Maksimir 74 under the old numbering scheme. The exact location was slightly changed, so it felt fresh.


The larp design was familiar. It was not linear like Put istine - rather, after we arrived in our village groups and met near the center (which was also the off site, so this was a bit of an unfortunate choice), there would be different encounters near that site at various points of time. Organizers and NPCs played various roles, and there would be some downtime until they changed - apart from village relations, no character structures existed and the rest of plot was external. This part will likely improve as time passes, and characters manage to build up their personal relations.

There were some encounters which were fun though, mostly due to NPCs putting on a good act. There were also some new costumes and new monsters, which helped this larp feel different from older Ognjeni Mač larps.

Next event was generally announced as "in a month", so it will be interesting to see how it develops further - and what challenges await the adventurers...

Photos by Petar Ratković

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…