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Showing posts from 2017

TESC IV: Ebonheart review

TESC is a Croatian Elder Scrolls-inspired larp, started by Marko Zadro and ran by him and his team for more than 4 years so far. During its first two years of existence, four larps were ran (the second was the one actually counted as first, as first larp was counted as playtest) which were well-received, well-visited and raised the visual level of Croatian fantasy larps. Yet TESC IV: Ebonheart was a whole different beast altogether. General ideas were formed by organizers far before the logistics to do them became available, and 2.5 years elapsed between the previous larp of the series and this one. Also, this is the first larp so far directly inspired by the organizer's (and mine) favorite game of the series, Morrowind. Inspired by the European blockbuster castle larps, TESC IV became the first Croatian blockbuster castle larp - although at the far lower entrance price (€85 as opposed to €500+ price typical of those). While this means production values weren't exact

What's been going on recently

Last update on this blog was three and a half months ago. Plenty of things happened in that time, which I didn't write about. Not because there was nothing to write about, but because what I could write about them wouldn't merit a full article. So let's do a quick summary. Photo by ConQuest photo team First of all - ConQuest 2017. World's largest larp. It was a great experience, but you probably know most about it if you read my previous ConQuest articles (I didn't get to Drachenfest this year either, but one of the main topic on ConQuest was about the ridiculous amount of rain and mud they had to deal with the week before on Drachenfest). To make it short - the story returned to Mythodea again, and we - as bad guys - had a really nice fortress which we manned and defended (and assaulted in the big final battle when it was taken from us). The camps were organized in a different manner - similar to how they used to be back in 2012 and 2013 . There were a few

Announcing Izgon: Ascendancy

"Another Izgon larp?", a friend asked me two years ago as I announced the previous larp of the series. "How about doing something new?" I was stuck with these questions for a time. New stuff. Well, of course there was innovation in every Izgon larp - an urban fantasy pervasive series which I started four years ago. Some stuff worked. Some didn't. In the background, however, the same principles still did apply. There was secrecy. Long playtime of being in-character. Mana gathering to open a portal back home. It worked. Lots of people had fun and amazing experience, it became the first Croatian larp that was novelized , and as with any larp there were some people it didn't work for. But that question about doing something new remained. Izgon: Ascendancy is very much a new larp, although it shares the setting with the previous ones. There will be different structure. Different character building. Different focus. Different mechanics. And a very much di

Creating a quick larp in 1 hour

Creating a larp in one hour can be a quick, practical, creative and enabling exercise - and most of all fun. I'll share some techniques, perspectives and examples here, and I'm including this article in the start a larp series (which is seriously outdated, but you might still find it useful). But first of all let's cover some local history... Flashback 1 In ancient times - over four years ago - we ran PoRtaL , the first larp conference in Croatia. At that time, the idea of quick, short, repeatable chamber larps was new around this parts. Ana & Božo, founders of the now-inactive Lateralus association and main organizers of PoRtaL premiered the style by importing and translating Love is Blue, an Italian chamber larp which still holds the record of most runs in the country. I wrote the first locally-written larp of the style - Death of the Japanese Emperor - and PoRtaL featured the premiere of the second locally-written larp of the style, Koliba (The Cabin). Consi

Running a workshop on Thursday in Terrible Lair

Terrible Creations, a Zagreb-based larp collective active for over 2 years, and the most prolific Croatian authors and organizers of chamber larps in that period, recently opened Zagreb's first larp-specific space, aptly named Terrible Lair. Several larps had already been held there, including their own productions as well as an Zagreb by Night event last Saturday. I'm deeply honored by the opportunity to run a first workshop that will be held there this Thursday at 8 - based on my experiences from Enlightenment in Blood . It's my hope that what I learned over there will be useful to larp players and designers alike. I, for one, would certainly wish to repeat that experience, and I got the feeling (and feedback) that the mini-workshop I did last Wednesday before my Vampire game (Noćne kronike) had a good effect on players' role-play, trust and safety. If you're around, I'd love to see you there. Facebook event - website announcement (in Croatian).

First Croatian blockbuster castle larp announced

TESC (The Elder Scrolls Chronicles) is not a new larp - it started with the playtest back in 2013, had two events in 2014, and the last event was exactly 2 years from the date of posting this. As a fantasy larp, all of its runs have been quite impressive compared to other Croatian fantasy larps of the era, regarding production, costumes, hype and much more - though it needs to be said, because of their obvious failure to raise a shrine to Kynareth, weather issues on previous larps are as legendary as the larps themselves. Yet, after producing one larp every six months (approximately), TESC has been silent for two years. And oh boy it comes back in style. A lot has changed in these two years. First of all, the blockbuster larps in the Nordic/progressive tradition happening around the world started affecting us as well, as some Croatian larpers visited those. College of Wizardry . Black Friday. Enlightenment in Blood . And others as well. This blockbuster larp experience (and

World of Darkness Berlin and Enlightenment in Blood

How do I even start this article? Fair warning: it will be long  (TL;DR - best larp experience of my life). It will be emotional. Sometimes rambling, or jumping from one subject to another. It will include both what took part on the con, before it, after it, and some of my own thoughts and reflections on it. And it will not include a lot of photos of the larp itself, because of the photo policy I signed. Last weekend I took a part in World of Darkness Berlin convention - first of its' type in Europe. Unfortunately, it was in the same time slot as SFeraKon in Zagreb, but when you have an opportunity such as this - well, you don't miss it. The convention, most of it taking place in Mercure hotel MOA Berlin (with several events in other venues), had covered almost every possible expression of World of Darkness, it's licensees and IPs - tabletop role-play, larps, V:TES collectible card game, and more. Let's be frank - if you're reading my blog, you're prob

News from our neighbors in Bulgaria: PoRtaL and Fog larp

While I'm still digesting the events of last weekend with WoD Berlin, here's two quick and important news from our neighbors in Bulgaria. First, the PoRtaL larp convention. PoRtaL 1, 3 and this year's 5 were in Zagreb. 2 and 4 were in Budapest. Yeah, I know, I failed to review the last two of them. My bad. But they were great. PoRtaL 6 has already been announced - March 2-4 2018 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. This marks the first time our Bulgarian friends are joining us as the organizers, as the convention expands to its third country. Also, the event date has never been known so early. So - save the date, and follow the PoRtaL convention news on facebook . In other news, Fog larp - the biggest fantasy larp in Bulgaria - is running a kickstarter in order to fund some improvements on their larp - check it out .

ZbN Croatian Conclave 2017 review

This weekend I attended the Croatian Conclave, a two-night Vampire the Masquerade castle larp organized by Zagreb by Night (ZbN). It was a big international Vampire larp, drawing many members of the games from the VIC network, as well as some others - apart from us locals, the visitors arrived from Slovenia, Hungary, Austria, Slovakia, Poland, UK and Israel. Throughout the review I'll attempt to avoid spoilers, as well as write in a way which will also be readable to the non-VtM readers of this blog. The larp took place in Lukavec castle, a (comparatively small) two-story mid-18th century castle near Zagreb. There were several available rooms, including a large room which served as a throne room where central parts of the Conclave took part. The castle had a central open courtyard which served as a place for many public events in the larp. Considering the entrance fee was only about €20, the production value of the larp was outstanding. Apart from the use of castle for 2

Izgnani review

I already reviewed several books on this blog, but these have all been larp-specific rulebooks. This is the first time I'm posting a review for a novel. Having said that, Izgnani ("Exiled") by Ivana Delač is not just any novel - it's a first Croatian novel based on a larp - which I ran . It's hard to convey how honored I feel because of that. It's the first time something like that has been done in Croatia, and reading a novel based in the Izgon setting which I wrote, with characters I created and many of my friends played - it was a warm, incredible feeling reading Ivana's novelization of the larp and setting. This is why it's hard for me to review Izgnani purely as a novel - for me, it's also a novelization of the larp I ran, an unique take of the setting and introspective into larp design. However, it does work very well as a novel. As a quick refresher if you don't know the backstory - the plot is urban fantasy, it focuses on energy be