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.
By Night Studios rules with some house ruling, but a more compact ruleset was developed for this larp which also included some special mechanics used on the event, as well as a quick rundown on story and the most well-known characters.
Yet all of this meant I was better prepared for the next day - and so were others, players and organizers alike, although not everyone was present on both days. The larp started sooner (though it was still late), the introductory parts went quicker, and the queues at the Sheriff's office were gone, though the waiting was still there (we reformed the coterie after 2 members were not here for the day, and ran another round). The plot was more compact, and more charged, as story-wise this was the main part of the Conclave. This was the day when the most important social aspects came into play.
which was digitally available to the organizers and mostly managed by the Harpy. Another fun part was a "game of bouquets" organized by the Harpy, where two opponents would give "compliments" (of the backhanded variety) to each other - ineffective "compliments", non-subtle insults and not keeping to the given subject were faults which would eventually lead to the loss of one side.
After the discussion part of the conclave, it was time for a short closing ceremony and the larp closed at 2 AM. Since only half of the Sheriff's missions were done by that point, it remained open for that even after the in-game part ended - but I left and went home, as it was late I had to avoid getting fired at work several hours later.
Thanks to the organizers and co-players for the larp. Special thanks to Željka and Ivana for my makeup. Photos by Tibor Rogulja.