A Typical Event Begins. . .
Here's how it would look to you:
A character card which lists your current skills and other pertinent information is provided. You will get a new card for every event in order to keep this information accurate and up to date. This allows you, other characters, and the game marshals to keep track of your abilities should any disputes arise.
You are given a key ring. On this ring you will place the Armor Point tags, Body point tags and other tags that keep track of your spells and your current status.
You then have to get your weapon checked. Even players who go to every event have to get their weapons checked; weapons do break down and become unsafe. If your weapon is approved, you are given a safety tag that is taped onto your weapon.
Next, you are given a cabin assignment. You put on a white headband (signifying that you are "out-of-game") and carry your bedding and other equipment to your room. You then get into your costume.
One thing you notice is that everyone in the game wears a costume. It is amazing how good some of the costumes are. The type of clothes you are wearing can also help with your armor class. The more armor you wear (and the better made it is) the more points of protection you will have. We're talking real armor here -- a cloth shirt designed to look like chain mail will not get you the points you would get for real chain mail.
The game begins. You make sure you're carrying all your tags, and then you step out into the night.
It's Friday night and the town is buzzing. Guilds are having meetings, adventuring groups are planning strategy, the elves are having a ceremony, and the tavern is packed.
Rumors of a zombie attack are floating about and the political situation doesn't look too secure either. Life could be easier -- but it could also be boring.
You adjust your boots, make sure your dagger is handy, and start walking at a leisurely pace over to the tavern, but only get a few steps before something jumps out at you. It's a goblin! You can tell by the ugly green face.
Goblins and other monsters are some of the Non-Player Characters. Members who want to play monsters get special benefits for that event but must do what the Monster Marshal tells them. The makeup or masks are sometimes uncomfortable, but not having to worry about your character dying is a relief.
The goblin advances and swings his sword. You pull out your trusty dagger.
Weapons are soft "boffer" weapons. They are basically PVC piping covered with foam rubber, with very soft ends. No one has ever been seriously injured using these things -- a game of football is more dangerous than combat. Players either make their own weapons or buy them from the town blacksmith.
A dagger only does one point of damage while a long sword (which the goblin has) does two. The goblin knows this and smiles (or at least you think he does behind his mask). What the goblin doesn't know is that one of the skills you bought with your Build Points is a Critical Attack which allows you to do an extra point of damage.
The battle begins. Each of you calls out what damage you are doing so the other player can keep track. "Two Normal!" yells the goblin. "Two Normal!" you reply, using your Critical Attack in the hopes of finishing off the goblin before he finishes you!
The goblin lunges at your chest, but you jump aside just at the last moment! As he passes by, you jab at his back with your dagger.
"Ow!" screams the goblin. "Dat hurt! Me no like you!"
You grin and swing out again, just to tease and torment the creature. He advances. "Me now teach you lesson!"
With a lightning quick thrust, he swings at your chest. You try to block with your dagger, but it's just too short. Your now ruined shirt tells you that it might be a good idea to be a bit more careful with this foe. You make a mental note to find someone to teach you how to fight with a long sword as soon as possible.
You now have both taken two points of damage. Since you've never fought a goblin before, you don't know how many total points he has. Will the next hit bring him down?
"Give up, smelly human?"
"Never!" you reply, jumping in and taking the foul creature by surprise. His yelp of pain as your dagger slices his chest is very satisfying. . .but he's still up!
Perhaps running away might be a good option.
The goblin senses your apprehension and follows with a flurry of attacks. You are able to block most of them, but one lands its target, cutting through your torn shirt and releasing a spray of blood. The goblin laughs triumphantly.
That does it! This really sparks your anger and you lunge in like a mad man, hacking away at the green-skinned creature. This is more than he can take, and he falls to the ground.
You stand there breathing heavily for a minute, and then you lean over him and search him.
"I search you," you say. He hands you three copper pieces and a strange locked box he had on him.
You then have to adjust your tags. You took four points of damage, so you remove your two Armor Points and two of your Body Points. You only have four Body Points left! Better find a healer and get a Cure Light Wounds spell.
If you die either in battle or by execution, your character can then be resurrected by the Healers' Guild -- assuming you have enough money to pay for it! If you have died more than twice, then you will have to pick from the Bag of Chance. The more deaths you have suffered, the more likely it is that you will pick a black stone from that Bag and then your character will be permanently dead.
You walk into the tavern which is busy as usual. Some local bards are playing quietly in a corner and look over there! It's the local Baron himself, sitting with the Magistrate and the Sheriff! They seem to be arguing over something and it must be important given how many other people are sitting nearby trying to pretend they're not listening.
You find a spot and sit. The gypsy tavernkeeper dances over to you and brings you an ale for two coppers. (It's actually a soft drink of course; alcohol is not allowed at NERO events.)
A woman sits nearby and pulls out a book and begins reading, By the glow of her hands, you can tell that she is a spellcaster. You walk over.
"Good evening," you say. "Might you be a healer?"
"Yes I am," she replies. "I am Arcadia. Are you in need of help?"
"I am Dreyfus," you reply. You tell her about your encounter with the goblin and ask if she can spare a Cure Light Wounds spell. She states that such a spell would cost five copper commons.
"I only have three," you reply, showing her your meager wealth.
She glances at you and sighs. "Very well," she says. "I have to make a living, but I took an oath to help those in need. I will cure you, but you will owe me a favor in the future!"
"Agreed," you reply, handing her the coins. She calls up her power and touches your shoulder.
"I call upon the earth to cure light wounds" she says. A burst of warmth fills your body and you can feel the wound healing itself.
She hands you a Cure Light Wounds tag, ripping off the "uncast" flag from the bottom. You place this tag on your tag ring and it now takes the place of your missing Body Points.
A venerable mage then comes up to both of you. With him is a high orc warrior in chain mail, and a rather shifty-looking hobling.
"Pardon me," says the mage. "My names is Kiswick, and this is Grizelda and Finther. We were just wondering if you've heard anything about a goblin treasure map. We'd be willing to pay for information that proves to be true."
You try not to show any reaction as he speaks about a rumor he had heard invoving a map kept in a small box. Better find out more about these people before making any commitments.
You all spend some time discussing your pasts and talking about other rumors and bits of information you have heard. You finally decide that they can be trusted and you suggest that you all go someplace where no one can overhear.
You travel to Kiswick's cabin where you show the box to Finther, who turns out to be a "locksmith." He smiles at the challenge and pulls out his tools.
In our game, real locks are used. Buying the required Legerdemain skill does not guarantee success -- it only allows you to make the attempt. Likewise, boxes are really trapped with electronic buzzers or other noisemakers. To "check for traps" you must actually do just that by opening it slightly, seeing where any wires or devices may be inside, and somehow "defusing" the trap before opening the box.
Finther picks the lock. Inside the box he finds a strange amulet, some coins, and a map written in a strange language! He looks at the amulet for a few minutes and then declares that it is wort at least five silver nobles.
Tomorrow you will go to the Mages' Guild and have it checked to see if it's magic! However, you and your new companions spend most of the night decoding the map. Outside, you can hear the sounds of battle as a liche has called forth his undead to destroy as much of the town as possible. You consider the situation for a while and then decide that perhaps you had better help -- after all, if there is no town left in the morning, everything else is rather meaningless.
Later, after the town is saved (thanks to your help), you decode the map. At the bottom is a small note which says "See a marshal when you're ready to go on this adventure." You decide to rest for the night and start in the morning and you head to bed with visions of treasure and future adventures in your head!
This is one way that a group may get into a weekend "module." Some modules are repeating in that more than one group can go through it at different times, and others are one-time-only. The one-time-only events are usually major affairs, and can affect the whole storyline.
You can see that an Alliance adventure is like no other -- the possibilities are endless for creative players. So welcome to the Alliance LARP, where you can be all that you can't be!
This is an excerpt from the Rule Book and is copyright by Michael A. Ventrella.