Getting ready for Nero Bane
Personally, I have always been a very hyper, outgoing, adventurous girl who’s imagination knows no boundaries. When I was introduced to DnD a few years ago, it was as if a whole new world had been opened before my very eyes. I could create anyone I wanted, breath life into that character through unseen circumstances, and be a part of an amazingly detailed world. I didn’t waste time in finding my first play group and created Kalia (elf princess who had no control over her power). I loved all the elements that goes into games like Pathfinder and DnD, but still something lacked. Depending on what group or what story I was playing, the elements shifted a little. Either the plot was more story based or we were traveling from battle to battle with very little character development. No matter how much I loved the plot, I found myself wanting something more. No, I needed something more.
LARPING known as Live Action Role-Playing has been thrown into media as the geekiest thing known to man. Which in the end scared me away a little. Even though I could see myself, mud on my face, sword held high as I charge through the trees. My ripped and shredded cape flowing behind me as I and my team enter into battle. (I can’t help that I have a need to be a pretty pretty princess lol.) Even though I could see it so clearly, the overall concept of LARPING freaked me out. Not only was I a little afraid of what people would think, the rule books are sometimes very confusing to get through. And let’s not forget how close knit everyone is, which can be very intimidating for a newbie.
I remember trying to play World of Warcraft for the first time and the hate I would get from so many men for being a lost girl in the game who didn’t get what was going on. (Didn’t matter that it was only like my first week playing.) So the fear was real and even as I signed up to go to Wyrd Con the stress was creeping behind the dark corners of excitement. I tried to do research before the event, I read all the different LARPs and even tried to reach out to a few people. However, nothing seemed to really work out for me. So as Saturday approached and I was getting dressed up to head to the convention, I got extremely nervous.
As I made my way to check in, my hair pulled back and outfit ready to impress I felt like a lost puppy. This wasn’t my first convention but Wyrd Con
isn’t like any other convention. It’s smaller, more personal, and all about getting lost in the different LARPs out there. It was tough for a newbie with no guide to help keep track of everything that was going on. As well as a slight disappointment filled me as I realized a lot of the classes and events were not newbie friendly or cheap. The majority of the events were already filled up before the convention had started and seemed to be made up of a lot of people who have had a lot of experience playing with the certain groups. However, Wyrd Con
has the most amazing badges of any convention! They give you a FREAKIN medallion that you can trade with others!
While it might not have been set up for a newbie like me, the minute I announced I was new and lost, people jumped in to help me. I was flabbergasted by the excitement and kindness that flowed from the players who were taking time to stop their own fun to help me. I learned the basics of fighting, the rules between different games, as well as the wide variety of LARPs that exist. Because so many were filled up before I even arrived, I only got to try two. However, these two were by far the best things I have ever been a part of.
I spent most of my day with a team of misfits we had thrown together around noon to take a stab at The Spooky House by Wyrd Gate (Created by Heather Crothwaite and Aya Columbia). The Spooky House is an arcade style LARP that is present each year at Wyrd Con. Every year they have a new story that unfolds but the style is usually the same. Two different rooms, Story Mode and Challenge Mode. A team of four enters and must use their wits and strength to make it through different rooms. If you die, you become part of the house (even though in reality your team can step outside and try again). We spent ALL DAY trying to get through the Story Challenge. We would make it through one room, die, then try again. It wasn’t that the challenges are hard, its more that you only have five minutes to do it and four people trying to find the answer. No matter how frustrating it got, I had a blast with my new found friends. We plotted, we schemed, we thought way outside of the box, and had the GMs laughing at us.
Towards the end of the night we decided to try our hand at the Challenge side and let’s just say, THERE IS NO WAY! ( I mean there is a way because a team did it! But they also went through eight times before completing.) At 12:30 in the morning our last round began. To keep time in each room I started to sing my ABCs eight times per room. By the time we reached the third room I couldn’t remember the lyrics. Singing it over and over again is not as easy as it sounds. The third room is a physical challenge that forces the players to jump from beam to beam, to avoid the ground. And before you go “Oh that’s easy” try jumping a good four feet from something flat to an edged plank.
Of course I fell to my death many times but luckily for a few cheats, I was able to revive myself. However, in the end we ran out of time and my final move was to swan dive into the black abyss as the ABCs could be heard fading in to the depths. (Reality I just laid on the ground. LARPING IS AWESOME.) I cannot gush enough about The Spooky House and the talents of the creators.
Lonnie from Nero Bane
The Spooky House wasn’t the only thing that grabbed my attention. Nero Bane created a short LARP that really helped me get my footing. Not only were they open to answer any and all questions I had, even during the game, but they were also just the friendliest bunch I have ever met. I have been wanting to look for a community where I can really build my character and make friends. Lucky for me I found Nero Bane. Located more in Northern Cali in San Jose and Bay area, Nero Bane is well worth the travel in my book, but you can check out Nero Larp to find the closest chapter to you.
Not only did they really break down different rules and concepts of Nero, but they created a short story that was filled with crazy battles, plot, and just overall awesome people having a blast. I can’t thank the people enough who were a part of Nero Bane that really helped me understand. It is so confusing and overwhelming to jump head first into a new community and you guys did a perfect job in showing me the ropes. Readers if you are interested in trying LARPing for your first time then check out Lonnie and his group Nero Bane! ( YOU WILL NOT BE SORRY.)