What is NERO®?
NERO® is currently the oldest and largest fantasy live action
role playing businesses in the
The NERO® Game Systems tap into the fantasy tradition of King Arthur, Robin Hood, and J.R.R. Tolkien, the popularity of Renaissance fairs, providing its customers with the opportunity to participate instead of merely watch. Participants of NERO range in age from 5 to 60, have a wide variety of physical, mental and social capabilities and any person may choose to be a non-combatant if they are uncomfortable with or unable to physically play in our light-touch boffer combat.
Aspects of the NERO® setting
By blending the elements of classical fantasy fiction such as Lord of the Rings and the melodrama of Renaissance fairs, NERO® attempts to recreate the Days of Legend and Fantasy as we would like them to be, not as they actually were. NERO provides players an opportunity to experience the thrill of a medieval style adventure firsthand, bringing to life a diverse array of characters. Characters do not die forever when a participant fails to overcome an obstacle or challenge, but can return to the game with the knowledge of what may work better next time.
Interaction between participants includes using teamwork to solve mysteries; leadership and follower skills in the search for clues and sharing of information, creativity in resolving the many different dilemmas that come up; mathematics in summing up the adversaries advancing armies, collecting the ingredients for a magical spell or , economics in keeping their manor house and peoples lands protected, fed, and educated, Tactics come into play both politically and in mock combat versus adversaries when our story writing teams require that players work together to overcome challenges where if they worked alone they would lose.
Our participants often learn about medieval history and we offer workshops to educate them how to make their own in-game possessions or where to buy them and the supplies. Arts and crafts, sewing, theatrical and makeup tips, real world tactics and social interactions and general courtesy and sportsmanship towards others are highly encouraged. Athletic skill is developed through the exercise afforded by walking, running, throwing and sparring with foam boffer weapons.
A setting similar to our standard NERO® game provides the chance for a participant to be a hero, merchant, rogue or anything else they would like to explore. Introverted, self-conscious or shy individuals often find that NERO is a venue with less pressure than that of school or work and can feel comfortable exploring their particular talents within the game. In addition, NERO provides athletic exercise and builds confidence in a participant's ability to think quickly. Above all, NERO provides an entertaining, fun and enjoyable setting that does not allow drugs, alcohol or many other distractions (computer games, TV, etc) of the modern world.
History of NERO®
NERO® was founded in 1988,
by Ford Ivey, a Game Store Owner in the
Ford Ivey gathered a group of his participants together to create a system where the staff would play the parts of the core townsfolk and the participants would be the adventurers, role-playing with each other and staff, using swords and sorcery to combat their adversaries.
Blending the elements of classical fantasy fiction such as Lord of the Rings, and the melodrama of Renaissance fairs, NERO attempts to recreate the Days of Legend and Fantasy as we would like them to be, not as they actually were. The NERO LARP game provides players with an opportunity to experience the thrill of a medieval style adventure firsthand, like Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, bringing to life a diverse array of characters in a live action roleplaying environment.
The NERO Game Systems and its supplements detail how to operate a live action roleplaying game; track members, build player characters, regulate game play, register for events, update characters, award volunteers, etc.. It also allows members to play their character from one fantasy realm to another yet in a single world environment, while using the treasure and game possessions gained at one chapter in the other nearby chapters. NERO Game Systems tap into the fantasy tradition of King Arthur, Robin Hood, Tolkein and Renaissance fairs, providing its customers with the opportunity to participate in the plot, in person, in most cases throughout an entire weekend.
At the heart of the Game are the Rules that detail how the game mechanics
(Combat, Spells, etc.) work, how participants interact with each other, and
the general idea of the in-game society. The NERO® Rule Book©
contains all the information that a new player needs to know for their first
event to be a really great one. The NERO Rule Book© 8th Edition has been in
Many of the gaming businesses that have opened in the
What we do
Participants solve mysteries and face challenges throughout NERO® events, from short Storylines lasting a few hours, to long Storylines lasting an entire weekend, multiple events or even years. All participants can choose to become as involved as they want to be, and are actively encouraged to work with others. NERO is a game that allows people of all athletic, mental and social ability to "be all that they can't be" in a non-threatening, controlled environment. People of all races, creeds, and backgrounds are given an equal opportunity to succeed.
In our Avalon games, at the heart of the game are the Storylines that our Story Writing Teams create and direct, and the national background story from which the game world is based. Local Story writers coordinate with National Story writers to maintain a consistent single world atmosphere. Each chapter has its own distinct history, storylines, mysteries, and NPC (staff roles, or Non-Player Characters) backgrounds. A variety of storylines are available to every player, and with chapters nearby, participants can enjoy an even wider venue and even more people to interact with, giving reason for people to meet others and travel to neighboring states. The story is continuous and ever changing due partly to the choices imaginative participants make. Since the same character is played from event to event, participants have the unique opportunity to develop their character over time and define their goals and aspirations.
Participants test their skills against mythical creatures such as Goblins, Trolls, and Ogres, using swords and sorcery. From the moment you arrive at a NERO® event, it is decorated to be a fantasy medieval town. For weekend events, participants are assigned sleeping accommodations and the game begins (usually on Friday night at about
Combat is simulated using commercially created foam 'boffer' weapons and hand created foam boffer weapons made of graphite rods, pipe insulation foam, open cell foam, and duct tape. Each type of weapon is assigned an amount of damage that it does. In addition, each person will have a certain number of "body points" based on their current skill level, the type of armor worn, and any magical spell protective. As a player attacks, they call out the amount of damage the swing inflicts (i.e., "two normal" for a short sword). This represents two points of damage taken by the individual who is hit.
If you are struck, you subtract the amount by which you have been hit from your hit points as well as your armor points. When you reach zero, you fall unconscious and hope there is someone nearby with a healing spell. Magical spells are represented by small beanbags filled with birdseed. To cast a spell a player states a small phrase (such as "I call forth a magic missile" or "I call upon the earth to cure light wounds"), and throws the packet at their target. If the phrase is stated correctly and the bean bag hits the target, the spell works. If you stutter the phrase too much or say an incorrect word, or miss with the spell packet, the spell fails.
Safety and regulations
NERO® is governed by an honor system. If a participant cheats and pretends that he or she has not been hit, the other players and staff will give the participant a warning. Three warnings mean that a participant could be temporarily suspended from the game. Courtesy, sportsmanship and good will between players are very important to the overall enjoyment of the game.
Participants must use boffer weapons made to specifications that are approved by NERO® International, and all weapons are safety checked before every event. Weapons are not swung with force, and head and groin area hits are not allowed. Each weapon has at least two inches of padded tip and is covered in a minimum of 5/8" pipe insulation in order to prevent injury. Participants need only to tap each other in order to indicate a strike upon an adversary. It should be noted that we have had few accidents over the 15 years operating.
Participants 'buy' skills with the experience points their character has earned while attending NERO® sponsored events, thus improving their character over time. These skills allow participants to improve their character's abilities. Since each player picks their characters skills based upon personal preferences, each character is unique. Skills include magical spells, weapon skills, magical potion, scroll, and alchemy creation, trap disarming, and various weapon skills.
Character Experience is earned by attending NERO® Events, with a base number of experience automatically given for each event based on a character's skill level. Experience beyond that amount is represented by game money, copper, silver and gold pieces, which can be earned through a variety of methods including the selling of scrolls, potions or alchemy made, entertaining at the tavern for tips, or perhaps hiring yourself out as a bodyguard. NERO operates many types of events, from quick adventures to weekend events.
Short Adventures, also called Modules, range from
Created May 2002
Author: Rebecca King
Edited May 2002
Edited December 2002
Edited October 2003
Edited November 2003
Edited December 2003
Edited By: Joseph Valenti