|Live action role-playing game|
NERO International is a live action role-playing game (LARP) played in the United States and Canada. The NERO name originally was an acronym for "New England Role playing Organization", but the game has expanded well beyond its original New England roots and thus simply adopted the acronym as part of the official name.
NERO is a lightest touch "boffer" style LARP that uses simulated combat with padded weapons. At a NERO event, players gather at a group campsite (often a State or National Park) on weekends reserved by the local chapter. A group of staff members write the plot and story for the event, while a cast of volunteer NPCs play the roles of monsters and townspeople. The heroes of the event (or Player characters called PCs), play participate in the event.
Over the course of an event, characters earn treasure in the form of fake gold and silver coins, magical components, or enchanted items through battle with fantasy monsters and by solving puzzles or other challenges. Characters also earn experience points for surviving the weekend which they can use to buy more skills and become more powerful.
The first gatherings of the group that would later become NERO were held by Ford Ivey in rural Massachusetts, under the name "Weekend Warriors" in 1986 after he was inspired by a New Hampshire game called "Midrealms Adventures". In March 1988 they began to work on the idea that instead of each game being a separate game with separate characters and each game having a single linear plot-line, there would be a single game world, persistent characters, and multiple overlapping and long-term plotlines.
In fall of 1989 they changed their name to the New England Role playing Organization and began to operate larger events using rules written by Michael A. Ventrella. The first event in April 1989 drew approximately 150 participants, and the game slowly grew over the next three years. By 1991, weekend event attendance peaked between 300 and 500 participants and the organization reportedly had over 1,300 paid members.
In 1998, Joseph Valenti purchased NERO from Ivey and began selling franchise licenses to people who wished to open and operate a local chapter in their area.
Over the years, a number of chapters or groups of chapters have broken away from NERO to form their own, separate organizations. Among these are LAIRE, Alliance LARP, and Heroic Interactive Theater.
The Tyrran Campaign Setting
The setting of NERO is the world of Tyrra, a medieval fantasy world. The normal NERO campaign is set on the continent of Avalon. The world map of Tyrra very roughly resembles Earth, with Avalon being in the position of North America. Other continents generally only appear as elements of rumor and lore, or as the source of travelers (or enemies) from afar.
- Seth Peck, Blast from the Past: An evening with Ford Ivey, September 2001, "", 6/21/2011
- Moore, M. (2014, August 14). LARPers immersed in an alchemy of fantasy, reality. Philly.com. Retrieved from http://www.philly.com/philly/news/LARPers_world_is_an_alchemy_of_fantasy_reality.html on May 29, 2015
- Michael A. Ventrella, Dragon Magazine, Issue 173 p.46-49
- Stark, L. (2012). Leaving Mundania: Inside the Transformative World of Live Action Role-Playing Games. Chicago, IL: Chicago Review Press. pg.47
- NERO®, NERO Rule Book© 9th Edition, 2011