Alliance CT FAQ
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General
What is Alliance LARP?
What is the difference between a Alliance LARP, NERO Alliance campaign and other non-Alliance NERO campaigns?
What are the main differences between Alliance LARP chapters?
How can I sign up?
How do I play?
Where can I get a rulebook?
What are marshals?
What about the honesty system?
Logistics
How do I sign in for the event?
How can I pay for the event?
What do I need to play?
How does the tag system work?
IG/OOG
What is the difference between In-Game (IG) and Out-Of-Game (OOG)?
What is a hold?
What is metagaming?
What is a white headband used for?
Combat
How does Alliance LARP combat work?
Is Alliance LARP combat safe?
PC
What is a PC?
How do I go about creating a character?
Do I need a costume?
Do I need a character history?
NPC
What is an NPC?
What would I have to do?
What are the benefits?
Alliance CT specific
Where do you play, IG and OOG?
Where can I get more information?
General
What is Alliance LARP?
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LARP stands for Live Action Role-Play. LARPs are similar to table-top role-playing games in that you create a character within the game world, giving them skills and personality. Where the difference lies is in playing of the game. Tabletop games require dice, paper and pencils, and a lot of imagination. With Alliance LARP, you actually BECOME the character, dressing and acting as they would, using the skills you have to survive and thrive in a fantasy setting with many other players. Alliance LARP is a specific set of rules governing how the game runs. Alliance LARP is based in a fantasy setting, with swords and magic, monsters, good versus evil, etc. NERO stands for New England Role-playing Organization. Alliance LARP was formerly known as NERO Alliance.

There is little profit to be made in Alliance LARP, so most of the games you will play in will be run on a non-profit basis, with any profit going back into the game for props, NPC-makeup and costumes, logistical supplies, advertisement, etc . . . Generally, Alliance LARP campaigns are run by people who love the game and want to have other people enjoy their love. A well-organized and run NERO campaign takes a lot of dedication and hard work from those running it.
What is the difference between a Alliance LARP, NERO Alliance campaign and other non-Alliance NERO campaigns?
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Alliance CT is part of the Alliance LARP, a group of different campaigns that all abide by the same rulebook and a set of by-laws. This provides a minimal number of rules differences between the campaigns, so that if you play Alliance CT, then move to Minnesota and decide to play a Alliance LARP campaign there, you should be able to do so with minimal fuss. Alliance LARP was formerlly known as NERO Alliance, other NERO campaigns, mainly those of NERO International, that were not part of NERO Alliance generally have more rules variations, less coherence and communication between campaigns, and a different "feel" to the game. You can read all about how these two different NEROs came to be here.
What are the main differences between Alliance LARP chapters?
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The main differences between the Alliance LARP chapters are location (where the campsite is in the real world) and IG story/plot. The first of these is obvious, whether the chapter is in Montreal or Miami. The second is a little less obvious. Each Alliance LARP chapter has its own In-Game world, completely separate from other chapters, yet all joined by a strange magical highway. This is to allow players to take their characters between Alliance LARP chapters. Each chapter is set in a different place, whether it is a small frontier town or capital of a great Kingdom. Check out the Alliance LARP HQ chapters page for a listing of all the Alliance chapters.
How can I sign up?
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Contact the new-player coordinator for the chapter you are going to play in. Go to the websites (see below) to find out how much the cost are and what kinds of differences in the rules (if any) are used. Generally, Alliance LARP requires a year membership fee as well as a fee per event (for PCs, NPCs play free (see below)). For Alliance CT, you can check out our costs page or email us at cs@caldaria.com
How do I play?
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First and most important, get your hands on a rulebook, and READ IT! I can't stress this part enough. Alliance LARP rules are meant to be somewhat simple, but you MUST read the rules before you play. Many players show up to Alliance LARP games with only a quick explanation from friends or the website (i.e. this FAQ) and believe they know what they need to know to play. While you can play this way, much of your first event will be spent in learning limbo, asking questions such as "What does that mean?" and "How does that work?"

Only slightly second is ROLEPLAY! Alliance LARP is primarily a role-playing game. Remember you aren't Joe anymore, you are Eliath the mage! Don't react like Joe ("Oh, that's cool, a guy in green makeup! I'll go throw these little bird-seed packets at him!"), react like Eliath would ("Argh! An evil Orc! I shall slay it with my magic!"). If you have put into your character history a deadly fear of snakes, and you run across two NPCs playing snakes, act deathly afraid! I cannot stress enough how much role-playing adds to the game.
Where can I get a rulebook?
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The Alliance LARP chapter you attend should have copies of it. If not, then you can order it directly from Alliance HQ, and Amazon should have them as well.

Every Alliance Larp chapter should have available a Player's Guide as well, which you may or may not need to buy. The Player's Guide includes such things as campaign specific rules and policies, as well as a slew of In Game information, most likely histories and such of the lands of the campaign that produced it.
What are marshals?
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A marshal is a Alliance LARP approved individual who knows the rules of the game very well, and can dispute Out of Game conflicts and arguments about them. They have nothing to do with In Game situations at all. A marshal also presides over modules and many encounters that happen in an event. Sometimes marshals are Out of Game specifically for the purpose of being a marshal; sometimes they are playing a character In Game, but still can be asked OOG to resolve an Out of Game dispute about rules or actions. Many times during a hold there will be a request for a marshal. To be a marshal a player needs to pass several tests given by each chapter they are a marshal for. All Alliance CT marshals are listed on our staff page.
What about the honesty system?
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Alliance Larp rules and games are run almost completely on the honesty system. The logistics and the tag system are self governing to a degree, and marshals should always be around to mediate situations, but in the end, it comes down to the honesty of our players. This has nothing at ALL to do with how your character acts, but how the player (you) act. The three main things that really need the honesty system to work are metagaming, the tag system, and damage in combat.

Generally Alliance LARP has honest players, but once in a while an unscrupulous individual will attempt to play the game. From experience, these people do not last long, especially when 99% of the players are being honest and will notice and report dishonest gameplay.
Logistics
How do I sign in for the event?
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There should be an assigned logistics area at the site, where you wait in line to sign in. Here's where you pay if you haven't already, and it is where you will be registered at the event. If you are a PC, you should get you character card. If you were planning on NPCing, you would just sign in and get directions to "monster camp," and you will be informed at monster camp.

If you plan to PC, then logistics is also where you should get any daily tags you will need such as spells, attack skills, and production point items. There may be various forms to fill out and you may need to show both your character card and perhaps a spell or recipe book to get certain tags. There should also be a marshal present to safety check weapons and evaluate armor suits.
How can I pay for the event?
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I don't know any campaign that will not willingly accept cash. The event is usually less expensive a few weeks before the event. Most campaigns will accept checks as well, and a few campaigns accept credit cards and on-line payments through sites such as PayPal. Check the campaign you plan on attending to see what they accept. Alliance CT accepts cash, checks, and Pay Pal payments.
What do I need to play?
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First and foremost, an open mind and good attitude. Alliance LARP takes a lot of imagination, as well as a lot of maturity. It is only a game, and although it can be hard to do sometimes, you should strive to disconnect things that happen In Game (in character) versus Out of Game. Doing this can save a lot of trouble and conflict.

Since Alliance LARP is run at campsites, you should have things such as blankets/sleeping bags, snacks, bug spray, sunscreen, etc . . . Alliance LARP is also basically an outdoors, physical game. Please, please PLEASE drink lots of non-carbonated liquids (water, juice, Gatorade) and keep hydrated!

Besides those basics, it depends. If you are going to PC, then you need a lot of preparation. A decent costume, a Alliance LARP safe weapon and/or spell packets, and a character history should be a good start. If you are NPC, basically a dark outfit is all you will need, the rest is provided in monster camp, including costumes, makeup and weapons.
How does the tag system work?
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Everyone has to carry around a tag ring. This ring contains a lot of information; so many people carry two or three. The single most important of these tags is you life tag. This proves that your character is alive and well, and acts as you last body point. With this should go any tags representing the rest of your body points, as well as armor points and magic defenses.

Other tags include skill tags such as critical attacks and spell tags, and these are torn up upon their use. There are also tags to represent weapons, potions and scrolls, all of which need phys reps with them to be used.
IG / OOG
What is the difference between In-Game (IG) and Out-of-Game (OOG)?
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In Game means anything that happens while playing in a Alliance LARP world. Out of Game represents the normal world and a few Alliance LARP things like tags and such. When a character is In Game, then they are playing Alliance LARP and should act as their character would, which includes not talking or thinking about things OOG.
What is a hold?
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A hold is basically a pause in the game, for a number of different reasons. The main reasons are either a large rules question, description of events by marshals, or injuries of any sort. Any player can call a hold, but needs a legitimate excuse to do so. When a hold is called, a marshal or staff member will ask who called the hold and why. Any player who didn't call the hold should get on one knee or sit down, so things can get resolved quickly. Players shouldn't call a hold for a simple rules question (i.e. "What does that spell do?"), but also shouldn't be afraid of calling a hold if there is a need, especially if there is an injury. Illegal shots in combat, especially to the head or crotch, are definitely legitimate reasons for a hold.
What is metagaming?
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Metagaming is a great evil in the Alliance LARP game. It is using information that you, the player, gained Out of Game from various sources and using it In Game with you character. An example would be overhearing a conversation between plot members about a key encounter that will happen one weekend. You as a player now know about this encounter, but your character should NOT! This is important for a few reasons. First, it spoils the surprise for other players and their characters if you give something away. Second, metagaming is basically cheating; using information you shouldn't have to your advantage.
What is a white headband used for?
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A player wearing a white headband is Out of Game, in other words, not there In Game. If you are IG, and you see a group of people in white headbands, ignore them like they weren't there. Sometimes a marshal or director will be wearing a white headband, but will interact with the game, calling holds, describing situations, conferring with PCs or NPCs about encounters, etc. .
Combat
How does Alliance LARP combat work?
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In Alliance LARP combat, every player (PC or NPC) has a total number of points of damage they can take. Usually for NPCs it is a flat number, but for PCs it can depend on a lot of different things, i.e. your class, any armor you are wearing, defensive spells you have cast upon you, etc.

Also in combat, characters will either call damage with a weapon, or cast a spell upon their opponent. It is up to the target to keep a mental tally of how much "damage" they have taken, and then act like you are falling unconscious if the damage is more than your total points. It is assumed that as a player, you know the basic spells that can be cast and what kinds of damage they can do to you. Also, as a player, you will know how much you are capable of swinging for or the number of spells that you can cast.
Is Alliance LARP combat safe?
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Alliance LARP combat strives to be as safe as possible, from every weapon being checked for 10 different safety points (i.e. correct padding and length, no sharp or protruding tips, no PVC piping felt through the padding, etc.) to strict measures on how combat works. All swings have to be between a 45 and 90-degree angle, there can be no "machine-gunning," or rapid blows to the same location, and hits to the head, hands and groin are illegal.

Even so, Alliance LARP is an outdoor sport, and it shares the same inherent dangers as outdoor sports do. Most Alliance LARP related injuries stem from tripping or falling down at night over unfamiliar ground. It is up to every player to play it safe and to know the bounds of what can be done safely.
PC
What is a PC?
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A PC is a Player character (also a Paying Customer!). This is a player who has paid Alliance CT to play in an event. They get to design and play a character of their choosing for the entire event, acting freely and however they choose (within the rules, of course!). A PC has complete freedom in the game to choose their course of action.
How do I go about creating a character?
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First, you should think about the kind of character you want to play. Do you want to be a fighter using weapons, a stealthy thief, a powerful battle mage, or a friendly healer? When you check into logistics, you will have to put your character into the database, so you should have a good idea what you want to play. Also, think about other races and if you want to play them. There are things such as make-up requirements and demeanors you should consider.

Look in the rulebook at all the different skills and their costs, and really imagine what you want your character to be like. In many ways, this process is similar to your standard tabletop role-playing character, with the noted exception of the fact that you ARE that character and need to act like it.

Can you be a noble rogue, or a callous healer? Why not? It's up to you to decide how your character will act in certain circumstances and situations. Don't feel the need to fit into a stereotype for the role you choose.
Do I need a costume?
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At least an attempt at a costume is required. It takes away from the game if you run around in sneakers, jeans and a T-shirt, not to mention it will upset the other players who put a lot of time and effort into their costumes. You will be taken more seriously as both a player and character if your costume looks half-decent.

Am I saying you need to buy a suit of full-plate mail armor? Yes. Just kidding. A simple tabard or tunic, belted at the waist, with sweatpants would work, and so would a decent looking (or ragged, if you want that look) robe. A cloak is a fantastic way to keep warm in the cooler months. For more suggestions check out Costume Guide.

Armor is very beneficial in two ways. First, it provides you with extra protection in the form of armor points. A basic costume will give you a few points, but a chain mail shirt will give you much more. Second, and more important, armor looks cool!
Do I need a character history?
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While a character history isn't required, it is strongly recommended that you have at least a little background on your character. It's pretty embarrassing IG when another character asks you where you are from, who your parents were, and what brought you to the town and you reply "I don't know" or even worse, "I don't remember."

An important thing to remember in your character history, you are starting the game at Level 1, so there shouldn't be any huge encounters or heroic tales in your history. Try to avoid clichés such as broken family, raised by wolves, history lost in time, etc. All character histories need Plot approval, so don't turn in a character history about you single handedly slaying a troll with your bare fists, then brag about it IG, only to have the Plot committee say to you "I'm sorry, you'll have to rewrite that part."

The Player's Guide can be an invaluable resource for creating a character history. Read through the campaign's Player's Guide, and maybe an idea will grow out of that about you character and his or her history. Also, the rulebook and Alliance HQ have great sections on character histories as well.
NPC
What is an NPC?
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NPC stands for non-player character. NPCs are very important to the running of a Alliance LARP event. The NPCs play all the "bit-parts" of the weekend, the monsters, farmers, townsfolk, etc. The job of an NPC is to interact with the PCs and make sure everybody has fun, not to "win" any situation or encounter.

Throughout the event, a single NPC can play MANY different roles, from evil undead to stupid goblins to peaceful merchants. NPC does not equal Bad Guy, although most Bad Guys will be NPCs.
What would I have to do?
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When you sign up as an NPC, you will be directed to "monster camp," a designated Out of Game area where you are assigned different roles. Monster camp should supply you with all of the props and makeup you need, as well as give you a bit of direction about how to play the roles.
What are the benefits?
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First, NPCing is free, and most Alliance LARP campaigns love their NPCs. Without them, the game doesn't work. NPCs get goblin stamps, depending on how long the event is. These goblin stamps can be traded in for character experience, production items (potions, weapons, etc.), even buying character deaths back.

It is also a fantastic way for new players to learn the game without putting too much into a character before knowing how the game works.

At Alliance CT a person who NPC's a full weekend event will recieve:
  • An event blanket for a character of their choice
  • 60 goblin stamps
  • One teaching card
Alliance CT specific
Where do you play, IG and OOG?
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In Game, Alliance CT takes place in the town of Lindall, newly named Capital of the Barony of Dardanos, in the Duchy of Stephanos, in the Kingdom of Caldaria. Check out the IG map and Player's Guide for more info.

OOG, we currently play at Windham-Tolland 4-H Camp in Pomfret, CT. Go to the Directions page to find out how to get there.
Where can I get more information?
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Obviously if you are reading this, you have found our website. This is Alliance CT's website, so most of the information about our specific game is here. Check out our Links page for general Alliance LARP information and other related sites (and some not so related). Alliance HQ has a great site. From there, you can be linked to all the other Alliance chapters as well, each of them providing different information about their individual games.

There are several different LARP websites out there, as well as chat rooms, mailing lists, and yahoo groups all about different aspects of the game itself.
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