Sunday, August 22, 2010

Alliance: An Introduction; National Event; New LARP on the Block?

Most of you probably know who I am, but for those who don't, a quick introduction. My name is Russ. I'm 25 years old residing outside Pittsburgh, PA. I've been involved in LARPing since Oct. '99, first starting out in NERO International with ARGO and PRO then switching to Alliance (formally NERO Alliance) in mid '08.

After briefly talking to Bill about covering the Alliance portion on this blog, I sat in traffic on the parkway outbound thinking about what exactly I was going to put in this first entry. Originally I was just going to do a write-up of what exactly Alliance is, but decided against it. Most likely that write up will be a posted mid-next week. Instead, I opted to cover the two biggest things currently going down in Alliance, both of which take place in the local Ohio chapter.

National Event

September 3rd-6th is the weekend of Alliance's National Event. Now I usually don't look forward to National Events because rarely are they ever held locally, but this year's is different. Ohio is hosting the expected 150+ attendee event over in Dover, OH at Camp Tuscazoar. Looking at the pre-reg post, people as far as Seattle and Oregon will be there. For more information, check out Ohio's site or the National Event site.

New LARP on the Block

You may or may not have heard of this new thing in Alliance going down on the weekend of the 24th this September called Anderian. Anderian is an Alliance alternate campaign currently being written by Chris Conley of Steel City Alliance, and from Alliance Ohio, Scott Edwards and Mike Webb. The campaign will be cross chapter only between Pittsburgh and Ohio, possibly moving to other chapters at a later time.

Anderian is taking place in a world completely destroyed and controlled by evil, comparable to that of the Ravenloft, Warhammer Fantasy and other dark fantasy games. To quote one of the writers, "The bad guys won". That’s how it was quickly summed up to me. Being the good guy here is defiantly going to make you a minority, though completely welcomed. Expect noble corruption, un-just laws, murder, necromancy, betrayal and some very pissed off gods.

Wait you said gods? Gods/deities/religion doesn’t exist in Alliance, it says so in the book! Wrong. This is an alternate campaign, which is using the Alliance rules as the core with changes made by the writers. One of which, and probably the biggest, is the implementation of gods, religions and pantheons. Most, if not all fantasy novels, games, have some form of deities, and pantheons, and it only made sense for an Alliance campaign to take the final step to add further depth to the game. At the moment there are a total of 37, ranging from the righteous, paladin-like god of Gentric to Halag, the god of murder with many "neutral" gods like Moiriana, goddess of magic. With good and evil gods of course comes another degree of conflict, something the staff is really pushing for. They want players carrying out "holy wars" for their god, even if it means against other players.

With the revised set of rules, also come two full new schools of magic: Druid and Shaman. The druid casters will fill a more hybrid role, being able to cast both earth and celestial spells. In addition, the druid will gain "Aspects", creature transforms that will be a template on top of their current PC skills. These transforms range from Aspect of the Hawk, with a mere +30 body +1 prof and 1 evade to Aspect of Natures Guardian which lets them transform into an elemental of your choice (fire, ice, stone, lightning), each one with unique abilities. Rounding out the druid school are a few "tree abilities" like Tree Meld, Tree Teleportation and Mass Tree Meld. Next up are Shaman casters. Easily summarized, shamans are your ultimate support class. Like druids, they will gain celestial and earth spells, but their real power lies in the "Buff" line of spells they receive. Shamans gain a number of "Buffs" ranging from armor increases, weapon damage increases to flat out immunities to certain effects. Now each of these can be single target casted onto a player, but their group support comes from Ancestor’s Circle. Ancestor’s Circle is a level 1 shaman-only spell, which creates a RED, 6' radius circle on the ground. The shaman may then cast any of his/her spells tagged "Buff" while in the circle with any players within the circle when the "Buff" is cast gaining that buff. Going against spiders? No problem. Your group gets in the circle, shaman casts Buff: Binding Immunity and your whole crew is now immune to their webs for 10min. Add in that they can cast Ward, Suppress Magic, and assorted other spells, I see this school doing very well with a team around it.

If you opened another window or tab to check out the druid and shaman schools, then you of course saw some spells tagged as 10th level spells. These spell slots are reserved strictly for those who choose to go Scholar as a class. These spells will never be in items, scrolls or anything outside of casting from memory. These spells are some the schools most potent spells (read: Teleport), and are intended to give the pure casters something special and unique. While Earth is currently the weakest in terms of 10th level spells, expect some changes for them soon.

The last mechanic changes that I'm going to touch on are the new fighter additions. Fighters will be able to purchase Evades now based off Weapon Profs. Spell Parries are no longer formal magic and are bought with build. Body can now be bought with build for ALL classes with no cap. Newly added Armor-Savvy gives a damage reduction to that player at 1/all per purchase capping at 5. A minimum of 1 damage is always taken, but now that orc swinging 10s is only hitting you for 5s. Anger is the new "taunt" ability being put in as well via the "Prepare to Die" line.

That’s it for this half of the week. Expect something around Thursday touching on the differences of Alliance and International from mechanics, tactics, and game play changes.

If you’re interested in Alliance, check us out HERE or on Facebook

For more information on Anderian.


  1. Having played NERO Intl. with Russ over the past few years, I am pretty excited to have him on our team. Not only is he going to give some good input on Alliance, but he also has a lot more background in PvP, so he can call bullshit on Tim and I when we say something completely wrong.

    Quick question on Anderian - is this a brand new campaign with brand new characters, as I would expect, or can players transfer in characters from the Alliance DB? If you can transfer in characters, is there any means for NERO players to transfer in?

  2. Anderian will be brand new characters which will be starting at 5th level with increased XP gain. This goes for current Alliance players and NERO alike. No transfers will be accepted. The only way to gain a small step on people is to donate for goblin stamps (which are separate from the Alliance main campaign) and back blanket in accordance with Alliance blanketing rules. In short, most people will have their 55ish build while others who blanket will be around 70.

  3. That sounds like fun, when is the next one of these events?

  4. I may try to make that if I can get some people together. I think the 55 build game could be fun if everyone was around the same level.

  5. I would probably go, but I have to find out what is going on that weekend. It's also the season end Silver Springs event at Exiles and I might be working.

    I noticed the rules aren't up on the site anymore. Is my browser freaking out? I was thinking about going Shaman, but I can't figure out all my build until I see the spells again.

  6. The rules were pulled down for the time being, but I should be able to get you a copy.

  7. My interest, you have it.

    I to would like a copy of the rules, somehow. ( slooney (at) )

    Also, where will the September game be held?

  8. Lewis Arboretum
    65500 Girl Scout Rd
    St Clairsville, OH 43950