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"Help us!"

The cry went up as I approached the Healers Guild. I stopped, uncertain what was going on, and peered through the darkness. I saw shapes moving. They were hideous, deformed creatures, shambling through town as the healers within the guild attempted to save those townspeople outside the circle. I, unfortunately, had the Undead between me and the Guild's Circle of Power.

I moved to my left, towards the relative safety of the trees. Some of the dark shapes behind me moved quickly after me. "Greater Undead." I thought to myself. "Now I'm in for it." I had no weapon that could affect Greater Undead, so I ducked behind the trees, trying to lose them. I half ran, half slid down the hill, and came to my feet in a pile of leaves that crackled loudly. I ducked under a branch and headed towards the trail.

Suddenly, they were all around me. I threw a Lightning Bolt at one, and backed up slowly. He went down, and I realized they were only Zombies; the Greaters were still up the hill. I took out my sword, and moved forward. There were two more of them. I lunged to the left, swung to the right, and cut one. I was no great swordsman, but their slow movement allowed me to hold my own against the two of them. I backed up against a tree, ducked as the one I had hit clawed at me, and cut him down. I heard the sounds of the Greaters crashing towards me, and decided that it was time to leave.

I ducked under the claws of the other Zombie and ran down the trail. I realized I was getting further and further from any potential help. I spotted the dark shape of a row of bushes beside the trail and ducked behind them. I landed on my side and skidded to a stop, trying to control my breathing as I listened for the sounds of pursuit. They were not long in coming. I could hear the sounds of several pairs of feet approaching my hiding place, and a voice that sounded like fingernails on a rusty gate saying, "Find him. He has the amulet that the Master wants. He dropped right about here."

I scuttled backwards into the brush, pulling the cloak over me and trying to be quiet. They knew! How had my theft of the amulet been discovered so soon? And how did they know it was me? I lay there, my breath sounding like forge bellows in my ears. A hand touched my shoulder...

Welcome to NERO . We are the largest Live Action Role Playing organization in the United States today. In Live Action Roleplaying, you become the character of your fantasies, acting out the action you used to describe as you sat around your gaming table. Instead of dice, you use skills that your character has earned, as well as the skills the player brings to the game.

Your imagination has found a home.

Let's suppose you were to join NERO.

Here's how it would look to you: You check in at logistics on Friday night. They have given you a small amount of starting money and a card that lists your character's skills and other pertinent information, such as level and body points. You will get a new card at the beginning of each event in order to keep this information accurate and up to date. This helps you, other characters, and Marshals to keep track of vital information should any disputes arise. You will also be given a ring on which to keep your temporary tags, such as spells or critical attacks, and another ring to keep armor and body points. The amount of armor points you have depends on the type of armor you are wearing. Your body points are based on your level and class. After a battle, you must remove points from the tags to keep track of how many points of damage you can still take.

You go to seek out the cabin you have been assigned. As you are not a part of an established group, you have been assigned to the Inn. Upon your arrival there, you must negotiate a price for your room with the Innkeeper. He charges you a silver. You'd better get out and find some money, or you'll be trying to arrange for credit tomorrow night! The game begins. You hear the Duke make some pronouncements about visitors from Volta due into town, and see some other Nobles returning from trips to Evandarr City. It all seems less important than the lightness of your purse.

You start over to the Tavern, thinking about methods for making more money. Your thoughts are interrupted by a low growl in the darkness to your right. You pull your short sword and back up, peering into the darkness. Orcs! Three of them. You start to backpedal, screaming for help. Answering shouts come to you, but you are unsure they will be in time, as the Orcs advance quickly. You lunge at the one on your left and as he falls back, you dart between them, taking a hit on the back as you go. The Orc calls "Three Normal!". There goes some of your armor.

Your character is a Templar, and you have spells as well as weapon skills. As you take your stance again, you ready the little cloth bag filled with bird seed that represents spells in NERO. "With Mystic Force I Pin you!", you scream as you hurl your spell packet at the Orc on the left. It hits him full in the chest, and he jerks to a stop as his right foot sticks to the ground. You grab the hilt of your sword again while the packet is still in the air. You don't have many spells, but that one took one of the Orcs out of the fight, at least. You cut at the nearest Orc, calling "Two Normal!". This is the number of points of damage you do with a swing of a short sword. As you gain levels, you will be able to raise that number, or you could invest the points in spells. The Orc blocks your swing with his long sword, and calls "Three Normal!" You duck under his swing and hit him with a flurry of blows, and he falls. You turn to look for the other Orc. You find he is laying on his back, a figure in long robes standing over him. A third person, a sneaky looking woman, has just slaughtered the Orc you had Pinned. You look around quickly. Other townspeople, attracted by the fighting, turn away to go back to their business.

You approach the man in the black robes. He is searching the body of the Orc he took down. He takes a small pouch out of the furs the Orc is wearing and looks at you warily. You realize he is wondering if you will challenge his right to spoils, but you are so relieved that he assisted you that you say "Welcome, friend. And many thanks for your assistance."

He looks at the woman and back at you. "No problem. But we'd better get out of here. It's not safe."

The three of you head over to the Tavern. The Tavern is bustling; members of groups are greeting each other boisterously, and the gypsies are starting to play and dance over by the fireplace. Even the Countess is sitting in the corner listening intently to her Seneschal as those around them try to look as if they aren't trying to eavesdrop. After being seated, introductions are made. The man in robes is named Marak, and the woman is called Cerrill. You find a seat and begin talking. They are new in town, too, and you decide to form an adventuring group.

Marak pulls out the pouch he took from the Orc, and, after glancing about to make certain you are unwatched, you look through the contents. Inside are three silver, a Formal Magic component, and a map. Suddenly you hear a huge ruckus from outside, and the cry goes up that undead are attacking. You hear the sounds of the Barons assembling their Knights, and decide to stay inside and let them handle it. You turn back to look more closely at your spoils. There are strange runes on the map, and you set out to decipher them. After discussion, you decide to follow the map the next day.

Thus begins a NERO Weekend. What you do, where you go, and when you do it is all up to you. The choices are all yours.