In order for the NERO world of Tyrra to function more smoothly, we have allowed certain anachronisms to exist in our medieval society.
Although eyeglasses did exist in medieval times, they were not available to most people and were bulky and easily broken. On Tyrra, many people wear glasses. For safety reasons you are never allowed to remove a player's glasses in order to handicap that person.
Matches exist in the world of NERO so that you do not have to bring flint and tinder with you everywhere. (If you wish to bring flint and tinder with you to add to the atmosphere of the game, then we will be very happy.) Try to avoid using lighters, but if nothing else is available, they can be used to represent flint and steel.
The showers and toilets are out of game for safety and privacy purposes, but characters can make references to them as they actually exist-after all, the ancient Romans had indoor plumbing long before the middle ages began. In the world of NERO, only the very richest homes and inns have indoor plumbing.
One nice thing about Tyrra as opposed to medieval Earth is that people on Tyrra bathe more often.
Clocks exist in our game but they are very expensive! Perhaps there is one clock per town, probably placed in a high tower. Clocks operate through a series of levers and springs-no electricity of course. A few rich people may have small winding pocket watches as well, but these are also very rare.
Players should if at all possible refrain from wearing modem wristwatches or should at least cover the watches with wristbands or bracers. In addition, if you do wear a watch, remember that you are generally not allowed to look at it when on a timed module!
And speaking of time...
In the world of NERO, time passes in-game at the same rate as it does out-of-game. If a month has passed between NERO events, then a month has passed in the world of Tyrra.
To figure out the NERO year, simply remove the first two digits of the current mundane year and replace them with a "5" so that 1997 becomes 597. (When we reach the year 2000, it will be the year 600 in-game!) This in no way is meant to imply that our games take place in a world similar to Earth's sixth century.
What NERO is attempting to do is create the days of legend as we would have liked them to be, not as they really were. That means our culture is considerably more egalitarian than a real medieval society. There is no discrimination allowed against players in a NERO game. You cannot be denied a position as a noble, a member of the army or any other NERO sponsored group on the basis of race, religion, gender, age (as long as you're over the minimum), handicap, sexual orientation, or country of origin.
However, this does not mean that the world of NERO is a egalitarian paradise. There are countries and people who do discriminate in-game. They are the bad guys. Although you the player are not allowed to discriminate, your character can discriminate on the in-game basis of matters of players' choice.
For example, Kildor the fighter hates all dwarves. He thinks they are the lowestform oflife (no pun intended) and he kills them whenever he gets the chance. Players who have dwarven characters that are killed by him cannot claim that they are being discriminated against because they chose to play dwarf characters.
It is very important that all players try to distinguish between in-game prejudices and out-of-game prejudices. It is better to steer clear of the issue altogether if possible.
How advanced is science in NERO? Well, scholars are aware that the planet Tyrra is not the center of the solar system and that the world is not flat. They are also aware of the existence of real elements (as opposed to the 'traditional' magical elements of Earth, Air, Water and Fire) and there is even a Periodic Table of the Elements which lists all twelve elements known. Lenses for glasses and telescopes are in existence but are generally of poor quality. There are compasses and navigational materials for traveling.
In general, scientific evolution on Tyrra has been stunted by the prevalence of magic. Astrology and magic are considered scientific facts. Consider NERO's science to be right at the verge of the renaissance, on the tail end of the Dark Ages.
Although in many fantasy novels, magicians can perform all sorts of amazing spells, magic is limited in NERO because of real world difficulties. For example, we do not have an invisibility spell because it is almost impossible to pretend you "don't see" someone. Note we also have no flying spells, growing spells, polymorph spells or any other unusual spells that cannot be performed or easily imagined out-of-game.
We once had a Scry spell (now available in very limited quantities as a Contact Earth ritual) which was removed for its unplayability we could not answer questions that the spell would have been able to answer ("Where did I put my hat?" "Where will the Baron be tomorrow at 2 p.m.?" "Who in town is thinking about killing me?")
A Truth spell was also removed for much the same reason-how can we make players (not characters) to tell the truth? And (metaphysically speaking) what is truth, anyway?
Why need anyone ever suffer if their healing spells? Well, the answer is healing spells cannot do everything. If you are damaged (or dead) and are then magically healed to your maximum (or resurrected), then you are returned to the state your body was in before the damage was taken. If you had a limp before you were healed, you still have a limp. If you were dying of old age, then you are still dying of old age. If you were pregnant, you are still pregnant.
How to explain limps, handicaps, old scars? One explanation is that it's all psychological. If you were injured long ago and healed naturally, gaining a scar, then you are psychologically aware of the scar and when resurrected, it will be there because your mind accepts it that way. Another explanation is that the spells or resurrection heals you up to the state you were in last before you took the recent damage. In other words, if @otit@ body heated normally after a battle I and you ended up with scars, any further Healing would not correct that old injury. You can decide which of these two explanations works for you.
A Cure Disease spell will only cure magically caused diseases. It will not cure cancer, get rid of athlete's feet, or hide your bald spot. This gives some players fun at roleplaying frustrations of being sick: "You mean they can bring the back to life after dying but they can't cure the common cold?!!"
Pregnancies in-game are completely a roleplaying issue controllable by the player involved. The most important thing is to follow all rules of good taste! Being pregnant in-game will not change in any way any of the rules in this book. A doll used to represent an infant is considered a "personal possession" (if carried) in regards to the rules. Using healing, skills to detect the existence of a pregnancy is also up to the player involved, although one should remember the limitations of medieval medicine (Healing Arts is not a magical skill).
It should also be noted that when a spirit appears in a Healers' Guild for resurrection, the ceremony draws the physical elements of that spirit's body to the ritual circle in the Guild, and the body is then reformed there. However, none of the body's possessions appear, so that the body is completely naked. (You can't take it with you!) This can provide some amusing roleplaying possibilities. (Please don't really take off your clothes we don't want that much realism!) It is generally understood of course that your friends have brought your clothes and possessions back to the Guild for you, but this is not always the case-if for instance you died all by yourself or your entire party died.
Although religion played a very large part in medieval society, we do not allow it in-game because we do not wish to accidentally insult anyone's beliefs.
Please do not prominently display any religious symbols or use them in your costume design nor use any religious title in your character's name. Always avoid references to gods or demons or religious rituals.
Although technically the characters in the world of NERO are speaking some unusual fantasy language, we have thoughtfully translated these words into English for you.
Although it would be fun to have fantasy names for the months, days of the week, planets and other common things, it would be very confusing to play the game that way specially for players who only attend an event or two a year. Therefore, we stick with the traditional words used in modem English.
We do not use the old English "thee" or "thou" or other Shakespearian era vocabulary. Although it would add tremendously to the atmosphere of the game, it is too much to ask of our players. In-game, we state that we once used terminology like that but language has evolved. You may note that certain old documents such as the Code of Chivalry may still be written in that style. There may also be some countries or cultures where it is still used.
Foreign and racial in-game languages exist in NERO but you must actually learn them.
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