The NERO LARP Gypsy Race Handbook

Use this Handbook as a basis to build your character if you are playing a Gypsy in the NERO LARP Game. If you have any questions, feel free to contact your local NERO LARP chapter.

Introduction To The Gypsy
Gypsy Word Definitions
The Gypsy Laws
The Kris
The Gypsy Initiation Ceremony
The Gypsy Curse


Gypsies look exactly like humans, but they tend to wear bright clothing, be friendly and out-spoken, and always speak with an accent that is not common to the local area. Called Travelers, they are considered fun loving, free roaming socialites that enjoy having fun, mostly through parties and entertaining, even more so than the Hobling. They rarely settle in one place for more than a few months, though they will purchase their very own Manor House somewhere and call it home. They like to travel in their Wagons and on Horseback, in Caravans and singularly.

When playing a gypsy try to use an accent of some sort. It is hard to describe the accent to be used, by it is usually a Jovial Accent, one of fun, fun, fun and friendly, friendly, friendly!

Gypsy Word Definitions

Gypsy King: Each area will have one or more Gypsy Kings, dependant upon the number of Tribes and Families in the area. The King provides great respect to his Wife, the Gypsy Queen, for her wisdom and knowledge gained though friendships of the townsfolk and other Gypsy families.

Gypsy Queen: The gypsy queen will compliment her husband in every way, and will always support his decision. She will expect to give advice to her husband, the Gypsy King, as she spends much of her time speaking with other Gypsy families and Tribes, and the Gaje adventurers and Nobles.

Bandoleer: This is the leader of a single tribe who has all the final say in all matters of the tribe. This person answers to the Gypsy King and Gypsy Queen and to the Kris.

Bandoleers Wife: This important role duplicates the role of the Gypsy Queen to the Gypsy King. The Bandoleers wife is always speaking with the other Gypsies about parties, dinner functions and other meetings, and the occurrences of everyone else in the town they are in.

Family: These are all the people in one specific family line. Many Gypsies will associate themselves with multiple families – there mother and fathers, there spouses, their sibling’s spouse, etc.

Tribes: Also called Clan in some areas, they represent all the families that follow one Bandoleer. There can be as few as one Family in a Tribe or an unlimited number depending upon the size of the caravan, wagon, or tent area.

Band: This is the group of Gypsies that travel together either on foot, horseback, or in caravans. They usually stay together throughout the year and only separate for a month or two while visiting other family – sister’s husband’s brothers band/family.

Gaje: All Non-Gypsy people are called Gaje by the Gypsies.

The Gypsy Laws

The Gypsy culture has its own set of laws that are adhered to by every Gypsy across the world. These Laws are considered proper etiquette of the culture and every Gypsy is educated in them. A Gypsy family or clan that produces a Gypsy that does not adhere to these Laws is ridiculed and shunned for not passing along the heritage of the culture correctly.

1.      The leader of the Gypsy Nation has the final word in all decisions among the tribe.

2.      Allegiance: Members of all Gypsy Tribes and Families owe their loyalty and allegiance to the Gypsy King’s and Queen's wishes and decisions first, to those of their Bandoleer second, to the well-being and safety of all other Gypsies third; and finally to any other group with which the Gypsy has become associated with. A Gypsy may not place loyalty to any group or person above that which the Gypsy owes to the tribe. If any conflicts of loyalty arise, the Gypsy must stand on the side of the Gypsies or face the Kris and possible expulsion from the Tribe and/or family.

3.      Only the Gypsy King/Queen may appoint or choose from among the tribe: a) The head of the Kris, or b) Bandoleers.

4.      The Kris is the court of the Gypsies and has the sole authority to remove a person from a Tribe. Anyone found guilty by the Kris will lose their acceptance by the families within the tribe and possibly all other tribes and gypsies across the world.  The Kris will almost always provide a task of some sort to make reparation for their misdeed that if fulfilled within a certain time period will act as atonement for the wrong they committed.

5.      No Gypsy, without good and provable cause, may cause harm or danger to another Gypsy. To do so will result in facing the Kris and possible expulsion from your Gypsy Family and Tribe. There are numerous free roaming Gypsy's that that cause harm to others that are being tracked by bounty hunters, so be careful if you choose to be one of them!

6.      Gypsies are all considered family. Generally, In order to join an existing Gypsy Tribe, the person must adventure with a band of Gypsies for a time as a Gypsy, or be sponsored by a member of the band. The band will vote whether to accept the candidate into the tribe, and if accepted, the candidate must successfully undergo the initiation ceremony that changes their culture to Gypsy-ish.

7.    No Gypsy lies - Though Gypsy's often inadvertently get things "wrong" while speaking the Gaje tongue! If we have to speak their language, they'll have to be patient if we make "mistakes".

8.      Any traveling Gypsy is welcome to the hospitality of any Gypsy camp whenever there is need. It is rare indeed for a Gypsy to turn away another Gypsy when hospitality is requested. Many Gypsies who are turned away by their brethren will ask why they were turned away, and if they feel it is not warranted they are certain to do everything in their power to call the Kris for judging.

9.      Any Gaje who is named a "Gypsy Friend" by the Gypsy leader or tribe is considered an honorary Gypsy (without Gypsy accent or skills) and is welcome to hospitality of the gypsy camp and the loyalty and protection of the tribe.

The Kris

The Kris is the legal body of the Gypsy nation. It is not a permanent group, but is assembled as the need arises. The Kris is made up of 5 respected members of the tribe. Only the head of the Kris is a permanent position, the other four are rotating positions. The Gypsy King/Queen appoints the head of the Kris, who in turn chooses 4 other Gypsies to sit in judgment when a Kris is called.

Rules of the Kris

1. To be called before the Kris is a serious accusation before the entire Gypsy Nations. This is usually the result of having done something equivalent to a sin or criminal act, as in the following examples (a partial list only):

* Wrongfully cursing a Gaje or another Gypsy when they've not directly insulted, threatened, or harmed you or your family

* Stealing from or lying to another Gypsy

* Direct disobedience of the Gypsy King/Queen without good cause

* Breaking faith or revealing secrets of the Gypsy nation to any Gaje.

2.  A Gypsy found guilty in the eyes of the Kris is then considered "marhime." This means "unclean" and that the person is forever changed to Gaje and are outcast, exiled from the tribe. They are no longer part of the Gypsy nation, shall receive no protection or hospitality, and lose their accent and their Gypsy curse ability.

3.  The Bandoleer or the head of the Kris may be removed from the position only if :

a)  They resign.

b)  They are accused of being unfair, biased, or of committing another act which requires them to stand before the Kris, and they are found guilty.

At such time, the Gypsy King/Queen will call a Kris and appoint the 4 to sit in judgment with him/her over the previous seat holder. If not found guilty, the Gypsy King/Queen may restore the seat holder.

4.  If necessary, the Gypsy King/Queen may call the head of the Kris before the Kris, and vice versa. If the need for a Kris arises, the duty of calling the Kris falls in the following order:

a)  The Gypsy King/Queen

b)  The head of the Kris

c)  The Bandoleer of the nearest tribe

d)  The Bandoleer of the nearest Duchy, etc.

The Gypsy Initiation Ceremony

This is a grand ceremony held to accept a new Gypsy into a tribe or promote an existing one to a Gypsy leader. Gaje friends of the Gypsy tribe are invited to watch the ceremony and join in the revels afterwards.

    The Gypsy Queen or highest ranking Gypsy woman of the tribe prepares a special drink from a secret Gypsy recipe. The Cup must be "touched" by the thoughts of each Gypsy present with regard to acceptance of the candidates as a gypsy. The candidates then sit facing the tribe and each in turn stands and is given a drink from the cup by their Gypsy sponsor.

    If the candidate is fated to become a Gypsy, they will survive the drink and they will forever change to Gypsy and possibly see and or speak a powerful vision!

    If the candidate is unworthy or false-hearted, then the drink will act as a powerful poison, causing them to fall in convulsions and die. After each candidate has drunk from the cup, the new Gypsies are welcomed into the tribe with wild rejoicing and great celebration.

The Gypsy Curse

1. Gypsy curses are role-playing curses which shall not stop a victim from fighting, casting spells, or using their other game skills. The victim, not the gypsy caster, decides how to role-play a Gypsy curse correctly. A victim may refuse any curse for safety or comfort reasons such as: the victim feels a mask is too tight or has eyeholes too small, the victim is allergic to make-up, the victim cannot hop because of back trouble, etc. If a victim refuses a Gypsy curse for safety or medical reasons, then the gypsy may cast a different curse to replace it.

2. A Gypsy curse is a rare action - it should only be cast with provocation. A Gypsy never curses another Gypsy or a Gypsy friend, and curses may be cast only on those who have insulted, harmed, or threatened the Gypsy and/or the Gypsy's family. The Cursing Gypsy must also answer to their bandoleer, to the Kris, or possibly the Nobles for their actions, and better be ready to explain themselves.

3. A Gypsy may cast as many curses per day as he/she has bought the Gypsy Curse / Remove Gypsy Curse skill. A Gypsy may choose which curse to cast at the time of cursing. Gypsy curse is an innate ability, and not affected by spell defenses. A Gypsy may have only one curse active on a particular person at any time, but may curse multiple individuals with their curses.

4. A Gypsy Curse remains in effect upon the person against whom it was cast until it is removed by a Remove Gypsy Curse, the victim resurrects, or the Gypsy who cast the curse resurrects.

5) Usually, other Gypsies will not remove Curses cast by other clan members as it is considered bad etiquette. On occasion, the King, Queen, or the Bandoleer will remove one of their clan member’s curse as a favor or to satisfy a favor owed.

5. Individuals who feel that they have been wrongly cursed by a Gypsy should bring their case to the attention of the current Gypsy King, Queen or Bandoleer. If they have been wrongfully cursed, the curse will be removed, and the Gypsy who cast the curse will stand before their Liege and possibly the Kris. IF they have been rightfully cursed then the Bandoleer will gather an explanation and share it with the cursed person to rectify, at which point the curse shall be removed.

The Wording of the Gypsy Curse

Each Gypsy has a particular prefix, or beginning statement to their Gypsy Curse that they are known by, much like a signature. They will often use their signature prefix in everyday conversation with friends, family, and acquaintances to emphasize a point.

Examples of Gypsy curse Signature prefix’s are:

"May my favorite horse break his legs if..."

"May I be poor and my wagon burn to ashes if..."

”May I die the long and painful death if..."

There must be a great calamity that prefixes the statement made. The reason for the calamity being turned on one's self derives from the ancient legend which holds that if the statement following is wrongly made, then the person making it deserves the fate they called upon themselves.

For Example: Often when inviting another Gypsy to share food or drink,  this would be used; "May I bring shame and disaster upon all my family if you do not share my meal with me!" The other Gypsy would always be quick to accept to as not to cause them to hurt their family. Note that only real curses are spoken toward the Gaje.

All content copyright Joseph Valenti 1986 to 2019, all rights reserved. Tel. 914.309.7718.  e-mail