In NERO, a cast of non-player characters (NPCs) are used to set the tone and provide background for the player characters (PCs). They may serve important town functions (such as Guild leaders or high ranking nobility), but their primary purpose is to help propel the plot and action. Much of what happens at an event, however, is completely decided by the players.
NERO uses safe padded weapons to simulate actual combat, and a magic system that uses packets made of fabric and bird seed to represent the hurling of spells. Mock (and sometimes real) armor and other costumes are used to enhance the atmosphere.
There are many types of NERO events. The most common are day events, weekend events, and long events. Each type of event runs non-stop from start to completion. Day events start and end on the same day and may last for 8 or more hours. A day event is usually composed of a single scenario (module) and may be very linear in nature. Weekend events run from Friday night to Sunday morning/afternoon. Long events are any event that runs longer than a weekend event. The most common long event lasts for 4 days (Friday to Monday), but it is not unheard of for a long event to last for 9 or more consecutive days. Weekend and long events are composed of collections of modules with multiple plot-lines and bring to life a medieval town with all its inhabitants and intrigues. There is nothing to compare with the feeling of playing for 24 hours a day along with possibly hundreds of other players, each with their own desires, fears, and aspirations.
It sounds simple, but when you are in the middle of a dungeon with shadowy shapes moving towards you in the darkness and strange sounds echoing down the halls, trying to remember what that fellow in the tavern said a half hour ago about how to get through this infernal door, your perspective on the difficulty of the situation may change.
As you play your character, you will gain abilities and influence, and may one day gain a noble title or great fame and wealth. Tales of your adventures may someday be sung by bards, or retold time and again by storytellers sitting by the fire with a cup of spiced cider.
What your character does is entirely up to you. You decide what you want and where you want to be. The future is yours to define and create.