From the Book's Introduction:
Welcome to NERO... Where fantasy becomes reality
NERO, an acronym that stands for the New England Roleplaying Organization, is a new concept in game playing. Under NERO's unique rule system, an entire fantasy medieval town can be created.
In the NERO game, you create a character concept for a fantasy story and actually play the character. It is much like improvisational theater in that you have a framework created by the props and supporting characters and must develop your part as you progress through the storyline. Your character's attitudes, ambitions, and history are yours to define.
If the adventurous life is your calling, you may play the part of a wanderer, meeting with some friends in the tavern. While swapping tales, your party could get hired by a poor farmer in desperate straits, and spend the afternoon slaying a foul necromancer and his undead abominations.
If the epic life is not your style, then you can play the part of a town merchant. You can make your money selling your wares - and information - for the right price.
Or perhaps you wish to be one who investigates the magical arts, selling your scrolls and potions to earn the money you need to continue your studies.
Or would you rather try and become leader of the Mages' Guild? The choice is yours.
NERO is dedicated to the legendary days of high fantasy, while running a fun (and above all safe) game.
We have fierce warriors, crafty scouts, powerful mages, loyal knights, and benevolent healers. There are smelly goblins, blood-chilling spectres, evil necromancers, villainous spies to fight, and your very own legends to create.
How NERO works
In NERO, a cast of NPCs (nonplayer characters) are used to set the tone and provide background for the player characters (PCs). They often serve important town functions (such as Guild leaders) and otherwise help to propel the plot and action. Much of what happens on an event, however, can be completely decided by the players.
NERO uses 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 two basic types of adventures: An Adventure Weekend and an Adventure Module. When on a module, you and a group of trusted traveling companions will go off on a quest in search of adventure and reward. An adventure module usually runs for about two hours and has a definite start and conclusion. 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, and you are 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.
Adventure Weekends are much more extensive, and run from Friday night through Sunday afternoon (and sometimes Monday afternoon), and bring to life a medieval town with all its inhabitants and intrigues. This is what NERO is all about! 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.
As your character continues to be successful, you gain abilities and influence, and may one day gain a noble title or great fame and wealth. Tales of your adventures may some day 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.