NERO Larp owner lied about purchasing land and ran $28000 gofundme on improving land.

Matt-M-McElroy

What Are You Afraid Of?
Validated User
#1
https://www.reddit.com/r/LARP/comments/9epjbg/us_nero_larp_owner_lied_about_purchasing_land_and/

NERO is arguably one of the biggest fantasy games running in the United States, having chapters across the US and even in other countries (Canada and South Africa). Joe Valenti, the current "Owner" of NERO (more on that later) created a fundraiser for a national LARP site, raising $28,000 to fund the construction of cabins, paths, and etc on the purchased site.

In the past week or so, the validity of both the purchase of this site and the usage of funds has been brought into question, following a huge schism in the NERO community caused by Joe's administrative (stripping a whole bunch of players) and legal (let the ownership of NERO trademark lapse, was purchased and given to the old owner, Ford Ivey) (If additional info is wanted, I can delve into those situations, but right now the biggest issue is the $28,000 fundraiser). This post is mainly here to serve as a warning/cautionary tale about both NERO and giant LARP fundraisers in general.
...a lot more information at the link. Note that it is a reddit user's post, so not a news article, etc. It does have plenty of screenshots to back up the information.

This seems like a pretty blatant scam and I don't know if there is any way for folks to recover their funds.

Further down the thread there is information that the trademark for NERO is in dispute, something I wasn't aware of previously. Anyone have more info?

M
 

Omega

Registered User
Validated User
#2
From listening to others purchasing land I suspect what happened was that the person doing the CF vastly underestimated the costs and hassles of both acquiring land and more importantly. The sheer number of hassles getting permission to build on said land.

Contracting, building permits, zoning issues, conservation issues, and more can and likely will crop up.
 

Iralith

Registered User
Validated User
#3
Sure, that's certainly an issue; I've certainly seen a thoroughly legit LARP site take forever to get off the ground thanks to unexpected costs and hassles, complicated by town-relations issues that are probably all too common with LARP sites. But: both the Reddit post and its linked Facebook post paint a different picture altogether, about this case.
 
Last edited:

Lost Demiurge

4th level Cosmic Monarch
Validated User
#4
Hoo hoo hoo, Joe Valenti…

...mf. I spent a decade in NERO. Several of the friends I made there went on to own chapters. And good sweet Jeebus, the stories they have about Valenti.

Dude is not someone you want to trust with money, power, or authority. He's done no good for anyone who ever tried to work with him, and created so much drama that he could star in his own soap opera.
 

Blackwingedheaven

Crystal Human
Validated User
#5
Hoo hoo hoo, Joe Valenti…

...mf. I spent a decade in NERO. Several of the friends I made there went on to own chapters. And good sweet Jeebus, the stories they have about Valenti.

Dude is not someone you want to trust with money, power, or authority. He's done no good for anyone who ever tried to work with him, and created so much drama that he could star in his own soap opera.
Same and same. I had a lot of fun at NERO chapters, but Valenti was pretty much the worst thing about the game.
 

First and Forsaken Brian

Registered User
Validated User
#6
I played a bunch of NERO about 20 years ago; my team was heading up to the New Brunswick chapter for a showdown with the rebellious locals, and in discussions in the hotel it was mentioned in passing that Joe was unhappy with the chapter’s owners; as a result, we were given sanction to inflict permanent death on as many PCs as we saw fit.

I remember liking the guy personally, but I would totally believe that he was not great toward people by whom he felt slighted.
 
Top Bottom