The rules of the Games are designed to allow for fast and furious interaction, while keeping a level of simplicity necessary for an annual event where LARPers from many games will be participating. Combat is based on established boffer fighting conventions with which most players should be quite familiar. Please use common sense and common courtesy in the application of all rules for the Games. At all times, remember that the purpose of being at the event is to have fun!
As you might expect, the primary rule is Safety First! We expect all participants to be on their best behavior in terms of safety in battle. If you see someone in a potentially dangerous situation, use the call “Caution” to warn the other player, and give them a chance to disengage.
Physical contact between players, other than by weapon as defined in the combat rules, is allowed by consent only. Do not charge into players, do not pin their weapons, do not grab their clothing, and so on. If you see someone breaking this No-Contact Rule, politely inform them. If a problem persists, seek out a Games official.
Remember that all players are used to different games with different rule systems and different styles of combat. Please be considerate, acknowledge hits or misses, and give civil feedback to inquiries about whether a hit or spell was taken or not. Even if you feel a player is cheating, accept the outcome and then bring it to the attention of Games officials, rather than escalating into an argument.
Respect the spirit of the Games, which encourages challenges and combat, but allows visitors to decline battle when they have decided to retire from the activities. Use the indication of placing a hand on top of your head to indicate that you are currently not participating in the game. This symbol may be used to move between sleeping cabin and bathroom or shower, or for similar personal activity. Note that if you wish your sleep to be uninterrupted, a Safe Ward is useful on your cabin door, but you may regardless always decline combat when you are resting in your cabin.
Weapons following standard boffer weapon construction rules of Participant LARPs, as well as latex-covered foam and other weapons of similar materials designed explicitly for use in boffer LARP combats are permitted for use in the Games. Weapons may be any color, with the exception of red. Red is reserved for claws.
All weapons must undergo a weapon inspection at check-in. Weapons which are deemed unsafe due to inadequate or deteriorated padding will not be passed for combat use. If a weapon does not have a 2” open-cell foam tip, such as is the case for many latex foam weapons, it is not allowed to be used in a thrusting attack. Games officials have the final say on whether a weapon may be used for combat during the Games or not.
Melee weapons fall into three size categories, where length is the full size measured from tip to pommel, not just the blade:
Ranged weapons are restricted to the use of soft foam projectiles. There may be no hard component to a ranged projectile, whether buried inside the projectile (encased in foam) or as part of the body (such as an arrow shaft). Examples of legal ranged weapon projectiles are:
All ranged weapons may only have one round of ammunition loaded at any given time. No multi-shot weapons are allowed. Since the Games welcomes competitors from all Realms, some characters may appear with guns. The restriction of having only one shot loaded at any time applies in particular to all types of Nerf guns. Note also that any weapon or shield may block or deflect a ranged projectile from any ranged weapon, causing the attack to miss.
All ranged weapons have a restricted rate of fire, as given by the skill of the character with a ranged weapon. Since thrown weapons require little time to rearm, strict adherence to your rate of fire with them is of particular importance.
Your character may wear armor in the Games, assuming you have purchased the appropriate skill. Armor increases your BP total. If you are hurt in combat, armor BP are restored just like normal body points through 5 minutes of relaxation per 1 BP, or by magical Healing.
Armor falls into the following three categories. If you are not sure what your armor might be rated as, consult a Games official. The appearance of your armor is important in this consideration!
Your character may use a shield in combat, if you have purchased the appropriate skill. Shields may be made of any material, but must have soft 5/8” thick padding around its edge. You may not use a shield to push, rush, or bash anyone. Shields come in two size categories:
Spell casting covers the use of magic incantations which utilize a spell packet to deliver their effect to the target. The spell incantation is left up to the individual caster, although it should be appropriate to the spell, and be consistent each time the caster incants the spell. The spell incantation should be at least 7 syllables long, and then conclude with the exact spell effect call as described below. The incantation must be audible to the target.
A spell packet is constructed using cloth and bird seed. The birdseed should not contain any sharply pointed kernels, such as sunflowers seeds. The simplest construction utilizes cloth cut in a square of about 8”, and a couple of heaped tablespoons of seed, formed into a packet with a rubber band.
Crafting in the Games covers the creation of magic items which provide enhancements or special effects when used. Most magic items can be carried around, as well as traded or given away to other players. All your unused magic items may be taken from you by anyone who spends 10 seconds collecting them from you while you are Stunned.
The limitation on crafting such items is largely given by the component resources required to create them. If you acquire the necessary components, and have the skill, you can go to the Games office to hand in the components and receive an appropriate magic item tag.
You will need to provide a physical representation (phys rep) of the magic item you have created. The tag should be attached to the phys rep of the magic item if possible, otherwise at least kept together. The exact nature and form of the magic item is left to your individual character. It may be a potion, in which case some kind of vial is appropriate. It may be a scroll, an herb packet, a powder, a piece of jewelry, etc. If you are not sure whether something would be appropriate to use as a phys rep of the magic item, just ask a Blood Games official.
Most such magic items are only good for one use, and thus are used up when activated. The use of the magic item should involve role playing appropriate to the form of the magic item. After use, the tag describing the magic item should be returned to a Games official or an official return box placed for this purpose in the Tavern. The phys rep should be returned to the creator, unless she has told you otherwise.
Most magic items have effects similar to the spells described previously. However, there are some magic items which have no parallel in spells:
You may note that there are remarkably few defensive skills. The purpose of this is twofold. The first is to emphasize team play, since the powerful nature of Special Attacks and Spells make for deadly combat. In fact, only the Crafting ability allows creation of the Resistance magic. Healing and remedy capabilities are critical in returning a warrior to the fight, since he has little defense if struck by a Special Attack or Spell. The second purpose is to emphasize the power of Special Attacks and Spells. There is little more frustrating than to have your precious one-use Special Attack parried or dodged simply through call of a skill, and so we have chosen not to provide such skills, apart from the expensive Resistance magic. Conversely, we expect the users of Special Attack and Spells to carefully respect the limit on the number of their use that they have purchased, and to accept the fact that they may miss, be blocked, or be Resisted.
Victory Points are the currency of the Games. You may use them to enter tournaments or acquire them as rewards.
When you create your Character, it can be affiliated to a Realm. During the event, you may choose an affiliation if you have not done so beforehand. If you have no particular Realm that your character wishes to belong to, then the Realm of the Silver Kingdom, host of the Woldhaven Invitational, welcomes you to its team as an affiliate. Once chosen, the affiliation is permanent for the duration of the Games.
A Realm’s Victory Point total starts the Games at a value of twice its affiliated members. Each Victory Token a Realm hands out to its affiliated characters, in order to enter competitions, subtracts from the Realm’s Victory Point total. All competitive wins are added to the Realm's Victory Point total.
During the Games, if a Realm’s Victory Point total ever falls below zero, it is Drained and cannot grant its affiliated characters any more Victory Points. In order for those characters to continue to participate in competitions, the Realm must forfeit its chance at the Prestige Trophy and swear fealty to another Realm. If a Realm remains Drained for longer than 4 hours without agreeing to swear fealty to another Realm, the Games officials will have the right to make a decision as to which Realm the Drained Realm swears fealty to. The Realm receiving the fealty gains 2 Victory Points per new affiliated member.
A Realm may choose to forfeit its chance at the Prestige Trophy and swear fealty to another Realm at any time. This requires agreement by a majority of all Realm members, and requires an official handoff at the Games office. All characters affiliated with the Realm will be affiliated to the new Realm.
Each Realm has a Prestige total that derives from the Victory Points that have been turned in to it, minus those withdrawn for competitions, minus 2 per affiliated competitor. Prestige is the measure by which the grand prize of the Games will be won: the Prestige Trophy. The Prestige Trophy is awarded at the end of the Games to the Realm that has the highest Prestige.
The Games can be a dangerous place, since everyone is looking out for the opportunity to increase the Prestige of their Realm. However, there are magical wards which can be placed to create safe areas, where no combat may take place, and no items may be taken. These magic items are called Safe Wards, and take the form of a yellow triangle. They may be placed upon the entrance to any small enclosure, such as a tent or cabin. Once placed, these Safe Wards may not be removed by anyone other than a Games official, and they remain active throughout the whole event.
Characters for the Games can be created from scratch, or you may bring any character you have played in any LARP. If you bring a character from another LARP, the directors of that LARP must validate your character’s experience with us. If the LARP is listed as a Participant LARP, just have one of the directors drop us an e-mail. Otherwise please have the directors get in touch with us, so we can get them set up as a Participant LARP. In order to bring in such an experienced character it is highly advisable to pre-register, since getting the validation from that LARP's directors during check-in on site is likely to be quite difficult. Please also peruse the Logistics section and read up on Realms, so that you may define your character’s allegiance.
The advantage of bringing an existing character is simple – you get to start with more in-game skills. However, in keeping with the spirit of the Games, the skill level differential between characters will be relatively small. The number of character points (CP) you get for creating your character are:
· Novice Character: 15 CP
· Established Character, played in 2-5 weekend-long events: 20 CP
· Veteran Character, played in 6 or more weekend-long events: 25 CP
· Special unique "fairy tale" Character of the Realm: 75 CP
Note that we expect a character created based on an existing LARP character to select skills and exhibit behavior which are appropriate to that LARP character!
Characters played in prior Games will have earned some additional CP (3 to 6 CP each event), which can be spent on additional skills. Contact us directly or by registering to find out your available CP and update your character.
Use the character points (CP) you have available to purchase skills for your character. All in-game actions covered in the prior sections on Weapons, Special Attacks, Armor and Shields, Spell Casting, and Crafting require purchase of one or more skills in order for your character to use them in the Games.
Many of the combat skills include in their description the term “Once Per Battle”. This means that purchase of that skill allows your character to use the skill ability once, whether you hit or miss, and you must then rest for at least 5 uninterrupted minutes of relaxation before you could use the skill again. Such skills may be purchased more than once, in which case you may use them accordingly more than once per battle.
The Blood Games 2011 - the Woldhaven Invitational