LARP Adventures strives to create our own unique interpretation of what has come to be known as a Nordic Style LARP. To that end we strive to keep our rule set as concise and simple as possible.
If you can do it, or if it can be represented by props or role play you can do it.
Our goal is three fold - Immersion, Collaboration and Artistic Vision
C.O.M.B.a.T. SYSTEM *** BASIC RULES OF PLAY***
By Skip Lipman
A simple points based hit system developed to simulate fantasy medieval battles called The C.O.M.B.a.T System (tm). (Complete Obligatory Melee Battle and Tactics) The goal is to keep the basic rules simple and easy to learn.
WEAPONS & DAMAGE
HAND TO HAND COMBAT WEAPONS
One-handed weapons will do 1 point of damage*
One-handed weapons include - swords, axes, warhammers, maces, clubs... (simple staves and wood clubs always do one point of damage whether wielded with one or two hands.
Weapons wielded with two hands will do 2 points of damage**
Specifically as applies to two-handed weapons: weapons shall be considered two-handed as long as they are over 40" in total length and wielded with two hands. A weapon wielded one handed regardless of length will do one point of damage.
Two-handed weapons include - swords, axes, glaives, warhammers, spears... (simple staves and wood clubs always do one point of damage whether wielded with one or two hands.
STAB & THRUST
Most weapons can be used to stab or thrust. Stabbing counts the same as above one handed will do 1 point, two-handed will do 2 points. Two-handed stabs and thrusts with polearms, such as halberds and glaives must be wielded with two hands through the strike to count as 2 points of damage. A pool cue style thrust only counts as 1 damage.
Thrown weapons will do 1 point of damage.
Only coreless weapons may be thrown.
Thrown weapons include daggers, knives, axes, rocks...
Arrows count as 2 points***
Bows should be of wood or appear as such, fiberglass and PVC bows are allowed so long as they are finished to look period. Bows must be of a maximum draw weight that may not exceed 35 pounds with a 28 inch draw.
Thats: 35# @28”
35 pounds is the maximum draw weight allowed on the field. Archers with this maximum draw weight should never fire from full draw closer than 30 feet. (approx 8 Meters) Under 30 feet use a half draw.
With a bow of less than a 30 pound draw weight this safe draw distance is cut down to 20 feet. (approx 6 Meters) Under 20 feet use a half draw.
Never fire your bow at anyone under 10 feet in range (approx 3 Meters) The arrow can bounce back and injure you or someone else.
NO MELEE COMBAT WITH A BOW
If you are charged you may not use your bow to defend or block, cast it aside carefully and recover it after combat. If you decide to enter melee, put down your bow before you enter combat. Bows are not padded weapons and may hurt someone by accident if carried into fighting.
Arrows need to be made to a high level of safety and precision. Pointing out the obvious - No field tips are ever to be left on a "safe for shooting at other people" arrow. Arrows may be constructed on aluminum, carbon shafts, or of wood and fiberglass, but these must be covered with black or brown tape so that they do not splinter. Homemade arrow tips must be at least 2.25" in diameter, they must have a closed cell foam base, and be padded with a solid piece of at least 2 inches medium density open-cell type of foam. The tips of the shaft must have a Kevlar, high strength impact plastic, penny or other similar object between the core and the foam; arrow fletchings must also have at least three fletches. Arrowheads must be firmly affixed to the shaft and not wobble or rotate. Arrows are one of the hardest weapons to make safely, new archers are strongly encouraged to speak to a veteran player with arrow construction experience before attempting to construct any arrows on their own. All arrows will be subjected to intense safety scrutiny. For homemade arrows an arrow will be opened and dissected randomly from your set to check construction. Crossbow bolts are the same with the exception that they only need 2 fletches.
PICKING UP ARROWS
You may pick up anyone’s arrows and fire them during a combat engagement. However, be sure to quickly assess them to make sure they are safe to use, and be sure to get them back to their owner after the fight.
This system is intended as 100% speed with medium contact, and light touch when stabbing. A hit is a strike that makes contact either stopping the weapon or causing it to change direction, contacting with direct force of the blade or striking surface. Strikes of the flat of the blade do not count as hits. Do not try to power through with a blow, think of combat more like fencing where you are using a realistic strike to land blows on your opponent, but not to inflict actual damage. If you attempt to block but are still hit by your opponent’s weapon it still counts as a hit, the blade is always alive. Tippy tap strikes or high speed tapping are considered meta-gaming and are frowned upon as they do not fit in the spirit of the rules.
Stabs are best when thought of as light accurately placed hits, as they can be amongst the most dangerous strikes for players. When stabbing for LARP combat, your target should be to touch the opponent not push through them.
LARP combat is governed primarily by the honor system, a system whereby persons are trusted to abide by the regulations and adhere to the spirit of the rules without supervision or surveillance. As an honor based system we want to create a culture of fairness and hit taking, call your own hits, when in doubt die.
Striking your opponent is a form of communication. You are informing them that they have been hit. You should only strike with enough force to let them know. Thus you should be judicious and courteous when striking unarmored opponents. For those being struck, any hit that lands on you counts. You should not debate whether it was “strong enough” to pierce your armor or skin, that's why we have the point system. If it lands, it counts. There are no light hits.
LEGAL HIT LOCATIONS
Arms, left and right are separate hit locations
Legs , left and right are separate hit locations, buttocks left and right sides count as leg
Torso, from your shoulders to your waist, front and back count as torso
Non-Legal Hit Locations (Places not to target)
Headshots do not count, you are instructed specifically to avoid striking your opponent's head, and yet it does occur. It is common courtesy to let them recover from an inadvertent headshot before continuing the fight.
There is no grappling, do not physically grab an opponent. No submission holds, takedowns, or wrestling. No Kicks.
DAMAGE & WOUNDS
Once you take a hit you must decide how it will affect you, these actions happen in a split second and with practice your reactions will become second nature. When in doubt, take the death. If you take 1 point of damage, or an arrow to a limb you have taken a wound. You can be wounded in multiple limbs and still be in play.
A second wound to a limb or a single wound to your torso will cause a mortal wound. This is your chance for an Emmy, you may no longer move, except to writhe in pain, or calmly accept your fate, death is near. You may talk or scream your protest or the enemies location or numbers. Unless healed you will die when the combat is over.
1 point to any limb is a wound and renders that limb useless, drop your arm to your side, or if it is your leg you may drag it, or go down to your knee.
A second hit point of damage to a limb is a mortal wound
Additional hits to an injured limb is death.
The first arrow to injure a limb does not kill even though it does more than 1 point of damage.
A second arrow to the same limb will kill.
A two-handed attack striking a limb will cause death as the strike is considered to have cleaved through the limb and into another location.
1 point to your torso is considered a mortal wound
.Another hit point of damage to any location is death
You, me, everybody, everybody dies in play. When you die you are out of play and may no longer interact with other players. Death occurs when a player is mortalled during combat and stays mortalled until the combat’s end or when a player takes additional damage after being mortally wounded. But, it’s okay, there is no permanent death, and a good death is the best gift you can give to an opponent. Blood curdling screams, a last gurgle, and final words from behind clenched teeth are great ways to go. Be creative, but try not to over do it. Fall where you are if possible, or move to a safe place and go down. Try and stay down and in place for the duration of the combat*. If you must move, move out quickly and away from other combat, hold your weapon upside down or put your hands on your head to identify yourself as a dead and out of play.
THE AFTERLIFE & HEALING
After you are wounded or die there are several options depending on the scenario.
In a Campaign Event you are asked to lay there or stay nearby where the fight took place to take part in any post fight role play, such as looting, or healing and then make your way as dead out of play to the designated Tavern area.
Tavern/Hades is a designated location where dead players report and will be directed as to how to re-enter play.
In resurrection battles you will need to move from the battlefield as quickly and safely as possible without getting in the way of other combatants and go to your Res Point, there may be multiple locations throughout the site for you to go to for healing and re-entry into the game.
In field battles try and lay where you fell, it’s fun to see the bodies on the field as the battle progresses, and you may be healed by a teammate or NPC, once the battle is over rise and form up for the next fight.
There will also be other ways that you can re-enter the game and heal depending on the scenario.
NPCs & DEATH
NPCs are non-player characters, they are not always governed by the same rules as players. Ask questions and listen for clues, look out for special abilities and other game mechanics. It is the NPCs responsibility to explain through action, role play and by last resort out of character description what you are experiencing in an encounter. Many times after a combat is resolved the NPCs, will roleplay the situation out, gather the wounded, resurrect the dead and roll out to the next location or quest event, at which point your group if lead by an NPC will do the same.
Try not to run off for revenge the second you are revived. Players should never use in game information from five minutes before or just after your death.
ARMOR & SHIELDS
Wearing armor gives you bonus hits. Armor is location based, meaning it protects only the area it covers. Each hit location is considered as separate for calculating hits and wounds, if your armor is depleted in one hit location it is not depleted in other hit locations. Allowing for wounds to your limb while you still have armor points left on your torso, or other armored limb. As far as damage is concerned there is no differentiation between front back or side, meaning that a hit to your back counts as a torso hit. For example; if you are wearing a plate cuirass (AP3) and you take a two-hand strike from a sword from the back (2 damage), then you are stabbed in the front with a one-handed thrust (1 damage), then your plate torso armor is destroyed, The next hit to your torso will mortall you.
AP0 - A player wearing no armor, only costuming, has a base AP of 0. 1 hit weapons take away the part of the body that was struck, defeating a player if hit in the chest or back. A two damage weapon defeats the player if hit in any AP 0 location. A 2 damage arrow takes away the part of the body that was struck, and works essentially like a 1 damage weapon with no armor.
AP1 - Includes Leather, Gambeson, and Hide. If a one damage weapon strikes a hit location covered in 1 AP armor, the armor is broken. If a two damage weapon strikes a hit location covered in 1 AP armor, the armor is broken, and the limb under it is lost (if stuck in the chest or back, the player is defeated). This is the last AP where a player's skills can stack, bark skin, stone skin, and warriors skin apply.
AP2 - Includes reinforced leather, Chain mail, scale mail, thick hide and thick leather, and stacked 1 AP armor, such as a gambeson under leather. A one damage weapon weakens the armor, but does not destroy it. A second hit from a one damage weapon in the same location destroys the armor and that location is now at 0 AP. If struck with a 2 damage weapon, the armor is broken after one hit. The next hit to that location kills, as it is now 0 AP. A 2 damage arrow destroys the armor immediately. A second shot to the 0 AP does not kill unless it is a mortal location (chest and back), rather the limb is lost. Improvements to natural AP can not be given to players with AP 2 or higher, bark skin, stone skin, warrior’s hide do not apply to this AP and up.
AP3 - Includes armors mostly made of metal, such as plate, coats of plate. It also includes stacked armor, such as chainmail under leather, or Chainmail over a gambeson. 3 AP armor allows for the user to take 3 hits from a one damage weapon before the armor is destroyed. A 2 damage melee weapon weakens the armor in one hit, destroys the 3 AP armor in a second hit and takes out its hit location. A 2 damage ranged weapon weakens the armor in one hit, destroys the armor in the second hit and takes out its hit location.
AP4/MAX AP - 4 AP is only granted via stacking armors or by magical armor rewarded in questing. Examples of non magical 4 AP armor includes Plate with a gambeson under or Chain Mail with studded leather overtop. 4 AP armor takes 4 strikes of one damage weapon to break, or 2 strikes of two damage weapons to break. This includes being shot by two arrows. 4 AP is now the max amount of armor that can be granted to a player by normal means.
Helmets are both a safety precaution for the players and a style boost for LARP adventures as a whole. Helmets grant a single “floating” AP that is applied to the first strike in any location. This gives players a boost and helps encourage on field safety. Any style or material helmet grants this boon, provided it is harder than a soft cap. This means, if a 4 ap player with a helmet is struck with a one point weapon, they can negate that first strike as their helmet gives them a boost in protection. If a 0 AP player is wearing a helmet, they can apply the same one AP boost, and lose a limb if struck by a two point weapon rather than being defeated outright.
You may mix armor ie plate pauldrons and studded bracers. Hits are then determined by where a blow is landed. For hit locations with mixed armor, once any armor on that location is compromised/destroyed than all armor on that location is considered compromised/destroyed. Hits between armor, your gaps, count as unarmored.
*** Armor and arrows- As stated above, but worth reiteration, arrows to a limb count as a wound and not a kill, but as far as damage to armor they count as 2 points. Arrows go straight through up to 1 point of armor, ie. Studded. Chainmail or armor worth 2 points will take one arrow hit, but is then destroyed, the second arrow will get through. Plate with gambeson, 4 armor points is the same. Only a Warrior with Armor Proficiency Skill with max armor of 4 points can withstand 2 arrow hits before their armor is destroyed.
When layering or stacking armor your total armor is the sum AP of all armor pieces on a hit location. Even when layering armor, a player may not have more AP on a location than their class max AP. Each layer of armor worn when layering must be made of a different material.
SHIELDS & BUCKLERS
Players may use one shield or buckler. Shields can be of varying size and are generally held in the hand and strapped to the forearm, punch grip shields are held in the hand by a cross piece in the center of the shield, bucklers are generally small shields that are strapped to a forearm or shoulder. Shields are not destroyed by normal hand weapons.
NO SHIELD BASHING
Shield bashing is not allowed.
Your shield, may contact an opponent or their shield (for example in the press of a shield-wall) or while engaged in combat. We call this shield control or shield pushing. However, you can not put force behind it to strike your opponent to disorient them, or use your weight or strength to force them to the ground.
The edge of your shield may be used to deflect blows, feint, move or hook an opponent's shield, but as above should never be used as an attack to physically strike your opponent with the intent of disorienting them.
NON COMBAT MAGIC
Magic, both arcane and divine will be covered in other supplements. This game system is primarily combat oriented, but there is magic in the world. Players will be able to learn about and experience magical effects as they advance in play. These magical effects Include: spells and enchantments that will allow you or your armor to take more hits, and your weapons to do more damage. Magic effects will be clearly marked and players and NPCs will announce their enhancements and abilities when encountered in combat.
Magic in the realm is not limited to enchantments and some NPCs and higher tier characters can engage in Combat magic. Spells that deal damage to characters are represented by different types of safe, coreless foam, throwable objects and follow the same legal hit location rules previously outlined in the HIT SYSTEMS section. Some of the representations include 3” foam balls, foam frisbees, and foam crystals. The physical representation of the spell should be clearly different from one another and indicative of the spell casted.
WEAPON & ARMOR SAFETY
Safety is of the utmost importance, care must be taken in the upkeep of weapons and armor to ensure continued safe fun play. There will be a weapons and equipment check for safety, as well as a rules description before at each event. There will also be sporadic weapon checks during play.
ACTUAL INJURIES & REAL DANGER
We do our best to make LARP Adventures safe, but LARP combat is comparable to a full contact sport, and accidents can happen. In the case of an injury or if you spot danger, like a snake or an ankle turning hole call “TIME OUT!” and all combat in the vicinity will be stopped to discern the situation. When you hear “TIME OUT!” called stop what you are doing, look around you and try to understand the situation, it may be you that is in danger. If there is an injury all nearby players should summon medical personnel and follow their instructions.