Melee combat in our game is not the same as fencing, and in many cases, fencing moves or other martial arts will result in someone getting injured or hurt. Please be careful when playing, and remember, thie LARP is a lightest touch combat system. This means you should not be swinging any harder than it takes for a person who is aware of their surroundings to feel the weapon blow. This is like poking a person. Picture each hit like a brush stroke from a paint brush. Enough to make contact, but not enough to flatten out and damage the bristles.
As a general rule, swings must be greater than 45 degrees, and not much more than 90. There should be no wind up in a swing, and if you swing to move quickly, pull your swing before making contact with the target. Again, no more impact is required than poking someone with your finger to get their attention. Do not hit someone harder if they don’t appear to be taking their hits. Combat is noisy, and sometimes we don't or can't respond to all hits we receive. Do the best you can to act out being hit by grunting, wincing visibly, or saying"Ow", or at worst "Got it.". Hitting harder has never been effective in getting someone to take a hit that they were not taking before. In such cases make sure that you call the blow clearly. If you feel someone is not taking hits, inform a marshal at the event after the combat.
As indicated above, we are not like fencing. In fencing you would lunge and use your weight to push the blade into your opponent. Here, a thrust should come only from your arm as that is easier to control how much force is behind it. While we do require two inch thrust tips on swords, pole arms, and staffs; this is not much padding when your full strength is behind the blow. In some cases a poorly controlled thrust can injure shoulders. For the purposes of the game system, lunge for a thrust with legs first, then extend with your arms after your leg motion has stopped. This will ensure that you are not leaning body weight into the thrust, and can stop before the thrusting tip is jabbed into someone hard enough to make them move. Even thrusts are lightest touch.
Hitting heads, hands, and groins does not count as a valid hit. Intentional blocking with these parts of the body is frowned upon and may result in a marshall talking to you if it continues and is viewed as intentional. These areas are invalid hit zones to prevent major injury and keep the fighting from becoming real life aggressive.
In the middle of the heat of battle, you will find adrenaline takes over and your well controlled swings may well become harder and less uncontrolled. This comes from fatigue as well. A good rule is to check in with yourself and those you fight every 10 minutes to see if they are indicating hard hits. This will keep you and others safe and prevent retaliation through hard swings in return. This type of retaliation is frowned upon, but we are all people, and when people feel like they are being hurt intentionally, they tend to lash out, consciously or not. Help us avoid escalation with these self checks.
Damage callsOur combat is 'chatty'. To let us easily represent increasing skill you can do more damage with your attacks. So for a starting character who has just learned to fight a blow of a sword will do two points of damage. If the weapon was not enchanted or plated in silver you should state the damage it does when you swing the blade "2 Normal" (we will represent all calls this way.)
if your blade had been plated with silver to make it more effective against werewolves and other such beings the call would be "2 Silver" instead.
If you had acquired one proficiency with a normal sword the call would be "3 Normal".
How fast can I swing?You need to swing at a slow steady pace that gives time to fully and clearly state the damage being done. Going faster is referred to as "machine gunning" and is not allowed.
Combat calls should normally be spoken in a clear conversation tone and volume so that your opponent can clearly hear them.
If you are in a small fight where everyone on your side is swing the same damage, or its a one on one duel where your attacks will be the same, after the initial exchange of blows you do not need to repeat the call as long as your opponent clearly knows what damage you are doing. This makes things less noisy and more immersive. But remember we said that you needed to take the time to clearly enunciate the damage and that is a deliberate part of the pacing. You must still swing at that pace, even though you may be relying on your opponent to know the damage you are doing.
Be careful: Adrenaline is not a Friend
It is normal for your body to react to combat by releasing adrenaline. In the heat of battle you can speed up, swinging harder and faster and not noticing damage that is being done to you. We all must be aware of this and work hard to make sure that we are still staying within the rules. When in doubt "lean-in": even if uncertain you should take the damage call or assume you missed hearing an attack due to adrenaline, or that your opponent missed the call honestly or you did not hear their defense call. Err on the side of caution, take extra damage yourself and assume your opponent missed your call and speak more clearly or repeat you damage even if its a duel and conversational combat is the norm.
Weapon DamageSmall weapons do one point base damage. "1 Normal"
Short or Long weapons, and Staves (a two handed weapon) do two points base damage. "2 Normal"
Two handed weapons three points base damage. "3 Normal"
Combat SkillsYou must have a weapon skill such as "one handed edged" or "Dagger Mastery" before you can use that sort of weapon in combat.
As you improve you will gain skills such as Critical Attack which lets you do one extra point of damage with that weapon against a single specific opponent for the duration of one battle each day and Proficiency which increases your damage with that weapon by one point every time you swing it.
There is also a once per day skill Critical Slay which you can earn if you are proficient enough. Once per day per Critical Slay you have you can call "Prepare to Die" and then your attacks are called as “100 Normal Slay” until one hits (or five minutes pass). ( If you fail to land the blow you must call "Slay Active" when you engage a new opponent so they know. The damage may become Silver or Magic and may acquire an attribute such Fire given the right magic so you could end up calling "100 Silver Fire Slay" with the right flaming silvered sword. Every fourth Critical Slay you acquire does 200 instead of 100 points of damage. For those monsters that just won't die. Every Critical Slay can instead be expended to call "Parry" as a perfect defense against any standard Our Weapon attack or physical packets attacks or Weapon trap (but not explosive traps for eample.) as long as you are not Confined or Paralyzed.
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