Getting through the rules of a LARP-event

22 februari 2017 Door Alexandra Hofman

This week’s post will be a very important one; we will be looking at the rules for LARP events. With a lot of LARP events you will have to plunge through a lot of rules, but it won’t take that much work to read once you’ve discovered the pattern.
Good Luck! Alexjuh

You’ve chosen a LARP-event and now you’re facing the rules. When you’re going to a LARP event for the first time, I advice you to thoroughly read their rules; after that you’ll find yourself scanning them more than actually reading them. But for those people out there who don’t want to read all the rules, here is a little help.
With the different organisations you’ll see that some of them have a short rulebook while others give you a 100 or more pages to read. But there is a rough pattern for LARP in each country and even through out the world.
These rules are mostly common because they exist for safety and to tell you how their world is shaped.

These are the most important things to read and know:

  1. Calls and Terms: The calls are important due to safety issues. You should know the terms because they are being used a lot and you want to be able to understand what everybody is talking about or what they are doing.
  2. Fighting: Very important to keep things safe. What are the locations you can hit someone, which weapons are allowed and what to do when things go wrong.
  3. Safety: Of course there is a separate chapter for this, as you can imagine, very important to read and memorize.
  4. Alcohol and drugs.

Then you’ll find some chapters about other things such as:

  1. Getting wounded: How should you react when you get wounded in-game and how many hits can you get before you bleed to death.
  2. Colour codes: It is possible that an organisation uses coloured bands to tell you something.
  3. Creating a character: Logically this will tell you how to build a character.
  4. Magic rules: They’ll explain to you how their magic works.
  5. Money: What do they use and what is it worth.

And depending on each organisation there are some other chapters, which can also depend on how they present the rules in each chapter.

By now you’ve read the most common rules and we’re up for the last ones:

  1. Races: On some events they are restricted.
  2. Classes: Your characters job, it can be possible that it isn’t a free for choice.
  3. Skills: Which abilities are available?

Plunging through these last three can be a lot of work.

When the rules make you choose between different races the organisation has decided on, than there can also be a guide to how to select a class and/or skills. Read the chapter “Character creation” which will guide you through this and help you’ll understand things better.

Considering the skills, you can read them all, but it is a lot of work. Make sure to read the skills you think are interesting for your character and know the skills you’ve chosen. A lot of skills are just logical thinking. When someone shouts, “fearlessness” than it’ll probably mean that somebody isn’t afraid of anything. When a mage casts a spell and says, “cure wound”, than your wound probably is cured.

But how will you know how much damage or healing you receive? Well, there is a difference in each level (whether it is magic or not). In level one you could hear the call “fire arrow”, which would presumably mean you get one point of damage, whilst in level two that call could be “double fire arrow” which would mean you get two points of damage, and so one. When curing wounds, “heal wound” probably cures only one health point, whilst “heal limb” probably cures two or three health points; depending on how many health points you have on that location. The same is applicable for non-magical skills. When somebody cleans a big wound, but doesn’t stitch it up or puts a bandage around it, it’ll heal more slowly than when these things are applied.

Nevertheless, there always will be skills of which you don’t know what they mean. When someone uses such a skill on you, just ask what it does. Don’t shout that you don’t know what it means, just sign that person or go to him or her and ask out-game. If there isn’t a possibility to that, just go with what feels natural to that call. It is more fun to do something with it even though it wasn’t meant that way, than to do nothing at all.

The rules, it can be a lot of work to read and memorize, but worth it. Always remember that rules are there for safety and to guide you. And never ever forget: think logical and use common sense!

Special mention for this entry: Doomsday General. Thank you for reading the first draft and helping with translation, grammar and filtering out little mistakes.

Next week’s entry: The beginning of a journey; building and writing a character Part 1.

Click here for the previous post: Different types and choosing a LARP event.

Dit artikel is oorspronkelijk gepost op Alexandra’s blog (23 december 2013) en is opnieuw beschikbaar gesteld voor LARP Platform.

Alexandra is momenteel actief met het organiseren van Dark Union, een unieke bad guy LARP in Nederland. Daarnaast is ze heel creatief meer leerbewerken onder handelsnaam Layers.

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