Combat is a fact of life when LARPing. It is easy enough to pick up a weapon and start wading into battle; it is difficult, however, to do it such that you survive the attempt.
Damage and Wounds
This game system uses a wound location system along with a simple point system derived from natural vitality, armor, and/or protective spells. Essentially, a character totals their level of Resilience (vitality + protection + armor) to arrive at a number of “hits” they can normally take. Any attack that hits a legal location takes off points of Resilience equal to its damage. If a character is struck by an attack that does more damage than their remaining Resilience, they take a wound to the location that is hit. A wounded arm is unusable, a wounded leg means you can only move by crawling, and a wounded torso means you are Critical (dying).
A wounded limb that is wounded again causes the character to take a Torso wound directly, as do three limb wounds in any combination.
Weapon Use and Types
Except in certain special cases, characters can freely use every basic weapon. All weapons do the same amount of damage for normal attacks (1 point). A good rule of thumb is that if no “tagline” is called, the damage is 1.
We allow both striking and thrusting with almost all weapons with the following exceptions: Spears are thrusting only; Axes, Maces, Clubs, and Hammers are striking only. A Staff can be used to strike or thrust, and can also be used one handed, though only for defense. No shield besides a strap-on buckler can be wielded while using a staff, nor can any offhand weapon be used with one. When attacking, “hafted” weapons (Maces, Hammers, Axes, Spears, and Halberds) must strike their targets with the head of their weapon: haft hits do not count.
Although Thrown weapons can be freely blocked with both weapons and shields, Bow and Crossbow shots may only be blocked by shields. Any accidental arrow or bolt hit on a weapon counts as hitting the arm. Archers should never purposefully aim for weapons, however; doing so is a safety violation.
Combat skills grant characters the ability to do extra damage, defend against incoming attacks, and many other special techniques. For each level a character has in their highest combat skill, they have that much Prowess available. Prowess is automatically refreshed after 10 minutes of rest (i.e. no combat, no running, and no spellcasting). Though Prowess is based upon a character’s highest combat skill, the abilities available to them are dependent upon the weapon(s) they are currently using, with some exceptions. All abilities cost between 1 to 3 Prowess.
A universal rule, which applies to magical attack taglines AND combat abilities, is that only one tagline can be called with any attack. In essence, we avoid “stacking” effects in our game wherever possible.
Weapon strikes are almost always defended against as “mundane” attacks, regardless of how magical/fantastic the sources of those strikes are. A “Poison Strike X,” “Blindness Strike X,” “Lightning Strike 2,” etc. are all defended against as a normal power strike. See Chapter 8: Game Concepts for individual details on these and other tagline effects.
Weapons that have the Heavy attribute require Strong 1 (Capable) in order to be wielded at all, and usually only with two hands. Heavy weapons add 1 to all Power Strikes called with them and they may not be disarmed or broken through combat maneuvers. At Strong 2, a character may wield Heavy weapons with only one hand, though they lose the +1 to Power Strike Damage. At Strong 3, the previous penalty is removed.
Giant weapons represent the upper end of practical melee weapons, over and above Heavy Weapons, and as such are rather difficult to use. Before going to the trouble to get strong enough (in game) to use one, make sure you are strong and fit enough to use one in out of game terms. The phys reps for giant weapons must be carefully constructed from durable “ultralight” materials, and their construction should only be attempted by players who know how to make large ultralight weapons safely. If you are going to bring- in a Giant phys rep, you MUST contact staff about its construction details beforehand. We will be quite strict in passing these weapons, so be well aware of this.
All giant weapons receive +2 PS damage INSTEAD of the +1 for Heavy weapons. In addition, they require Strong 3 in order to wield them and are two-handed weapons. With strong 4, they may be wielded 1 handed, though they lose their +2 to PS damage. With strong 5, they retain their full Giant Weapon damage bonus when used 1h. Giant Weapons are treated as Heavy weapons for the purposes of disarm/break effects. Giant weapons, if made as Superior Quality, may have different costs for specific attributes, and there may be additional SQ attributes available only to Giant Weapons.