Knowing how to heft a shield, swing a sword, or shoot a bow will no doubt come in handy. Knowing how to do all of this safely, of course, is of primary importance.

Lightest Touch

FoD games are boffer LARPs, meaning physical combat is acted out in real time, with combatants actually striking each other with padded weapons, running about, and throwing things. Because of this, combat safety is paramount. FoD uses a “lightest touch” system for combat; both players and NPCs may only swing as hard as is necessary to contact their opponent. Excessively hard swings are not permitted, and if a player or NPC is repeatedly warned enough times about the strength of their swings, they will be pulled from combat.

In a similar way, spell packets, thrown weapons, and especially bows must be used with as little force as possible to get the job done. The FoD system uses real bows with padded arrows, and even though the poundage on our missile weapons (30 lbs. for bows, 25 for crossbows) is quite light, they are still dangerous if used without care. In order to use a Bow or Crossbow, a player must be Bow Certified by a qualified marshal. This process only takes a few minutes, during which the marshal will go over safe distance, draw strength, safe targeting, shot choice, etc. Bow certification expires at the end of each season, so archers must take it every year. Bows tend to pose a higher safety risk than other aspects of LARP combat, so we are quite strict about their use. For more detail on weapon construction, see Chapter 10: Resources.

Legal Target Areas

The only legal target areas are the Arms (from just past the wrist to the shoulder), Legs (from ankle to waist), and the Torso (back, side, and front). Hands, feet, groin, neck, and head are all illegal targets; any weapon of any type that strikes someone in one of these places does absolutely nothing. Spell packets, however, take effect wherever they hit, but if they actually take someone out of a fight (because of pain) due to the strength of a throw, then they also do nothing. Note that if you consistently target the head with spell packets, you are going to get pulled from combat.


As an extension of the “lightest touch” approach, players are not allowed to force an opponent’s weapon/shield out of the way by sheer strength, nor close the distance using the force of their body against an opponent’s weapon. Also, if two combatant’s weapons become “locked,” they must immediately disengage with as little force as possible. It is permissible to strike an opponent’s weapon on purpose in order to disrupt their line of attack (or what have you), but you may use no more force in doing so than is allowable in striking a player.

Physical Contact

Foam weapons, padded arrows, and birdseed spell packets are the only things players and NPCs can use to make physical contact with others in combat. No wrestling, punching, shield bashing, or anything remotely like this is allowed.


NEVER run full speed at an opponent. Our official rule is that you can run at someone up until you get 15’ away from them, at which time you must slow to a walking pace. Combat injuries are most often a result of charging and falling, and we are very strict on this rule’s enforcement. “Drive by” hits involving running full speed past an opponent and delivering attacks are also prohibited. “Gaming” the safety rules in this way will result in official warnings and being barred from combat entirely in extreme cases.


Players should only get as close to opponens in a fight as they need to reasonably hit them with their weapons. This means that users of close weapons can get closer than users of, say, a spear or greatsword, but no one should be crowding into others’ personal space, much less running into them. Even with a minimum length dagger, this distance is still about arm’s length. In other words, if you could touch your opponent with your hand without overextending, you are too close to them.

Since combat is a chaotic affair, crowding will tend to happen accidentally, but when it does everyone involved should retreat to a reasonable distance. This rule, coupled with the Strengthing rule above, does make it a challenge for close weapon users to get in successful attacks on an aware opponent using a larger weapon, but we view this as a feature, not a bug. Weapon types are not simply stylistic choices or character “flavor”: if you want to be a front line fighter, use a sizable weapon + shield/offhand weapon, or a two-handed weapon. Shorter weapons are for convenience, backup defense, stealth and skirmishing, or weird fighting styles that are discussed elsewhere. Using shorter weapons in combat can be just as engaging and important as using more “battlefield” weapons, but you have to modify your tactics accordingly.

Shield Use

There is a particular tendency for the users of larger shields to use them to crowd in on opponents; this is not acceptable. Your weapon determines how close you can get to an opponent, not your shield. Even so, shields are quite powerful in FoD; because we don’t allow “machine-gun” attacks, full-strength swings, raking, or headshots, a shield functions more like a forcefield. As such, you cannot crouch behind a shield such that you reduce or eliminate the exposure of legal target areas (a venerable concept in LARP circles known as “turtling”). If you are using any shield larger than a buckler, stand up straight to avoid being called for turtling. Additionally, a player may only use one shield, regardless of type.

Attack Speed

FoD is not a speed game where you ignore defense in order to put up damage numbers on someone, “machine-gunning” as fast as you can. In fact, we have a “one attack per second rule,” which means exactly that: you may swing your weapon to attack no faster than once per second. Of course, in the heat of combat, adrenaline runs high and people move fast, but if you notice your attacks starting to speed up to unacceptable levels, then slow them down. A good rule of thumb is to make attacks at a slow enough speed that you could say an intelligible tagline before you hit. Although we do allow and encourage the use of “two weapon” combat, this option does not, in any way, negate the one second rule. Using two weapons instead allows you to commit to attacks more aggressively and still be defended, and they will provide openings you can exploit on an opponent armed with only a single weapon. The one second rule does not apply to feints and other maneuverings; it only applies to actual attacks.

Weapon Use and Types

Except in the case of Heavy and Giant Weapons, which require the Strong trait in order to use, and Thrown Weapons, which require level 1 in the appropriate skill to employ, any character can use any 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 most weapons in Fractured, 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 in the latter case. 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, Halberds) must strike their targets with the head of their weapon; haft hits do not count as legal attacks.


Combat skills grant characters the ability to do extra damage, parry 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, except with Dodge, which may be used regardless. Each ability, when used, costs a variable amount of 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 Fractured wherever possible.


The first part of casting a spell is spending a single Charge of the appropriate School of Magic. The second part of casting a spell is the verbal requirement. Each spell has a spoken verbal requirement that must be recited from memory. Verbals are usually ten to thirty syllables long, and they all incorporate the name of the spell, in some fashion. If the verbal is incorrectly spoken, the Charge is lost and the spell fails. If spoken correctly, the spell’s effect then takes place. Some spells (Readied spells specifically) require a second, shorter verbal requirement to activate their individual effects. Packet spells are delivered by saying their activation verbal, then throwing a cloth packet that is filled with birdseed. All areas of the target are considered legal for the purposes of spell packets, including the hands, feet, head, weapon, and clothing. For safety, players should not aim their spell packets for the face.

All magical attacks may be resisted with the use of a Ward spell, Magic Resist, or Feat of Attunement.

If the magical spell tagline begins with “Arcane Might,” the spell may only be resisted with the ability “Arcane Might Resist.”

Damage and Wounds

Fractured uses a wound location system along with a simple point system derived from vitality, armor, and/or protective spells. Essentially, a character totals their level of Resilience (armor + protection + vitality) 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. Most weapon attacks will do only 1 damage, which will give you a sense of the scale of points we are talking about; it is quite unusual for a character to have more than single-digit Resilience, to be more specific.

A wounded arm is unusable, a wounded leg means you must take to your knees and can only move by crawling, and a wounded torso means you are Critical (dying). A wounded limb that is hit again causes the character to take a Torso wound directly, as do three limb wounds in any combination.

Persistent Conditions

These effects have numerical levels associated with them, which affects how easily they are cured. That is, someone inflicted with Poison 10 must have that number reduced to zero before they are cured of it.

Strikes and Invokes of persistent conditions apply the effects differently:

“Poison Strike 2” is 2 damage and 2 Poison (condition).
If the Strike deals a wound, you take the Poison effect, otherwise take the damage only. Remember, a poisoned dagger needs to pierce the skin in order to poison the bloodstream.

“Invoke Poison 2” is simply 2 Poison (condition), no damage.
If you are unable to resist the magical attack, the effect lands. You must take the effect (prone and ill) until treated. Your resilience is not affected.

Armor Repair

With Basic Repair, a character can restore any Broken item to its normal condition with 10 minutes of uninterrupted work. Most prominently, this can be used to return armor to its full value if it has been damaged, or to restore weapons/shields to usability. All uses of Repair require a Repair Kit, and crafters must roleplay out the process of repair to the same extent healers would when applying their own abilities. Armor may be repaired while being worn, but this still requires the use of phys-reps as above. Weapons and shields cannot be wielded while being repaired. Broken SQ items do not have their resists (or other similar abilities) restored when fixed; a crafter must take an extra repair session, at their normal repair time, for each Resist they wish to restore.

Intermediate Repair reduces the time to repair or maintain an item down to 5 minutes, as well as allowing a crafter to remake Shattered items for half of their production and monetary costs (rounding down) as normal production actions. Note that the increased costs of SQ items are still used as the basis for their repair costs. A crafter must have at least one specialty in the item’s type in order to repair it if it is in the shattered condition.

Advanced Repair reduces the time to repair an item down to 1 minute and also allows a character to fix shattered superior quality/masterwork items at the cost of normal items of their type, assuming they have at least one specialty that applies.

Basic Repair = 10 minutes
Intermediate Repair = 5 minutes
Advanced Repair = 1 minute

Healing Wounds

After determining if a patient is Critical, a healer can use this ability to Stabilize them after a minute of care, during which time they must employ their Healing Kit. As soon as this process begins, the patient’s bleed out clock stops. If the Healer is interrupted during this minute, however, the process is aborted and the patient begins to bleed out again, resuming their old count. After Basic Aid has been successfully applied, the patient awakens. They are then considered Stable and will fully heal from all of their injuries, including wounded limbs, in one hour. Stabilized characters will go Critical again (with a new death count) upon moving at anything faster than a slow crawl (or aided walk), after casting a spell/activating a spell effect, being struck with a weapon or hostile spell, fighting, or after using a skill or physical feat. A healer must have the use of at least one arm in order to apply Aid or Treatment of any kind.

Improved Aid functions just as Basic Aid, but provides a level of enhanced healing, allowing the patient to fully heal in 30 minutes. Advanced Aid, similarly, adds two levels of enhanced healing, reducing healing time to 15 minutes.

Basic Aid = 1 hour
Improved Aid = 30 minutes
Advanced Aid = 15 minutes

A patient cannot benefit from multiple applications of aid; only the best level of enhanced healing they get from this skill is what is used. This does mean that a character stabilized by Basic Aid can subsequently be attended to by a healer possessing Improved or Advanced Aid, which “replaces” the less efficient application. Other sources of enhanced healing (most notably magic or a Feats of Empathy) can stack with Aid, but the highest total healing enhancement a character can have with these basic abilities results in a 5 minute recovery time, regardless (1 hour, 30 minutes, 15 minutes, and 5 minutes is the progression).

Limb wounds are taken care of in just the same manner as critical injuries; if left untreated, they do not heal at all; with Basic Aid they take 1 hour to heal to usability and so forth. Once treated, limb wounds will not worsen, though they remain unusable for the duration. All of a character’s wounds are assumed to be treated if Aid is applied to them, and they will all heal at the same rate. Healers may apply Aid to themselves, but only to heal limb wounds, of course, and they must have at least one usable arm.

Healing Persistent Conditions

After an initial Examination, and assuming their patient is Stable, a healer can treat any persistent conditions they have (Poison, Disease, Blindness, Stillness, Quick Venom, Plague, Paralysis, Caging). A healer can begin Treatment even if they are not able to determine if the patient is suffering from conditions. This process begins by the healer saying “Healing: Treatment X” (where X is their skill level + their level in Perceptive) and then “using” their Healing Kit. After 1 minute of constant attention, all persistent conditions on the patient which are of a power equal to or less than the Healer’s treatment level are cured outright. Treatment has no effect on any condition higher than its level. Healers may Treat themselves freely, assuming they have the use of at least one arm.

Most specialized healing items, beyond standard alchemical formulas and a basic Healer’s kit, require certain levels of Treatment in order to be employed.

Healing the Recently Slain

An expert healer can bring a recently slain character back from the edge of death. This ability may not be applied to those who have died from lethal persistent conditions (Poison, Disease, Quick Venom, or Plague), or to someone who was so afflicted when they died through other means. Similarly, a body that has been Mutilated (dismembered or defaced) may not receive a Coax Life. Finally, if the patient’s soul has already passed out of the body, which normally happens 5 minutes after death, Coax Life will be of no help and alternative means of bringing the character back must be considered.

Once the Coax Life process begins, the count for the spirit to leave the body ceases. Coax Life takes 5 minutes of intense treatment (started as “Healing: Coax Life”), and can only be performed with an item specifically designed for the technique, such as a Rejuvenator (Tinkering: unlimited uses), a Miracle Cure (Alchemy specialty: 1 use only), or certain Lumencrafted items. A use of Esoteric Healing may be expended to activate Coax Life, without need of a phys rep other than the normal healing item it requires (see main entry). After this treatment is successful, the patient returns from the brink of death. Once back, the character will is considered to be in the Stable condition and will fully heal in 1 hour: no enhanced healing can reduce this duration.


After 5 minutes of being Critical, after receiving a Killing Blow, or after Poison or Disease have run their course, a character will die. Upon death, a character’s “soul” will remain with their body for 5 minutes. After this final time period, their soul “moves on.”

Passing On

At this point, the player must leave a “Blood Mark” (a long strip of red cloth that represents a dead body, with their character name written clearly on it) where they died, along with any in-game items on their person. After this, they must go out of play and find a plot member.


Even death can be overcome, and this state is not necessarily permanent. Do also note, however, that characters cannot come back from the dead more than a handful of times before truly passing on. There are various abilities within the system that allow characters to resurrect, the process and effects of which are FOIP (Find Out In Play).