LARP is a contact sport and does have some risks, but we want everyone to go home healthy and happy. Therefore we have some important safety rules and guidelines.
Everyone must receive a safety briefing before their first game, and we hold regular refresher sessions before games. You can view the full safety guidelines if you want to understand things in more detail.
The biggest risk for serious injury comes when we are fighting and running around the site.
We play on beautiful hillside woodlands, which means that terrain can be steep, muddy or rocky. Some areas are unsafe for fighting due to poor footing, steep drops or trip hazards. Never fight in an unsafe area, and remember that some areas can be made unsafe by bad weather.
Always stay aware of your surroundings and look out for other people if they are backing into something. Be aware of hazards on the ground (rocks, people, trees) and in the air (weapons moving, low-hanging branches). It’s always okay to pause the fight and shuffle it to safer ground.
We have rules about the way we fight to make sure that people don’t get hurt OOC. These include:
- Pull your blows. You should never strike with full force behind your swing. Aim for the lightest touch possible. Our rule is that if someone says you’re hitting too hard, then you need to soften your blows, even if you would be fine being hit by them.
- Never stab with a weapon. Larp weapons have a stiff core surrounded by padding. Stabbing with a weapon risks exposing the core and actually hurting someone. Similarly you should never lean on a weapon or push the point against something.
- Always know where the end of your weapon is. Don’t accidentally hurt someone on the backswing because you didn’t realise they were in range.
- Don’t barge people. Never try and move someone through actual physical force. We have game mechanics to simulate this (such as Knockback), so you never need to do more than safely and lightly touch another person.
- No shield bashing. LARP shields are not weapons and should never be swung at someone or moved aggressively towards them.
- No shield hugging. Don’t wrap your arms around a shield so you’re attacking around both sides at once, as this increases the risk of an accidental shield bash and isn’t fair on the shield user.
- Never parry an arrow. Arrows are potentially very dangerous as while the striking end is padded the nock end is not. Parrying an arrow can cause it to spin uncontrollably.
- Don’t push weapons around. Don’t try to push a weapon away with your own, as this risks damaging the weapon. There are game mechanics for disarming or disengaging someone in an OOC safe manner.
- Avoid head hits. While the head is a valid location, you should only ever attack the head if you are sure you can do it very safely and there is no other alternative target.
Some combat skills have an extra OOC risk if performed unsafely, so we require you to show an experienced member that you can perform them safely.
- Archers must pass a bow competency test.
- Players who wish to do throatslit must show that they know how to perform both the regular attack and the alternative for people who are not comfortable with the regular attack.
Looking After Yourself
We larp in all kinds of weather and games usually last at least four or five hours, so it is your responsibility to make sure you are adequately prepared for an active day outdoors.
- Wear sturdy and comfortable footwear. We recommend walking/hiking boots or army boots. Trainers or fashion boots often don’t provide enough support or grip and increase the risk of an injury.
- Wear suitable clothing. Bring waterproofs and warm layers when necessary. Avoid clothes like jeans which can rub if they get wet.
- Bring food and drink. Make sure you are carrying enough food and water to stay hydrated and strong throughout the day.
- Bring your medication. If you have any medications that you may need, such as inhalers, epipens or tablets, make sure you have them on you and you have told the First Aider so that they can be accessed in an emergency.
Each game will have at least one qualified First Aider assigned to be responsible for handling any first aid incidents. We carry a stocked first aid kit on all games.
When you sign up to the website you will be asked to fill in your first aid notes. Please include anything that is relevant as we cannot help you if we do not know a problem exists. Keep your first aid notes up to date and inform the game First Aider of any additional or short-term problems which may affect the game.
Mental and Emotional Safety
LARP can sometimes deal with dark topics such as death, suffering and prejudice. Our Code of Conduct specifies how such topics should be treated and rape and sexual assault are not permitted roleplay topics.
If you ever feel OOC unsafe or unhappy, it is your right to remove yourself from the situation and/or ask for an alternate resolution. You don’t have to explain why or justify your reasons. If you ever have any concerns, the GM and committee are available to help resolve them.