This is the second of many posts to come for Generic Larp Rules. Larps, even when simplified, are laden with rules and there will be many more GLR posts. If you want more Generic Larp Rules check out Nerdarchy’s Facebook page, or the website link, for future GLRs. If it is your first time larping it is easy to get overwhelmed by preparations for your character’s prop needs as well as your own physical needs. I covered those in my previous post. In this post we will talk about the Generic Larp Rules of right action. Aside from being prepared for camping when attending a larp, a person will also need to understand right action at a larp. By right action I mean actions that are the correct way of behaving at a game. The term “right action” infers that there is also wrong action, the ones that get a person reprimanded or banned. One could also call it the “do’s and don’t” list for the majority of larps. But since “do’s and don’t” sound like the beginning of a children’s book I call it right action policies.
Right Action Policies
- No physical contact at all between players. So that means if you want to carry, grapple, pickup, hit, cast a spell at, or shove someone else you must have an in-game way to do it. Examples of in-game would be using a bean bag to signify striking someone with a spell or arrow, standing next to someone and saying that you are picking them up or dragging them, striking them with an approved weapon to deal damage to them. There are a few Larps that are exceptions to this rule. But I haven’t been to one.
- If people at the larp can go “out-of-game” as part of the rules then there is some type of sign that lets other players know who is playing and who is not playing. This could be a special arm position, hand sign, colored armband, or colored headband as a few examples. Learn what it is that signifies a person as being “out of game” at the Larp you are going to attend so that you are properly prepared.
- While we are on the subject of “out of game” remember to review where the out of game areas are at the game site. The normal out of game zones are the non player character (NPC) cabins or NPC staging areas or areas that are beyond the boundaries of the game for that event. An example would be a bridge that goes to another camp that is not currently being rented by the Game.
- Safety. You can roleplay a reckless person without being the reckless person. Consider the safety of you and those around you before doing an action.
- Discrimination- don’t worry the rule is not the legal definition. You may feel free to not like any noble elves or say that orcs are too green and hairy for you but don’t bring “out of game” prejudices into the game. Chasing and hunting a person because they are short but they are not playing a short race is inappropriate. On the other hand, halfling hunting three people who are actually playing halflings would be an acceptable pastime.
- Command words. These are words that have different or additional meanings in the game. They can vary from larp to larp. The most common commands are Hold, Caution, Clarify.
The command words vary from game to game on exactly what they do and who should use them. Below are the major three that are in most games and a short explanation.
Hold is used to turn an area that is “in game” into an “out of game” area fast. People use this command when injuries occur during the fight, or when there is a real life danger in the area that needs to be explained to the players.
Caution is used to let someone know that there is a risk of injury that the person may not see. Examples include walking backwards into a tree or root during a fight or it can be used to alert someone to a trip hazard on a path.
Clarify is used when a person needs to explain an effect that is out of the ordinary. An example would be “this black tarp is a 50 ft pit. If you step on it you fall into it without special skills like climbing or balance you fall to the bottom and take X amount of damage”
There is also a concept that is not a command but more like a holistic philosophy of game playing. We will be discussing this concept in further detail in my next post.