Tips and Quotes Defining Larp Safe

Tips and Quotes Defining Larp Safe

A little while ago we started the process of trying to understand what LARP Safe is. You can read that post here. Then we asked several Facebook Groups what LAPR Safe meant. It’s time to look at the answers

Safety depends on the LARP

The universal answer to "is this LARP Safe?", always has been to ask your LARP.

Leah Tardivel summed it up very nicely in this response posted on larp haven

And we shouldn’t expect it. Different games have different standards because they’re played in different ways by different people. Expecting consistency limits people’s options. Expecting clarity is important, and expecting/encouraging people to take time to find to what the standards are for each game they play is also vital. Consistency shouldn’t be the goal.

Larps operate with different requirements. Assuming that whats classed as safe in one larp is classed as safe in another can be a mistake.

Tip 1: Before starting any new larp find out what equipment and actions it classes as safe. Never make assumptions about safety

A common theme was that when it came to combat that no harm is actually done, but that coming home with a few bruises is mostly okay.

Such as this one from Luke Johnson

To me, larp safe means you’re going to get hit but not wounded. Maybe bruised. Either carry a shield or go as a non-combat character. Similarly, make sure any armour won’t hurt anyone should they run into you.

Tip 2: As you larp develop a personal sense of how you keep yourself safe. Let his help you play characters and larps that suit your personal needs.

Larp Safe Weapons

Sjors Can Rijswick gave a very good definition of a larp safe weapon and also went on to mention the manufacturer Calimacil. Here’s what he had to say

For me, a weapon is LARP-safe if it actively protects the target from harm. Foam over a fibreglass or carbon fibre core, protections at the tip and pommel to protect against penetration. Equipment likewise should allow full use but edges should be rounded to prevent injury. The hardness of the foam is an often debated subject here in the Netherlands. My personal opinion is somewhat the minority vote, as most people find Calimacil foam quite hard, I find their foam safe for responsible use. With anything, LARP safety should be measured both in gear and in correct use. Stabbing with a weapon not designed for it is dangerous, stabbing with a weapon that is designed to safely stab with special tip protection in place is safe.

It’s a good working general description of a larp safe weapon. The mention of Calimacil was an important point. Calimacil make high-quality larp equipment including weapons. They frequently appear in safety discussions as although their weapons are of a very standard; and they are known worldwide; not all larps deem their weapons to be safe.

Why?

Because the manufacturing process used leads to a certain amount of hardness. Not everyone is happy with that.

Tip 3: Quality of manufacturer is not an indication that the larp of your choice will consider an item safe

This takes us back to always talking to your larp about how they test for safety and what is considered safe.

It’s not just about weapons and props

One of the most voted up comments was this one from Matt Sofar

Depends on the system. Some use blunted metal. Some a sofa on a stick. Some no physical combat at all. So safety depends on the system. Oh and the most dangerous thing I found in decades of lrp/larp was the terrain. Trees are damn dangerous things they just jump out at folks, trip them up and/or poke them in the eye.

After making the point tha weapon safety rules cross a huge spectrum he talks about the Terrain.

I completely agree with him about Terrain. I’ve been larping since the early 90’s. One of the most consistent causes of bruises and injury that I’ve seen has always been the terrain. Whether its larger items such as trees or things underfoot that you may not notice such as roots or a sudden shift in the direction of the ground.

Tripping and falling can easily hurt you far more than any larp weapon so we all have a need to look after ourselves and watch out for others.

Tip 4: Learn to be mindful of the ground around you.

We are all a part of making Larp Safe

As a rule of thumb larpers have remarkable consciences. We work together to build things that are special and look after each other as needed. This makes larp remarkable.

This quote from Emma Dewey gave me a few thoughts on the subject

What the organisers have decided is safe, and comprehensively explained to all attendees before time in! (Years ago I was hit very hard in a fight), and objected (I was wearing many layers including leather, but the blow still hurt). A nearby player told me that that was a pulled blow because I was still standing….

Safety briefings and workshops are supposed to set the standards of behaviour for a larp. Deviating from these puts challenges our own and other peoples safety. Putting in a personal bias into the mix at best sends out mixed messages at worst actually injures people.

Mentioned earlier was do no harm. This means that if someone tells you that you are hurting them then the only answer to stop acting in a way that causes hurt. We need to answer to each other in order to maintain safe behaviour during a larp.

This extends beyond combat into all aspects of the larp. If we see good ideas in running things safely we should congratulate. If we see what seems to be a bad idea then perhaps its time to ask questions.

Tip 5: All of us are responsible for safety at a larp and we need to listen to each other

Look after yourself

This last one should be obvious but so many of us are guilty of not following it. Larps take us out of our normal routine and thought processes. That is part of the appeal after all. The downside is that there is a whole list of things that we can forget to do. Including

  • Taking Medication
  • Hydrating
  • Eating Properly
  • Resting

It’s so easy to turn ourselves into a mess when larping. This leads into the final tip

Tip 6: Take breathers and check that you really are looking after yourself. A moment of self reflection and self-check is a good thing

Will we ever stop talking about safety?

Almost certainly not. Larp continues to explore new storytelling and game style horizons. That must lead to changing ideas.

Finally, Larp may portray fictional worlds but it lives in the real world. The world never stops changing. Inevitably that impacts on the thoughts that go behind running larps. And in turn on what we consider safe in a larp.

Special Mentions

I’d like to add special thanks to the following people who made a significant difference to this article

  • Leah Tardivel
  • Luke Johnson
  • Sjors Can Rijswick
  • Matt Sofar
  • Emma Dewey
Review: Cyberpunk LED Glasses

Review: Cyberpunk LED Glasses

Cyberpunk happens to be one of my favourite genres. In 2019 I got to play in Tenement 67 a couple of times. This review is all about the prop I loved most in those games. A pair of LED Glasses that were very cyberpunk.

The Video Review

Photos of the Cyberpunk Glasses

How do I get these?

Well the good news is that I found an equivalent. So click here and take a look,

Note – buying from this link will support LARPBook. So please go ahead.

What does LARP safe mean

What does LARP safe mean

Larp Safe – What is it?

If there is one phrase that all larpers know its ‘LARP Safe’. One that we all learn pretty early on is vital. After all, it’s one of the mechanics we use to keep each other out of harm’s way. 

The idea is simple. Larp safe equipment is designed not to injure. Larp safe testing proves that the gear we use is actually safe.

Yet here’s the thing. There is no single agreed-on standard. Different larps have different ideas about what is acceptable. The same is true for weapons checkers. Also, the makers of LARP gear often have their own ideas about what being safe means and how it should be tested.

Why all the variations?

There are lots of answers to that question. It can come down to a difference of opinion. Then there is who will be playing, and just how well the group will self-police. Terrain matters. So does the style of play. Insurance plays its role too.

That’s just getting started. The list could go on.

When we expand to think about internationally then further variations are possible as additional cultural and legal differences come into effect.

Is this a problem?

It can mean people travelling from LARP to another can make the wrong assumptions regarding safety. In which case yes, it is a problem. 

The Opportunity

Instead of worrying about the differences, let’s share them an build a resource. Something that would help larpers know why the nature of LARP safe shifts from place to place and LARP to LARP.

The Opportunity is that we all learn more about LARP Safe.

The Plan

Finally, we get to the plan behind this article. I’d like to create a repository of thoughts around this topic. Teaching each other what we all think safe is, and why. 

The variations we find won’t necessarily mean someone is right and wrong. Instead, we learn about the drivers behind thinking about safety. If we’re lucky everyone learns something.

How does it work?

We’ll post everyone’s thoughts on LARP safe and share them through social media. The end result should be a useful resource for anyone wanting to explore the topic.

You Can.

  • Send us a link to an existing rule or article. Use our Contact Form if you like.
  • Submit your thoughts in written form via our contact email address: contactus@larpbook.com
  • Give us a link to a website where you have written about this
  • If you’ve made a video about LARP safe then, please send us the link. If it’s on Facebook please make it public so we can share it.
  • Post a video to our Facebook group. We can pick it for further distribution from there
  • Post a video the Facebook location of your choice, and let us know about it. (please make it public to help us share it)

So let’s get to it and find out what LARP safe really means

The Taylor’d Weapons Larp Dagger Review

The Taylor’d Weapons Larp Dagger Review

For Stuart’s full review of this LARP dagger, you should refer to our video on YouTube.

Here’s the review:

I agree with everything Stuart says. He nailed this review!

Here I want to add a few thoughts of my own and some pictures for you. Let’s start with photos of this dagger to go with the video

Photos of the Dagger

The Bone Handle

Unusually for a LARP Dagger, this one has a handle made of bone. Taylor’d Weapons aren’t the first people to do this. What I want to do is talk about what that handle does to the dagger.

The Immersion Bonus

Yes, it is the “I” word. Bone handles have been on knives for thousands for years and are still sold today. I’ve handled this dagger and that handle does something. It adds an air of realism to the weapon. I find this hard to define, but the weight, hardness and shape of it make this LARP dagger feel more real.

For me, this is an immersive design, and I like things that help immersion

Is it Safe?

The handle is hard. The pommel is soft latex and foam. I think the chance of it injuring you in a fall is low. Although, I can imagine an extreme worst-case scenario where the bone splinters into sharp edges. That’s going to be enough to get it banned in some larps.

But not all.

Larp safe is a set of common ideas but not an absolute standard.

What constitutes a LARP safe weapon varies between larps. That’s appropriate. We must always think about the style of play, the player base, the environment and local culture when defining what is LARP safe.

This means that LARP safe isn’t just about the weapon. It’s also about the context it is used in.

Thinking back to my own experience would I use it? In a smaller LARP that wasn’t hugely physical, absolutely yes. In the chaos of a mass battle in a fest LARP? Probably not.

If you buy one of these then be aware that it is novel. A LARP may ban it, but that does not mean that it is not a good dagger.

Skian Mhor Larp Belt Pouch Review

Skian Mhor Larp Belt Pouch Review

The belt pouch – one of the most useful and used items of Fantasy Larp kit (other genres do exist). Rob takes a look at the merits of one he purchased from Skian Mhorr in the first of our long term reviews.

The Long Term Review

Here’s the idea we are going to build up a library of reviews of items that we have used for a little while. The idea is simple. How does that shiny looking thing perform over time? We aim to answer that question.

The Leather Belt Pouch

The video contains the meat of the review. The quickie review is:
It looks great, it’s sturdy, holds plenty and is a very high-quality item.

Gallery

The Video Review

You’ll find the full review on our YouTube Channel. Here is the link : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mc65DSKfdU4

Learn More About Skian Mhor

Take a look at their website: https://skianmhor.com/

Correction- Lamia Leather

I made a bit of mistake through all of this. I’ve mostly seen the guys working together and ended up saying Skian Mhor throughout at the review.

The pouch was of course made by Stephen of Lamia Leather.  So whilst I bought the pouch from a Skian Mhor stall – it is all Lamia Leather.

My apologies to everyone for this.

How Does LARPBook Work?

How Does LARPBook Work?

Larpbook has been around a number of years now and it’s been a while since we talked about the site. So it seems appropriate to talk about what it is now

You see in the beginning LARPBook was just a simple website. Nice and easy to read. Go to the site and read on. These days it has multiple components. Let’s chat about them.

LARPBook.com

This is where all of our longer-form articles are published. You’ll also links to every part of LARPBook. So think of this as the hub of the whole project. It’s also the main core some of out long term projects. Like listing information about LARP groups, or investigating hidden disabilities.

It doesn’t update as fast as we’d like but there is new material here every month.

Also if we go to a LARP this where you’ll find the best way to access or views, photographs and videos about it

We have our own notification system on this website. Whenever a new post is published a notification email goes out to subscribers.

YouTube

All of our videos are here. At the time of writing, we have nearly 240 videos on here. This includes the video version of our original LARPBook show podcast, video diaries recorded at events and a plethora of LARP related interviews. You should consider this our long term video store. Every video we make is in this library, just waiting for you to view it. If you subscribe to us on YouTube you’ll get notifications of all new videos we load.

Facebook

Is a busy place for us. This is why:

The Page

A Facebook public business page that we use to publish news and videos on. You’ll find that the bulk of our social media sharing goes on here. It’s a mixed bag of solid news and sharing of the just plain silly. Most our images from Instagram also end up here as well. In 2020 we’ve started putting all our videos directly into the page as well as YouTube. We find that video gets better short term distribution on Facebook, but is more readily found on YouTube in the long term. So we use both to maximise the output.

The Group

We also run a Facebook group. We post news of events and LARP humour here. In fact, we encourage everyone to do the same. We’d like to make this a place where people can discover larps and have a bit of fun. So go ahead – post and join in

Should we spot anything that looks like it should be on the Facebook page we will share directly from the Group to the Page

Instagram

The youngest of our Social Media platforms. It’s full of LARP photography, conventions, memes and comic strips. We send images from here to both Facebook and Twitter. We’re starting to run hashtag series to group collections of shots. Take a look at #facesoflarpers.

Twitter

Our Twitter has both a slightly different feel and also slightly different content to our Facebook page. Part of this comes from how we run our social media presences. Some of it comes from the practice of in-platform sharing. On Twitter we retweet tweets and on Facebook we tend to share Facebook posts. Our aim is to make sure that we don’t push you into a platform you are not on.

All of our articles and videos are listed on both platforms, so you’ll never miss out on our content.

And That is how LARPBook Works

Heathen Larp: A Profile

Heathen Larp: A Profile

Name of LARP Group

Heathen LRP

Country?

UK

LARP Genre

Historically based fantasy

Who Creates The Characters?

The Player

On Average how tailored is the plot to characters

A lot

What Makes Your Events Friendly to New Players?

Very simple rules and very basic character classes mean it’s quick and easy to pick up

How Frequently do you run events

Once a year, with about 50 players and 50 odd crew. We aim to try and make sure that we keep a kit standard up, but as this is the Dark Ages there’s really not a lot to it!

What are the facilities like?

Excellent! Hot showers, clean bogs, plenty of water and a massive site. All praise to Huntley Wood!

Tell us anything else you would like to about Your Game World, and How Your Events Work

Heathen LRP is set in Anglo-Saxon Britain, at the time of the great Heathen Army. This was, for those who haven’t read/seen Bernard Cornwell’s excellent Last Kingdom series, when a huge organised raid swept through the Kingdoms of East Anglia, Northumbria, Mercia and Wessex, forcing King Alfred to flee to Somerset.

But it’s also a world in which religion and magic are real – we’ve taken the scribes at their word so when they claim they saw a dragon, there really was a dragon. The Pagan beliefs haven’t died out, so there’s tension between God, the Saxon Gods under Woden and the Viking’s alien gods under Odin.

New players don’t need to know anything about the period at all, and kit is pretty easy – a tunic and trousers will get you 90% of the way there

Website / URL

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1113893321954569/

Gallery

Contact Heathen Larp

Photo Permissions

All photographs used with permission of Haven Larp

Add Your Larp

Want to create a profile of your larp? Just click here

Sharathon: Results #1

Sharathon: Results #1

We’ve had our first results back in the Larp Sharathon and they are good. I’m trying to give credit to everyone both sharing and creating the content. It is after all time to do good for everyone.

Tips Via The LARPBook FB Page

Luke (from Tank Larp) on Runnning a Larp

Have too much plot. It’s better to have lots written and not use it all than to have too little. Use side plots/one-shot/throwaway plot to fill gaps or lulls. Think about other ways of introducing plot than just NPCs and DT writeups. Newspapers, IC documents/dossiers and other forms of real life media are good ways of putting plot in that feel less force

Luke (from Tank Larp) on Leather Maintenance

Remember to regularly wax your leather wear. Leather is never water proof, only highly water resistant. Standing water WILL absorb. Always feel the inside surface when looking to buy a scabbard or baldrick, rough surfaces will damage latex over time

Links

These come via the Larp Haven Group on Facebook

Michael Sparks – Meeka The Elf – How to Videos on YouTube

Maxx Sterling – How to Make Hardtack Immersive Survial Food for larp Video

Callum Walker – Dust Monkey – Costuming and Costume Weathering Video Channel on YouTube

Added to The LARPBook FB Group

Magdelana Farrant – The Helpful Crafter – Craft skill sharing group on FB

Larp.Guide Help with starting free crafting classes

Events

We’ll be posting online events as we hear about the, in the LARPBook, Facebook Group. So keep and eye out there.

How did this Start

Take a look at Sharathon. To learn what this project is all about. Remember we need your links

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