New to LARPing

Welcome to our New Players Briefing!  If you are here, you have no clue what LARPing is and need some thing explained before you can lunge into the confusing world of Live Action Roleplay.

If, at any point, you want to talk to anyone at Exile, or have any questions that were not answered here, please feel free to meander over to our forums and ask there.  Or find us on Facebook and there will probably be someone awake who can answer your question!

General

What is LARPing?

Do you get hit?

How does combat work?

What is a “PC”?

What is an “NPC”?

What is a Module/Mod?

What is a GM?

What is “packet archery”?

Rules Related

What are Hit Points?

What are Skill Points?

What are Magic Points?

What is Basic Weapon Damage?

What is a Detriment?

What is a Spell?

How to Pack and Prepare

Where do we camp?

What should I bring?

What do we eat?

Where do we sleep?

How To Costume

How do I make a costume?

Do I have to have armor?

Do I have to have my own weapons?

Where can I get weapons?

Do I have to have my own props?

What if I cannot afford a costume?

What do I wear if I NPC?

General

What is LARPing?

LARP stands for Live Action Role Play.  It is, at its core, going out in the woods, dressing up as someone you are not, and using game rules to act out your character in a fantasy world.  LARPing can be everything from vampires in a modern setting, to elves and wizards in a medieval setting.  You create a character that you want to play, within the rules of your particular game, dress up as that character would, and use a padded weapon to engage in combat with other players.  Some people who come to the event act as the villains and plot related people that will give you missions, or “modules” to complete.

It is like impromptu theater out in a camping environment.  It is a chance to let off some steam, and whollop someone with a padded weapon.  It is a video game where you are the controller, and the world around you is the environment in which you play.

It is a LOT of fun.

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Do you get hit?

In our game, yes, there is live combat.  We use padded weapons, called Boffer Weapons, which are made out of PVC pipe, foam, and ducttape.  Combat is not too heavy, and our players do not swing hard.  Most players never get a bruise from the weapons that we use.  You do not have to take part in combat, though.  We have non-combat aspects of the game in which you can engage if you do not want to be hit.

Many of our non-combat roles are very interactive and very important.  If you want to play as a bartender in our in-game tavern, or be a crafter who creates in-game items for sale, all are needed in the game and in the game world.  If you wish to be involved in our game, but do not wish to be in combat, please send Jessica an e-mail at JezzicaTS@gmail.com, and she will be delighted to help you become involved in the game.

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How does combat work?

When you come to the game, you should have a boffer weapon, which is a padded weapon made from PVC pipe and foam, or a latex weapon, which are special weapons that you can buy online,  with you.  (For more information on Latex weapons that you can bring with you, please see the weapons section of our rulebook.)  You will use this weapon to fight with other players, who will be equally equipped.  You swing the weapon and attempt to hit another player.  If you hit them three times, you are able to call out either your Basic Weapon Damage, or an ability that your character may have access to.  When you take Damage, you subtract that number from your Hit Points, and when you hit zero hit points, you are removed from combat until someone can heal you.

When you fight, you will want to swing your weapon with medium force, so as not to hurt the other players.  You may not strike someone in the head or groin.  When you get hit, you will want to act out that you have been hurt.  (By grunting, flinching, saying “Ouch” whichever.) This helps to immerse you into the game world, and makes the whole experience more realistic for you and those around you.

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What is a “PC”?

PC stands for “Player Character”.  These are the people who are playing the game, rather than the people who are running the game.  Think of it like a video game:  you, with the controller, are the Player Character.  All of the people you run into in the game are “Non-Player Characters.”  (NPC)  When you are a PC, you make a complete character of your own, and you play the game as though you are that character.  You can make decisions all on your own, and effect the game world however you are able.

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What is an “NPC”?

NPC stands for “Non-Player Character”.  These are the people who provide all of the world’s characters and monsters and villains.  Think of it like a video game: all of the people that you talk to or fight in the game are Non-Player Characters.  Some players at LARPs are Non-Player characters.  They are working from a script and are given characters by the staff of the game.  They do not get to decide on their motivations, as they are usually given characters to play.  However, they get to make decisions based on that motivation and instructions that they have been given by the staff.  NPCs do not need to bring costumes or props to the game, because they use the game’s costumes and props.  As an NPC, you can be dozens of different things over the course of an event.  You could play the king of a nation, or horrible goblin creatures, bent on eating the PC’s liver.  It all depends on the script for that event.

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What is a Module/Mod?

A Module, or Mod, is an activity or adventure that you go on during an event.  The NPCs will set something up that the players will then get to go explore, or fight.  This is much like getting a quest in a video game.  You may be asked to retrieve gold from some dark cave, or to go rescue a princess from a tower.  The events are organized into mods, and the NPCs will set them up, go get the PCs, and bring them along on the mods for amazing adventures.

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What is a GM?

GM stands for “Game Marshal”.  In some LARPs, it stands for “Game Master.”  A game marshal is a staff member who knows the rules, and can make decisions based on rules or situations in the game.  They are the people who are running the game, and can give out bonuses or penalties for adhering to or misusing the rules.  They are in place to help in anything that you may need.  For a list of our GMs, you can head over to the Staff page!

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What is “packet archery”?

Boffer and Latex weapons are used for Melee, or close combat.  Beanbags are used for distance combat.  If your character has a bow, you will not fire real arrows.  Instead, we make little beanbags out of rubber bands, cloth, and bird seed, and we throw them.  These little bags are called Spell Packets.  They are also used to symbolize spells in the game.  If your character is a Mage, you are going to need a few dozen of these so that you can throw your spells (these packets) at other players.  When the packet hits your target, you will call out how much damage it does (“Arrow!  Two damage!”)  or if it is a spell, what that spell does (“Gust!  Five steps back!”)

Some games use what they call “LARP arrows”.  These are arrows that have blunted ends, wrapped in special material that makes them look like they have a golf ball on the tip.  They are fired out of special bows that do not have much draw weight (which is what fires the arrows at different speeds).  These arrows are made this way so that they do not do real damage to a person.  We do not use LARP Arrows at Exile.

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Rules Related

What are Hit Points?

Every character has a certain number of points that designate how many times you can be hit.  These are called your Hit Points.  Whenever you take damage, you subtract that damage from your hit points.  If you ever hit Zero Hit Points, your character is considered to be “bleeding to death” and you will have to fall down and play dead.  There are a number of ways to get back your hit points, to include magical healing, or by getting help from an in-game “doctor”.

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What are Skill Points?

Many characters have a number of abilities that they can use during the game that cost Skill Points.  Skill points are a pool of points that you will have that designate how many times you can use a particular ability.  When you use an ability that costs a skill point, you subtract that from your total.  If you ever hit zero skill points, you may not use your skill abilities until you get skill points back.  There are a number of ways in game, including Resting, which give you back skill points.

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What are Magic Points?

Many characters have a number of abilities that they can use during the game that cost Magic Points.  Magic points are a pool of points that you will have that designate how many times you can use a particular ability.  When you use an ability that costs a Magic point, you subtract that from your total.  If you ever hit zero Magic points, you may not use your magic abilities until you get Magic points back.  There are a number of ways in game, including Resting, which give you back Magic points.

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What is Basic Weapon Damage?

Basic Weapon Damage is the amount of hit points someone loses if you hit them with your weapon.  One handed weapons do 1 Point of Damage.  Two Handed Weapons do 2 points of damage.  This means that, if your weapon is small enough to be wielded with one hand, it is a one handed weapon.  If it is too big and you have to use two hands, then it is a two handed weapon.

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What is a Detriment?

A detriment is a negative effect that your character can be affected by.  These can include abilities that make it so that you cannot run, or that you cannot defend yourself, or that you are blind, etc.

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What is a Spell?

In the game, some character can use magic.  A spell is simply an ability that costs a magic point, and then uses spell packets as its form of delivery.  Spells usually require a casting line to use.  A casting line is a ten syllable sentence that signifies your character weaving magic together to cast the spell.

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How to Pack and Prepare

Where do we camp?

The game takes place on a 15 acre property in Williamstown, NJ that belongs to one of the participants.  We have a number of buildings ready for you to set up your sleeping bag or cot.  During the winter, many of these buildings are heated by wood burning stoves.

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What should I bring?

You should bring most things that you would bring camping.

  • Sleeping bag
  • Pillow
  • Bug spray
  • Clothes appropriate to the current weather
    • At least two changes of clothes
  • Your costume
  • Any medication you need
  • Snacks
  • A water bottle
  • Money (to pay!)
  • Any game-appropriate weapons

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What do we eat?

We provide breakfast/lunch on Saturday and Dinner on Saturday.  In addition to the two meals, there is a tavern set up on site that sells things like ramen, soup, fruit and sandwiches throughout the event.  These do not cost real money, but instead cost the game’s money.  (Things like Silver and Gold coins that we made.)  So the only money that you really need is your 20 dollars to play the event!

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Where do we sleep?

We have buildings at the campsite for players to set up their beds.  There are some bunkbeds available, some players bring cots, and others bring hammocks that they set up.  In the winter, a number of these buildings are heated by wood burning stoves.

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How To Costume

How do I make a costume?

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Do I have to have armor?

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Do I have to have my own weapons?

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Where can I get weapons?

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Do I have to have my own props?

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What if I cannot afford a costume?

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What do I wear if I NPC?

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