St. Thomas EYC LARP Handbook
Hit Points and Physical Attacks-
Each player begins with the same vulnerability to attacks. This vulnerability changes as one moves up in levels. The change in vulnerability is dependent on class and other factors. For instance, a fighter becomes less vulnerable to attack every level, whereas a mage must move several levels to become less vulnerable. A 'hit' is when a weapon or "magical bolt" (see below) makes contact above the knees and elbows and below the neck. Head shots do not count, in order to encourage the safest game play possible. Mundane weapons must make three 'hits' in order to take a first-level player out of a round of play (this is called a 'kill'), enchanted weapons and magical bolts must only make one 'hit' in order to achieve a 'kill'. The meaning of a 'kill' varies from situation to situation (see the sections on challenges, quests, etc, below.) Life during the game is represented by the wearing of a ribbon. As long as a character is alive, that ribbon is worn. Once a character dies, that ribbon is removed in put in the player's pocket.
Things happen in the game that may require a person to go 'out of character'. Whenever you want to speak with a DM as the player and not as your character, remember to tap your head and say 'out of game'. Then you may discuss with the DM whatever issue you are having. You will tap your head again and say 'in game' to get back into character. If you have an issue with the way a situation is handled or if you think someone is breaking the rules, you must wait until AFTER a fight or battle to go out of character. If you are ever injured in the game, hold your hand up high making a 'peace' sign and your character will be ignored as the others continue to play. If you ever see anyone who is holding up a 'peace' sign make sure to treat them like the wind. They don't exist. The DM will contact someone to get them any help they need.
Each group will register with a team. Each team will have at least four and no more than eight players. Costs for a LARP event should run $35-40 dollars. You will sleep in a dorm or in a cabin, which will function as an inn or castle respectively in the game. A team must have a team leader, a flag, and a team name. Teams will accumulate game points (see below), be recruited as a team into larger armies (teams will not be split up for larger battles except in very special circumstances), and gain glory together. Individuals accumulate levels, weapons, and gold. Each team will be required to spend 1 hour of each game as a group of NPC fighters and 1 hour as a group of NPC Inn workers (see below). They will also be required to help with cooking, registration and clean up. A schedule for each team will be given before the game.
A team can begin playing as soon as 4 members of their team arrive. When a team reaches a quorum (four players), they will register with the registration desk. They will register weapons (see below) and get their quest and NPC assignments, as well as a DM to help them on their way.
Fighting- Fighting should be as modest as possible. Aggressive game play will be penalized. This includes any deliberate head shots. Remember that whether a player is tapped lightly or hit hard, they result is the same so long as contact is in the 'hit' area. Effective attacks that are as lightly treaded as possible will be rewarded with game points, and levels.
There will be Dungeon Masters (DM) throughout the game. Each team will be assigned a DM to accompany them. The DM that accompanies your team may change. Any DM will wear a name tag identifying him as a Dungeon Master. A Dungeon Master's job is to ensure fair and equitable game play, and to ensure that the story being developed by the playing of the game is as interesting as possible. A team's DM will have all the information on each team's character. He or she will be the one to call a character dead who has been hit and either doesn't know it or isn't following the rules correctly. A DM will address 'out of character' questions and clarify rules at appropriate times. When two teams battle (see below), the two DMs will work together to ensure fair game play. There may be times when DMs also act as NPCs. DMs have the same authority as NPCs as they do as DMs. DMs have absolute power in the game. Do not argue with a DM, ever. Never question a DMs decision once it is made. It will cost you game points. DMs will keep up with important details throughout the quests and battles, and may narrate as you go along. These details will be used to create a particular history for your team when the game is over.
Throughout the game you will encounter people playing pre-assigned roles. These are not players, but non-playing characters. You interact with them as features of the game. You can make no assumptions about an NPCs intentions, abilities, etc. Playing through the game is the key to doing well. Interact with NPCs as your character. Each NPC will have their own set of rules that are idiosyncratic to them. Figuring out an NPCs personal rules is part of the fun of playing LARP.
Good Game Play
Good game play is determined by knowing and following the rules. That is why reading and getting VERY familiar with this handbook is so important. Good game play is not about simply winning fights or even completing quests... it is all about HOW you do what you are doing. Speaking in dialect, acting out your character, living and playing AS your character...this is what will make a game great and it earns more points than anything else.
There are three types of weapons. There are mundane weapons, which have 'duct tape' on them and have no glow sticks attached. There are 'enchanted' weapons and magical bolts. Magical bolts are thrown or shot from a bow and arrow, only mages and rogues working closely with mages may use magical bolts. Enchanted weapons have duct tape on them AND have glow sticks attached to them. Finally there are 'permanently enchanted' weapons. These have no duct tape on them and may or may not have a glow stick attached to them. Enchanted weapons are given their enchantment by the spell 'enchant weapon'...but they can be turned into mundane weapons by an enemy's dispel magic spell. Permanently enchanted weapons are very rare, and cannot be disenchanted by dispel magic. The only way to get a permanently enchanted weapon is through the LARP game play itself. They are rewards at the end of the game.
If someone brings a store bought NERF or LARP weapon, it will be marked at registration with one piece of duct tape. It will not be considered permanently enchanted unless a DM decides to make it one as a part of game play. This is to keep people from gaining advantages in the game through monetary investment alone. Permanently enchanted weapons are the result of game play ONLY. Each DM will know if they have someone with one of these weapons on their teams.
All weapons must be registered when the game begins. a name or identifying mark should be on every weapon. Weapons are subject to theft by rogues. A weapon may be stolen for the duration of the game, but all weapons that were not brought by the individual player must be returned at the end of the game. Any weapon may be 'checked' with the DM at the registration desk and is safe until retrieved. Even permanently enchanted weapons are subject to theft for the duration of the game. Thefts do not stay permanent in free-for-alls, night raids, and arena battles. In those situations, all weapons must be returned to the person who brought them into the battle itself.
Gaining Levels & Money
Gold pieces can be earned by arena battles, free-for-alls and team battle (see below). Gold can be used at the Inn to buy manna potions, healing potions, or to purchase weapons. Levels are gained by good game play, by epic actions during battle, and especially by staying in character. The more you play your role, the more likely you are to gain levels. The gaining of a level will be represented by a name tag, which will show your level. Only people with levels higher than 1 will get these name tags. Levels mean something. The more levels you have the harder you are to kill and the more options you have when it comes to skills and spells.
Game points are accumulated mostly by staying in character and helping to create a good story. Game play is more important than winning. Fighting and winning battles are also worth game points, though what really matters is good game play. Having an epic moment, whether winning or losing, in a battle is worth more than winning the battle itself. Game points gain you position during the "war" and earn you better sleeping arrangements. They give you a more prominent place in the story that is being written, and of course give you bragging rights and glory in the LARP community we are putting together.
THINGS TO DO DURING THE GAME
The Inn is where you spend the night, where you eat your meals, and a place where you can buy extra weapons and potions. There are two kinds of potions: manna potions are used to restore all of a wizard's spells. Each wizard has a limited number of spells per hour or per day (depending on the spell). If a spell is used, it can be only regained by the use of a manna potion. Manna potions cost 20 gold pieces. Once the money is paid, you will get a blue coin. That blue coin represents the manna potions. It must be turned into your DM for your spells to be restored. At the Inn you can also buy healing potions. Healing potions restore a player to full life. If a player is 'killed' and someone has a healing potion on them, they can touch the player and call 'heal' and the player is restored to full health. That means that whatever hit total they had before is erased. So a basic player who could be killed by 3 mundane or 1 enchanted weapon and is killed, after the healing potion they are once again killed only by 3 mundane weapon hits or 1 enchanted weapon hit. A healing potion is represented by a red coin. Once someone is healed, the coin must be promptly given to your DM. DMs may deign to sell potions to you if you have more gold while you are out and about. Otherwise, you will have to travel back to the Inn to get more manna and healing potions. Healing potions cost 20 gold pieces. At the Inn, there may be some weapons for sale during the game. Any weapon 'bought' during the game with game gold must of course be returned to St. Thomas at the end of the event, but the weapon is yours unless stolen for the duration of the event. Weapon costs vary depending on what you want to buy. Mundane weapons can also be enchanted at the Inn for 10 gold pieces. There will be times set aside at the Inn for storytelling. Taking advantage of this time, and especially telling stories from other role playing games (LARP games you've played in the past, or D&D games you've played), are worth game points. An Inn can be a great place to extend game play. Challenging people and teams to battles, and telling of the glory of your quests, all adds to the feel of the game and expands role playing opportunities.
The castles represent special sleeping arrangements for those who gain the most game points the first day. They are marks of prestige and add to your place in the story being written.
Every team will spend some time as a group of fighters (orcs, or just evil knights, or whatever), and will spend some time working in the Inn. If you do things like steal potions or weapons while working at the Inn to benefit your team, that will be a major violation and could result in getting thrown out of the game, permanently. While playing as NPCs you are to live life as the character assigned, and not as your PC character. Fighting NPCs go around and attack players at random times. They just traverse the world we are playing in, chasing down questing characters, entering as third parties in team battles, and ruining the lives of free-for-all players. Only arena fighters and those inside the Inns and Castles are free from NPC fighter rampages. NPCs must listen to DMs the same as PCs. When you are assigned an NPC character, you will be given new character sheets with new abilities and limitations. At the end of your time as an NPC, you can return and get your old character sheets back.
Each team will have at least one quest to complete. This quest can range from learning a special spell for the team's wizard, to slaying a monstrous beast. On this quest you will likely have to solve riddles and puzzles, and you will interact with various NPCs. Completing a quest is worth game points, big time. How you complete a quest matters too. Every team will have the same amount of time to complete their quests, roughly 5-6 hours. But the quest must be completed in the midst of NPC times, challenges and more. Be aware when you are making and accepting challenges how much time you have to complete your quests. Failing to complete a quest is a big deal. During quests, any character who is 'killed' walks with his ribbon in his pocket until healed. This character walks alongside the DM, and can neither be spoken to nor speak. They cannot be attack nor can they attack. They can do nothing in the game, absolutely nothing, except walk with the DM and their team until they are healed.
At any time, one team can challenge another. The teams are immediately brought to the team challenge area. If another team is fighting, you will have a time to meet at the team challenge area assigned to you. Not arriving at an assigned time for team challenge costs game points. Game points are gained by giving a challenge, accepting a challenge, winning a challenge, and playing well and fairly during a challenge. All 'team challenge' rules apply (see the section for individual character classes). If a character has been killed on a quest, then as soon as the team battle begins they are restored to full life. Once a team battle ends, everyone is restored to full life/health. Team Challenges last 30 minutes. Team challenges work in the following way:
- Each team is assigned one side of the field or another, with a neutral area in between (whether either side can go during set up times and use for defense and attack). Each team chooses a jail, a base, and sets up their flag somewhere visible.
- Field of play will be marked off at the beginning of the game. No fighting may take place ANYWHERE except on the field of play. Characters can use trails and the woods to move around, and to move into the field of play. But they may only fight on the field of play itself. NO EXCEPTIONS.
- A round of play is initiated as soon as the member of one army crosses the barrier between the two armies. Once a round of play is initiated, it continues until the invading army returns to the other side, all the members of either army are dead or captured, or the DM calls a round ended.
- Each character class has abilities and limitations on what they can do during team challenges. See the section below on 'character classes' for more details on what each character class can do during team challenges.
- Remember that life in the game is represented by the wearing of a ribbon. In team challenges, if a character is killed, that ribbon is removed and the character must return to their team's base. If they are killed on the opposing team's side, and a rogue asks for their weapon, that weapon is forfeit unless stolen back. If a character encounters one of their own priests or someone with a heal potion or heal spell BEFORE THEY REACH THEIR OWN BASE, then that person may be 'healed' (see above) and return to battle. Once a player is back on their own field of play, their weapons can no longer be stolen. Once a player is back to their own base, they can no longer be interacted with in any way until the round ends. They must stay at their base as if they were the wind, until the round ends. Once the round ends, everyone gets back their full life.
- A player may be captured if, when a killing blow is delivered, the person delivering it yells out 'capture'. The person captured must then return to the jail of the other team. They will remain there until a rogue from their own team taps the jail itself (anywhere inside the area the other team has assigned as the jail). If a rogue jail breaks someone, both the rogue and the people freed will proceed to their own base without interference. They will remain there as if 'killed' until the round ends. No more than three captives may be held at any one time, if more than three people are captured, all captives held are considered jail broken.
- Game points are gained during team battles by capturing and/of holding the other team's flag or stealing back your own flag (only rogues can steal flags), by stealing the other team's weapons (again, only rogues can do this), by capturing enemies and holding them, by jail breaking captives, by killing other team's players, by creative strategizing and as always by staying in character and adding to the overall story of the battle. Team battles can earn you game points and gold pieces.
- DM's may do things during the game to keep the game interesting, like jail breaking one team's players that have been held for a long time or stealing flags. Don't complain about this. Remember, winning is less important than keeping the story interesting.
- The roaming band of orcs or other NPCs may enter the game at inopportune times. Fighting these beings is not like fighting other PCs. How you respond to these characters will help gain your game points.
Free For Alls
There will be several 'hunger game style' games played at different times in various areas of the game fields. Everyone who enters a Free For All will have their life and spells fully restored at the beginning and the end of the round. Everyone's weapon will be put into a pile, and people will team up in twos. All weapons will be returned to the person who originally brought the weapon to the Free For All Battle Round. Only mages will be allowed to retain their weapons. Everyone will then run for weapons and set about killing each other. Kills are achieved as they are for the rest of the game. Weapon restrictions remain the same. When a kill is achieved, the person will return to a pre-approved central location. A thief may steal a weapon of a killed player returning to this location, but remember that all weapons go back to the person who had them at the beginning of the Free For All. The Free For All continues until everyone in it is officially 'killed'. Then everyone returns to full health and spells/prayers. The winner two players get gold and game points for their team. All players will get some game points for their team, and full health and spells. Additional game points may be awarded for good role playing and clever strategy.
Arena battles are one-on-one, two-on-two, or three-on-three. Both groups enter only with whatever weapons and heal potions they have. Once someone is killed, they have 10 seconds to be healed, or else they are out of the battle. Once everyone is out of the battle for good, the battle is over. Everyone enters only with the compliment of spells they have, but they will leave full recharged with life and spells. Teams get game points for playing, for winning, for good role playing and game play. Gold pieces will also be awarded to the winner.
The Final War
After all the quests are complete, two team captains will be chosen as 'kings'. They will then engage in horse-trading as they construct an evenly-matched army. These two teams will then engage in a huge Team Battle for 30 minutes. The same rules will apply (see above and below). The winner of this battle, plus certain individual players who will be recruited into the final battle for story purposes, will face down a new army of evil mage-fighters, orcs and other monsters and dangerous beings. The winning team in the final battle will then get a set of new permanently enchanted LARP weapons to keep, play a huge role in the final story that is written, and be crowned the winners.
A couple of times throughout the night, but all before midnight, after people are in the inns and castles, someone will yell out into each room, "NIGHT RAID". Then people have 5 minutes to gather outside the Inns for a special Free For All. Once the game begins, no one new can enter it. All normal Free For All Rules apply. The winners gain gold to buy potions and weapons for the next day's War.
Rogues begin with the same vulnerability as everyone else: 3 hits with a mundane weapon or 1 hit with an enchanted weapon or magical bolt will kill them. Rogues start out only able to wield small tomahawks, short swords or daggers. ROGUES CANNOT USE ENCHANTED WEAPONS HAND TO HAND WEAPONS. THEY CAN STEAL ENCHANTED WEAPONS, BUT THEY CANNOT USE THEM. They may also use a bow and arrow provided they are standing near a mage who has summoned the arrows. They can use no more arrows than the number the mage is allowed to summon at that time (see below).
- During Quests- Rogues may steal any weapon from any enemy they kill provided they call 'steal' as soon as they've officially 'killed' an enemy fought during the quest. Rogues cannot steal magical bolts. There may also be quests only the rogue can perform, like walking through a trapped area.
- During Team Battles and the Final War- Rogues can walk in the forest and along trails. A rogue, like every other character, may only actually engage in battle in the marked off battle area. Rogues are the only ones that may steal flags, or jail break captives. Rogues are able to steal anyone's weapon (except magical bolts) if they are 'killed' on the rogue's team's field and walking back to their own side. A rogue may not steal the opponent's weapon if they are on the opponent's side of the field. Weapons in the possession of the thief when the group battle ends remain in the thief's possession unless stolen by someone else, until the entire LARP game is over, at which time of course they return to the person who originally brought them.
- Free For Alls and Night Raids- Rogues may steal weapons from anyone as they are approaching the pre-assigned base. All weapons return to original owners when Free For Alls and Night Raids end.
- During Arena Battles- Rogues may steal weapons by calling 'steal' immediately as they kill someone. All weapons are returned to original owners when Arena Battles end.
At Higher Levels
Rogues above level one may have the ability to use any mundane weapon. They may be harder to kill, needing more damage to be taken out. They may also have one of the following abilities. Remember that rogue's abilities cannot be re-upped by manna potions. Whatever per-day restrictions there are, they remain.
- Incredible Luck- Rogues are good at setting up things before hand so that luck often turns in their favor. A good example of incredible luck is Flynn Rider from TANGLED, whose swashbuckling life causes incredible things to happen, often to his advantage. A rogue may call out 'incredible luck' and something in their favor will happen. If done in battle, this can be an incredibly powerful tool.
- Deflect Attack- A rogue who calls this out can take all the damage inflicted on them and put it on someone else.
- Backstab- A rogue with this ability, if they hit anyone with a weapon 1 foot long or shorter (total), automatically kills their opponent.
Mages begin with the same vulnerability as everyone else: 3 hits with a mundane weapon or 1 hit with an enchanted weapon or magical bolt will kill them. A mage may summon magical bolts. How many magical bolts depends on how many bolts a mage is allowed to summon in a day. Only mages and rogues to whom mages give bows and arrows are allowed to use ranged weapons. Bolts can be fired as arrows from a pre-approved LARP-style bow and arrow, with the limit being on how many arrows can be fired per day. A mage may also use very soft foam balls or bean bags. All mages start with a different number of the same spells. Each spell works differently (see below). A mage who has a bow and arrow is never required to relinquish the bow, but no more arrows may be fired in a single period of time than they are allowed. The only weapons mages may use at first level are magical bolts.
- During Quests- There may be quests only a mage can perform, like dispelling a magical wall that obstructs the group's journey.
- During Team Battles and the Final War- Mages can walk in the forest and along trails.
- Free For Alls and Night Raids- Mages get their full compliment of spells back as these battles begin and after they end.
- During Arena Battles- Mages get a full compliment of spells after these battle
Spells and Spell Slots
Each mage begins with 10 Spell Slots. All mage spells return after one hour unless otherwise indicated. Spells function accordingly:
- Magical Bolts/Arrows- 2 Spell slots gets you 3 arrows or bolts. One hit from these is equivalent to being hit by an enchanted weapon (see above)
- Magical Wall- 2 Spells Slots gets you one wall. If you lay three glow sticks down, it creates an impervious wall. There are two ways to bring down a magical wall: 1) someone uses a dispel magic spell on the wall. 2) someone from inside the wall moves through it or attacks from within it. During team battles, rogues are good for taking down magical walls. If they walk behind enemy lines and then move through the wall from the other side, it is dispelled.
- Enchant Weapon- 1 Spell slot gets you one enchantment. You enchant a weapon by tying a glow stick to it. A weapon is enchanted until a dispel magic spell is cast upon it. If a dispel magic spell is cast on an enchanted weapon, the person wielding it must stop and remove the glow stick. or cease using the weapon.
- Dispel Magic- 3 Spell slots gets you one dispel magic. A dispel magic spell can be useful during some quests, as there will be times when such a spell is necessary. A dispel magic spell can remove a magical wall or an enchantment from a non-permanent enchanted weapon. To dispel magic you must describe exactly what you are doing, and in the hearing and sight of the person to whom you are doing it. For instance, if you come upon a magical wall, you must tell a DM, "I am dispelling this magical wall." If you are dispelling an enchanted weapon, you must make sure the fighter hears you say, "I am dispelling your enchanted weapon."
At Higher Levels
Mages will very slowly get harder to kill. They will also get extra spells. For instance, a person who has 3 bolts at level 1 may have more at higher levels. They may also have one of the following special spells:
- Heal- The mage can mimic a priest's healing ability. They merely make physical contact with a dead player and call out 'heal'. A mage can do this once per battle, rather than once per hour.
- Sleep Spell- The mage must get within eye and ear shot of the intended target. They then call out 'sleep' and the player or NPC must mimic sleep until someone makes physical contact with them, much like a reverse magical wall. This spell can be cast once per day.
- Confusion- The mage must get within eye and ear shot of the intended target. They then call out 'confusion' and the player or NPC must spin around seven times. This spell can be cast twice per day.
- Reflect Damage- A mage who calls this out can take all the damage inflicted on them and put it on someone else. A mage may do this twice per day.
Priests may not use weapons, except under very restricted circumstances during some quests. Priests are healers and have the ability to enhance others' abilities and turn evil away. Priests begin being able to use 5 spells per day.
- During Quests- Priests may have challenges only they can face. For instance, they may need to turn a vampire the group has no chance of defeating.
- During Team Battles and the Final War- Priests can walk in the forest and along trails. Priests may heal anyone who has been 'killed' and is walking to their own home basePro.
- Free For Alls and Night Raids- Priests can get all prayers restored by these battles and arena battles.
- During Arena Battles- Priests cannot fight arena battles by themselves.
All priests have a certain number of prayers they can pray per hour. They do not have to pre-choose how they will spend these prayers as mages do. Manna potions do not work on priests, priests can only regain spells through waiting and through arena battles, team battles, and free-for-alls. Priests have the following heavenly abilities:
- Heal- If a priest makes contact with a player and calls out 'heal', that player is healed, as if a healing potion has been administered.
- Turn Evil- Any evil being like an orc, werewolf, or vampire, troll, etc, can be turned by a priest holding up a cross and calling out 'turn'. They offending creature will then run away in terror. This will not work on all human evil beings, like sorcerers.
At Higher Levels
Priest's resistance to damage gains very slowly, slower than any other character. But they can quickly become massively effective at empowering their team. At a higher level, priests may gain the following prayers:
- Bless- This can only be used once per day. If a priest blesses something, it will temporarily gain some incredible ability (like resistance to all magical weapons, or the ability to burn evil creatures by touch alone.) Bless can obliterate an evil creature completely.
- Prophecy- The priest can get some important piece of information about the final war or about a quest. This cannot be something the priest can control, it just happens.
All fighters can use any weapon, and they can dual-wield. Only fighters can dual wield weapons. They raise in resistance to damage very, very quickly as they level up. For instance, a third level fighter must be hit by five mundane weapon attacks and two magical weapon attacks (or magical bolts) to be 'killed'. The only weapons fighters cannot use are magical bolts or bows/arrows.
- During Quests- Groups will often face enemies that only fighters are going to be able to stand up to effectively.
- During Team Battles and the Final War- Fighters are the only class that cannot venture into the forests or on the trails. FIGHTERS MUST STAY IN THE BATTLE AREAS OF THE TWO ENCAMPMENTS AT ALL TIMES.
- Free For Alls, Arena Battles and Night Raids- Fighters regain full health at the beginning of these.
At Higher Levels
Fighters quickly become resistant to damage, they may also gain the ability to inflict more damage than the normal fighter. They may also have the following ability:
- Magic resistance- A fighter may, once per day, gain the ability to fend off one magical attack.
Every player needs two copies of their character sheets: one for them to keep, and one for their DM
Character Sheet: Fighter
Character Sheet: Mage
Character Sheet: Rogue
Character Sheet: Priest
Spells: Heal, Turn