Safety

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When taking part in any LARP, there's always a pile of rules to learn. Often, game mistakes are made, but they're not too terrible. Safety is the big exception. The Safety rules are extremely important, and all players must know and adhere to them. Nobody should LARP at all unless they're doing it safely. With that in mind, please read and become familliar with these guidelines before starting to play.


General Safety

Your own safety
Nobody else is responsible for stopping you doing something silly. If you jump in the river, or throw yourself to the ground in an elaborate but leg-breaking fashion, then it's your own fault. If you are injured or tired or feel unwell, you should remove yourself from play and let a ref know. Use common sense. If you have a condition that other players should know about, then inform the refs before entering play, so they can inform everyone before play starts to keep you safe.
The safety of people around you
If you see something unsafe happening, or feel that someone is acting in an unsafe manner, then you should do what you can to make sure they know about it. There are a number of ways to go about this:
STOP THE GAME
STOP THE GAME is an out of character "call" that any player can use to alert all players to a dangerous situation. If somebody shouts STOP THE GAME you should immediately drop out of character, and stop moving. Repeat the call to people who may not have noticed it. You should use the STOP THE GAME call if you feel unsafe for any reason, if a genuine injury occurs, or for situations where you need to stop play. We also use STOP THE GAME in NFNC for lost glasses which is why it's important to stop moving if you hear the call.
Informing the player responsible
If appropriate, raise the attention of other players to dangers (such as if they are about to fall in the river) - or if they are acting unsafely. If somebody is hitting too hard, you can either inform a ref or call TOO HARD.
Inform a referee
For non immediate issues, inform a referee.
Inform the exec
If you would rather speak to the exec about a safety issue, this is fine.
Listen to additional safety briefs
There is usually a brief on safety for any new location we use to play (such as scout camps, forests and the like) - if you arrive late, ask a ref if there's anything you should be aware of. (for example, we often use coloured glowsticks to mark out hazards in the dark.)


Weapon Safety

Never stab with non stab-safe weapons
Larp weapons tend to have fibreglass or carbon fibre cores. Stabbing with them can cause the core to slip along the weapon and make it unsafe. It's also not nice to do it to people. This also applies to stabbing inanimate objects - resting a sword on the ground then leaning on it could also make it unsafe, so try to avoid this.
In NFNC, Stabbing is only allowed with 2 handed compressible-tip polearms that have been specifically designed for that purpose. It is your responsibility as a player to ensure that any polearm you pick up is "stab safe" before using it to stab with. 2 hands must remain on and in control of the polearm at all times. Running the haft through your leading hand (also known as "snooker cueing") to increase the reach is not acceptable.
Pull your blows
When striking with any larp weapon, try to land as light a blow as possible. If you are hitting someone too hard, they will tell you. If you feel that someone is hitting you too hard, you should tell them. Be especially mindful of this in the cold, where the foam in the weapons tends to become a little harder. Be especially mindful of this at night, because you can't see people in the dark. Be especially careful when throwing weapons, and practice beforehand to get a feel for their speed in the air.
Be especially careful with head attacks
Hitting someone hard in the head is bang out of order. Do not do it. As a general consideration, only attack someone on the head when it is the only viable target (a large shield is the common reason for this)
Polearm Safety
If you wish to use a polearm you must be run though a polearm competency check by the safety officer.
Check your weapons regularly
Damaged weapons can become unsafe to use, so inspect them for damage on occasion. If the society safety officer tells you a weapon is unsafe, it is unsafe.
Don't throw cored weapons
There are specially designed larp weapons that do not contain cores that are designed for throwing. Don't throw other weapons.
Larpsafe javelins are specifically constructed with a collapsible tip and are the only exception to this rule. You must pass a safety check to use these weapons, and the javelins must be passed as safe for throwing by a society weapons checker. They must be under 36" to do so.
Don't fight with throwing weapons
The person you are fighting will not know your weapon is uncored, and if you parry with the uncored weapon, they won't be expecting your weapon to bend.
There is no grappling or shield bashing or physical fighting in our game
Do not manhandle other people, it's not polite and we don't allow it. You may if you wish make a personal arrangement with another player to engage in more physical combat, however you should arrange this with each and every individual you wish to grapple with, and it is well worth checking on a per game basis that they are still fine with it - someone who is fine to grapple 1 week may have an injury the next. Just because one person is comfortable grappling with another does not mean either would be comfortable grappling with you. You should stop and ask before engaging in any physical interactions (such as picking someone up) unless you have arranged otherwise beforehand with them and know they will be comfortable with the situation.
Bow Safety
We use bows and crossbows in our game. If you wish to use a bow or a crossbow, you must first run through a bow competency check with the society safety officer or somebody delegated by them. This will include how to check your arrows for the damage they will inevitably sustain. After an encounter you should check all arrows for damage, any that have been damaged should not be used. When firing judge your distance sensibly – if you shoot someone at point blank range the arrow will rebound straight into you - pointy bit first!
Arrow Safety for all Players
Arrows/bolts cannot be blocked by anything except a shield or a person. You cannot parry them with weapons or catch them out of the air, this poses unacceptable risk that the arrow will spin and start travelling pointy end first.
When fighting, it is good practice to break fight for a second and try to throw any arrows out of the way or move the fight away from a fallen arrow. It is also good practice not to hit people doing this. There are 2 excellent reasons for this:
  • Arrows are expensive; if you break them the archer will get upset.
  • Broken arrows are a world of sharp, and if you land on one you will get upset as it impales you.

Physical and Emotional Wellbeing

If a situation arises that makes you OOC uncomfortable, you do not need to continue roleplaying it if you do not want to. If this occurs, drop OOC and get a ref, and they will help resolve the situation OOC without further roleplaying. It is absolutely fine to call STOP THE GAME in this situation. If there is a specific issue that is likely to upset you and you are OK telling the refs about it, we're happy to discuss how we can avoid that situation occurring in the game. If you'd prefer to speak to the Exec, that's fine too.

References of any kind to non-consensual sex or sex with minors are not acceptable anywhere in the game; in uptime, downtime or character backgrounds. We will never include these in our plots and players must not make reference to these in the game.

Although racism within a species, sexism and other prejudice existed in the past of the setting, this has long since been discarded as ridiculous. On the other hand, each species in the game is sufficiently different that prejudices about them have some base in reality and tend to stick around.

It is not appropriate to play a character who is prejudiced on the basis of out-of-character physical differences, gender or sexuality. We recognise that people can unintentionally act like this despite their best efforts: if you believe another character to be acting in this fashion, you are encouraged to react to it in-character with the disgust and disdain appropriate for someone who has retained such backward beliefs.

If you believe that a player is being intentionally or persistently discriminatory, please report this to us via the Exec.

These rules are to ensure that everyone is free to enjoy the game without having to experience the kind of prejudice that might affect them in real life.


Advice

The following list contains things that people often forget about, but which are useful to bear in mind. It is your own fault if you forget to pay them heed.

  • Don't fall in the river.
  • If it is cold, remember to dress warmly.
  • Remember to bring drinking water, especially if it is hot.
  • Always wear appropriate footwear, especially if it is muddy.
  • Don't lie on the floor behind people. If you are lying down in the middle of a melee and feel unsafe, quickly move yourself to be out of the way.