I fought some LARPers tonight
Not ninjas. Like, actual straight-up live-action DND type LARPers.
After studying Chinese at with one of my classmates, as I was riding my velocipede home, I saw a couple guys with foam bats wearing costumes and wacking eachother. I assumed it was some type of SCA thing, maybe even a HEMA group. I approached them, saying I used to fence with a Society for Creative Anachronism group.
As it turns out, they were part of a live-action roleplaying group. Daggersomething. It's been around since the 1970's, I was told. But unlike other LARP groups, they "only do combat." Also, unlike other LARPs, they "don't have hit points or anything. It's all about skill." I'm not sure how that effected my opinion of them. Keep in mind, I play dungeons and dragons in it's more traditional narrated form, so I'm limited in how judgemental of them I can be.
I asked if I could fence with them a bit, and they obliged me. I had the basics of their rules explained to me - one hit to the trunk, or two hits to the limbs constitutes a "kill" and ends the match. If you are struck in an arm, you have to put that arm behind your back; if you're struck in the leg, you have to sit or kneel on the ground (these are basically the same rules as SCA fencing, as I recall). For reasons beyond my understanding, a strike to the foot or the hand does not count.
Then we got to the sillier rules. First of all, no strikes the head, at all. These were extremely wide, soft foam bats, and a strike to the head isn't going to hurt anyone. If you're really that worried about it's five inch wide tip lancing your eyeball, wear some racketball goggles or something.
Second, armor. One guy was wearing a leather pauldron and cuirass - the type they sell at renaissance fairs - which apparently protected him from my swings. A swing to an armored location is counted, but a stab is not. Again, these are for reasons beyond my understanding. Given that there were no head shots, this limited my strategy to ducking low and whacking him in the calf, or aiming for his clavicle and accidentally hitting him in the head.
They were also boasting about how much better they were than SCA fighters, and how they totallly dominate SCA guys. I wasn't sure if they were referring to the fencers or the heavy weapons guys, but this made me giggle. At least in the SCA I was allowed to jab people in the head, and forking over 300 dollars for a suit of leather armor at the Michigan Ren Fest doesn't allow to take away scoring zones in my matches.
I'm really not sure what lessons I learned from this, other than that taking out head shots screws up sparring with weaponry at least as much as it does unarmed combat. But I figure that with how much we talk about LARPing in reference to martial arts, it would be good to report on a martial encounter with some straight-up LARPers.
Also, unlike most martial arts LARPers, these guys actually sparred and trained with aliveness. Maybe not the most effective ruleset, but it was sparring.
The ruleset affects how "alive" things can get. Given some of the "rules" these guys use, they wouldn't last a minute against a decent SCA fighter, a n00b kendo artist or kalista. Heh, My SCA crew would chew up and spit those dweebs out. Heavy SCA combat owns that lame-ass LARP ****.
Originally Posted by TheMightyMcClaw
Originally Posted by ggboxer
Did you say these guys were doing it on their front lawn? That oughta be embarrassing.
I'm seldom lost for words. And yet, here I am. Congratulations.
Was Zlungar The-Button-Masher there? I hate that bastard. He "borrowed" my +3 Leather Cuirass of You-Can't-Jab-Me-But-Slice-Me-Ha-Ha and never gave it back... I hope you kicked his arse (Even though I get a better +1D6 Metal Groin Protector of Jiks-Seks-To-The-Nut-Sack-Don't-Work-Only-Stealing-The-Peach which has come to be INCREDIBLY helpful against those evil Ball-Hunting Zombies of Dwarfthlia)
Oh, and just so I'm not a total hypocrit: I do D&D too, but like the OP, just the talky-talky I-don't-go-out-and-spend-$$$-on-fantasy-land-costumes (I need to save the cash for my Snow Trooper Costume for Star Wars Cons and the 501st ;) )
So how would this compare technically to an SCA combat group? Wikipedia wasn't too enlightneing (maybe I wasn't looking very hard) but it suggested SCA uses rattan sticks, which gives me this odd mental image of a gathering Dog Brothers style of guys dressed in Reneissance gear...
To whit, SCA = full contact?
These guys = Silly bastards?
SCA is full contact but you MUST wear armor, Dagohir, which is what these guys were from,use padded weapons so you don't have to purchase armor.
Lets put it in perspective a little. SCA isn't full contact anywhere on the body, you cannot hit one inch above the knees and down towards the feet and in Dagohir you can't hit to the head. Both are nods at safety.
If you are wondering, yes you can hurt someone by hitting them in the head with those silly "foam" bats. That is why it is not allowed. I have seen broken noses, concussions and detached retnas all from being hit with the "foam" bats.
As to skill, the average heavy weapons fighter in SCA is better than all but the very best in a padded weapons group. Just for reference I have been fighting in Darkon, another padded weapons LARP, since 1989 and the SCA since 1992.
Just a note on armor, Armor in Dagohir "takes" 1 hit. So you would needed to have swung at his torso twice to "kill" him. Also they were talking about the heavy fighters in SCA not you wire wigglers ;).
Last edited by radboy; 9/17/2007 6:40am at .
what the hell is the op all about???
i've read it twice but have no idea...
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO