The Different Types Of LARP Weapons

There are different resolution systems in LARP. For example, some include full-contact while others are free from combat and use other mechanics to simulate combat, while lastly some LARP events can only be played out entirely in character.

Full-contact combat is only used in Boffer and Practical LARPs. Some games are challenging and do not allow the player to touch the target. Others require completing small tasks that challenge one’s strength, intelligence, and agility.

A LARP weapon(foam weapon), also known as a boffer, padded weapon, or latex weapon, is a padded mock weapon used for simulated handheld combat. Such weapons are used in simulated battles called battle gaming and in some live action role-playing games (LARPs).


Famous Rapiers

What is Larping?

LARPing is when a group of people get together and play make believe or dress up like their favorite character from a particular culture such as medieval Europe.

That being said, LARPing can take many forms, including simulating a battle between two teams as if they were playing the role of French and British citizens. However, these scenarios usually don’t emulate real historical events.

LARPing is not the same as reenactments that attempt to recreate historical events. Larpers tend to dress up like elves, orcs, and other fantasy characters from plays, TV shows and movies. In order to play in games, they will need their larping weapons which can include things like swords, daggers or axes along with traditional medieval weapons.

Larping is a pretend form of role playing – participants dress up and make decisions to act as creatures or people other than themselves, often for the purpose of completing quests, defending something, or battling enemies.

For large larping events, hundreds of players form armies that fight with foam weapons like fake axes and swords.

Difference Between LARP and toy weapons and armours

Many of the companies we sell must endure realistic combat circumstances. The types of forces applied to the products are comparable to those put on body armor utilized in full-contact sports.The components required to create stuff that can withstand such abuse are quite limited and costly in the first place. Many of the brands we provide are individually produced in Europe or Canada by employees who receive a living wage.

The LARP weapons are frequently utilized by film and theatre production companies instead of real guns. They must also appear real from a distance without posing a danger to the players if they are misused.

Larp Combat Types

Practical LARPs

  • Your character is capable of doing everything that YOU are capable of.
  • The lack of a magic solution is the most significant challenge parents face when traveling with kids.
  • Recreational activities including world historical reenactments such as Pennsic may be considered live action role-playing.
  • Well-suited for combatants who don’t mind getting bruises.
  • Because of the high physical demand and risk of injury, LARPing is not as accessible to everyone.

Story-driven LARP (No combat)

  • No combat games are often rules-free, except for the “no touching” rule.
  • The primary focus is the advancement of the story, told by the narrator.
  • No combat LARPs are approachable by anyone. No matter what. It’s a very imaginative way of LARPing, therefore you are not restricted by your own physical form.
  • The lack of combat may be a deal-breaker for those who seek the thrill of fighting.

Boffer LARPs

  • Demonstrative boffer weapons allow weapon strikes to be simulated.
  • When hit points are used to calculate damage, the result of a successful attack is determined by rolling larger than or equal to the target’s hit point score.
  • There are various clubs that range from non-combat to low combat and high combat.
  • In the US, many people use a variety of boffer weapons. In Europe, one might observe more latex/foam weapons like these being used to play games.

Tabletop-style LARPs

  • LARPs which draw inspiration for gameplay and rules from a tabletop RPG.
  • Despite the fact that there might be rules against touching, combat is still simulated.
  • LARP’s that are not Mind’s Eye Theater use Rock, Paper Scissors to randomly determine the outcome of actions.
  • Because the game has less focus on combat and more focus on roleplaying, it is accessible to anyone.

What and how are LARP weapons used

Re-enactors of live action role play choose soft replica weapons made out of foam that are commonly used for LARP. These role playing games take place in imaginary worlds such as classic fantasy to steampunk, science fiction to zombie apocalypse and the player takes on a character with various unique skills which they defend themselves with their weapon against enemies.

Storing weapons in your rooms or car at conventions is a great way to make them more realistic. The foam-crafted products available are functional and safe to carry while not impacting the authenticity of your character. At our armory, you will find close combat weapons such as swords, axes and daggers, shields, ranged weapons like bows and arrows & padded projectiles along with much more.

The types of weapons used in live action role playing will depend on the game’s theme. Typically, medieval-themed games will use a variety of fantasy weapons such as swords, axes, daggers, short swords and so on. There are exceptions: For example some LARP groups focus on historical accuracy and therefore eschew modern weaponry like guns or even basic hand tools.

While live action role playing does involve real steel swords, people are not going out there with those and chopping each other’s heads off because that would of course be ridiculous. Live action role play weapons instead tend to be made out of foam. Live action role playing weapons used to be made more or less out of tape, but were not very durable and came apart easily – which is why they were eventually replaced by ones made from foam.

In addition, the modern design of foam weapons ensures that they are sturdy and durable. In the next section, we are going to take a look at how live action role playing weapons are made.

Types of LARP Weapons

There are four types of LARP style, two of which allow real combat between players. In order to understand the combat, we must know what weapons are permitted.

For example, in SCA’s armored combat, many people prefer using rattan weapons. Rattan is a type of grass that’s used to produce very flexible and light weapons, much like bamboo (and foam boffer weapons). These types of rattan weapons are dangerous because they don’t splinter if broken.

However, in rapier combat, weapons are padded with rubber and foam to prevent them from cutting or penetrating. They come in many different forms, ranging from daggers to large two-handed swords. Players who engage in rapier combat are required to wear protective armor all over.

If you’re not attending a reenactment like SCA, your larping experience might be limited to plastic and foam weapons.

Foam Boffers

  • A safe weapon simulator.
  • The majority of the weapon is made out of foam.
  • Incredibly lightweight.
  • Boffer weapons are not only extremely safe, but they are also created with unrealistic materials and construction.

Regular Boffers

  • PVC pipe with padding is typically used to make regular boffers. Filling the core of the PVC pipe with wood makes a heavier variation called “boffer.”
  • Without a wooden core, boffer weapons may be too heavy to wield naturally or realistically.
  • If you get hit hard, there is a good chance that you will bruise.

Mechanic weapon

  • Popular kids’ toys are airsoft guns, nerf guns and laser tag.
  • LARP weapons that are sharp or have the potential to be sharp (e.g., a boffer LARP sword) call for eye protection, regardless of age and/or level of experience in either real or faux combat.
  • It is difficult to register a hit when you are wearing clothing as they absorb the force of strikes pretty easily.
  • When shooters make a successful hit, they will typically shout out to inform the opposing team. They may say things like “you over there” or “you in green.”

Magic spells

  • In order to simulate a projecting fireball, larpers use bean bags, ping-pong balls or hacky sacks.
  • The mage shouts whatever spell he is firing as he throws the item on his target.
  • The ‘lightning bolt dude’ is known on the internet for that.
  • It is challenging to describe how these magic systems work because every LARP has a variety of ways they deal with magic.

Fighting Styles and Hit-Systems

When a game doesn’t have enough judges/marshals who can chaperon fights, players are trusted to honor the fighting system and acknowledge when they’ve been hit.

The following are the different systems of costuming play for LARPs that I have come across over the years.

Larp combat guidelines

  • Lightest Touch – To deliver a soft hit, tap the peg with your mallet. If you think that you’ve been hit, you can call a “miss” until your opponent acknowledges it and taps their own peg. Avoiding injury as well as cooperating with each other leads to mutual success in this game.
  • Judge Calls Blows – A “duel” is a fight or confrontation between two parties. Each party will compete against one another with an overseeing judge acting as referee. The number of blows will be counted by the referee.
  • Sufficient force – To successfully hit your opponent with a blow, it must be powerful enough to force him or her back.
  • Counting specific blows – When a certain number of strikes land on the same body part, that body part is incapacitated. Some more vital parts to your health are countable when struck, but losing a foot, hand or toe may not be an instant kill.
  • Long-range weapon specials – When hit, an arrow may cause a body part to be disabled for 15-20 seconds. This can make it easier to “kite” a player across the battlefield.

To maintain the sense of realism, all games begin each match with a predetermined amount of hit-points. A low starting value forces players to execute their moves carefully and can devastate players when losing one hit knocks them out completely or even worse incapacitates a body part.

How Weapons are Used

The force and speed of a player’s strikes are regulated by the system and its rules. Practical and boffer LARPs use weapons to simulate/replicate combat, like in other sports where equipment is used for safety purposes.

  • Full force: Players are given Boffer weapons with the agreement they use them responsibly. These types of weapons can leave bruises, and steel ones can be lethal and all combat is very real life-like; however, we take safety very seriously so injuries should not occur at any point in time.<br>
  • Full/Half/1/3 Speed: When wielding a weapon, one must attack slowly and with less force to avoid injury. Wielding a weapon at normal speed may result in some very dramatic one-on-one duels. The occasional injury may still happen.
  • Reduced force at 100% speed: Players must play at normal speed but with less force because they are not allowed to use too much strength when using a heavy weapon.

Any part of the body that is considered sensitive (such as the face) are not counted if they’re hit.

LARP Weapon Rules

Rules for LARPs are different among different LARP events. It is difficult to say how YOUR event deals with weapons because rules vary greatly from one LARP to another.

  • Weapons with soft tips should never be rested against the ground.
  • Do not let go of your weapon. If you have incapacitated both of your opponent’s arms, hold the weapon in a way that shows you are unable to use it.
  • Bows with a draw weight of no more than 25-35lbs at 28″ draw length should be used.
  • A weapon needs to be padded so heavily that an inspector can tell by sight. The inspection will happen before a game starts.
  • On top of the shield, you should also place a buffer around it like a pad. Unfortunately, I attended several LARPs where they ignored this step.
  • Replace the tip of an arrow with a padded construction to ensure the safety of those around you.
  • Here is a list of the best foam swords for LARPing.
  • LD45
  • Camping mats can solve your problem if you aren’t very strict about what the game requires.
  • Closed cell foam
  • Wielding a two-handed sword with one hand is impossible because if one hand is incapacitated, the sword cannot be used.
  • It is recommended to hold the weapons by the handle.
  • Avoid targeting sensitive areas such as the head, groin, neck or chest.
  • If a hit lands in any of the areas mentioned above, it does not affect your HP.
  • Do not use the weapons to deflect arrows; this may ricochet onto nearby players.
  • While the damage is mitigated by some games, usually if an ally hits you then you still take a percentage of damage.
  • A player should only get credit for being hit if the ball lands on bare skin.

What is the most effective weapon in Larp?

  1. Short spear and big shield combo

  2. 2-handed spear

  3. Well balanced and very large (long) 2-handed greatsword

A small 50-cm round shield can be extremely powerful, so nobody would stand a chance against you with a large and long one.

These ultra-lightweight armors are designed not to be sturdy against LARP weapons but they can bear the brunt of most damage.

Even better, every LARP player will tell you that range is the best option.

To maximize your chances of a productive hunt, it is best to carry something that does not require you to be very close to an animal. Because animals can much more easily strike you if you get too close, it is advisable to use tools like spears when hunting so that distance between prey and hunter remains constant. You must also know where a nearby shelter is in case the animal overwhelms you. At this point, thrusting the spear into the predator may prove useful in deterring or killing them before they have time to injure you further. When fighting, the enemy will often try to block or parry your attack, so feinting is important. Feints can work on an enemy regardless of whether you strike their top half or lower half.

LARP swords are very lightweight so it is no problem to carry a huge sword. However, many people don’t balance them properly – you need to put something heavy like a screw cap as the pommel, so it doesn’t stick out. Otherwise the sword will be very unwieldly and behave like a baseball bat.

If you balance your training, rest and food properly however you can achieve awesome results.

The center of mass is near the handle, so you can swing it around very quickly and do faint attacks that can be difficult to track.

Creative fighters with this weapon pair tend to beat spears despite the advantage of range that spears have. However, soldiers receive better training and punish mistakes by spearmen during battle through strikes while closing in on an enemy.

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