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Here you can find many of the most frequently asked questions, if you cannot find a answer here please contact us at or in our discord!


What is a LARP?

A Live Action Role-Playing game (LARP) is a form of role-playing game where the participants physically portray their characters.[1] The players pursue goals within a fictional setting represented by real-world environments while interacting with each other in character. The outcome of player actions may be mediated by game rules or determined by consensus among players. Event arrangers called gamemasters decide the setting and rules to be used and facilitate play.

The first LARPs were run in the late 1970s, inspired by tabletop role-playing games and genre fiction. The activity spread internationally during the 1980s and has diversified into a wide variety of styles. Play may be very game-like or may be more concerned with dramatic or artistic expression. Events can also be designed to achieve educational or political goals. The fictional genres used vary greatly, from realistic modern or historical settings to fantastic or futuristic eras. Production values are sometimes minimal, but can involve elaborate venues and costumes. LARPs range in size from small private events lasting a few hours, to large public events with thousands of players lasting for days.

How is Combat handled? 
Combat is similar to a sport, in which you swing specially constructed padded swords and other weapons at your opponent, while trying to avoid being struck by them. It is not a particularly “Realistic” simulation of sword fighting, but it is fun, safe, exciting, and easy to get into. 

So is it like Martial Arts? 
Not really. It bears little resemblance to things like Kick boxing. Since the objective is NOT to hurt (or even bruise) your opponent, real life combat skills are not as helpful as they would be in a real fight. However, many of the principles of the martial arts apply, and anyone trained in Martial arts should have no problem mastering LARP combat.

​Does it hurt?  
When conducted properly, no. The weapons used are very safe, but they can sting or bruise when used with too much force which is why Archon combat is lightest touch based. This means when striking with your weapon or being struck it should hit with only enough force to be felt, not to hurt someone. Hits to the head and other vulnerable areas are not allowed. Anyone causing another player pain is breaking the rules, and will be in big trouble if the problem persists. Poorly constructed weapons can also be a problem which is why Archon requires all weapons to be tested before they are allowed to be used by a weapons marshal. Some people have encountered LARP combat with heavy swords poorly padded with too much duct tape, used with too much force, and found it painful and intimidating. Archon combat strives to avoid this. Even the most delicate person should be able to participate in combat in (relative) comfort. ​​​​

How do you know when you’re dead?
Archon uses a “Body” system. For example, a certain character might have 5 Body Points. They could be struck with a weapon or spell for 5 damage before being taken out. If they were hit by something that did 3 points of damage, they would subtract this from their total, and have 2 body left.

I’m no Arnold Schwarzenegger or Bruce Lee. Do I still stand a chance in combat?
Absolutely. LARP combat is a sport, and like any sport, there are those who are very good at it. However, it is a sport that is easy to become competent in and even excel at without being the most physically gifted person. A few events of practice are enough to enable most people to hold their own. The weapons are light enough for anyone to use, so you don’t have to build up strength, as you would have to in order to wield a real sword. Since you aren’t really trying to hurt people, large folk can actually be at a disadvantage, since they present a larger target, and get no benefit from their generally greater strength. Teamwork and tactics are often more important than raw skill and fitness.

This isn’t a movie where extras attack the heroes one at a time to be conveniently slaughtered, leaving themselves wide open. Two fighters working together can defeat most single foes, and anyone can be defeated by a well-placed attack from behind.

Is combat the only thing going on?
Not at all. Combat is exciting, and plays a large role, but an equal emphasis is placed on roleplaying characters, costumes, sets, special effects, the “story” of the game, challenges of physical skill (such as weaving through a tunnel system), or mental ability (solving puzzles), entertainment and feasts.

​What about Magic?
Magic is simulated in a variety of ways. Some spells work automatically- the person points at you, and says the effect of the spell. Most, though, require that the magician throw a “spell packet”, a birdseed bean bag (slightly less than hacky sack sized), at you. If it misses, the spell fails, if it strikes you then you take the effect of the spell good or bad.

Do I have to wear a costume?
Yes- you wouldn't want someone in khakis and a band t-shirt wandering through a "Star Wars" movie set, would you? However, costumes can generally be borrowed from the game if need be, we have hundreds of different pieces of costuming and are happy to loan you some until you have your own.

What are “PCs” and “NPCs”?
PC stands for “Player Character”. A person who participates as a PC plays a single character for an entire event- a hero or heroine of the story. The player creates a “Character”, who has various skills and abilities defined in the rules. Such characters are the central focus of the story, and the action revolves around them. Think of them as the main characters of a movie. As time passes, Player characters progress and gain power and experience. 

NPCs are “Non-Player Characters”- the extras, crew and cast of the game. During an event, an NPC will play many roles, often enemies of the PCs. Thus in a fantasy game they might be peasants, marauding brigands, wise sages, winsome maidens, foppish rakes, or hideous monsters. 

These NPC parts are assigned by the game Staff, the people who actually organize the event, and NPCs must play the part assigned as best they can, until it is time to receive a new one.

What’s the difference between Archon and a Renaissance Faire?
A Renaissance Faire is a large production, which most people go to watch. An extreme roleplaying event is generally much smaller and there are no spectators- everyone is involved in the action. Another difference is that Renaissance Faires stage choreographed battles between professionals, often using steel weapons, while LARP combat is unchoreographed, with NO steel weapons allowed. Everyone at a LARP is “in game”, and you are a direct participant in the action, not a spectator. You don’t watch the goodly knight thwart the evil sheriff- you do it yourself, or try to anyway. There is no script, so success or failure depends on your skill, cunning, teamwork, and luck. There also aren’t large numbers of people trying to sell you stuff.

So there’s an ongoing story?
Absolutely. The “Player Characters” continue from event to event, learning more about their world, learning new skills, gaining new abilities, encountering new and old friends and enemies, and generally living a fantasy adventure.

How does Archon compare with the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA)?
Though they often appeal to the same sort of people, the experiences are very different. The main differences are twofold: 

First, LARP combat is much less demanding, and consequently, not as realistic as that of the SCA. On the plus side, that means you can do a lot more of it. 

Second, in an Extreme Roleplaying LARP you are continuously “in character”. The goal is to create as complete a world of sight, sound, touch and even taste as possible. There is also an ongoing story- things happen to the PC s, events transpire, choices are made. The SCA on the other hand, works to recreate historical arts and situations rather than a fantasy world.

What does this have to do with vampires? 
Almost nothing. “World of Darkness” or “Vampire LARP” is a different, related hobby. Each has its own merits, but they have relatively little in common beyond the idea of role playing. There certainly are Vampires in Archon, but they exist as foes, monsters or maybe even allies...

What does it actually LOOK like?
Costuming and effects could be compared to a “B grade” movie- and they are getting better all the time. At Archon, all inhabitants, monsters, and other creatures wear costumes, often quite elaborate. A variety of masks and makeup are used to simulate non-human beings. Clothing is worn that is appropriate to a fantasy world. The Village where the game takes place is specially constructed as a “set” to appear as a fortified settlement from the past. Other “sets” are used for ruins and tunnels. Music, fog machines, light, and other “special effects” are also sometimes used.

Who can play?
Anyone 10 years of age or older who can follow the rules, especially the core safety rules, may play. You may be asked to present some proof of age. Persons under 18 years old also need parent’s consent and those 13 and under will need an adult to accompany them.

What are the benefits of LARP?
Live Action Roleplaying is an exciting and demanding activity that often brings great personal growth. The athletic challenge of sword fighting helps build fitness and often appeals to young people who don’t enjoy traditional sports.

Success requires practice, focus, and discipline, much like a traditional martial art. Most live action roleplaying adventures require teamwork to overcome a variety of challenges, not unlike “Outward Bound” activities.

There is also a great opportunity for social growth, as people of a variety of ages and backgrounds come together in a way that is all too rare today. The need to create one’s costume and gear is a way to exercise artistic talents and craft skills. Every participant is valued for their contributions regardless of their age. 

Success in a difficult battle, solving a complex puzzle, or leading others to victory are great self-esteem builders. Unlike computer gaming, live action roleplaying takes place outdoors, has physical, social, and emotional benefits computers cannot provide.

Are there safety concerns?
Like any contact sport, there are some risks associated with live action role playing. Injuries are rare, but they do sometimes occur though the worst injury that has ever happened in over 20 years of Archon has been a twisted ankle.

The padded swords, properly constructed, are extremely safe. If your child trains at home, you should be sure that they are following Archon safety standards for sword construction and for sparring. No attacks to the head, no body contact, no pushing, wrestling, punching or kicking, no “baseball bat” type swings, and no more than 3 swings before a break. Sparring should take place on a level surface free from obstacles. Following these rules will help keep your child safe as well as ensuring that they properly prepared for Archon events.​

Still have questions?
Join our discord!

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