Each and every weapon, shield, item of armour etc., brought into a Curious Pastimes event must be checked and passed as suitable by an official member of the Weapon Checking Team. If any item is deemed unsuitable then it will be removed to a secure area for the duration of the event. A receipt will be issued, and it can be reclaimed from Security on leaving the site at the end of the event.
It is important to remember that although an item may be constructed to the approved standards laid out below, after some time the materials will degrade through use to a greater or lesser degree, therefore rendering the weapon unsuitable. All standards must be met at the time of checking, but thereafter it is the player’s responsibility to ensure that the item continues to meet the required standards. If a player is unsure as to the suitability of an item, they should ask a member of the Weapon Checking Team to re-assess it.
All weapons etc. may be re-checked at any time during an event, and any that have fallen below the required standards will be removed as detailed above.
The decision of the Weapon Checking Team as to the suitability or otherwise of any item is final. However, players are entitled to a clear explanation as to why it has been deemed unsuitable. They may also ask for a second opinion, and have the item re-checked by another member of the Weapon Checking Team in the presence of the original member.
Please note that the standards below cannot cover all methods and materials, and it is accepted that equipment construction may differ in detail. However, all must meet the required safety standards in order for them to be considered suitable for use.
Please note the minimum length for a melee weapon is 7 inches (175mm), up to a maximum of 84 inches (2100mm).
Foam used should be a high-density closed cell type, such as Plastazote or Evazote. Pipe lagging and upholstery foam are not suitable, as they are low-density. Upholstery foam may be used as an outer layer of padding, but the core must still be padded with high-density foam to the required standard.
All foams must be securely attached to the core and other areas of the weapon using a suitable glue. Weapon cores should be made from fibreglass, or carbon fibre rod. They should be stiff, especially with regard to long weapons, which should not flex and ‘whip’ when swung. Where possible they should be round in cross-section, and the tip must be rounded to prevent it working through the foam. Axes, Polearms etc., must not use any rigid reinforcing of the blades or hooks and the like.
Weapon tips should be reinforced with two layers of inner-tube rubber, nylon cloth, leather or similar material. The reinforcing should extend at least 25mm above and below the core’s tip, and 12mm to either side.
All striking areas, including pommels, staff and spear ends etc., must have at least 12mm of high-density foam covering the core. On all other surfaces there must be at least 5mm of high-density foam over the core. On blades of short length (i.e. daggers) these thickness’ can be reduced to 10mm and 4mm respectively.
Any gems, stones etc. on a weapon must be restricted to non-striking areas only. They must be securely fastened to the weapon and must be backed with foam. No decoration should protrude more than 5mm from the surface and should have no sharp edges or points.
Note: Regardless of construction standards, any flail-like weapon will be deemed unsuitable due to the inherent dangers, and will be confiscated.
Please note the maximum size for a Shield is 60 inches (1500mm) in height by 36 inches ( 900) in width.
All rims must be padded to a depth of 12mm in high-density foam as described for Hand Weapons. They must also have no hard pointed protrusions. Low-density pipe lagging is not suitable, as this will tear and crush very easily, thus exposing the hard shield rim very quickly. All sharp edges (i.e. nuts and bolts) on the inside of the shield must also be padded to avoid injury.
All front faces of shields must have a 6mm thick layer of high-density foam padding. Also there should be no hard or sharp protrusions on them, such as bolt-heads. If there are any, they must be covered with a secure layer of high-density foam. Any bolts used in the construction must be securely fastened, and able to remain that way for the duration of the event. Wing nuts are not considered suitable.
All shields, other than those with a centre-boss, should have adequate methods of securing them to the user’s arm. The straps should be of sufficient strength and integrity so as to not break in combat, letting the shield flap about dangerously. Centre-boss shields should have a secure hand grip for this purpose.
Please note the maximum size of 18 inches (450mm) in the objects largest dimension. Whilst there is no real ‘minimum’, it is advisable that any protrusions are at least 2 inches (50mm) wide, i.e. broader than an eye socket! Second Skin/Tallows injection moulded throwing knices are not acceptable as throwing weapons.
If the weapon has any solid support, this must be padded on all sides by at least 12mm of high-density foam. The foam must be securely attached, with a suitable glue, and the support must not be able to be felt through the padding. Thrown weapons must not contain any hard, pointed protrusions, nor may any metal be used in their construction.
Ideally, thrown weapons should be entirely made of foam and latex. If this is so, the foam need not be high-density; upholstery foam would be acceptable.
Edges: All rigid or metal armour must have the edges rounded off or turned over for safety. Chainmail links must be properly closed so that they cannot tear weapons and people. Any item using ‘Tower Studs’ in its construction will be removed due to the high probability of these causing damage to a person or weapon.
All players wishing to use a projectile weapon at a Curious Pastimes event must either produce a genuine Bow Competency Certificate, or take and pass a Curious Pastimes Bow Competency Test. A member of the Weapon Checking Team will test all projectile weapons, which may entail the temporary removal of the weapons to a safe place until this can be undertaken.
All bows must have a draw weight of 13.6k (30lbs) or less, at the users draw length. Suitable bows are non-adjustable fibreglass, or ‘club’ bows, such as those sold by Quicks. If the bow has replaceable limbs, these must be fibreglass and not composite. No bow may have any mechanism for adjusting the draw weight once the limbs are attached. Bowstring nocks must be sound, showing no signs of cracking or splitting. It is important to note that no matter how a bow is constructed, if it is judged by the Weapon Checking Team to fire an arrow too hard and fast, then it will be disallowed.
All crossbows should have a draw weight of 13.6k (30lbs) or less at full draw. The only recognised commercial crossbow is an unmodified Barnet Phantom with the standard (not Magnum) prod.
All missiles, be they arrows or bolts, must have a suitable head constructed and attached for maximum safety. The impact surface of the head must be larger than an eye socket, (50mm [2 inches] is a good size), and must be securely attached to the shaft so that it cannot accidentally be removed. The arrow/bolt shaft must be blunt and not have a metal head. They should be made of POC, or a suitable alternative such as fibreglass shafts specifically made for archery. All shafts are to be properly flighted, and all arrows must have a proper nock securely attached. Aluminium shafts are not allowed, and we strongly advise the use of fibreglass, rather than wood shafts.
The head must be constructed to the following standard. It must contain a layer of strong material over the end of the shaft, so as to prevent it working its way through the foam. Thick leather, thick rubber etc. are suitable for this. The impact surface of the arrow/bolt must be padded with at least 25mm of high-density foam, measured from the tip of the shaft. This must be backed in such a way that it cannot become separated from the shaft. All arrow shafts should be a maximum of 736mm (29 inches) long, measured from the nock to the start of the head.
The head of the shaft must be circular in section, not square or octagonal. If arrows are not circular in section they do not fly straight enough.
It is recommended that all missiles are ‘over fletched’ (i.e. use larger than normal fletchings), as this increases stability and accuracy in flight by compensating for the over sized LRP arrow-head. Arrows will be judged unsafe if the Weapon Checker is unsure as to their suitability. They are potentially very dangerous, and if you make your own you should consider bringing a sample head for the Weapon Checkers to cut open and inspect.
This is generally banned at Curious Pastimes events as it all to easily leads to injury. Also you can never be sure if your opponent is willing or fit to be grappled. To grapple or subdue somebody you must outnumber them, at least three to one. You then indicate your intention and grab hold of the arms of your opponent. If you are on the receiving end of this you must yield with good grace. If you start unduly struggling then you are cheating. We accept the fact that some degree of physical contact is acceptable amongst players and if all involved are willing they may be slightly more raucous than tated above. However, be aware that some people do not want to be manhandled and if they say so you should stop immediately and utilise the above guidelines. Please use common sense whether you are the attacker or the victim.
Guns and Gunpowder
The sight of replica primitive firearms has become common at some events, and for some characters they are important role-playing props. However, do note that in game terms these have no effect whatsoever. Replica guns may not make any noise at all, and cap guns should not be used. It is important to remember that characters origins are from a mediaeval/fantasy background. The very concept of firearms and gunpowder are generally an anathema to all players.
Players must not use items which are not weapons in a serious combat (generally this means outside of a group of friends). As weapons we use are padded it is impossible for an individual to tell whether they have been hit by an in character arow and take a point of damage, or simply that they have been hit by a stuffed toy or similiar doing no damage.
We have drawn up these guidelines outlining what Curious Pastimes considers to be dangerous play. Thankfully it is a rare occurrence and often is the result of genuine ignorance rather than malice. We ask that you all be aware of how you conduct yourselves at an event, for everybody’s safety and enjoyment. If a Referee or Security judges a player to be acting in a manner likely to cause danger to themselves or others, they are within their rights to ask the player to ‘sit out’ of play for some time until they have understood what they have done to merit such action.
Charging or leaping at shield walls, with the intention to collide with your full body-weight, is considered dangerous to both the charger and the recipients and should never be attempted. If, as part of a combat, you charge a shield wall, you must pull up short of collision, utilising a similar concept as pulling a blow with a weapon. Parrying blows with any non-padded weapons, such as a bow, is highly dangerous and will result in the offending item being confiscated immediately. Further action may be taken at the Referee’s/Security’s discretion. Any form of physical combat, such as kicking, punching or martial arts, is expressly forbidden. Even with padded LRP weapons, you should never make a thrusting blow, especially with Polearms and other long weapons. The rigid core of the weapon will still provide enough force to injure your opponent. Do not persistently hit people on the head. This may be difficult when on either side of a large shield wall, but you must still be very careful of actually injuring another player. Engaging in combat when drunk is exceedingly dangerous and will not be tolerated. If you are deemed to be drunk by either a Referee or Security, you will be asked not to get involved in combat until sober. Furtheraction may be taken against you by Curious Pastimes. Above all remember to pull your blows. This is achieved by stopping your weapon swing before you contact your opponent. The resulting tap from your weapon is sufficient to register a hit without physically hurting some one. If you are new to LRP or are unsure of this then please find a Referee for some basic weapon training.
Unfortunately there are still those people who bend or ignore rules when it suits them. Not only does this unbalance play but also it severely irritates players who attempt to play fairly. Players who are caught cheating will have this pointed out to them by the referee, and just what it is they are doing wrong. Players may be asked to sit out of the action for a while as with dangerous play.
Players should also be aware that referees are specifically instructed to inquire of a player anything they do not think is correct, even if the player then proves to be correct. Players should not see this as a slight upon them but as part of the constant monitoring referees have to do. Also be aware that an individual referee does not know of everything that is going on at an event.
Persistent cheats soon come to our attention. This will result in the player in question being invited to discuss the issue with a game referee. Usually this is enough to set matters straight.
If the player then continues to cheat then their right to play that character will be removed from them and they will be asked to generate a new character with basic skills and equipment.