SWATT represents violent situations through simulated combat, in which the participants use specially made “LARP-safe” weapon props to enact striking and parrying blows. Each player is required to undergo a brief (5-10 minutes) safety training before they can enter play.

Combat is generally heroic - in most cases it will be non-lethal, and fights will generally last from a few tens of seconds to several minutes for certain large linear encounters. Most characters (and monsters) will be capable of sustaining several hits before being negatively affected. Once combat is over, binding of wounds and healing of damage is fairly accessible.

OOC Non-Combatants

Some players may OOC desire to avoid taking place in simulated combat situations. In these cases, it is the player's responsibility to make this fact known to other players, but the refs will be willing to help by announcing this at the start of a session. We anticipate it should normally be possible for a non-combatant player to avoid combat, but cannot guarantee this 100% of the time and we will not (for example) withold an attack on the bar because in odd situations such as all the combat characters deciding to go out and leave it undefended.

Non-comatant players should actively endeavour to avoid combats, but if they feel they may become part of a nearby scuffle they should raise their hand straight up in the air above their head and shout “non-combatant!” if they wish. This indicates that they are non-combatant. Under no circumstances should you strike even a pulled blow or target any ranged attacks at such a player. However, you may tell this player “I am incapacitating your character” at which point they must roleplay falling unconscious with no further resistance.

Non-combatant characters should still have at least a passing familiarity with the other rules in this section, so that they can understand what is going on during and after combat.

Landing a blow

There are several important safety features to understand when striking a blow with a weapon prop. These props are designed to avoid causing real damage to people, but only when used properly. The most important thing to understand is that these weapons must never be used in a “stabbing” motion. This may cause the solid core to break through the weapon's foam layer and stick into another player. Blows should always be made in a “slashing” fashion. This will be demonstrated to you before you begin to play.

The next most important thing to remember is that weapon blows must be “pulled”. An unpulled blow can hurt and even injure your target. The idea behind pulling blows is to allow you to fight at full speed, without hitting hard. A pulled blow should be aimed as if to impact about half an inch before it really meets the other player, so that you are not really striking them but they are tapped by the residual momentum of the prop. Pulling blows will be demonstrated to you before you enter play. If at any stage you feel that another player is hitting too hard, please shout “Too Hard!” to let them know to put a bit more pull into their blows. Please also remember that environmental conditions can affect the hardness of weapons and it is easier to over-hit on a cold day.

LARP weapons are generally weilded at whatever speed the user is comfortable with, but we ask that players do not take the piss, and remember that it is easy to get carried away and go to fast with short weapons, and all weapons will generally need to be swung through some distance rather than quickly bounced repeatedly off an enemy. This is known as “machine gunning” and should be avoided. If the refs spot you doing this they will point it out to you. If you persist in doing this it will be considered cheating and you will be asked to stop playing. Some people like to take a guideline of calling damage no more than once per second as a good rule for realistic combat. If you are having difficulty making your calls in a clear fashion (Singa-Singa-Singa-Singa / Dubba-Dubba-Dubba-Dubba) you are landing blows too quickly.

Calling damage

Each time you land a blow upon an opponent, you should “call damage”, which means to give the other player or crew member an idea what kind of damage you are doing and any special effects they should take, as codified in the System Calls. For example, most characters are capable of calling HALF with any LARP-safe weapon that has been approved for use. This means if they can strike an opponent with an appropriately “pulled” blow, they may say “Half!” This indicates to the other person that they should take half a point of damage. If you try to strike someone but you miss or they parry the blow, you should avoid making a damage call.

There are several means for calling damage on a character or a monster without physically striking them; usually through the means of magic or miracles. These methods usually require a vocal, ie. a set of words which need to be spoken before the effect can take place. This vocal usually reveals the power being call on to create the effect. When calling damage at range in this way, it is important that you gain the attention of your target, otherwise they may not realise that they should take the damage or effect.

Eg. “I call on the power of plane of fire to incinerate the foe – Stephen! RED DOUBLE!”

The vocal is in-character and can always be understood by everyone around, no matter whether or not they speak the language the caster uses. The second part (Stephen! RED DOUBLE!) is out of character, ie. the character casting the spell is not really saying this part. It is not generally possible for other characters standing around to tell exactly how much damage was done by a spell, but they can usually get the impression of, eg. the size of the fireball that was created.

If you call ranged damage at someone and they don't seem to notice, feel free to try to get their attention again and repeat the call without the vocal. If they still don't hear you it is probably better to pick a new target and consider the resources you would have spent on that spell or miracle not to have been used.

It is everybody's responsibility to listen for damage and effects called on them during combat, even ranged damage which isn't accompanied by a weapon blow. It quickly becomes obvious if someone is deliberately not taking calls. This will be considered cheating in all cases where it arises, without exception.

When you take damage from a weapon blow or at range, you are required to take the call immediately. If you didn't hear or understand a call, try to use your best judgement, and if appropriate ask the person who made it to repeat it. You should remember that even small injuries from real weapons would hurt, and are strongly encouraged to roleplay accordingly during and after combat.

Weapon Types

Weapons are broadly divided into two categories: sharp and blunt. Whether a weapon is sharp or blunt makes no difference about 90% of the time, the only exceptions are when using the Backstab skill in subterfuge and certain spells which effect only sharp or blunt weapons respectively. In all cases, it is the weapon-user's responsibility to know whether their weapon is sharp or blunt; you will never be required to identify a weapon you are struck with as sharp or blunt! The criteria for which category a weapon belongs to is qualitative, and pretty much as it sounds. Daggers, swords, spears and axes are all sharps. Hammers, daggers, coshes and maces are blunts.

In addition, weapons are divided by length. Longer weapons of course give the weilder more reach, but shorter weapons can be more manoeuverable and allow you to use a shield, for example. Certain spells will only target weapons of particular lengths, and certain skills can only be used with weapons of a particular length. Regardless of skill, all characters can call HALF with all weapons unless they are frail or a kender, who are only capable of using weapons of up to 36'' in length. They may not call less than HALF unless they have taken the duelling skill in the general skills package.

All weapon phys-reps must be weapons checked before being brought into play for the first time, and should be regularly checked thereafter to ensure they have not become damaged.

Bows and Thrown Weapons

This section contains information about safety and taking damage from bows. You should read it even if you are not planning on using a bow yourself.

You require a skill to effectively use thrown weapons. Thrown weapons may include (LARP-safe!) rocks, knives, or anything else that is clearly intended to cause harm. You cannot call damage from pies, fish, books, organs, etc. even if they are thrown safe.

Bows and crossbows may be used with the appropriate skill. The maximum poundage for a bow in SWATT is 28'' at full draw. Bows must be checked before being brought into play, and before using a bow in play you must first pass an OOC bow safety test, as bows are the most dangerous of LARP weapons to use.

If you are hit by an arrow, you must take the associated call, and in addition you *always* take a STRIKEDOWN when hit with an arrow (or call RESIST if you have the ability to resist the call.) In general, this STRIKEDOWN will not feature in the damage call, it is implicit in the fact that you have been hit by an arrow.

When firing an arrow, please be particularly careful to avoid aiming for the head of the groin. Try to shoot fairly straight - do not shoot arrows upward at 45 degrees or more, as the descending arrow may fall unpredictably and tends to fall with the non-LARP-safe end downward. Do not try to parry an arrow with a sword or other weapon (shield are fine.) Attempting to parry an arrow in flight may cause it to spin around and cause injury with the non-LARP-safe end.

Body Hits

In SWATT, the body is divided into six separate locations: Torso, Head, and 4 Limbs. Each location has a certain number of “Hit Points” determined by your character's race and skills. Each location has the same maximum number of hit points. Once a location reaches zero hit points, it becomes unuseable and starts bleeding. If this happens to an arm, you must drop anything you are carrying in that arm (or put down anything fragile you might be carrying,) and keep it losely by your side until it is treated. If a leg is brought to zero hit points you may not use it. You may kneel, supporting yourself on your other leg, and you may slowly drag the leg as you move along at slower than a walking pace. Please do not “hop”, as this is unrealistic and looks very silly. If the torso or head reaches zero hit points, you fall unconscious, and will die shortly unless healed or treated.

While you are unconscious, you may not move or make noise; you may also not consider any information you hear while unconscious to be known to your character, though those people roleplaying around an unconscious character are asked to be considerate about this. You will become conscious again in five minutes time if you have not bled to death or been healed above zero hitpoints during that time. After this period you will still have zero hitpoints on the location in question and will immediately fall unconscious again if this location takes a HALF or more. While your torso or head is on zero hitpoints, you may not use any skills, run, or call any damage, though you may cry for help and consume alchemicals.

It is not possible for a location to reach negative hitpoints, and any blows landed after the target has started bleeding have no further mechanical effect unless they are part of an execute call.

Please note that other characters cannot tell how many hit points a location has, or your maximum number of hitpoints, unless they have a skill explicitly allowing them to do so. It is at your discretion how you roleplay your injuries and anything you want to tell anyone about their superficial nature. If you think your character has gained a particularly impressive or distinctive injury, we heartily encourage you to phys-rep this if you wish it to be visible in play.

Subdual Damage

Subdual damage is damage that is struck without lethal intent and will not start a character or monster bleeding. You require a skill to call subdual damage. Subdual damage heals five minutes after it is taken, unless real damage was applied after this, in which case it becomes permanent. For example:

A wandering bogol salesman with 4 hits-per-location is set upon by knaves in the Sussex Arms. On his torso, he takes a SUBDUE SINGLE from Brad the Watchman, a SINGLE from Justin the cowardly priest, and then two more SUBDUE SINGLEs from Brad. He falls unconscious, but does not start bleeding as he was knocked out by subdual damage. The miscreants of the Sussex Arms spend five minutes standing around him, discussing whether that was really necessary. At this time, the bogol begins to come around. He has healed the last two points of subdual damage, but has not healed the SINGLE dealt to him by Justin nor the SUBDUE SINGLE dealt to him before that.

Further example:

While the Bogol lies unconscious on the floor, Oscar the Honest Alchemist sneakily slides up and deals a HALF to its torso without anybody noticing. The Bogol will now not regain any hit-points, and begins bleeding to death.


Some skills give you the ability to call DODGE to negate a blow, and some races have a natural ability to call dodge. Dodge refreshes in 5 minutes / per encounter. You may only call DODGE against melee weapon blows or arrow shots, not against magic or miracles doing direct damage, nor against MASS or WIDE calls. You cannot DODGE through calls. You must call DODGE during the first blows possible in a fight - eg. if you can call DODGE once, you may call this on the first non-THROUGH weapon blow or arrow shot that lands on you in a fight. If you fail to make the call on this blow your DODGE it is wasted, you cannot use it later in the same encounter. If you can call DODGE twice, you may call this on the first and second non-THROUGH weapon blows or arrow shots that land on you in a fight, and so on.


All characters may wear armour, but the amount that can be usefully worn depends on that character's race and skills. In general, warriors can wear a lot of armour, mages and priests not so much. Armour comes in 4 varieities: fur/leather (1 pt. armour), studded leather (2 pt. armour), chainmaille (3 pt. armour) or plate (4 pt. Armour.) in order for armour to be effective, it should cover a significant portion of the location in question; ie. leather wrist straps will not provide any protection for the arms, but a set of bracers will. A blow does not have to land on the armour for it to count as being blocked by it, but we encourage armoured characters to strive for as much coverage as possible.

Each armour point represents one extra hitpoint on the location the armour is attached to. This hit point is lost before you start losing body hits on that location. Please note, however, that THROUGH damage will always deduct from your body hits, but will not damage armour. Any character may repair their armour by spending 30 seconds mending it per location, no matter what kind of armour it is. During this time they cannot take any other action, including running away and casting magic. If you are interrupted while carrying out repairs you will need to restart repairs on the location you are currently mending. Armour may be repaired an infinite number of times.


When a location reaches zero hitpoints, it starts bleeding. You should begin counting at a rate of one per second for two minutes. At the end of these two minutes, if that location has not been healed or treated (even if you are in the process of being treated,) it will become permanently unuseable. In the case of the torso and the head, the character dies. In the case of a limb, that limb should be considered permanently crippled or removed if you wish to physrep this. Mechanically, it should be considered to be permanently on zero hit points, and unable to be healed above this without abilities which can explicitly restore life to a crippled limb.

Once a location is treated it remains on zero hitpoints until healed further. Alchemical or spiritual healing automatically closes any wounds on the target and restores hitpoints. While a location remains on zero hit points, it may be started bleeding again if it takes at least HALF a point of damage. Restart the bleed count from 2 minutes.


It is possible to speed up the bleeding-out process on a character or monster which is unresisting, ie. one which is either willing or unconscious. Execution takes 10 seconds and in general should be obvious to anyone standing with in MASS range at least. At the beginning of the execution you should inform your target of what you are doing, and then count to five at a rate of one per second. Once you reach ten you may hold the execute count there, for eg. in hostage situations. At any stage after this you may call EXECUTE to kill that location. In most cases this will be the head or torso which will also kill the character or monster in question. It is also possible to execute a limb in order to remove or maim it.

Please note that murder of sentient beings is frowned upon by the city authorities and the population at large. A negative reaction can be expected to causing the death of any such creature, even by “bleeding out”. The standard punishment for murder is death.

For these purposes, “sentient beings” refers to all playable races plus all medium-sized uruk races. Other creatures (such as goblins or demons) may appear sentient but they are in general considered vermin are not counted for the purposes of the law. For more details please see the Law section in Day to day life.

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