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LARPing, or Live Action Role Playing, is a popular pastime for most anyone into medieval-era stories and movies/tv shows. Multiple organizations across the United States hosts ‘tournaments and battles’ for anyone wishing to join. Requirements are pretty lax, requiring as the most basic a weapon, name, and attire for the battle.

When one is participating in a battle, there are very specific rules, regardless of one’s choice of weapon. A strike to each limb count as a ‘severed limb’ and the LARPer has to act as if they’ve lost that limb. The player must continue to fight until either all their limbs are gone or there is ‘kill strike’ to their head or heart.

Fashioning weapons for events is all part of the fun, but some people love playing with real swords and hammers. Despite the ‘professionalism’ that many people think they possess, playing with real weapons always carries an element of danger.

Santa Cruz has a small following of LARPers who gather in local parks to act out their fantasy characters. One of the main rules of LARPing is that all weapons be some form of Styrofoam and or cardboard. Metal swords are fun to swing around, as long as it isn’t towards another human being.

Four friends were participating in a ‘grand tourney’, when they took a break and decided to play with authentic swords forged by a master blacksmith. Considering their choice of leisure activity, most readers would think they probably aren’t trained with swords. Those of you who think so are correct.

The organizer of the event, Shirley Welks, said that the four friends went off to an open area and began to swing swords. “I know they were just playing with each other, but in the off chance they decided to come towards someone else, I called authorities.”

It was a good thing she did, because 5 fingers were lost between two of the group. One received a severe gash along his forearm, and the other a scar over his eye leading to his ear. The man who suffered the forearm injury required a blood transfusion and was kept overnight at the hospital for observation.

Thinking of playing with a LARP group? Make sure you get your shots first.

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