Monday, 26 November 2012

Interlude 3 - 2012 - the funny side.

Year is almost over and no events are planned in LARP Bulgaria until next spring. And so let us reflect on this year's adventures.

Note - this post will get expanded gradually as I sift through the photo galleries and archives.

 All in all it was a decent year. I'd say the one disappointment was the big game in July but otherwise it was ok. New people join up, old guys come back, some quit some wonder - the usual gig.

 We strengthened our ties with the serbian larpers and its a pretty accurate guess to say they'll be regular visitors to our games from now on. Now to lure in the croatians...

Monday, 19 November 2012

Assasination weapons in LARP - the breast dagger

Every now and then you can find an idea in those fantasy tv serials that isn't as bad as the rest of it and can be applied to a larp. No, I'm not talking about chainmail battle bikini. This one will be the breast dagger from Xena the warrior princess. Yeah yeah, don't shoot now - think a bit. If poison cannot be used for various reasons - you still need a blade. And well, at any larp game that does not involve character sheets and dice, guards will quickly remove knives and daggers hidden in the usual places. That's why you need one hidden in a, well less usual place where they'd usually NOT look. And if they try to - you have all right to stop them. I don't have to mention that's a lady's weapon do I? Well just to make clear - its a small punch dagger for a lady to hide between her breasts.

 Note: I made it a bit bigger than it should be. However since its has to be of a custom size to fit uuuh...well the user's hiding spots, it was better to make it bigger and THEN trim it out. That's why the grip is so plain too,I should decorate it a bit.

TOOLS - the usual

MATERIALS - 1 old flip-flop or a piece of tougher camp mat foam with the suitable shape, various duct tapes, old plastic bottles - grip decoration is optional.

First thing to do is cut out the rough shape of the dagger. Yeah I know what it looks like at this point, don't laugh.

After that, slowly start trimming and sharpening it until it reaches the desired shape and size.

Then its time to make the grip - plastic bottles are the material of choice for me. Nothing difficult here either.

 Then its just adding the tapes and its finished. Decorating the grip is up to you. I decided against anything serious, since it will  be trimmed down even more later on to fit a girl's hand, not mine.

 And that's it, now nobody will feel safe around girls in larp. Not as if we did before...

Friday, 16 November 2012

Assassination weapons in LARP - the Gom jabbar poison ring.

Oh yes, assassination is a big thing in LARP, nothing gets the game running as a good old backstabbing so to speak. Being an assassin in larp is always fun if you are proficient in well, being a dick. It is also, not very easy as one would make it out to be. See, assassination requires not just getting close, doing the kill but getting out too. Those are not so easy to accomplish as people think. For example dressing like that will give you praise for a good costume...
But you will never ever have a chance to get to your target. That's real life for you - people don't forget you or your face if you hide in a haystack for a few seconds. Same theme as with know they did not dress in black and jump around a lot in real life...but thats why they were effective. No, you need to look unassuming. That also means no fancy stuff like spring loaded hidden blades.
Yeah, I know its cool and so on, but even if you somehow resist showing off before the game, you can use it only once...after that people WILL know you have one, and you can't exactly change how your bracer looks all the time(though it IS possible) need a weapon that is easier to hide better than the hidden blade. Yes, pun intended. A boot knife or one hidden in your sleeve is better, except that most of the time it won't escape a half decent search attempt.

Now, I devised first as concept and soon as real practice, a series of cheap, disposable and rather useful assassination weapons. Bear in mind on the word assassination weapons - they will be useless in actual combat.

First one depends on one thing really - the availability and use of poison in your game.

Ever read (or watched) Dune? Then you must be familiar with the Gom Jabbar - the poison needle ring from it. This is my variation. Its very simple, cheap, effective and disposable. Just approach someone, gently wrap your arm around his shoulders while pricking his neck and whispering "Poison" to his ear and you are done. You can hide the ring in a second, or just throw it away - its  something small enough that won't be found immediately or at all. 

But how its made?

Tools needed are two pairs of small pliers and a pair of scissors.

Material - plastic bottle, cheapest trift store 10 for a buck plastic and brass crap rings. Just make sure its from those that can be expanded or tightened with ease. Optional - aluminium foil.

First make cut and sharpen some "needles" from the plastic bottles. Yeah - don't be afraid to make a sharp point - the target must feel the pin prick after all and its nothing serious, its not as if its capable of penetrating skin. If you want you can wrap it in foil or paint it in some colour. I'd say sickly green on the tip will do nice.
 Then use the pliers to open the ring you've chosen to work with. They are soft enough(being brass mostly) to be opened by hand, but you still need the pliers to close em tightly after that.
 Then fit the "needle" between the two sides, and simply close the ring again. Tighten it good or the needle might fall off. A drop of superglue should help too, I simply don't have any at the moment.
 Finally its done - You have your own needle ring that you can use immediately. Takes less than a minute to make one.

Here's the full collection I made today. 

Sunday, 11 November 2012

On armour - the european 4 in 1 chainmail weave

In your quest to get affordable and decent homemade larp armour, after producing chainmail rings you will inevitably encounter this - the european 4 in 1 weave. Its the most widespread weave as far as chainmail is concerned and not without reason. Basically everything is made from 4in1: coifs, bracers, hauberks, battle bikini, decorations, well you name it!. 4 in 1 is simple and once you learn that you got the basic know how on making something bigger.

European 4 in 1 is basically rows of links, going opposite ways that are interwoven in one another. Once you get the hang of that basic bit you won't be making mistakes when weaving it.

There are two basic ways of weaving 4in1.

First is to do it ring by ring. Thus its impossible to make a mistake but since only a maximum of two people can work on one piece, its a bit time consuming.

The second is to weave small pieces or strips and then combine them together. Like this for example


Well adjust this for size depending on the project - when making a hauberk for example, I work with strips that are 1 meter long. The advantages are that you can have a dozen people working on the same project, producing parts of it that are later put together. Literally anyone who can hold pliers can help. There is however room for mistake here, so not everyone can close the seams later on. Once you catch on the basics of 4in1 you can do the more exotic bits like expanding it, contracting it and so on that you will need to learn to make full suits of maille.