Safety Rules & Guidelines

The purpose of Darkwood Nights’s safety policies is to provide the safest environment for all participants to enjoy their LARP experience. Bumps, bruises, and sprained ankles are all natural parts of a combat LARP. 

Our policies are designed to mitigate those instances as much as we reasonably can, and to do our utmost to prevent any and all actual injury at our events. 

Definitions / Key

Safety Referees

Darkwood Nights has referees who are responsible for all safety related issues at our events. There is to be one Head of Safety, who is the final arbiter of all things related to safety. They will also have 1-2 refs that they manage. These refs must have a significant medical background that qualifies them for the position. 

Safety refs are capable of training other refs to perform pre-event and ad hoc weapons safety checks. They are the first people to contact if there is a safety concern, whether it be a site issue, a complaint about a weapon, or a complaint about how another participant is behaving, in regards to safety rules. 

Disciplinary action

Site Safety

During each event that includes combat, a safety ref should walk the site prior to game and mark any hazards they note with a red ribbon and a tealight. It is requested that people avoid combat on stairways, as they are often slippery and a fall can result in injury.

Stand Down

Because of the physical nature of the game inherent in a LARP, hurt and injury does sometimes occur. If a player appears injured enough that they need to temporarily pause a scene in order to recover or receive medical attention, someone should clearly announce the phrase “Stand Down”.  Everyone in the immediate vicinity should repeat the “stand down” call once and only once. 

During a stand down the game is temporarily paused and all players in the area should crouch, kneel, sit, or otherwise lower themselves so as to visually alert anyone entering the scene that action has stopped.  Anyone who cannot kneel or crouch may stand with either their weapon on their heads or their fist on their heads, to indicate being out of game. This also enables any Safety Referee approaching the area to quickly find the injured party.  

During a stand down players should keep any conversation at a low volume; a quiet atmosphere is more conducive to allowing safety refs to perform their duties.  All players MUST obey the orders of the safety ref during a stand down.  Once the injured player has been attended to and action can commence, either the safety ref or the player that called the stand should announce “3, 2, 1, Lay On” to end the stand down and notify players that the scene can recommence.  

If a safety ref asks you to do something during a stand down, comply. Do not argue with the ref. If you cannot do as they ask, respectfully inform them of that. Anyone who does not comply with a safety ref while they are providing aid will be subject to disciplinary action. Any person who materially hinders a safety ref while rendering aid will be immediately asked to leave site and will be subject to further disciplinary action. 

LARP Weapon Requirements

Every weapon in the area of play (including plot camp) must be inspected and approved by a qualified weapons marshal each event, without exception. Failure to do so can result in the weapon being temporarily or permanently banned, loss of combat privileges, or other disciplinary action.            

Core materials

Striking surfaces

Weapons bodies

Pole arms

Thrown weapons

Flails and other chain weapons





General phys-reps

Combat Safety

Combat at Darkwood Nights is intended first and foremost to be safe. The manufacture of weapons and other objects alone cannot guarantee this. The way that combat happens at Darkwood Nights plays as much, if not more, of a part in ensuring safe play. 

There are several actions or techniques that have been deemed too hazardous to be allowed at Darkwood Nights. 

Illegal targets


Hug fighting


Shield bashing


Binding weapons

Kitchen areas

Non-combatant policy

Fires sources

Physical role-play


Spell packets

Medical Issues

Anyone with a medical condition which would impact their safety or the safety of others is strongly advised to make it known to the head of safety, who will share this information with other referees only as needed and only with the permission of the person involved. 

It is possible that some medical conditions are of such a nature that the head of safety would require the sharing of this information to other refs. In this situation, the participant can refuse permission, in which case the head of safety can order that the person not be allowed to attend until they do so. If the head of safety strongly believes that the person cannot participate with a reasonable degree of safety, they can disallow the person from participating. 

Persons attending events who are significantly ill either when they arrive or become so during the event should report this to the head safety referee. If the illness is such that you may be suffering from a communicable illness, you may be asked to go home. This is not meant in a pejorative way, but is intended to keep others from becoming ill themselves. 

The taking of certain prescription medications should similarly be reported to safety, and the same policy will be applied as for other medical conditions. 

Accommodations for medical necessity will be made if deemed safe and feasible within the framework of Darkwood Nights’s rules, policies, and aesthetic. Game breaking devices, such as CPAP machines, should be stored in out of game areas when not in active use. 

Canes and staves are allowed if medically necessary and every attempt should be made to make them safe and immersive.  

Priority for access to power in sleeping areas will be given to those who have a medical necessity if at all possible. This need should be communicated to the head of safety prior to arrival on site. Those who have a medical need to sleep out of game may be allowed to do so, at the discretion of the head of safety and must be approved prior to arrival on site. 

Service Animals

Darkwood Nights is ADA compliant with State and Federal Law. If the site permits it, service animals will be allowed at game. 

Real Weapons

For the purposes of engendering a safe environment, no real weapons are allowed in the area of play at any event. This includes but is not limited to firearms, stun guns, tasers, pepper spray, fixed blade knives, expandable batons, crossbows, bows over the poundage limit, real arrows, and any other weapon designated by the head of safety. 

Participants may carry a small folding knife, such as a Swiss Army knife, with them at events. Kitchen knives should be kept in the kitchen.

Drugs & Alcohol

No alcohol, drugs, or other intoxicants are allowed anywhere in the area of play for any reason. Any person who is obviously intoxicated or smells of intoxicants will be required to leave immediately and not return until sober. Those with prescription medications that can cause altered states of consciousness should inform the head of safety to work out a safe plan. 

Kitchen Use

Use of the kitchen areas requires possession of a current Washington State Food Worker Card. This requires completion of an online course and payment of a $10 fee. Do it Right, Serve it Safe! (