Live Action Roleplay (LARP) and What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG)
Darkwood Nights is a Live Action game where you physically take on the role of your character. When your character attacks another, or is attacked, you are physically swinging your weapon, dodging, blocking and so forth. When negotiating you are having to convince another person. Your Character Sheet will have powers that allow you to influence and affect other players as well as resist what powers they use on you however, since you are embodying that character, certain things can’t be represented by your character sheet. These represent the Player Skill Pillar, how good are you at reading body language, at fighting with LARP weapons, at making friends or negotiation? Your abilities in these areas will influence the story you tell through your character. LARP can also provide an avenue to practice these skills.
In Game and Out of Game Knowledge
Since our Characters are not us we use the concepts of In Game Knowledge/Character Knowledge (IG) and Out of Game Knowledge (OOG). We, as players, will see and hear things that our Characters don’t and this is defined as OOG Knowledge. Examples include players who are Out of Game, power calls, documents written in languages the player understands but the character doesn’t, conversations with other players at parties, conversations happening with Telepathy and more. Players can only act on information their Character obtained In Game through IG observation, conversation, or experiences. Any knowledge the Player has that their Character doesn’t should not be used in the course of game and doing so is called Meta Gaming. Meta Gaming is considered cheating.
Actions and Timings
At Darkwood Nights actions are when we attack with our weapons or use powers on another character. We use 1 Second action timing, meaning players can use 1 power or make one attack per second. This doesn’t mean a single swing of your boffer but a single attempt to strike or the use of a single power. Feinting an attack then striking elsewhere is a single action, as is throwing a packet attack or using a Mental power.
Most powers and attacks are accompanied by a Call. The Call is what the attacker or defender uses to alert other players to what they are doing and what effects are hitting their character. All Calls must be loud enough for the target to hear and must be said before the attack, packet or touch connects with the target. Calls that alert the attacking player that their effect has been resisted must be given in a reasonable time, within roughly 2 seconds if it is a power/effect that can be immediately resisted, or when the effect is resisted by the defender.
Combat at Darkwood Nights is fought between players using latex/foam weapons and packets as well as the powers on their character sheet. We use the “Lightest Touch'' rule, which means that a player should only swing hard enough for their target to know they were hit and no harder. To support this, any parry prior to a strike landing negates the hit and the target takes no damage, even if the strike still connects. This is to prevent players trying to batter through defenses which leads to unsafe situations. Not just any contact counts, the parry has to interrupt the line of attack, that is be in the way of or deflect the weapon off of, the line it is swinging and must contact the attacking weapon before it lands. It is up to the defender to determine if an attack has been parried.
Damage and Damage Types
Damage removes Health Points, or HP, equal to the number called. Damage is broken into different types, Regular, Aggravated, Holy, Elemental and Material. These will have the effects detailed below and some Factions treat certain Elemental or Material Damage as Aggravated Damage.
Characters heal at Darkwood Nights through Sleep, the Medicine skill, Powers or Faction Abilities.
Darkwood Nights uses the following durations as standard:
1 Minute for short term effects, such as immunities when resisting.
10 Minutes for effects that should last a single combat encounter.
1 Hour for non-combat effects that typically last a “scene” in table top.
1 Day for effects that last a significant amount of time.
A power that lasts 1 Day will last until the end of that mechanical day.
Powers and Types
To use a power a Player must have the power of their Character’s sheet and spend its activation cost, if any. Most powers cost either energy or have a role play requirement listed in the source of the power. The source of the power is the rules mechanic that grants the power, such as Disciplines, Skills, Dominions or Pillars. All costs must be paid before the power is used and, unless stated otherwise in the rules below, target 1 character.
Incapacitated: When a character is reduced to 0 HP they become Incapacitated. An Incapacitated character must lay on the ground, kneel, or raise both arms in the air and state, “Incapacitated,” depending on what is safe and the player’s ability. An Incapacitated character cannot attack or use powers and can only move to a place that is safe and that they won’t be stepped on/trampled on. An Incapacitated character CAN speak quietly for 5 seconds for dramatic effect. Most characters, but not all, also enter the Dying state when they become Incapacitated.
Dying: A Character who is reduced to 0 HP enters the Dying state. Some Factions, such as Vampires and Fae, have alternative rules and do not. While in the dying state a character takes 1 Aggravated damage per minute and any damage they receive while Dying is Aggravated. The Soak Agg power doesn’t reduce this damage.
There are 2 mechanical days at Darkwood Nights. Powers that have a duration of 1 Day last until the end of the day they are used.
Example: A power with a duration of 1 day that is used at 10am Saturday morning lasts until 7pm Saturday while the same power used at 8pm Saturday lasts until game end.
Searching and Looting
For safety reasons Darkwood Nights limits where a player can carry and wear in Game items. These locations are: On the head, around the neck, on the arms, on the belt (in pouches, frogs, cases and so on), or in the boot. In Game items are not to be stored or hidden in other places on the body. An incapacitated character may be searched using one of the following methods:
There are 4 special locations at Darkwood Nights; Holy Ground, the Umbra, a Cray and the Fae Hold. Each of these will be clearly marked by a Location Card, and identified on the site map.
Kismet is earned by players for helping Darkwood Nights run and supporting the game. It is a separate resource from XP and is tracked at the Player level.
Earning: Kismet are earned for the following: