Can You Use Guns in LARP?

Can You Use Guns in LARP?

Guns and firearms are core elements of various genres of roleplaying games, from historical reenactment to science fiction, post-apocalyptic events, war games, or steampunk fantasy. May you be a sea faring pirate, a rugged wasteland survivor, an inventor, or a space explorer landing on a new planet, many characters can wield guns in LARP, but those weapons aren't always handled the same way from event to event.

➸ When can guns be used in LARP?

Not all LARP are gun friendly, and you should always read the rules of your event concerning how they regulate those weapons. Guns can be limited to a certain aesthetic for in-universe and decorum reasons, for instance only allowing black powder pistols and muskets reproduction. Also, guns will often be limited in use by certain character types, or locked behind some sort of character skill to simulate rarity or complexity. Finally, the rules will clearly allow a particular type of gun design, and only that type, may it be toy guns using elastics, foam fart guns, airsoft pellets guns, or paintball.

Guns can occur in many sub-genres of LARP, each time with a different aesthetic of time period inspiration to make them fit the setting.

  • ❧   Fantasy: Often allows black powder weapons, or designs inspired by steampunk aesthetics. Pirate aesthetics is often included in many fantasy settings.
  • ❧   Post-apocalyptic: Often allows modern looking firearms, as well as more outlandish scrapyard scavenged guns as seen in medias such as the Fallout franchise
  • ❧   Science fiction: Often allows modern looking firearms with a twist, like additional colors, LED lights, or futuristic profiles.
  • ❧   War games: Generally allows firearms resembling the ones used during a particular time period, like civil war era weapons, World War II, or modern warfare.
  • ❧    Historical: Will limits firearms to the ones fitting the designated time period.

➸ How do LARP guns work?

LARP guns rules are always part of a LARP particular combat system. To learn more about the general rules surrounding simulated combat, you can always read our blogs detailing what is LARPing, or how does LARP combat works.

In the case of guns, the rules will often be influenced by the weapon type that is allowed. For instance, some LARP don't allow guns that fire real projectiles, and will treat guns as part of their non-physical combat system, with each firing of a gun automatically dealing damages to the target.

When real projectiles like foam dart or pellets are involved, then the LARP may chose to have them all deal a set amount of damage and let the players count their injury themselves, or ask the shooters to call their hit, and tell their target they landed a hit from afar. In general, the longer the weapon's range is, the more likely the rule system is to let the players in charge of counting their own hits and determine when they are down, not unlike any air-soft or paintball game.

Here is a short list of the various types of gun mechanism that may be allowed in LARP:

  • ❧   Firecracker guns without projectile
  • ❧   Elastic guns
  • ❧   Foam dart guns and foam projectile weapons
  • ❧   Airsoft
  • ❧   Paintball
  • ❧   Blanks (very rarely)

➸ Are LARP guns safe?

The safety surrounding LARP guns is completely dependant on the type of weapon allowed. LARP using real firearms are virtually non-existent for obvious reasons, even blanks being almost exclusively limited to reenactment battles in a few countries, so all LARP guns are relatively safe for the purpose of combat simulation.

While foam darts are lighter and thus even safer than most foam weapons used in medieval LARP, when the projectiles reach a certain velocity, as in the case of some modified foam dart guns, airsoft and paintball, combat may require the players to wear face protection for their safety, and projectiles may leave a bruise if fired at point blank range.

This can be trickier when the LARP event allows an hybrid combat system with both melee fighting and firearms, like in many zombie themed events. In these situations, it might be wiser to limit the projectile velocity to a slower speed, at the cost of range, or to increase the protective gear necessary for those expected to fight in melee, since they are likely to be shot numerous times at point blank.

➸ Where to buy LARP guns?

The market for LARP guns isn't as mature as for other LARP weapons, and there is very few businesses that specialize in these types of weapon. In many cases, a LARPer might find a future gun in a toy store, paintball shop, or airsoft store. These weapons may require custom modifications and paint jobs to be allowed in LARP, most of it requiring some DIY skills.

However, if you are looking for black powder styled weapons that don't fire any projectile, we have a wide selection of firecracker guns in our store. We also have a few foam projectile weapons looking like pistols, muskets, and blunderbusses.

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