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Current Weapon Guidelines

Major changes to the weapon guidelines in rule book:

1. The weapon chart is vastly simplified, including only an overall length minimum and maximum instead of the many subsections the current chart has. This necessitated some changes within the “Weapon Construction” text as well.

2. The Weapon Construction section is split into two sections, Requirements (specifics which are needed to review for each weapon) and Guidelines (tips and guidelines geared more towards peoples’ first weapon build).

3. Consolidated the multiple types of Thrown Weapon into one Thrown Weapon category. This included removing Javelin, Rock, and Boulder as their own classes of weapon and integrating their measurements with Thrown Weapon. One specific clause was added for Boulders in the “Thrown Weapons” section. This means that Rock (as an untagged thrown weapon with a base of 1 damage which was an exception to all sorts of rules) and Boulder (as an untagged thrown weapon which was a different set of exceptions to many rules) have been removed as “untagged weapons with special rules” which must now be tagged (as all other weapons).

4. Updated the Thrown Weapon category so that the 2” dimension minimum was removed, allowing many more latex throwing weapons (virtually all commercially made latex thrown weapons were illegal under the previous definition).

5. Altered several measurements by minor amounts: Increased Polearm min to 62 inches, to make a clear demarcation between Polearm and Two-Handed Edged or Blunt, and took One-Handed Spear down to 48 inch min so that you don’t have a “dead zone” between Long Weapon and One-Handed Spear.

6. Removed the “middle 6” of the staff must be padded” bit, but kept the “must be handled in the middle 3 feet” and stated that “this distance should be marked off so it is easily identifiable”. Also added “Note that for safety reasons, padding may be required on the grip section of the staff depending on how it is designed.” This should allow many more safe physreps without changing the balance or usage of staves.

7. Changed verbiage of “All weapon heads or protuberances above the crossguard must be made of open cell foam regardless of size” to “… foam with no core …” instead (allowing closed cell, not just open cell). Most latex weapons ignore this prohibition, and many homemade boffers can be made safely with closed cell foam instead of open cell foam. Added verbiage at the end of the applicable paragraph for “As always, safety is paramount and protuberances which are found to be unsafe will be rejected.”

8. Updated the “contact areas padded with at least 5/8” pipe insulation” paragraph significantly, stating that striking surfaces must be padded with at least 5/8” closed cell foam while non-striking surfaces (which may still be contact areas) must be safely and sufficiently padded. Without this change, virtually every latex weapon is prohibited under the current rules. (as sword flats are padded very differently from sword edges).

9. The length ranges for one-handed weapons have changed. Small weapons may now be up to 28" long, Short weapons may now be up to 36" long, and Long weapons may now be up to 48" long. This will vastly increase the commercial weapons available, especially for “Small Weapon” and “Short Weapon” categories where the prior sizes (25” and 33”) are often just under a wide variety of available weapons.

10. Latex weapons may be used to Waylay just like boffer weapons, so long as they have a valid Waylay Tip. Note that most commercially-made latex weapons do *not* have a valid Waylay Tip. Since every player must already check for a valid Waylay tip whenever they pick up a weapon if they intend to Waylay, there is no further reason to preclude all Latex weapons from being allowed to Waylay.

11. Weapon safety tags are no longer required for all weapons at an event. Note however that this does not change the requirement that all weapons be checked before each event. This change allows each chapter to implement its own method for ensuring that weapons are checked at each event; some chapters may require stickers, others may rely on colored ribbons or zip ties, while still others will not allow you to go through Logistics until your weapon has been checked.

Text Changes:
Replace the Weapon Construction text and chart with the following:

Weapon - Length Min. - Length Max. - Base Damage
Ranged Weapons
Short Bow - 25 in / 63.5 cm - 33 in / 83.8 cm - 2
Long Bow - 33 in / 83.8 cm - 58 in / 147.3 cm - 3
Light Crossbow - 14 in / 35.6 cm - 25 in / 63.5 cm - 3
Heavy Crossbow - 25 in / 63.5 cm - 32 in / 81.3 cm - 4
Thrown Weapon - 2 in / 5.1 cm - 40 in / 101.6 cm - 2/3*
One-Handed Weapons
Small Weapon - 20 in / 50.8 cm - 28 in / 71.1 cm - 1
Short Weapon or Claw - 28 in / 71.1 cm - 36 in / 91.4 cm - 2
Long Weapon - 36 in / 91.4 cm - 48 in / 121.9 cm - 2
Spear - 48 in / 121.9 cm - 58 in / 147.3 cm - 2
Two-Handed Weapons
Two-Handed Blunt or Edged - 48 in / 121.9 cm - 62 in / 157.5 cm - 3
Polearm - 62 in / 121.9 cm - 72 in / 182.9 cm - 3
Staff - 60 in / 152.4 cm - 72 in / 182.9 cm - 2

* - Thrown Weapons with any single measurement over 24 in / 61 cm should be tagged as a "Heavy Thrown Weapon" and will have a base damage of 3 instead of 2.

Weapons must be greater than their minimum length and equal to or less than their maximum length. Thus, a precisely 36" long weapon is not both a Long Weapon and a Short Weapon at the same time (it is in fast a Short Weapon only)

Weapon Construction Requirements

All weapon construction is viewed with the idea of safety foremost. The weapon design specifications are intended to represent the bare minimum necessary for a weapon to pass safety inspection. Be aware that even the safest weapon could cause injury if improperly used. Therefore, in addition to weapon construction, practice in the use of the weapon is needed.
Every weapon must be checked for safety by a Marshal at every event it is brought to. Weapons break down over time, and a weapon which is safe at one event may not be safe at the next. Local marshals may, at their discretion, require additional measures be taken to ensure a weapon is safe for Alliance use. It is always best to consult your local marshals to determine their expectations when you are designing or looking to purchase a new weapon. Since specifics on weapon safety might vary chapter to chapter, only a marshal from a specific chapter can verify that any particular weapon will or will not pass in their chapter.
If your weapon phys rep breaks during an event, then in-game, your weapon has broken as well. You cannot call a Hold to go get another phys rep, and you must turn over the weapon to a marshal. If, however, the weapon was unshatterable in-game, then a short Hold can be called to replace the phys rep if another is immediately available.
All exposed core must be rendered safe with tape and padding. In a melee, it is possible to accidentally hit someone with the pommel or crossguard— so even these parts must be protected. The only exception to this is the grip, which may be left unpadded if desired though you may use tape, leather or other materials to provide a more comfortable and secure grip. A weapon’s unpadded grip should only extend to parts of the weapon which are never expected to come in contact with opponents. In general, a good rule of thumb is to leave no more than one-quarter of the length of the weapon unpadded for a grip, though this depends on the specific type of weapon. For example, polearms will often have a longer length of core left unpadded, but keep in mind that padding should exist on significant portions of the core below the head as those parts of the weapon will often come in contact with others. You must always wield cored weapons by their designated grip. Remember that safety is our main concern here.
All weapons which are intended to allow thrusting must have a thrusting tip. A thrusting tip consists of at least two inches of open cell foam padding beyond the end of the pipe insulation. If the foam tip is too small, opponents could get hurt with a stiff thrust. If the tip is too large, it could easily break off or fold over, making it useless. A thrusting tip may not be longer than its diameter and should collapse about half of its length when pressure is applied.
A player may choose to add or not to add a Waylay Tip to their weapon. This follows the same rules as a thrusting tip and is put on the pommel end of the weapon. A weapon without a Waylay Tip may not be used with the Waylay skill. Latex weapons follow the same rules - they may only be used to Waylay if they have a valid Waylay Tip.
All crossguards must be below the blade or shaft of the weapon. Crossguards can be made of open cell or closed cell foam. All weapon heads or protuberances above the crossguard must be made of foam with no core regardless of size. As always, safety is paramount and protuberances which are found to be unsafe will be rejected.
All striking surfaces of the weapon must be protected with at least 5/8" thick closed cell foam. If 5/8" foam is not available two layers of thinner foam may be used if the combined thickness is greater than 5/8". In addition, all non-striking surfaces which may come into contact with another player (such as the shaft of a blunt weapon or polearm, crossguards, and the flats of sword blades) must be protected with sufficient closed cell foam to ensure safety should accidental strikes happen with those areas of the weapon. Weapons which do not have sufficient padding on non-striking surfaces will absolutely be disallowed from play. If you are unsure what qualifies, it’s always best to stick with a minimum of 5/8” thick foam on all sections of the weapon above the grip.
Take this point very seriously! If you do not have your weapon checked and you hit someone and your weapon breaks and hurts them, it will be your responsibility. The legal release you sign does not cover you if you do not follow our safety rules.

Construction Guidelines

Weapon construction requires some practice, and it is very likely that your first few attempts will be rejected by your local marshals. Although we endeavor to have weapons available for loan or sale, we cannot guarantee that any will be available. Be sure to bring extra weapon building materials with you so that you can repair your weapon in order to get it passed.
Weapons are generally made with a PVC pipe core covered with pipe foam. Alternative cores made of fiberglass, graphite or carbon such as fishing poles or kitespar are sometimes used, but this is at the discretion of each chapter. Light aluminum can be used for two handed weapons (except staffs) but never for one handed weapons. Aluminum is not flexible enough for shorter weapons. Heavy aluminum pipe, wood and metal wire are never acceptable weapon making materials.
All weapons must be fairly rigid so as not to act as a whip when swung quickly. Because of this rule, ½ inch PVC tends to be unacceptable for weapons over 32 inches long in total length. Under most circumstances, a weapon tip should not bend more than 6 inches from true when a moderate weight is applied to the tip and the grip is held level.
All weapons must also have some give to them when contact is made. The core should flex somewhat. If the core does not flex, then you may be required either to use a smaller diameter pipe or add more padding to insure that the weapon is safe. This is often the case with metal pipes or when the pipe diameter is too large for the weapon type. If the pipe insulation on the shaft is too compressed, the weapon will hit harder than desired and will fail a weapons check.
One common mistake is to use foam of a smaller diameter than the pipe being used, forcing the foam over the pipe. This makes the weapon too hard. Another common mistake is to wrap the duct tape around the foam too tightly, or even in a spiral pattern up the blade. This tends to make the insulation too stiff and gives unwanted weight. The insulation should slide easily over the pipe, but fit snugly so that the weapon will not rattle if the pipe is shaken.
The foam should be taped lengthwise, using 2 inch wide duct tape and overlapping about ¼ inch. This will use the least amount of tape, keeping the weapon light and safe. Vinyl electrical tape has less give than duct tape; however, it is acceptable for use in noncontact areas of the weapon as decoration or grips.
In addition, you may want to cover your weapon with cloth after it is completed. You should keep in mind that it is a weapon and not use paisley prints or other silly colors. The cloth should be sewn very tightly and not be a loose covering.
Note that if a sword is to have a weighted pommel, that pommel must be thickly padded since it could potentially do more damage than a normal weapon blade.

Specific Weapon Guidelines

Thrown Weapons can be of many different shapes and sizes. They must be constructed with no core and may not be internally weighted with hard materials. These weapons can never be used as a melee weapon in a fight; they must be thrown. Because they can be odd sizes and shapes, they must be approved on a case-by-case basis. All Thrown Weapons may be used to Waylay.
Chapters may rule that some specific Thrown weapons, called Boulders, may only be lifted by creatures with Superhuman Strength and the skill Thrown Weapon. Boulders are usually represented by garbage bags full of wrinkled paper or open cell foam and will be tagged appropriately.

Claws must be primarily colored red. While small decorations of other colors are allowed, all claws must be easily recognizable as red from a distance without asking whether the weapon is a claw. Other weapons may not use red as their predominant color and should leave no question that they are not claws when seen from any range. Claws usable by the PC skill ‘Claw’ must be of short weapon length. Some monsters may have long claws or even two handed claws, but must follow the rules standard rules for fighting with two weapons (including length restrictions) or a two handed weapon.

Blunt weapons, axes, one handed spears and polearms must have a padded head that is shaped appropriate to the weapon type. This padded head must be made out of foam and it must be placed over the 5/8” pipe insulation that covers the core. The head must be noticeably thicker than the pipe insulation and should squash easily. Everything above the grip area must be padded – like all weapons, any part that might come into contact with your opponents should have foam padding. Note that blunt weapons may never be used to thrust.

One handed spears can only be used to perform thrusting attacks, and can never be thrown. A character hit by any part other than the thrusting tip takes no damage.

Staffs may only be handled in the middle 3 feet. This distance should be marked off so it is easily identifiable. You must have both hands on the staff to attack, but you may block with only one hand on the staff, or in conjuction with a short weapon for the purposes of the Two Weapons skill. Note that for safety reasons, padding may be required on the grip section of the staff depending on how it is designed.

Two handed weapons must be used with both hands at all times. If you lose the use of one arm (such as
from a Wither spell), then you cannot wield the weapon at all.

In addition, please note the following text change:

Under Two-Weapon Fighting, change the reference from "can be no longer than 32"" to "must be a Short or Small weapon".