Last year we had a small number of injuries arising from bow use at the events including one that was very serious. We have conducted a full review of our arrow safety guidelines over winter to see what improvements we can make. As a result of that review we have elected to make four key changes.
The first is to clarify that the arrowhead must be at least 50mm in diameter. The existing rules have not changed on this point, but unfortunately the rules published on the wiki gave two different minimum sizes. We have removed the inconsistency and updated the guidelines provided to all our weapon checkers to make clear that arrowheads must be at least 50mm wide.
We have increased the minimum depth for the soft foam head of the arrow from 20mm previously to 25mm. Domed head arrows will continue to be allowed, but only if they are at least 25mm at the maximum depth. Please note that this foam must be of a suitable consistency - it should not be too soft but should collapse under firm pressure from your finger. Upholstery foam is ideal for this purpose. I have asked all the weapon checkers to check arrows carefully and to fail any arrows which don’t have a furniture foam head of the appropriate depth and density on the front.
These new rules will apply to all events in 2020. To try to minimize the impact for our players, we will operate an amnesty for any arrows that do not pass under the new rules but would have passed under the previously published rules. Any arrow whose head is between 45 and 50mm in diameter or with a foam front that is between 20 and 25mm in depth can be swapped at GOD for Â£6 of credit on your PD account, usable against any PD event. This offer will be available at all PD events until the end of 2020.
You can read the new rules on our wiki: https://www.profounddecisions.co.uk/empire…/Weapon_checking…
We have amended the rules for use of bows to prohibit their use on skirmishes after dusk. Although some skirmishes incorporate lighting to improve safety, it is harder to use a bow safely as night falls, so we have prohibited their use once the light fades. Official times for dusk will be published on the wiki with the event details before each event. You should not use your bow or crossbow in Anvil after this time, and may not take a missile weapon on any quest or skirmish that starts at dusk or later. The official cut-off will be the time the conjunction begins, so you may use a bow on any quest or skirmish that starts before this time even if it ends afterwards.
Finally we have also introduced a new rule prohibiting any participant from putting an arrow in another archer’s quiver on a skirmish or battlefield. You can recover arrows from the battlefield but they must be checked every time they are used. You can choose to either check every arrow before you put it in your quiver - or - choose to check every arrow before you nock it to fire. Either method is acceptable - provided that players do not swap between them, but this rule only works if other participants do not add arrows to another archer’s quiver.
You can read all the rules for bow use at events on our wiki: https://www.profounddecisions.co.uk/empire-wiki/Bow_safety
While I appreciate that some players will be negatively impacted by the new rules, we believe this is the appropriate step to take at this point. As always we will continue to monitor our ongoing safety record and let all players know if any further changes are required.