hi all just wanted to say how disappointed I was with the battle on Saturday in regards to safety as a player we were constantly being pushed over each other in a very unsafe manner multiple times chased backwards while being attacked not allowed to pull back safely pushed into the fort and the rhino personally I was forced to the ground 2 times and a 3rd time pushed over a person who fell/bleeding out I don’t know I landing very hard on my back then being landed on by other people not very nice at all man down was called and we did all get up ok a bit battered and bruised when ever I have been monstering and this has started to happen we have stopped and allowed people to move safely out of harms way this did not happen…
and following onto sunday as a monster and given a brief don’t chase groups down don’t push people into objects don’t force groups into unsafe areas is was like being slapped in the face and being told to do the opposite happen the day before but I don’t hold a grudge as play went on trying to hold the fort again we were forced into the wall pushed over each other in a very unsafe way but the ref did stop it there and tell the players to back off then later on forced into the hedge row could not move being bashed in the head numerous times when I was using a 2 handed weapon I had plenty of other places to be hit but 2 people decided to hit me in the head more and once each made me very dizzy and I had to stop at that point and I know I was not alone at this point have had report of many people having the same problem with hard un pulled shots even unarmed people being wacked full pelt for no reason…
also shirtless chap if a arrow strikes you in the chest you will loose all your hits not just walk around the line and start fighting again…
I think the ref team go through a pretty comprehensive de-brief after each battle.
I wouldnt be surprised if they picked up on the issues you had on the Saturday battle, and then tried to make sure they werent repeated on the Sunday one, hence the briefing change from one battle to the next.
I cant comment further, as I’m not Staff, but my experience of both battles, was that they were very responsive in keeping on top of the flow of combat and where players/Monsters were being manuvered.
Sorry to hear you had a bad experience in both battles though, my experience monstering and then playing was that they seemed very much on top of the battle and reacted as well as can be expected to the sheer number of participants and the speed at which the Saturday Battle shifted to the Barbarians favour.
I agree with what you are saying in regards to the refs they stepped in were it got very dangerous and stopped some fighting but my point is the people who were monstering on Saturday were being way to heavy handed and aggressive I also heard that people were executed… but I did not see this myself and again with th players on sunday very aggressive unsafe fighting
I don’t come to larp to get a concussion
When I was monstering Sunday (I missed the Saturday fight), I was slapped in the ear with a sword, causing my head to ring. I was pummeled by (pulled) sword-blows and went to my knee due to a lack of hit-points, but AS SOON AS I WENT DOWN, three non-monster players swarmed around me to make sure I was ok. They double and triple-checked that I was ok before they let me on my way. Pretty much every time I went down and it looked mildly worrisome I was looked after by other players (one time I landed hard when someone used strikedown on me, but I was fine and it was a controlled fall, but someone still checked)
Then later, when I was about to attack someone who I hadn’t realised they were stuck in mud, I heard shouts of “Wait until they’re not in mud!” - I may have attacked them a little early after they left the mud and should have backed off a little more. For that I can only apologise to the player involved - this was my first Monstering and I can promise I’ll learn from it by backing off and counting to 3 in future. I myself slipped in the mud, so I can empathise moreso now.
From what I heard, fantastic work from PD for their battle retrospective, and telling the 2nd-day players to be careful of the first-day’s mistakes. We should be happy with their learning, not upset that it happened in the first place. Going forward, they can only improve.
On the ‘mud’ theme, I don’t know which monsters I need to thank for this (due to masks), but on two occasions groups of monsters were really good with helping us overcome safety issues with mud on the paths. Similar things happened both as we were being pushed on to the open field in the first half of the battle and again as we were fighting the final rearguard: on each occasion it was a tough, brutal fight (IC) and our line ended up trying to move through really unsafe terrain. Both times the orcs were OK with letting us move the line past the mud, then resuming their merciless slaughter.
I wouldn’t interpret the safety brief you got on the Sunday as a slap in the face, it’s the refs responding to problems the day before by making sure people are briefed better.
From the monster side of things on Saturday I know I saw the refs step in a lot to prevent crushes and people just being surrounded and pushed back onto each other.
But I think what we could have done with was some unit level commanders with radios who were looking out for safety as well as making things a good fight. Our lot organised ourselves and were told to ‘fight like players’ which I’m not sure if it was ideal. The battle I monstered at the end of last year (get the mithril) felt a lot more controlled in an IC manner than this one did and we had NPC orcs able to do that tactical/story level control of units.
The best way to get feedback about particular bits of unsafe fighting to the people who need it is to talk to a ref after the battle, or even email PD and if they get enough reports they can ID the group and have a word in private with them about it.
thanks mark I do see your point about the safety brief maybe all brief should try and add stuff like remember not to do this and that regardless of what has or has not happened in previous fights ie try to avoid headshots pull your blows etc I do also feel like you said need a few extra chaps in there with radios to keep a closer eye on things
as for talking to the refs after I was unable to do so after really bad ic injurys and oc injury stayed put in my camp but I didn’t really want to go down there complaining at the refs as my experience from monstering a few events last year they are very busy and I do still feel that in the first instance it is the players fault for starting this unsafe practices
Also, I know it would break up the roleplay flow, but I really think the players could do with a “Time Out” pre-battle briefing, too. Things like how to properly react to “Man down!” calls and PD standards of “safe terrain” (personally, I wouldn’t expect any mercy just for getting stuck in some mud, so might not think to offer it), and a quick reminder that arrows in the torso drop you unless you’re wearing heavy and the arrow hits it. It’s two years since some people looked at the rules, I’ll warrant, and memories are probably starting to fade, given the aging demographic
That sort of briefing may be better for monsters - and since every player must monster if they character a battle, everyone should hear the briefing if they take the field.
I really want to see some of those rules reminders sheets pinned up in prominent places around the area where monsters mill about before a battle. Saves trying to shout at people and gives people something to do while waiting for makeup or specific briefings. Mind you, if the actual battle briefs were pinned up in the places where specific groups were arranged, that’d also be fantastic. (“Stand here if you’ve been asked to play a slave and read the A4 lammy pinned to that post, go over there if you are playing an orc skirmisher”, etc.)
to be fair you can’t judge if someone is always wearing heavy plate. I wear it under the tunic and have had one or two refs come up and ask why I’m not going down and just bash the plate to say yes I’m taking my hits!
I’m sorry Lordvader you felt it was unsafe on sat’s battle. I played on Saturday battle and thought it was brilliant even though we were destroyed/ lost. I thought for the first time it had the real fear factor, we were pushed very hard but we lost due to poor tactics and our disorganisation. As for safety, it was chaotic and that led to people falling over each other and as a healer a person tripped over me as I was kneeling healing someone but the monsters around us were great holding others back that couldn’t see what had happened. My character said goodbye to fellow characters as we started to accept we would die and luckily my character survived but overall hats of to pd and those monstering.
Saturday, I was playing the pyre clan and apart from the orc mobbing at the start never got in any real painful situation but then again I couldn’t say I wasn’t at the front all the time. I know we pulled back on a number of occasions but the fact is the reason the battle lines faltered was just how many they were facing and how they were being expected to hold. Holding those positions didn’t work and it showed. The amount of pc’s lost was more attribute to the fact your guys were determined to hold and orders did not get there cohesively.
Generally, there is a need for people to read up on combat safety rules, and combat rules in general. Therefore, I would suggest everyone go back to their groups and encourage a refresher before each event.
Things such as pressing into dangerous areas is a difficult thing to notice in a mass battle, however the head hits thing is a product of different systems with different rules and different opinions on how safe it is - I too saw someone being chased down the field being repeatedly hit on the head from behind until they fell over. No attempt was made to hit somewhere else, in fact, due to the attackers shield and how they were holding it, they were having to go to extra effort to aim for the head. Accidents happen, but there were clearly cases of, I’m going to assume, ignorance of the rules.
All issues I save on Saturday seemed well dealt with & my only real safety concern was my own health as I am not as fit as I thought However I am becoming concerned with the number of children on the battlefield or more importantly, the number of relatively young/small children. Still, thats a matter I am looking to feedback directly to PD about.
Before any individual child is allowed to take the battlefield, they’re specifically tested by the battle team on knowledge of the rules, ability to fight safely, fighting under pressure and in stressful/confined spaces against larger opponents, etc.
There is no guarantee that any given child will pass this, and individual kids will only pass the battle test when they’re properly prepared and able to cope with it.
Personally, if we took everyone but the kids off the battlefield, I think our safety record would massively improve. They’re way better at rules and safety than the adults.
To be fair it’s not the danger they pose to others that concerns me, it’s the simple fact that kids are more fragile than adults and could very easily become seriously hurt in some of the pile-ups that occur in large battles. Apart from the consequences for the child any serious (but accidental) unjury could lead to an investigation that would cause problems for anyone who is subject to CRB checks.
I must admit, while Saturday was a clusterfuck from an IC perspective, I was fortunate enough that I never found a problem with OOC safety. I also fell over from people backpedaling too quickly, but the monsters were brilliant about giving me space and not just paggering me (although I chose to roll with it as an IC fall as well as an OOC one).
Obviously safety is much harder to manage and police when you have hundreds of people on the field, but I know our local LARP group does a Safety Brief before each event - might not be a bad idea to do something similar for the monsters? Generally we cover the basics (no stabbing with non-stab weapons, pull your blows, wield weapons appropriately i.e. two handers with two hands and no grabbing the very tip and waving it around wildly, be aware of OOC boundaries, if you hear Man Down stop what you’re doing and shut up and don’t use it IC, etc) although some of our stuff is more environment specific.
Most of us can recite the whole thing pretty much off by heart, but it’s useful just for taking a moment to stop and think about being safe, even if you know it all already.