Making or buying a bow

so it’s getting to that time where im starting to look at kit for my first larp event, and i’m being heavily drawn (geddit?) towards being an archer of some sort.

i’ve read up on the rules and regulations for using bows and now its just the matter of getting my hands on one. so from those more experienced, does anyone have any tips of making a bow or crossbow? what secondary weapon to use along side it? and most importantly, if i did get or make a bow, how to test the poundage to see if it’s safe for larp. i have abit of experience in general woodworking so i’m more drawn toward making a crossbow.

thanks in advance! ^^

I would advice against making one unless you have experience of it. There are many complications with making bows particularly when aiming at someone rather than a target.

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Please, please, please do NOT try and make larp bows unless you know what you’re doing. Archery is the most dangerous part of larp combat, bows adhere to strict guidelines. You probably won’t get a homemade bow past weapons checks but if you somehow did you could seriously injure someone.

As long as he gets the poundage right then he’s fine. It’s the arrows you should worry about. A badly made arrow can cause serious damage. I believe it’s less than or equal to 30lbs at 28 inches for bows.

ty for all the feedback ^^

i’m definitely aware of how dangerous archery can be, just in general, having practiced it a few years back ^^ however after some internetting i have decided to buy a longbow to get a taste of how archery works in a larp setting before i go ahead and make my own one.

however that leads me to another question. does anyone know a good place to buy the right foam arrows without breaking the bank? or have any tips on making them? ^^

That’s still a fairly worrisome amount of potential energy if a string snaps or a limb cracks or something. All told, better not to risk it.
That said, my crossbow is essentially a plastic flatbow stapped to a stock with a trigger mechanism. If you purchase the actual bow components, an experienced woodworker could probably run up a decent crossbow. (The non-obvious bits are that you need a clip to hold the bolt on the crossbow, and to use a thick string.)

Still probably better to buy one, that first time. And certainly with the arrows/bolts, you really don’t save much money by assembling them yourself. Go down to Quiverstock, get a dozen.

Poundage will be checked by the weapons check team with a bow scale (It’s basically a handheld string-powered scale, similar to those used in fishing, with a loop for the bowstring. They draw the bow, and take a reading.)

As for secondary weapons, I carry a pair of machetes (26") and a dagger (18"), so I have options. Other choices I have seen include single axe (36") or sword and buckler. I recommend against using anything 42" (or longer, because then it’s a two-handed weapon), because the length makes it more awkward to carry with you. The last thing you want is your sword tangled in your legs, or being slow to draw (yes, the extra length does make a difference.)

Target choice: In general, don’t go for the long shot. Larp arrows are slow, and your enemy has plenty of time to dodge or raise a shield. Prime battle range is at 20m or less, and even then, it helps to shoot targets who are not paying attention to you. Target priority is anything which your melee troops (you have some melee troops nearby, right? If not, you may want to be somewhere else quite soon) find difficult to deal with. Spears, other archers, mages. After that, whatever you can hit. If they’re wearing heavy, they will usually have failed to armour the knees and thighs, or if you’re feeling confident, hands or armpits. Don’t shoot for the head, and if you hit it accidentally, apologise.

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Here’s a (very) comprehensive guide a friend of mine wrote about larp archery in general, but it does touch on Empire specifically at points.

EDIT: One more thing. (It turns out Larp archery is my jam and I have opinions on it). If you want to ask for some tips/advice in a field, I play Barachel of Adina’s Charge, an Unconquered of Highguard, and am happy to help if I can.

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