Physician advice

I’m pondering the exciting world of the Physic next year, but it’s not something I have any real experience of in LARP so I have a couple of questions:

First and foremost, tools: I’ve seen ‘LARP-safe’ surgery kits and also metal ones (blunted) - what’s the deal/preference/standard practice in the hospital, Anvil, and the battlefield (I’m guessing they may be different) Any particular makes/types of kit recommended? Anything I might not think of?

Secondly, any general words of wisdom from established physicians about kit, best practice, etc? I know that people do medicine in all manner of ways at Empire - my heart is set on cutting people up and poking about in wounds, so on that front at least I’m sorted.

So yeah - all related inputs gratefully received! Thanks :slight_smile:

Hello and welcome the the Slab.

I guess it will differ slightly on your nation. The league method seams to be very close to the “Natural Science” Victorian England. With lecture halls and open classes. Experimental Procedures and such. I get this vibe from the number of university’s In Holburg (Where I hale from).

In the Marchers, maybe something closer to barber surgery, leaches, maybe something with humers and such.

As for tools, I would recommend latex ones if you are going on the battle field,although things like Clay Sculpting tools are also worth looking at. The blunter the better.
For being around anvil you have a move controllable area and such can get some blunted surgeon tools but its very much a preference.
But tbh you really only want one set unless you want to put on some sort of public show (I am planning a Lecture on Anatomy and surgery techniques for E1 next year).

On the battle field, Keep it quick. Watch a couple episodes of MASH and get the idea of meatball surgery just too keep people fighting. Ham it up and just have fun with it.
I play a Battle Field Surgeon in the League, and wander round in full clank and a halberd so I’m happy to answer any questions you have.

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Always OOC check before you touch - just a quick question beforehand avoids distress on either side. Ditto if you want to use fake blood.

Do your best to tell your patient (victim) what you are doing and how much it will hurt. It makes it much more interesting for them, and lets them know when screaming, groaning and swearing on the Virtues would be appropriate.

Bonus points if you manage to make any bystanders turn green.


Those little soy sauce bottles you get in sushi packs are amazing for filling with fake blood and using subtly, hidden in your hand…


Alongside the more typical methods of healing like Haystacks mentions, there’s also mystical healing, like my character does. Waving incense around, throwing salt water on wounds, seaweed poultices, and shoving bottles of dust under people’s noses are all ways my Brass Coast character does healing. I don’t even have a surgical kit, so I have to borrow other people’s if it’s an emergency. And it’s always fun to go “Whoops” during surgery. :smiley:


I can only echo the earlier advice; on the battlefield, you need latex (lots of people use coreless throwing daggers for scalpels) because you will get jogged and you will work in a hurry, but I’m not sure any real surgery happens on the field anyway; off the battlefield (such as the post-battle hospital rush) there is time and space for some real props, so feel free to get your blunt needles and surgical clamps out.

I would say that leeches are universal, but I would… I use 'em.

What if you can even make other healers decide they have somewhere else to be? Only managed that once at E3, but I had blood and some very willing patients who were happy to scream and two of them even brought friends willing to hold them down in the mud. It was fun, but messy, and that is the best kind of healing.

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There is also an option with Physic to do non-surgery healing. It says on the wiki that spiritual healing and chanting is also acceptable if you wanted to do a “faith” healer.

Real World Knowledge
An understanding of real world medicine can be a great basis for roleplay, but it’s equally valid to be an incense-burning Kallavesi shaman, a Marcher barber-surgeon armed with hot pitch and leeches, or a Highborn priest who believes his ability to heal is the direct result of his personal virtue - all will work equally well IC as long as the correct skills are used. Researching and using medieval terminology would be a great adjunct to roleplay.

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I had a friend that was being healed on the battlefield, and he was thrashing about due to the pain - so much that a ref went over and shoved a traumatic wound card in his mouth. Apparently his thrashing caused him to puncture something. The healer found the whole thing rather amusing and seemed to enjoy the interaction overall!

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Most physiks view trauma cards as prizes. We’re not sure what the game is but having dealt with more of them is definitely winning! :grinning:

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I have 3, but I don’t hang around hospital much. Want to see if i can get some from the skirmishes from around the Black Plateau

Echoing a comment above, it’s good to give your patient a bit of a prompt now and then so they have something to roleplay with since it’s such a vague thing. At E4, when I was applying herbs on the battlefield, I’d say things like ‘if it stings, that means it’s starting to work’, and ‘it should start easing off shortly’. It’s also good for giving you something to do rather than just jamming a herb into somebody for 30 seconds.


You mean we are not meant to collect them? They were the centrepiece of my post-battle ‘where the heck did all my supplies go’ photos.


What if you can even make other healers decide they have somewhere else to be? Only managed that once at E3, but I had blood and some very willing patients who were happy to scream and two of them even brought friends willing to hold them down in the mud. It was fun, but messy, and that is the best kind of healing.

That is very hard, most healers response to that is to huddle closer and ask questions…

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Talking about trauma cards, a basic grounding in first aid helps. Some patients will hand you half a card (where some healer has considered surgery in the field and realised the wound is beyond them) and it’s the symptoms-half rather than the diagnosis/treatment half. You don’t have to be accurate, but it helps to be semi-plausible when you make up a suitable treatment.

Well, that would be my response, but they had fine dresses on and some oddly-clean white aprons marked with a :rhyv: rune. Meanwhile, I was muddy, bloody and waving a (foam) scalpel around while having the time of my life with fake blood and bandages. I am not the kind of healer you wear white around.