Slingshots and Blowpipes

I was wondering if it is possible to use either slingshots or blowpipes in combat. I think a slingshot would be very easy to make and would be a good option for new players to participate in ranged combat. You could probably use painted sponges or balls as stones.

I think blowpipes would be harder to pull off. The projectile would be smaller. You might have to have a bit of tubing behind a fairly long bit of foam to give it enough wait to travel but make it safe. Of course then you might be able to make a larp safe blowpipe that you can use at range and up close.

I don’t know if any of these are possible and if there are any rules behind not using them. I’m just a bit curious.

I hope no one is getting sick of me already with all my posts. Thank you for your time.

dont worry about people being

I’ve been here a year and haven’t been chased off with torches and larp-safe pitchforks yet so your fine!

According to the wiki"you cannot throw shuriken, rocks, or tiny throwing knives shorter than 8” long." so i think that rules out the slingshot and blowpipe.

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Slings were tried at Odyssey - in practice, they’re basically terrible as the range of any projectile that’s reasonably safe to throw at people from a sling is approximately zero feet.

However, the current ranged weapons (thrown items and bows) are pretty much everything that can sensibly be made larp safe. In addition, neither slings or bows really fit the theme of any of the nations.

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I liked your quick correction to ‘larp-safe’ pitchforks because even when the people at empire are looking to take your life, they still have to be safe.

It might be due to the size though as it said that the knives had to be longer than 8". If it is to do with other reasons then maybe it would rule out the blowpipes and slingshots. I just thought it was an interesting idea.

Thank you for your reply and for your kind words (also I replied to your message about arcane projections, I haven’t mentioned any yet, I was just waiting to see if you replied).

Yeah, given that a sling bullet needs a bit of weight, and a throw-safe larp weapon can’t have much weight… that’s a no. A bit of sand would add weight and drop safety quite quickly… And without some heft, you can’t really get the sling up to speed.

I don’t think there’s a way to get a food larp-safe sling without compromising on safety… OTOH that’s what I thought about flails… :slight_smile:

As for blowpipe… I saw larp-safe blowpipes in use at LT. They fired little cylinders of wool about the size of your little finger. You’d probably never notice you’d been hit by them, and as usual for larp-safe stuff, range and accuracy were awful.

Basically, you’ve got to balance LARP weaponry between “looks cool”, “is safe” and “is useful”.

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I see. I thought it would be a good idea just to find out. I’m surprised that the slingshots were as bad as throwing but maybe it was due to the weight of the projectile.

Wouldn’t blowpipes sort of fit Navarr? I know that blowpipes are probably unusual, I just thought that if they were then maybe they could use them.

Thank you for response, it was very informative.

I saw a concept were you would add a bit of weight to a sponge with some water but I’m not sure if it would have too much weight. It would also probably quite annoying to use and to be hit with. There is also the option of painted tennis balls but again they may have too much weight.

With the blowpipe I would do some tests but I don’t really have the tools or materials and for now I certainly don’t have enough time (though I may do at the end of this year). I would probably look into modifying the projectiles and maybe adding rifling though this would be quite annoying to do.

You mentioning the larp-safe blowpipes that did basically nothing gave me an idea for a character who always brings one of those along and thinks it is going to get them loads of kills but ends up never working so they just has to use it as a blunt instrument.

Thank you for answer, I think it has given me a better idea about larp weapons in general.

Not really. The cultural touchstones for Navarr are rangers and wanderers, not jungle tribes.

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Ah okay. Thank you for clarifying that.

I’ve been using a sling at LT events for a year (and stumbled across this thread while googling to see if anyone else was as daft as me). It takes practice, but it is, just about, a viable weapon.

I tried out a variety of sling lengths and ammo, and my current recommendation would be a relatively short one of about 34’’. That sounds a lot, but when folded in half around a rock, it really isn’t.

The sling straps are made of three strips of soft leather (2cm wide) braided, so it’s a low-density construction with next to no impact if you catch someone with it (not that you should sling at all if someone could be hit on the follow through). The pouch is just a flat piece of leather - it doesn’t need to be formed into any sort of cup to hold the projectile, and the ammo is going to be so light that anything that might get in the way of a sharp release is a bad thing. The knot at the end I’ve covered with discs of light plastazote foam to make a ball about 4cm across, so as not to catch anyone in the eye with the loose end (though see comment above about not slinging at all if you might).

For ammunition, I tried out a lot of different foams - the best performance is a heavy reconstituted foam (with a bit of practice, 30 metre shots are feasible) but I wouldn’t want to hit someone in the face with one of those at close range. Memory foam is quite heavy (as foams go) and exceptionally soft and squishy, and is the best compromise between safety and efficiency I’ve found. The projectiles should be liberally coated in latex, as that greatly improves their flight.

There are a surprising number of different slinging styles to try, but with a light-weight projectile, the simpler ones are best, as if the strands of the sling twist together, the bullet might not have the momentum needed to separate them cleanly.

I started with a straight over-arm cast, which is fairly easy to do, and accurate-ish (at least on the left-right axis - a lot of bullets still went into the ground or over the target’s head), then modified that to a quick over-hand snap from waist height (only really any good at close range). Currently I’m using a side-arm style, with bent knees, standing sideways on, and basically skimming the bullet in a flat arc.

The sling is still slower and less accurate than just throwing the ammunition by hand (and with only a marginal improvement in range), and vastly less accurate than a larp-safe bow, and needs quite a bit of practice to get to the level of being only moderate worse than an unpractised archer or thrower of rocks, so I’m not expecting it to catch on, but I’ve had quite a lot of fun discovering that.

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It sounds like you may be the leading expert on larp sling shots, at least on the forums. I’m really surprised that anyone would have this much information on slingshots. Thank you for sharing this, it is very interesting and I’m glad that I now know this, even if my current character would never use a sling. Don’t worry, you aren’t so crazy for using a sling, I have some ideas on crazier weapons that I may try and build, if I ever find the time an materials. I’d be happy to share the ideas with you as you sound like the kind of person who enjoys something new and different.

I’ve had thoughts on a spear thrower/atlatl style thing could work at larp.

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Id be really interested in hearing how you solve the weighting problem of the javelin/spears. Everyone I have had a go at using or making doesn’t have any front weighting to actually throw properly, or have been to heavy to use safetly.

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Has anyone tried a partially-cored javelin? Collapsible tip, about 10" of core, and then an very long foam end? I’ve seen cored javelins with collapsible tips but they’ve been cored all the way. I suspect this would throw better but might be more prone to tearing the foam.

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Hmm, my only concern would be that thrown weapons will still have to adhere to the rules on safety. Thrown weapons I believe need a core, so I’d recommending asking PD their rules for projectile weapons in general and use that as a starting point.

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My experiments were under LT’s weapons guidelines, which are basically that thrown weapons must not have any core or weighting, or any protrusion smaller than an eye-socket.

I think sling bullets would probably improve in performance by making them hollow and adding a core made of a cloth bag of dry sand or rice, and would still be highly compressible and safe on contact, but that wasn’t an option under the rules I was working to, so I haven’t actually tried it.

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Is this the right sort of Plastazote (LD33)?

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Yes, but the only thing I used plastazote for was as a ball on the release-end of the sling, where a non-LARP sling would have a simple knot (the idea being to avoid having any high density part that might catch someone in the eye). Pretty much any foam will do the job. My latest models use foam practice golf balls instead.

Plastazote sling bullets don’t work well at all - but the manufacturer you linked to does cut-to-size foam of different grades, all of which I have tried (ordered as cylinder bolster shape, 10cm length, 6cm diameter). Their reconstituted foam is heaviest, and flies best (and bullets of that foam have passed LT weapons check), but their memory foam is almost as good for performance and much squishier, so would be my all-round recommendation for utility and safety.

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