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LARP Firearms

Steampunked

Registered User
Validated User
This was brought up in the boffer vs latex thread and I thought it deserved a thread of its own.

There are a lot of details to take into consideration with a LARP firearm:
Realistic look vs bright colors
Realistic shape vs crazy nerf gun shape
Does it fit with the LARP setting

The game I am writing (and beta testing) is steampunk, so firearms are going to be a fair portion of the weaponry available.

We are allowing nerf guns and action ball guns with a semi-realistic paint job being prefered. Players can use their normal unpainted nerf guns with no penalty, but those that go out of their way to paint their guns to have them fit in with the setting will be rewarded with one time roleplaying bonuses for each gun.

As for the bright orange on the gun tip the action ball guns don't come with any. No one will be penalized for keeping the orange tip on a nerf; they would still get the bonus for steampunking their gun.

Weird shaped guns are part and parcel for steampunk, so the nerf shapes are not a problem.

We allow the action ball guns because they look like a flintlock and load as such as well, muzzle loaders, without the flintlock mechanism on the side. They fit with the time period we are trying to create: 1890's.

As for the nerf guns, crazy steampunk scientists and engineers devise the strangest of weapons, so they fit easily enough.

The important thing is safety. Nerf is patently safe and I've been shot at 3 inches with an action ball gun to the side of the head without a problem. Suicide scene, played really well.

What are your thoughts on LARP firearms?

~Steampunked~
 

Ryan Paddy

big picturist
Validated User
Is "action ball" a brand name or style of gun? I'm picturing those pump-action guns that just use air pressure to fire a foam ball. What brand names are there in this style? I've always liked the look of those largish foam balls in terms of safety and just melding in with other foam larp gear.

Also with the action ball guns - can you load just one ball and have it fire effectively? All the photos have them loaded with lots of balls, but I guess just loading one would be more suitable for flintlocks. How far do they fire, and how straight do they fire in wind?

It's probably important when discussing Nerf to distinguish the different types of ammo they have.
 

Scarik

You die as you live.
Validated User
I prefer to only use Nerf-equivalent guns. Larp combat takes place at very short range so the range of Nerf darts is typically not a factor and you don't get much safer than Nerf.

Painted looks better but I also prefer to leave the tips orange so that when you pull out a bunch of them from your trunk no one is alarmed.
 

Caias Ward

Active member
Validated User
I play in Dystopia Rising, a networked zombie apocalypse event (you can travel to other events with your character).

http://www.dystopiarisinglarp.com/

Game uses semi-automatic fire Nerf-style weapons for PCs; painting (barring the orange tip for safety ID reasons) is highly encouraged. They allow modification for range and such, so long as it passes certain safety standards.

One of my guns, for example.

 

RachelPryde

Registered User
Validated User
We allow the action ball guns because they look like a flintlock and load as such as well, muzzle loaders, without the flintlock mechanism on the side. They fit with the time period we are trying to create: 1890's.

~Steampunked~
Just a nitpick - by the 1890s, you are far past the flintlock era - the famed Colt Single Action Army aka the Colt Peacemaker, which was a centerfire weapon, goes out of US military service in 1892. "Antique" weapons in the 1890s are going to be percussion-cap-and-ball weapons, not flintlocks.
 

BrianDR

Registered User
Validated User
The larps that I play that use firearms use Nerf Guns (streamline dart ammo) and usually allow BuzzBee as well (slightly cheaper nerf-equivalent). There's usually a rule that you paint them, but it's not anywhere near enforced (unfortunately). Modifications to increase range/power are not allowed.

One of the games I've played allowed nerf guns with disc ammo. Most games do not, as they tend to ricochet. This is seen as a balance and rules concern, not a safety concern.

One big downside of nerf is that they lose a lot of their effectiveness at night: since they are so light, players with armor or even thick clothing might not feel the hit at all. Players need to actually see the dart coming to reliably know they've been hit, which is a shame.

Though I tend to think boffers look completely fine, I find that I really really hate any neon on the nerf guns.
 
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Steampunked

Registered User
Validated User
Just a nitpick - by the 1890s, you are far past the flintlock era - the famed Colt Single Action Army aka the Colt Peacemaker, which was a centerfire weapon, goes out of US military service in 1892. "Antique" weapons in the 1890s are going to be percussion-cap-and-ball weapons, not flintlocks.
Post apocolyptic steampunk, some knowledge was lost. But nerf revolvers, such as the maverick, are allowed and cover the sort of single action Colt Peacemaker type gun available at the time. Since we are drawing up our own world as opposed to using a modified real world, this works. For a modified real world something else would probably work better.
 

Steampunked

Registered User
Validated User
Is "action ball" a brand name or style of gun? I'm picturing those pump-action guns that just use air pressure to fire a foam ball. What brand names are there in this style? I've always liked the look of those largish foam balls in terms of safety and just melding in with other foam larp gear.

Also with the action ball guns - can you load just one ball and have it fire effectively? All the photos have them loaded with lots of balls, but I guess just loading one would be more suitable for flintlocks. How far do they fire, and how straight do they fire in wind?

It's probably important when discussing Nerf to distinguish the different types of ammo they have.
I am not sure if action ball is the gun type, the ammo, or a brand name, sorry. I've only ever heard them called that. The ammo is about the size of a paintball, so 72 caliber ball, give or take. I've only ever loaded one ball into the gun and it fires about 20-30 feet. Comparable to any nerf gun dart. They fire a little better in the wind because they are balls not darts but they do get pushed around a bit by the wind.
 

Peter Svensson

Reads Too Many Comics
Validated User
Gaslight allows two specific models of NERF guns that look close enough to actual weapons being used in 1863, once appropriately painted to look like a period weapon. Ish. The orange tips are kept, because even though we play in a campground high in the woods where non-players and law enforcement aren't going to stumble into a potentially confusing situation (and since we're all in period costume, the odds of them mistaking it for a real weapon are minimal), just to be on the safe side.

The only modification done is to allow for fasting reloading. No range mods permitted. NERF darts are the only ammo permitted. It works pretty well so far, though the main issue has been that with the elaborate nature of Victorian costumes that at times people don't realize they've been shot.
 
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