Rules

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: These rules use system concepts taken from “Neverwhere, The D6 Roleplaying Game” by GamingGeek, and are kindly loaned to us by Brighton Below LARP.

Combat

SAFETY
This is the main consideration to bear in mind when entering into a combat. Accidents can be avoided simply by being careful and dangerous players will be asked to leave.

  • This system uses a real time combat system, which means that all combat is acted out using latex weapons, which are safe if used properly. If you have never used an LRP weapon before, or are unsure about how to carry out any aspect of combat, please ask a Waiter to give you a brief safety lesson.
  • Melee combat involves using a LARP weapon made of compressed foam. Attacks should be made at a sensible rate, approximately one per second. Drum-rolling (i.e. hitting an opponent very rapidly without bringing the weapon back) does no damage. If your opponent is drum-rolling, either inform them or a Waiter of this and ignore the damage.
  • All weapons must be checked by the Waiters before the start of the game. No pretend guns or real weapons of any kind are permitted, even if they're for decorative purposes only.
  • Hand to hand combat is permitted but must be done using 'dramatic speed' (i.e. in slow motion). All blows must be gentle, open-handed pats to well-fleshed areas. If you wish to grapple someone or pin them up against a wall, then use roleplay rather than force.
  • ALL BLOWS MUST BE PULLED.
  • Take care at all times, especially if fighting, running etc. Accidents happen all too easily when people have been drinking, and anyone deemed too inebriated to be safe will be asked to sit out for the remainder of the evening.
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DAMAGE
If a character does not possess a skill in a weapon they may still use that weapon but should roleplay their inability to fight properly. This will rely on a degree of fair play between the parties involved. The damage calls are as follows:

  • Stun (call: "Nap Time"): delivered by Brawl attacks and small blunt weapons. Can be delivered by Melee attacks if desired. To make a target unconscious requires a successful Stun attack equal to their number of Hit Points. They will then be unconscious, but not bleeding or dying, for 5 minutes. After that, they will recover consciousness and their Hit Points will regenerate at 1 per 5 minutes.
  • Normal (no call): attacks using Melee, Thrown and Claws do 1 Hit Point of damage.
  • Critical (call: "Just Die"): attacks using the Civil Servant Quirk put the target on 0 Hit Points and reduce their deathcount to 2 minutes.

When the character is knocked down to 0 Hit Points by Normal or Critical damage they are dying. They will collapse on the floor, either unconscious, or screaming in pain. It’s your decision on how you want to roleplay dying but, whatever you choose, you’re not able to do anything of any use. Once dying the character should begin a deathcount of 5 minutes. Once their deathcount has expired, the character is dead. They must be attended to by someone with the Chirurgy Skill, or some other form of healing (i.e. brews, magic, Healing Quirk) before their deathcount ends to avoid permanent loss of life.

Crafting

All Craftsmen have the ability to create, repair and identify Artefacts. These are items that have been finely crafted and maybe have just a little bit of magic woven into it. Not all Craftsmen are experts, however, and many will only know how to create a certain number of items or features. Characters who are not Craftsmen cannot create or identify Artefacts.

Common/Rare Artefacts
There are a number of common Artefacts for which the knowledge to create is readily available, and any Craftsman can learn how to make. There are other higher levels of Artefacts, the details of which are not so readily available. These Rare Artefacts can only be created by Advanced Craftsmen. Rare Artefacts are less common and often require components which are more difficult to acquire.

Artefact Information
Artefacts all have a number of features which should be noted on the card attached to it.

  1. Construction: the Artefact must be built into something. Common items can only hold a maximum of one power. Rare items can hold two powers. Legendary items can hold 3 Powers and may have additional special effects.
  2. Powers: the effects of the item. Each power will grant the item the ability to do something unusual, magical or powerful. All powers also have a side effect - whilst it might grant you the ability to ignore Writhe calls, it might also strike you dumb for the next hour.
  3. Features: any other points of note about the item, such as being attuned to only one gang or being bonded to a user and therefore immune to theft. Features take up a slot of the item's capacity, so Common items can only have either a feature or a power but not both.
  4. Activation: this will note whether the Artefact is permanently operational or if it is activated somehow. If the latter, it will state the method of activation required. Activation will cause ALL powers in the item to come into effect.
  5. Duration: all Artefacts are either permanent or have a limited time span of use. Permanent powers are constantly in operation. If the Artefact's powers need to be activated, they cannot then be shut off and will last for a limited duration. This could be a matter of seconds, hours or months.
  6. Range: whether the item can only be used by the wearer (Self - Common item), whether it can be used on a single person up to a 30ft range (Target - Rare item), or whether it affects everyone within a 30ft radius (Mass - Legendary item).

Components
All powers and features have components which are required to create the Artefact. A flute to lull people to sleep might require the skin of a cobra, for example. Without the required components, the Craftsman cannot create an Artefact with that power. Some components can only be created by characters with the Performance or Art Skills. A Craftsman can dismantle the Artefact into its components. The Artefact is destroyed in the process. In this way they can learn what components are required to make specific types of Artefact.

Repair
The Craftsman can attempt to repair any Artefact which is broken. All powers and features of the Artefact will be re-instated once the item is repaired. Characters cannot dismantle a broken Artefact into its components - it must be repaired before it can be studied. Creating an Artefact takes 20 minutes of uninterrupted work; repairing one takes 10 minutes of uninterrupted work.

Healing

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The Chirurgy Skill is rudimentary first aid to all intents and purposes. Characters will have a bead bag containing a number of beads. Each application of Chirurgy takes 30 seconds of roleplaying trying to patch the patient up, after which time the Chirurgeon takes a bead from their pouch. The colour of the bead determines the level of success. If a character is interrupted/attacked when performing Chirurgy, and there are no other characters with Chirurgy attending the same patient, then the Chirurgeon must start the 30 second process again. Only one bead is ever drawn in each 30 second period.

  • White: the Chirurgeon has managed to halt any bleeding and patch the character up using whatever materials they have to hand. The character has 1 Hit Point restored. The Chirurgeon can draw again after another 30 seconds.
  • Red: the wound is serious. If the character is in their deathcount, it is reduced by a further 1 minute. The Chirurgeon can draw again after another 30 seconds.
  • Black: the wound is too serious to be healed with Chirurgy. Only the Healing Quirk can heal the wound or, if they are in their deathcount, save the character.

Herbalism

Herbalism is something of a misnomer, considering that the majority of recipes use far more readily available sources such as moulds, mosses, fungi and roots. They can be combined to create herbal remedies, poultices and the like. The powers of Herbalism can also be used for more nefarious purposes and can be used to create poisons and venoms.

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Ingredients
There are a number of ingredients which are used to create Brews. This list will be provided to all characters with the Herbalism and Herb: Lore skill. Please do not show this list to characters who do not possess the skill. The information is for OOC use only. You may start the game with up to 10 ingredients.

By combining different ingredients together, herbal remedies, potions and poisons can be made. Each ingredient has 3 effects, which may be positive or negative. When two or more different ingredients are combined together, then a Brew is made which can be used for various in-game purposes. The result of the Brew will be where two or more ingredients have the same effect, so combining two ingredients which both have a Blind effect listed in their 3 effects will produce a Blind Brew. By increasing the number of ingredients in the Brew, the potency of the Brew can be increased.

Each Brew must have at least two different ingredients for there to be any effect. A brew containing 3 doses of the same herb has no effect. A Basic Herbalist can make a Brew containing up to 3 doses of ingredients; an Advanced Herbalist can make one with up to 5 doses. This potentially means that a Brew may have more than one effect, but there must be more than one ingredient used for each effect.

Creating Brews
A character may create a Brew in game-time by spending approximately 10 minutes mixing ingredients together. This should be roleplayed (i.e. grinding up the ingredients, straining, etc.), although nothing should actually be fed to another player in case of an allergic reaction. The character must hand over the requisite Herb phys reps to a Waiter in exchange for the Brew lammie, which must be attached to a phys rep container. Characters with Basic Herbalism can only create Brews with 3 doses of ingredients in them. Characters with Advanced Herbalism can create Brews with up to 5 doses of ingredients in them. All Brews will have a label which notes the full effects of the Brew and the duration. A character can add a Brew to food or drink substances if they wish. This is done by roleplaying the adding of the brew to the food / drink and the application of the Brew label to the mug, plate, etc. A Waiter's assistance may be useful when trying to stealthily poison someone.

Venoms & Poisons
Some Brews may be added to the blade of a weapon or passed on by skin contact. The Brew is simply applied to the weapon or the hands. Each Brew used as a blade venom can only deliver one attack per Brew; after the attack is delivered another Brew must be applied to the weapon. Remember that Contact Poison will also affect the wearer unless they are wearing gloves or can resist the effect somehow.

Special Brews
All Undersiders are aware of the mysterious power of what are known as Special Brews. This ability is only available to characters with Advanced Herbalism. Whilst those who have studied herbalism will know the effects of mixing various ingredients together, characters with Advanced Herbalism have studied the effects of mixing various Brews together. When mixed together in the correct doses, certain Brews will make very powerful potions. The recipes involved with making Special Brews are so complex that no-one would ever be able to discover them through experimentation.

Identifying Brews
Herbalists and those with Education: Herbs can identify Brews by looking at the label on the bottle. This will contain codes detailing the ingredients in the Brew, and full details of the effects if someone consumes it. Characters who do not have the Herbalism or Education: Herbs skill cannot identify Brews and can only consume the item in order to discover the effects. There are no effects from eating raw ingredients.

Items

All items are given a “scarcity rating”, either Common, Rare or Legendary. This represents how difficult they are to get hold of.

  • Common items are things like: traffic cones, knives, blankets, shoes, candles, watches, carrier bags, beads, glass bottles, feathers, coathangers, books, glo-sticks, bits of 2x4, scaffolding pipes, old clothes, a broken mobile phone.
  • Rare items are things like: paintings, books on magic, lockpicks, a torch with fully charged batteries, a Wedgwood pottery dinner set in near perfect condition, a petrol driven generator, a sleeping bag with all the filling inside, a sword, Artefact components.
  • Legendary Items are things like: feathers from an angels wings, the tears of an unborn child, an original sketch by Monet, the teeth of the Great Boar.
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Magic

Magic is, like so many things in London Under, a forgotten and dismissed relic of a former time. There are those in the Underside who have embraced magic and have learned to utilise it for their own purposes. The art they practice is known as Weaving.

Rites
Most magic is performed through the use of rites. These are slow and painstaking to perform, and require the use of components. They are, however, quite powerful and can be of great use. Their effects are usually subtle - there is no flinging of burning sulphur or casting lightning bolts in London Under. In order to cast the rite, the player must locate and obtain any required components. How the rite is enacted is up to the whim of the player, but last no less than 5 minutes. A Waiter must bear witness to the rite for it to have any effect. Once the character has cast the rite, the components are destroyed.

Some rites can have a delayed effect, activated by a trigger word. This will take 1 Willpower from the character until the trigger word is used and the rite effect activates, at which time the Willpower point is restored. If the character does not have any Willpower available at the time of casting, the rite automatically fails. A character cannot use Brews to restore “locked” Willpower points.

Sigils
Sigils are the prerogative of the White gang, who cast through the medium of graffiti art. Sigils take five minutes of concentrated painting to cast, and 1 Willpower which can come from either the caster or the target provided they agree to do so. The sigil remains active for as long as the painting is undamaged. Once the sigil has been destroyed the Willpower is restored to the character. For game purposes, all sigils must be sprayed or painted onto pieces of paper - no actual vandalism please!

Trading

Items
All items are given a “scarcity rating”, either Common, Rare or Legendary. This represents how difficult they are to get hold of and therefore what their relative value is. The Market operates on a barter system, so the value of any deal can only be decided upon by those making the deals, but for guidance:

  • Common items: generally traded only for other common items, at a 1:1 exchange rate.
  • Rare items: traded for other rare items, Brews, Artefacts, rites, small/big favours, graffiti, days
  • Legendary items: traded for other legendary items, Special Brews, Rare Artefacts, rites, big/massive favours, months/years

Favours
Owing somebody a favour requires Willpower, the second of your two stats. It's not possible to trick someone into owing a favour - both parties must willingly consent even if they're not entirely happy about it. When the deal is agreed the favour is given a level: ‘Small’, ‘Big’ or ‘Massive’. What constitutes the different level of favour depends upon the circumstances at the time but as a vague guideline:

  • Small: providing Brews or using a Quirk to help someone out. This takes 1 Willpower, spent until the favour is repaid.
  • Big: risking injury or incurring the annoyance of a prominent figure. This takes 2 Willpower, spent until the favour is repaid.
  • Massive: something which would risk life, or involve a sustained and arduous task. This takes 3 Willpower, spent until the favour is repaid.

The customer must follow the terms of the contract as is agreed when the deal is made. If the customer does not repay the favour to the agreed terms, they will suffer the permanent loss of Willpower points tied into the favour. The threat of this Willpower loss protects the vendor and gives their customer an incentive to honour the deal. If the vendor dies before the favour is repaid then the Willpower points are also permanently lost, irrespective of who was responsible for the vendor's death.

The parties may either agree how the debt is to be repaid there and then, or the vendor can suggest that the nature of the favour is determined at a later date. If the latter, then at some point the vendor can ask the customer to repay their debt. The customer must accept, though they may try to negotiate on the exact terms. Either way, the two parties must agree on what is required. If no agreement is reached, then the customer is considered to have broken the agreement as per above and will lose Willpower. Likewise if the vendor makes a request to the customer, then the customer can ask that the service is considered the favour repaid. The vendor still has the choice whether to accept the offer or not with no penalty. Those in debt will usually try their hardest to get out of it so will often refuse to assist the vendor unless they consider it to be paying off their obligation. The vendor cannot amend the terms unless the customer agrees, nor may they refuse the customer's settlement in order to keep them in debt. Once both sides of the agreement have been completed then the contract ends.

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IC & OC Calls

Call Type Effect
"Just die" Damage: Critical Target's Hit Points drop to 0 and the deathcount is reduced to 2 minutes
"Nap time" Damage: Stun Target falls unconscious after receiving Stun damage equal to their Hit Points
"Deluded" Quirk: Delusions Target is removed from Underside for 5 minutes and should leave the playing area
"Domine Dirige Nos" Quirk: Civil Servant Caster gains 2 additional Hit Points for the duration of 10 minutes and is able to do 1 Critical attack
"Drain" Quirk: Drain Contact must remain for at least 3 seconds, after which target loses 1 Hit Point and caster gains 1 Hit Point
"It's just a scratch" Quirk: Healing Target instantly regains 1 Hit Point
"Sweet dreams" Quirk: Dreaming Contact must remain for at least 3 seconds. The target then tells the caster a dream which must relate to their background, recent activities, hopes or fears.
"Writhe" Quirk: Writhe Target falls to floor, incapacitated, and writhes in pain
Crossed fingers Quirk: resist Character spends 1 Willpower to resist the effect of a Quirk cast at them. This can only be used against resistable Quirks.
"Man Down" OC Call Real life injury. All players immediately stop and allow the Waiters and First Aiders to ensure the injured person is okay. Do not call Man Down for IC injuries.
"Time Freeze" OC Call All players immediately stop, close their eyes and ignore surroundings. They may not speak, move, look or act until Time In is called.
"Time In/Out" OC Call The game starts/stops.
Arms crossed over chest IC gesture Character is there but currently invisible. They can be touched, heard and smelled but not seen.
Hand in the air OC gesture Person is OC and not present in the game world in any way

PHOTO CREDITS
1. Victor Riggs of the Sacred Circle and Squeak of the Varmints carry away a dead dryad, photo by Tom Garnett, www.tgarnett.com
2. A poison victim is attended to by two healers and a waiter, photo by Tom Garnett, www.tgarnett.com
3. Wren of the Ghillie Dhu mixes up some brews, photo by Tom Garnett, www.tgarnett.com
4. Wandsworth of the Whites creates a sigil, photo by Tom Garnett, www.tgarnett.com
5. Cinnabar of the Tideways, photo by Tom Garnett, www.tgarnett.com

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: These rules use system concepts taken from “Neverwhere, The D6 Roleplaying Game” by GamingGeek, and are kindly loaned to us by Brighton Below LARP.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License