Darkon Wargaming Club is a non-profit live-action role-playing (LARP) club in the United States based in the Washington, DC Metro area.
Founded in 1985 and built upon the rules of the now-defunct Emarthenguarth Outdoor Wargaming System, Darkon grew from a handful of LARP enthusiasts to almost 2,000 members in 2005, with a small number of chapters dotting the country. There is also an award-winning feature-length documentary based on the club, Darkon.
Administration of The Darkon Wargaming Club is comprised of three official governing bodies: the "Executive Board," the "Noble Council," and the "Senate." The Club administration is run much like the United States Government, with a system of checks and balances to prevent one body from gaining too much power.
The group has various tie-ins with local park services and other public-grounds administrative bodies, meaning they often have opportunities to set up their events in public parks and nature preserves as well as through personal arrangements with private farmers, landowners, and high school and college grounds.
- They have separate abilities for quests and for battlegames, like how we have quest-only monsters, but theirs applies to the players.
- They may wear two bucklers, or just one shield of small size or larger.
- The hits zones are comparable, with the back of the head and neck being legal, as well as the crown of the head.
- They have shield bashing, shield kicking, but no shield rubbing.
- Siege rules are about the same, but only catapults and ballistae count. Battering rams are a special device used only for breaking open doors and take 5 unwounded men to do.
- They use the word "Hold!" and "Lay On" the same.
- They can go back to Nirvana to heal, or use special abilities, so it seems they spend a lot of time in Hell getting patched up. I'd imagine these battlegames go on for a while. Ditching seems to be a very special type of battlegame that is very rarely done.
Magic has many similarities, but is definitely more "AD&D". Several of our spells were directly adopted, and many were taken from adventure games or made up directly for the game. The balance seems alright, and just like us, it is what makes their game 'fantasy'. Magic casters must have a spellbook or scroll with the spell, and must write their own spell for the effect. A minimum word limit must be observed, being anything from 30-1000 words long!
They have well-developed territory rules, and the fighting companies are already set.
When the Darkon movie premiered at the Austin,Texas based film and music festival SxSW the Celestial Kingdom came out to help with the demo. Then when the film was shown again the Darkon guys contacted the CK again and gave the kingdom 20 free tickets to the opening at the Alamo Draft house. At the Draft house HFS and Amtgard held a joint demo in celebration of the movie, complete with dueling the patrons.