Is there more to HFS than simulated combat?Edit
Yes! There is much more to HFS than simulated combat. The various HFS groups have regular medieval style Courts, Feasts, Games, Demonstrations, Heraldic Regalia, and Revels. You can learn medieval Arts and Sciences, such as costume making, medieval dancing, and cooking. Some chapters have Equestrian Activities and Target Archery and even SAKS Activities. HFS groups have frequent tournaments where members can compete with other members to prove their prowess. Cultural events are sponsored to allow members to display their crafting skills, and competing with other members for awards. Regular camp-out events are held where members can interact with other players, staying in character for an entire weekend.
The High Fantasy Society emphasizes elements of both history and fantasy through the following means:
We recreate a medieval lifestyle. We have our own system of nobility, and offer award and titles for various achievements. We hold courts, feasts, Arts and Sciences competitions, camping trips and group trips to various medieval style events. We enhance our ability to do all this by creating fictional characters (persona) that we play in our games and at social events. The role-playing is intended to be spontaneous, so there are no scripts. We also wear Medieval/Fantasy costumes called "garb" to enhance role-playing and to identify our personas. We use Heraldic devices and bannars to creat atmosphere. We engage in safety-minded combat in the style of medieval warfare, from one-on-one tournaments to large-scale "capture the flag" battles. Our weapons are "boffer weapons" modeled after medieval weapons, but are foam-padded to ensure maximum safety. We also have a magic system to simulate the feel of wizardry in the spirit of fictional fantasy.
We are brewers, archers, calligraphers, heralds, fencers, spinners, blacksmiths, costumers, dancers, cooks and armoured fighters. We enjoy feasting, spinning, needlepoint, equestrian, leatherwork, beadwork, socializing, live weapons competition, period music, theatre and much more. If someone did it back then, you can bet someone is trying to do it now.
How do I get started?Edit
The easiest way to get started in HFS is to attend one of the regular meetings of an HFS group near you. You must be fourteen (14) years or older to take part in a battle game, and if you are under eighteen (18) years of age, you must have the permission of a guardian. There will be a participant's waiver that the participant (and the participant's legal guardian if under the age of 18) that will need to be signed prior to taking part of marshal activities.
Next, you should start to create a persona, your character, to begin role-playing. In creating your persona, do not use the name of an historical or popular fictional character. You may loosely base your persona on favorite character. The HFS game is designed for use in a pre-industrial medieval or ancient society, so try to make your character fit into that genre.
Now you need some medieval-looking garb. Tunics can be easily made from existing clothing or from scratch. If you can attend a meeting of an existing HFS group, you should be able to find someone eager to help you make your garb. Now you look the part!
Next, familiarize yourself with the rules and laws of your local Chapter. Contact the local chapter to obtain a copy of your own. Decided what class best fits the character you've created. Read up on the other classes to learn what you'll be up against on the battlefield. If you plan to participate in battle games, you'll next need to equip yourself with the arms that best suit your character's chosen class. Rules for construction of weapons and armors are given elsewhere in this rulebook. Any existing HFS group should have people willing and able to temporarily lend you equipment and/or help you to make your own.
The High Fantasy Society is a Live Action Role Play Game (LARP) that split off from Amtgard in1990, based primarily around Barad Duin, which was the founding kingdom of the HFS. There are now several other chapters, mostly in central Texas.
The Original HFS Rulebook was adapted from the Amtgard rulebook V5, but modifications made to the HFS rules have made them unique. It is still fairly easy for many players to adapt to the differences in rules without too much confusion.
One of the founding principles of HFS was that each group is completely autonomous. Every chapter is referred to as its own kingdom, regardless of population. This does lead to the opportunity to for anyone to call themselves a kingdom. It has been said, "three guys in a bathtub can call themselves a kingdom," and upstart kingdoms have sometimes been deemed "Bathtub Kingdoms" in terms of validity.
This freedom also gives each group the opportunity to add to or change their park's game rules or set statutes for how they wish to govern themselves. That said, HFS groups remain fairly consistent in game rules by choice so that all groups can play together. Rules standards are revisited yearly in preparation for the major interkingdom HFS event, the Combined Realms War, usually held in June.
Most groups continue to have a monarch, a counselor, chancellor, and champion. Knighthood however is not necessarily awarded using the same standards from kingdom to kingdom. In some kingdoms one can be knighted up to three times, for service, arts, and combat. Those who were knighted before the division into three types of knighthood are sometimes considered to be Knights in all three orders. Some chapters have also had rules to allow a knight in three orders to be made a Tower Knight. Awards may also have different names in chapters, and additional awards are created specific to one chapter at its discretion. There are two methods for granting HFS awards, one similar to the old system and one a unique HFS development.
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