This is version 4.0
Persona and PortrayalEdit
"Persona - A portrayed personality, such as in a play or story. A set of assumed or synthetic behaviors. From the Latin; Persona, meaning; Person." A persona is the “person” you will be portraying in the HFS. Most personas are reality-based, fantasy-based, or a combination of the two. All personas should be from a pre-industrial society. You should not take the name of an actual historic figure or a famous character from a book or movie. A persona should be a unique creation, something you are comfortable with.
In your first few months of playing, don't worry about the details. Personas often grow and develop over time. It enriches the experience and ultimately improves the game for everyone.
Garb is a vital to giving the game the proper mood and color. Newcomers should have some form of garb within a month of beginning to play. All battlefield participants must be in "period" garb (tunic, robe, armor, etc). Anything that conceals the
obvious mundane (modern-day) appearance of clothing is acceptable as a minimum. The basic garb is easy and cheap. The simplest garb is a plain tabard and a pair of sweatpants. A tabard is essentially a section of cloth with a neck hole cut in the middle, worn like a poncho and belted in place. But this is only a starting point. Players are encouraged to let their garb develop along with their personas.There are certain other garb elements that denote special positions:
• White belts (any belt at least 75% white) are reserved for knights.
• Red belts (any belt at least 75% red) are reserved for squires.
• Yellow belts are reserved for Pages. A non-fighting page must also wear a silver sash if on the field.
• Unadorned large gold chains are reserved for Masters of Orders.
• Unadorned large black chains are reserved for Masters of Class.
• Spurs are reserved for company Captains.
• The Phoenix can only be worn by Paladins or Anti-Paladins. Paladin and Anti-Paladin symbols must be at least 5 inches by 5 inches. • Crowns and coronets are reserved for royalty and nobility. • Most companies and many individuals choose to register their personal symbols and colors. Use of these personal symbols by others is disallowed. Personal symbols and colors must be registered with the Guildmaster of Heraldry and the Prime Minister to enjoy this protection.
There are some classes that require instant identification for safety or mechanical purposes, and should not be struck for any reason. These are identified by wearing gold or silver, typically as a sash, headband, or tunic. These only apply to identification during a battlegame. All players may use these colors when off the field.
Remember: Every persona must be either from an ancient, medieval, or swords-and-sorcery related background.
Combat is only a small part of the game, but it is the most athletic activity and involves direct physical contact between players. Therefore, extensive rules have been developed to ensure the safety of all participants. No rules can cover every situation. If something unusual comes up or there is a question about a rule, do not make guesses or assumptions. That's how most long-term confusion starts. Refer the matter to a Reeve.
- Head and Neck - Does not count as a hit and is an illegal target. Deliberately parrying with your head or neck is also illegal... and stupid.
- Arm - A hit to the arm results in the loss of that arm. Any following hits to that arm result in death. A wounded arm must be kept behind your back and out of the way. Hand hits count as a hit to the arm unless you are holding a melee weapon in that hand, in which case it counts as hitting the weapon. Wrists are considered part of the arm, not the hand.
- Leg - A hit to a leg results in the loss of that leg. You must drop to at least one knee and place the dead knee on the ground. Any following hits to that leg have no effect (the only exceptions are spellballs and white weapons). You can move around on your knees, but cannot use your feet for movement. Hopping is not allowed.
- Torso - (Includes the shoulders, groin, chest, back, and buttocks) Instant death. The Torso is divided into front and rear for armor purposes. The chest, belly, and sides are considered “Front,” while the back and buttocks are considered “Rear.” Shoulders are called at the player’s discretion, but the idea is that the front of the shoulder counts as front torso, and the back of the shoulder counts as rear torso.
- Feet - Shots on the feet do not count as a hit if they are on the ground when struck (exception: spellballs and white weapons); otherwise they count as a hit to that leg.
How To Get Yourself KilledEdit
Any blow to the unprotected torso, two blows to the same arm, or any combination of two wounded limbs results in death. In some specific instances (such as tournaments or non-class battlegames) the Reeve may make exceptions to this rule, but they will be well announced before the battlegame begins. A blow to a hit location only counts as a single hit to that location, regardless of weapon type or damage value. "Extra" damage does not carry over to another location.
Shots that strike only garb or equipment do not count as a hit unless those items blocked a blow that would have struck a combatant (i.e. - garb, equipment, sheathed weapons, etc. are not shields and do not count as armor).
Blows that nick or lightly glance off of a target do not count as valid hits. Any blow that stops or any blow
that hits and deflects after firm impact is considered a valid hit. There is no such thing as a “light hit.” If the shot connected lightly but firmly, it is a hit.
Projectiles and arrows that nick or glance still count as hits.
The "chain" portion of flails are not legal striking edges and do not count as hits. The same applies to all weapon hafts, hilts, hand guards, and courtesy- padded shafts.
If a person is struck in an arm or killed while in the process of attacking and that attack successfully lands, it still counts as a hit. This is called the Shot-In-Motion method. This should be a clear case of finishing an already thrown shot, meaning that it
requires no significant change of direction and the last action required to finish the attack has already been started prior to being struck.
Direct contact with another player with anything but a weapon is forbidden (except as allowed by certain special abilities), as is grappling, rough or dangerous contact, or contact which can be deemed offensive.
Shield-bashing is also forbidden, defined as the act of act striking an opponent or his shield with your own shield in a forceful manner. Violations can result in being banned from play indefinitely.
The Reeves' judgment is the final word in all situations. Disputes should be referred to a Reeve, not argued out between players.
Deflections that then strike true on a target are hits, with the exception of shots that deflect off the head or neck. Deflections from illegal targets don’t count. Blows that knock aside a parry and then strike the target are counted as hits.
Strikes from projectiles, magic balls, and arrows that bounced off another object are not valid hits unless specified in the individual effect descriptions.
Illegal hits stop pause the action if necessary for your opponent to recover (i.e. if you hit your opponent in the face, stop combat until he indicates he is unhurt). This is called a Personal Hold.
A player who consistently breaks game rules, cheats, causes mundane problems with authorities or safety issues can be barred from participating by joint agreement of the Monarch and either the Prime Minister or the Guildmaster of Reeves.
Players may not wield more than one weapon in a single hand. Firing multiple arrows simultaneously is an exception to this rule. (Wield = holding and using a weapon in an offensive or defensive manner. Just carrying it does not count as wielding it, so long as the weapon is obviously not ready for combat.)
If you have to think about whether or not a strike against you was ‘good enough,’ it probably was.
A shot must generally be felt to be considered valid. However, if you saw the shot coming in and were unable to do anything about it (an exceptionally clean blow), then you may count it as a legal hit.
Do not declare whether a shot against another person was valid or not unless you are a Reeve, especially if you are the attacker. It is rude and considered poor form, and is just cause for removal from the field. If you consistently have problems with a player not acknowledging hits, inform a Reeve who will deal with them appropriately.
There are some shots that partially meet these requirements but are not valid. Included here is a list of shots that do not count.
- ‘Wiggling' - A shot (normally a stab) that misses its initial target, but is then jerked back and forth
weakly in order to hit your opponent.
- ‘Draw Cuts' - A shot that slides along your opponent with little force exerted against him.
Note that a shot that lands legitimately and then turns into a draw cut will still wound or kill the
- ‘Whipping' - A shot from a non-hinged weapon that is blocked, but the weapon bends around the block to strike an opponent. This is not to be confused with your opponent pivoting or ‘wrapping' a shot around your block. Whipping only applies when the core of the weapon itself bends around a block, enabling a shot to land that would have otherwise been stopped.
- ‘Bouncing’ - When using heavily padded weapons, sometimes a hit will rebound and hit the target a second time. Only the initial strike counts as a hit, not the rebound. This includes shots that are intentionally bounced (rabbit-
These are just guidelines, and you should never attempt to use these rules to cheat your way out of a
valid hit. Also, any of these shots (especially draw cuts) may be called by the struck player as a good
hit for dramatics or role-play purposes.