What is Dagorhir? An easy question to ask. A difficult question to answer.
Dragorhir is a group of individuals of age 15 and up, who enjoy improvisational characterization in a medieval setting. This medieval setting includes costumes, characterization, character history, medieval-style warfare and medieval social activities. Dagorhir activities usually take place outdoors and aspects of the game are explained in this handbook.
In 1975, an actor-artist college freshman named Bryyn Wiese [Crinan MacBrood] read JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Tolkien’s book inspired Wiese to combine his new-found interest in fantasy with his love of the outdoors, improvisational acting and high energy events. This combination planted a seed which blossomed into an idea. The idea was to catapult people from the 20th century into the midst of an intense battle during the Middle Ages; a time when the values and problems of the modern world did not exist.
Wiese discussed the idea at length with his girlfriend, Mary Dugan [Edaina], his roommate, Gus Hathaway [Rolling Thunder] and a close friend, Jum Murch [Galarast]. With their input the game started to take shape.
On October 29, 1977, a prototype battle was held at Riggs Farm in Montgomery County, Maryland. Everyone enjoyed it, but most importantly it gave Wiese a chance to see what would and would not work. In June 1978. He placed an advertisement on the Washington DC college radio station, WGTB-FM, calling for people who would like to be involved in this type of medieval event. Calls began to come in and the newly formed group of Dagorhir was on its way. Dagorhir [pronounced dagger-here] is taken from the Elvish language created by JRR Tolkien for the Silmarillion. In English, Dagorhir would roughly translate as "Battlelords".
Since the first battles the game has changed considerably and will continue to change in order to improve and meed new demands. There are now many branches of Dagorhir Stretching across the country.
Thanks to the following parties for making this book possible - Pentwyvern, Aratari, Dur Demarion, Spanky, Boromor, Ron R., Dagorhir National, Duane, The Mike Brigade, Jerry Spangler, Ed Ritty, Craig, Moshi, and No One Important.
Very Special Thanks to J.R. Bob Dobbs for telling Jerry Spangler and Ed Ritty that it was OK to take this long to finish.
1: DAGORHIR BASICS
Welcome to Dagorhir Kingdom of Avalon; within this handbook you will find the rules for the central and southern Ohio chapter of Dagorhir. These rules are based on the original Dagorhir rules established in 1977. As a group, we have modified these rules to suit our needs. Dagorhir Kingdom of Avalon has existed in Ohio since 1989, when it originated in Akron.
This handbook is for Dagorhir Kingdom of Avalon and is for the inexperienced and experienced participants, alike. Read this book before participating in any Dagorhir battles. Other regions have different house rules. Consider all rules in this handbook to be the house rules of Dagorhir Kingdom of Avalon. Tournament rules will be stated prior to events. It there are ever any questions, please feel free to ask. Please enjoy yourself, and be aware of others.
Reasons to participate in Dagorhir are simple. The most important reason is because it is fun. Other reasons include:
Escape & Controlled Aggression:
Dagorhir is a chance to momentarily act out your character, and make merry with friends. Escaping from everyday hassles for a few hours can be very relaxing. Dagorhir promotes controlled and constructive physical force and provides a safe and healthy way to vent pent-up frustrations and release tension. Accidents may happen but we try to minimize such occurrences by strict enforcement of all Dagorhir safety regulations.
2. Team Efforts & Social Functions:
Participation in Dagorhir provides members with the opportunity to learn about teamwork. Individuals may participate in a unit on the battlefield, while others will work together preparing a feast for fifty people. Dagorhir provides a chance to interact with people on a casual level both on and off the battlefield.
Dagorhir is a chance to get outside and push yourself to the edge. Dagorhir improves strength, stamina and reflexes as well as exercising the mind. A properly developed character will require a library search for background and costume ideas. You learn about history and culture. Dagorhir is a chance to perform without fear of the big fumble or stammer. Being "killed", losing sudden physical control of your body, and minor trip-ups can be turned into a most glorious "death".
There is no charge to watch Dagorhir battle practice from the sidelines or to participate a few times, but by the fifth day of participation you must have the basic requirements. The basic requirements are a signed consent form, a handbook and a basic understanding of the rules, a membership card, a basic costume, and a safe weapon.
To become a member of Dagorhir Kingdom of Avalon you will be required to purchase a handbook and membership card. After purchasing a handbook you will need to fill out the consent form with the proper information, including all signatures and date. Give this consent form to one of the Heralds at battle practice. After the mundane aspects of membership are taken car of, help with costuming and weapons may be provided by veteran members.
Active membership is defined as participating in Dagorhir Kingdom of Avalon sponsored events or battle practice at least once every four weeks. Members who are not active in Dagorhir sponsored events or battle practice may lose their membership status and privileges. All members who are active in Dagorhir Kingdom of Avalon will need their membership card for various reasons:
èAGE: FOR BATTLE PRACTICE AND EVENTS
Anyone is welcome to attend Dagorhir battle practice. There are age requirements to participate on the battlefield and to attend special events. For Dagorhir Kingdom of Avalon, anyone 15 years old or older may participate in the fighting at weekly battle practice. Different age requirements may apply for special Dagorhir events. These age requirements will be announced at weekly battle practices or be event notices.
A consent form must be signed before anyone will be allowed to participate. The consent form explains that you participate at your own risk and that you have agreed to never bring charges or suit against and other Dagorhir participant, and Dagorhir coordinator, or any property owner where Dagorhir meets, in case of an accident. A copy of the consent form is located at the back of this handbook. Some events require an additional consent for and/or a medical release from for insurance purposed. The medical release form indicates that emergency medical treatment may be given to minors or adults who are incapacitated. These signed forms must be notarized for minors.
For those over 18 years of age, the consent form is a simple matter of showing some form of proof-of-age and signing the form. These signed forms must be notarized for participants under 18 years of age.
All participants must follow all the rules and regulations in this handbook. Those who do not will be asked to leave, permanently. These rules are for the safety of all participants and are your best protection on the battlefield.
Weekly battle practice is the testing ground for ideas, and prepares participants for special events. Dagorhir Kingdom of Avalon meets for battle practice on Tuesdays at seven o’clock. The regular location for Akron battle practice is Jackson field at The University of Akron, practice is moved to the James Arthur Rhodes arena (also located at The University of Akron) for inclement and cold weather.
Other Kingdom of Avalon groups may be meeting in other locations within the Realm. Ask any member for specific times and locations. You are welcome to attend any battle practice.
Dagorhir Kingdom of Avalon schedules special events such as camp outs, persona battles, and feasts. We announce when and where medieval films and plays will be showing. We also try to keep us the local Renaissance fairs and related events. We also do demonstrations at area schools and at local events. Possible other activities include art exhibitions, craft demonstrations, theater, concerts or anything else of a medieval nature.
Events generally cost a site fee. If you cannot afford to pay, then you can volunteer to be a full-time event worker. Event workers can fight in certain battles but they must help cook, serve, clean, check-in and check-out. Musicians who bring appropriate instruments and play a considerable amount of music for the event can get in free. One medical technician will be allowed into overnight events free, for their services. If you wish to fill one of these positions you must notify an Event Coordinator at least two weeks in advance of the even.
Ragnarok, an annual Dagorhir event, is a gathering of Dagorhirians from across the nation. At Ragnarok, participants leave the mundane world behind for a weekend filled with medieval merriment, feasting, and battling. This event is the most anticipated for the year, and only Kingdom of Avalon participants that meet the membership requirements, particularly full costuming will be allowed to represent The Kingdom of Avalon.
èCHECK-IN / CHECK-OUT
Check-in is run to keep up with new Dagorhirians, to check armaments for safety and to take care of the mundane aspects of Dagorhir. To check-in look for a Herald, sign-in, pay the site fee, have weapons and armor checked and coded, and acquire any special instructions. At secluded sites, it may be necessary to check-out. Check-out will ensure that no one is left behind or lost.
It is very important to clean battle practice and event sites before leaving. We are usually using public property. Leaving a location cleaner than the way we found it will ensure a good relationship with park officials and land owners. Take your garbage with you; this includes cigarette butts, drink containers, etc.. If you smoke, then be careful where you put your butt. Make sure your cigarettes are completely extinguished. Carry a pouch to put your butt in when you are finished.
Mundane aspects of The Kingdom of Avalon are taken care of by the Executive Council, as defined by the Articles and Bylaws of Avalon. The Executive Council holds an open meeting to discuss business approximately once a month, all members are invited to attend. Issues of safety are decided by the Executive Council. Issues of playability and realism are decided by all active Dagorhir members. Rule changes will be voted on by all active members present when a is held. These votes will be held at the monthly meetings.
Dagorhir events are controlled by Event Coordinators and the Executive Council. Anyone willing to accept the responsibility may be an Event Coordinator. These responsibilities include arranging a suitable site, planning a general theme, scheduling battles, preparing feasts, and distributing awards. An Event Coordinator is also responsible for notifying all concerned parties with the details of the event, particularly the Executive Council. If you do not want to coordinate an event but have access to an ideal location, then please inform a member of the Executive Council.
Dagorhir Kingdom of Avalon is a nonprofit corporation. All of the money we collect goes into the group fund. These funds are used to pay for materials and services that will benefit the entire organization. Any active member of the Dagorhir Kingdom of Avalon is welcome to review the financial records of the corporation at any reasonable time.
Some events will have merchants hawking their wares. These are individuals whose characters are skilled in a trade. If you have a hobby of a medieval nature, then you are encouraged to market your wares. Dagorhir Kingdom of Avalon does not profit from the sale of goods or services by these merchants.
èLOST & FOUND
Dagorhir Kingdom of Avalon can assume no responsibility for personal property brought to battles. Found items will be held and displayed by the Heralds for a period of two months, after which time the items become the property of Dagorhir Avalon. Unclaimed items may be sold by auction to the highest bidder.
If you wish to start your own Dagorhir group, you must register with the nearest group to your location. New Realms must have the same role-playing system as Dagorhir to use the Dagorhir name. Magic, poison, thieving and special powers, other than healing, are not part of the Dagorhir system. Use of the Dagorhir name in the State of Ohio without registering with Dagorhir Kingdom of Avalon and Dagorhir Kingdom of Pentwyvern is infringement on the corporate name. Feel free to use this handbook as a basis for a new group but we strongly suggest you contact the nearest Dagorhir Realm and use their established house rules.
The state of Ohio is shared by two Dagorhir Kingdoms. The dividing line between the kingdoms is drawn east to west through the middle of the city of Parma. All lands north of this line belong to the kingdom of Pentwyvern, and all lands to the south belong to The Kingdom of Avalon. Avalon and Pentwyvern are often referred to as ‘the Ohio kingdoms’ or as ‘the northern kingdoms’ and at Ragnarock often fight as one large unit.
There is currently one newsletter for Dagorhir Kingdom of Avalon; The Roundtable. This publication takes contributions of money, literature and art work. It is also the place to look for character information, rule clarification and event updates.
èLAW ENFORCEMENT: Respect for People & Property
Dagorhir Kingdom of Avalon will respect and enforce any rules imposed on us by land owners or local ordinances. If any member is seen vandalizing or in any way breaking park or property rules, the that participant will be asked to leave the event. Future offenses will result in the permanent expulsion of that individual from all Dagorhir activities. Dagorhir Kingdom of Avalon will respect and enforce all local ordinances regarding alcohol, illegal drugs, fires, fireworks, weapons, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, etc. Failure to comply with these laws will result in permanent expulsion from Dagorhir.
Anyone caught stealing of defacing property, including personal belongings, trees, structures, etc., will be suspended from all local events and battle practices for a period of time not less that two months. The second offence will bring permanent expulsion and you name will be circulated to other Dagorhir groups as well as other medieval groups and the like.
èKNOW THE RULES
It is highly encouraged that you read these rules very carefully. We recommend you read it more than once, especially before battle practice and events. Quizzing each other on the rules on the way to an event is a good idea. A clear understanding of the rules is vital to the smooth functioning of the game. Good characterization will guarantee a good time for all. Individuals who perpetually demonstrate no understanding of the rules will be asked to leave the battlefield.
What every first-timer & veteran needs to participate at Dagorhir sponsored events:
SECTION 2: DAGORHIR ROLE-PLAYING
èCHARACTERIZATION: The Art of Living & Dying
In attempting to recreate a medieval atmosphere, it is ver important that participants improvisationally act out their character. Everyone should make up a name and basic character which represents their interest by their fifth time to participate in Dagorhir. The setting for Dagorhir is generally Europe in the Dark Ages during the Great Migration. However, characters may emulate any society that existed before the use of gunpowder.
A good place to start is n the library. Look under the specific culture name [Viking, Celt, Samurai, Roman, Goth, etc.] After that you may wish to read abut the history of that region. Fictional and fantasy books can help in characterization. Costuming books can help a great deal in learning about the culture and garb, if nothing else an encyclopedia has quite a bit of information. Regardless, you do not have to stick to what is in the history books. Just because you want to be a Celt does not mean you have to wear or use any certain things. History is somewhat of a generalization, because every person in Europe could not possibly be chronicled.
For the most part you have free reign over your character, but characters that would use medieval-style weapons are the best choice. Common choices are Celt, Saxon, Norseman, Elf [Half-Elf], Orc [Half-Orc], Dwarf, Goblin, Hobbit, Pict, Scot, Goth, Arabs, Mongol, Samurai, Roman, Zulu, Kobold, etc. Pick something that interests you. This does not include vampires, werewolves, other were-creatures, or other fantastical creatures with special powers. There are special battles for certain humanoids and monsters but these do not carry over into normal Dagorhir. You may not claim any special powers you do not actually possess, such as being a ninja and disappearing in a puff of smoke.
You may not have more than one character at a time. If you ever decide to end your character’s Dagorhir career, then setup a character assassination. A character assassination should be elaborate and well thought. Go out with a flurry of excitement before bringing out a new character. A character may also be retired, but a new costume, name and character history must be prepared for the new character. If you ever choose to have a new character at Dagorhir for any reason, then there must be a very distinct and obvious difference. This means a different name, history, and costume.
When selecting a name for your Dagorhir character, a long name with a short and easy to say nickname is probably the best selection. This name should be chosen by your fifth time a Dagorhir. Always call people by their Dagorhir name. Many veteran members have entire life histories and family trees made up for their characters. Do not be afraid to ask someone’s name and history [you may have to ask it several times.]
Sound effects also help, such as yelling, screaming and cursing in battle. Cursing is defined as using oaths [not twentieth century slang and profanity.] A Norseman might say, "By Odin’s eye!" or By Thor’s red beard!" Drums, horns and bagpipes add a very realistic sound to the medieval atmosphere and can be used for sounding alarms, charges, retreats.
Acting out non-lethal wounds is very beneficial to role-playing and realism. Such as a light wound to the leg would cause a limp. A hard hit to the fingers or hand would make the grip of a sword impossible. Honor awards are given for good and consistent characterization.
Being in character means screaming or moaning when wounded. Obeying your commander and grieving or avenging a comrade’s death are parts of characterization also. Germanic tribes would fight to the death over their fallen commander’s body. If your character is nobility of some sort, do not expect people outside of your unit to address you as such. In Dagorhir all people are equal, until they earn a Dagorhir title.
The instant you are killed, you must scream in mortal agony and collapse lifelessly to the ground. The more real it looks and sound, the better. If people ask whether you are okay, you have done it right. You should not have to scream at your opponent, "Okay! I’m dead, quit hitting me." It ought to be obvious you have died. Honor tokens and awards are given for really good deaths.
Once you are down and the battle has moved well out of your area, you may leave the field. Leave the field with your weapons held over your head. Watch from the sidelines, not the middle of the battle. If you have given any reason for someone to think you were dead or have just walked onto the field, you must warn participants. A curse such as, "Dog, I am alive!" or "I am coming for you coward!" are good warnings.
You may never "fake" an injury or death to mislead your opponents. Faking an injury or waiting until an opponents back is to you, to attack means death. If asked if you are alive or dead, then you must answer if you are alive. If you are dead do not say anything to the living, only the dead can talk to the dead in low tones.
Describe wounds to an approaching opponent if you have time. As part of the acting, moan and cry out when you are injured. Use realistic judgement when trying to decide what has happened to you.
èHONOR: Live well & die well, as Battlelords should.
Honor is a term used quite often in Dagorhir. Honor for Dagorhir would probably be best defined as the Celts defined enech; courage, honesty, integrity and loyalty. A character might be of royal blood or the greatest warrior in the world, and yet be held in contempt for lack of enech. Remember, honor is earned, not given.
To one degree honor is expected, it refers to how well someone take their hits at Dagorhir. "Seven hits to the torso means death!" and "Rhino-hiding" are terms used to describe individuals who for some reason do not take obvious blows. Do not jump to the conclusion that someone is a Rhino. If you feel an injustice has been done, state "Excuse me m’lord. That was a good hit and should be taken." When an obvious blow has landed a maiming or killing strike and the person refuses to acknowledge even the faintest indication of injury, then walk away or call them on their honor. The best example is to say, "It is your honor", and continue the fight. If you must take issue with another warriors honor, then do so off the field of combat with a Herald or veteran member present.
The method suggested to keep honor intact for all concerned is to compromise. An example of compromise would be to trade limbs when strikes are questionable, take full damage even from what might be light hits, apologize for head shots and offer to lose a limb in trade to go along with the push-ups or sit-ups, offer to compromise to settle a dispute. Show respect to all participants and do onto others, as you would have them do onto you.
Honor also refers to character honor and how well you role-play your character. If your character would backstab an opponent, then by all means take advantage of the backstab, when the rules of combat allow. If your character is a knightly sort then give warning before you strike. If you want to be known as honest or trustworthy, then do not break a promise. Act as you character would act but do not break the Dagorhir rules to do so.
èBEING IN CHARACTER: Role-Playing & Characterization
"In character" means to play the part of yourself in a fantasy based medieval society. Good characterization usually includes either a brief history, or like some of the more advanced Dagorhirians, a very in-depth and detailed account of their character’s past.
Where do you begin? Well, start with who you are, maybe tell what nationality you are portraying, (Celt, Scot, Viking). Parentage, were they of noble birth, or did your father farm for a living? Tell about how you came to the lands where you are now. Also you could list any group or clan affiliation your character is involved with. Costuming is a very essential part of characterization. Group or clan symbols on tabards also add a sense of realism.
Having and making your own weapons is another good form of characterization. For example, "Sargith, that’s a beautiful broadsword you have," said Regik. "Why thank you, I forged this blade myself. Listen close and I’ll tell you the tale of how this very sword saved my life. It began like this..." Remember, in role-playing it does not have to be true, it just has to sound good.
When you decide who you are, what you are, and where you come from, you are ready to write your character’s history. You can put your history into story form, or just a list of past events. The more in-depth you are, the more in place you can feel in the medieval society. These few words I’ve written are just suggestions, don’t limit yourself. Please feel free to come to any the elder it you have any questions. The most important part is to get into character and have fun with it. The following is an example of a brief character history.
Gideon begot Jarren, Jarren begot Sergi, Sergi begot Marvin, and Marvin begot Garath. Garath lived under the strict anc cruel blade of his father, Marvin the Great. Marvin ruled over a Western Kingdom named Qua-loh. Being power hungry, with a thirst for the plunder war can bring, Marvin was planning an attack on Tringlee. If victorious, it would prove to be a profitable notch in Sir Marvin’s sword. About this time, Garath was proud to be celebrating his eighteenth summer. He had trained hard and overcame all the obstacles Sir Marvin’s weapons’ master could afford.
Marvin summoned Garath to his private chambers. "Garath, you have come of age to prove your worth," said Marvin. "I am planning a frontal attack on Tringlee, my son. I want you to lead a garrison of my men against them." Garath stood silent for a moment, "What say you man! Answer me!".
Garath’s face grew dark. "Father, you have so much already, why would you kill more men, or take more slaves?"
Marvin rose from his plush chair, his hand slipping to the ornate poniard at his waist. "Fortune, glory and the power of death makes my blood surge with excitement. You will lead the garrison!"
"I’ll not kill innocents or steal their gold to fill your coffers!"
"Treacherous dog!" screamed Marvin as he lunged forward, dagger leading. Garath easily sidestepped the clumsy attack. Lashing out with his gauntleted fist striking his father’s nose and sending him into the depths of unconsciousness.
Garath, fearing for his life, gathered his belongings and left Darkspear Castle. He traveled to Tringlee in request of an audience to the City’s Council. Upon hearing the news of impending war, the Tringlee guard and militia were raised. Garath then took his travels to the East. Chatham, Darkpine, and DorImlad became his homeland, coming this far he fears not that his father will find him. Many hardships have been challenged, and many ordeals have been done, but alas, that my friends is another story.
Garath Ivan Darkspear
As a member of Dagorhir Kingdom of Avalon, individuals are expected to show respect to the people and the environmental surroundings with which they interact. Certain conduct, outlined below, is expected to be followed any time an individual is acting as a representative of Dagorhir KoA at a Dagorhir related event. Consistent failure to comply with these basic requests will result in a dismissal of the individual, for an unlimited period of time, from all Dagorhir sponsored events. Each incident will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
Spectators - Members of Dagorhir meeting in a public location (i.e. public parks, schools, universities, etc.) Must keep in mind that the use of such facilities is a privilege granted to all members of the general public who are willing to obey the rules assigned to that location. Dagorhir participants should avoid disrupting mundane activities of the general public. Participants in the battlegame will respect boundaries set forth by the Heralds. Should any conflict arise between a Dagorhir member and a member of the general public, immediately seek the council of a Herald and then a member of the Executive council.
Profanity - Due to the nature of the Dagorhir organization, the use of profanity is not acceptable. Any member of Dagorhir representing the organization to the general public should refrain from using offensive language. Failure to hold your tongue may result in a fine.
Noise Pollution - All public areas have codes forbidding the electronic amplification of music, voice, etc. These codes must be followed by all members while representing Dagorhir at these locations.
Trash - It is important to keep both public and private sites clean of litter. This includes fast food containers, duct tape, cans, bottles, etc. Be responsible for your own trash. Participants should not bring mundane articles (i.e. bottles, cans, food containers, cigarettes, etc.) onto the battlefield.
Cigarette Butts - All members who smoke are to be responsible for their own cigarette butts. Do not litter the area with cigarette butts. A suggestion is to carry a pouch which can hold the cigarette butts and other smoking paraphernalia.
Plants & Wildlife - Members are expected to show respect for the plant and wildlife at all locations where Dagorhir meets. Members should not climb or damage trees, purposefully trample wildflowers and other such plant life or disturb any areas deemed off-limits.
Pets - All pets must be controlled by the owner. All public ordinances must be followed regarding leashes, cages or other restraint devices. Dagorhir and its members will not be responsible for pets brought to any Dagorhir sponsored event. Owners bear the full responsibility for any damage caused by the animal or any injury the animal may sustain. Do not leave an animal tied in such a manner that it may destroy someone else’s property or bother someone else. Do not expect someone else to watch your pet.
The costume is the single most important factor in recreating a medieval atmosphere for Dagorhir. A truly good costume often takes months to assemble. Think of this as the basic uniform for the sport. The following is the minimum costume you must own by your fifth time at Dagorhir battle practice.
This minimum costuming is REQUIRED at Dagorhir battle practice.
Tunic, long enough to cover the pockets on pants. If you are not wearing medieval style pants and you remove your tunic you will be asked to leave the battlefield.
Pants, no blue jeans, shorts, shiny spandex or camouflage.
Leggings to cover pants cuffs or socks.
Black/brown athletic shoes or boots.
Do not wear baseball hats or other mundane articles of clothing onto the battlefield.
No one will be turned away for inadequate costume at battle practice unless it is habitual. But your costume must meet the requirements for any Dagorhir event. There may be costuming you can buy, rent, or borrow, check with your local merchants or Heralds.
This minimum costuming is REQUIRED at all local Dagorhir events.
Tunic of crotch length or longer. [No t-shirts or mundane articles of clothing should be visible.]
Athletic pants without visible logos. [black, gray, brown, green, white]
Leggings to cover pants cuffs and the tops of non-medieval style footwear.
The costuming all participants should strive for and the minimum costuming REQUIRED at National Dagorhir events.
Tunic and/or tabard with personal or group symbols.
Medieval looking leg coverings. [breeches, kilt, leggings]
Leather medieval style footwear. [moc-boots, combat boots, biker boots]
Additions to costuming include, fir, leather, jewelry, embroidery, extra tunics or tabards, belts, pouches, eating and drinking vessels, quilts & rugs and gloves. Some people desire to wear safety equipment under their costuming (athletic supporter, athletic bra and knee pads.) Safety equipment dos not count as armor and you must take light hits to padded areas.
The costume you choose should reflect your character, Vikings wear furs, wools and leather, Scots wear plaids and tartans, Celts wear checks or plaids, Saxons wear large quantities of layered clothing. Look for someone wearing a costume you like and ask them where they got it. Check out the local library or bookstore for history and cultural history books.
Cotton makes the best all-season costume, while wool is best in winter. Look for deep, rich colors [solids, plaids and checks] like white, black, brown, gray, burgundy, scarlet, rust, forest green, dark green, royal blue, navy blue, indigo, etc. Natural cotton color [muslin] looks authentic and is inexpensive as well. Cloth can be purchased at area cloth shops.
If you need a pattern to develop a costume you can use some of the basic patterns provided in this handbook or you can purchase some patterns at cloth shops. You can make your own footwear from boot kits or boot patterns. Many leather shops sell boot kits and leather patterns as well as quality leather. Local merchants can provide excellent additions to your costuming and it is good role-playing. A large selection of goods can often be found in the merchant’s stalls, these include; weapons, jewelry, armour, leather goods, clothing, food, feasting gear and much more.
The following pages have very basic patterns for costuming. Hems are left as an option. These are big, baggy patterns and may need to be trimmed down. Remember to leave plenty of room to move around; fighting can destroy even the toughest costuming.
(NOTE: INSERT PAGES 17, 18, AND 19 OF ORIGINAL DOC [PATTERN GRAPHICS] BETWEEN END OF THIS PAGE AND FIRST PAGE OF SECTION 3 DAGORHIR COMBAT)
SECTION 3: DAGORHIR COMBAT
Common sense supersedes loopholes in all rules for disputes; safety comes first, playability second and realism third. If there is ever any question of what is meant by a rule, a decision will be made based upon what is implied or intended by the written rule. If there is a rule you feel needs to be seriously changed, a vote can be held. Votes are only held on questions of playability and realism. Safety is of the utmost importance.
Rule one of the game: THE HERALDS WORD IS LAW!!!!!
The Herald is the Dagorhir equivalent of a referee. The Herald’s job is to interpret and enforce the rules. This is true because the Heralds have studied the rules and know why the rules are the way their are. Do not argue with, whine at, attempt to bribe or threaten the Heralds. If a Herald says you’re dead, then fall down and argue your case at a later time. A Herald may call you dead even it you have not been hit, do not argue.
Heralds are also in charge of mediating wars, setting guidelines for battles and policing the area for hazards. Heralds are identifiable by the yellow (gold) tabards or sashes they wear. If there is a dispute or if asked, a Herald can settle most problems. If you are a Herald for a battle, you do not fight. Heralds may get into events free, if they Herald the entire event.
You can acquire a position of Herald by training with the Marshal (Head Herald) for a period of time determined by the Marshall. Heralds should maintain a basic first aid kit and have that first aid kit present at all Dagorhir sponsored events. Heralds must maintain a copy of the current Dagorhir handbook at all Dagorhir sponsored events. The most important goal the Herald has is to keep the game moving and to make necessary judgements to achieve this goal.
Rule two of the game: SAFETY IS OF THE UTMOST IMPORTANCE !!!
Any new weapons and all old weapons should be checked everyday of battle. Weapons check will be run as follows:
Sometimes these last two steps will be skipped at the Heralds discretion to speed check-in. Weapons which have no visible classification should not be used until presented to one of the Heralds for testing.
A Herald may disallow any weapon at anytime. If you are ever hit by a weapon you feel may be unsafe, as a Herald to check the weapon. Continued use of any weapon decided unsafe by a weapons check or a Herald, will result in the disappearance of the unsafe weapon.
If a weapon fails check-in, then remove it from the battlefield and sidelines. Place weapons that are not going to be repaired immediately in the trunk of a car. If there is no place else to put your weapon that will make it inaccessible, then place it somewhere which removes it from sight. Any weapon which fails a weapons check or breaks during combat, may be repaired and given to a Herald for weapons check.
At any point during a Dagorhir battlegame, the word "HOLD" is yelled by anyone, particularly the Herald:
STOP! What you are doing;
STAY! Where you are, and;
DROP! To one knee.
PUT! Your weapon over your head;
RESOUND the call to cease combat, by saying "HOLD" aloud.
Any and all hits taken after the hold is called are ignored. No movements should be made by anyone unless they are endangered, injured or assisting. All other talking should cease so any potential threat can be assessed. (Anyone with medical training should tell the Heralds and have free movement during a hold.)
If at any point you feel endangered or are injured or see someone endangered or injured call a "HOLD." If you are just rattled then die and rest before seeking help or the water jug. During certain battles calling a personal hold will be treated as a death.
A "HOLD" ends when a Herald calls "RESUME!" which is where you stand and regain positions and then, as normal, "LAY ON!"
LEGS From ankle to hip. [Ankle counts as leg.]
ARMS From wrist to shoulder joint [Wrist counts as arm.]
TORSO From shoulders to groin [Hip, buttock, shoulder, back, chest, stomach, crotch,] Groin and breast shots are perfectly legal, but they won’t make you any friends.
NON AFFECTED Hands & Feet.
OFF-LIMITS Head & neck [From the top of the sternum up.]
When you hit someone in an off-limits striking zone, you must do ten push-ups or ten sit-ups. No "Hold" is to be called, the two parties involved are effectively out of combat. You may not be killed while actively performing these exercises or regaining your feet. You will be allowed to regain your footing and weapons after finishing. The party receiving the off-limits hit may choose to "run away" but by doing so re-enters combat. Additionally you may choose to die and leave the field for giving someone a "head shot" instead of doing the exercises. In some battles a "head shot" is automatic death for both warriors.
Strike your opponents hard, so they can feel it; if they do not take the hit, strike harder or more accurately, however, there is not such thing as a light hit since all hits count. Never intentionally hurt anyone or strike an off-limits area. A warrior who does not demonstrate control with weapons will be asked to leave the battlefield until a Herald feels they have demonstrated weapon control. An intentional strike to an off-limits area will mean expulsion for a period of no less than two months. A second such offense will mean permanent expulsion and your name will be circulated to other medieval groups and the like.
When you lose an arm; drop what is in the hand and put the arm behind you. Do not use the arm for balance or running. When you lose a leg, kneel on the dead leg. You cannot hop or limp on that leg. You can make a lunge from your good leg. Warriors with injured legs may be assisted by a warrior with both legs. The wounded warrior must be touching the other warrior’s shoulder and must drop to the ground if contact is broken for any reason. Two wounded warriors may not lead against each other to walk.
BLUE Blue weapons are one-handed weapons and are marked with blue tape. They can never count as red weapons even if used two-handed. Blue weapons injure warriors in chain or leather armour on the second hit to the same armored area. [The second hit to that area counts as a loss of life or limb.] Blue weapons injure warriors in plate armour on the third hit to the same armored area. [The third hit to that area counts as a loss of life or limb.] Blue weapons never destroy shields.
RED: Red weapons are two-handed weapons and are marked with red tape. A red-coded weapon must be used with two hands to count as a red strike otherwise it counts as a blue strike. Red swords have blade lengths from 3 to 5 feet. Other red weapons have an overall length of 3 to 5 feet. Polearms must be from 5 to 8 feet in length. A single hard two handed red strike delivers a killing a maiming blow through any armour. Two hard hits against a shield with a red weapon used two-handed will destroy the shield. The shieldman must drop it immediately. If a third or fourth hit strikes the shield then the shieldman loses an arm or dies, respectively. These additional hit can be with a blue weapon because the shield is already gone.
GREEN: Thrusting weapons and stabbing tips are marked with green tape. Green can be combined with other weapon types to create stabbing tips. [Blue/green, red/green.] A two-handed, green [or yellow] thrust will penetrate any area or armour and deliver a stab to that area. A one handed green strike will penetrate only leather armour. Daggers, stilettos, and knives must have a blade length of 4 to 12 inches. Shield spikes must also be fro 4 10 12 inches in length. Spikes may be put on shields but butt spikes, pommel spikes, or punch daggers are expressly forbidden.
YELLOW: A two-handed thrust is called a Yellow strike. Yellow strikes penetrate any armour.
DAMAGE: Check the Quick Reference Table
(See the archery section for further details.)
Archery is one of the most potentially hazardous areas of Dagorhir combat and as such has very strict rules. Before anyone may be an archer they must have their own bow. The bow must be of 35 lb. pull or less at 28 in. with 25 lb. being the best. All bows will be tested to 35 lb. At 28 in. no exceptions. No arrows of length greater than 28 in. will be allowed. No arrow may be shot within 10 feet of an opponent.
No one may be an archer until they have trained for a period of time under a Dagorhir archer. The archer-in-training will be taught by the Dagorhir archer for usually 6-12 training sessions. Part of this training will be devoted to arrow construction and arrow safety. The archer-in-training will graduate when the Dagorhir archer and the heralds feels they are proficient. Archers-in-training who graduate will have their status indicated on their membership records. Graduates become Dagorhir archers and may teach new archers. Bows and arrows are not to be used by any archer other than the owner without express permission. You may return fire with someone else’s arrows. Bows may be used to block any one attack. After blocking one attack of any kind, the bow is considered broken.
èCLASSIFICATIONS of ARMOUR
We believe in padding the weapons, not the participants. For this reason you do not have to wear armour to participate in Dagorhir combat. Armour will be judged on a case-by-case basis to determine its value in Dagorhir combat. Regardless of the armour construction, the armour must be safe to be allowed on the field. There are three Dagorhir Avalon armour classifications:
16 gauge - 1/4 inch rings or links
14 gauge - 3/8 inch rings or links
12 gauge - ½ inch rings or links
Other gauges and sizes must be approved by a Herald.
²PLATE - Large sectional plates of metal of 16 to 18 gauge, that cover entire body areas and have no exposed bolts, screws or sharp rivets.
- Plate helmets being worn will stop all arrows, rocks and javelins.
- Plate must have its edges padded with several layers of duct tape or leather and its corners rounded to the equivalent of a penny.
- Plate helms may not cover more than 60 % of the head, the remainder of the helm should be made of another material.
Chain or leather armour protects against one blue hit to any armoured location.
Plate armour protects against two blue hits to any armoured location.
You may wish to wear a cup, athletic supporter, athletic bra, knee pads, elbow pads or helmet. Safety equipment does not count as armour but is allowed. Kidney belts and weight lifting belts may count as armour as long as they are combined with other full armour. Leather pouches, boots, and weapon sheaths do not count as armour.
Shields may be punched and grabbed. Shield bashing is legal but not from behind or with the intent to injure. If you own a shield, then you should expect it to be knocked into your face and chest.
(Note: insert page entitled "Quick Reference Chart" after this page and before page that starts out "Courtesy Shots")
Courtesy blows are to prevent unnecessary brutality when striking from behind. If you have a clear shot at someone’s back you should give a courtesy shot. When striking someone from behind, strike lightly and say "courtesy." Call out the weapon color when striking someone in armour. A "courtesy blow" basically means, "I could have pounded you into the ground, but I did not want to hurt you."
Courtesy blows automatically hit, if they are not defended against. Delivery of a courtesy blow must be with obvious advantage, with the opportunity to strike with full force and from behind the victim. Weapon type must still be appropriate to do damage; such as a single handed green thrust versus armour is no appropriate.
Any non-arrow weapon may be blocked or parried. Blocking is accomplished by using a weapon or shield to stop the attack. If the weapon hits anyway, you are hit. If a blow strikes a sheathed weapon, you are hit anyway. The weapon must be in your hand to block.
Some warriors sacrifice limbs to defeat enemies. This may be done, but if they use a non-affected area to block or catch a strike, then the associated limb is considered to be hacked off. The block or parry must be intentionally done with an empty hand or foot. Flail chains, spear shafts, sword hilts, shields and axe/hammer hafts may be grabbed, but stopping a weapon strike’s killing surface with a hand or foot means automatic loss of the arm or leg. Sometimes "flats" of blades and hafts will hit; flats and hafts do no damage.
Holding a weapon flat against your body or holding a weapon in your hand without moving it to block is called ANVILLING and is not allowed. Any attack that hits an ANVILLED weapon automatically hits.
Do not use someone else’s weapons, armour, shields or personal belongings without express permission from the owner. This includes drinking water, duct tape, spray glue, etc. Some people have special relationships with their weapons and some weapons are unsafe if in the hands of someone who does not know how to use them.
If you own personal weapons do not fear telling someone to put them down. If you do not have weapons do not feat asking if you can use someone’s weapons. Treat others with respect and expect respect in return; abuse someone and expect abuse.
Healers can turn the tides of battle and have the ability to off-balance the entire game. For these reasons healers have strict governing laws. In order to become a Healer a member must submit a written 180-syllable poem which will be approved by a Chairman and a Red Cross First Aid Certification. All poems are judged on a case-by-case basis and must pertain to healing. The poem must be memorized by the fifth day of use. Regardless of rationale for the healing ability all healers have the same "powers":
These rules may be varied for specific battles, such as Valhalla battles.
No, the healing poem cannot be read backwards or forwards with the intention of "damaging" anyone. This is not an aspect of Dagorhir role-playing.
No kind of "magic" other than healing is part of the Dagorhir system of role-playing.
SAMPLE HEALING POEM:
Child of Valor, Bairn of Battle at my feet you lie.
Runes to trace and spells to cast as fallen comrades die.
Armour rent and mail torn by weapons caked in fore.
Those whom fight like snarling wolves and razor-tusked boar.
Cloven helm and severed limb, the battle axe as hewn.
Bodies sprouting feathered shafts about the field are strewn.
Carrion fowl and battle raven circle overhead.
With taloned claws and beaks to pick the bones of valiant warrior dead.
Child of Valor, Bairn of Battle harm has come your way.
Blood of Bravery be renewed to fight another day.
Sword of Arthur, Hammer of Thor, silver shield and spear.
Rise and wield your weapon now against the danger near.
Fang of cobra, bit of spider, heat of Dragon flame.
Valiant warrior again do rise and go back from whence yea came.
Fey the Healer and Zeo are with the red team. Fist, another of Fey’s teammates, is injured. Fist has an arrow wound in his leg and his left arm is gone. Fey the Healer kneels beside Fist and recites his healing poem of 180 syllables. Fist must decide which wound to heal and he picks the leg-wound since mobility is his strong point. Fist reenters combat against the blue team.
Fey the Healer see a poor soul with a stabbed leg and the other leg gone altogether. Fey kneels beside this lass and proceeds to heal her. On the last word of his poem, the blue team presses hard and cuts Fey’s arm off before he can retreat, causing the healing to fail.
Fey retreats and finds a rogue healer [someone for neither side who heals on a whim]; the rogue heals his wound in return for a similar service in the future. Then a stray sword blow hits the rogue healer and she dies. Fey the Healer reenters combat and bumps into Fist. Fist is badly damaged and wants Fey to heal his wounds or breastplate. Fey and do neither since he healed Fist earlier in this battle. Fey starts to send Fist in the direction of the rogue healer when an arrow pierces Fist’s breastplate and he dies.
Zeo, remember Zeo, a red team archer who owes Fey a favor for a healed arm, pulled Fey out of the path of battle. The archer has a broken bow. Fey recites half of his healing poem and then a javelin sticks in the back of his head so the bow is not healed; of course Fey dies.
I know, you’re saying, "What about Zeo?" Well, to tell you the truth . . .he dies!
èUNITS AND BARONIES
Dagorhir units consist of warriors who fight together for a reason. There are a few rules and considerations for Dagorhir units:
Dagorhir Baronies consist of people who work together both on and off the field and pledge their loyalty to one another and to a Baron or Baroness. There are several requirements for the formation of a Barony:
No person will be allowed to fight with a weapon or style that they have not passed the proficiency test in. The test will consist to fighting at three separate events, one of which must be a full battle. The testers will be looking that the testee is safe and competent in that type of fighting. To test, you must first fill out a request form and give it to the Marshal. Passed proficiencies will be noted with a sash or colored beads as follows:
GOLD - Heralding. Able to herald events and practices.
BLACK - Man at Arms. Able to use non-proficiency weapons and shields.
BROWN - Flail. Able to use flails and articulated weapons.
RED - Polearm. Able to use Polearms and large pole like weapons.
GREEN - Quarterstaff. Able to use quarterstaffs and double ended partisans.
WHITE - Archery. Able to use bows and crossbows.
YELLOW - Rapier. Able to use stabbing only fencing swords.
ORANGE - Plate Armour. Able to wear plate armour.
PINK - Special Weapons. Able to use unusual weapons at the Marshal’s discression.
BROWN & GOLD - Axe/Hammer. Able to use axe and hammer type weapons.
RED & GOLD - Siege Weaponry. Able to make and use Siege Engines.
BLUE & GOLD - Grappling.
BLACK & GOLD - Florentine. Able to use two weapons at the same time.
BLUE - Non-Plate Armour. Able to wear armour of a type other than plate.
(This is the end of Section 3)
Section 4: Dagorhir Armaments
Safe weapon construction for Dagorhir is very important. A safe weapon is one that does not leave bruises, break bones or noses, or knock out teeth when an un armoured person is struck with a full strength blow. If a weapon causes or could cause any injury at all when someone is struck with it, then it is an unsafe weapon. The best way to make a safe weapon for Dagorhir is through "progressive resistence". This means making the weapon is layers, each layer less resistant than the layer before it. Using this design should give you a weapon with a strong solid core and a soft outer layer.
All weapons are subject to rejection from weapons check or battle for any safety or construction discrepancies at the discretion of a Herald. No exceptions will be made for any unsafe weapons. Bear this fact in mind and remember to bring extra construction materials with you. If your weapon does not pass or breaks, then it can be repaired. All weapons and shields must be checked at every battle.
Good construction materials are essential to making safe, durable and usable weapons. Closed-sell foam [camping pad foam] and open-cell foam [poof foam/couch cushions] are the types of foam recommended. Soft foam rubber such as black computer packing foam may be used as an inside layer but this black type of foam adds a lot of weight. PVC piping insulation is a good foam for cores, hafts and shafts. Do not use Styrofoam or Styrofoam-like piping insulation. If the foam will not bend horizontally and vertically, then it probably will not make good weapons.
Camping pad foam can be purchased in most discount department stores in the sporting goods section or at camping-sports stores. It is usually located near the sleeping bags. Poof foam can be purchased at fabric shops and craft shops or taken from old couch cushions.
Razor-utility knives are very useful for cutting foam. A very small-toothed hack saw or electric kitchen knife also works well. A ruler and a sharp knife make weapon construction faster by making the foam easy to handle.
Weapon cores may be made of a variety of materials; fiberglass rods, PVC pipe, light woods, bamboo and rattan. No metal or heavy wood should be used. Also any material or weapon that bends more than one third its length is prohibited. This is called the "whip" rule. Flexible weapons have a tendency to hit, to wrap and then to hit again. This second hit "snaps" and hurts. The recommended core is 3/4 inch, 100 to 400 psi PVC or CPVC. This material can be purchased at most hardware stores. PVC caps should be placed over the ends of cut PVC. When taped on, these caps will make the weapon last longer and be safer. The PVC should not be cut or drilled on any of the surface being used for the weapon. Any blemish is a weak spot that can break during use.
The entire striking surface of the weapon must be padded with foam. The pommel, any crossguards, or any surfaces which could strike during combat must be padded, except for a reasonable handle. The maximum amount of bare PVC for use as a handle on any non-polearm weapon is 15 inches.
Only duct tape, electrician’s tape and strapping tape are allowed for taping during weapon construction. Spray glue or rubber cement are used to give the weapon more durability and a more consistent surface. No cellophane tape is allowed in weapon construction.
All weapons except arrows must have cloth covering the striking surfaces. Hafts on axes, morning stars, maces, etc. must be padded as safely as a sword. Javelins must have the entire shaft covered with at least one layer of foam. The padding of hafts and shafts should keep anyone from being hut by a non-striking surface impact, since hafts and shafts do no "Dagorhir" damage.
Weapons made with a "blade" shape, to more closely represent the authentic weapon, must be padded on the "flat" of the weapon. This includes axes, polearms, swords, etc. It also includes single-edged weapons such as katanas, cutlasses, sabers, etc. The "back" of single-edged weapons must be padded as well.
Weapons should be constructed heavy enough to be felt when a strike lands, but no weapon should weigh so much that the concussive force is damaging. The maximum is about 5 pounds. Javelins may weigh no more than three (3) pounds. If a sword pommel is weighted the balance point must be at least 2 inches above the top of the handle.
If you wish to use a weapon type that is not covered in this handbook, you must have written documentation of the weapons existence or a feasibility study. A feasibility study should include: Is the weapon possible? Could it have been constructed without the use of modern tools and materials? What weapons is the new one like? What classification do you want the weapon to have? What are its maximums and minimums? All new weapons must still pass weapons check.
Once you have selected a core, it is best to pad any tips or crossguards first. Even if a weapon is not intended for thrusting, it is easier to pad the tips first, rather than after the weapon is finished. Padding the tips will also protect the outer layers of foam from the core. Thrusting tips can be made similar to arrow construction, using larger pieces of foam.
It is best to use closed cell foam or piping insulation as the inner layer. Secure this layer to the core from tip to handle using glue and half-strips of duct tape. If using camping pad foam cut strips and box in the PVC pipe. If using piping insulation, then cut it in half lengthwise before attaching it to the core. Make sure to extend past the tip of the PVC, if you are going to overlap the pieces at the top for a tip. Make sure to pad the pommel as well.
The next step is dependent on personal preference. Another layer of camping pad foam is suggested; then a third layer on the striking surface using lass tape for each layer. This is a harder weapon that usually needs breaking in. It only "injures" when the striking surface hits. To make a soft, round sword use poof foam as the second or third layer and wrap it around the striking surface. This weapon "injures" no matter what part of the padded area strikes.
Nerf-type footballs, soccer balls and basket balls make the best flail and mace heads. Handles on flails must be at least 6 inches in overall length. An easy way to make a flail is achieved by making a sock-like tube out of cloth. This tube must be large enough to allow the football to be pushed to the closed-end and tie or sew closed and long enough to be pulled down over the padded handle. Make a dagger-sized handle and completely pad it like a sword. Pull the open end of the tube over the padding and tie down. Tie the tube down tightly in several locations. The loose fabric or "chain" must not exceed 6 inches or be less than 2 inches.
Using these guide lines and varying the construction method, should allow you to construct safe, usable weapons. Before wasting a lot of money on weapon materials, it is a good idea to ask a weapon smith how and what to do. Just look for a weapon you like, being used on the field, then ask who made it. Some weapon smiths take commissions to make weapons and others merely want construction materials.
(Note: insert "Quick Reference Chart" after this page and before page that begins:"Basic blue/green sword construction...)
èBASIC BLUE/GREEN SWORD CONSTRUCTION
Acquire a 36-inch long piece of 3/4-inch, 400 psi PVC. Measure 28 inches down the piece of pipe and place a half-piece of tape all the way around that point. Layer several half-pieces of duct tape over the ends of the pipe; half-pieces of duct tape are strips of tape ripped in half lengthwise. From a roll of 1/2-inch thick camping pad foam, cut four strips of foam that are 30 inches long and roughly 3/4 to 1 inch wide. Cut an inch off the length of two of the pieces. Tape the two small squares to the ends of the pipe; one on each end. Spray glue to the back of the two shorter strips of foam. One at a time, secure these glued strips to opposite sides of the PVC pipe starting at the taped section with half-pieces of duct tape. Fold any excess foam over the top cap of foam at the tip and tape. Allow this section to dry for one half-hour. Follow this same procedure with the next strips, using less tape. Leave air at the tip when overlapping. There should now be two strips of foam on opposite sides with bare PVC pipe in the middle.
Cut two strips of foam 2& 3/4 inches wide and 31 inches long. These wide strips will be the "flats" of the sword. Spray glue on one side of each of these wide strips. Attach these pieces to the flats, one at a time; use as little tape as possible. Place a 2 inch square piece of poof foam on the stabbing end of the weapon and secure it with tape. Do not compact the poof foam too much or it will lose the cushioning benefit. Let this set for one half-hour.
Cut two strips of camping pad that are 1 & 3/4 inches wide and 33 inches long. Spray one side of each with glue and secure one to each "blade" side of the sword with four half-pieces of tape on each side. Overlap the ends near the tip and cut so they fit flush together without compacting the poof foam. Secure the tip with two half-pieces of tape; one following the blade and one crossing this perpendicularly, so that it attaches to the flats.
Sew a sock-like tube of cloth, large enough for the sword to slide into with a snug fit. Tie this cover down tightly at the base of the padding; a tight cover will hold a weapon together longer than a loose one. Cover the lower 2 inches of the exposed PVC with padding in a manner similar to the construction of the blade; two layers of foam are sufficient. This pommel must not have any exposed PVC; particularly the very tip where sharp-edged PVC may puncture the padding. Before attaching the small square of foam, you may want to tape 5 pennies to the tip of the pommel. This weight will allow a greater speed recovery and is very useful for individuals with weak wrists. Some people like to cover the handle area with electrical tape. Allow the weapon to sit at room temperature overnight before using.
Breaking-in the weapon may be needed to remove the stiffness from the foam. Hit the blade on your leg, a wall, a tree, your roommate, household appliances, or anything else that happens to get in your way. Siblings are exceptionally useful at this juncture. Bear in mind that younger siblings are future Dagorhir generations and turn about is fair play.
(Note insert page with graphic of blue/green sword construction after this page)
Anyone who is constructing arrows for the first time is advised to speak to a weapon smith who has made arrows. Construction of safe arrows is fairly easy but somewhat costly. Following are two examples of how to construct arrows. However, there are other ways to make them. Ask a veteran member for other possible construction techniques.
Construction #1: Traditional Construction
Construction #2: Contemporary Construction
1. Follow steps 1 thru 4 as above.
2. Use a 3-inch wide piece of camping pad foam or standard 3/4-piping insulation to increase the surface area. Wrap the tip with one layer, glue and/or tape securely.
(Note: insert page with graphic of arrow construction after this page.)
As stated earlier in this handbook, armour must be of an authentic style and design. This authenticity is important for Dagorhir because the armour you wear should be based on your character’s history. A warrior of Norse lineage does not get to wear Samurai armour just because he thinks it looks good. Somewhere in the characters history, he should have seen or found such armour or should have made it or had it made.
Several different types of European armour are listed below with general descriptions to give an idea of how to make them. There is no way that I can write an entire treatise on armour construction; mostly due to space and knowledge constraints. Check out the library or ask an armourer. Metal armour can be made of copper, bronze, brass, iron or steel. There should be no aluminum street signs, plastic or carpet used for Dagorhir armour. All rigid edges must be filed smooth and corners must be turned to ½ inch, about as curved as a penny.
LEATHER HEAVY: leather sewn or riveted together. Layers of lighter leather can be made overlapping for the same protection. Leather must be at least the 10 oz thickness, about 1/4 of an inch. Leather is often lined with raw linen.
COUR-BOUILLE [BOILED LEATHER]: Heavy leather boiled in wax which is fitted to the intended wearer while it is still hot. The armour can be made with lighter leather since the wax toughens the leather. Using a double boiler, heat paraffin was to a boil, dip precut leather pieces completely and allow them to become permeated with wax. When the leather is removed from the wax it is pressed to the skin and allowed to harden in the desired shape. The newly formed armour is peeled from the body and lightly scraped to remove some of the excess wax. Having hot wax pressed to your body and then peeled away with a lot of hair is not fun. Good looking armour, but not very fun.
STUDDED LEATHER & RING MAIL: These types of armour are made out of leather or heavy cloth. These armours are made by attaching metal studs or rings very close together over the entire surface. These types of armour must be made of heavy leather or equivalent if the studs are more than ½ inch apart or if the rings are not touching. Metal rings must be 1 inch or less in diameter and at least 16 gauge.
SCALE MAIL & MASSLED: Metal scales that are riveted to leather or heavy cloth in an overlapping pattern like scales on a fish or just touching each other for a massled armour. The scales must be at least 16 gauge and 2 square inches. Noisy armour but very good looking.
BRIGANDINE: Like massled armour, brigandine uses metal scales that are sewn between two layers of leather or heavy cloth. This gives the appearance of not much armour protection while providing serious protection quietly.
SPLINT MAIL: Similar to scale mail and brigandine, splint mail uses narrow [1/2 inch wide, 6 to 10 inch long, 16 gauge] strips of metal which are riveted to leather or heavy cloth at the top and bottom. This armour is very stiff but is ideal for arm and leg protection. To count as full body mail the backing must be heavy leather or equivalent. The strips can also be sewn in between two layers of light leather or heavy cloth.
CHAIN MAIL: Pieces of clothing-like armour made of interlinking metal rings. The smaller the rings the thinner the metal can be; the larger the rings the thicker the metal must be. From 20 to 18 gauge for 1/4 inch rings to 14 to 12 gauge for 1 inch rings in the necessary size restrictions. Wire is cut in loops, the loops are fitted together and slowly formed into clothing-like pieces of armour. Often worn with a padded lining for protection.
PLATE MAIL: Sheets of metal at least 18 to 14 gauge in thickness formed and fitted to the wearer. The corners must be flattened or rounded and the edges must be padded with leather or cloth for Dagorhir. Plate mail comes in varying degrees; half-plate, plate mail, field plate and full plate. Plate is quite cumbersome but it offers the best protection.
Shields protect the bearer from all attacks and are a cherished prize on the field of battle. Cherished not for their protective ability as much as the soft cushioning pillow or sun block that a shield offers. A well padded shield makes a good pillow for events and if sprayed with water repellent after they are painted; they make good umbrellas too.
Some people may say shields are for wimps; I agree, but the wise and battle-hardened Half-Orc once told me that, "Even THOR would not be stupid enough to go to Ragnarok without a shield!" I use shields to get practice fighting with and against them. Shields must be padded as safely as any weapon. Be certain the shield cannot injure you or other participants; kicking a shieldman out of the way of shield bashing is a common practice. Shields must be covered and should display a coat-of-arms or decoration; this helps identify the owner and looks exceptionally cool when an entire unit of matching shields are on the field.
TYPICAL SHIELD DESIGNS:
The dimensions of your shield may not exceed the distance from your shoulders to your ankles; any larger is too cumbersome to be effective. Circular shields may not exceed 36 inches in diameter and square shields must have rounded edges. No shield less than 12 inches will offer any more protection than armour. Shields from 12 to 18 inches are called bucklers and are usually strapped to the forearm. This strapped-on buckler allows both hands to be free, but increases the surface for hits three and four. For a simple and effective shield:
(This is the end of Section 4)
Section 5: Grimoire of Battles
Welcome to the Grimoire of Battles, in this text you will find many different types of Dagorhir battles. Some of these battles are standards, some are variations of old themes and some are bizarre one-of-a-kind originals. These are some but not all of the types of battling. Rules are explained before battling except for the most basic battles. If you do not understand, then ask someone to explain it or watch the first few times.
For the Honor...
For the Glory...
And to the Death.
Circle of Honor — One-on-one, full honor combat, fully heralded. Combat takes place in a circle of warriors and weapons. No missile weapons are allowed; armour and shield is decided by the warriors. Certain challenges may be issued, such as dagger fights, short sword to short sword, etc. Any hit to an off-limits area means death for both. The Herald decides who enters, the warriors choose the weapons.
Circle of Death — Two or more participants are chosen by the Herald to fight to the death. More participants are added as those in the circle are killed. A character may be called upon to die several times in the course of a Circle of Death. If you are interested in being called then stand along the edge of the circle. If you are not interested, then sit down. When your name is called, pick a weapon and attack the closest opponent. When you die fall outside or leave the boundary rapidly. The Herald’s job is to call participants and watch for safety violations, not to judge honor of combat.
Pedestal Circle — As above [Honor or Death], only the edge of the circle is like a table top, if one foot goes out of the circle you will fall to your death.
Teetering-Table Pedestal Circle — As a normal Pedestal Circle but warriors standing around the outside of the circle try to grab warriors in the circle and pull them out. Warriors do no rum into the circle to knock fighters out nor is the attempt to hurt anyone; just keep them off balance if fighters come near the edge.
Thunder Circle — A rag is placed in the center of a Circle of Death. When the Herald says, "Lay on", then race to the rag. Only warriors that touch the rag may grab weapons from the Circle. Before the Circle begins the Herald should say, "Two men enter." The response from the Circle should be, "One man leaves."
Combat Circle — Circle of Honor as above except the loser stay in and the winner picks his opponent. This is sometimes reversed to allow someone to live as long as possible in the Combat Circle.
Challenge Battles — One or more contestants challenge a larger force to battle. Challenge battles can be set up in many different ways but one side should have a clear advantage. This is sometimes referred to as a lesson in futility.
Shield versus No-Shield — Guess.
Armour versus No-Armour — Guess.
Geritol Battle — Old versus Young <21 and >21, <18 versus >18.
(Protect) Kill-the-King (Queen) — One warrior is chosen to be the King or Queen. A four men-at-arms try to protect him/her from point "A" to Point "B". The King/Queen may have one blue/green weapon and armour and shield. All the other warriors try to kill the King/Queen.
Troll Hunt — Two or more trolls fight against the larger force. Trolls are killed normally, but come back to life in 15 seconds (1001...1002...1003) if they are not burned. A troll is burned by kneeling beside it, touching it with a weapon and counting to ten. 1001...1002...1003...(It is recommended that there be one troll per seven warriors.)
Rogue Hunt — Two or more cutthroats are hunted by the sheriff and his men. The cutthroats get a one minute head start. This is usually played in a wooded area with two cutthroats per seven warriors.
The Hunt — 5...4...3...2...1... The Huntmaster has called the Hunt and will be pointing at someone while counting. The person indicated is the hunted and everyone else are hunters. Whoever kills the hunted becomes the hunted next and get 5 seconds to reach better ground. If the hunted kills all the hunters, then they are the Huntmaster and call the next victim.
Cutthroat — "3...2...1... CUTTHROAT!!!!!" After hearing this phrase attack any person participating. This does not mean swing wildly. No attacks made before the phrase is completed count toward injury. There is no honor as far as backstabbing in a cutthroat unless you so choose. (Take your hits or you will wish you had!!) You may not hide with non-combatants or join the foray after you have stated otherwise or given indication on non-participation. If you walk onto the field after the beginning then you must announce your presence and intent aloud; in addition , most of the participants must still be standing. Additionally, you may not team up against everyone else.
Cutthroats-for-Captains — As per a normal cutthroat but the last two or three people alive are the captains for the next field battle. The last person alive picks first.
Numbers Cutthroat — All participants will be given a number. When cutthroat is called seek out others with your number. They are your partners against everyone else. Calling out your number can be effective but it also lets you opponent know who to kill. You also may not have a partner.
Highlander Cutthroat — All participants are Highlander immortals. Death comes normally. A "dead" Highlander may only be killed by severing the head before the "dead" Highlander counts to ten ( 1001...1002...1003...). Honor is also a factor, as you do not attack until you have made eye contact, you do not attack from behind, and you do not attack engaged participants. Avoiding the gaze of another Highlander is dishonourable. When cutting the head off an opponent lightly drag your blade across their throat and say, "There may be only one."
Weapon-Pile Cutthroat — All the weapons are piled in the center of the field, when the Cutthroat is called run and grab weapons to use.
Field Battles — Two equal forces duke it out.
Peasant Revolt — A small number of "nobles", who may have armour, shield and any weapons fight against a large force of "peasants" who have only one weapon each.
Cavalry Battle — As above but the "nobles" may walk around freely and the "peasants" must fight from their knees. If a peasant kills a noble without hitting his legs, then that peasant may stand and be on "horseback". If a "nobles" legs are cut off then his horse is dead and that warrior must drop to his knees. Leg shots on "peasants" or kneeling "nobles" do not count toward death.
Stand and Deliver — Two equal forces fight to control the field. The last person alive on the losing team picks someone from the winning team to join them and the battle is fought again. It is over when the entire field is on one side.
Siege Battle — A fort is built and defended.
Race Riot — Each race [elf, human, goblin, etc.] versus the other races.
Bridge Battles — Boundaries built of hay bails or similar material represent the edge of a bridge which spans a deep gorge. Warriors are number one through four until four units are established. These numbered units fight for control of the bridge. When their number is called they run onto the bridge and try to live as long as possible. Anyone who falls or steps between of over the hay bails for any reason is dead. No archery is allowed.
One-Man Bridge Battles — A bridge about 3 feet wide is built of hay bails or weapons. Two lines of warriors, one line at each end, are allowed to have one weapon, on shield or be wearing armour. The first warrior is each line fight on the bridge. When the first warrior dies the second warrior runs in and so on. When a warrior dies he may return to the end of the line.
Bridge Battles Over Water — Some bridge battles take place over water. It is not suggested that you wear any armour. Weapons tend to hit harder when they are wet or cold. Warriors who hit the water may try to climb back onto the bridge even it they were "killed".
Canyon Battle (Pass War) — A narrow passage is made out of hay bails or this can be fought between two trees. Attacks can only be made through the pass. When one unit controls the pass, the fight is over.
Unit Battles — Three or more units duke it out.
Unit Bridge Battles — Standard units fight for control of the bridge.
Valhalla Battle — Team captains are selected and one captain receives first pick. After the teams have been selected, each team will be allowed to enter the woods and plant their flag. The team that chose second gets to enter the woods first. The flag may not be hidden and it may not be higher than 10 feet off the ground. Someone may carry the flag with them but it must be in plain sight. After a location for the flag is selected a fort of deadfall ( and deadfall only) may be built around the flag; no living plants may be harmed.
The teams have one hour to capture the other team’s flag and return it to their fort. Both flags must be in the same location. If one particular warrior is carrying the flag, then that warrior must also have the enemy’s flag. If one team has both flags at the end of one hour, then that team wins.
When you have been killed and the battle has moved out of your area, then return to Valhalla and check in with a Valhalla Herald. Every 10 minutes Valhalla will be emptied. There will be no fighting near Valhalla.
Viking Football — A field is outlined and goals are established on each end. Two equal teams try to push, pull, drag or carry as many of the opposing force across their goal. Do not grab or rip anyone else’s costuming. Warriors may cross into their goal freely. The warriors that are carried across the goal are out of the game. If you are grappling and you go out-of-bounds then you must stop grappling and enter the field. The game is over when all of one side is over the goal.
Celtic Hockey — A field is outlined and split in two equal parts. The goals are two equal sized shields at opposite ends of the field and two equal teams fight over a "ball".
One member of each team is the "quick". The quick may not be struck or killed by a weapon as long as the quick is on his side of the field. The quick is not allowed to carry any weapon and may grapple with the other quick to gain control of the ball. The quick and only the quick may place the ball on the goal. Any team member can be the quick after the quick had died, but they must drop their weapons. Hand-offs back field are legal.
Warriors may kill the other team and defend the quick. When anyone is "killed" during the game they must count to 15 ( 1001...1002...1003...). After counting they must leave the field and touch their goal before coming back into the game.
Three seven minute rounds are played. The team with the most points at the end of the third round wins. The round starts with the ball in the center of the field and the quicks on all fours, after each score the ball is returned to the center of the field. When the round begins and after each score the quicks scramble for the ball. At the beginning of each round and after each score, all the other warriors must be on their goal line.
Zombie Battle — A large group of Zombies get one weapon each and attack groups of humans. Zombies must attack and must move very stiffly; Zombies may not run. Anyone killed by a Zombie must rise in 15 seconds (1001...1002...1003...) as a Zombie. Zombies are killed normally but may get up in 15 seconds if their head is not severed. The head is severed by lightly dragging a blade across the throat.
Vampyre Battle — First select 10% of the total number of warriors to be Vampyres. Second select an equal number of warriors to be clerics. All the other warriors are normal fighters.
Vampyres are given a board at least 3 feet long. This is their coffin; it may not be buried or covered and it must be in touch with the earth. When killed Vampyres must return to their coffin to be re-born. All Vampyre attacks are red strikes regardless of weapon type or the number of hands used. When a Vampyre attacks he will call "red" if the weapon color matters. Vampyres regenerate lost limbs in 15 seconds ( 1001...1002...1003...). After a Vampyre is killed he must return to his coffin to come back to life and may attack only those who are in his direct path to the coffin. The shape of the cross has no effect on a Vampyre. When a warrior is killed by a Vampyre then that warrior becomes a Lesser Vampyre.
Lesser Vampyres have no coffin and cannot be reborn. Lesser Vampyres do regenerate as a normal Vampyre and must react to the Holy symbol. Lesser Vampyres may create other Lesser Vampyres.
Clerics are given a small flashlight and a piece of chalk. This is their Holy symbol and it must be held in the hand to be used. When shined directly at a Vampyre, the Vampyre must cringe, hiss and retreat. This is the only way to distinguish a Vampyre from a normal warrior. Clerics may raise the dead by touching their flashlights to the body. This will also kill a Vampyre or Lesser Vampyre permanently. If a Cleric is killed then no one else may use the chalk of flashlight.
If a coffin is found, it may be carried to a Cleric or if a Cleric finds a coffin he may destroy the coffin by placing an "X" on both sides of the board. If a Vampyre can recover his coffin before both sides are marked then the coffin is undamaged. The Vampyre may wipe a single "X" off. A Vampyre without a coffin will be dead for good.
Werewolf Battle — First a Cairn should be built out of logs or preferably hay bails. This is the only protection from Werewolves that a normal warrior has. Now select 4 werewolves, 4 Healers, and 4 Champions; all other participants are normal warriors.
All Werewolf attacks count as red weapons regardless of the weapon used, even if one-handed. Werewolves must hunch over, snarl and growl at other warriors. Werewolves may "bit" a victim by touching then with a hand and saying "bite." A Werewolf bite counts as a red weapon against shields and armour. The Werewolf must call out "red" when his weapon or hand hits. A Werewolf regenerates lost limbs in 15 seconds ( 1001...1002...1003...) and comes back to life in 30 seconds ( 1001...1002...1003...). These must be counted aloud. Anyone bitten by a Werewolf becomes a Werewolf in 30 seconds ( 1001...1002...1003...). Anyone killed by a Werewolf must return to the Cairn. During the 30 seconds a Werewolf is on the ground; normal warriors may dog-pile the Werewolf. If a Healer can recite the healing poem before losing contact with the Werewolf, then the Werewolf is healed and becomes a normal warrior.
A Champion’s weapons are silvered and will kill a Werewolf normally. Severed limbs still regenerate, but death is permanent. A Champion must call out "silver" when the weapon hits. No one other than a Champion may use the silver weapons. A Champion turned into a Werewolf must drop the silver weapons until healed.
Dead Healers, Champions and Werewolves return to the Cairn when they die. Every time 5 people are in the Cairn, they may return to the battle field as normal warriors, regardless of what they were before.