FLRP Introduction

This introduction comes from the new edition of the FLRP handbook which is not yet finished, as we are continually changing the rules. However, to see a current copy please ask a Guru. (copies will be provided before games for character creation and looking up spells.)

Fantasy Live Role Play (FLRP) is simple. In this game, you must pretend to be your character. You will be given a padded weapon, and you will actually hit people with it in combats (albeit very carefully), while your opponent is trying to hit you. When you meet someone in the game, you must actually pretend to be your character, so if you are told you get a gammy leg in combat, you should limp around until someone cures it. As a beginner, you will be playing for your first time, so you need a character. Most of the rest of this guide is concerned with characters and their abilities, so there's no need to explain them here, save that there are four types, Warrior, Mage, Priest and Scout, from which you can choose. On further adventures, you can opt to take another level of experience like your original one, or you can choose to learn new skills by taking a level in another class. On the whole, generalist characters like Warrior-Priests or Scout-Mages tend to be more versatile but less powerful than their specialist counterparts. The limit to the development is that each character can only ever attain five levels of experience, after which that character must retire, and you will need another with which to go adventuring.

The actual mode of play is easy - you will be in a 'party' of similar levelled characters, and you will be the adventurers for the evening. This will entail running around on Shotover Common in the dark, while other people (known as Monsters) will act out everyone else you meet or fight with. Monsters are those people who are not playing a character in the game that week, so if you enjoy being a player, you should return and 'monster' during the games of the people who made your game fun. Monsters can be anything from simple footsoldiers to intricate characters created by the GMs, so monstering is normally fun, although not usually as much fun as playing, since the monsters are there mainly to make sure the players enjoy the game.

In any standard term you will play once, and monster three times, as there are normally four games per term. After an adventure, if your character survives you will advance one level, thereby gaining strength, power and skill for your next game the following term. However, your character still exists in between your actual games, and may feature in any adventure as a non-player character, or simply continue to develop. The Oxford FLRP game has its own newsletter, The Brandel Bugle, which should keep you up to date with the plot in between games as well as report on any of your more interesting escapades.

The Bugle may also contain important hints concerning your own adventure craftily concealed as articles by the GMs - read your copy carefully before venturing out of Brandel!

Combat

Combat is fought in real time. You have a padded weapon, and you will have several glorious fights with the monsters, who unfortunately for you also have padded weapons. However, in order to ensure safety, there are a few essential rules. You should never aim for someone's head, for obvious reasons. The weapons are designed for gentle swiping, not thrusting, so don't poke anyone. Also, unless you want to be unpopular, you should never hit anyone very hard, so pulling your blows is essential, especially since the weapons are not in fact made of steel, and will break if mistreated. Physical contact is totally forbidden during a combat - no shoving, barging, leaping etc. There is only one rare exception to this, which is when you ask your opponent if they will allow contact (this is in the form of a request for a 'physical'), and if they agree, that's their business.

Hit points

You will have a number of hit points, representing how healthy you feel. Points will be allocated to various parts of your body on the Battleboard, to give a record of how healthy you are, and this is updated after each combat encounter. PCs never die during a combat - they are assumed to be running on adrenalin, so they can conveniently finish off the monsters (who do fall over) and then be battleboarded, at which point they may well die from their wounds. Therefore, in order for combat to work, you must remember where you have been hit, and how many times. Sometimes when a strong monster hits you they will say 'Double,' 'Triple' or worse. This means they have done two, three or more hits to that location, and must also be communicated to the Battleboarder, who will determine your damage, and tell you how healthy you feel. If your Hit Points are reduced to zero, you fall unconscious - below zero and you die. If you are foolish enough to be taken to minus your original hit point total, you are permanently dead. The same is true of each individual location, although naturally, once your chest is dead......

Essential Commands

There are a number of important commands which may be used during the game, and which must be obeyed by all the participants. These include Time Stop, Time In, Time Out and Time Freeze.

Time Stop is the most essential command. When you hear it, monster or player, you must stop whatever you are doing, at whatever time, and wait for instructions. Time In and Time Out are more frequently used, and are more complex - whenever an encounter is finished, one of the GMs will say 'Time Out' and the monster corpses will then get up, dust themselves down and leave the area, to set up the next encounter, whilst the players are battleboarded. When the monsters are ready, they will shout en masse "Time In!" and players should shout it back, to comfirm they are ready. From that moment on, the game is afoot, and you can proceed.

Time Freeze is a little different. This can be used during an encounter, usually shouted by a GM, and when you hear it, you must stop what you are doing, close your eyes and hum a little tune or something - you must not observe what is going on. Your GM will use this time to explain what is occurring (for example a spell effect) or for other important reasons. The Time Freeze will normally be finished with the GM calling 'Time In', and when you hear that, you may continue.

Time Freeze may also be used by all participants, normally during a one-to one combat in a local sense - if you or your opponent is in imminent danger of falling into a nettle patch or somesuch, you should say 'Time Freeze', and allow them to get out of their predicament before continuing hitting each other.