Weapon Definitions and Props

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Weapon Definitions and Props


Weapons and Armor

Weapons are the most basic of all provisions an adventurer might want and have a variety of important rules everyone needs to understand to use them safely and correctly.

General Weapon Rules

Each weapon has different rules for both how it is used in game and what an acceptable prop looks like based on how it will be used.

Characters can bring mundane weapons (those with no special features) into the game at any time after they have been inspected for safety by player outreach & education. If a weapon has any special abilities or is made of an unusual material it will need to be crafted by a character to be brought into play.

When a character is holding any weapon (or combination of weapons) in their hands that they may not legally use, they should do so poorly, never in a way that would indicate to others they can actually attack with those weapons.

All weapon props must be inspected by player outreach and education for safety reasons before being brought into play. Props staff also need to inspect weapons for aesthetic reasons as well. No weapons may have visible duct tape on them. Cloth covered weapons are also not permitted.

Props for weapons have certain requirements to be used in play. If a weapon is rejected for not being safe, but is found still being used it may be summarily destroyed to ensure an unsafe weapon is not brought onto the field.

Illegal weapons include, but are not limited to: flails, punch daggers, slings, ball & chain weapons, and blowguns.

Melee Weapons Rules

A melee weapon is any weapon that never leaves your hand for close ranged combat and direct attacks.

Melee weapons determine damage based on the user's Might. These weapons are further divided into 3 sub-categories based on the length of the weapon: Non-Martial, Martial, and Great Weapons.

Characters with only one hand occupied are capped at 4 Might. If a character has a weapon in each hand or a weapon and shield they are capped at 2 Might.

To use a weapon in both hands the character must know the appropriate off-hand skill.

Melee Weapon Types

Non-Martial Weapons

A non-martial weapon is any melee weapon between 16 inches (40.64cm) and 35 inches (88.9cm) in length. These weapons may be wielded one or two-handed depending on personal preference. No skill is required to use a non-martial weapon.

Weapon Type

Crafting Skill Crafting Cost Combat Skill Damage Skill

Basic Non-Martial Weapon

None None Melee Training Might

Crafted Non-Martial Weapon

Weaponsmithing Basics None Melee Training Might

Martial Weapons

A martial weapon is any melee weapon between 35 inches (88.9cm) and 45 inches (114.3cm) in length. These weapons may be wielded one or two-handed depending on personal preference. Martial Weapons require the Melee Proficiency skill to use.

Weapon Type

Crafting Skill Crafting Cost Combat Skill Damage Skill

Basic Martial Weapon

None None Melee Proficiency Might

Crafted Martial Weapon

Weaponsmithing Proficiency 4 Melee Proficiency Might

Great Weapons

A great weapon is any melee weapon over 45 inches (114.3cm) in length. Great weapons require the Melee Expertise skill to wield.

Great weapons must be wielded with both hands except under two exceptions. A player may make straight thrusts one-handed with a great weapon. Afterwards the player must immediately return to having two hands on the weapon. When blocking an attack with a great weapon only having one hand on it is also permitted.

When wielding a great weapon any character may reduce their Might by half (after cap is applied, rounded down) to add the 'Slay!' modifier call to an attack.

Great javelins are a throwable type of great weapon. When wielding a great javelin, a weapons master may fight with a great javelin in one hand and a second weapon or shield in the other. When fighting this way only jabs may be made with the great javelin.

Weapon Type

Crafting Skill Crafting Cost Combat Skill Damage Skill

Basic Great Weapon

None None Melee Expertise Might

Basic Great Javelin

None None Thrown Expertise Circumstantial

Crafted Great Weapon

Weaponsmithing Master 16 Melee Expertise Might

Crafted Great Javelin

Weaponsmithing Master 16 Thrown Expertise Circumstantial

Melee Weapon Props

To bring a melee weapon into game the prop must meet the following criteria.

All striking surfaces must have a minimum of 5/8 inch (1.59cm) closed-cell foam.

All non-handle, non-striking surfaces of a weapon should have a minimum of 3/8 inch (.96cm) of closed-cell foam.

All melee weapon props must have a rigid core. Cores of wood or metal are forbidden. Acceptable core materials include, but are not limited to: plastic, PVC, fiberglass, and carbon fiber. The core of the weapon should be securely held within the padding by glue, tape, or some other adhesive. Padding that slides or twists on the weapon's core will be rejected. Cores that rattle or bounce within the padding will also be rejected.

All pommels, crossguards, quillions, basket hilts, and other hilt fittings (not including the grip itself) must be composed of a flexible material.

The minimum length for ANY melee weapon is 16 inches (40.64cm). Non-handle pommels do not count towards the overall length measurement of a weapon.

Weapons that can flex more than 45 degrees will be rejected.

No swung weapon may have more than 1/3 of its length unpadded for striking. The total unpadded section of a swung weapon may not be more than 30 inches (76.2cm) total.

Any weapon with a flexible component or which strikes primarily with a punching motion of the arm rather than a swing are forbidden.

Weapon props must have the appearance of being a weapon. This means that a 'larp safe' object that otherwise meets these guidelines, but appears to be an every day item like a frying pan, book, etc. is not appropriate for Novitas.

Projectile Weapons

Projectile Weapon Rules

Projectile weapons include both bows and crossbows. These missile weapons deal damage based on a character's Accuracy which is capped at 4 for projectile weapons.

Projectile weapons may never be fired inside of any fully enclosed building. This is to prevent real damage to the campsite and objects kept in the buildings.

Modern archery equipment is not allowed, although there are some exceptions for fletching and nocks. Arrows and bolts must always be fired, they can never be thrown. Bows (and crossbows) can never be used to parry or block. If a bow is struck in melee combat it gains the Broken condition. When firing a missile weapon at a range less than 10 feet archers are required to only half-draw their bows (pull it back only half way). Crossbows may only fire at targets under 10 feet away if their bow has been tested to have a draw of 15 pounds or less.

Archers (within reason) can declare hits on their targets. This might be done if the arrow lands too lightly on heavy plate armor, or if the confusion of melee combat causes the person to not notice the archer's shot. Abusing this can result in being barred from using archery.

When firing a bow or crossbow a character may reduce their Accuracy by half (after cap is applied, rounded down) to add the 'Pierce!' modifier call to an attack.

If a crossbow requires a stirrup, goatsfoot lever, or other comparable device it always adds the 'Pierce!' call, following the normal rules for that call.

In order to use a bow or crossbow a character must have the Projectile Training skill.

Spells (such as Silvershine) and effects (such as the Corruption alchemical) that enhance weapons are applied to a bow or crossbow and not on its ammunition. Each attack made from such an enchanted weapon will gain the effect of the spell (or effect).

Spells with a range of tag bag can be delivered by missile weapons. The projectile takes the place of the tag bag in all respects, replacing its normal call with the appropriate call for the spell.

Weapon Type

Crafting Skill Crafting Cost Combat Skill Damage Skill

Basic Bow or Crossbow

None None Projectile Training Accuracy

Basic Ammunition

None None Projectile Training Accuracy

Crafted Bow and Crossbow

Weaponsmithing Expert 4 Projectile Training Accuracy

Crafted Ammunition

Weaponsmithing Training None Projectile Training Accuracy

Projectile Weapon Props

Compound bows, PVC bows, takedown bows, brightly colored fiberglass bows, modern crossbows, or any other obviously modern archery equipment (including but not limited to peep sights, weights, camouflage or brightly colored shafting) are prohibited.

Brightly colored and/ or rubber fletching is allowed. Brightly colored plastic nocks will not disqualify arrows.

Each bow entering play must have at least 3 legal, arrows accompanying it.

Bows must have a draw weight of 35 pounds or less at 28 inches draw.

Crossbow draw weight should comply with the table below.

Crossbow Draw Weight

Show Crossbow Draw Weight Table

Arrows and Bolts

Arrow shafts may not be made of wood. The head of an arrow must be at least 2 inches in every dimension and must be a uniform, round shape. The head of an arrow or bolt must not be wobbly or move from side to side.

A draw stop must be present on all arrows to ensure they are not drawn past 28 inches.

All arrows must contain a coin or similar small rigid disk perpendicular to the end of the shaft to prevent shaft punch-through. Commercially made rubber bird blunts also fulfill this requirement. Golf tube arrows are not permitted.

All arrows and bolts must have at least two full fletchings and a nock.

Thrown Weapons

A thrown weapon is designed primarily to be thrown and is required to look like a weapon (no throwing rocks). Thrown weapons deal damage based on Accuracy which is capped at 2 for thrown weapons.

You may not fight in melee with thrown weapons unless they possess a core. When a thrown weapon is used as a melee weapon they follow the standard rules for melee weapons instead of thrown weapons.

Thrown Weapon Types

The length of a thrown weapon determines what type of thrown weapon it is..

Standard Throwing Weapons

A standard throwing weapon is one greater than 6 inches (15.24cm) in length and shorter than 30 inches (76.2cm) in length. These require the Thrown Training skill to use.

Weapon Type

Crafting Skill Crafting Cost Combat Skill Damage Skill

Basic Thrown Weapon

None None Thrown Training Accuracy

Crafted Standard Thrown Weapon

Weaponsmithing Training None Thrown Training Accuracy


A javelin is a throwing weapon greater than 30 inches (76.2cm) in length and shorter than 45 inches (114.3cm) in length. These require the Thrown Proficiency skill to use.

Weapon Type

Crafting Skill Crafting Cost Combat Skill Damage Skill

Basic Javelin

None None Thrown Proficiency Accuracy

Crafted Javelin

Weaponsmithing Expert 4 Thrown Proficiency Accuracy

Great Javelins

A great javelin is a throwing weapon greater than 45 inches (114.3cm) and no longer than 84 inches (213.36cm) in length. These require the Thrown Expertise skill to use. Great javelins can be used in melee or they can be thrown. When used in melee they follow all the standard rules for a great weapon. When thrown they can determine their damage based on the character's Might instead of Accuracy and the cap is increased to 4.

Weapon Type

Crafting Skill Crafting Cost Combat Skill Damage Skill

Basic Great Javelin

None None Thrown Expertise Circumstantial

Crafted Great Javelin

Weaponsmithing Master 16 Thrown Expertise Circumstantial


Boulders are a special kind of thrown weapon. A boulder may never be thrown by a player character, only certain species of Novitas are capable of lifting boulders effectively enough to use them as weapons. When thrown they follow the rules for tag bags to determine if they hit, and always call for 'Torso Wound!'.

Thrown Weapons Props

Thrown weapon props must be completely padded including the hilt and rip. Each thrown weapon must look like a weapon, either knives, axes, or some other historical or fantasy weapon. No "throwing" rocks, disks, or paddles are allowed. A thrown weapon doesn’t have to have a core, but if it does have a core the core cannot go within 1 inch (2.54cm) of either end of the weapon. Cored throwing weapons may also be used in melee. Coreless throwing weapons may not be used in melee.

For all varieties of javelin both ends must be at least 2 inches (5.08) in diameter. Players are encouraged to incorporate some open-cell foam into the ends of their javelin designs.

Tag Bags

Tag bags represent spells flying through the air or thrown alchemical vials and may not be thrown without one of those things telling you to use a tag bag. The source that allows you to throw the tag bag will tell you what to call when you throw the tag bag.

Characters may not hold a tag bag in their hand unless they have cast a spell in the last minute that has a range of tag bag, or they are representing a thrown alchemical item being in their hand.

Tag Bag Props

A tag bag is an out-of-character prop created by sewing two squares of cloth together and filling them with bird seed. All tag bags should be biodegradable so that in the likely event that some get lost in the woods litter isn't left everywhere.

Players are required to provide their own tag bags if they are needed.

The size of a finished tag bag should be larger than a golf ball and smaller than a tennis ball. Any color cloth can be used. Tag bags must be pliable and soft enough to not cause injury when thrown. Materials used should be soft, smooth, and not spill birdseed. The ends should be sewn shut or sealed with cloth tape. Tag bags should be kept in good condition. Worn or damaged ones should be retired from play.

Leather, rubber, plastic, tape, foil, staples, pins, plastic ties and plastic tape are all prohibited from being used in a tag bag.

A downloadable guide for making tag bags with pictures can be found here.


  • Material should be biodegradable, preferably light and/or bright colored, and with a tight enough weave to prevent birdseed from escaping.
  • Filled with birdseed.
  • Between 2-4 inches in any dimension or no larger than a tennis ball & no smaller than a golf ball.
  • Pliable and soft.
  • Sewn closed, tied shut with string, or closed with cloth tape (sewn closed is the preferred method).

Things to Avoid

  • Made from synthetic fabric, plastic, metal, rubber, or hard materials.
  • Filled with anything other than birdseed.
  • Larger or smaller than 2-4 inches in any dimension.
  • Hard.
  • Loose/open/unfinished, closed with staples, pins, plastic ties, tape, etc.
  • Old bed sheets/pillow cases.
  • Old t-shirts.
  • Socks.

How to Make a Tag Bag

There are various methods for making tag bags, but outlined below is what has come to be more or less the standard for Kingdoms of Novitas. Variations are acceptable as long as they adhere to the above guidelines. If in doubt about your construction method or materials, please ask the props staff, (Christina Mevec and Liska Gutierrez). It’s better to find out beforehand if something will or won’t work rather then spend time, energy, and funds on something that may turn out to be unacceptable.

Step 1: Cut a long rectangle. The long side should be twice the length of one dimension as it will be folded in half when sewn (makes it so there’s one less seam to sew). For example a 3”x8” tag bag will be approximately 3”x4” when completed.

There’s a bit of length and width lost to seam allowance, so err on the side of giving yourself a bit extra to work with.

Step 2: One side (where folded) will be left as is. Sew the other 3 sides together making sure to leave an opening to fill with birdseed.

Step 3: Fill the tag bag with birdseed. There are various ways to fill a tag bag, but generally a funnel is the easiest. If you don’t have a funnel, you can make one by cutting off the top of a water bottle (bonus: the bottom can be used as a scoop for the birdseed!). Don’t fill the bag to capacity or it will be more difficult to sew closed and will make the tag bag too hard. Filling it approximately ¾ of the way should provide it with flexibility and give it the heft that makes for a good tag bag.

Step 4: Close the tag bag. If you’re able to control the seed/opening and take care when doing so, it is possible to use a sewing machine to sew tag bags closed. This should be done with great care, however, as birdseed in your sewing machine is no good for it. The other option is to hand-sew the opening closed.

Make sure to remove any hanging threads, please and thanks.


The Broken Condition

If a shield takes 4 or more cumulative points of damage from 'Acid!' it gains this equipment condition. Broken shields do not block/stop anything. In fact, should the shield be hit by any attack (even ones that are normally shield blockable), you automatically treat that attack as hitting the arm holding the shield.

Other items may gain this condition through other means. Anything that would give this condition to another item will explicitly say so.

To remove this condition the Broken item must be placed flat on the ground (or some other stable surface) and the player must role-play repairing it while casting the Mend Armor spell.

Categories: Gameplay Rules | Item Types | Weaponsmithing

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