The Dystopia Rising LARP Network uses four different forms of ranged weapon representation and the guidelines for making those props are below. These instructions are not for masterful pieces of art, but they are a simple way for players to produce inexpensive starting weapons. There are other resources on the web that can help you create a better looking prop, as well as professionally made latex weapons available through online retailers.

Packets

Packets are home made bean bags used to represent bullets, prayers, or psionic effects. They are designed to not only be safe to throw, but also safe for the environment. Our packets use a six inch square of natural fabric filled with a spoonful of birdseed. We recommend parakeet seed, but any seed is usable so long as the large and pointy bits are pulled out. The packet is then closed by tying twine around its midsection, leaving the seed on one side of the knot and a plume of fabric on the other.

The finished packet should be about 1.5" around and flexible. Excessively large or small packets (packets that could fit in the eye socket) will be flagged by Safety Marshals and should be disposed of or remade to a proper volume.

Packets are thrown safely, and should never be 'wound up' to throw. Packet throws follow the same rule as our melee combat, and that is to never reach back beyond ninety degrees. Different packets have different meaning, and you should make your packets accordingly.

  • Bright Red Packet = Bullets
  • Natural White Packets = Psionics and Prayer Effects
  • Natural Blue Packets = Arrows
  • Bright Green Packets = Poisons and Radiation

Thrown Weapons

Thrown weapons are cut from open cell foam in the desired shape. Blue Mat foam, glued together in two layers, may also be used to provide a thrown weapon that travels farther.

Thrown weapons take some experimenting to produce shapes that will actually fly (try ax and tomahawk shapes). When cutting these thrown weapons be careful not to leave any pointed protrusions that could cause injuries. All portions of a thrown weapon must be rounded such that protrusions could not enter into the ocular cavity. Rounded shapes such as thicker stones, throwing axes, and even some forms of disk are far superior than throwing knives or weapons with pointed protrusions.

Always use the general guideline of "If I were to strike someone accidentally in the face, would this cause an injury?" when shaping and designing thrown weapons.

Firearms

Certain toy manufacturers produce foam projectile toys that can be used in place of packets for firearms. These toys offer a degree of style to game that does add to the overall feeling of the Dystopia Rising experience. There are certain things that need to be taken into account if you are using a firearms toy.

  • Any contact safe firearm toys must fire completely soft projectiles. Dart modifications are not allowed.
  • All contact safe firearm toys must be single action. Each pull of the trigger must shoot a single dart.
  • All contact safe firearm toys must be safety checked at entrance.
  • Firearm toys should be repainted to look setting appropriate, however, the tips of these guns must remain bright orange for safety reasons.
  • All foam darts must be clearly labeled with your player number.

Javelins

Javelins are core-less throwing weapons used to represent larger thrown projectiles. They are designed to be safe to throw but are not considered easily expendable like packets.

Javelins are constructed by taking a single length of pipe insulation between 12" and 46" in length.

  • The insulation is opened using the provided slit and rolled to create a 'filled' foam shaft.
  • Use three bands of tape to hold the shaft in place (be sure to not tighten the tape  and cause the foam to dip or dimple inward).
  • Attach a cube of open cell foam to the head of the javelin using two crossed pieces of tape. The head must not be crushed or condensed inward, nor should additional layers of tape be added to 'strengthen' the tip.
    • Recommended to use silver tape and affix the tip in such a way that when applying brown tape to the shaft the silver tape will be under the brown.
  • Two overlapping bands of brown  tape should be used above the silver tape where the tape from the head of the head of the javelin crosses over onto the shaft of the javelin.
  • Single lengths of brown tape should then be run lengthwise down the shaft of the javelin to simulate wood.