As Barrage 2014 was winding down, we set up a “barroom” ala Blood and Swash for some semi-LARP-ing. The basic idea was to replicate the pirate tavern brawls and Jennifer, Chris, and I run using Blood and Swash with the HAWKs as the figures. Note in the picture above that we used foam koozies as beer mugs. We put koozies, paper plates, tables, and chairs around the playing area.
There were four swashbucklers in the game, and they were assigned additional players to be on their teams. Each swashbuckler was assigned a suit of cards. I pulled cards and announced the suit. The swashbuckler would then determine which of his team members would act.
In Blood and Swash tavern fights the objective generally is to get a treasure chest full of gold out of the tavern. It is every player for himself, with each player controlling three or four figures. This game was no different.
We used standard Blood and Swash rules. Each player was given a card with pre-rolled stats (Slug, Shoot, Sword, Save, and Hit Points). In Blood and Swash, figures are in one of four categories from swashbuckler (best) to men at arms (worst). For our LARP event, the more dressed up the players were, the better their character type. Equipped with foam swords, Nerf guns, and other accouterments, we launched into the game.
Sword play, shoving attacks, and fisticuffs were handled with the GM (me) calling out die rolls, which the players compared to their stats to determine success or failure of the action. Throwing and shooting was accomplished by players physically throwing mugs or plates and firing Nerf guns. As in Blood and Swash, reloading took four actions.
The participants, observers (HAWKs not participating in the game), and GM all had a terrific time. All of the things that make Blood and Swash fun, such as people slipping on spilled beer, dropping swords, and leaping over tables, chairs, and bodies, all occurred in this game. The HAWKs are already talking about how to make this better next year. I suspect at a minimum more people will develop costumes so that they get better characters.
As Elton John said, “Saturday is all right for fighting!”