|Darkon is a full-contact medieval fantasy wargaming group, active in the Baltimore/Washington area since 1985. Every other Sunday, between 150 and 300 members gather in costume and armor to fight unchoreographed mock battles with padded weaponry.|
For general questions regarding participation in Darkon, please email the President.
I'm new to Darkon...|
1. What should I wear?
2. Do I need weapons?
3. What restrictions do I have as a new player?
4. Is Darkon safe?
5. What should my name be?
6. What is this about Countries?
7. How does this whole thing work?
Darkon Rules and Forms
Here you can find the complete Darkon Rulebook, as well as our waiver and other forms.
Here you can find a list of email contacts for the club.
If you've never done any kind of reenactment or LARPing before, a very simple costume could consist of dark colored sweatpants and a simple T-tunic. You can also raid thrift stores for period style clothing.
Once you've attended an event or two, you should probably start looking into purchasing or creating garb more fitting to your character. There are several people in Darkon who sew and are happy to help you with your costume. Some of them can be found in the links section of this website.
Things you should not have in your costume are: visible zippers, logos (Nike, sports teams, etc.), tennis shoes, spikes/pins, and/or other dangerous objects.
Additionally, people with body-piercings should be wary of wearing them on the field. They have a chance of being torn/ripped out. Players may want to remove them before engaging in combat.
Back to TopDo I need weapons?
For your first battle, it's probably best if you do not attempt to make weapons at home, unless you have a friend to help you out who's participated in foam fighting in the past.
Some (not all) Countries have extra weapons they will lend to new players if you ask. Also feel free to ask them how they make their weapons, what materials to use, etc. It might even be possible to set up a weapon making session with someone so you can see how it is done.
If you see a certain type of weapon you think you'd like to fight with, ask that person how they made it. Most people in Darkon don't bite and are happy and flattered to be asked how to make weapons.
Back to TopWhat restrictions do I have as a new player?
As a new player, you'll be required to play a Fighter for your first 5 events. A single credit is earned for every Darkon event you check-in at; you will earn 3 credits for campouts.
Also, as a new player, you will not be allowed to use any two-handed weapons or wear any armor for your first five events. This includes glaives, great swords, long white swords, quarterstaffs, etc.
You are not permitted to use any missile weapons (bows, arrows, and javelins) until you have attended 10 events.
You will also be expected to attend "Newbie Talks" given by the Noble Council where they will go over the basic rules of safety. These talks will be clearly announced after check-in closes. This is another great opportunity for you to get your questions answered by veterans of the game.
As a new player you will be expected to pay a one time $5 membership fee. Dues for events are $2 for day events and $5 for campouts.
Back to TopIs Darkon safe?
Darkon makes every effort to be safe, but as in any full-contact sport, accidents do happen and people get hurt. Fortunately, the injury rate is low and they are usually minor: cuts, bruises, sore muscles, sprained ankles, etc. We do have medical kits on site at every event, and all weapons and armor on the field are inspected prior to use at every event by a qualified Marshal.
Participants should also wear anything they may need personally to protect themselves from injury, such as knee/ankle braces, sports bras, and/or a cup.
Back to TopWhat should my name be?
When participating in Darkon, you should always go by your "Battle Name." A battle name is a name of your own choosing that represents the persona you are playing on the field. Try to avoid popular fantasy names like Merlin and Raistlin. A good website that has a myriad of unique names is: www.kabalarians.com/gkh/your.htm
There are also several fantasy name generators that can be found by searching the Internet. Google is your friend.
Back to TopWhat is this about countries?
Countries basically function as teams in Darkon. At any time in Darkon, there are usually between 15-25 active Countries, each having a unique role-playing culture, as well as goals that they are attempting to accomplish.
Choosing a Country is an important decision. New players should try to fight with a number of different Countries before making a decision. Many Countries are happy to talk to new players and explain what the ethos of their Country is. Take advantage of this!
Some Countries take membership very seriously and will expect you to petition and/or fight with them for a long period of time before you may join. Others are more happy-go-lucky and will give you member status after an event or two.
People often seek Countries based on real-life geography and demographics as well. For example Nurgle and Aquilonia are two Countries based primarily on the Eastern shore of Darkon, while Mordom is concentrated in Virginia.
There are many factors involved in choosing a Country and new players should take their time when reaching this decision.
Back to TopHow does this whole thing work?
After you've gotten your costume, weapons, name, and everything all taken care of, you are ready to begin fighting on the field.
You should already know by now, through the Newbie Talk, the basics of Darkon. A key point to remember is to listen to the Elders - They usually wear a white tabard that says "Elder" on it. They are the referees of Darkon and you must listen to them at all times.
Remember that safety is the most important goal of the game, and that good sportsmanship and fair play are important as well. If you are unsure if you are dead, drop. If you have a problem with someone, speak to an Elder or a member of the Noble Council. Do not get into an argument or disagreement on the field.
New players should be aware that Darkon does allow grappling/wrestling, within the bounds of good judgment.
An overview of the hit system for unarmored players follows. New players should reference this hit chart until they are able to wear armor after attending 5 events:
|AC 5||White||1st Hit Mortal||1st Hit Light
2nd Hit Mortal
|Yellow||1st Hit Mortal||1st Hit Light||1st Hit Death|
|Black||1st Hit Death||1st Hit Mortal||1st Hit Death (SPELLBALL ONLY)|
|Red||1st Hit Death||1st Hit Light
2nd Hit Mortal
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