Due to the nature of the Universe we are playing in, this LARP regularly explores themes of war and its aftermath, genocide, violence, crime, death, torture, mental illness and other harrowing themes. You should note that due to this, it is not generally suitable for players under 18.
Also the above will not be warned of specifically so should be expected to be addressed at any event in plot, NPC interactions and personal role play.
The game will not generally address themes of sexual assault or sexual violence. You are still able to include these concepts in your backstory, but you should be aware that they will not come up in game plot, and you should check OOC that people you will be roleplaying are ok with this before doing so.
You are not permitted to role-play any serious sexual assault even if all those involved are ok with it.
Any incidences of violence towards children will be warned for ahead of time in event packs and will be ‘off camera.’ As with the above guidelines on sexual violence, players are welcome to include this in their backstory and to mention and role-play around this subject but should do so sensitively and with consideration.
If anyone choosing to attend one of our events as a player or crew is aware that they have specific triggers that could cause them distress, we strongly encourage them to talk to us ahead of time so that we can prepare them for what may occur/arrange for that particular role-play to be carried out after they have been given time to remove themselves from the immediate area/offer guidance as to whether it is integral to plot and therefore, as a last resort, discuss if the event is suitable for them to attend.
In any LARP game, it is important to be very clear on what is acceptable both in and out of character. Conflict is often at the core of LARP plot and this is part of what makes it fun. It is not our intention to constrain any role-play or interfere with the idea that IC (In Character) actions and words have IC consequences.
It is, however, useful to have guidelines to minimise the chances of IC actions causing OOC distress.
We (Lightning Bug LARP) will not discriminate on the grounds of gender, gender identity or expression, race, ethnic origin, body size, physical appearance, religion (or lack of), sexuality, disability, marital status or age (with the exception of the above referring to the unsuitability of the events for those under 18). We expect our players to abide by the same rules and sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist or sizeist language or actions will not be tolerated.
We aim to make our game as safe a space as possible for everyone and to promote an atmosphere that actively encourages this. However, given the nature of the hobby, some events may not be held at sites where all plot is fully accessible to those with disabilities – we will do our best to make adjustments for this and try to make everything as accessible to everybody as we can – do let us know if we’re failing and we’ll try to do better.
This game takes place in a future universe; we have actively chosen not to reproduce existing states of oppression and discrimination, partly because it is not cool or interesting but mostly because we believe LARP should be an escapist hobby for everyone, which includes people who may have to deal with discrimination in real life.
It is not acceptable to IC use racist, homophobic or transphobic language. These are not forms of discrimination we have any intention of exploring in game and we do not feel anything is gained from doing so.
We do have a number of people roleplaying companions and other sex workers in the system. In the Serenity ‘verse, you should note that Companions are usually well respected, at least among the Core and Border worlds. However, this view is by no means universal, especially on the Frontier or extended to non-registered sex workers.
If you do choose to play a character who is involved in sex work, you should note that there might be negative role-play around this, including use of offensive language, for example ‘whore’ as well as people self-describing as such. In this, as in all LARP, there should be a clear line between what is role-play and what is not and we expect everyone to remember this.
We also touch on ableist language and attitudes, especially around mental illness and substance abuse. It is ok to portray characters with mental illness and issues of this nature and portrayals of the after effects of traumatic military service are core to a lot of characters. You should, as with all role-play, avoid offensive portrayals of people with mental health issues. This means avoiding generalised and offensive stereotypes and common misconceptions about people with mental health problems or playing it 'for laughs'. If you choose to include a particular concept in your role play, try to do so sensibly and realistically.
A lot of role-play takes place around the religious aspects of society and these are real world religions, most commonly Buddhism and Christianity. However, this game takes place in a society where these and other religions have changed and evolved over several centuries and it should be understood that those who IC adhere to these faiths will not always adhere to the rules and mores of today’s followers.
The Firefly/Serenity universe is one where Chinese culture has mingled with American culture and this is one of the things that makes it so much fun to play in. Players are ok to use Chinese names, wear Chinese clothes and accessories as part of their portrayal of this blending of two cultures but we ask that you do so with due sensitivity and being mindful about cultural appropriation.
With all of the above, we trust you, our players and crew, to use your common sense and not simply portray offensive and inaccurate stereotypes but act with respect for those who attend these events.
It is compulsory to have read and agreed to abide by our anti-harassment and alcohol policies in order to book for our events, and you can find these on our website, facebook group files, or available from any committee member.
Care should be taken when using unarmed combat. If you are under the effects of alcohol or tired to a point where you can no longer safely use unarmed combat, then don’t do it! You should aim to do strikes open-palmed to upper arms with appropriate non-contact mock-fighting at a safe pace.
Any melee weapons must be LARP-safe and must be weapons-checked at sign-in before being used. Any weapons found not to be safe must be locked in your vehicle or put in your bunkroom/tent in your bags so they won’t accidentally be used. During combat be sure to pull your blows. Under no circumstances must a weapon be used to stab, even if the weapon is designed to be safe to do so.
All arrows and bolts must conform to the Mike Stringer/“Second Skin” standard and bows must not exceed 30lbs at a draw length of 28 inches.
Thrown weapons must be larger than an eye socket, be of a safe foam and/or latex construction and must not have a solid core or solid weighting.
Ranged weapon props must be Nerf/toys, non-firing replicas, airsoft guns or blank firing of a sufficient quality to be appropriate as props with in the setting.
Guns must not under any circumstances have any batteries, ammunition, blanks or other such items installed and you should not bring any of the above to an event.
Guns and all other weapons will be safety checked as you check in to the event and random checks may occur at any point.
Any non-combat props such as tools, utensils and boxes must be of a sturdy construction and possess no protruding sharp edges. Medical props such as syringes must not have needles attached and any drug phys-reps must be of a substance that is safe to consume should any mix-ups occur.
Any Out of Character medications should not be stored in an In Character medical bag and should be kept in private places or clearly marked ‘OOC medication – do not use’. Conversely, please use your common sense and do not consume anything that looks like medication without first checking it is not. Some players use sweets or similar to represent pills – if in doubt and you are being given something by an IC medic it is totally ok to drop OOC for a moment and just check what you are putting in your mouth!
Any electrical, pneumatic or mechanical props need to be examined by the organisers before being used and we would strongly urge you to contact us well before the event so we can advise you as to their suitability. Any electrical systems must be cleared for use with the organisers beforehand. Mechanisms must not have any exposed moving parts such as transmission systems that may cause injury.
Game referees will be introduced during the player briefing at the start of an event. They will typically be in IC clothes rather than stereotypical high vis jackets. They may also play NPCs or their own player characters at times. These team members are your first port of call for rules queries and situations requiring formal rulings.
First Aid and medical cover
The first aiders will be introduced during the pre-event briefing so as many people as possible know who they are. A game team member will be designated to report all problems/injuries to.
Calls and Gestures.
IC Dead People
Anyone with their finger in the air is invisible and cannot be seen – for example refs when briefing players, or crew members who have finished monstering an encounter and need to get back to the monster room without being shot at.
The following calls are out of character information calls used for safety or organisational purposes.
Shouted when someone is injured OOC. When you hear this call stop roleplaying immediately and remain stationary until instructed otherwise. If it is obvious that a nearby player or ref has not heard the call, please repeat it/inform them. Do not repeat this call yourself, otherwise the game team or first aiders may not be able to tell who is hurt and where they need to be.
Stop roleplaying. This call may be used for safety reasons, or more frequently when the refs need to simulate something or give out information that your character would be able to see/feel/hear etc. You may be asked to close your eyes and/or hum to mitigate any 'surprises' being put into place.
Roleplaying has ceased for the weekend. Well done! We finish with a standard debrief and perhaps a quick description IC of what is about to happen to player base in the near future.