Is the combat safe? PDF Print E-mail

Safety is the single most important aspect of combat. Below are some general guidelines that should be observed:

  • You should only use weapons specifically designed for safe use.
  • Never thrust a weapon no matter how safe you think it is.
  • Pull all blows. This means not hitting anyone/thing with your full strength behind it. If you hit someone with a full swing, it is going to hurt, no matter what that weapon is made of.
  • Avoid striking delicate areas of anatomy such as face, groin, etc. No kicking, punching or martial art skills should ever be used.
  • Never rest a weapon on its tips. This damages the ends and can make the weapon dangerous.
  • If you see or are struck by what you believe to be an unsafe weapon, then report it to a Heroquest Referee immediately.
  • Only strike with that part of the weapon meant for this; e.g. do not use the pommel of a sword to strike with. Do not hit walls or the ground, or other objects with a weapon as this may damage the weapon and the object. 

Every weapon, shield or projectile (bolt or arrow) that you bring to a Heroquest event is subject to inspection and authorisation by a Heroquest Referee. Any weapon that is judged to be unsafe cannot be used and you must put the item in your car for the duration of the event. Listed below are examples of what sorts of weapons are acceptable at Heroquest events and what may cause a weapon to be deemed unsafe.

Melee Weapons

These are weapons that are used to physically hit other players and therefore they must adhere to a set of rigorous standards. For a sword or similar weapon there should be at least 6 mm of foam on a non-hitting surface, and at least 12 mm of foam on a hitting surface. For wood-effect staffs there should still be 6 mm of foam from the interior of a groove to the core. Axes, hammers and pole arms may use less dense foam to form the edge of the hitting surface. Please note that daggers are not permitted to be used as melee weapons on Heroquest events. They may be carried as a prop and used to slit throats (if you have the skill) but should not be used in an LRP combat. A melee weapon will be deemed unsafe if:

  • The weapon core is working through the tip, pommel or side of a weapon.
  • The weapon core is no longer stuck to the surrounding foam.
  • There is insufficient or compacted foam on the tip, guard, pommel or haft of a weapon.
  • The weapon has protruding hard or sharp bits such as studs or gems.
  • The weapon core is too thin for the length of the weapon making the weapon being too flexible and “whippy”.


Heroquest does not allow Claws to be utilized as weapons.

Thrown Weapons

These are weapons that are specifically designed to be thrown in LRP combat; you must not throw normal melee weapons. A throwing weapon will be deemed unsafe if: 

  • The weapon has any hard areas.
  • The weapon has any hard protrusions that could enter an eye socket.
  • The weapon contains any detectable rigid core.
  • The weapon is too heavy and would have too much momentum.

Missile Weapons

These are bows or crossbows designed to fire an LRP arrow or bolt. Players using a bow or crossbow are required to adhere to the same standards of safety and control as players using melee weapons. A bow or crossbow will be deemed unsafe if: 

  • The string is frayed.
  • The wood is cracked.
  • The string is working loose from the notches.
  • The draw of a bow is in excess of 30lbs at 28" draw.
  • The catch of a crossbow is worn.

Arrows and Bolts

As well as checking before the start of the event, we recommend that you check these after each use, as they may have become damaged. A arrow or bolt weapon will be deemed unsafe if:

  • The impact end of the arrow or bolt is covered with latex, or the latex is closer than 1/4" to the or there is insufficient padding at the point of impact.
  • The padding on the point of impact is smaller than an eye socket.
  • The metal head has not been removed.
  • The stave is not securely bonded to the head.


Shields should only have rounded-head or countersunk bolts on the front. It is recommended that you hacksaw off the ends of the bolts on the reverse. Shields will be deemed unsafe if:

  • There are protruding bolts or nuts on the front of the shield. Bolts on the reverse of the shield must not protrude more than half an inch.
  • The rim is not padded or the padding is insufficient.
  • There are any splinters or shards of wood or metal that could cut or tear skin or weapons striking it.

Banned Items

The following items cannot be used at Heroquest events.

  • Real weapons, including camping knives, re-enactment weapons and any sort of non-replica firearm.
  • Javelins and wrist-mounted hand crossbows.
  • Replica firearms.
  • Flexible weapons such as flails and whips may not be used as weapons.
Last Updated on Sunday, 02 February 2014 19:36
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