All weapons, bows, arrows, shields and armour, must be checked by a member of the Profound Decisions weapon checking team before they are used at our events. They check every item to ensure that the design, construction and condition of it is suitable for use at our events. If they are not satisfied that an item is safe for use then you must secure the item in the OOC area and may not use it at the event. The team use the following guidelines when checking weapons.


  • You must get any item you buy at the event checked before you use it.

Items on sale at all Profound Decisions events have not been checked by a weapon checker. Please take any item that you purchase to a weapon checker and have it checked.

All weapons

Weapons designed for live roleplaying are commonly constructed from a solid core that is surrounded in high-density foam and then covered with latex. Weapons must meet the following guidelines:

  • The rigidity of the foam must protect the core and must not have degraded and become too soft
  • The layers of foam must be securely bonded to each other and not be delaminating
  • The right kind of foam must be used. High-density foam is the basic material and low-density foam must be used appropriately in collapsible tip weapons or in large hammerheads. This stops weapons being too heavy and having too much momentum
  • The whole length of the core must be held securely in place and must not be moving freely inside the weapon
  • The tip reinforcement must not be protruding through the surface of the foam
  • The core of the weapon must be made of an appropriate material such as fibreglass or carbon fibre - not of aluminium, wood or bamboo
  • There must not be any protruding hard or sharp objects such as gems or studs
  • There must be sufficient padding on the tip, guard, pommel and haft
  • The handle must be securely attached to the rest of the weapon and must not be loose
  • The choice of former must be appropriate to the length of the weapon and must not be too heavy and rigid (especially for thrown weapons) or too light making the weapon ‘whippy’ (long weapons)

Missile weapons

These are bows and crossbows designed to fire an LRP safe arrow or bolt. There is no bow competency testing at Profound Decisions events. We require any player using a bow to adhere to the same standards of safety and control as players using melee weapons.

  • The string must be in good condition and must not be fraying
  • The body of the bow or crossbow, whether wood or fibreglass, must not show signs of cracking
  • The string notches must not be worn and must be able to hold the string firmly
  • The draw of a bow must be less than 30 lbs at 28” draw. Crossbows are also limited to 30lbs draw weight
From IDV tear-drop arrow

IDV Arrows

IDV tear-drop arrows are not usable at any Profound Decisions events.

Arrows & Bolts

As well as checking before the start of the event, we recommend that you check these before and after each combat, as they may have become damaged.

  • The shaft must be made of fibreglass or wood. Carbon fibre, aluminium and dowel are not allowed
  • The shaft must not be cracked or damaged
  • Flights must be adequate to keep the arrow stable in flight and must be properly attached to the shaft
  • The shaft must have a proper nock which is securely attached
  • Arrows must have a maximum draw position of 28” clearly marked if the possible draw length is greater than 28”
  • The arrow must have some kind of blocker between the shaft and the foam of the arrowhead to stop the shaft pushing through
  • The head must be securely attached and not move on the shaft
  • The arrowhead must be at least 50mm (55mm recommended) across and have a circular cross-section
  • Dome headed arrows are allowed as long as the width of the widest part of the soft foam dome, and the foam behind it are of the appropriate diameter
  • The soft foam portion of the head must be designed in such a way as to allow it to collapse fully (so there must be no latex within 5-10 mm of the face)
  • Any gaffer tape used on the arrowhead must not be within 25mm of the face of the arrow
  • Archery Tag screw-on arrowheads are not currently accepted at our events
Acceptable Arrow Design from 2017 onwards

Forthcoming Changes

As the incidence of Archery related injuries is still too high at PD events, we will be making the following changes to arrows. These changes will come into effect at the first PD event in 2017. From 2017, the only arrows we will allow at PD events will follow this general pattern:

The arrow head will have a diameter of at least 50mm. Any smaller, eye injuries are a distinct possibility. Arrowheads must have two stage foam construction, fronted by spongy foam at least 20mm thick. The second layer should be 25mm thick. The thick rubber (leather is also acceptable) layer must be at least 3mm thick. The cap must not be brittle and be able to withstand repeated impacts.

The head of an LRP arrow must be soft enough for a close range shot not to damage delicate areas of the body (to account for unforeseen accidents). It must be constructed to be robust, long lasting, and eliminate all possibilities of the arrow shaft punching through the foam to the outside world.

Arrows with round heads will still be permitted, provided that it uses a two-part foam construction as shown.

If you are making your own arrows, then follow these guidelines. Arrows remain the most dangerous element on the battlefield, please make sure that you make them correctly and with care - or don't make them at all.


Please take care when using shields in melee combat. You must not use the shield as a weapon. For events in 2014 you will able to use shields with a rigid former at Empire. We will be monitoring rigid shields on an ongoing basis and it is possible that they may be removed as an option in future years. Therefore if you are making or buying new shields we strongly recommend you use a foam and latex shield.

  • A rigid former may be used during 2014 Empire events, but shields should preferably be of full-foam construction
  • If you use a rigid former then there must be at least 6mm of high-density foam on the face and no protruding bolts
  • The rim must be padded all round. Note that pipe lagging will quickly degrade will likely be insufficient after a relatively short time
  • Handles must be securely fixed so that they do not cause the shield to “flap” from the arm/ hand
  • Wing nuts must not be used to secure straps and any protruding bolts must be cut short


Armour checking is new for the Spring Solstice 2014. Our weapon checkers will be checking all armour, but because the rules are new, we will operate an amnesty for minor problems until Easter 2015. The weapon checkers will point out any problems that will cause the armour to fail from next year onwards - so that you have time to remedy them - but you will still be allowed to use the armour unless it is egregiously unsafe.

  • The armour should not have any sharp burrs or edges or any sharp protusions
  • Mail should not include unclosed links that allow sharp edges to be felt
  • The armour should not have any loose studs or rivets
  • The armour must not have any solid steel tower studs

The armour must have no sharp edges that could damage other player's weapons. The edges do not have to be rolled, but if they are not then they do have to be filed smooth.

Thrust safe polearms

You may only thrust with a weapon that has been passed as ‘thrust-safe’ by a Profound Decisions weapons checker at that event.

  • Construction must combine a low-density foam tip with a high-density spear head
  • Specific construction guidelines will be forthcoming


Battle props are items that are present in combat, but are not used as weapons. As they do not conform to the regulations that govern weapons and shields they must not be used for offence or active defence. As they are likely to be present in combat they must not have any extremely sharp protrusions. Otherwise they must be removed from the combat preferably in an out of the way area.

All weapons and implements taken onto a battlefield must have been passed by a weapon checker. You cannot use a wooden staff as a mage staff, or a wooden stick as a wand on a battlefield, even if you do not intend to hit anyone with it.

Banned items

The following items cannot be used at Empire events, either for reasons of safety or because they are unsuitable for the campaign. The traders are permitted to sell these items but only on the condition that they are collected at the end of the event. You must not carry these items on site in an IC area.

  • Real weapons, including bayonets, re-enactment weapons and any sort of non-replica firearm
  • Modern or futuristic items such as chainswords or power armour as well as novelty items such as inflatable hammers and bananas, rubber or plastic combat knives, nerf guns etc.
  • No fireworks or pyrotechnics of any sort may be brought onto the site without the prior permission of Profound Decisions
  • Injection-moulded weapons will be treated on a case-by- case basis, as although they tend to soften up with use, some may be too heavy or too hard

Further Reading

Further Reading