rules & culture

game culture

Be Inclusive

Blood Red Roses prides itself on being an inclusive and safe community both face to face and online where respect for each other is of paramount importance. Our Code of Conduct and Equality & Diversity statements exist to protect and maintain the safety of everyone in the community. You can find these policies in the main menu.

Be Safe

Ultimately you are responsible for your own safety and that of those you encounter. Following the game rules will help you stay safe, however if a situation presents itself where adhering to the rules would oblige you to do something dangerous then employ common sense and put your safety and that of others first. 

There are ‘In Game’ calls to support staying safe as well as fire wardens and first aiders (physical and mental) on site during events.

Don’t take the P*ss

Follow the rules of fair play and treat others as you would like to be treated. Don’t do anything to anyone that would be upsetting to you. This game is not about winning at all costs but about roleplaying in style and in character.  Take your hits and be dramatic!

Communicate with your Ref team – If you have a complaint or problem, no matter how small, please let us know. We can only help out if we know about it.

Get Invested

You will get so much more out of Blood Red Roses if you are willing to engage with the world, explore its resources, practice your combat or hone your skills. We encourage you to actively roleplay wherever you have the chance – “searching” for tracks without looking for any will not yield any results. You don’t have be an experienced fighter, learn all the game lore or purchase expensive kit, just make a real effort to engage with the game.

Site Rules

Illegal substances and legal highs are not permitted anywhere on site. Anyone found to be in possession of or using any such substances will be removed from the site.

Real life intoxication, e.g. alcohol, during Up Time is not permitted and will not be tolerated. Drinking immediately prior to Time In is also not advised. The decision of the Ref team in these matters is final.

You must be a minimum of 18 years of age to consume alcohol on-site and participate unrestricted.

16 and 17-year-olds can participate in all aspects of the game but require a guardian on-site at all times.

14 and 15-year-olds must be accompanied by an adult guardian at all times. They are not permitted to take part in mass combat but there will be many roleplay opportunities.

14 years of age is the minimum age permitted to attend a Blood Red Roses event.

Dogs are not permitted on site during Up Time. 

Fires should only ever be created in designated fire areas. The fire warden must always be informed before any fire is created.

Smoking or vaping is only permitted in outdoor areas. Devices for smoking or vaping must be in character.

All Calls used within the game should be acknowledged and acted upon.

The site should be respected – “Leave only footprints, take only memories.”

The Blood Red Roses Code of Conduct will be displayed on our Facebook page as well as this website. It will also be displayed in communal areas at events.

game calls

In an attempt to maintain the atmosphere of our in-game world, calls are kept to a minimum. There are, however a few essential calls that everyone should familiarise themselves with to ensure safety and smooth running of the game.

They have been split into ‘Time and Safety’ and ‘In Game Effects’ Calls. 

Time and Safety Calls

Time In/Time Out – Signals the beginning and the end of the game.

Time Freeze – On hearing this call close your eyes, cover your ears and hum. The referees are about to make a change to your immediate environment.

Stop the Game –If you (not your character) feel that the current situation is too much, raise your hand and use this call. It effects only your immediate environment and will pause events until you are clear of the space. Your character will not avoid harm or other consequences. It is to be used if you are in real-life distress.

Man Down – If you or someone you can see is injured then you must shout ‘Man Down’. If you hear a cry of Man Down you should also shout it to ensure the message reaches everyone. Upon shouting the call kneel down if possible so that the first aiders have a clear view of the area. This Call is strictly reserved for OOC injuries – find an alternative phrase if a character is hurt.

Have a Care – Open your mouth and cover your ears – don’t plug them. There is about to be a loud noise.

In Game Effects Calls

These calls, when heard, will require your character to act in a certain way. They are designed to add extra excitement and thrill to the game and will very often come from Refs or Crew members. Refs will be watching to ensure that the calls are followed.

Paralysis – This call coupled with a hit to an unarmoured location will render you motionless for 60 seconds.

Fear – Upon hearing this call you must flee for 10 seconds.

Terror – Upon hearing this call you are rendered motionless for 30 seconds and then must flee for 10 seconds.

Strength – A call of Strength implies the use of ‘Strength of the Bull’ as detailed in the ‘Natural Advantages’ table on the Character Creation page.

Subdue – This call, coupled with a mimed blow to the base of the skull with an appropriate weapon or item, will result in the target being rendered unconscious. This call cannot be used in active combat nor by using the blade of a martial weapon. Subdue can be avoided if full neck armour and a suitably long helm is worn as the attack cannot land.

Iron Will – In most cases this call is made using a characterful phrase: “The faith of the Lady protects me!”. The purpose of the call is to demonstrate ‘Iron Will’ as detailed in the ‘Natural Advantages’ table on the Character Creation page.

Knockdown – If you are struck with a weapon or item that causes ‘Knockdown’ your chest or your shoulders must make contact with the ground before you can get back up again. As an example, an Algundian longbow will cause Knockdown – enjoy roleplaying this!

Knockdown + # – If you are struck with a weapon or item that causes ‘Knockdown + #’ your chest or your shoulders must make contact with the ground and you must remain there for the number of seconds stated before getting up. As an example, any black powder weapon will cause Knockdown + 10.

game rules and mechanics

General Combat

In Combat we endeavour to keep the excitement balanced with everyone’s safety. To achieve this, the following rules are for everyone on site to adhere to. It should be noted that it is perfectly fine to make a non-combatant characters or be non-combatant crew; however, everyone should be familiar with the rules of safe combat.

  • All weapons must be inspected by a Referee before the start of a game. Any that don’t meet the safety standards will be stored until the event is over. Please refer to our additional document Weapons Criteria for more information.
  • All attacks are to be ‘pulled’. Full strength attacks are not permitted. Blows are never to be aimed at the head, throat or genitalia.
  • For a hit to count the weapon used must be swung for the full length of the blade. In the case of a stabbing weapon they must travel at least 30cm for the attack to count.
  • Do not stab with a weapon unless it has been confirmed as stab-safe by the Ref team. Stab-safe weapons require extra diligence, please ensure you are trained in their use. Refs are happy to offer this training as part of ‘Weapons’ training prior to Time In at events.
  • The use of bow and arrows are permitted during daylight hours. Bows will be a maximum of 30lb draw weight. A Ref will undertake a short archery competency check with archers before the game starts. Shots are never to be aimed at the head, throat or genitalia. Archers are responsible for where their arrows land, even if their original target moves. Archers will be expected to use reasonable and relative strength draws depending on the distance of their target i.e. no full draws at close range. Arrows should be checked after each use to ensure they are safe for the next shoot.
  • Combat may occur at night time. In order to ensure epic night fights, we ask that extra precautions are taken, such as slowing the speed of weapons and their attacks, ensuring secure footing and being mindful of light sources.
  • Swung Martial Weapons do one point of damage when swung one handed e.g. dagger, sword, axe etc.
  • Swung Martial Weapons of more than 3 feet in length do two points of damage when swung two handed e.g. polearms, great swords, great axe.
  • Stab Safe Martial Weapons do one point of damage when thrust (regardless of size) e.g. dagger, spear. Always apply safe stabbing protocol.
  • It is a capital offence, in character, to carry a Martial Weapon in Algundy unless carrying a Writ of Exemption or being of Noble rank. More information about Writs and example documents can be found on the Character Creation page.
  • Non-Martial Weapons are those not designed for warfare and as such will only do one point of damage regardless of length. However, when striking any metal armour, they will only do half a point of damage e.g. staff, spade, rolling pin, frying pan etc.
  • All bows will be treated as Algundian longbows (unless otherwise stated) and are powerful enough to punch through all armour except for Bound Shields. Receiving a hit from an Algundian longbow does one point of through-armour damage and enacts ‘Knockdown’ on its target. A limb hit with an arrow must be treated with appropriate skill before it can be used again. Non-Algundian bows do one point of damage at range with no additional effects.
  • Improper or dangerous use of weapons will see them confiscated for the duration of the event. If the Ref team determines that you are fighting unsafely then you will be asked to leave the game space.

The Bead Bag

During the course of the game your character may be required to make a bead draw. This involves selecting a glass bead from a concealed bag. The colour of this bead will determine the outcome of the circumstance your character finds themselves in. A bead draw may be needed relation to things such as skill use, recovery from injury, or involvement with the supernatural.

Black Powder

A recent invention, black powder weapons are loud, messy, unreliable, devasting and inaccurate at distance. Portable black powder weapons do one point of damage and ignore all armour, literally killing an ordinary person if they are shot in the chest and don’t receive immediate medical intervention. Even those with multiple hit points will be ‘Knocked Down +10’ – see ‘Calls’. By default, a shot from a black powder weapon will always strike the torso, not a limb.

Black Powder weapons are powered by Caps that are distributed by the referees. Each Cap is individually wrapped in tinfoil to keep it dry and to intentionally slow the reloading process. Unwrapping Caps at any point prior to loading is considered cheating as the unwrapping is part of the task. Caps without a foil wrap should be considered used and discarded. A percentage of Caps will be sabotaged to demonstrate the real unreliable nature of black powder. There is more information on black powder and Alchemy on our Character Creation page.

An Indication of the accuracy of various Black Powder weapons

Derringer Style 5 feet
Flintlock Pistol 10 feet
Arquebuse 20 feet
Long Barrel e.g. Pole Cannon* 50 feet
Cannon 250 feet
Bombard Siege Ranges

* Long barrelled guns and pole cannons must be fully braced or upon a stand as they require support in order to be used.

  • In order to use a Black Powder weapon without risk the equipment must be purchased using Character points – see ‘Character Creation’.
  • Players with an appropriate weapon start a game with 10 Caps which will be obtained from the referees. Caps may also be found, bought or stolen during the game.
  • In order to produce ammunition for a black powder weapon, a player character needs to have at least grade 2 skill in Alchemy and must be a Master level of the Alchemist’s Guild as the recipe is a guild secret – see ‘Alchemy’ section for more details.
  • 10 caps can be combined by a character with the appropriate Alchemy skill level to produce a grenade.


Armour adds extra Hit Points to the locations that it covers. Different types of armour can be layered to create a maximum of two layers. The only way of wearing two layers of metal armour (ringmail, maille, brigandine, plate) is to have purchased the ‘Plate’ equipment cost in Character Creation. Without this only a layer of fabric and a layer of metal can be worn together.

It is possible to wear plate armour for aesthetic reasons but only receive the benefits of maille protection. This is achieved by purchasing ‘Maille’ in Character Creation. In game reasons for this could be that the plate is of a thin grade or has been hastily made and is less resilient that “full plate”.

Gambeson / Thin leather armour 1
Thick Leather (5mm minimum) 2
Leather with metal (studs) 2
Ring Maile / Bezainted 3
Maille (chainmail)* 4
Brigandine 4
Plate 5

* Metal armour that provides 4 armour Points or above has the added advantage that its armour value is doubled against improvised weapons (knives, sticks, tools etc). A suit of maille will act as 8 points of armour against a man with a knife. Against Martial weapons there is no specific advantage.

  • Wearing any armoured head piece will add half of the relevant material armour points (rounded up) to your torso.
  • Armour will inevitably become damaged. It can be restored by seeking a character with the following skills involved with armour repair: Armourer or Leather-Worker. Tailor could repair cloth armour i.e. a gambeson or arming jack.


Shields are free to use, i.e. they require no character points. They come under the category of armour and as such anyone of Freefolk status carrying one without a Guild Membership, Writ of Exemption, Letter of Mark risks breaking the law. There are two types of shield:

  • Bound Shield – These are ‘bound’ in iron or steel, reinforcing their structure. Bound shields are proof against all but the most powerful martial and ranged attacks. Larger black powder weapons can destroy even bound shields, however this is rare. A call of strength with an appropriate Martial weapon will also destroy a bound shield.
  • Unbound Shield – These are made solely of wood or stretched hide. Unbound shields are proof against normal martial attacks but will not stop black powder shot or Algundian Longbow arrows – these will punch through the shield hitting the arm behind, knocking the target down. A call of strength with a one-handed weapon will destroy an unbound shield. The unbound shield is the choice of almost all low ranking and savage peoples.
  • All shields can be destroyed as mentioned above. For the purposes of repair all shields have 5 armour points. They can be restored by seeking a character with the following skills involved with armour repair: Armourer, Carpenter or Leather-Worker.

Hit Points and Wounds

Hit Points – These are the number of hits that a character or creature can take in any given location before being reduced to zero in that location. A player character begins with 1 Hit Point in each limb and the torso. This means that if hit just once on the arm, it’s hit points would be reduced to zero and the arm would be useless.

If it is the torso that is reduced to zero then the character is rendered unconscious. Locations at zero do not get worse over time but will need the attention of a herbalist to bring it back to use.

Wounds – Wounds are what happens when a location goes beyond zero. A character is able to take wounds equal to that of their hit points. As soon as a character is wounded in any location they begin bleeding. Wounds get one level worse every 60 seconds unless the character receives care. Once characters reach wounds equal to that of their hit points they have a 60 second countdown before bleeding to death if no care is given.

  • If a 1 hit point character is hit in the torso, they are brought to zero and are rendered unconscious. If they are hit again they receive a wound and are taken to -1 hit points. Their 60 second countdown in which to receive care starts. If they receive no assistance then they will die.
  • If the wound was taken to a limb, the 1 hit point character would be able to staunch the bleeding by applying pressure but would need the help of a Churgeon to close the wound. If at any point there is not pressure on the wound the 60 second countdown to death continues.
  • If a 2 hit point character is hit in the torso twice, they are brought to zero and rendered unconscious. If they are hit again, they take a wound and go to -1 hit points and their bleeding starts. If they are hit again or receive no medical assistance within 60 seconds they go to -2 hit points. Their 60 second countdown to death is then started.
  • With every wounded location a character must make a bead draw to check for complications or infection. If during your 60 second countdown to death you are hit again then this results in certain death.


All magic in the game world has its origins in Evil. To practice magic all that is required is knowledge of the ritual and familiarity with the words and gestures required to activate the spell.

A spell requires no magic points – it could be cast a thousand times a day with no loss of power. Instead, whenever a spell is cast, the caster draws a bead to determine the effects of the spell upon themselves. Some beads will have no effect, others might result in temporary effects, some may lead to permanent changes for the caster like mutations that alter appearance or behaviour. The results of the bead draw are considered to be immediate with the exception of physical alterations that require prosthetics or props, these can be assumed to have taken effect by the next game.

None of the magic in the game is instantaneous, it relies on the gathering of energies and the correct performance of a ritual. Once you have decided to perform a spell please inform a Ref.

Magic is not a precise art or science. On some days the energies will flow easier than others. A certain bead draw on one day could have a better or worse interpretation the following day.