About Amtgard

The Official Amtgard Website, The Rulebook (PDF, 4.59MB), Beginner’s Guide (PDF, 1.00MB)

img-Burning Lands/Amtgard Inc. HeraldryAmtgard was started in Texas in the year 1983. Rumored to be a splinter from another group, gossips whisper over their cups that the creator meant to scam people into paying him to play his “real-life Dungeons and Dragons.” However, the original players decided that there was actually something to this “boffer combat” and gave the game a life of its own. Over two decades later and Amtgard is now an international success.

A quote from the Introduction to the Amtgard Rulebook:

Amtgard is a not-for-profit, free, non-sectarian group dedicated to the recreation of medieval and fantasy genres. Amtgard has a vast array of new experiences to offer the interested adventurer, from making clothing appropriate to a certain time period, to wielding a foam-padded replica of an ancient weapon on the field of battle. The recreation of medieval and fantasy combat is the core of Amtgard and the main concern of this rulebook. …

Anyone may join Amtgard by:

  1. Obtaining a copy of this rulebook and reading it.
  2. Developing a persona and a persona history.
  3. Making a costume for yourself that is fitting to your persona.
  4. Filling out a membership form and waiver and turning them in to the Prime Minister. Minors must have their waivers signed by their parents or legal guardians. Minors under the age of 14 may not participate in combat without special permission from the Monarch.

Amtgard is unique compared to other “Live Action Role-playing Games” (or LARPs) in that we have both magic and melee combat, recognize the Arts and Sciences, as well as the efforts of those who would step up to lead and encourage others.

img-Line Fighting

The bread and butter of the game, and arguably the reason most players come to the fields, is the combat. Amtgard teaches its players the use light-weight, safe foam replicas of medieval instruments of war. Since our weapons do not significant weight and are required to meet very strict safety requirements, the chances of injury on the field of battle are minimized to within acceptable boundaries. Anyone with the ability and drive can learn to prove themselves with our safe “steel.”

img-SwordsWe use a “hit location” system to determine injuries and incapacitation. A strike to a limb (arm or leg) will disable that limb. An “injured” arm cannot be used along with any weapons, shields, or magic balls being held in that hand. An “injured” leg requires the player either go to their knees or “plant” and not move without declaring “crawling.” The “plant” mechanism allows those with the inability to play on their knees to continue to be involved in the game and is just one example of how we try to accommodate anyone from any walk of life. A hit to the torso (defined as below the neck and down to their groin and buttocks) is considered an “instant death” and the player cannot fight anymore until the next round. Shots to the head and neck do not count and are strongly discouraged, as no one likes to get hit there, even with foam swords.

img-Armor If a player finds themselves frequently “dying with honor” on the battlefield against skillful players, there are many other ways to protect themselves. Shields are a great method to keep life and body in one piece. Amtgard prides itself on its artisans, who can create fantastical forms of armor. Padded cloth, leather, chain-mail, and suits of plated armor all are available to those with the time and willingness (and money, though there are charitable people who will loan some armor for a single game to the unprotected).

Or if sweating in armor does not appeal to those of a mystical bent, there is the option of powerful magics that can make your skin as hard as wood, stone, or cover you in magical barriers. Of course, what can protect can also decimate as well. Instead of wielding a sword, a player can fling spell balls and cast fear into a foe’s heart with a point of a finger and a cry to the elemental and arcane powers.

How will you prove your worth?

Learn more about Wavehaven, where we will gladly put you to the test!