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What’s In a Name? A guide to the most popular terms and jargon you’ll hear at Warsong.

June 10, 2019

Many new players have come along to a night at Warsong and been baffled by some of the terms and signals they’ve seen and heard. It can be a little daunting when someone is waiting for a response from you and you’re not sure what they’re asking, so we’ve come up with a list of terms that are the most popular so that you can navigate the LARPing world a little easier.


LARP: Stands for Live Action Roleplay and describes a type of role-playing game in which participants physically act out scenarios, typically using costumes and props. This acronym can be used to form words such as LARPs, LARPing and LARPer.


IC: Stands for In Character. It’s more often used online but it can come up in conversation from time to time as well. This term is used to let a group know that you’re either in character or you’re talking about something that happened in character.


OOC: Stands for Out Of Character. Similar to IC but the opposite.


Half Moose Head: This is when a player holds their hand to their temple, palm facing forward, thumb pressed against their head. It looks like half a Moose’s antlers, thus the term. If a player is doing this it means they are out of character and are asking you to do the same so they can clarify something.


Bleed: There are two types: bleed in and bleed out and it’s important to know the difference between the two. I’ve covered this topic in another blog post (link) so I’ll just go over the basics in this one.


Bleed In: When aspects of your real personality, or knowledge you have out of character, bleeds into your character’s persona or actions.


Bleed Out: When aspects of your character’s persona or knowledge bleed into your real life. This can be a good or a bad thing.


Ret-Conning: When an interaction or series of interactions between characters has to be “deleted” and everyone pretends it never happened. This usually happens because someone has had a severe, adverse reaction to role-play or because players have ignored agreed lore.


Steering: When an interaction or series of interactions between characters are becoming stale or unpleasant, the players may agree to “steer” the interaction/s in a new direction to make it more fun or pleasant for all involved. This is generally considered to be better than ret-conning.


PC: Stands for Player Character. It’s the character you play.


NPC: Stands for Non-Player Character. They are characters designed to live in the world and interact with player characters.


Admin: Warsong is run by a volunteer Administration team. They are referred to as Admin.


HP: Stands for Health Points or Hit Points and designates how many times you can be hit before you are reduced to 0


WBL: Stands for Warband Leader


Lore: The backstory for the world in which we live that informs how your character can interact with the game


Boffer: A boffer is a foam weapon that is usually home-made. In re-enactment and SCA circles often the manufactured foam weapons that we use are also called boffers, however in the LARP community we generally refer to a Boffer as a weapon that is made from a pool noodle or other foam and duct tape. Boffer LARPs refer to larps that utilise these weapons.


Parlour LARP: A larp that is generally roleplay only and play indoors.


Cali: Short for Calimacil – A LARP weapons manufacturer


EA: Epic Armoury – Another LARP weapons manufacturer


Sword and Board: Sword and Shield


LARP Drop: Sometimes mistaken for bleed, it is a feeling of malaise and depression that follows a large LARP event


Perma Death: When a player chooses to permanently retire their character from a LARP


Respawn: If you cannot be healed you return to respawn for a predetermined amount of time before you come back into play


Death: Usually used at Game Weekends, it is an elongated period of respawn


PVP: Stands for Player VS Player, a format where Players fight each other. Our Thursday nights run on a PVP format


PVE: Stands for Player VS Environment, a format where Players enter an environment designed to offer them challenges, quests and battles with NPCs. Game Days and Weekends have both PVP and PVE options available.


Kit: Refers to all of your LARP gear, including weapons, armour, clothing and props


Soft Kit: Your character’s clothing without armour


Hard Kit: Your character’s armour


Garb: Another word for Soft Kit, clothing.


Code Red: When there is an injury or a suspected injury, players may alert a Marshal to call Code Red. The Marshal will blow the whistle three times. All other players stop what they are doing and remain quiet while the first aid team attends to the injured party. When the Marshal blows the whistle once, play resumes


Railroading: Forcing a player or players into a storyline they do not want to be part of, but doing it in such a way that the player feels they have no choice


Canon: RP that happens on field between two or more players and becomes a part of those characters stories


Metagaming: A LARP term for cheating, specifically, using out of game information to gain an advantage in character


RP: Stands for Roleplay


Pulled Blows: A blow that is pulled back to 90 degrees after it makes contact with a target. These are used so as not to cause injury to players.


AP: Stands for armour points and designates the amount of HP your Armour gives you on top of your base HP.


Murderhobo: Refers to a character whose only trait is murdering other characters. Generally not looked upon as a good character to play


Nerdball: When a LARP becomes all about the win and certain teams and parties focus only on that, making the game not fun for all other players.

This list is by no means exhaustive, but these are the most important and most common terms you’ll come across while you’re playing.

We hope this has been informative, and if there are any other terms you think should be on this list, contact us!