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Larp archery guide – part 1: weaponry

Larp archery guide – part 1: weaponry

When choosing or submitting an archer character in a fantasy world, if we are a beginner archer we should consider what kind of archery gear our character would use. I hope that a few of these tips will help you make a right choice of equipment and have fun during a larp. In the first part of my guide I will focus on the bow, arrows, the quiver and melee weapons.


When buying a bow, we should above all consider our height and strength. Shorter people (with shorter arms) should focus on composite bows. Those bows are characterised by a rather small size and short draw, which can make it more comfortable to use. A good example of such a bow is the Squire Bow from Epic Armoury. It’s also a good idea to get a nock to be fixed on the bowstring, which makes nocking an arrow and shooting it much easier. 

Taller and stronger players can consider buying a longbow or a flatbow. A good example of such a bow is the Epic Armoury Flatbow, which due to its size should be comfortable to use for people with longer arms. One should also remember that most larps limit the draw weight to specific values indicated in kilograms or pounds. It’s important to learn about the restrictions introduced by the organizers of a game we want to attend before we buy equipment.


You can write a MA thesis on larp arrows, and the conclusion to such a thesis would be: every responsible larp organizer allows and every responsible larper uses only safe arrows from attested manufacturers. All kinds of make-shifts, especially those with wooden shafts, can be dangerous. The most popular and valued arrows among larpers are the ones manufactured by iDV Engineering. They have a fiberglass shaft, rubber fletching and an arrowhead designed in such a way that a target is protected from any injuries. It’s still important to remember not to aim at someone’s head. An accidental hit on the eye socket can damage the very delicate eye. You can read more about safety in the next part of the larp archery guide.


A quiver is an essential element of a bowman’s costume. It’s a comfortable way of carrying arrows around and it looks epic. Depending on your personal preference, you can choose a quiver worn on your back or on a belt. A quiver worn on the back is very comfortable, but it is possible that when in a forest you may snag your arrows on tree branches. A quiver on a belt, on the other hand, can be quite problematic when you need to move quickly and silently. A full quiver hitting against your leg can be irritating and the sound it makes can alert anyone you want to surprise attack.

Additional weapons

Melee weapons are important to an archer because, after all, your enemies won’t stand still and your arrows will be gone at some point. On many occasions I had to defend myself from close-quarter attacks, since the melee fighters always try to get rid of the archers first. When I choose or submit an archer character for a larp, I usually use a longsword  and a few throwing knives. Such combination saved my character’s life more than once. A throwing knife can be underestimated by the enemies, but scoring a hit can surprise your foe, which gives you a chance to either run away or quickly attack with your sword. The choice of melee weaponry is a personal matter and everyone should pick what they prefer.

I recommend following the next parts of the “Larp archery guide”

With regards,

Łukasz “Captain” Krasoń

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