What is Dargarth?
Dargarth is a live action wargame, based in Seattle, Washington. Participants engage in medieval fantasy combat and roleplay with full garb and padded weapons. Events are held regularly every other Sunday in Seattle.
How do I play?
The first step is to create a fictional character for yourself. You’ll need a name and class. The Classes FAQ can help with picking your class. If you are having trouble with a name, try searching history, legend, or the millions of fantasy name generators you can find through google.
Combat is simplified as much as possible. A sword will do one point of damage when swung. If you take one point of damage to the torso, you have been killed. If you take one point of damage to a limb, that is a light wound and you cannot use that limb. Two light wounds, or an additional point to an already wounded limb and you are mortally wounded. The combat system is borrowed from Belegarth, in case you’re familiar with that system.
The magic system is a little more abstract. Offensive magic is represented by ‘spellballs,’ which are colorful thrown foam balls. We try to keep things simple so non-casters can remember the effects. To cast a spell, the player must recite an incantation that lasts a certain number of words. More powerful spells require more words, so they take longer to cast. Casters write their own incantations, some can get quite creative. A fireball is a fairly powerful mage’s spell and takes 325 words to cast. For more detailed explanation, visit the Magic FAQ.
What are countries? Is that a strategic meta-game?
Yes it is. Dargarth is also a strategic game that overlays the regular events and adventures. Countries are social and fighting groups formed by like-minded players. A country can then grow their territory on the landmap. They do this by exploring hexes or taking them from other countries. You can play Dargarth for years and not have to bother with countries or politics, they’re entirely supplemental. It does motivate much of the action though, and can be rewarding to become involved in. The system is fairly rich, for more details check out the Countries and Land Rules FAQ.
Is it safe?
It’s as safe as a full contact combat sport can be! Weapons have strict safety requirements, and the marshals are quick to pull out anything that could cause injury. Headshots are illegal and “baseball” swings are discouraged as well. It is still an active sport though, so participants are required to be 14 years old and must fill out a waiver that is stored on file. In the case of an injury, first aid kits are brought to each event. If you’re fighting hard, you can expect to come away with a bruise or two from each event.
What do I need?
Dargarth has a good amount of loaner equipment for new players. Most people don’t have a problem with new players borrowing equipment, just ask first and be careful with it. Its recommended to wait on constructing weapons and armor until you’ve used a few at events. More information can be found at the FAQ’s for Shields, Armor, or Weapons.
Good garb makes the game more immersive and fun for everyone, so it’s important to strive for “period” clothing. For your first event, try and avoid denim, T-shirts, logos, and sneakers. An easy starting costume is a tabard (sort of a narrow poncho), belt, and leather boots from value village. You are required to have appropriate garb by your 5th event.
What does it cost?
Nothing! As the game grows, there might be $1-10 fees to help pay for adventures or other events. For the near future though, it costs you nothing!
Who runs Dargarth?
Short answer: the players do! Long answer: Dargarth is run by three player groups: The Executive Board, The Noble Council, and the Marshals. The Executive Board keeps the club legal and proper with the ‘mundane’ world. It also is responsible for waivers, credit tracking, and the treasury. The Noble Council is made of experienced players who have contributed to the realm over a long period. The council makes important decisions for the game like scheduling. A Marshal is a player who has been appointed to a position of responsibility. Marshals watch over specific segments of the game, such as spells rules or weapon safety. Sometimes the marshals convene as the Marshal Council and vote on proposals for the game rules.
A more detailed description of Dargarth Leadership can be found here.