Safety is of primary importance at Eclipse/Rule of Three Events. All players are required to be familiar with the safety rules and abide by them. Many of these rules can be found in the Eclipse Rulebook, though an overview is provided below for your convenience.
This is the most important rule in the whole book, and it is essential that all players be familiar with it. Anyone may call a Hold at any time if they see an unsafe situation, because of injury, or if, for any other reason, they perceive that the combat should be halted. Holds must be called loudly so that all players in the area may hear. Everyone nearby should immediately drop to one knee and remain completely silent, with eyes downcast if possible. Failure to comply with a Hold may result in a Formal Safety Warning.
Holds may not be called to pick up dropped objects or psionic packets, to get a better view of the combat, to parlay with an opponent, or for any other reason not directly related to safety or rules issue. A Hold may be called because someone has fallen down, a player’s glasses were broken, the combat has progressed into an unsafe area, or to settle a rules dispute or question. While the Hold is in effect you should not look around or talk to other players. You may however, use this time to pick up packets, check the safety of your weapon, recover arrows or other props from a “quiver,” or remove expended tags. Thrown weapons may not be gathered during a Hold.
When the reason the Hold was called is resolved, either the marshal in charge or the person who called the Hold should call the Lay-on. The player should inform everyone that they are about to resume play then call “3… 2… 1… Lay-on!”
You should always make sure that the terrain you are fighting on is safe; steeply sloping hills, dense underbrush, proximity to holes or slippery ground could all be considered unsafe. If you feel you are fighting in an unsafe area, call a hold and move the fight to a better location.
Likewise, if combat starts in or moves to a completely unlit area, call a hold and relocate to an area with better lighting. Additionally, you should never try to use lighting to your advantage by positioning your opponent so that the sun or another light source is in their eyes. Be careful, if you are carrying a light source in or near a combat situation, that the light is not shining directly in anyone’s eyes.
Calling for a Medic
You may only call for a Medic in case of an actual injury. If you need in-game healing, call for a Healer, or a Doc, never a Medic. If you hear a call for a Medic, Immediately call a Hold.
The No Touch Rule
You may never come into physical contact with an opponent during combat. The only contact allowed during battle is by weapon or packet. Punching, grabbing and kicking are all strictly prohibited. Combat magic cannot be “touch-cast”.
Characters or monsters that have the ability to strike an opponent with their body must represent the attack by using red-taped weapons (“claws”). These weapons cannot be disarmed.
The following manuvers are considered unsafe and will result in a warning.
- Corkscrewing — once an opponent is on their knees, you may not circle them in such a way that it forces them to rotate, or else be killed.
- Charging — Crowding an opponent so that he must retreat or step aside to avoid physical contact is considered charging. You must always leave room between yourself and an opponent. If you are pursuing another player it is always you responsibility to be in control enough to be able to stop without ramming into the person you are chasing. Some battles may involve creatures that can absorb a large amount of damage. This can lead to “walk” charging, in which a combatant is moving at a very slow speed, but still forces an opponent to move or be brought into contact with the combatant. This is forbidden. Any movement, which forces a person to move or risk coming into bodily contact, is considered charging.
- Fast Blows — legal weapon speed is one blow per weapon per second. Hits that are faster than this do not count.
- Pinning Weapons — you may not immobilize an opponent’s weapon in such a way that he cannot free it simply by pulling back. Weapons with hooks or other means of trapping weapons will be deemed unsafe. Likewise, a weapon cannot be stepped on or physically held down to prevent another from freeing it.
- Thrusting — while thrusting a weapon (with a safety-marshal approved thrusting tip) is permitted, A weapon should never be thrust with full force, no matter how much padding is used in its construction. The elbow should always remain loose when thrusting and should not be locked. Weapons should never be set, either by locking the arm in place or by resting the weapon against the ground or other surface.
- Tripping — You may not use a weapon deliberately to trip an opponent.
Legal Target Areas
Legal target areas are from the neck down, from wrist bone up to the arm, and from the anklebone up the leg. The head and feet illegal areas and do not count as successful weapon hits. The hand is an illegal target area so long as it is holding a weapon. A combatant who has suffered a head hit can call an immediate Hold (as needed) and inform his opponent of the hit. No attacks that strike the head are considered a legal hit regardless of the attack type (weapon, missile weapon, or packet). You do not lose any effect/mana/etc. if a thrown packet or weapon hits an illegal target area — for game purposes, the attack was never made.
Combatants should not target the neck or crotch areas, though blows that land there inadvertently are considered legal.
Sports cups are highly recommended for men, as are sports glasses for those who wear prescription glasses, though neither is required.
Strength of Blows
A weapon should be swung with significant strength so that the blow can be felt and considered a “solid” blow, but not with more force than is necessary to ensure a “solid” blow. It should be noted that “solid” does not necessarily mean hard, only that the blow connects fully. You should always inform an opponent immediately if you feel that they are swinging too hard or too light.
Bear in mind that some types of armor protect so well that it becomes difficult to judge the strength of a hit. What would seem like a perfectly solid blow while wearing shorts and a T-shirt feels very different when wearing plastic or metal armor. Part of the “skill” to wearing armor involves learning what legal blows feel like. Take this into account any time you wear armor.
Arc of Swing
A weapon should never be swung in anything greater than a 120° arc. Great or pole weapons should never be swung in more than a 90° arc. All weapons must be pulled back at least 45° before another swing can be taken.
All weapons must be checked by a Safety Marshal at every event. This includes bows, crossbows, guns, and arrows.
Each player is responsible for the safety of his own equipment. Damaged or otherwise unsafe equipment should be removed from play immediately. Use of an unsafe weapon (even one passed by the Weapons Safety Marshal) may be grounds for receiving a Formal Safety Warning.
Headbands and other Out of Play Indicators
All players are expected to be aware of and comply with indicators that designate someone as non-combat or out of play. Examples of such indicators are:
- White Headbands — White Headbands indicate that someone is Out of Play (OOP). A person who is Out of Play does not exist within the game and should not be interacted with on an in-game level. They could be marshals or other OOP staff, monsters coming back to Monstertown after an encounter, and so forth.
- Hand on top of the head — This is an alternate symbol for being Out of Play.
- Orange Headbands — Orange Headbands indicate that someone is Non-Combat active. They are in-play, but they will not take part in combat situations due to injury or other reasons. A person in an orange headband should move as quickly as is safe away from any combats in the area. A Non-Combatant should never be struck with a weapon, spell packet, or other object. If one wishes to harm a non-combatant, one may come within five feet of them, point, and declare, “I Kill you.” This will inflict the equivalent of a Mortal Blow to the Non-Combatant. Any other person may interrupt this action by being within 5 feet of the non-combatant and declaring, “I intercede.”
Safety Warnings will be given to players whose fighting style is deemed unsafe. Most often a Marshal will issue an informal warning that has no effect on the player other than to let him know that he has been fighting unsafely and that he should try to adjust his style. Safety Marshals also have the right to ban a player from combat for any amount of time to be designated by the Marshal. Finally, a Safety Marshal may issue a Formal Safety Warning. Receiving three Formal Safety Warnings within the space of a year will result in an immediate ban from all fighting. This is considered a permanent ban and may only be repealed by the Directors of Eclipse.
Sportsmanship Warnings will be given to players who display poor sportsmanship including cheating, yelling or using abusive language to other players, staff or volunteers. Repeat offenders of Sportsmanship issues may be formally invited by the Directors of Eclipse or the Owners of Rule of Three Productions to find a different game.
Rule of Three Safety Waiver
Everyone participating in an Eclipse event is required to have read and signed a copy of the Rule of Three Safety Waiver. These will be available at check-in for anyone who does not have one on file.
There is a safety briefing given for the benefit of new players at every event. Experienced players are encouraged to attend these briefings from time to time to refresh their memory, and to share their experience with newer players.