Ranged weapons in the wasteland

Dystopia Rising LARP Network uses four different forms of ranged weapon representation.  Below you will find details in regards to the most basic guidelines for creation of ranged weapon props.  These instructions are not to be the most masterful means of producing contact safe props, but instead the simplest way for new players to produce inexpensive starting weapons to use at game.

The Dystopia Rising LARP Network prefers professionally made latex weapons, but understands that at times the cost of these weapons inhibit new players.  These simplified 'boffer' weapon creation instructions are made available as a temporary means of producing easy to produce contact safe weapons.  Other guidelines including kite tape, fabric covers, and cores made out of kite-spar or fiber cores can be found online.  Each hand made weapon will be judged on a case by case scenario by each local game to ensure safety.


Thrown weapons are cut from open cell foam in the desired shape of the throw weapon.  Blue Mat Foam, glued together in two layers, may also be used to provide a thrown weapon that travels further.

Thrown weapons take some experimenting to produce shapes that will actually fly (we find that ax and tomahawk type shapes work the best).  When cutting these thrown weapons one needs to be careful to not leave any pointed protrusions that could cause eye injury.  All portions of a thrown weapon must be rounded in such a way that protrusions could not enter into the ocular cavity.  Rounded shapes such as thicker stones, throwing axes, and even some forms of disk are far superior than throwing knives or weapons with pointed protrusions.   

Always use the general guideline of 'If I were to strike someone accidentally in the face, would this cause an eye injury' when shaping and designing thrown weapons.  


Contact Safe Firearms Toys


Certain toy manufacturers produce foam projectile weaponry style toys that can be used in place of packets for firearms. These weaponry style toys offer a degree of style to game that does add to the overall feeling of the Dystopia Rising experience. There are certain things that need to be taken into account if choosing to use contact safe projectile weapons in addition to packets.

Any contact safe firearm toys must fire completely soft projectiles.  Glue, straws, or other forms of dart modification are not allowed.

All contact safe firearm toys must be single action.  Each pull of a trigger must shoot a single dart or full foam projectile.

All contact safe firearm toys must be safety checked at entrance.

You must enter and leave the event with the same number of contact safe projectiles to ensure all non biodegradable shots are accounted for.

Foam shooting firearm toys must be repainted to be more genre appropriate, however, the tips of these guns must remain bright orange for safety reasons. 

Individual chapters may deny particular unlisted designs of foam shooting firearm toys, or any modified toys, based on safety needs.

Here is a list of some approved weapons. 


Javelins are home made core-less throwing weapons used to represent larger thrown projectiles.  The are designed to be safe to throw, but, not considered easily expendable like packets.

Javelins can be constructed by taking a single length of pipe insulation no smaller than 12 inches in length and no larger than 46 inches in length.  This length of pipe insulation is opened using the provided slit, and rolled to create a 'filled' foam shaft. Also using higher density foam interiors, flexible or breakable firm foam cores, and hollow golf tube with foam padding are all acceptable. PVC, graphite, and other solid cores are not acceptable. 

Three bands of duct tape are used to hold the shaft in place (being sure as to not tighten the tape to cause the foam to dip or dimple inward).  

A cube head of open cell foam is affixed to the head of the javelin using two cross pieces of duct tape.  The head must not be crushed or condensed inward, nor should additional layers be added to 'strengthen' the tip.

The head of the javelin, affixed with crossing soft fabric tape or cloth covering, is in such a way that the covering will affix to the shaft of the javelin under the brown tape that will be applied to the shaft of the javelin but not compress the tip.

There are other means to create safe, non-solid core javelins. However, when crafting, your technique and design must be explained and shown to a local director during safety test to see if the item will pass. 


Packets are home made bean bags used to represent bullets, prayers, or psionic effects. They are designed to not only be safe to throw, but also safe for the environment. Our packets use a six inch square of natural fabric filled with a spoonful of birdseed (parakeet seed works best, but other seeds are acceptable, as long as you pick out the large and pointy seeds). The packet is then closed by tying twine around its midsection… leaving the seed on one side of the knot and a plume of fabric on the other.

The finished packet should be about 1 1/2” around, and flexible. Excessively large or small packets (packets that will fit in the eye socket), will be flagged by Safety Marshals, and should be disposed of, or refilled to a proper volume.

Packets are thrown safely, and should never be ‘wound up’ to throw. Packet throws follow the same rule as our melee combat, and that is to never reach back beyond ninety degrees.  Different packets have different meaning, and you should make your packets accordingly.

Bright Red Packet - Bullets

Natural White Packets - Psionics and Prayer Effects

Natural Blue Packets - Arrows

Bright Green Packets - Poisons and Radiation