NOTE: Check back soon, we intend to fill this page with images to help you follow along with the construction steps.
Combat is often an integral part of Live-Action Roleplay Gaming. Therefore, it is imperative that strict safety regulations be followed in the construction of suitable weapons. These construction techniques have evolved over a period of years under rigorous playtesting.
These instructions are intended to be as clear as possible to enable a player who has never participated in an XPI game to construct their own weapon with a minimum of time and effort. Naturally, the more effort and craftsmanship you put into the construction of a weapon, the better made and more attractive it will be. There is a certain amount of leeway given for creative expression, so long as the basic construction rules are not violated.
At Check-In, all weapons will be checked for compliance to safety regulations. If your weapon fails to comply, it will not be permitted in the game. Any player caught using a non-approved weapon during a game will have the weapon confiscated until the end of the game, and possibly have their certification to carry weapons revoked. The safety of all our players depends on every person adhering strictly to these rules. We do not take them lightly, and neither should you.
PVC (Poly-Vinyl Chlorate) is the white plastic pipe often used in plumbing. There are several varieties and sizes, only two of which are permitted. You should look for three-quarter inch (3/4”) PVC in most cases: some players making lightweight weapons may choose to use half-inch (1/2”) PVC. Note that there is a thinner version of PVC pipe known as CPVC. It generally has a slightly yellowish color rather than the purer white of PVC. CPVC is not permitted, as it is too thin and slightly more brittle, and may break when used against PVC weapons.
If you are not certain what type of PVC you are purchasing, look at the red or blue type on the pipe itself. It should say 3/4” or 1/2” Schedule 40 PVC. If you are still not sure, ask a salesman to assist you in finding what you need. They will assume you are using this for plumbing purposes, and will often attempt to tell you that 3/4” PVC is not what you need. However, as you are not using it for plumbing, you should insist on 3/4” PVC. You may use smaller diameter PVC if desired, but this is usually reserved for smaller weapons, such as daggers and foils.
PVC insulation comes in several varieties. Sometimes in 3 foot lengths, sometimes in seven foot lengths, and sometimes in rolls. Any variety will do, though for the construction of staves or spear shafts the seven foot lengths will enable you to use one unbroken piece of insulation throughout the length of the shaft.
XPI uses 3/8” pipe insulation on their weapons. This type generally states on the package “3/8 inch thick polyethylene foam pipe insulation, fits 3/4 inch copper or 1/2 inch iron pipes.” You may note that in some cases the inside hole seems too small to slip over the PVC: this is normal. It is generally a gray or olive drab color. The thickness of the padding should be 3/8”, but the diameter of the hole on the inside should be smaller than that of the PVC for proper padding. Larger inside diameter padding may be used, but tends to become loose on the weapon’s core, and may be disallowed for this reason.
For the construction of a softer tip on weapons that will be used for thrusting attacks (spears, swords, staves, etc.), it is necessary to have some open celled foam. This soft, spongy material can be found in several varieties, most of which are acceptable. The easiest to find while you’re in the hardware store getting your PVC and insulation is the type used to insulate around window air-conditioners. It usually is found as a 2 1/4” square by 2 foot strip in a plastic bag.
Another type that is acceptable is upholstery padding, often sold in fairly large blocks. It is usually a light brown or beige color. In general, any foam that you can compress with one hand that returns immediately to its original shape will be sufficient.
As has been discussed before, duct tape should be purchased in silver or brown color for the construction of weapons, but any color is permitted when working on shields and for adding individual flair to weapons. Remember: edged surfaces still must be silver. Any other color will be considered to be blunt. Also, no reflective or metallic tape is permitted, as reflective denotes magical powers in some Genres and metallic ribbon can have sharp edges if it comes loose.
There are many brands of duct tape, but two basic designs. One is a cheaper type made of a thin layer of nylon and threads with a rubberized adhesive. This type is fairly weak and will split easily upon impact. You should not use this kind, as it will render your weapons illegal and useless after a few fights. The proper kind to use is cloth duct tape. This is obviously different in that the threads that make up the cloth are larger, denser, and stronger. While these rolls tend to be more expensive, the extra reinforcement provided by the cloth will add life to your weapon, and looks better, besides.
If you will be cutting the pipe to size yourself, you will need either a pipe cutter or a hacksaw with fairly dense teeth. A pipe cutter is a specially designed instrument with a blade set opposite a pair of wheels that you rotate around the pipe manually to score and then cut it. With a hacksaw, a good bit of effort will be needed to saw the pipe, and it generates a large amount of PVC “sawdust.”
Next, a sharp knife will help in cutting the insulation and tape as necessary. If you wish to make certain that your padding does not slip on the PVC, you may use rubber cement to provide for adhesion. Do not use any other kind of glue or cement, as they may harden and form sharp ridges or degrade the insulation.
Depending on what sort of crossguard you wish, you may need additional tools. Some examples are given in the section on sword construction. Small saws and perhaps a vice to stabilize materials may be needed.
Most major hardware chains carry the materials required. Do-It-Yourself shops such as Home Depot, Rickel, and others will also carry these items. Pipe and insulation, usually intended for use in plumbing, will usually be found in the plumbing section. Duct tape has so many uses that it can be found in several different departments: plumbing and heating being two common ones.
Black electrical tape, so useful in adding accents to hilts, pommels, and crossguards, is found somewhat predictably in the electrical department. Other tools will vary in location. If you are not certain where to find what you need, ask a salesman or other store employee.
If you don’t like the idea of making your own weapons, or don’t have the time, you can always come to the game with a bit of extra cash and buy one there. Such blades will not always be available, so you should not depend on this method. XPI does not provide weapons for Adventurers, only Cast members. Weapons can often be bought during the game (in which case you will spend game money and US money at the same time) or before and after games. The quality of these weapons is not at all guaranteed by XPI, but they will be tested for safety and adherence to the rules before being permitted into the game for sale. Naturally, the Genre of the game being played will help determine the type and availability of weapons for sale during the game.
The very first step in preparing to make a weapon is to cover the ends of the PVC with tape. Using about a three-inch strip, place the center over the end of the PVC and fold the ends down onto the PVC to cover any ragged edge on the cut of the PVC. If the edge is too ragged, it should be filed or sanded down. The end of the PVC should be straight with no angle to it (which might form a point) and fairly smooth.
As mentioned before, attempting to force the PVC into the insulation will often cause the insulation to part along the seam. If it does not, and the PVC slides easily into the insulation, you either have PVC that is too thin, or Insulation that is too wide. Assuming you have the proper materials, you should split the pipe insulation manually before sliding it onto the PVC.
You should use enough padding to cover the entire striking surface of your weapon (the blade for swords, the entire weapon for pole-arms) plus 1” on every striking end (the tip for swords and both ends for pole-arms). This extra 1” will provide for extra cushioning for thrusting tips.
At this point, the insulation must be anchored to the PVC, to make sure it stays in place. There are several acceptable methods. The first is to glue the foam to the PVC. Care must be taken that the proper materials be used. Glues that dry into a hard substance (such as Elmer’s, epoxy, superglue, etc.) can form a sharp ridge that will tear the padding. Instead, use rubber cement or a silicon-based adhesive. There are methods of using tape that work as well. A few strips of duct tape may be applied from the outside of the insulation to the pipe, before filling the gap. A final method is to make small rolls of duct tape and apply them along the PVC before putting the insulation in place. In either of these methods, it is recommended that the points of taping be every 12 to 18 inches along the PVC. This is especially true in staves and pole-arms. Double-sided tape has proven to be ineffective, and should not be used.
Next, you need to fill the gap left by the split in the padding. To do this, take another piece of insulation of equal length to the padding already on the weapon. Using a sharp knife or scissors, carefully cut a 1/4” strip the entire length of the insulation. Place this strip into the gap left in the padding already on the PVC. It should fit the gap without stretching the padding and without forcing it apart and allowing the PVC to slide.
Finally, the 1” closed-cell ends must be filled in. This can be done by either cutting small disks of closed-cell foam to fit in the hole, or by taking a strip of closed cell foam and fold it back and forth to fill in the hole. This must then be held in place by using another strip of duct tape to seal the end of the foam, in the same fashion the end of the PVC was covered. This will keep everything in place, and reduce the chance that the insulation will “creep” down the PVC, allowing the pipe to push up into the thrusting tip.
The easiest way to tape a weapon is to start at one end and wrap around the weapon in a spiral all the way to the other end. This provides for a somewhat stronger covering, but unfortunately, it also has a tendency to crush the padding and lessen its usefulness.
Even a conscientious weapon maker will usually place enough force on the tape in the process of wrapping the weapon to cause some compacting of the padding. After repeated repairs, the likelihood of the padding being smashed down grows. Eventually, the padding is so crushed as to provide little or no protection.
Therefore, the proper method of applying tape is to do so with long strips applied parallel to the PVC core. A lengthwise strip will cover the padding, hold it in place, and add the proper coloration (blunt or edged) all at the same time, and actually looks neater than the barberpole effect that spiral taping produces. XPI will disallow any weapon that has been taped for more than a few inches in a spiral pattern. Spiral taping at the hilt or one wrap at the tip to help secure the thrusting tip is permissible, but the final decision as to whether excessive spiral taping exists is up to the Player Assistant checking weapons.
An examination of the end of the weapon will show that it is the least padded area: unfortunately, it is also one area very likely to be used in an attack. Therefore, we must add another bit of padding to the tip of any weapon that will be used to attack. This includes both ends of staves and butt ends of axes. This is accomplished by adding a 2” by 2” square of open-cell padding to the end.
The padding bought for use as air-conditioner insulation is usually 2 1/4” x 2 1/4” x 3’. Simply cut a 2 inch piece off of the strip, and cut the corners off of it to make a hexagonal column 2 inches tall. If you are using some other source of open-cell foam, then cut a 2” cube out and trim the corners to the hexagonal shape. Depending on what size PVC you used, and the type of open cell foam, it is possible that the resulting hexagon may be larger than the diameter of the weapon. Additional corner trimming is allowed, but make sure that the open cell foam does not come out smaller in diameter than the end of the weapon.
Place the tip at the end of the weapon. Attach a 2 foot piece of duct tape to the thrusting tip in the middle of the tape, and fold the ends down onto the shaft of the weapon. You should be careful not to compress the tip at all at this stage. Then, take a second piece of 2 foot tape, and place it across the first, forming an “X” over the tip of the weapon and attaching it to the shaft with four pieces of tape.
To finish the shaft of the weapon, all that is needed now is to place lengthwise strips of duct tape from the base of the weapon to the tip. Five overlapping strips are generally enough. Take care not to crush the thrusting tip, as this will negate its effectiveness. When completed, you should be able to press down the tip with ease and have it quickly spring back to its normal shape. If it does not spring back, then you have made it too airtight. In this case, a few small cuts in the tape on either side of the thrusting tip should allow for venting of the air. These cuts should be no more than a quarter-inch (1/4”) in length.
An alternate method is to place to strips of tape side-by-side, overlapping by about 1/2”. When you fold the tape down over the shaft, only do so along the length of the tape. Using a knife or scissors, cut the tape at the folds, and roll the length of the tape along the shaft flat to the insulation, and fold down the remaining corner to the shaft. A final strip of duct tape can start just above the remaining exposed open-cell foam and be taken down the entire length of the shaft. This method takes some practice, but can produce a better-looking end.
Some of the most common causes of failure for weapons to pass inspection is in the thrusting tips. There are three points to reinforce here. When taping the thrusting tip, it is important that all the open cell foam is covered. Exposed open-cell tends to deteriorate over time. It is also important that a minimum of tape layers cover the thrusting tip. Too many layers reduce the ability of the open-cell foam to be crushed and return to shape quickly. Finally, and most importantly, the thrusting tip must not get compressed when attaching it to the shaft. Avoid pulling on the tape as you stretch it down the shaft.
Weighting a weapon is done to make it easier to wield. A balanced weapon is far more effective than one that is “tip heavy” or “hilt heavy.” A good weapon maker will counterbalance the weapon just enough to find this balance. There is no reason, however, to place any sort of weighting in the tip of a weapon. Any weighting done must be done at the hilt or handle of a weapon, not in any striking surface. (Staves, therefore, may not be weighted at all.)
One effective method of controlled weighting is to place a securely-taped roll of coins (such as pennies) into the PVC at the hilt, making certain that they are secure so they will not slide to the tip of the weapon during use. Varying the number of coins will obviously vary the weight, so fine-tuning is possible.
No such weighting may ever extend past the crossguard of a weapon’s handle. XPI reserves the right, as always, to disqualify any weapon it deems unsafe.
Certain styles of swords require the use of a curved or slightly bent blade. Bending PVC must be done very carefully in order not to weaken it. No cuts in the material are permitted, as they weaken the overall strength and may cause the weapon to break during use.
To bend PVC, the pipe should be slowly heated, as over a range top, or by blowing hot air through it with a hair dryer. Once it reaches a temperature where it can be bent with the application of moderate force, it should be placed in a rack designed to hold it at the desired angle. To construct such a rack, place two nails in a board such that the PVC will fit between them at one end, and another pair at the other end of the board. To create the bend, a single nail should be placed at the farthest point in the curve to force the pipe into the desired configuration.
The construction of the hilt of a weapon is very much a matter of personal choice. There are a few guidelines that must be observed, but otherwise the design is up to the talents and resources of the builder.
The simplest method is to use two pieces of insulation about five inches long. Place one on either side of the blade of the weapon, and apply liberal amounts of duct tape to hold them in place. With careful consideration of tension in the tape at different locations, a fairly rigid and solid handguard can thus be constructed.
The first requirement of all handguards, be they basket hilts or crossguards, is that they must not be able to be torn loose by the application of force. The Staff Member checking weapons will tug on the crossguard to verify this. If it comes off with a simple pull, then it would definitely do so to an attacking weapon.
Second, it must not have any sharp edges or corners that could impale or cut an opponent or yourself if it should come into accidental contact with them. Note that oversized hilts or extremely ornate designs may be disqualified for this reason. We do not require handguards to be made of padding alone, but common sense should be used to keep the designs safe.
The pommel of a weapon (the bottom of the handle) does not have to be padded, as it is not commonly a striking surface. Many players will put a simple layer of padding here to allow it to be a legal striking surface for the gentle tap of a “waylay.” Unless it has an approved Thrusting tip, a Pommel may not be used for any other kind of attack.
As mentioned before, there are very strict rules as to what color duct tape may be used on weapons. Certain nonstandard colors are reserved for XPI use (such as black and white), and other colors have specific meaning in combat.
Any area that is intended to be blunt (staves, handles of axes, etc.) must be covered in brown duct tape, or painted with several coats of brown paint that will not flake off after a few hits. Any surface so covered is considered to do damage as per blunt weapons.
Any area that is to be edged (sword blades, spear heads, etc.) is to be covered with silver (standard) duct tape. Remember that either type of tape must be applied in a lengthwise manner rather than a spiral.
Decorations such as scrollwork, inlay, runes, or inscriptions, may be executed on the weapons in any way the owner wishes, and in any color, so long as reflective tape (reserved for magical weapons in some Genres) and metallic tape (which has sharp edges) are not used. One excellent method is to apply a base color of tape (for example, red), and covering it with the weapon colored tape (for example, silver). With a sharp knife, carefully cutting through one layer of duct tape will reveal the colored tape beneath. This will not sacrifice the strength of the tape, and provides for clean edges and neat, durable work.
XPI encourages variety in every aspect of character development. If everyone in the game carried identical weapons, we’d have an army rather than an interesting, realistic game. In some genres, costumes can often be completed by adding a suitable weapon customized to reflect the tastes and personality of the character. A short, ornate dagger at the hip of a lady is a subtle but ominous sign of her attitude. Likewise the barbarian carrying that double-bitted long-axe should not be trifled with if the numerous patches about its length have anything to say about the number of fights he has survived. And what would Ceylophi be without their trademark greenstick spears?
The catch, as usual, is safety. Some weapon types can be very difficult to construct safely, such as flails. Some, like whips, are impossible. Here we set down a few guidelines to help you construct or purchase a weapon that will most likely be permitted in an XPI event. Remember: XPI reserves the right to disallow any weapon deemed unsafe, and the use or possession of such a disqualified weapon during a game is grounds for dismissal without refund and/or revocation of your certification to carry weapons. Please follow these guidelines: they are the best way to guard against the disappointment of having your weapon of choice disallowed.
A very common weapon in XPI: Medieval Fantasy games, the sword comes in a bewildering variety of sizes and styles. Throughout several years of playtesting, it has become apparent that the length of a sword must have a definite maximum to avoid the use of unrealistically long blades in play. Historically, swords such as the Claymore were huge, but also difficult to wield. To think of using such an oversized blade against a smaller sword in a fight gives but one advantage to the larger blade: strength and power. In a game, use of excessive strength is unsafe, and undesirable. In addition, longer blades become too flexible and tend to “whip” near the end, making them even more undesirable.
For these mostly safety-related reasons, the maximum length of any weapon’s blade is thirty inches (30”) from the very tip of the blade (including thrusting tip) to the top of the handguard. Curved blades will be measured along their length, rather than the straight line from the tip to hilt. Weapons constructed without a handguard will be measured to the beginning of the grip, which must be differentiated from the blade in some way.
The hilt of the weapon may be of any length desired by the player. From a one-handed sword to a two-hander, all the way up to a pole-arm with a long bill-style blade. The restriction on blade length applies only to the silver-taped and padded section of the weapon. As stated below, however, there is a seven foot (7’) maximum imposed on all weapons of any type.
Clubs, in general, are swords made with brown tape rather than silver. Therefore, we must impose the same restrictions on clubs as on swords. The difference between a club and a staff (which has a maximum length of 7 feet) is that a club has a definite, defined handle area at one end. The measurement will be from the tip of the club to the beginning of the handle area.
In the construction of staves, the restrictions and regulations are more in the interest of safety and balance in the game rather than any realistic tendencies of these weapons. PVC, by its nature, will flex more and more as length increases. Eventually a point is reached where the weapon has a snap to it similar to a whip where the tip lags behind the handle and snaps forward at impact. This decreases the amount of control the player has over their own weapon, and therefore, decreases safety. To reduce this tendency, the maximum length for any weapon that can be gripped anywhere along its length (such as staves, pole-arms, and axes) is seven feet (7’) as measured from one end to the farthest projection on the other end. 1/2” PVC may not be used for these weapons: they must be built using the 3/4” PVC.
Remember that any staff or pole-arm weapon must have a thrusting tip on any exposed end (both ends for a staff).
Pole-arms such as pikes (long spears), bills (a staff with a 2’ long blade at one end), and battle-axes are permitted in XPI games provided that several guidelines are adhered to. First, as the shaft of the weapon can be used as a striking surface as well, the entire length must be padded like a staff, with a thrusting tip at the butt end even if you don’t intend to use the butt as a striking surface.
Perhaps the most difficult part of constructing such a weapon is making the head. For a pike, this is simple enough, but for a battle-axe, constructing a solid yet padded head can be tricky. Pikes, by nature a thrusting weapon, should have extra padding around the head both to provide for extra safety and to give shape to the “spearhead.” Axeheads will be tested in several ways. First of all, they may not contain any solid pieces such as wood, metal, or even cardboard. All shape and rigidity must be made from padding only. The striking surface of a battle axe, and definitely the tip of any thrusting weapon, must be lined with 1” of open cell foam in the case of slashing surfaces (axeheads), and 2” of foam for thrusting tips (pikes, bills, etc.). The reason for this extra 1” padding requirement should be obvious: the momentum and power that can be built up in a solid swing of a 7 foot weapon is considerably greater than what can be achieved with a 30 inch one! The extra padding is to add a measure of safety. This extra padding should be applied in a similar fashion as a regular thrusting tip, ensuring all foam is covered, minimal layers of tape are used, and the open cell foam is not compressed by the tape.
Finally, all such weapons will be tested to make certain that the head is securely attached to the shaft. This is often the most difficult part of creating such a weapon. If the head twists more than a few inches, or pulls off with a sharp tug, then it would probably come loose during combat and could expose unpadded PVC and cause injury. Make certain any such weapon you construct is able to withstand the rigors of combat! There is no such thing as a weapon “just for show” in Xanodria: every weapon carried into a game must be inspected and legal.
Thrown weapons must adhere to stringent requirements, as they are far less controllable than hand-held weapons. There may be no material other than closed-cell foam, open-cell foam, and duct tape in their construction. Great care should be taken to be sure that there are no points that are smaller than 1 inch so as to reduce the chance of eye injury. Any end points (such as both ends of a throwing dagger) must have a 1”thrusting tip (built in the same way as a standard thrusting tip). Any special design idea (such as a mug) must be approved by XPI before it can be brought into game.
Note that “knife-length” weapons that are not intended to be thrown should have a distinct handle where the PVC core is visible to grip. This is to help avoid a PVC core weapon being mistaken for a throwing weapon.
Throwing any object at another player that has not been approved as a throwing weapon is grounds for dismissal from the game without refund and loss of fight certification.
PVC is the only approved core material for most XPI-legal weaponry. Cores made of graphite, polycarbon, or any other material are not permitted as they are too light and encourage faster swings than would be realistically possible with the weapons we are trying to simulate.
Staves are vulnerable to some problems inherent in a plastic-based core. PVC in lengths of about 5 to 7 feet will exhibit a fairly significant amount of flexibility, causing a phenomenon known as “whipping” when a staff is held at one end. The head of the staff moves farther than the attacker intended, often causing inadvertently strong swings.
In order to combat this, XPI permits the use of Aluminum pipe in 1/2 and 3/4 inch diameters for weapons five feet and longer. Note that any weapon so constructed must replace the standard closed-cell foam with 5/8 inch thick foam to provide extra protection. Aluminum does not break, but rather bends, on impact. Any Aluminum-cored staff or spear that shows bending will be ruled unusable. The lightness of Aluminum does not add significantly to the force of blows, and this is also offset by the use of thicker padding.
As one might guess, archery is the most heavily regulated of all weapons. Without very stringent requirements on bows allowed and construction of arrows, unsafe equipment and practices quickly develop. Anyone wishing to use a bow or crossbow must adhere to these requirements to the letter: failure to do so may result in dismissal from the game without refund and/or confiscation of the weapon(s) involved until the end of the game. For the safety and well-being of all our players, please use these and all weapons properly!
Bows and Crossbows should be simple recurve bows: no compound bows are allowed (even if you can find one of the required tension). Compound bows are the kind with pulley systems to make drawing the bow easier. If you cannot draw the bow you are using properly, then you should not be using it. The maximum pull allowed on any bow is 25 pounds. Take care: we will test all bows with a calibrated jig. If you are not certain what the poundage on your bow is, take it to a sporting goods shop that carries them and ask them to test your weapon at a 26 inch draw.
Constructing arrows takes a good deal of time and patience to do properly: you should follow our instructions accurately, as we will immediately disallow any arrow that we feel is unsafe. In fact, we recommend you attend a game and ask to see an arrow made before or after the game to be certain you are doing it properly before making a number of your own that may all be disqualified.
You will need the following materials on top of the normal weapon materials and equipment.
A hardwood arrow shaft is required. Aluminum shafts should not be used, as they can cut through the padding at the tip. The length of the shaft may not be longer than 28 inches from the nock to the end of the shaft. Arrows may be shorter, but this is only for persons with short arms that cannot completely draw to a 26 inch draw, or for crossbows.
The next item that will be needed is a rubber “crutch tip” that has an opening as close to the diameter of the arrow shaft as possible. Most shafts will use one with a 1/4” opening. The crutch tip (similar to what one would find on the end of a crutch or a chair leg) must be made of rubber, not plastic.
Next, a sheet of rubber gasket material (used in plumbing) will be needed. This will be an additional layer of protection between the shaft and the target. Contact cement will hold most of the assembly together firmly, and silicone sealant will provide the final material. GE makes a brand of sealant, labelled “General Purpose Glue & Seal.”
Once all the materials are assembled you can begin construction:
Remove any and all tips included with the arrow. The resulting cut should produce a flat surface at the end of the arrow: all hooks, burrs, and points must be removed.
Then, fill the crutch tip approximately 1/4 of the way up with the silicone sealant. Insert the end of the arrow into the crutch tip, and make certain that it seats firmly into the tip.
Wipe away any excess silicone sealant that squeezes out. Let the sealant dry for the time recommended by the manufacturer of the sealant: usually around 24 hours.
While the above assembly is drying, cut a pair of 2 inch by 2 inch by 1 inch blocks out of a sheet of closed cell foam, made of the same type of material as used in the construction of other weapons. If you cannot find closed cell foam aside from the round insulation, then you can make your own blocks by cutting a pair of 2 inch lengths of insulation.
Cut both pieces in half lengthwise so that you now have four “C” shaped sections.
Apply contact cement to the convex (the left side of the “C” shape) side of all four pieces. Follow the directions printed on your contact cement container for proper drying of the cement.
Place two pieces next to each other such that the cemented edges are touching, then roll the two pieces together with the two coated sides facing.
Press them firmly together. If you allowed the contact cement to dry properly, the pieces should adhere instantly. Make certain you have them lined up properly, as such is the nature of contact cement that if you make a mistake you won’t have a second chance.
Regardless of how you obtained them (cut or made), you now have two 2 inch by 2 inch by 1 inch blocks. On the square faces of the blocks, cut a groove that is roughly the size of half the width of your arrow shaft deep, from one edge to the middle of the block.
The shaft must fit snugly into this groove. Apply contact cement to both of these grooved faces, and allow them to dry. Apply contact cement to the arrow shaft to coat the last two inches of the tip. When all sections are dry, carefully lay the crutch tip of the arrow about a half inch from the end of the groove, and lay the shaft into the groove.
Matching the second block up with the end of the first, press the two together firmly to create a solid 2 inch cube of closed cell foam around the tip of the arrow, with 1/2” of padding extending beyond the tip.
Apply contact cement to the front end of the resulting cube. Cut a 2 inch square out of the gasket material and cover one side of this, too, with contact cement. After observing the appropriate drying time, place the gasket square onto the padding cube at the tip of the arrow.
Using a sharp knife or utility razor blade, carefully shape the cube into a cone that begins at the shaft and widens to a 2 inch circle at the end of the cube.
Cut a 2 inch cube out of open cell foam, in exactly the same manner as creating a thrusting tip for a weapon. Apply contact cement to one side of this cube, and to the exposed end of the gasket material on the arrow tip. Once both of these surfaces dry, press the two together.
Cut two, ten inch lengths of duct tape, and cut them down the center to form four strips. Place the middle of one strip across the corners of the cube. Fold these two down to the shaft, being careful not to compress the foam. Repeat this with another strip across the other two corners.
With the final two strips, cross the flat sides of the cube. You may apply more strips in this fashion, but make certain to leave a few slits up the side for ventilation. If you close the entire tip, it will act like a balloon, and not compress properly upon impact.
Again, you may wish to attend a game and see an arrow without the taping on it to make certain you are doing it correctly before wasting time making several.
Having taken the time to make your arrows, you should place your name on them to make sure they are returned to you after use. If someone is struck with your arrow, they will keep it until it is “removed” from them, whereupon they will return it to XPI and you.
Shields vary widely in size and shape, with different shapes and sizes used for different purposes. From the tiny bucklers used in rapier dueling to the giant kite shields for forming a shield wall, every type is allowed at Xanodria games.
There is no restriction on the size or shape of a shield except that the shield should not have hooked or notched areas designed to trap weapons. There is no size limit, as there are enough ways to get around a shield that even the largest shield will not make a player invulnerable. An arrow to the back or a lightning bolt spell will do the job rather nicely. In short, relying too heavily on a large shield to defend you is unwise. Please remember that shield bashing of any kind is not permitted, nor may any protrusion from a shield be used to attack your opponent.
Restrictions do exist, however, on proper construction. The base material should not have thin edges (such as metal) or show signs of cracking or splintering. Plywood or solid planks glued together are best. All edges must be fully padded all the way around with foam padding. 3/8” foam, the same used on weapons, is perfect for this purpose. The padding must be attached to the shield securely. We recommend twine or string looped around it and through holes cut into the wood for maximum durability. The entire assembly should be covered with duct tape, or a piece of cloth stretched to cover all areas tightly and secured in the back. The handles or straps of the shield are yours to devise as necessary. Make certain, however, that no screws, nails, or other fastening devices protrude through the shield where they may catch on and injure another player or damage weapons.