New to Skullduggery (and the UK)

A place for unregistered users to post and find out about Skully from the players. (Any opinions here are not necessarily that of Skullduggery LARP or the organisers)

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New to Skullduggery (and the UK)

Post by Wraethrax » Fri Nov 22, 2013 8:38 pm

Hey folks,

I'm new to the UK and just found a place in Kent. I'm looking for some LARP action and I'm not new to the hobby. I started in 1991 in NERO in Boston, MA and I've played many games over the years. I'm looking for a game that's close enough to me, but with the aspects that I really enjoy in LARP. So, I have a few questions.

What does a typical event look like? How many players and staff are usually at an event?

How is player death handled? From what I've read, the game sounds pretty lethal and that characters only get 1 death.

Is the game high power, low or mid? Will a new character feel like they can actually do anything, alongside the other players? Is there a large gap in power from older players to newer?

The skill system seems uncharacteristically simple. Spells are what we call in the states, "point and click", rather than spell packet delivered. These are huge concerns for me. I love spell using and tossing death around, but the idea of just pointing (and making sure the person knows you have pointed at them) seems like a mechanic that should be for especially powerful attacks. Are there hidden skills or any other options we just don't have access to at start?

Is there any ability to come in with a unique race? I'm not concerned about bonuses as much as flavor. The playable races aren't all that appealing to me. I could certainly live with them, but the last few games I played had very new and cool races to choose from and I think I got used to that and moved away from the classic races.

Thanks for any insight and I hope I didn't come off as snotty. I've been blessed to be a part of some truly innovative games with amazing staff and players. I like a lot of what I see here, but want to make sure I have an accurate picture.

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Re: New to Skullduggery (and the UK)

Post by smallbluething » Sat Nov 23, 2013 2:18 pm

Hi there, I'm not sure I could answer all your questions as fully as I'd like, but I just wanted to let you know that the forum has become rather quiet for the moment, and you might get a quicker response on the Facebook page. We have a lady who is originally from the states also, so might have idea for comparisons.


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Re: New to Skullduggery (and the UK)

Post by StephenReynolds » Sat Nov 23, 2013 7:32 pm


Firstly welcome to Skully. Its a great friendly system.

I will try to answer your questions to the best of my ability.

Typical event size is now approx 100 I think although I think our last game hsd over 140 in attendance. This includes PCs and a small dedicated monster crew (other players drop in and out monstering over a weekend). I find this givex a great balance of having enough people there to feel like a busy camp but means you know most people and their characters.

Player death. Death count is short at 2 minutes and there are a couple of skills that csn bring some one back from up to 5 minutes beyond it.

The game has suffered massive upheaval recently with most of the high level characters dying or retiring. Theres still a couple of us around but mostly the playerbase will be new characters with a smattering of mid and high levels left. That and power level has little to no bearing in Skully. Im about to hit level 7 and itd be easy enough for a level 1 character to assassinate me. As the game is mainly PvE though monster encounters can be toned down so there isnt so much death. Im not saying PvP doesnt happen (ive done it myself) but its a rare occurance (4 times in the past few years that I know of).

Not 100% sure I understand what you mean by spell packet but the system looks simple and plays simply. It allows players to embelish and custimise to a ertain extent their spell casting etc. To me it msy be simple but thst saves confusion and I find it to make the game flow better. Ive done a good dozen types of larp in the past 12 years and can honestly say Skully is my favourite.

Unique race depends on how far you can push a current race really. For instance Beastkin and Fae can both be modded slightly to reflect different things (Fae arguably being the most customisable).

Any other questions you want answered Im happy to help.


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Re: New to Skullduggery (and the UK)

Post by Wraethrax » Sat Nov 23, 2013 8:14 pm

Thanks you guys. I'll check out the Facebook page too.

When I spoke of spell packets, I was referring to how spells are delivered. Typically, in the US, there seems a commonality of spells being delivered by "packet" or touch, again, with a packet. These are birdseed filled beanbag type things. They are pretty small, about 1-2 tablespoons of seed in a 4"x4" cloth, that is then tied up with an elastic. It creates a ball, with a bit of a tail that is then thrown after an incant is said. It allows for an element of skill and ability to avoid a spell, to be involved. It also alerts the other person to know they have been hit by something.

With the method in Skully, it seems that one might have some trouble being aware they were struck with a spell effect, if they don't see the spell caster pointing at them or if 2 or more people are standing very closely. Does this ever pose a problem? We use this in the US and it the effect is often called "point and click" and is usually reserved for very powerful effects.

Anyway, I've just been used to one method for so long, it's hard to wrap my head around doing it the other way. I also really love slinging spells around, with those packets. ;)

Also, any recommendations for gear that I could get locally? I have a ton of gear back home, so I don't really want to break my bank on all new stuff.

Thanks again!

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Re: New to Skullduggery (and the UK)

Post by Rob2 » Mon Nov 25, 2013 8:58 am

Hi Dude,

I'm Rob, I help run crew for Skullduggery,

'Spell packets' as a system are something that has never really taken off in the UK, pretty much every system I can think of either uses a 'point and click' method, a 'touch' method, or like Skully, a combination of both. I've played a Mage for long enough to say that I don't think its ever really caused a problem for us.

Custom race wise, such things are possible and have certainly been done before. However they're generally tied to pretty high costume requirements and a degree of plot team trust. If you do have a cool idea though? Best person to float is past is Harri he's current plot king for Skully classic. Drop him a PM on these boards and he'll get back to you when he has time.

Kit wise, we can probably loan you some crew kit to start with, as long as you've got some dark clothing and some decent shoes, we can probably provide the rest.

There are some very good kit lists on the kit forum:

General Kit sites: ... f=3&t=3275

Good Armourers: ... f=3&t=3276

Weapon Makers: ... f=3&t=3260

People who make kit, and also attend Skully: ... =3&t=11838

Hope that helps.
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Re: New to Skullduggery (and the UK)

Post by Wraethrax » Wed Nov 27, 2013 6:49 pm

Hey Rob, that helps a lot. Thanks very much.

Since this post, I have looked around at a ton of games and I'm really surprised at how no games I found, use spell packets. It's really interesting to see how things are different here than in the States. What's super interesting in the States too, is that in almost any big LARP crowd in the states, you can mention a big name from anywhere in the US and someone will know that person. I noticed this as I moved around from Boston, MA to Laguna Beach, CA to Denver, CO to Atlanta, GA. Some people were known to most in every place I went. I digress...

Anyway, I'll see what I can do to through some gear together and I'll reach out if I have gaps to fill.

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Re: New to Skullduggery (and the UK)

Post by shunteddd » Thu Nov 28, 2013 2:38 am

There are a few races in addition to the main ones that anyone can play in the rules that use the base races as a template. Off the top of my head races such as the Degan B'earth, The Nosque and the Changelings. It might be worth looking into those groups as well. But generally as rob said, Alternative races do exist but are allowed on a case by case basis, The Kirrimar and the Lost for example.
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Re: New to Skullduggery (and the UK)

Post by CharlieP » Fri Dec 06, 2013 10:17 am

For spells if your target isn't absolutely clear we tend to add a name or description on the end of the vocal so "bolt1 torso, green robe" which sorts out most things. But most of our battles are intimate enough that your target is fairly easy to see, and the range is generally within shouting distance (until you lose your voice from being too dramatic!!).

As far as death is concerned you have quite alot of hit points, even more with armour, and they're locational, so you can generally run away to find a healer after taking some hits instead of going down with the first shot. There are a few skills that can get you back on your feet even after your death count (2 mins) but in general your group will make an effort to grab you and get you up before they become necessary.

It's a good time to join actually as we've just been through an apocalypse (Actual world burning, glorious last stands and all!) and only some of the player base made it through to the new world, so there will be a lot of new characters, and alot of things to discover, most of which even the previous players won't know!

Most of the cool things are due to players playing their character and doing something cool in game than racial picks at the start. It may be easier to start as something regular and see where it goes to learn the system anyway. Most of the variations come with tonnes of complicated back story, and it may be more fun to make your own instead.

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Re: New to Skullduggery (and the UK)

Post by Lori » Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:14 pm

Hello. American LARPer here. I did NERO Atlanta, Shattered Isles, and various Mind's Eye things in and around Georgia, although I grew up in Connecticut. You've been to Atlanta and know big names? How about Bruce Hunter and Charles Bailey?

I've been in the UK 13 years and doing Skullduggery since 2005.

I can help translate, as needed.

Yes, in general characters only get one death. There are a few ways around if you meet the right criteria, but from that aspect of things comparing differences with US systems, yes, it is lethal. It is, however, much the same at several other UK LARPs that I have attended. Charlie won't realise that, in comparison to US systems, you don't really have quite a lot of hit points. Has NERO gone locational? I know Shattered Isles was, but NERO wasn't when I played in the 1990's.

Yes, the skill system struck me as simple too. What, these are all the skills, ever? (And that was before they added a load more.) Character progression in the UK is slightly different too. At Skullduggery you do at least get to buy some new skills, but at some systems, you get what you get at the start for the most part.

Yes, spells are all point and click. They work and they hit, all of the time, assuming your target can hear you. Like you, I have never found a UK system that uses spell packets.

(I did try to introduce packet delivered poisons to Skullduggery, but I am not sure if they are continuing since the death of my character.)

For the most part, all the skills in the system are on the skills table. People who have bought most of the skills they can were allowed to tailor make a special vet pick skill, but these are usually in line with main table skills.

The new Wyldefire system is limited to 3 races, but has taken a different look and feel for them. The world of this new system is different and as evolved in response to the Wyldefire itself, so elves aren't all Tolkein elves and humans aren't all from D&D.

There is scope within the classic Skullduggery system to take a race and make your own culture within it, especially as the setting for that system has changed and the people who have arrived there are a random collection of folks from across the world. The most flexible, I think, are the fae and the beastkin. You can make almost anything fit into those race classes.

I have enjoyed playing in the UK system. Yes, there are some things that I think are done better in the US, but no one's doing them here, like spell packets. With Skullduggery, the people are nice, there is good roleplay, and good combat. Ah, and many systems in the UK do not have 24 hour time in. To have 24 hour time in is considered strange to them.

Where in the UK do you live?

If you want to send me a PM, I'd be happy to chat more.
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Re: New to Skullduggery (and the UK)

Post by StephenReynolds » Sun Dec 08, 2013 9:32 am

Lori wrote: (I did try to introduce packet delivered poisons to Skullduggery, but I am not sure if they are continuing since the death of my character..
Im working on it....or at least I will be if I ever find the time to sit down with the other alchemist s.

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Re: New to Skullduggery (and the UK)

Post by Nate » Sun Dec 08, 2013 9:39 pm

From a strictly rules POV, they are in the system, they are fine to make and use, and as far as I'm aware recipes are out there. Don't really know about the alchemists guild, but they are definitely available to make in game.
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Re: New to Skullduggery (and the UK)

Post by StephenReynolds » Sun Dec 08, 2013 11:17 pm

Oh yeah they are out there. I think Lori was referring to making higher level versions.

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