Simulated, Abstract or Representational combat is a mechanic used in some larps, in which the participants resolve combat by abstract methods rather than hitting one another with weapons. It is typically contrasted with live-combat.
There are a wide variety of mechanical approaches used for simulating combat. Some examples:
- Combat can be restricted to certain characters (for example by using ability cards), or be something anyone can engage in.
- Items and skills may provide bonuses.
- Combat can be self-adjudicating or GM-adjudicated.
- It may use hit points, or a single test to resolve victory and defeat.
- It may be deterministic - A always beats B - or use random resolution using a card draw, finger-flings, paper-scissors-rock, bidding, flipping a coin, or even dice.
- Ties may be resolved in favour of the attacker or defender, to encourage or discourage combat.
- Information about characters' relative combat abilities may be open, or kept secret to create uncertainty.
- The Freeform Book uses single-use assassination cards, with the defender rolling a saving throw on 3d6 to survive. Some later Australian freeforms use single-use "bullet cards", countered by "dodge cards".
- Rules to Live By uses skills and dice, like a tabletop rpg.
- Mind's Eye Theatre uses paper-scissors-rock or a card draw, with skills providing retests or bonuses.
- Kickarse uses a single paper-scissors-rock test to determine victory and defeat.
- In Time Travel Review Board, anyone starting a fight is immediately dragged away and shot by the NPC guards.
- All About Parlor Larps, larping.org, 28 October 2013. Retreived 2 February 2015.
- Morgana Cowling, The Freeform Book (TAGG, 1989), p. 14.
- Michael Wenman, "No Dice, No Table". Playground #3, p 51-58