Combat Systems and Rules


Combat Systems and Rules

Shards of Massagon LARP LLC GamebooK

The Shards of Massagon LARP LLC Gamebook is intended to be an easy-to-access accurate, up-to-date resource for players and game runners!  We update our system frequently, and announce large changes. 

Please use the search function below to find something specific on our site, or feel free to follow the flow of the Gamebook laid out below to get acclimated.  Within you should find access to all the player available system, lore, and tools to fully immerse yourself in the game!

If you are having trouble finding anything, or find an error, please email us at


Conflict System

Shards of Massagon LARP LLC has employed over a hundred of years of combined LARP experience and thousands of hours of creation time to build a well-honed system to express combat in our fantasy world.  It has been a labor of love that grew from an idea to a 15 man build team over the course of nearly a decade.  Honest time and dedication, testing and player response has in the end created a thoroughly tested system that, when employed properly, can enhance story elements of the game without interrupting flow and pacing.   We proudly call this system the Conflict System.  

The Conflict System Revolves around three distinct system.  Combat,  Character Development, and Safety. 

Character Development - The conflict system is explicitly intended to grow the strongest character, not the strongest stats.  The design intent is to make sure that you can play what you want to play not "what the best build is."  While still giving great depth of play. 

The Combat Basics - Expansive, yet simplistic combat rules that describe combat in a meaningful way

Safety - It cannot be iterated enough.  Believing you're safe out of game is the first step towards fearing for your life in a game. 

It cannot be emphasized enough,  the Conflict system is designed to enhance your experience, not control it.  

The system adapts to your own unique play-style.  A Soulblade/Guardian can emulate both be a honor-bound yojimbo,  or a ruthless medieval black knight with a greatsword.  Let your imagination run free on the game, and let our flavorings of the system enhance your own creativity and play the character you want, not the class. 

Patch Notes

The 2.6 System is currently in flux,  as such the latest patch notes can be found here.  We project the 2.6 Conflict System to be completed within a few months.   All changes noted in the patch notes have been made live on their appropriate pages already.  - This is just a good reference to find out if something has been changed



Depth of the world

Starting a character in Shards of Massaong LARP can be daunting at the outset, but rewarding at the end.  The wold of Massagon is old, rich, and full of hidden secrets that can leave you digging for deeper and deeper understanding while hungering for more.   

To that end, All players are gifted with a character "determent" known as "Flow Amnesia" - a unique quality to the setting of our games wherein the turbulent nature of magic in the area can scramble a person's mind benignly and temporarily.  Being new to the game should not be a hindrance, and as such both you and your character can share in that discovery of who they really are, in real time. 

Setting - Its a crazy place to live, islands in the sky, chaos storms, gnomish worldships and an expansive multiverse.

Cultures - The thick cultures of Massagon offer rich roleplay experiences and guidance. 

Gods - They're real, the meddle, and they are vying for your worship.

Races - The panoply of peoples that populate the plane are as diverse as the cultures they make up. 

Public Research Records - Find out what other players have found out... and admit to.


What it means to be a Strongsoul

What it means to be a Strongsoul

Strongsoul's - They're Just Better



There exists in the world of Massagon a phenomenon known as a “Strongsoul.”  It’s a moniker attached to individuals who seem to defy the norm, exceed mediocrity, do great works be they good or ill.  A Strongsoul almost always has one common theme:  they at some point in their life were challenged beyond the mortal pale, and came out of it alive.  From there a life of adventure is their hallmark.  Who becomes a Strongsoul, and why is a mystery.  However one thing is true about them all:


They’re all capable of great things.


Your character is a Strongsoul.   End of story.  Whether they know it or not, whether this power has manifested, whether they’re an evil villain fallen from power and are starting at the ground up, or are a nascent hero just stretching their metaphysical muscles: you’ve got the stuff. And that stuff is Quintessence.

Any race can become a strong soul, and the “class” abilities you see below are almost always accessible only to them.  The world of Massagon has a few thousand of these individuals running around, doing the extraordinary. 

Below are two stat lines,  to exemplify what the difference is, statistically, between a Strongsoul, and a non-Strongsoul




  • 10 Starting Quintessence
  • 2 Blood
  • 1 Imbuement Slot,  Unlimited aura slots
  • 2 Willpower to attune with magic items.
  •  Can become addicted to magic item power
  • Must train to wield any equipment they use
  • Limited to 70 Quintessence
  • Has only 1 life to live
  • Trained: Calls Base hit 1's With a brutality: blood 1
  • Untrained: Calls Base hit 0's with a brutality: blood 0
  • Has access to basic Racial abilities

Quintessial Arts

Quintessial Arts

Quintessial Arts

Long ago, it was discovered by the Ancients that their kind could transfer their knowledge and training into others by utilizing the ubiquitous Flow.  This lead to great advancements in their civilization, before it was lost to time and calamity.  Now, many millennium later, the Strongsouls of Massagon can use their quintessence to tap into that ancient knowledge and manipulate it, creating their own Strongsoul specific martial arts that allow for rapid acquisition of skill, reducing the time of training from years to minutes.  These have formed into what are known today as "Quintessial Arts" and are host to a wide arrange of techniques known as  "Skills".   These Skills have a strange metaphysical underpinning, where the strong Skills grow upon the weaker ones.  These gradations of Skills are known as "Tiers" by the Crowlords.


Design intent

In Shards of Massagon LARP, we have a specific design intent for character growth and interaction.  The balance of the Quintessial Arts is towards Player vs. Environment, not Player vs Player.  It should be known that we balance the game against the classes and vice versa. A character's power growth tends to be sharp at the outset and levels off in favor of variety in the long run, with the ability for players to recreate many archetypal themes!  There is NO penalty for multi-classing, and it is strongly encouraged.

Lastly, it should be noted that we have designed the system in such a way that each of the Arts  fills one of our four chosen party roles.   This can be very useful when trying to select which best fit your desired play-style. We have balanced the Arts themselves in that no one will be able to fulfill every role perfectly.

Controller Aptly named these Quintessial Arts control  the flow and pacing of battle by bolstering their allies and hindering the opposition.

Defender - Focused on defending themselves and others, the tend to be indomitable foe.  They are critical front-line combatants who can withstand the duration of battle and come out the other side alive. 


Leader - Similar to Controllers the Leaders focus on control, but often work as the rallying point in a group and often supply aid and reinforcement to their allies


Striker - Heavily focused on dealing damage and finishing off of targets. Strikers typically are critical to finishing the job. 


Ben'Shil - Defender\Striker
Black Sun Dervish - Striker
Bloodstorm Disciple - Striker
Channeler - Striker
Druid - Controller\Leader
Fist of the High Mountain - Controller\Defender
Guardian - Defender\Controller
Hierophant - Leader
Hospitaller - Leader
Mage - Controller\Striker
Massagonian Warrior - Controller\Defender\Striker
Mummer - Controller\Leader\Striker\Defender
Paladin - Striker\Leader
Pathfinder - Striker                         
Pale Huntsman of the Nightlands - Controller
Seoba - Striker\Controller
Soulblade - Striker\Controller
Sun Palm - Controller\Striker
Talon - Striker\Striker\Striker

Some important considerations: Out of Character skill

There is a lot of emphasis within this gamebook upon the rules.  The intent of building rules into a game such as Shard is to even the playing field.  We all have different levels of skill and ability to fight out of character, and the intent is to create a world in which you can embody a character, and do more than you would be able to in real life.
At the same time, we do allow people who are skilled to be able to utilize their abilities too!  We try and strike a good balance. 

An example of this is the skill Hit Block (you’ll see more on this later), one may use their own real life ability to put their weapon in the way of an opponent, and parry the blow (sometimes known as an OOC block), or failing that, if they have the ability to, they can declare “Hit Block” and indicate that their character made the appropriate defensive action.   The ability to do this is limited, however.



Non-Combat Systems

Non-Combat Systems

More than a soldier

Shards of Massagon LARP prides itself in it's non-combative elements as strongly as it does with it's combat system.  It is entirely possible to play the game successfully and with significant impact without ever needing to swing a blade.

The Effort System bases itself around the key element - Effort, and what you can spend it on. 

The Loyalty System - when banding together for a common cause creates a sum greater than it's parts.

BidDING - Letting your IMAGINATION go!

While there is a great deal to the system, it really does not comprise of everything that is possible in the world.  To this end,  and pursuant to the Two Golden Rules we have defined a player- ability known as a "bid."

A bid Is a request to staff to do something outside the mechanics of the combat system.

We encourage you to utilize bidding and become creative with your character!

Want to get a little behind the scenes?  Try out NPCing or try your hand at writing an adventure