The "Real" Amtgard FAQ - a work of Parody

From AmtWiki

Asylus and I created the unofficial Amtgard FAQ on a lark back in the mid 90's. It occasionally is circulated around the internet along with various theories on who wrote it. With that in mind, I decided to publish a copy here before someone else can beat me to it. This document dates from a much earlier and visceral time in Amtgard. I have left it here as a historical curiosity. It does not in any way reflect the state and values of our organization in the modern age. - Rand

Q: What is Amtgard?

Answer according to BL: Amtgard is a non-profit, educational corporation dedicated to the study and recreation of the medieval and fantasy eras and genres. Amtgard is also a live action role playing (LARP) game that endeavors to recreate individual and group combat from the periods mentioned above.

Correct answer: Amtgard is an often profitable for club officials , educational corporation dedicated to bringing out the worst in the human condition. Amtgard is nominally a live action role playing (LARP) game that doubles as a halfway house. It supposivly endeavors to recreate individual and group combat from the periods mentioned above, but is more interested in reenacting any number of bad fraternity movies with your daughter...

Q: How and where did it start?

Answer according to BL: Amtgard first formed in El Paso, Texas in February of 1983. Since then it has grown to ten kingdoms stretching from Oregon to New Hampshire with smaller groups in such diverse areas as England, Korea, Finland, Sweden, and even Russia.

Correct answer: Amtgard first formed in El Paso, Texas in February of 1983, after ripping off rules and concepts other LARPs had been using for years.. Since then enough people have gotten disgusted with the state of affairs in Texas to flee to places like England, Korea, Finland, Sweden, and Germany. We don't have groups in Russia. And in my humble opinion three G.I.'s smacking each other in a Bosnian Foxhole does not make a kingdom.

Q: What does "AMTGARD" mean?

Answer according to BL: Contrary to popular myth, Amtgard is not an acronym. The word is essentially Norse/Icelandic in origin, and refers to a land between Midgard and Valhalla, a plain of existence for heroes who are more than human but still less than the 'gods'.

Correct answer: Contrary to popular myth, Amtgard IS an acronym. It is comonly held that the letters are taken from the first letter in the founders names. Many people believe the word is essentially Norse/Icelandic in origin, and refers to a land between Midgard and Valhalla, a plain of existence for heroes who are more than human but still less than the 'gods'... but we all know that is untrue, and would not reflect the founder's egocentric nature with enough clarity.

Q: Who owns the rights to Amtgard?

Answer according to BL: Amtgard, Incorporated is owned and copyrighted by Amtgard, Kingdom of the Burning Lands in El Paso, Texas (copyright 1983, 1987, 1993, 1996,1997). Kingdoms across the world are semiautonomous groups bound together by the Amtgard contract and a shared set of rules and bylaws.

Correct answer: Aramithris.

Q: Does Amtgard publish more information about itself?

Answer according to BL: Amtgard publishes a variety of publications including the Rules of Play, Corpora of Bylaws, the Amtgard Contract, Dor Un Avathar (the monster handbook), Talons of the Phoenix (the interkingdom newsletter), and various newsletters published locally by the many kingdoms, duchies, baronies, and shires of Amtgard.

Correct answer: No. Members in Amtgard publish - often with their own finances - the Rules of Play, Corpora of Bylaws, the Amtgard Contract, Dor Un Avathar (the monster handbook), Talons of the Phoenix (the interkingdom newsletter), and various newsletters and anything else they might decide is worthy of littering the field with... but amtgard, inc does not. Normally your "dues" or event income would go towards this endeavor but too many park officials must make rent or buy smokes.

Q: Who is allowed to participate

Answer according to BL: Amtgard is available to all. It is a non-sectarian organization that welcomes all participants. However, combat activities are restricted to those 14 and older and certain government offices are restricted to those 18 and older. All Amtgard members must sign a waiver.

Correct answer: Anyone, period. No restrictions. No age limits. No IQ tests given. If you can walk on two or even four legs and are coherant enough to hold a weapon, you can fight. Women have it far easier, however... a comatose woman who isn't fighting (back) is a prized posession indeed.

Q: What kind of people participate in Amtgard?

Answer according to BL: Amtgard members (Amtgarders or Amtgardians) come from all walks of life. Members have included secretaries, housewives, college professors, professional writers, anthropologists, students, officers in the military,police officers, computer technicians, etc.

Correct answer: Wankers. Mostly underaged trailer park trash, drug abusers, murderers, sex offenders, and parolees. Amtgard tends to attract the lowest common denominator. The occasional peace officer takes part long enough to realize his job is jeopardy just by showing up and not arresting everyone.

Q: How is Amtgard unique from other LARPs?

Answer according to BL: Amtgard is unique on two levels firstly, in the use of its class ability system and magic points rules that allow diverse recreations of personas from history and fantasy, secondly in the fast action combat that is both realistic and safe.

Correct answer: It's not unique at all. Other groups have much more playable systems. Amtgard actually "borrowed" many of it's ideas and even it's 'pages' from other LARPs. Combat fighting styles are segmented from kingdom to kingdom now depending on region, and fighting sometimes favors a certian ethical flexability where egos prevail rather than skill. Magic users abuse the rules sometimes just by playing the class -- but it does give the old, weak, and infirm something to do.

Q: Is Amtgard combat really safe?

Answer according to BL: Amtgard weapons are safe, foam padded replicas of the real things. Weapons are checked regularily by a guild of referees (Reeves) and there are strict rules on safety (such as shots to the head are not allowed). However, Amtgard combat is a sport (which is why waivers are required) and injuries, though rare, can happen. Generally Amtgard combat is safe, fun recreation and entertainment.

Correct answer: No. Amtgard weapons are foam padded replicas of the real things wrapped in lots of packing and duct tape. Amtgard weapons are not checked regularly, sizes and core restrictions are often times ignored, and besides this the cult of personality is such that veterans of the game could bring out a louisville slugger, and as long as it has a cover and the pommel was larger than an eye socket, no one would say anything. Especialy not if they know what's good for 'em.

Q: What are Amtgard battlegames like?

Answer according to BL: Amtgard battlegames range from tournies and duels (one on one combat) to quests versus monsters and other fell folk to grand melees and wars between kingdoms that involve hundreds of individiduals. All battlegames and scenarios are covered by a comprehensive set of rules.

Correct answer: In any given battlegame or war you can expect to see a large amount of nomadic, toothless, trailor trash, backwoods gits attempt to cheat thier way to glory against all odds. If you are new, expect to have your equipment and possesions stolen, your tent defaced, burned or knocked down; Your girlfriend molested and your shots shrugged by almost anyone you meet. Be especialy wary of anything with 'interkingdom' or 'war' in it's title. Expect mob rule, and avoid any large gatherings where you see people wearing the same color garb, patch, or icon -- unless you are feeling especially suicidal.

Q: Do I need to make a costume?

Answer according to BL: Costumes in Amtgard are correctly refered to as 'garb'. In combat situations garb can range from a simple T-tunic to a full set of armor. Garb for the feasts and quests is more intricate and involved. New members are allowed a grace period, but are eventually, with the aid of the Amtgard Garbers Guild, expected to garb themselves with 'period' clothing.

Correct answer: No. Most people cut a hole in a bedsheet or a large beach towel. In fact there is no such thing as period "garb" in Amtgard, unless you count bluejeans as "canvas". Some of the more amusing and choice examples of authentic armor include "coffee can" plate mail, "knitted" chain mail, and the much prized pelt of the nagahyde beast.

Q: How do I get weapons and armor?

Answer according to BL: Most Amtgarders eventually build their own weapons and armor. Loaner equipment is often provided for new members (i.e. 'newbies'). Most new members, after participating in Amtgard for a few weeks, quickly learn to make equipment tailored for their own specific styles and needs.

Correct answer: Don't bother making your own. Stroke some serpant knight's ego enough, and not only will he squire you, he'll load you up with weapons, armor, and if you're lucky, pad your weeks a little. One caveat, If he tries to tatoo a swastika on your ass or force you to drink from a large porcelin penis in some bizarre initiation rite we cannot be held accountable.

Q: What about roleplaying?

Answer according to BL: Roleplaying is important to Amtgard. Members choose a persona (Knight or Elf or Barbarian, for example). Players roleplay their class, especially in the quests and feasts, and it is this roleplaying that adds color and depth to the overall Amtgard experience. Persona histories and personal symbols are encouraged and may be registered with the Guildmaster of Heraldry.

Correct answer: No one roleplays, and anyone who claims they do is selling something or running for office.

Q: How do I get started?

Answer according to BL: Getting started is easy. Show up at the group nearest you, watch, and see if Amtgard is for you. If you like it then go up to any Amtgard officer or member and ask to get involved. (Amtgard is people friendly). She or he will introduce you to the Prime Minister or Monarch, and from there you may have embarked on a lifetime of comradery and fun.

Correct answer: Getting started is easy. Just show up at the park and stand around until one of the more civil minded Amtgardian type losers comes over to talk to you about the group. Then once you have been given his usual unsolicited 30 minute oratory and have become intimately acquainted with that individual's past acomplishments and perverse sexual escapades (upon being validated by your lack of criticism or physical retching) he will then happily hand you a very heavy, poorly made foam sword and send you out upon the field to fight. Once you have stepped out upon the field, you will then be assualted by all manner of pathetic, slobbering, human refuse who are just barely good enough with a sword to swing it without hitting themselves.

Q: Is there an Amtgard chapter in my area?

Answer according to BL: Amtgard chapters are springing up everywhere. Kingdoms (the largest groups that coordinate the smaller duchies, baronies and shires) exist in Portland (OR), Denver, Las Cruces, El Paso, Amarillo, Dallas, San Antonio/Austin, Nashua (NH), and Houston. More information is located in the contact flier and starter kit.

Correct answer: Trust me, you would know. And sometimes these groups even manage not to self desctruct after a year. Often Amtgard groups are confused for gangs or satanic cults. If you start your own group be prepared to be harrassed by the police and/or right wing religious fanatics.

Q: Why play the game?

Answer according to BL: Well they did not have the guts to answer this question so....

Correct Answer: In Amtgard you can ditch all night and beat the crap out of people and not go to prison for it, drink beer until dawn with underaged chicks, and still drive home the next day just in time to catch football. Not a bad deal.... especially for free.