back to article If you don't LARP, you'll cry: Armed fun police swoop to disarm knight-errant spotted patrolling Welsh parkland

While England may be awkwardly stumbling towards easing lockdown restrictions, the message to invading Anglo-Saxons is clear: one does not simply drive into Wales. Yes, it might be a verdant sylvan realm, riddled with trees and hills and sheep, where the very air you breathe is a great deal more invigorating than the toxic …

  1. EvilDrSmith Bronze badge
    Trollface

    >But this is why we have Dungeons & Dragons – so society's untouchables can be kept out of sight in basements around the world

    Seems like Richard is still sore that his 6th level fighter was killed by a brutal DM...

    1. Excellentsword (Written by Reg staff)

      Sore that during my first time playing my half-elf wizard tried to initiate an adventure, while my school pals thought the first thing they would do would be to go fishing...?!

    2. Steve Foster
      Joke

      Re: "...society's untouchables..."

      Of course, in the current environment of "social distancing", that's everybody.

      Instead of looking at Wuhan, perhaps Donald should be investigating those nerdy DMs as the source of COVID-19?

      1. EvilDrSmith Bronze badge
        Coat

        Re: "...society's untouchables..."

        That's not 'D&D', that's 'Paranoia'.

        Yup, the anorak, please. Yes, and the backpack full of rule books and dice...

        1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: "...society's untouchables..."

          The computer is your friend, either way...

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "...society's untouchables..."

          Society's untouchables played werewolf: the we don't wash enoigh so the goths wont let us play vampire.

          I prefer WFRP myself.

          This guy should think himself lucky. The police get called on LARP fairly regularly. One guy in Bristol got shot by the police for holding a foam axe with a head as big as he was. If it had been steel theres no way he could have lifted it.

          1. StillBill

            Re: "...society's untouchables..."

            So during the peak of the anthrax scare in the USA... A friend went on a Hash House Harrier run. The rabbit left the bar as normal, marked the trail with flour as normal... a good time was had by all. Then the calls came in the next day. Piles of a white powder were found on streets at regular intervals, hazmat crews were called, huge areas were shut down.

            If it isn't hurting you, don't be scared of it

    3. HildyJ Silver badge
      Pint

      Videoconferencing

      "surely it wouldn't be so difficult to videoconference a tabletop campaign away from the prying eyes of normies."

      When I was younger I played D&D with a group of friends, F2F, with paper and dice. My son has followed in my hobbit prints. He belongs to two groups - one of which live streams on Twitch and one of which produces a video podcast. Social distancing solved.

      Note that if he ever starts a costume (for LARP or ComiCon) I'll take a maul to his electronics.

  2. macjules Silver badge

    Plague Doctors?

    I would worry more about the 14th C plague "doctor". Someone with a hardcart yelling, "Bring out your dead".

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: Plague Doctors?

      At least he didn't end up saying "Tis but a scratch"

      1. StillBill

        Re: Plague Doctors?

        Bring out your dead...

        1. Ugotta B. Kiddingme Silver badge

          Re: Bring out your dead...

          I'm not dead yet

          1. Toni the terrible

            Re: Bring out your dead...

            yes you are - Bop

    2. Joe W Silver badge

      Re: Plague Doctors?

      Actually all of this face mask theatre (either bloody useless or a medical article that other people are experiencing a shortage of, like medics, nurses) let me think about exactly that. At least a "plague nose" would be more efficient in protecting both the others and myself. If I put in a filter... hm.

      (about the effectiveness of cloth masks: yeah, they do sort of protect the others a bit so you don't cough on them directly, but even better - and in fact what you still should do - is 1. keep distance, 2. wash hands and keep them out of your face, 3. when in doubt don't go out - feeling unwell? Stay at home! Don't use the train and ffs don't come into work (like people used to). 4. avoid being inside with others. A cloth mask mainly keeps back some of the bigger droplets you exhale). Ok, so it's not completely useless, but not terribly efficient either... And looking at how people are wearing theirs, or putting it on / taking it off - that makes it bloody dangerous to them or others. Touching all sides of the (worn already for a fortnight) mask before putting it on and then touching the shopping cart or the packages, or door handles, etc means that they are spreading whatever they are breeding in that almost perfect environment of their mask very efficiently. Then, when packing the mask away, they again touch all sides of it, so they can add every germ they have picked up to their mouth-covering (most seem to forget to cover the nose) petri dish. Sorry, but that had to get out. I'll grab a drink, it's Friday and I have all sorts of alcohol in my office (at home, workplace is dry, so not everything is bad). Stay healthy (and if you work in an important job, like healthcare: thanks! Though those probably don't have much time to read, surely not my drivel.)

      1. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Plague Doctors?

        One of the better articles on the topic.

        https://www.erinbromage.com/post/the-risks-know-them-avoid-them

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Plague Doctors?

        Meanwhil SWMBO is busy making some masks. Yes, theatre of dubious value but it might become socially necessary theatre over the next few weeks..

        1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

          Re: Meanwhile SWMBO is busy making some masks.

          Boris will soon have everyone looking like letter boxes.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Plague Doctors?

        Stuck in a queue to get into a supermarket - it's like queuing up to get on a ride in a theme park. You think you are getting closer, then it does a 180 and now you are going opposite direction. Then once you get to the head of the queue, you still have to wait till people "get off" the ride before you can get on!

        Anyway, watching a bloke - all the gear no idea. Mask and gloves and a Starbucks coffee - he kept removing the mask to drink the coffee.

        To glove or not to glove is a decisive issue, but I think we all agree that people that discard their old masks and gloves in the car park or trollies are c*ckwombles!

    3. Brian Miller Silver badge

      Re: Plague Doctors?

      Why worry about that? The "doctor" was wearing a face mask. Since the regulations around my neck of the woods "require" a mask, even if it's a scarf, then anything counts.

      Yes, the Darth Vader mask is valid in my book.

    4. Psmo Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: Plague Doctors?

      Hey, not quite dead over here- stop pushing!

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. St Deiniol
    Mushroom

    WTF ?!!

    Forget the guy with the sword, I'm more concerned about the cops walking around with a grenade launcher! What could possibly go wrong?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: WTF ?!!

      If this had happened in America then you would know it was a white guy, because they let him walk away instead of shooting him.

      1. Excellentsword (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: Re: WTF ?!!

        "Posts that aged like milk"

    2. Peter2 Silver badge

      Re: WTF ?!!

      Very little could go wrong because it's loaded with baton rounds which is a "less lethal" way of taking down violent people with knives etc than a bullet. Technically it's the Attenuating Energy Projectile.

      Basically, if your a knife wielding nutter the UK police would try and tazer you as a first attempt. This is unlikely to work against somebody wearing armour, so they've dug out the baton gun. A few baton rounds tends to result in the guy with the knife dropping it, clutching the area hit and swearing profusely. The idea being that the police can then heroically slap the handcuffs on with only moderate risk of getting knifed.

      The most serious injury with a Baton round to date in the UK was a bloke under the influence who charged an armed response squad with a bladed weapon. He took several baton rounds and kept going, the last at ~3 metres from the policeman resulted in a groin injury and he dropped the knife. And later had one testicle surgically removed, but that's still a rather better alternative than getting a 3 round burst of live ammo from a G36, which he was about a second away from getting.

      1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: WTF ?!!

        Or in layman's terms, a ballistic beanbag in the bollocks...

        1. Psmo Silver badge

          Re: WTF ?!!

          Alliterative ammunition aides avoidance!

      2. HPCJohn

        Re: WTF ?!!

        https://cain.ulster.ac.uk/issues/violence/rubberplasticbullet.htm

        These tragic deaths are in the UK.

        1. Peter2 Silver badge

          Re: WTF ?!!

          They were. And note it was plastic ammo fired in the 1980's, which would have been small rounds fired at high velocity which could still penetrate the body, hence why the use of those was discontinued in the UK.

          The modern systems fire big rounds at lower speeds hence the "grenade launcher". There have been no deaths using that system.

      3. J. Cook Silver badge

        Re: WTF ?!!

        Might be a tear gas launcher, too, but that sounds a lot more plausible.

        Our police use the (infamous) Taser guns in our chunk of the world.

      4. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

        Re: WTF ?!!

        The old rubber bullets also used to have issues with the police intentionally firing at the ground so the rubber would then come off the projectile before it ricocheted. Thus making it substantially more unpleasant than before.

        And who says the police don't have a sense of humor or fair play..

        1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          Re: WTF ?!!

          with the police intentionally firing at the ground

          That was how they were supposed to be used, so that they would give a disabling impact on the lower body, and not the serious injuries that could be caused by direct impact on the torso or head.

      5. DavCrav Silver badge

        Re: WTF ?!!

        "A few baton rounds tends to result in the guy with the knife dropping it"

        This guy's wearing armour. If it works properly, surely baton rounds wouldn't be much...welll...cop?

        1. Psmo Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: WTF ?!!

          It's why the rifle is chunky and probably packs a hell of a kick:

          - low penetration and lethality with no splintering

          => beeg (and heavy) object sent (relatively) slowly

          => large area of impact and tough round with flex

          As the armour is of unknown quality and composition it was the best tool to ensure a clean outcome, but great that it wasn't fired.

          Goggles even when firing blanks, kids.

          1. DavCrav Silver badge

            Re: WTF ?!!

            If the armour is any good, then surely the baton round's energy will deflect across the armour? In which case the felt impact will be not much different to the recoil from the gun (by conservation of momentum). That is, unless baton rounds use propellant to be recoil-less, I don't know. It would feel quite uncomfortable, but better than being shot with a bullet wearing a vest, for example.

            Of course, this armour is just for show, so I guess it wouldn't be any good at actually working.

            1. Psmo Silver badge

              Re: WTF ?!!

              Irrespective of armour, enough force delivered to the centre of mass would still knock someone over.

              Exceptions might be someone drunk, seriously large or wearing one of those sumo suits, as that would disperse the energy. They'd still need a sit down, though.

        2. Peter2 Silver badge

          Re: WTF ?!!

          This guy's wearing armour. If it works properly, surely baton rounds wouldn't be much...welll...cop?

          Well, possibly. Most LARP "Armour" is >1mm stainless steel, which has fuck all in the way of ballistic protection and will bend if you push it with your hands. In addition, it's still going to take the full force of the round, it's just going to get distributed more widely. Getting hit with something like that is going to be unpleasant.

          A taser certainly wouldn't work because the prongs wouldn't go through the armour and stick in the skin, the Baton rounds "might" work, but I wouldn't bet my life on it. Nor were the police, note the real firearms (MP7's, 9mm pistols) as backup in case.

      6. ThatOne Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: WTF ?!!

        > This is unlikely to work against somebody wearing armour, so they've dug out the baton gun

        I'm not sure that would work against somebody wearing real (metal) plate mail. They would dent his armor, but nothing more... After all plate is supposed to protect you from hits, and something able to penetrate it would definitely be lethal to an unarmored person.

        I guess the police just grabbed the standard equipment for arresting somebody with a bladed weapon, without considering the armor part. I highly doubt they have any procedures for arresting people in medieval armor...

        1. Psmo Silver badge

          Re: WTF ?!!

          Traditional quilting does help to deaden impacts, but nothing that will absorb much.

          A fluid-based membrane should be tougher and deform less, but I would think that a layer thick enough to absorb impacts would make moving nearly impossible (like one of those sumo suits).

          1. John Jennings Bronze badge

            Re: WTF ?!!

            I think that 'real' plate would protect you against a 9 MM round (perhaps not a AP round, but certainly a hollow point).

            Beanbags would bounce - as would plastic and rubber

            Plate was meant to be worn with a quilted body suit underneath, along with a leather overshirt.

            Depending upon the period, the proteciton would run (roughtly) as follows....

            Plate then

            Mail (especially over the joints - sometimes a full hauberk),

            then a leather or linen padded overshirt

            The plate had an additional benefit of being curved - causing deflection in many cases.

            A shield provided extra cover.

            remember that these were effective at protecting the wearer against early firearms and crossbows/longbows at any range over 100 yards.

            As for kinetic engergy, they could survive a hit from a spear on a charging horse.

            The Bodkin was partially effective - more at restricting movement or weak points than direct injury. A knight on his feet was relatively safe - when they fell over, then there was a problem, as they often couldnt get up and a peon or an archer with a sledgehammer would finish the job.

            Earlier laminar armours would also be quite effective - thats the sort of stuff Alexander the great likely wore - again massively padded with linen undergarments.

            The problem would be the weight. Fully armoured (not weapons) would be over 50KG or 150 LBs. so real movement was out.

            Metal armours were issued to machine gunners during WW1 (they couldnt move anyway). They were reasonably effective - even against rifles

    3. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: WTF ?!!

      I must be blind as I'm not seeing a grenade launcher but state of the art rifles. On the other hand, a guy in armor with a sword might justify a grenade launcher.

      1. Peter2 Silver badge

        Re: WTF ?!!

        Hanging from the belt of the chap that's about to take the photo with his mobile.

  4. revenant Silver badge
    Happy

    IT Angle?

    I know Bootnotes articles don't need it, but there is one: the incident took place just 1Km south of "Pascal Close", "Fortran Road" and "Cobol Road".

    1. Martin an gof Silver badge

      Re: IT Angle?

      For anyone disbelieving, here's the map.

      The lake in question is near the bottom of that map near the railway, and the roads near the top in the pink-coloured industrial area. The names show up as viewed in my web browser, but you may need to zoom in a bit if they don't.

      Actually, do try zooming in, to the bit where Fountain Lane joins Fortran Road and... no, tell you what, I'll do it for you. Openstreetmap, eh?

      M.

      1. revenant Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: IT Angle?

        Ha ha, well spotted.

      2. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: IT Angle?

        I'm curious what a "bust stop" is? On the other hand, I might not want to know. Must be something that's part of British culture. Or a Monty Python thing.

      3. Martin an gof Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: IT Angle?

        Just in case someone comes to this late, some spoilsport has now corrected the "Bust Stop"...

        M.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: IT Angle?

      And in case anyone though you couldn't make it up here's another Pascal Close surrounded by a few more interesting names: http://www.streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?X=488645&Y=290360&A=Y&Z=110

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: IT Angle?

        More outside the UK: 52.1752303, 5.4197124 (Amersfort in the Netherlands)

  5. don't you hate it when you lose your account Bronze badge

    In any future plague

    Will people dress as the Donald

    1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

      I don't know about future plagues

      but the orange one carrying a bottle of Clorox is a shoe-in for future Halloweens.

  6. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
    Coat

    Suitable advice

    "No criminal offences were committed and the man was given suitable advice."

    Presumably "and don't do it again, sunshine" which is the most galling thing when having done nothing illegal, let alone anything wrong.

    The one made from Coke can ring-pulls ->

    (Yes, that dates me)

  7. Teiwaz Silver badge

    "Just casually... strolling around the village in a plague costume? That's just not normal, is it? Do it indoors, it's bloody terrifying for poor little kids," a witness said.

    Molly-coddled kids these days.

    Far scarier was served up as childrens TV in my day 'Noseybonk' a prime example.

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

      Not to mention some of Tommy Boyd's jumpers on the same show...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I remember Pob. But Noseybonk is like a Berenstain Bear effect thing, where you *wish* it was a fake memory!

    3. First Light

      I just rewatched "Children of the Stones" from ITV on Youtube recently. I remember being scared but fascinated by it when it first came out.

    4. Cheshire Cat
      Go

      Mr Nosebonk looks like your UK prime minister I think...

    5. Trygve Henriksen

      You got off easy...

      Here in Norway we had this:

      https://youtu.be/K27Tayaxavc?t=19

  8. Dave 126 Silver badge

    Meanwhile in Bristol....

    A man has been seen walking around with a shed on his head. A shed that blasts music and has disco lights. Oh, and has flames coming out of the chimney.

    https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/mystery-man-walking-down-bristol-2795702

    1. I am the liquor

      Re: Meanwhile in Bristol....

      I'm sure we've all been wondering whether the major side-effect of lockdown will be an explosion of creativity, or a mental health crisis.

      Based on that story the answer is yes, yes it will.

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: Meanwhile in Bristol....

        I'm sure we've all been wondering whether the major side-effect of lockdown will be an explosion of creativity, or a mental health crisis.

        Based on that story the answer is yes, yes it will.

        Bit of both probably, look at Van Gogh.

        Hopefully better output than a row of bricks or some tarts unmade bed.

    2. Charlie van Becelaere

      Re: Meanwhile in Bristol....

      Here's hoping Banksy will add some artistry to the walls.

    3. Julz Silver badge

      Re: Meanwhile in Bristol....

      Banksy, is that you?

  9. Dave 126 Silver badge

    I was in a Cardiff pub many years ago when Arthur Pendragon announced his presence towards last orders. He then cajoled most of the drinkers into joining hands in a big circle and having a dance in the courtyard after kicking-out time. He said he was in town for an "inter-faith concert with the Right Reverend Lional Fanthorpe at Raja's Snooker Club" the next evening, obviously.

    Ok, Arthur Pendragon is a druid (indeed, Britain's top druid) and not a knight, but still, as sightings go it seems in the same ballpark.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You mean Britain's top fake druid.

      Druidism died out in the British Isles.

      (For many reasons. Mostly Christian persecution.)

      And it was an oral tradition so no primary source historical record exists.

      What passes for druidism now in an 18th century confection.

      So a bit like Scientology in some respects?

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Fake druid?

        You mean Britain's top fake druid.

        Druidism died out in the British Isles.

        (For many reasons. Mostly Christian persecution.)

        And it was an oral tradition so no primary source historical record exists.

        What passes for druidism now in an 18th century confection.

        So a bit like Scientology in some respects?

        The most of what we have on 'the druids' was Roman writings, so I'm not even sure most of it is any more accurate than horned vikings or upright Tyranosaurus Rex.

        As to 18th century confection?. Most of science, history and archeology also springs from dubious 18th/19th Century practices.

        Not anything like Scientology.

      2. Chris G Silver badge

        I think you will find that the Romans did for the Druids more due to 'political' expedience than religion.

        The Druids were the main movers and groovers in Celtic society, they were literally king makers and the Romans didn't like that.

        Look up the Angelsey massacre of Druids where most of the last Druids on the British mainland were killed.

        1. Chris G Silver badge

          I checked because I could not remember the details; Tacitus wrote about Anglesey in the 1st century AD shortly after Suetonius the general who finally defeated Boudicca had gone to Angelsey to finally rid Britain of the Druids. Roman soldiers, a superstitious lot were scared of the Druids and tales of them making human sacrifices and practicing necromancy.

          The Druids had their main religious centre on Angelsey and were pretty much killed to the last man so Druidism went way before Christianity hit Britain's shores.

          What was interesting was one of their rites was to sacrifice kings, people chosen to be a king and prepared solely for sacrifice, some of the bodies found have broken bones holes in the skull and other horrific injuries that appear to have been inflicted while the victim was alive.

          We have quite a few leaders today who could be sacrificed to gain favours from the dogs.

          1. First Light

            Favours from the dogs? You mean at Towcester?

            1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

              Is that where Towser lives?

              1. Toni the terrible

                Good Dog - Mr Pickles

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Chris G> The Druids had their main religious centre on Angelsey and were pretty much killed to the last man so Druidism went way before Christianity hit Britain's shores.

            Maybe should have used the more modern/acceptable term of "Great Britain and Ireland" instead of the British Isles.

            Druidism in Ireland lasted until the Christians turned up. That said the lack of any written lore is what did for them. And thus any modern druidism is more or less made up.

  10. chivo243 Silver badge
    Coat

    MP

    Just a flesh wound!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bird mask may have had some effect

    The masks were leather with the snout filled with wool, through which breath was taken. Would wool have had some sort of filtering effect from y. pestis -- not clear.

    1. HildyJ Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Bird mask may have had some effect

      Maybe not y. pestis, since it's transmitted by flea bites, but it would definitely help with COVID-19.

      1. matthewdjb

        Re: Bird mask may have had some effect

        Also transmitted by person to person contact, if pneumonic plague developed.

        (Doomsday, Connie Willis)

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I see a gap in the market...

    For LARP tape. Oh whoops, just posted it on the internet. No wonder I'm not a multi million dollar startup owner. :(

  13. Charlie van Becelaere

    Nerd Check

    It's not clear from the article whether this fellow was wearing chain or plate. I need to know so I can check his armour class.

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