Chapter One: Introduction (p.2)

Words to the Wise

Safety consciousness, good sportsmanship, encouraging and respecting fellow players, a sense of community, and gaining new experiences are all part of the spirit of Archaea.

A game like Archaea depends partly on the organization of the event staff and the game leaders, but the success of a live-action role-playing and wargaming group lies in the creativity and cooperation of all its players.

Listed below and throughout the book are tips for players to keep in mind while playing. Remember, creativity, imagination, and common sense are all complementary.

Safety First

The primary concern for Archaea is providing a safe and fun game for everyone. Aside from making safe and sturdy equipment, players must keep a cool attitude when playing. Putting safety first should be on everyone's mind. Remember that Archaea is a full-contact game; there always is some risk, but with the conscientiousness of all the players, the risk can be greatly minimized.

Have Fun

The primary purpose of Archaea is to provide fun and entertainment. As with any game, competition is healthy and can add extra excitement but should not be carried too far. Good sportsmanship and community is what Archaea sponsors. Archaea is never to be used as a battleground for the resolution of personal conflicts or grudges.

The Honor System

Honesty plays an integral part of the game of Archaea. Because there is a great temptation and an ease of ability to cheat, it is important that all players obey the rules and encourage others to play fair. Foul play only creates problems and disrupts the enjoyability of the game.

By becoming a member of Archaea, each player acknowledges his or her responsibility to uphold the honor system. Players who flagrantly break rules and cheat will be removed from play, suspended, or removed from the game.

Players who notice others not taking their hits, ignoring rules and prohibitions, or otherwise playing their own version of the game should report the offenders to an Elder or one of the event staff.

Remember if you disagree with a rule, you have the right to question it and discuss it with the organization. However, you do not have the right to make yourself an exception to the rule.

The Golden Rule

Do unto others as you would have done unto you.

This rule is an extension of playing safe, playing nice, and playing fair. The responsibility of creating a fun atmosphere begins with the individual. Never jeopardize another person's safety, personal rights, and beliefs.

This rule applies not only to players but also to mundanes and to property.

Do not harass or involve non-participants. On-lookers and audiences often heighten the energy of the game and should be treated with respect.

Leave all event sites as you found them. Clean up all equipment, materials, and trash. If possible, a little community service in keeping sites in order is appreciated.

The Rule of Intent

No sourcebook can cover every contingency or adjudicate every situation that may arise in an event. Players should try to understand what has been laid out on paper plus the general intent behind each rule. Taking advantage of loopholes and re-interpreting the rules for personal gain can only be seen as destructive; looking for a way out of or around a rule is equally as bad as breaking the rule.

The rule of intent applies especially in the arena of skills, abilities, and magic. The descriptions of each skill or spell have been made as complete as possible. Players should recognize and play by the description and the implicit intention of the skill or spell.

The rule of intent does not discourage creative ways of working within the rules nor does it mean that rules are fixed in stone. Any problems in the rules should be brought to the attention of the Elder of the Realm.

Look and Listen

Being alert is important in play. Looking and listening are two skills that players should practice.

Identifying other players-characters, non-player characters, spell effects, and other game materials by sight is crucial. Often a color or a symbol carries meanings that players must recognize and understand. Armbands, headbands, surcoats, ribbons, and other markings on a person, weapon, or item reveals bits of information that aid in the smooth execution of the game.

Listening to what is being called in game is also vital. The calling of weapon hits, the shouting of invocations, and the calls of Elders need to be paid attention to for they carry necessary information. One of the most important calls an Elder (sometimes a player) can make is, "HOLD!" Avoid using this cry in-game. A "HOLD!" stops play immediately for emergency reasons, for adjudication reasons, or for adventure reasons. If you hear a "HOLD!" stop all action, stay in place, and listen for further instructions or details. The game will continue with the shout, "LAY ON!"

The Chapters on Skills and Abilities, Combat, Magic, and Misticism detail all the markings and calls in the game.

The Rule of Elders

Generally, players are their own referees checking themselves and others and keeping to the honor system. However, additional eyes, ears, and voices are needed to run the game. The Elders are these eyes, ears, and voices.

Remember the ruling of an Elder is always final. Regardless of whether or not you agree with the Elder, his or her decisions as a game official must be followed. At a later time, a problem can be discussed with game officials.

Resolving Arguments

In the heat of action, sometimes arguments between players will arise. The most important thing to keep in mind is that all arguments can be resolved without the need for abuse or acting out.

If there is a disagreement that cannot be solved by the parties involved, immediately cease arguing and seek an Elder.

Avoid calling shots for another player. Each player is under the honor system and responsible for his or her own hits. If a player does not seem to be taking his or her hits, then alert an Elder. If the problem is chronic and reported by several witnesses, then the offending player will be spoken to.

Out-of-game conflicts disrupt the flow of play and ruin the atmosphere of the game. Instead of carrying on an argument, either continue playing or seek a solution at a later time or take the argument out-of-play.

Hopefully, the need to resolve arguments by removing players will not be necessary. But, if the situation infringes upon the rights of others, then immediate action will be taken.

Game Items and Personal Items

Personal items cannot be taken or borrowed without the direct permission of the owner. Personal in-game items include skill cards, costumes and accessories, weapons, armor, shields, spellbooks, ritual books, and spell components. Personal belongings such as camping equipment, food, clothing, and other individual things should never be taken without permission.

Players should not use another player's weapons without approval even if the player is dead or out-of-game. However, throwing weapons and missiles may be picked up and thrown back. At the end of a battle, all missile weapons should be returned to the owner.

The only items that can be taken from another player are game money, scrolls, potions, poisons, artifacts, relics, and Item Cards used in an adventure. All items that can be taken will be marked as transferable. For example, a player has a ring of protection from fire represented in-game by an Item Card and a game prop. Only the Item Card is transferable and may be taken from the character. The prop itself, unless provided by an Elder, cannot be taken without the permission of the owner.


The use of anachronisms such as electronic devices, radios, and other modern items are not allowed except for personal, out-of-game purposes. Certain game effects, such as the Light spell, allow a player to use a flashlight. However, only those with the ability can use the light. Keep anachronisms out of sight if possible as not to spoil the game setting.

Watches are the exception. It is recommended that players and Elders wear or have a watch. Since many spell effects and game mechanics require a measure of time, watches are allowed on the field. However, watches should be kept in a pouch or worn under clothing.

Even when out-of-game, things like modern day popular music blaring out of a tent or an exposed concert t-shirt are distracting and inappropriate. Make an effort to provide for and maintain the setting of the game. Leave the trappings of the modern world behind for the short time you are at an event.


The Elder of the Realm must clearly state all prohibitions before the game starts. It is strongly recommended that alcohol is prohibited at all events no matter what the age you are. Non-prescriptive drugs and illegal substances are also prohibited. Violators of this rule should be dealt with swiftly and severely.

Smoking is prohibited where marked and is strongly discouraged in-play for it takes away from the atmosphere of the game.

The use of dangerous materials, chemicals, or items is prohibited. Real weapons should not be brought to an event; even decorative items are discouraged.

Since the spirit of Archaea is about having fun and making new friends, it should be stated that Elders and players will not tolerate non-game violence, theft, vandalism, littering, harassing behavior, discrimination, and lack of respect for players, non-players, ad property.

Lastly, though Archaea is a medieval fantasy game, the sourcebook does not allow for religion in the game. There are healers in place of clerics. There are mistics in place of priests. It is recommended that religion should not be used in play.


Adventure: the plot or story in which the players are the main characters.

Arche (pronounced AR-kay): a sphere of magic; there are ten Arche: the Arche of Air, the Arche of Animal, the Arche of Body, the Arche of Earth, the Arche of Fire, the Arche of Mind, the Arche of Plant, the Arche of Power, the Arche of Spirit, the Arche of Water. Players who can cast magic determine the spheres of influence they wish to be skilled in.

Building Points: a player begins with 30 initial Building Points to purchase skills and abilities for his or her character.

Check-In: the time before the start of the adventure where all administrative duties are done. The Elder of the Realm records attendance, gives out Experience Points, appoints field Elders and NPCs. Weapons, armor, shields, costumes, and other game materials are checked for safety and usability.

Crown: Archaean measure of money.

Dead Zone: a designated area, run by a game official, where "dead" players must report when killed while adventuring.

Discipline: a character's discipline represents the general background and training of the character; there are three disciplines: Rule of Arms, Rule of Skill, and Rule of Knowledge.

Elder: a game official whose duties include rules adjudication, settling disputes, and giving adventure information to characters.

Elder of the Realm: the organizer of the game; the game official who creates and chronicles the adventure, who keeps the history of the realm. There may be more than one Elder of the Realm.

Experience Points (XPs): characters earn XPs as they adventure. Experience may be spent just like Building Points to buy new skills and abilities or improve old ones.

Head-Legal: designates a weapon as being safe to strike the head.

Hit: a measure of damage. Weapons do varying degrees of damage and are broken down into Light hits, Critical hits, Mortal hits, and Death hits. Depending on the type of hit, the damage will vary.

Hit Location: the body is divided into three strike zones: the head, the torso, and the limbs. There are six hit locations: the head, the torso (includes the chest, abdomen, and back), the left arm, the right arm, the left leg, and the right leg.

Hold: a call by an Elder or player to signal a stop of play; if a "HOLD!" is shouted, all players must stop moving and freeze and wait for further instructions. This call is reserved for emergencies and game needs only.

In-Game: synonyms include in-character, in-play. In-game means an event, item, action, or situation that occurs while playing, during the course of an adventure. In-game information should not be confused with out-of-game information.

Item Card: a card given to a player representing an actual in-game object. The Elder or player may wish to create a prop to be used in play; the Item is transferable and can be taken from the character.

Level: a measure of power or effectiveness used to describe a progression in a skill, ability, or arche.

Light, Critical, Mortal, Death: describes the damage done by a weapon, spell, or special effect; also used to describe the type of wound caused by a weapon, spell, or effect.

Misticism: the ancient art of delving, changing, and affecting the fabric of fate and the shape of the Mists. Unlike magic users, mistics use lengthy rituals to evoke desired effects.

Mundane: slang for anyone who is not a participant of the game.

Non-Player Character (NPC): people, creatures, and monsters played by event staff whom the adventuring players will encounter. NPCs often help the player-characters, guide the adventure, or fight against the adventurers.

Permanent Death: the game allows for the final retirement of a character. The process of permanently killing a character is done through a series of "assassinations." See Chapter Two for details.

Player-Character (PC): the player's persona, who the player plays in-game.

Rank: represents a character's level or status in an organization.

Transferable: denotes what can be looted or taken from a player-character such as game money and certain items.

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