FOR PLAYING SAFE AND FUN GAMES OF RADLANDS
A PLAY LOCATION
PLAY IN A PUBLIC SPACE.
Unless you have permission to play from the owner (such as your
own back yard), avoid private property, especially
businesses. City and State parks can include some
interesting landmarks that can make a great game of Radlands, so
look around your area in Google Maps, and explore the park in
person before you commit to a game.
KNOW THE RULES OF YOUR SPACE. Does
the park allow Nerf guns? Are you allowed to go off the
trails or not? What time does the park close?
DURING LOW TRAFFIC TIMES. Most parks are open from
dawn to dusk. Play your game as late in the day as you
can- there tends to be less people in the evenings (unless the
park is open after dark). Rainy or Cold weather are great
for your games by the way! There tends to be less
people, it is more thematic and immersive, and you stay cooler
when wearing a costume.
FIND PARKING NEARBY.
The closer to your play area you can park, the better. Use a
large duffel bag to transport your game materials- donít wander in
public with scary costumes and nerf guns if you donít have
to! Once you reach your play area, you can distribute game
materials to the players.
INDICATE THE PLAY AREA. Show your players the extents
of the play area on a map, and in person. You can also make
AREA LIMIT signs. Print them out from the RULES pdf, attach
to a stake, and place them at the edges of the play space,
especially where it is unclear (such as a trail that is out of
bounds). Remember to remove your signs when you are
CONSIDER THE SIZE AND
LAYOUT. If your play area is too large, the game will
take forever and players may never find all the tins (or each
other!). For a typical game (around 5 players), your play
space should take no more than two minutes to walk through all the
routes. A space with multiple connecting paths and plenty of
cover is recommended, as it will allow the players to flank each
other and set up ambushes- way more fun than just a single linear
THE ULTIMATE SPACE? If
you live near the coast, you might not be far from a coastal
fort, often located on state park property. Coastal
forts from the Endicott era (1900s) are amazing concrete
structures to explore, and if you are considerate enough, you
can even play a game of RADLANDS there. You can find
locations of such forts in the US here: http://www.fortwiki.com/Endicott_Period
If you find one nearby, look it up on Google Maps to see if it
is publicly accessible. Just remember, these are
historical artifacts- be considerate, follow the rules, play
safe, and leave the place cleaner than when you arrived.
IT PHYSICALLY SAFE!
KNOW AND AVOID HAZARDS.
Even public spaces can be dangerous, especially if they are
not maintained. Before playing, familiarize all the
players with any hazards in the area and donít include the
hazards in your play space if you can help it. Playing a
game can be a distraction, so always remember to watch out for
drop-offs, steep edges, broken glass, dangerous plants, water
hazards, and the like.
DRESS APPROPRIATELY. Wear long
pants and sturdy comfortable shoes. Gloves are a
plus. Expect to get dirty and to run into bushes and
undergrowth. Youíll want to wear muted, dark clothes
to match the theme of the game and to help you hide from
threats, but they also make you less noticeable to wildlife and
BRING A FLASHLIGHT FOR DARK AREAS.
If your chosen play area is indoors, such as a bunker or a storm
drain, be sure each player has a flashlight.
Hands-free lights are recommended, such as a
headlamp. You can even make a clip to attach a
flashlight to your nerf gun if you like.
BRING WATER. Each player
should have access to water during the course of the game.
Like any sport, you can get dehydrated if you donít drink enough
water. Provide each player with a small water
bottle, and have more water available at a central location
(or in the vehicle you came in).
FOOD IS PART OF THE GAME. The goal
of RADLANDS is to survive by finding enough food (in the form of
candy bars typically). The organizer should ask
players about any food allergies and make sure the in-game food
is safe for them. Donít bring additional food into the
game- itís unlikely you will starve during a game of Radlands,
as they only last a couple hours. If you want to
have a snack available after the game, thatís ok.
IT SOCIALLY SAFE!
BE COURTEOUS AND VOLUNTEER
INFORMATION. If a bystander wanders into the middle
of your game, Pause your game and explain you are playing a
game. If they still express alarm or concern, stop playing
immediately, and tell them you are ending the game and leaving.
HAVE AN EXPLANATION READY.
Some people might ďget itĒ right away, if theyíre used to seeing
LARP or imaginary play. But if they donít, you can
say itís like Capture the Flag, Geocaching, or a Reenactment.
NEVER INVOLVE BYSTANDERS.
If someone is not part of the game, do not harass or menace them
in any way- even if it means breaking character. If
you are wearing a mask, remove it so they bystander can see your
face. Lower or put away your weapons. Put them
at ease! This goes for any pets you might encounter
BE MINDFUL OF YOUR NERF GUNS.
If your Nerf guns are in any way realistic looking, avoid
having them in hand unless you have a dart loaded into
them. Use one-shot Nerf guns instead of clip loading ones-
itís better for gameplay, and the darts will be clearly visible
in the front. NEVER point them at bystanders, instead put
them away in a pouch or backpack. If asked, explain they
are just soft foam dart guns or Nerf guns. If you
need to demonstrate, show the dart first, then fire them at the
ground or into your hand.
CLEAN UP AFTER YOURSELF.
Once the game is over, be sure you collect all the game
materials you can find- donít leave a mess behind!
In fact, leave the play area cleaner than when you found it by
picking up any trash you encounter along the way and disposing
of it properly. You can even give players a reward
for collecting trash, such as a clue about where to find a Tin
they may have missed.
THE FIGHT ENDS AT THE FIRST HIT. If you are a Rothead and
you ambush or attack the survivors, STOP the attack as soon as
you hit a survivor OR a survivor hits you! Donít
drag the fight out and donít land multiple hits. If you
score a hit on a survivor, vocally call it out so they know they
were hit. If they hit you, call it out so they know!
Once a hit is acknowledged, you should retreat.
Conversely, the survivors should not attack you while you are
MASK DOWN MEANS SAFE.
Rotheads are identified by their masks. The mask should cover
your mouth and nose- it does not need to cover your eyes.
Do not attack the survivors if your mask is not
up! Conversely, take your mask down before conversing with
players or bystanders.
GIVE SURVIVORS ROOM TO BREATHE.
After an attack, successful or not, give the survivors a few
minutes before engaging them again. They need some time to
explore, search for tins, discuss plans, and use items.
Itís okay to interrupt them from time to time to keep them on
their toes, but donít make it a constant harassment. You
want them to be worried, not demoralized.
PACE YOUR ATTACKS.
Avoid attacking the same survivor twice in a row. If you
can find out which survivor has the least RAD, attack them
first. If a survivor is nearly defeated, let them linger,
donít finish them off- it makes the game a lot more exciting if
they still have a chance to win.
SET UP AMBUSHES. The most
exciting engagements are when a Rothead attacks out of
nowhere. Dress in subdued clothes, avoid making
noise, try to flank the survivors, and use cover to surprise
them as they explore. You can set up really effective
ambushes if you work in concert with other Rotheads. If
you canít set up a good ambush, try to stalk the survivors from
a distance, just to keep the pressure on. Attack if
they are alone.
DROP "CONSOLATION" TINS. If
you are a converted Rothead and you collected any tins before,
you should drop a tin any time a survivor scores a hit on
you. If you are a Starting Rothead, consider packing
an extra tin on you that you can drop for the survivors as you
SURVIVORS FIND TINS. If the survivors completely
miss finding a tin, help them out by moving it just a bit to
make it easier to spot (when they arenít looking, of
course). If they still struggle to find tins, send
them a mysterious text message with clues where to find
them. Trade clues for any trash they may have collected
(with your mask down so they know it is a peaceful trade), or
give them clues if they score a hit on you. Donít
block the only path to a tin by lurking in the way- instead, try
to set up an ambush to happen AFTER they reach the tin, or guard
tins that the survivors can clearly see, so they know they need
to drive you away to get them.