There are a few calls that are used at a huge range of UK LRPs. I’m talking about them from my point of view.
They’re used in subtly different ways depending on the circumstances.
A lot of events have Time In and Time Out to start and stop action. To help make it clear at what point the game starts and when it’s over. They may be called at regular intervals, to alert people to the change in status. We often expect people to be IC from when they arrive or when they enter the game area. Modern day games can have people timing in before they reach site. I like to time out immediately after a glorious conclusion, other games like to let people roleplay the consequences a bit. They’re both good options so go with whatever suits you.
In a similar vein we have “Out of Character” (the opposite to In Character which is pretty irrelevant as a call because if you’re in a situation where you need to use call this is the default). Out of character can be used when you need to alert someone to something outside the game. It doesn’t stop the game, it just lets someone know that when you say James has a broken leg you mean he has actually broken his leg and hence a different reaction is required. OOC medics not IC ones. It’s also useful for “OOC, this is a thing that needs to stop”, or “OOC, are you okay” which can both be used for managing welfare. It doesn’t break the game but it does give people a way to make it clear when they’re not happy with a situation.
‘Man Down’ alerts people to an OOC injury. Usually one that does require the action to stop completely in that area. It’s exact use varies. In fest events it’s often something that they prefer refs to call and for it not to be passed on beyond the immediate area unless the refs judge it necessary. Everyone calling it can result in an excess of unnecessary stops for the battle that interrupt the flow when it’s often called for minor or no injuries. For smaller events people may say pass it on. At Mandala we say you should use your common sense. If it’s called then stop until you identify the issue and react appropriately, whether that’s berating an individual who’s stopped the game in appropriately or dropping entirely OOC and moving away or assisting.
I believe ‘Man Down’ is a good choice here because it resonates. It has a military meaning that makes sense and that resonates with people. It also frees up cries such as ‘medic’ that are more likely to be used In Character.
I’m concentrating on these are they work with the In Character/Out of Character boundary. Most other calls are for in game effects. They tell you how to react in Character. These tell you how to relate to the real world beyond the game. I believe calls should be kept to a minimum, but these are the calls that we keep and work with as they help to maintain the structure of the game.
Do use any different ones? Is there anything else that’s important to your system?