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The 2010 Prop & Costume Rules Cheat Sheet Now with (some) FAQ!

#1 User is offline   TheRabbi 

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Post icon  Posted 03 March 2010 - 03:54 PM

Hey there, forumites. With the approval of these rules and some other hurdles, I can present to you this cheat sheet for prop and costume rules at ACen 2010. This sheet is fairly comprehensive, and should cover 99% of cases. Moreover, this is the very same cheat sheet IRT ops will be carrying around with them and using to judge your props at con.

Please read this whole post, the FAQ, and the thread to make sure your question was not already answered. If you have a prop or costuming question, post it here. Do not PM IRT members with prop and costume questions. That way, everyone can benefit from your question.

There are some rules changes from last year, so read carefully. In the case of the more permissive rules, we apologize that these are only coming out now, but they took a while to be approved. Hopefully you will be able to take full advantage of them next year.

If you can answer yes to any of the following questions, the prop or costume in question is not allowed.
  • Is the prop longer than the congoer's height (or 4 feet if the congoer is less than 4 feet tall) when carried?
  • Is the prop live steel*?
  • Is the prop a real firearm?
  • Is the prop insufficiently distinguishable** from a real gun?
  • If the prop is an airsoft weapon, is it not disabled and unloaded?
  • Are there projectiles loaded or nocked into the prop, including water in water guns, or easily accessible on the congoer?
  • If the prop is a bow or other stringed weapon, is it tightly strung?
  • Are there any loose arrows or bolts with the costume or prop?
  • If the prop is a sword-like object, is it being carried in a dangerous manner?
  • Does the costume have dangerous protrusions longer than 6 inches?
  • Does the costume severely restrict mobility or line of sight for the wearer?
  • Does the costume violate local decency laws?
  • Does the costume have offensive speech in any language on it?
  • Is the wearer wearing a sign that is obviously not part of the costume?


* - Live steel is any object crafted from metal with a pointed end or blade-like edge, whether blunt or sharp.
** - Acceptable ways of making your gun-like prop sufficiently distinguishable include having it be transparent, made of an obviously different material (like rubber), or incorporating futuristic, fantastic, or unrealistic elements. All gun-like props and replicas are required to have orange tips, but this alone is not enough to distinguish them enough to make them allowable.

FAQ:
Are tennis rackets allowed? They're made of steel!
Tennis rackets have no point or blade-like edge (and are thus not considered live steel), so they are allowed.

What if I make a fake sword out of, say, wood and cover it in foil?
Your prop is not crafted from metal and thus is not live steel. It would be allowed.

What if I'm not sure about the acceptability of my prop?
You can always PM me and ask. I'll be happy to advise. Alternately, you can come to IRT (not Customer Service this year) to get your prop checked.

What if my profession requires me to carry a real firearm?
Upon getting to the con, even on Thursday, please come to IRT headquarters and ask to speak with our Department Head. We just want to be aware of these things so there are no misunderstandings.

What is my wings or tail are longer than 6 inches?
Imagine a six-inch zone extending from the general shape of your costume. (I'd say body, but we count clothes and backpacks and such inside this bubble.) You can have no protrusions outside this zone. If your tail is long, hold it or keep it bound to your body. If your wings are wide, make them collapsible so they do not break the zone when folded in.

What about backpacks and the like?
Backpacks are allowed, as long as there aren't spikes or things on them. And you wouldn't put spikes on your backpack, would you? Also, don't start swinging it around or anything like that, because then it gets classified as a dangerous prop and we'll confiscate it or ask you to put it away.

What about knitting needles? I plan to knit an afghan with kitty ears at con.
Knitting needles are allowed. Don't stab anyone with them. Then they become disallowed. (And it's a really good way to make sure they stay disallowed next year.)

What is the difference between a prop and costuming?
A prop is something you hold. Costuming is draped on your body. Yes, this is a definition with a bunch of loopholes and whatnot. I hope you all are smart enough to figure out the grey areas.
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#2 User is offline   Lina 

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 03:57 PM

Thanks for the rules Rabbai! This helps me out a lot for a couple of cosplays. =D

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Ladies ladies ladies, if you find a man whose only concern about a woman is her breast size, he just may be dumb enough to believe you if you say you have Ds when you have Bs. :thumbup:

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 04:02 PM

Yay, thank you so much for posting these!
=)
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Posted 03 March 2010 - 05:06 PM

Oh god, Rabbi, I love you. D: This will officially be the go-to guide for every cosplayer making a prop EVER. Thank youuuu~ <3 So much.


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Posted 03 March 2010 - 05:14 PM

So is the 6" rule no longer applying?
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#6 User is offline   TheRabbi 

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 06:19 PM

View PostAlkaren Hyralt, on Mar 3 2010, 05:14 PM, said:

So is the 6" rule no longer applying?


View PostTheRabbi, on Mar 3 2010, 03:54 PM, said:

  • Does the costume have dangerous protrusions longer than 6 inches?

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#7 User is offline   Alkaren Hyralt 

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 07:18 PM

my apologies, I must have missed that.
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#8 User is offline   Voxx 

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 11:33 PM

You should make a special asterisk that tennis rackets are allowed lol

That question has come up ALOT

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#9 User is offline   TheRabbi 

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Posted 04 March 2010 - 05:59 AM

View PostSka_Toranpetta, on Mar 3 2010, 11:33 PM, said:

You should make a special asterisk that tennis rackets are allowed lol

That question has come up ALOT


Tennis rackets have no point or blade-like edge and so aren't considered live steel. They are allowed, and people using them as props are cautioned to handle them in a safe and responsible manner, as they should with any prop.

Edit: I put in a new FAQ section for things like this that I see come up over and over again.
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#10 User is offline   Voxx 

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Posted 04 March 2010 - 04:16 PM

View PostTheRabbi, on Mar 4 2010, 05:59 AM, said:

Tennis rackets have no point or blade-like edge and so aren't considered live steel. They are allowed, and people using them as props are cautioned to handle them in a safe and responsible manner, as they should with any prop.

Edit: I put in a new FAQ section for things like this that I see come up over and over again.


That will hopefully help everyone out with those pesky common questions. =3
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#11 User is offline   Cuddles116 

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 07:48 AM

View PostTheRabbi, on Mar 3 2010, 10:54 PM, said:

If you can answer yes to any of the following questions, the prop or costume in question is not allowed.
[list]
[*]Is the prop longer than the congoer's height (or 4 feet if the congoer is less than 4 feet tall) when carried?


Wait, so the 4 foot rule is gone now and is now just based on height?
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#12 User is offline   Millions_Knives 

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 10:59 AM

what are the rules on the other demotions of props
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#13 User is offline   TheRabbi 

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 11:12 AM

View PostCuddles116, on Mar 5 2010, 07:48 AM, said:

Wait, so the 4 foot rule is gone now and is now just based on height?


Yes, that's correct. I'm sorry we couldn't get that rule out there sooner to you, but it was only decided on and confirmed a little bit ago.

We're running with this this year as an experiment to see how it goes and if people can handle larger props safely. Personally, I like it because it means that, should I wish to cosplay (not on duty of course!) as some character with a staff, I'm not stuck holding a staff that's 2/3rds my height. That looks pretty silly.

The other side to this rule (and this is published in the program book - you all did catch that this is a cheat sheet and not the actual entirety of the rules, right?) is that, if we find someone with a prop tagged as okay that is taller than them, we're going to confiscate the prop. This is so people don't have their tall friends do prop check for them and then point to the tag on it and say, "Look! It's okay!" when questioned about it. Now, obviously, if you're holding a prop for your taller friend who's in the bathroom or something like that, we understand. But we might wait around until he comes out to make sure you're telling the truth!
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#14 User is offline   Darksilverhawk 

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 03:11 PM

These are really helpful! Thanks a lot, but can you clarify one thing?

If the acceptable length of a prop is now based on height, than am I correct in thinking that a prop's acceptable width is now determined by the 6 inch rule?
Specifically, circular props. Would the diameter need to be less than your height, or less than 1 foot wider than you are? (6 inches on each side)
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Posted 05 March 2010 - 03:23 PM

^ Good question. I'm curious about this too.
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#16 User is offline   Millions_Knives 

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 03:33 PM

i swear to god i will totally do it!
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#17 User is offline   TheRabbi 

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 03:58 PM

View PostDarksilverhawk, on Mar 5 2010, 03:11 PM, said:

These are really helpful! Thanks a lot, but can you clarify one thing?

If the acceptable length of a prop is now based on height, than am I correct in thinking that a prop's acceptable width is now determined by the 6 inch rule?
Specifically, circular props. Would the diameter need to be less than your height, or less than 1 foot wider than you are? (6 inches on each side)


Generally speaking, a prop is a thing you hold. The height rule applies to props.
Generally speaking, a piece of costuming is a thing you wear. The 6-inch rules applies to costuming.

So, if you're holding a bokken, it has to be as tall as you are or shorter. If it's strapped to your back, it can't poke above your head more than 6 inches.

That technically means that, since I am 6 feet tall, a 3 foot 5.5 inch*-by-3 foot 5.5 inch-by-3 foot 5.5 inch companion cube is an acceptable prop for someone of my size. And, if it doesn't obstruct my mobility, isn't obstructing my visibility, isn't a danger to people around me, is being handled carefully, isn't causing damage to the venue, and isn't causing problems with crowd control, it's totally legal.

* 3 feet and 5.5 inches is about 3.464 feet, which is about 6/(cube root of 3), don'cha know. 6/(cube root of 3) feet is the length of an edge of a cube whose longest diagonal is 6 feet. Are we really going to measure a 6 foot-by-1 foot-by-1 foot prop along the longest diagonal? No. But we probably would a cube.
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Posted 05 March 2010 - 04:30 PM

I wish this was the case last year...then I could have brought my coffin case for my Haji costume...ah well.

Since having an orange tip alone on a weapon isn't "enough" to clerify something as a fake weapon...what would you suggest I do to a cast resin replica. I plan to paint it to make it look realistic, but if an orange tip isn't enough...I dunno...It's got no moving parts, is that enough? It would be pretty obvious when being checked, but I wanted to check here first.
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Posted 05 March 2010 - 06:17 PM

~thumbs up~
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Posted 05 March 2010 - 09:26 PM

THANK YOU!!!!!

That is an awesome cheat sheet!!! Very clear and easy to understand!

You rock!! I'm adding this to my Evernote for reference. :)
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Posted 06 March 2010 - 07:16 AM

View PostTheRabbi, on Mar 3 2010, 03:54 PM, said:

[*]Does the costume have dangerous protrusions longer than 6 inches?


::posts the ubiquitous "If my wings/tail will be [insert any number over 6] inches long...?" question::

^ Maybe this should be added to the FAQ? That one seems to come up every year.
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#22 User is offline   TheRabbi 

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 07:39 AM

View Postthis_chick25, on Mar 6 2010, 07:16 AM, said:

::posts the ubiquitous "If my wings/tail will be [insert any number over 6] inches long...?" question::

^ Maybe this should be added to the FAQ? That one seems to come up every year.


Seems pretty cut and dry to me. If it sticks out longer than 6 inches when it's collapsed (if it collapses) then it's not allowed. We'll give you the most charitable definition of "sticks out 6 inches", but 6 inches is pretty immutable.

I'll put it in the FAQ anyway.
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Posted 06 March 2010 - 10:01 AM

True, but many people wouldn't consider a tail a "dangerous" protrusion (as opposed to a spike or other pointy effect)--unless you're Knives, of course.

This is an awesome cheat sheet though. I'm totally printing it and putting it up in my room!
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Posted 06 March 2010 - 02:29 PM

View PostTheRabbi, on Mar 5 2010, 12:12 PM, said:

Yes, that's correct. I'm sorry we couldn't get that rule out there sooner to you, but it was only decided on and confirmed a little bit ago.

We're running with this this year as an experiment to see how it goes and if people can handle larger props safely. Personally, I like it because it means that, should I wish to cosplay (not on duty of course!) as some character with a staff, I'm not stuck holding a staff that's 2/3rds my height. That looks pretty silly.

The other side to this rule (and this is published in the program book - you all did catch that this is a cheat sheet and not the actual entirety of the rules, right?) is that, if we find someone with a prop tagged as okay that is taller than them, we're going to confiscate the prop. This is so people don't have their tall friends do prop check for them and then point to the tag on it and say, "Look! It's okay!" when questioned about it. Now, obviously, if you're holding a prop for your taller friend who's in the bathroom or something like that, we understand. But we might wait around until he comes out to make sure you're telling the truth!

I like and don't like this at the same time. I like it because i can go with something a little taller but I don't like it because i feel like taller people get the best end of this deal.

Also - I have a 6-foot staff that is collapsible down to under 4-foot pieces. I had it tagged last year. Can I still carry it around in its collapsed form without it getting confiscated?
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Posted 06 March 2010 - 02:30 PM

View PostTheRabbi, on Mar 3 2010, 03:54 PM, said:

[*]If the prop is an airsoft weapon, is it not disabled and unloaded?


So then, if I am reading this correctly, a clear, non-firing and non-loaded airsoft is allowed, but a clear, firing, non-loaded airsoft is not allowed? Is that correct?
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Posted 07 March 2010 - 01:35 AM

View PostCrimsonAnime, on Mar 6 2010, 02:29 PM, said:

I like and don't like this at the same time. I like it because i can go with something a little taller but I don't like it because i feel like taller people get the best end of this deal.

Also - I have a 6-foot staff that is collapsible down to under 4-foot pieces. I had it tagged last year. Can I still carry it around in its collapsed form without it getting confiscated?


Yes. To my estimation, any prop that was legal last year is still legal this year. All changes to the prop rules were relaxations of rules, not tightenings.

View PostSir Gibby, on Mar 6 2010, 02:30 PM, said:

So then, if I am reading this correctly, a clear, non-firing and non-loaded airsoft is allowed, but a clear, firing, non-loaded airsoft is not allowed? Is that correct?


That is correct. The airsoft must be disabled, and the fact that it is clear means it passes the "sufficiently unrealistic" test. It must, of course, also have an orange tip.
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#27 User is offline   Valkyrie 

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Posted 07 March 2010 - 07:09 PM

View Postdark hope, on Mar 5 2010, 04:30 PM, said:

Since having an orange tip alone on a weapon isn't "enough" to clerify something as a fake weapon...what would you suggest I do to a cast resin replica. I plan to paint it to make it look realistic, but if an orange tip isn't enough...I dunno...It's got no moving parts, is that enough? It would be pretty obvious when being checked, but I wanted to check here first.


View PostTheRabbi, on Mar 3 2010, 03:54 PM, said:

[*]Is the prop insufficiently distinguishable** from a real gun?
** - Acceptable ways of making your gun-like prop sufficiently distinguishable include having it be transparent, made of an obviously different material (like rubber), or incorporating futuristic, fantastic, or unrealistic elements. All gun-like props and replicas are required to have orange tips, but this alone is not enough to distinguish them enough to make them allowable.


Painting it to look obviously realistic wouldn't fly, unfortunately. Reason being that if IRT (or Rosemont Police, as they also patrol the con) were to see you from a distance with a realistic gun on your person, they would not be happy. To the untrained eye, and depending on distance/vantage point, it can be difficult to tell whether it's fake just from the lack of moving parts - if one can even spot said non-moving parts.

These are the gun prop guidelines per Knight (IRT DH), and per our Con Chair:

Quote

- BLUE or RED RUBBER training replicas ARE acceptable

- BLACK or REALISTIC (color wise) replicas ARE NOT acceptable

- CLEAR AIRSOFTS ARE acceptable as long as they meet certain conditions:

1. they may never be loaded
2. you are not carrying either ammunition (BB's) OR a magazine (clip) on your person
3. hand guns must be FULLY clear (IE no black grips)

and before anyone asks yes EVERYTHING gun like still needs an orange tip and no this doesn't mean you can just spray paint your airsoft blue and bring it.


That being said, what type of gun replica is this? (As in handgun, rifle, etc.)
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#28 User is offline   Jam-Kiske 

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Posted 07 March 2010 - 09:03 PM

View PostTheRabbi, on Mar 7 2010, 01:35 AM, said:

Yes. To my estimation, any prop that was legal last year is still legal this year. All changes to the prop rules were relaxations of rules, not tightenings.

So anything that is in multiple pieces that pass the rule is good too then?
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Posted 07 March 2010 - 10:01 PM

View PostJam-Kiske, on Mar 7 2010, 09:03 PM, said:

So anything that is in multiple pieces that pass the rule is good too then?


That's correct. You can reassemble them as long as you stay in one place and for a short period of time out of the way of the crowd - e.g., for a photo shoot. Then you have to disassemble them again when you start walking around again.
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#30 User is offline   fntmalchemist 

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Posted 09 March 2010 - 06:59 PM

View PostTheRabbi, on Mar 5 2010, 03:58 PM, said:

That technically means that, since I am 6 feet tall, a 3 foot 5.5 inch*-by-3 foot 5.5 inch-by-3 foot 5.5 inch companion cube is an acceptable prop for someone of my size. And, if it doesn't obstruct my mobility, isn't obstructing my visibility, isn't a danger to people around me, is being handled carefully, isn't causing damage to the venue, and isn't causing problems with crowd control, it's totally legal.

* 3 feet and 5.5 inches is about 3.464 feet, which is about 6/(cube root of 3), don'cha know. 6/(cube root of 3) feet is the length of an edge of a cube whose longest diagonal is 6 feet. Are we really going to measure a 6 foot-by-1 foot-by-1 foot prop along the longest diagonal? No. But we probably would a cube.



Hmm, I see your point on the three dimensional geometry there,
applying it to a sufficiently 2-D square prop, the longest diagonal that it has is also limited by my height as well?

I have a rather large (just over 6ft. when rotated to it's tallest, while I am 6' 4") ninja star folded out of butcher paper, wrapped in ductape, and then has kite poles shoved in it to make it more rigid (1 pole across both major diagonals, both can be removed, to allow star to collapse to an approx 3x3 square).

Do I assume correctly that this prop is also now allowed?
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