A few questions from new players


My partner and I are looking at attending an Empire event in the near future but had a few questions about the process we were hoping could be answered here.

I’m sure most of these questions will have been answered in other forum posts but as we are completely new and we had quite a few questions we thought a forum post might be more efficient.

  1. Although we are very comfortable with roleplaying in tabletop games we are new to LARPing and were intending on creating characters that are a couple in game and will likely stick together in our first few events as we become more comfortable. Is there anything we might need to do to make sure we stick together and is it ok to have characters starting out with this kind of connection?

We were thinking of joining Highguard as we are both more interested in the political, religious and magical aspects of the world. Specifically, we were thinking of the magister archetype within the Ravens Watch chapter as we were quite interested winter magic and their virtue. We planned out a design for our clothes:


My Partners: https://drive.google.com/file/d/11Hy1P539g21_sjQ9Gzj4kOFDGgvrRs6a/view?usp=sharing
(We know the runes are not as appropriate and will not be including a design like that in our final costumes)

  1. Do these designs fit with what you would expect from people in Highguard, or could you suggest a different nation that it might better fit?

  2. Do the outfits themselves fit a magister within Highguard?

  3. My partner also has longer hair (think Geralt in the witcher length) he was a little worried if this would fit in with the Highguard nation?

  4. We know that you can’t cast spells while wearing armour and my partner plans to include metal greaves and bracers (vambraces) intended completely for cosmetic purposes than as actual armour as we will be non-combatant, will we need to discuss if this is ok with referees?

We also had some more logistical questions about the process of joining the nations and specific chapters.

  1. Is it ok to simply say that we are part of a specific chapter or would we need to be invited?

Finally, we were a little confused at exactly how winter magic and the curses specifically work:

  1. Are curses performed often and how are the targets of these curses chosen, considering their effects can be quite detrimental?

Thank you so much for taking the time to read through our questions. I know a lot of these questions probably seem quite nit-picky but we are really keen to get things right if we were to attend and help make veterans players experiences a little easier rather than having to tell us then that something is wrong.

On a related note, my partner has anxiety and was wondering if anyone who also has anxiety and attends these events has any tips or suggestions for how he might make his experience a little easier, especially in his first events.


Hello, and welcome to the hobby and the game! :smiley:

Don’t worry, we’re happy to answer any questions.

I’m not an expert on Highguard, but I’ll answer what I can, and I suspect someone else will be along shortly…

  1. Your characters will be new to Anvil. First time in the capital… By all means, starting as a couple in play is fine (My wife and children are playing… my wife and children. Keeps things simple). As long as you both have the same sorts of interest in-game, there’s no reason for you two not to stick to each other like glue as long as you like!

Highguard for politics and religeon is a good choice, although of course you can find elements of everything in every nation.

Those clothing designs look pretty Highguard to me. I note you’ve avoided floor-length robes. Probably a good idea at Empire: the occassional muddy event can be… memorable :stuck_out_tongue:

  1. You can do a lot with colour scheme and accessories. Stark colours, minimal decoration, hoods and robes and chapter insignia… will definately say Highguard to most people. Brighter colours and bling, and you might slip towards Dawn, softer colours and more runes and you’d be headed for Urizen… but as is, looks like Highguard.

  2. No idea here, sorry…

  3. Probably fits. Might want to tie it back (discipline) instead of the more Dawnish look (melodramtic posing), but I doubt anyone will care one way or another.

  4. You’ll have to get a refcall, but I suspect those are fine. You won’t have anywhere near enough armour for it to grant extra hits. If you’re worried about it, can I suggest making some modifications to make them look like elements of mage armour? Runes, or possibly religeous iconography can go a way towards helping there.

  5. Ah, now this one it is polite to ask. Some groups are made up of clusters of friends, some others have specific plans their groups, and others may not want any new members. As a general rule though, most groups are happy to accept new members and new players. I would suggest getting in touch with whoever runs the group (via email, facebook, these forums), and asking them for permission. Or to put in another way: ask the group for entrance, it will likely be granted.

  6. Hmm, they aren’t too common, but hardly unknown. Some curses are levelled by player characters on other player characters, but these tend to be rare. Some characters get cursed by interactions with quests, Heralds, and the like. Sometimes curses are thrown at whole territories by enemies of the Empire (and vice versa… the morality gets a bit murky). If you wish to claim the niche of “curse expert”, it should prove an interesting bit of game, and you may get asked all sorts of places…

Here’s a useful phrase: “I’m new to Anvil.” This is true for your characters, and also indicates that you are a new player who may not know all the intricacies of the rules and the setting (we’ve been running a while, and after this break, we’ve likely forgotten some bits ourselves…). Your care and attention to detail in your preparation is appreciated :slight_smile:

Anxiety issues: There are quite a few players with these to some degree (Heck, you’re going to jump into a long-running story with thousands of others, combined with a camping trip… regular anxiety would be expected…). Knowing no details of this, some general tips…

a) There’s a link at the bottom to a friends channel, about his first event or two. You may find it helpful.
b) You’ve already gone for some good first steps. Going with a friend/partner means you’ll always have someone there to lean on, and discuss things with.
c) Ditto with a group. Even if you share little with them, having a place on the main field to go, a group to identify with, can really help involve you and make you feel less rootless. Being able to say “We are with the Ravens Watch Chapter in Highguard.” Gives you an identity and a place. Somewhere to go, people to ask, somewhere to put your stuff…
d)…which leads into this: I would strongly reccomend that for your first event, you camp out-of-character. So you’ll have a camping tent off-field (which you can practise putting up before-hand), and a place for you to sit down and de-stress, to take the character off and have a mental break. Camping in-character is an extra level of hassle that few new players need.
e) Most of the Empire players are understanding. It’s an intense game. Saying, in character: “I just need to go and think about this…” (or similar), or even throwing your hands up and saying out-of character: “OC, please, I need some space right now” (or whatever) should get people to back off.
f) If you can get to the site on Thursday evening, that will also help. Watching the tent-city assemble, being able to talk to your neighbours, finding the local tea-room, where the loos are, and so on… also prevents feeling too lost. There are many workshops and introductory sessions for new players before the game starts, which are also good.
g) Might I reccomend a notebook or two? You can decorate it in you chapter colours, keep notes of who’s who, record character observations, complex rules, and anything else. A LOT of players do this, so you won’t stand out at all. Taking a few moments to write things down can help a lot, and is perfectly in character :slight_smile:

…Oh crumbs I’ve written an essay again :stuck_out_tongue:

Anyway, hope the above helps, and I or others here are happy to chat, answer questions, and give directions as needed!



Welcome to the game and Highguard especially - I’m from Cantiarch’s Hold myself and we’re a really good bunch, even if I do say so myself.

  1. Yes no problem at all being a couple, up to you whether you decide there has been some sort of formal oath between your characters (marriage or otherwise) or not. Being from the same chapter will help with that.

2 Costume looks fine. For Highguard it’s the stark black and white colouring, with most chapters adding a single jewel tone as their contrast colour. It looks like you are leaning a little more onto the Unconquered brief - practical skirmishing Ranger type but that’s fine.

  1. Magister is more an attitude and skill pick. get to know the Virtues religion well enough to argue your reasoning for taking an action, and a general distrust of Eternals will do most of it.

  2. Longer hair is great! Highguard has a thing about braiding hair sticking it in a plait will look even more the part, if you wnat there are a couple of people who can do something fancy if you wnat too!

  3. If you can find something else to work in your costume that might be better. As non coms you may not want to wear the weight full time anyway, Anvil is safe most of the time so moany of us wander around without armour or weapons most of the time.

6 . Chapters on the system already are player created groups, please don’t pick one until you’ve talked to the players involved. It’s absolutely fine though to say you’ve come to Anvil to look for a Chapter to join, and you should get several offers, feel free to take your time choosing. We’ll also be happy to find someone to host you until you make a formal decision in character too. (Give you somewhere to dump cloaks and snack during the day!). You could of course also create your own Chapter and make up it’s badge / internal rules / backstory if you want.

  1. All magic costs mana, so you have to really want to curse someone more than you want to spend the mana elsewhere. It does happen, but you generally have to have done something impressive to make someone want to curse you in return. The various territory curses can be a pain but most only remove some production or resource not all of it, those are usually cast by the enemy forces though as battle tactics.

Being anxious is not uncommon, there are several player groups happy to help, a badge which lets people know that you might not want to start a conversation but people should ask if you want to join, and spaces that can be used for a time out and breather if it gets too much.



Welcome aboard and congratulations on your excellent taste in nations :wink: It sounds like most things are covered above, but to comment on 5.

a) If you are wearing armour people will treat you as if you are wearing armour, probably assuming you have more under your clothes on the torso. It probably wont come to anything active but people will form assumptions based on it.

b) Lower arm armour can get pretty hefty after a while wearing around the place as its a fairly awkward place to carry weight, id suggest wearing them around the house for a couple of days to get used to it, greaves too but our legs are a bit better at dealing with it :slight_smile:

Id also recommend finding the Highguard facebook group as a lot more of the player base are there and you should be able to find some Ravens to see if they are recruiting!


This is the Highguard Facebook group if you do the book of faces!


Hello and welcome aboard to both Empire and Highguard :slight_smile:

I like your look, it works as HG Unconquered and Grey Pilgrim style (You can be these and a Magister as all mages in HG are kind of assumed to be them) which both tend to the practical and travel ready. The only thing I can think of is that the tunic looks a little bit Urizen with that front flap. But as people have mentioned as long as the colour scheme works and for example you could put your chapter symbol on there, that would totally work.

Randomly here’s a bunch of mostly Highguard related photos on my Tumblr :slight_smile:

Also don’t worry about the Runes, they originated in Wintermark but are used all over the Empire. And some Highguard Magisters would certainly use them, I painted a bunch on my Mage Armour big leather hero belt when I was a Highborn Mage.

Hair wise, worry not, hair braiding is totally a thing in Highguard for all genders :). Here’s two hairstyles I’ve taken along to player events. The first one I basically showed a hairdresser a picture of Legolas’ hair in LOTR. Oh this is a good YouTube channel I’ve just stumbled across with “how-to’s” for men’s hairstyles in LOTR.

Mage Armour can be metal, but if you could magic it up, possibly by painting them black and painting white runes, or the other way round, that would work better. The rules on Mage Armour are here it says “Mage armour can be made out of any real world material, provided you try to make as clear as possible that your character is wearing magical protection and not mundane armour.” One of the cool things you do with mage armour is that you can just wear say one Pauldron, Greave or Vambrace. There are a bunch of places like Wyrmwick which will sell you one fancy pauldron.

Aha this is an excellent example of Highborn Mage armour, by one of my chapter mates :slight_smile:

Chapter wise, yes you do need an invite. It’s entirely cool to show up as two people with their own chapter, we have Chapters in HG represented by one person on the field. Another other option is to turn up and say you’re looking for chapters on the field and see who you get on with, or make some contacts on the FB group and then see how well you fit at the game.

Curse wise, they’re mostly entirely legal to cast in the Empire, it’s partly down to Mages being given the lattitude to do that rather than kill or maim people and also Conclave has the authority and is expected to police mages and declare any Sorcerers who abuse their powers. They do get cast as a way to remind people it’s not wise to piss off mages also if enough people are angry with someone it’s an acceptable way to show their displeasure. For example in HG they could, depending on the Highborn in question, be considered an entirely valid way to confront some who is Unvirtuous and “encourage” them to change their ways. They’re also used as punishments sometimes.

Personally I think people should do a lot more cursing as it’s fun and makes for good game :slight_smile:

Anxiety wise, I entirely know that feel and Empire can be intimidating. Good ways to make your event one easier are to come along on the Thursday if you can as that reduces the stress on the Friday and also lets you meet people, there’s a meet and greet for new players usually in the Senate Building on Thursday at 8pm.

Also get yourself along to the New Player meetings on the Friday before time in, the player support team will introduce themselves, which includes your Nations Egregores, they’re sort of the spirit of the nation but part of the OOC job is to help new players have fun and find their feet. The meetings will also go through a bunch of stuff and let you ask any questions you’ve got. They’ll also let you meet other new players so you know you’re not alone :slight_smile: .

There’s also a bunch of food places in the OOC area next to the GOD tent, so if you need to go and take a bit of time out and have some food you can do that no problem.

Oh and this is a good podcast by two new players in Navarr that might help as well, it got some good advice on how to get involved.

Best of luck and please ask any other questions you’ve got here or by starting a new topic. :+1:


Thank you all so much for your incredibly detailed and useful responses :grin:.

You have answered all of our questions and more, it is nice to know we were going in the right direction and we will definitely take on some of your suggestions and will look into joining the Facebook group!

Thank you as well for all of your tips for my partner, we are both feeling a lot less worried about the event seeing just how friendly and welcoming you all are.

We look forward to maybe seeing some of you in events in the future.