A myriad of questions from a potential new player

Greetings! Myself and my girlfriend have never been larping before, and only have a small degree of online, text based roleplay experience. We are planning for our first time to be at E4 this year. We’ve chosen Autumn as we assume the weather will be tolerable, while also giving us a long stretch of time afterwards (before Spring in 2020) to decide if this is a hobby we’d like to pursue. As we’ve been planning our characters and shopping lists, a number of questions have come to us, which I’ll list below. I apologise profusely if any of these have been asked numerous times previously!

Firstly, we are currently thinking about joining Dawn. I understand that Dawn is predominantly inspired by Arthurian legends and the like, but both of our characters are most likely to be Pirate themed. We wouldn’t be speaking in stereotypical pirate voices, and we’d do our best to blend in, but we’ll be dressing and arming ourselves in line with our inspirations, sans the pistols as we believe such weapons aren’t welcome in Empire. I’m curious if this would be acceptable, or if people would feel this strays too far from Dawn’s own inspirations.

Secondly, I have a question relating to armour: if we were to wear long-sleeve gambesons as our armour, would that count as covering our arms? The wiki states we should cover our chest and at least one one other area of our body. The gambesons would cover our chest, and both of our arms. Would this be acceptable, or should we invest in some bracers/greaves/helmets?

Also, I have some questions relating to the out-of-character sections of the games. Firstly, how would we tell the time? Is there some sort of in-character clocks we can use, or should we sneak away to check our phones quickly? On the subject of phones, is there a way to charge them easily? I apologise; I haven’t much experience camping. Also, and this is an odd one, but I’m nineteen years old and my girlfriend is seventeen. If we were to want to purchase alcohol from somewhere in character, is there a chance we would be asked for ID? I fear it might break immersion to fetch my wallet from the car or something. Would it simply be easier to avoid the bars and taverns altogether?

Lastly, I have some interest in my character being musical and possibly singing as a sort of bard. I’m not certain i’ll ever get the courage to go through with it, but if I do, is there some player-favourite songs that might be worth learning? Or particular songs many players like to sing as they head into battle, or as they drink? I’ve checked the wiki but there’s just so many I don’t know where to start!

Thank you all ever so much for reading this and considering answering these questions! More may come as I think of them. Again, I apologise if any of these have been asked before, or if any of these are considered ‘stupid questions’. Thank you all, and we hope to see you in a few months!

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Hey just so you know you might not get any replies until Monday as we’re all in a field at the event :slight_smile:.

Welcome aboard :D.

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Welcome to Empire! You might not get many replies right now, most of us are heading off to E2 this weekend.

Being a pirate in Dawn is fine, in fact there are a few Dawnish pirates already in play. However, dressing as a pirate (and I’m assuming you mean dressing like Jack Sparrow et al) is not in line with Dawn’s costume brief. In Empire all nations have what is called an Egregore bond: a magic that affects everyone in the nation and makes them want to confirm to the national mindset. What this means in play is a Dawnish pirate will want to wear Dawnish clothes, and act in a dawnish way.

A guide to the Dawn look and feel can be found here.

Addiotnally, tricorns, frock coats and similar pirate clothing are not really suitable for any Nation in Empire, the system is more middle-aged than age of sail.

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Thank you both for the responses! Sorry, I probably could’ve picked a better time to ask these questions haha. Thank you for the information, Thresher!

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It really depends on what you mean by pirate-themed. I played a Dawnish character who was somewhat pirate-themed, until his entire group was heroically killed in action last year. (He died how he lived; a song on his lips and an orcish spear in his heart)

Seagoing adventures is a theme that works pretty well at Empire, one of our major enemies is a seafaring power called the Grendel - it’s fairly common for there to be opportunities for ship-owners to participate in major events. You can also find useful ritual magic to cast, The Lure of Distant Shores was our favourite. We raided our enemies, traded with foreign nations and celebrated the virtue of prosperity - have you read about Zemress yet? She’s awesome and was something like a patron saint.

But in terms of looks and style, we were just like any other Dawnish house full of knights and witches, just with sea serpents as part of our heraldry and a couple of other nautical accessories.

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Thank you for all of the info and links! I’ll be sure to check them out :grinning:

Right, back from event… :slight_smile:

Firstly, welcome along! To the hobby, the game, the forums, and indeed to the nation of Dawn!

E4 is probably a good time to try it out, and we are happy to answer all manner of questions, however many times they’re asked…

I ran TheOneTrueGraham’s group. While “Pirate” is not an obvious theme, consider this. Sir Francis Drake was seen as a pirate. A quest over the seas in search of adventure and glory is perfectly Dawnish. Bringing back piles of trophies and valuables siezed from the undeserving hands of foreignors and orcs to enrich your House and Nation is also suitable. I’d aim a little more “flamboyant buccaneer” and a little less “Pirates of the Caribbean”, but you can certainly manage Dawnish Pirates. Bear in mind though:

  1. LARP doesn’t really allow for actual ships in play. So they’ll only be featuring off-screen (in downtime), in your sea stories and capabilities.
  2. The Brass Coast nation has a lot of corsairs, which are functionally pirates. You’ll likely run into them a fair bit, in terms of shared interests and goals. This has little mechanical effect, but can make for some good stories.

Second, Armour: If its covering the whole of your chest, and the whole of your arms, that would, I suspect, count as sufficient coverage. As a gambeson, the best it would count as is light armour (+2 hits). For Dawn, I would advise looking for something else to bulk it out a bit, as armour is a big part of the militant Dawnish look. Greaves (lower legs) and bracers (lower arms) can often be acquirred reasonably cheaply, and can look very effective. If you feel like it, you can also paint them in suitable designs, which can look great… You can also get things like shoulder-pads and pectorals in leather or similar, designed to look like plate armour. Which is also very much on brief. How much you want to sink into this is entirely your purview, but I’d advise restraint until you’ve had a go to be sure. It’s very easy to spend a lot of money on armour…

There is no easy way to charge a phone on site. Some friends I know have invested in small portable battery things to charge a phone up with? In terms of telling the time, a cheap and subtle watch tucked up a sleeve most of the time is acceptable. If you want to go all out, there are some shops selling things like chunky rings with a clock face concealed under a “jewel”, or even a fob watch if you want (which isn’t really the Dawnish style). I’d leave your phone in you tent or at home, if possible.

About the only place where age would be an issue is the in-game tavern, The Anvil, where they sell alchohol for real money. There, your girlfriend would be under-age. As a rule, the rest of the in-game bars, pubs, taverns, tea-houses, etc, seem to be treated as a private party; You will be offered drinks, there will likely be some non-alchoholic options, help yourself, pay with the in-game money as appropriate. Certainly my Dawnish character offers a drink to everyone who stops by…

Ah, the songs… there are, indeed, many. You could spend all 4 events trying to listen to every song on the field, and hear not half of them… Don’t worry if you feel you can’t sing. Don’t care. There isn’t a Bardic College who will come and shout at you if you miss a note. Join in the songs you know, ask for words for the ones you don’t, and break into song when the mood takes you (if you do while we’re sneaking up on someone, you will get shouted at… hang on, we’re Dawn, we don’t do sneaking. Never mind…). There are quite a few good Dawnish songs around, the Imperial Battle Hymn is always popular, “March of Cambreath” ( a real-world one) has a few variations and is a good-un (originally Highguard in setting), but the favourtie in Dawn, especially when marching to battle, is Brittas Glory. Usually and popularly known as “Charge Dawn Charge”.

https://www.profounddecisions.co.uk/empire-wiki/Britta's_Glory

It’s not sung DURING battles so much, as Dawn will charge at the drop of a hat anyway, and so singing it causes confusion…

Oh, and here is the Dawn Facebook group, who are also fairly friendly and helpful:

Happy to answer any and all further questions, and see you one day on the field at Anvil!

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In terms of age the IC bars may ask you your ages as well as the OC one, so if you have ID keep it to hand. The IC bars are asked to try to keep an eye on the perceived age and inebriation levels of its customers, so it’s better to be prepared.

Many bars serve soft drinks as well
as alcohol, or can at least get you some water, so you can be a part of the atmosphere without needing to drink.

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Wonderful, thank you all ever so much for the answers! I’ll be sure to take all of them to heart when it comes to character creation and the like! :smiley: Also, it just so happens that Britta’s Glory is the one song I’ve managed to memorise thus far, so it looks like I picked well :slight_smile:

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