An intimidated newbie say's hello

Good day folks! This is my first post and my hello.
First off. I have only recently looked at LARP as a potential new hobby after watching quite a few videos on youtube. Mostly videos on Empire’s events.
After a friend of mine told me he attends, I decided to hopefully make it a goal to attend my first event (which is april now I see)

So, heres where the “intimidated” part of my title comes in. My background is in miniature wargames (which is my current career), D&D (which im horribly bad at!) and ww2 reenacting (which I left due to silly politics)

Even after hearing such GLOWING reports of new players being welcomed, guided and made to feel a part of the events, I still have a worrying lack of reference for what to do, how to get there (based in Northern Ireland) What I should get, who I want to be.

I have looked over the Wiki and like Marches. But… can I just roll up as a Landskeeper for example? Is there a point where a new player could bite off more than they can chew?

I guess in short… I have extreme anxiety of making a fool out of myself, right out the gate.

Thanks for reading this…somewhat rambly, introduction! :slight_smile:

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Hello JLyons, and welcome to the forums, the game in indeed the hobby! :smiley:

I see you noted that the next Empire event will be April… plenty of time to prepare, check things, acquire any kit, and chat to new friends.

Minis, D&D, and re-enactment… sounds like an excellent portfolio to be honest.

As for how to get to the events from Northern Ireland… I’m not too sure there. If you can manage public transport to, say, Milton Keynes, I suspect there will be a shuttlebus service between the train station and the site. You’ll have to check the fine detail closer to the time.

Alternitively, you may find it helpful to ask about looking for a car share to some extent. Empire draws player from across the UK (and Europe, and beyond…), so you may find someone to travel with, or even someone willing to give you a lift in exchange for petrol money. Even if it’s just someone to meet at a station and go halves on a taxi. Things to investigate over the winter…

As for what to do, well, almost anything. You said you were looking at the Marches, and at Landskeeper. That archetype, like all of them, is similar to a pre-generated character for D&D: it gives ideas of what to be doing, attitudes to things, suggestions for roles, and some hints for effectively playing up to the archetype. And yes, you can certainly turn up as one of them from the start. Heck, as they are almost wandering druids (who will beat me with their sticks for saying so), turning up as a Landskeeper looks to be a perfectly reasonable reason to wander round poking things, asking questions, and being unknown to everyone. How many druids visit their nations capital normally? :slight_smile:

There are also a lot of threads asking (and I hope answering) that question on these forums; browse at will and feel free to ask questions.

For who you want to be… well, you may find it useful to play pretty much yourself at first, with one or two memorable character traits: an accent or verbal tic, yes? A strong opinion or predjudice (IC), or a habit of fiddling with something. I can see a landskeeper talking to their stick, or offering around nuts all the time, or frequently tasting the local grass… (cliches… ). If it turns out that your character and skills are utterly wrong for you, or you just want to tweak things, PD are very understanding and will allow you to re-roll your character during or after the event, if needed.

There IS a point where a new player could bite off more than they could chew. I advise against declaring your intention to sit the Throne on your first event. Empire IS a deep pool to jump into for your first LARP, but to continue the metaphor, it’s pretty calm and there are lifeguards watching.

The game will be starting it’s 8th year in (sigh) 2022. Seven years of complex politics, national struggles, marching to and fro of mighty armies, dread curses and heroic deeds, and enough stories to fill a shelf of epic fantasy novels…

YOU NEED TO KNOW LESS THAN 1% OF IT

In order to not make a fool of yourself, you will need to know:
Your characters name.
Their nation (read at least the front page of the national brief)
Which province they’re from in that nation.
Approximately what they can do in mechanical skills.
(That’s it. you could write it down on an A6 notecard and check it frequently. Which brings me to…)

Costume and kit and accessories is a whole 'nother subject, but I’d reccomend picking up a small (A6 notebook with a neutral cover, decorating it appropriately, and scribbling useful notes in it. Details of your character, what your skills do, things to investigate in play… it will quickly get filled with things like the names of friends (and enemies), things you’ve seen, questions you want to ask, and deals to keep track of. Loads of people use such notebooks, pulling it out to check a detail will not be remarked upon, and buy you a quiet moment as needed.

Speaking of which:
There are New Player Briefings before the game starts, on Thursday and Friday until Time In on Friday 18:00, workshops and meetings and explanations on all aspects of the game.
Your Egregores (national magical mascots) are there to help new (and old) players in navigating the game. They are on your side, and their purpose is to help you. Ask them for help, explanations, directions, minor quests…
“I’m new to Anvil” is a code phrase, meaning “Help I’m a new player and don’t entirely understand”.
There will be a LOT of new players next event. You are not alone. Whether raising your weapon on the battleline, your purse in the marketplace, or your voice in song, there will be new brothers/sisters/others to be confused but enthusiastic alongside you.

Now, I’ve rambled long enough myself, so I’ll shut up and let you think up some more questions.

As well as these forums, there are many Facebook pages, for nations and for interests (Artisans, Magicians, etc), on which you may find assistance. And of course there’s the wiki, don’t fall in. :stuck_out_tongue:

I would advise having a poke around, making some friends, perhaps finding an in-game group to join.

Here is the Facebook page for the Marches, for reference:

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Geoffrey. What an amazing response. Now I have an image of me as a Landskeeper with a fancy staff that has a spade on the bottom, just to dig random soil samples and declare them worthy or pathetic! ahaha. Lots to think on nevertheless and great advice!

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Welcome to Empire, and the forums! Geoffrey has done a fab job of covering things, as always :slight_smile:

It’s okay to be intimidated - there’s a lot going on, there’s loads of players and the wiki is indeed huge and somewhat confusing if you don’t really know what you’re looking for. Thankfully, Amy here on the forum has done a fantastic job of summarising some of the things you might need to know as a new player:

They may look at bit lengthy at first glance, but it’s not all information you’re going to need - and it’s a lot easier than navigating the wiki unaided! Obviously if there’s anything you’re unsure of, or want more detail on, just give us a wave. We really enjoy discussing Empire after all!

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Former player of a Landskeeper here.
I think it’s a great choice for a starting PC, as you have inbuilt reasons to be parochial and local in your thinking. It’s a character type that cares about “what is good for the Marches” and specialises in using knowledge and usually magic to do good for the Marches. As such, you don’t actually need to know or care what’s going on outside the Marches, or even your home territory.

If your patch is “The Heath, Upwold”, you might know that area like the back of your hand, and not concern yourself with things you can’t influence outside there. So then you start with a nice question of “What has got the local Landskeeper so fired up that they walk all the way to Casinea for a big conference?”. In my case, as a Monk specialised in Winter magic it was “Someone dropped a shitload of curses on the Marches and I’m not putting up with that”.

Plot ideas you might want to use:

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Thanks for the link back :slight_smile:

@JLyons It can be really intimidating for new players, but Empire really does do a fabulous job of easing people into it with New Player Briefings, people available to help you on the in-character field (Egregores, Civil Servants and Refs) and people available in the out-of-character area (GOD help desks)

Majority of players still remember when they were new and (as mentioned above) “I’m new to Anvil” and a confused look will twig people into explaining everything a bit more.

Key things to avoid if you want gentle ease in:

  • Deliberately not following the Empire Religion. Accidentally forgetting and being corrected = not a problem, but doubling down and insisting that “Courage isn’t a virtue” or “Gods are real” will get you a lot of bother.
  • Committing crimes like robbery or assault or murder. These are viable in-game actions but will prompt people to arrest and possibly execute you after a speedy trial.
  • Challenging for a contested Imperial Position immediately
    This is a good way to make a political enemy before you expect it. Find out who is currently doing a job, how it gets decided, talk to previous incumbents before jumping in. Then jump in when you know who you want to set yourself against, and who will have your back.

Better gentle start tricks

  • I am from a small village and have never come to the big festival of Anvil
    Give your character reasons to be mildly overwhelmed IC & set really modest goals for yourself for the first day: drink in a bar in another nation, meet a genuine Dawnish Earl, watch a session of Senate or Conclave
  • I really care about 1 specific thing from the wiki:
    Do you know those politicians who only ever talk about one specific issue? Channel them. @Jim made some great possible suggestions, and I’m sure there are more on the wiki. You could come up with a solution, or just be outraged and raise awareness of the problem. Benefits of this is you only need to know a lot about this one thing, because it’s what you start your conversation with & rely on other players to teach you in-character about the things they care about.
    But! moderate your out-of-character expectation for the first game - don’t expect your first idea to succeed, it may take several games to get enough momentum to cause change. Make the goals: talk to lots of people about this thing, get this thing being talked about at higher levels, meet your senator/cardinal/archmage so that they know your name and that you care about this one thing.
  • “I an an x and we want to do y”
    Join a group and work towards their goals. This could be a smaller player group (e.g. ask on Marcher boards if anyone is recruiting Landskeepers), or could be in-character joining a political organisation like a Conclave order. Finding the other Landskeepers, asking what they plan to do this event & do they need any help feels like the obvious one there.

Obligatory pitch:
Come to the Imperial Offices, we offer players old and new advice on how to achieve their political goals & hire people to gather information, attend important meetings and pursue the Throne’s agenda (when there is one :sob: Lisabetta :sob: )

Hope that helps, look forward to meeting you one day!

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Everybody:
Your replies have all been inspiring and are filling me with much more confidence. I’ll admit, LARP has never been on my Radar until the last few weeks. And it’s a hobby that (although arguably similar to my reenacting in some regards) is WAY outside my comfort zone. Which is why I am wanting to try. And all of oyu are helping amazingly im curbing some of that fear. Thank you! I have been given endless welcomes and resources to file through as I start forming my character idea and begin looking for kit. So, form the bottom of my anxious heart, thank you. I really do hope I get to meet many of you in person, share a drink or a chat.

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Just a little additional thought are you also sorted for the logistical stuff of camping too?

If you’re not, or your stuff might need an upgrade (being comfortable overnight makes everything else soo much more fun) it’s worth looking out for sales at the end of this month. We can offer suggestions there too if that would be helpful?

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