I am planning on attending Empire for the first time next April. Not only will it be my first time at Empire, but it will be my first LARPing experience. I have never done any type of role playing, so I basically know nothing.

I am planning on playing as Navarr and have started to formulate an idea of who my character is. One of my OOC traits is my love of music and I plan on incorporating this trait into my character. I play the guitar, drums and the didgeridoo. Which brings me to my question; would a didgeridoo be an appropriate or acceptable instrument for Empire? The didgeridoo is thought to be the world’s oldest non-percussive instrument, so it was certainly in use in the byzantine to renaissance time period, but only in Australasia.

If it is considered to be an appropriate IC instrument and I am playing it at an event, it seems inevitable that my character will be asked where he came into possession of such an exotic instrument, so my next question is; is there somewhere in the Empire which would be a suitable place to say I acquired the instrument from? Or is it okay for me to invent a place/country from where my character may have purchased it?


Sounds great take your pick of exotic locations from Asvea, to Summah as to where you got it IC. Navarr is exceptionally lucky to have some truly talented musicians, great to have another!


Thanks for the advise :slight_smile: Can’t wait for E1.

If you would like to claim that you believe your Striding (Steading) has preserved the art of playing this musical instrument since the hazy and distant past of the great civilisation of Terunael, of course, you can always go that route…

…And if you do that, please put it in your character background and get backgrounds@pd to tell you how much evidence you can expect supporting your wild claim.

(Terunael is about as far removed from Empire’s ‘present’ as ancient Rome is from the mediaeval period, and people claimed to have preserved all kinds of things from one to the other…)


That’s a great idea thanks :slight_smile: There’s so much to learn if you want to create a convincing character, I’d love to meet some other people playing Navarri to learn as much as possible to really flesh out my character before E1.

Quite a few Larp meetups happen across the country, it really depends where you are based. I’d suggest doing a shout out on the Navarr facebook board, and there are likely a few people near you!

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I pretty much boycott all social media, I find it very invasive and distracting, so I don’t have facebook. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to go to a meetup given that I haven’t been to Empire before.

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When you do get to empire, you will make contacts very quickly. Mostly everyone is friendly and even if they aren’t, it is probably because their character isn’t. I don’t have facebook either but I still have people to talk to when I get there. As a musician, people will always be happy to have you by their fire to entertain them at night so you shouldn’t difficult for you to find company.

You will have a lot of chance to play as the Navarr have a camp fire where they sing, tell stories and things like that. With a little bit of confidence you could go far with that. The league also hold competitions which you can enter to win money. I have been to both and made a fool of myself at both but still had good fun.

As everyone has said above, I don’t think you need to worry about the didgeridoo not fitting in. People have brought clarinets and everyone has been fine with that. A didgeridoo looks more suitable so I would be very surprised if it isn’t allowed.

Welcome to Empire and to larping. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask them.

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Thanks, that sounds amazing. I wish there was more larping content on youtube. I’ve watched the tabletop weekly vids and a few others, but there’s not a whole lot of stuff on there. I know people aren’t usually permitted to film at Empire, but some more video content about larping gear and some Empire specific vids would be nice. Do you happen to know of any audio/visual sources of information? i did find Matt Pennington’s youtube channel, but he’s only got a few vids on there. They were good but not a lot of Empire specifics.


There are very few videos of empire. You may find people talking about it and you may find a few pictures on the wiki but other than that, you sort of have to wait until you get there. The stuff you would need would be fairly standard stuff, things that you could find out more about from most larp youtube channels. One thing to remember with empire is that your footwear is considered OOC (out of character) which means wear things for practically instead of for aesthetics (unless of course you want to). Then is the costume which the wiki talks about. A good place to start when making your own is your wardrobe, charity shops and friends. This allows you to keep it cheap. If you have money then you can buy all the clothes from various places.

If you aren’t sure how to put together the clothes or make them, then look it up on youtube. The actual costume making should be quite easy to find as not just larpers do it.

If you have been camping before then you will have a head start. Half of the battle is sleeping in a field for the two days. If you aren’t so sure about that, you can look that up or I can tell you what you need to know. I have had quite extensive experience in camping, though I am no expert.

There is an empire pod cast We made a podcast . This may help with getting an idea of what empire is like. When I first turned up to empire, I found it was not what I had imagined. It seemed more magical as I was actually there, caught up in other peoples imagination and barrelled along with their characters. I’ve now attended three events. I certainly haven’t found the same wonder going back but I feel more invested now and things are more interesting.

You will also need to consider what things might want to do. There is combat, politics, magic and religion as the main categories. On top of that there is trading, conversing, entertainment and trying to find people or items. If you are going into combat then I recommend buying yourself a weapon. It would probably be quite hard to make one that looks good and is larp safe. A short sword would be the bare minimum. I can tell you more about these categories (except politics) and how they work.

If you don’t do well with longs blocks of text then please say and I will try and cut down on what I say if you need any more information from me.


The more information the better, thanks :slight_smile: I definitely want to do combat, with shield and either a sword or spear. And I was thinking of making some beef jerky and mead to sell as well, thought it would be a good way to go around speaking to lots of different people and make a bit of cash.

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Thanks for the mention of the podcast IWillGetThingsRong. We definitely things wrong a lot on there. CaptainSafar I would highly recommend getting your weapons(s) at the event or at a LARP fair. Getting a feel of a few different weapons really helps find the right one. Also over pack soft kit (no fighting clothing) and make sure if the weather turns rubbish you can change and keep warm. E1 last year was brutal. Navarr and Empire people in general are a fantastic bunch. It took me a while to get comfortable and be confident in RP but nothing in life is worth doing if it’s too easy right? Good luck!


@DaveWinpenny No problem, I think it is deserving of all recognition it receives.

He is right about E1 last year. It rained really heavily and one of the nations got their own little river. The mud got so bad that the sole of one person’s boot came off (I blame Wintermark for all the mud churning). The Navarr camp is in a wooded area, this means that you will have more protection from above but you will have a lot more mud (Also it is right next to the imperial orcs so be careful you don’t wander in unannounced, they don’t like it when you do that).

To use a shield you will need to spend 2xp to get the 'shield. To use a spear you will need to spend 2xp to get ‘weapon master’. You may use a buckler without a skill however if you go for a spear, you can’t use it as you must have two hands on the spear, at least 18" apart, while fighting. The spear is the only weapon you can stab with if it is stab safe, which gives you a huge advantage but a shield gives cover for you and your allies. It really depends on what you like to do. If you really aren’t sure which to pick, you can wait until you get to the event before spending your xp. They have computers in G.O.D (Games operation desk) where you can edit your character or make a new one.

I think that you would make money selling beef jerky but I think it is one of the more popular things to sell so you might need to have some kind of spin to it. You could use your music to attract people and then sell them the food while they are listening. This would require some help but I’m sure someone would be willing to do it. Selling food is a good way of finding conversation but with most people, if they aren’t busy, you can really just go up and start talking to them. Stand out from the crowd a bit and they may even come up to you but don’t go out of your way to do this as it could come across as a bit much.

If you want to try combat before actually sending your character in a possibly getting them killed, you can try monstering. It is at the end of the road that G.O.D is on. You turn up just before 9:00 and they give you a shirt, some armour, an orc mask and some black makeup. I had a go of doing this. It was good fun and you get to see what things are like without the pressure of having to fight well. As an orc, your main job is to give the players a good battle, this can be from your skill or from the lack of it. Of course, jumping straight into the deep end may be most enjoyable but it depends on what kind of person you are. If you want a more detailed look on combat then I can send you the link to one of my other topics about combat where I reveal I have no idea about archery and everyone else gives some good information.

Are you planning on wearing any armour?


Welcome along CaptainSafar, to the hobby and the game!

Yes, Dave’s podcast (Noobs at larp) is probably an excellent started for joining Navarr. Just be wise, and learn from their mistakes :slight_smile:

You’ve got plenty of time to prepare at this stage, so ask around on these forums, including in the Navarr one. They’re all fairly busy.

I avoided Facebook for years, and only joined in order to better co-ordinate my Empire stuff. It’s not compulsory by any means.

Having an instrument and an exotic one at that will likely get you several conversations and friends. Along with tasties to sell, it’s an excellent way to get out and about, and explore a bit.

As you can tell, I and many others are happy to answer questions and chat about these things. :smiley:


Thanks man. Just listened to your interview with Matt Pennington and Graeme Jamieson, very informative, hope you do another one. Any specific tips or advise you could give me on playing a Navarri?

I need to read through the combat rules a few more times to absorb it properly i think :slight_smile:

My current plan is an asymmetric look with my armour; leather gauntlet on one arm, leather bracer on the other. single shoulder armour and harness some sort of leather chest piece and the mempo mask from larp warriors (dunno if the mask would count towards my hits?)

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Yeah I hope i can learn a lot from the podcasts, the interview was good.

I might have to make a facebook account just for larping, it seems like an invaluable source of info and contact. Perhaps it could be my characters facebook page :smiley:

I still don’t completely understand armour but, if I remember correctly, all you need is your torso covered and one other location (arms, legs, head). Once you have this full set, you gain the full effect of the armour. The only two benefits of having armour in all locations is for aesthetics or if your armour blocks cleave and or impale as they are only blocked by the areas covered by armour. I see no reason why a mask wouldn’t count to your hits, but maybe to be safe add a helmet.

Your idea of asymmetry sounds like an interesting idea. The Navarr don’t really go for uniformity. They are known for their combat prowess (I think this is one of the reasons why they are one of the most popular groups for new players. This means they will be used to dealing with new players and there will be people in the same boat as you). I remember when I was monstering, one person from Navarr walked straight up to me. I went to go and hit him and though ‘no, no-one would be crazy enough to walk out of their line, into the enemies line and just casually walk around, they must be dead and moving somewhere’ so I walked away. I think they got a bit annoyed with me because they wanted to fight and they thought I had just ignored them and that I wasn’t being a good barbarian. That is an example of how crazy the Navarr can be in combat, however I wouldn’t recommend fighting like that. The Navarr are proud of their reputation and would happily sing about it.

I know you didn’t ask me, but I thought I may as well give you my thoughts about what define the Navarr. Other than what I have just said, they seem to have a solidarity about them. The Navarr are about surviving so it is natural that they will have a strong connection with each other as staying alive is made easier through co-operation. The other nations will look at you as the ‘tree people’, slightly crazy people who care less about money and more about comradery and having a good time. A performer would be payed for preforming in I think all nations except around the Navarr camp fire. I was told that last time that some of the Navarr were sharing drinks out for anyone from Navarr. What I can see is that you don’t make money but you don’t spend it either. This is sort of the opposite of the brass coast and league where you are always looking to make money but always seeming to spend it. Of course what I have said is a generalisation and in the end you can play your character in anyway you want to play them. They could be a complete coward and the interesting part about them is that they have to deal with the fact they are with a bunch of people who like fighting. You just sort of need the basic ideas behind what it is to be Navarr.

A final thing that you should know. If you are a new player, you should probably look for your nations Eregore. They are sort of the arbiters of what it is to be part of a nation, while you are in the field. They are known to help new players out as they are sort of a centre to a nations camp, they may not get all the details of the each individual group of the camp but they will probably have a good overview of what is going on as most people will deal with them at one point or another.

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FYI, the armour page specifies a helm for the head location in order to get hits.

Just a note on something said further up, that footwear is considered OOC - be careful with this line of thought. Of course consider comfort, warmth and waterproofing, but also don’t go with something that looks completely out of place. This may seem obvious, but I saw a guy at E4 wearing high-tops with a large white Nike tick on them, and it was super jarring…

EDIT: also a didgeridoo is definitely unusual, and will no doubt get you some attention! Having snacks to sell to people while they listen does no harm :wink:


I saw the same guy. Didn’t say anything at the time, but it’s worth noting that this is specifically against the rules.

(emphasis mine).

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