Eva Foam Armour - Leather Immitation

Hello, newbie here, April will be mine and my friends first event, we’re very excited! :slight_smile:

My friend is a vegetarian, and doesn’t believe in using leather to make his armour, he has no problem with anyone else using leather or furs but he would prefer not to wear it himself. His character wouldn’t wear chain or metal armour because its not really the ascetic he wants.

So my question is;

If you are not okay with real genuine leather armour, is it okay for that person to have imitation foam leather armour?

Thank you for your time :smiley:

I think it depends on how it looks. I’ve seen people walking around wearing papier mache stuff. No one has commented on it.

If they are going to make imitation leather then they would have to be sure that they it will look realistic and if someone interreacts with it, it will act in a similar way to leather.

I don’t know how easy it would be to do but maybe they could try making it from reeds and wood instead. It might be harder but it would be an interesting look.

May I ask which nation you are going for? That will also determine what they can wear. For the marchers you could wear gambeson as light armour. It wouldn’t work so well for navarr. I hope this will be some help, I think it would be a good idea if you email profound decisions about it to make sure.

(Sorry I forgot to say welcome. I keep doing that, I get caught up in trying to help and usually I do it while I’m tired. Anyway, welcome to larping and empire, if you have any more questions feel free to ask.)

Welcome along, you and your friend!

Imitation fur is commonplace, and there are a few forms of imitation leather in use, though I know little more than that.

Imitation foam leather armour… Does it look like leather, but is actually a dense foam of some sort… or does it look like foam and is just pretending to be leather?

If the former, good. If it can look the part, and meet the criteria of the armour rules (and any judgements of the on-field referees, then great, it’s leather armour. Light armour, possibly even medium.

A better description and maybe some photos would help, but this sort of thing is usually ruled on by the refs on site.

Here, by the way, is the armour synopsis:



Sorry i forgot to say!

We’re going to be in the brass coast, so brightly dyed leather armour, chainmail /scalemail and metal armour are more our thing, i’m not sure if gambeson and wood/reed would really fit.

My other friend is wearing fur with brightly colored leather but that’s because of her backstory. She’s worried fur in the brass coast isn’t allowed, but I said it would be okay if there’s a good reason.

Is that true do you think?

And yes, I’d be crafting the leather foam armour, it does indeed look more like leather then foam with the right texture, colour and thickness.

1 Like

Quoting from that page: “Costume made from foam or karrimat does not count as armour.”

My impression is that the reasons behind that that rule were probably a mixture of

  • wanting IC armour to look good OOC
  • wanting to ensure that real armour is never worse in a fight than similar-looking costume-armour: leather is significantly heavier and stiffer than foam, so if the rules treated them equally then the real stuff would be a worse choice.

If it is in her backstory, it is fine for the first event. It would be a good idea to modify it slightly for the next event. Clothes to the brass coast are fairly important. It is considered that you imprint part of your soul on your clothes so no one else may wear it. I thought I would tell you this, just in case her backstory is that it belonged to someone else and she is wearing it in honour of them.

Gambeson isn’t really brass coast. The wood/reed may work depending on how it is done. The brass coast are usually a little bit lighter in combat than dawn or high guard.

If you can’t get the imitation leather thing working and your friend really wants armour, they could pick up the battle mage skill and then wear mage armour which gives you a greater ranger of materials you can use I believe.

Fun fact, you do not have to have the armour showing for its effect to be felt. That means your friend can wear gambeson under their clothes and be fine.

Another quick question: what kind of roles will you be playing? What are you looking to do? This may effect what you wear a bit.

I’ve read the page, but I couldn’t help thinking things cant be that black and white, there must be exceptions.
Someone not wanting real leather armour due to their beliefs but being punished and saying no matter how realistic it can be it’s a hard no and that’s that, feels wrong.

I mean, I’m not naive, I understand they want authenticity with costume for everyone and some people would abuse a rule saying “all foam allowed” but in these certain circumstances (Morally apposed to leather) It would seem right.

Our roles will be; me being a trader/mage, our leather apposed friend is thinking about a roguish sort of character, and my fur wearing friend is going to our guard/fighter, the last friends a mage.
Bit of a rag tag group but there you go! :stuck_out_tongue:

And because I wanted to be a trader we’ll (hopefully) have a small shop run by me and my guard.
The others are looking to find their feet, so they’re not really sure yet.


I suspect that if it looks like leather, you’ll be okay.

Brightly coloured leathers, dyed or colourful furs, sounds fine for the Brass Coast. I’m not too familiar with the Freeborn backstory, but I suspect some of the more inland groups wear leathers, and there’s always the back-up excuse “ah, there is an interesting tale behind that, let me explain…”

A set of light leathers for a rogue is unlikely to be too over the top, you’ll probably be fine. As long as the guard isn’t wanting the same stuff made into cuirbolli (the heavy, boiled leather, many layers and riveted together look), you can probably get away with making it out of non-leather materials.

Have you considered asking about this on the relevant facebook group? I believe there are a couple for LARP costume and prop maufacturing…?

Thanks for replying everyone :smile: I like this forum.
I hadn’t thought about the facebook groups, I was just hoping to get some advice here first about if its okay but yes, now you mention it I’ll look into that thanks :smiley:

1 Like

There isn’t too much of an opportunity for sneaky stuff that a rouge would typically do in something like D and D. If they are going for the more swash buckling rouge type idea then perhaps the corsair archetype is what they are after.

There are also two kinds of mages: The ritualist and the mage. The mage then breaks down into the support mage and the battle mage and the ritualist breaks down into the ritualist and the arcane projectionist. Depending on what you go for will depend on what kind of game you will have. If you play the hakima archetype (magic users and scholars held in high esteemed) then your guard friend could go for the kohan archetype as they are known for serving the hakima.

If you are going to become a ritualist then you will need to know about the realms of magic. This side is more role play heavy but will mean you have fewer points for battle skills if you want to fight. It also has less immediate effects as you need to set things up and then sometimes wait for things to work.

Do you have a tent you are going to run the shop from or are you going to have a box you carry around to sell from. If you are going to be stationary then I recommend you contact profound decisions about getting a place to set up.

(I hope I’m not bombarding you with too much information, if I am, feel free to tell me to shut up, I can go on for hours so you can’t really wait for me to just stop unless I feel things have been concluded sufficiently enough that the other party, you in this case, is able to get on with the game without feeling they need to worry.)

I think your best bet is probably to talk to PD: I think the rules@ email address would be the one. Perhaps offer to send a small piece of the imitation-leather in the post: I don’t think they’d commit to making a decision based on just a description of the stuff.

(Personally I imagine it’s likely you can find some substitute/imitation they’ll accept as counting at least as light armour, but I don’t think EVA foam would do it: all the EVA foam I’ve seen has been very squidgy.)

1 Like

Yes, a corsair, I forgot the name, silly me, that’s what he was looking at.
Kind of swashbuckling daring sea captain kind of feel, with a leather shoulder/horizontal bandolier.

Both me and the other mage are still unsure so your descriptions are a big help.
I’ve read about the hakima and kohan so we’re looking into that.

We we’re just going to run our small business out of our tent/outdoor canopy, I didn’t think player businesses had any sort of priority/space made for them anywhere?

(You’re really helpful, thank you, I’m just full of worries and love talking to someone who’s been before, so I’d love to continue this conversion another time, I’ve got to go to bed sadly, but its nice meeting you :slight_smile: )

1 Like

Thank you for your help, your right, asking PD directly is my only definite answer. I just wanted to see what other players thought first in case I was wasting their time :stuck_out_tongue:

It is nice to meet you as well. I can answer any more questions tomorrow. I think bed is a very sensible idea as otherwise my brain is going to travel to a weird place and suddenly Gandalf the dinosaur will become a thing.

To answer your question about fur, I try to envisage kit as a whole. Could someone, at twenty paces, instantly clock you as Freeborn? If they can, that bit of fur is probably fine. If you find yourself being mistaken for a Varushkan or from Wintermark, consider scaling it back.

The harder you hit the core brief (tagelmust, scarves, jewellery, absence of black and white) the easier it is to drop in the odd not-quite-on-brief piece if you really want to.

If it’s warmth that they want the fur for, thermals and waterproofs under your kit are your friend! And more scarves!


I’m almost certain that foam is only allowed for Mage Armour (if that), but there are non-leather options available. Padded cloth armour like gambesons/arming jacks count as light armour, and hard polyurethane armour like the kind manufactured by Norton Armouries and Wyrmwick Creations count as medium.

1 Like

I’ve heard of vinyl floor covering being used as a vegan equivalent to heavy leatherwork (Medium Armour for Empire) before. It had a similar thickness and bendiness. And Darkblade has made vegan equipment before IIRC.

If you’re in the Brass Coast, a padded set of Light Armour gets around this problem while being very much on brand. Both from the cultures that inspired the Freeborn, and on a lot of the armour descriptions:
Gambesons are fairly cheap, and you can easily fabric-dye a cotton one to be not white and then add ribbons to the lace holes.

I wouldn’t wear furs as a Freeborn. The top bit of backstory advice I can give is to pick stuff you like from the brief and then play that brief hard, rather than trying hard to stand out from it. It helps you get engaged as a new player because you’re connected to the rest of the Nation. If something’s not really with the look of your nation, write your backstory to avoid it . Characters become special because of what they do in uptime, not what they did in backstory. And I say this as a player of a PC who has a fair amount of backstory Stuff, but doesn’t display it openly.

The idea of the Nations is to give a unified base look so that people stand out in small ways by what they do within that look. If you already have a fur-trimmed cloak, fair enough. But spending money on new things that are off-brief only serves to dilute your look. Save your cash for things that make you look the part. Money you spend on furs is money you can’t afford to spend on jangly metal things and sashes :slight_smile: .


I think fur totally works for Brass Coast. You just need to think beyond big hulking bear or wolf pelts - cow/goat hides, leopard/lion patterns, crocodile skin etc.

Pleather - PVC ‘leather’ on a fabric background can easily be used in place of real leathers. It might require layering over something else to thicken it up to provide more realistic protection (IC and OOC) and to have it hold shape. It comes in many colours and can be distressed or stained to make it look more natural.

Mandala Studios have made quilted gambesons for a group in the Brass Coast before. They are totally a thing that can work in the nation: Coat of a Thousand Nails


I was going to talk about fur and gambesons in the Coast- but then @tehancocks said pretty much what I was gunna say.

It’s worth noting there’s a population of lions in the Coast, and it gets awfully cold both out at sea and in the mountains of Kahraman.