First Event. Too many nations to decide from!

I know you guys must get 10000000000 posts about this but I am not sure which nation to join! I hear wintermark is very over populated so this may be the last nation I consider.

I definelty want to get involved in the magic side of Empire, but the everyday chats and cool adventures is also a high point on my to-do list.

Listening to a few podcasts I have come to the impression people spend quite a bit on costumes/weaponry. Is this the case and if so, is there any ‘semi cheap’ stores to buy these from (UK)

I may bring a friend of mine to the first event and wondered if any halls/nations/people wanted to group together with newbie Larpers to help get our feet into the vastness of empire to help us along the first few things before allowing us to just becoming immursed in the RP.

Thanks for any help that is offered and I hope to see you all sometime in the future! Enjoy your games guys!

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If you want to get involved in magic Urizen might be a good one to look at!

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All the Nations have magicians - Urizen is quite heavily focused in that direction, as noted.

What sort of personality are you thinking? What sort of overall character? The Nations are all quite distinct, and each have very clear archetypes and cultural lenses.

For reference (because I see this a lot), hall is a specifically Wintermark term (it’s the standard group of people). The generic name is normally “group” (to encompass Freeborn families, Urizen spires, Highborn chapters and so on and so on).

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Yup, from that I would definitely look at Urizen - you can generally get cheap-ish Urizen kit mostly off Ebay by using a thobe for an underlayer and layering whatever pastel coloured vaguely robe-ish garments you like the look of on top, then buying a nice hero belt or wide sash to finish it off. Velvet Glove also do a nice range of reasonably priced plain robes for layering.


There will almost certainly be groups in any nation eager to take in new larpers, and this goes double if you end up playing a ritualist magician - adding more ritualists is probably the most effective way for a coven to increase its overall power.

This, therefore, goes triple for Urizen, being a nation dominated by ritualist magicians.

Urizen’s a great nation and I can’t recommend it enough. That said, all the nations have really good, distinctive feels and they all have active magically-focused groups. It may be that another nation’s aesthetic, culture or approach to things matches what you’re looking for better - do you have any more details on what you’re looking for from a nation?


A surprisingly large amount of my LARP kit comes from Primark.


Welcome Sergeantelmo, to the game and the forums!

Much good advice has already been provided, I will confirm that MANY groups (which includes spires, halls, houses, families, cartels, chapters, stridings, warbands and more) will happily accept new players in.

There are also some introduction meetings on the Friday afternoons, the Egregores (magical national spirits) are available to ask questions in play, and the phrase “I’m new to Anvil” is a useful in-game one that will cause people to explain carefully :slight_smile:

As for nation, magic is the Urizeni “hat”, but you could pick and choose really.

Costume: note that the people in the photos and the costume guides may have spent years building up those costumes a bit at a time! It’s intimidating, but that’s an end-goal more than a minimum standard.

There will be traders at the events, running from Das Shop (which is cheap, and accepts swaps) up to the high-end stuff where a shirt could cost you £50. For a frame of reference, there’s a list of traders on the wiki…


…and as mentioned, a surprising amount of kit can be cheaply assembled. Charity shops, cheap&cheerful outlets like Primark, and vintage/costume shops may have a variety of things you could use or adapt.

For example: A pair of plain cotton trousers, green or brown or black, no logos and not too new. A simple shirt, off-white, with a couple of buttons at the neck. Possibly £5 the pair from a charity shop. Adapt with scarves, belts, maybe an old waistcoat from the same places… Perfectly reasonable and basic “soft kit” (hard kit tends to be armour and top layers).

And that’s without you hunting elsewhere and being willing/able to do some tinkering. Ebay probably has a lot of old costume (from LARP, historical re-enactment and theatre) on it. Minor sewing (ribbons, patches, buttons) or painting (thorn designs, stylised animals, heraldry) can make a lot of difference.

Some basic kit + one or two other bits (tabard, cloak, bracers, sash, that sort of thing) is an excellent start.

Oh, and footwear. The general feeling at Empire is that costume stops at the ankle. Because it can be quite, quite muddy. So hiking/walking boots are often in evidence, as are cunningly disguised wellies :slight_smile: In the summer you’ll see people in impressive boots, sandals, bare feet… but don’t start like that…

The rule is that costume is aspirational. So turn up in the best you can manage, and people will be happy to give hints and suggestions as to upgrades.

And as with a lot of things, whatever you wear, someone will look much worse than you, and someone will look much better.



I’m wearing a Velvet Glove robe (cotton lined with Satin) in my profile pic☺

Kit costs can vary a lot on what character you want to play. People who choose to play dawnish knights in full plate armour obviously have had to make a much larger investment in their kit than people who don’t take the battlefield or take the battlefield without armour (such as some healers and mages)

If money for kit is a problem would recommend thinking about the following
Have you larped before and if so do you have any gear that you can reuse that would fit any of the nations?
You can get a very long way on plain trousers and a plain oldish style shirt (aquirable from cheap retailers and charity shops) with one piece of iconic nation distinct kit over the top.
Do you have any sewing or crafting skills? Making your own kit out of fabric from charity shops can be fairly cost effective depending on your skill level. Urizen robes, Highguard or Dawnish Surcoats and Wintermark tunics are all fairly easy to pattern and are very distinct for those nations.

— Note, I am as brand new to empire as you, and have only been to 2 other non-empire events, so it is likely I know NOTHING —

Hello! If you end up coming to Urizen either as a denizen or visitor I’ll be happy to meet up and bounce some RP off you. I have little idea what I am doing but as a fellow newbie am keen to have as many ‘baked in’ contacts and opportunities before the event as possible. From my previous experiences I have found this makes a big difference as an ‘in’ and confidence.

As a recent starter my plan was to pick what I invest in wisely and spend a decent amount on a few bits and then get basic stuff for the rest, with a mind in time to develop my attire evenly over a long period to break up the costs.

I picked a quality weapon and boots as these were the main suggestions when I asked/researched. Boots as it will get wet and you will be on your feet and weapon as weapon checks would risk any half-compromise costing weapon liable to be rendered unusable and therefore a waste of money.

I got my boots from a combination of detailed review-reviewing (and then sports direct (!!)). My sword in the end came from light armouries as I ended up cost-creeping myself but I also found good weapons on LarpInn and Grfb, and like my friend found waiting to buy in the field gives a good opportunity to have a feel of the weapons on the day (and the prices were the same). I’m not sure what is selling at e1 though.

My costume is all from eBay (and one or two charity shops). I found that putting the word ‘larp’ before an item just served to increase its cost by a third. This involved slightly time consuming searches of items for a few pounds which can be repurposed, dyed or slightly altered to suit the look. There is some excellent stuff if you just accept it’ll take an evening with a beer! Look up tutorials on layering it’s amazing how 2-4 simple inexpensive pieces together have an excellent effect.

I also ended up making a bunch of the simple stuff myself (cloaks, belts, basic tunics) more because I enjoy it and also it doesn’t cost too much so long as you have a few basic tools knocking about. This is something I only advise if you fancy the challenge or think you might enjoy the process rather than the default.

I am sure what I have just said may be completely wrong but hopefully it may be helpful!


Did you add yourself to the Urizen FB page yet mate (sorry for threadjack)?

Indeed I did! Took a while to get on, I’m coming on the one day more event as crew so will see you there!


Ah great stuff looking forward to meeting you there!

Most nations basic soft kit can be done very cheeply. A pair of dark linin/cotton trousers, plain shirt and then add something iconic like hats robes, waistcoats ect.
All nations have different ways of doing ritual magic. Freeborn sings it, marchers use a lot of mud (I joke, but only a little), Varushka do warding, high guard have a lot of bells and chanting ect.
If by mage you mean battle mage and you plan to take the field you will want some mage armour.

I will just say the one thing that nobody else seems to be saying: be careful about cheap weapons. There are some good, reputable traders who will sell you a decent dagger or rod for £20-30 (many of whom will be at Empire, so you can buy in-person at the event for real-world cash, preferably before time-in) and there will be many eBay foam weapons which will fail the safety check even though the seller has written ‘LARP-safe’ on the listing.

My advice is to buy your weapon on the field if you are not sure what you are doing. You can touch and hold and ask questions about the foam weapon you just fell in love with.


This is a very good point. Especially when looking for a Stab-Safe weapon or implement. I number of sellers are a bit “ambiguous” when asked.
For your first weapon, buy in field and talk to the sellers. Take a look at all the pretties.

Every character needs clothes, but not every character needs a weapon.