Foreigner with far to many questions!

Hello everyone!

I have looked around the forum and wiki but I have some pretty specific questions that I couldn’t find answers too (maybe I didn’t know where to look).
I should probably explain my situation first to give some context. I’m currently living in Portugal (where there are no Larp events) and I have decided I wanna go for it and fly to Empire as my first event (in June). But duo to this some problems have arrived. And these are (some) of them!

1 - Is it possible to rent or borrow a tent that isn’t massive? I’m most likely going alone and paying so much for a huge tent isn’t viable. I can’t bring a tent on the airplane with me so I don’t really have a plan.

2 - Again duo to the flight (and cost) I can’t make/bring armor with me. Is there any way I could borrow or rent some at the event? The same goes for weapon and maybe a shield. I’m not planing to be in the front lines but I also don’t want my character to die in 2 hits. (I’m thinking of becoming a physick)

3 - Are people carpooling from places? I’ll be flying to Birmingham and, though the train is a great option, I have quite a bit of anxiety so finding my way around a foreign city… Having people to meet up with and chat with before the event is probably not a bad idea to calm myself down.

The rest will be pretty much questions about the event itself

4 - Is it possible to use the campfires I have seen in pictures to make food or make tea? I’m used to camping so I know how to boil water over an open flame but I’m not sure what the rules are.

5 - Wanting to play a physick I had some doubts about physical representation. Can I use glass bottles for potions (I couldn’t find plastic)? Do potions need to be drinkable? If I give someone the physical representation how will I get it back?

6 - How much do potions (and items) actually cost in game?

7 - What kind of make-up is allowed IC? I was thinking of maybe using golden eye-shadow (Freeborn) and maybe nail polish but I’m not sure if that’s appropriate.

8 - Is it allowed to bring a pocket knife? Just for sharpening a stick for example (I wanted to bring marshmallows and I would need a sharp stick :joy:)

9 - How do I join a group IC? I may have a friend with me but its not probable and being alone at an event this big seems horrible.

I may end up with more questions later on (I am quite an over planner) but thats all I could think of for now! I’m so sorry for the many questions! And even more if some have been answered before.

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First of all, welcome. :slight_smile:

  1. You may have difficulty renting a tent from PD. There are some, but they’re in very high demand, so I wouldn’t bank on being able to get one. If you don’t mind camping in the OOC field, hike tents or similar are widely available. You should be able to get one which packs small enough to bring on a plane, or you could buy a cheap festival-tent in the UK, although this may not be the best idea if the weather turns rough.

  2. If you join a group, there may well be someone able to lend you armour. If you ask around in your nation, you might find it, but it’s a gamble. Unfortunately, armour is often the most expensive part of people’s kit and does need to fit fairly well. You can get by without, though, especially as a physick, it just requires some caution.

  3. There is a facebook group for travel estrangements, where you can find people travelling from the same place as you. https://www.facebook.com/groups/359403560824018/

  4. There are no rules restricting cooking on fires, although all of the fires belong to people/groups. If you are in the brass coast, it would be entirely acceptable to offer someone a few rings in exchange for borrowing their fire to cook on. Similar things may be available in other nations.

  5. You can use glass bottles for potions, although most people advise against them for battlefield use in case you fall on top of it. If a potion is not drinkable, or contains alcohol, you need to make that VERY clear to anyone you hand it to. It is generally safest to make everything drinkable. Water and food colouring can produce plenty of cool effects, however.
    In general, the patient will take a potion immediately and hand the physrep back to you. If, for whatever reason, you get separated before this happens, most people are good about tracking down the owners of physreps and handing them back.

  6. This varies wildly, depending on which potion and what the price of herbs is doing.

  7. All make up is allowed! However, be careful not to tread into Lineage territory if your character is not Lineaged. Mettalic colouring on the skin is one of the marks of a Cambion. On it’s own, I doubt it would be a problem, especially without horns.

  8. Yes, although it’s a bad idea to carry it around all the time. Ideally keep it in your tent for use when needed. Also, consider that if you are flying, it will need to be in the hold luggage.

  9. Being alone is not necessarily bad, but a group certainly makes for a fun experience. The best way to find groups who are looking for more members is to join your Nation’s facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/481197761897569/
    Post in there asking to join a group, or just make friends with people and go pester them in the field.

Let me know if you have any other questions,
Sahir i Projimo i Erigo
(fire available, reasonable rates, inquire within.)

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Thank you so much for the answers! I really appreciate it! I’m currently working on a character so this might cause more questions to arise!

Thank you again!

To add to what @slawterer says, for about 2 years I made use of a “3-person” tent which packed up into a pretty easy-to-carry tube. Keep an eye on the weather, but modern tents tend to compress down well and having an in-character tent isn’t essential for a solo player.

Bear in mind that you don’t have to go to the battles if you don’t want to - it’s a purely optional thing. I know a lot of physicks (including me, once upon a time!) who stay behind to treat the wounded when they come back from battles. Weapons are easier to purchase at an event, but you may face transport issues back. Again, borrowing can be an option.

Yes, so long as you observe normal fire safety rules and ask the owner of the fire first. There are also lots of places to buy food & drink for Sterling or in-character money.

As a Freeborn: as much as people pay for them! In practical terms, most manufactured items can be expected to be priced by adding together all the ingredient costs and adding on a small amount for the crafter’s time. Ingredients can be roughly priced by comparing the output of, say, a mine to a business (so 12 ingots is roughly 9 crowns) - but this is very rough and subject to inflation & demand.

PD discourage open discussion of prices online as 1) they vary massively and 2) it ensures that bartering/negotiating happen at the game itself.

The key question here is “could this be confused for the trappings of a lineage?” - if so, then avoid it (as you can’t disguise yourself as a lineage without magic). I would avoid metallic nail polish for this reason, but golden eye shadow is probably fine.

Are you playing a family member, kohan or hakima?

If kohan or hakima, it’s quite easy to turn up and say you’re looking for a group of kohan/hakima to join - likely because you had disagreements with your previous group, or because they died. As a family member, you might have to be adopted/marry into a family to join them, which would be slightly more involved - but could be more interesting!

Ultimately, if you don’t have any luck asking online, just asking around at the event is not a bad idea - it could be a good goal to have to start with.

I wish you the best of luck with planning and preparation! Just ask if you have any more questions, we’re a friendly bunch. You can also email the Profound Decision New Player Team at new.player@profounddecisions.co.uk with any questions or queries.

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Hello and welcome.
Have you joined the Brass Coast Facebook group or the New Player Support Page?
I cant link to them (at work atm) but some one should come along and post it. Ask around on there. You may find some one who can loan a spare tent, and such.
Armor is tricky to find that fits, but a spare sword or such is usually up for grabs for new players. (I may have something you can borrow for the event)
You can cook on fires and the free born tend to have a few big ones. Rather than trying to bring your own stuff (snacks and such are a must) ask one of the groups who do group cooking and if you can chip money into the collective meals?
Their are caterers on site (https://www.profounddecisions.co.uk/empire-wiki/Event_information#Food_and_Drink) so you don’t have to cook everything.

As for phys reps for physik, small plastic bottles are perfect. or solid resin. I would avoid glass unless they are quite tough/thick. Potions don’t have to be drinkable. Fill them with some ink/water and food dye and glue them shut. Also the way you role play healing can be very different depending on nations and traditions.
Hope that answered some questions

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So it might be possible to find a lift, However, being familiar with that airport, you do not need to go through Birmingham city to get to the event. The airport has it’s own station that’s clearly signposted, and you can get a direct train from that station, to Banbury where the minibus runs.

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Welcome along!

As you can see, we’re a friendly bunch happy to answer questions.

I strongly advise finding a group to play with before you come, and they will likely help you with character issues. And yes, maybe even be able to lend armour/weaponry.

If you are joining the Brass Coast, I suspect that popping up in their facebook page or asking on here will get you several offers of groups :slight_smile:

I can also advise, as this will be your first LARP event, that you arrive a little early if you can. If you can come on Thursday, you’ll have more time to meet people, listen to stories, and get things explained, as well as find and help out your group. There are also a series of “New player” workshops to let you get some practice with the game before it starts…

But whatever you choose to do, feel free to ask further questions on here, as frequently as you like :slight_smile:

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It’s a lot easier to camp in the OOC (out of character) camping area, especially if you’re coming alone and from overseas, since you don’t have to worry about your tent being suitably in-character, not to mention organising space with the camp planners. If you’re sleeping OOC, you just turn up on the day with a tent and find a place to pitch up!
The same could be said about food - if you don’t have a group to organise meals with, you can feed yourself from the various vendors that are onsite - most will be in the OOC area, but some (like Mhorish) will be IC locations as well. Budget for at least £6 a meal, maybe more (since you’ll be a lot more hungry than you usually are, trust me).

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  1. As other people have mention, you’ve probably missed the boat for PD tent hire. However, other people might have space in tents. Ask on the Brass Coast page perhaps? Carrying a small OOC tent on a plane is possible, but would be easier not to if you have to cram a lot of other kit for the weekend into a plane-sized and plane-weight bag. I used to travel by plane and packing character soft kit, overnight things, sleeping gear and OOC warm layers took up my entire luggage allowance. Brining enough warm layers is probably going to be even more important if you’re used to a much warmer climate, so I would strongly advise looking into tent sharing.

  2. I’m not aware of weapon and armour rental systems, but if you’re playing a physick, you don’t actually need either of these. I really think armour is overrated for low to non combat characters. Also if you’re behind the lines treating the wounded, you will be near other physicks so if anything does go wrong you should get healed quickly. You could also work in the Anvil Hospital which is by the sentinel gate and deals with all the difficult injuries when people return from battles and skirmishes, and never actually be on the battlefield yourself. Physick is a really good character choice for someone travelling by plane.

Other people have answered other questions, but to pick one out:

  1. Eye shadow is fine, but be really careful of looking lineaged. I have seen cambions without horns, and also heralds exist which often look kind of like lineaged people but with slightly different physrepping rules. So be careful of anything that looks remotely like lineage. Eyeshadow and nail varnish should be fine, but don’t extend the eyeshadow over most of your forehead for example. Unless you want to play a cambion, in which case go for maximum gold!
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It’s so amazing to see how nice everyone is! It really makes me feel like I can do this!

Talking about weather makes me wonder how the weather normally is in June? I thought it would be fairly warm and no rain duo to it being summer but maybe its different in the UK? I’m used to Portuguese weather (though for me summers here are way to warm).

To be honest the make-up and lineage was the think that made me ask the question, that and if make-up is a thing in Empire. I think I’ll just go with normal golden eye-shadow as I do remember that some lineage has metallic nails.

I’m gonna go with a family since I know that the other 2 options for the Freeborn are mages or fighters and since I’m not gonna be either of those family seems to be my remaining option. I’m gonna check out the facebook groups and see if I can find one!

I can’t seem to find any potion bottles that aren’t glass… Maybe I’m not looking in the correct places?

I was planing to do some grocery shopping while in Birmingham but if the airport is outside the city thats troubling. Is there a place to buy them in Banbury?

I’m almost certainly gonna be traveling on Thursday and back on Monday so I can join the workshops which is quite pleasant

I’m so sorry if I’m replying to these the wrong way. I didn’t wanna @ anyone just in case its annoying and I thought if I hit reply on a single persons post then it would be weird for me to talk about things others said. Is there a correct way to do this?

The problem with UK weather is that no-one knows what it will be like! Sure, it SHOULD be nice in June, but it also could be raining all weekend, unseasonably cold, unseasonably warm, blowing a literal gale, and everything in between (and sometimes more than one extreme over the course of a weekend). For example: PD banned ground-level fires for one event last year because of how dry and hot the weather hand been leading up to it. It then proceeded to rain quite heavily. So generally people advise new players to prepare for the worst, just in case.

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This is quite concerning! My whole outfit is quite based on the expectation of sun/warmer weather. Especially since I saw that the Freeborn wear a lot of flowing and light fabrics. Any advice for making an outfit warmer without it not looking right?

The UK is a lot less warm than Portugal - although the last couple of years we’ve had some warm summers, it’s entirely possible that we might have rain and/or wind in June. Checking the forecast (I recommend the UK met office - https://www.metoffice.gov.uk) the days before you travel is a good idea.

That being said, the June and July events are usually the best for weather. The first event of the year is usually the worst, and the last can be a bit variable.

From my perspective, just reply in whatever way works for you best. There’s no right or wrong way on the forum that I’m aware of!

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Check out some outdoor shops for thermal layers to wear under your kit - you may not need them, but if you do, they’re an invisible way to add warmth. Think about a cloak for night time use, or just for bad weather. Even if it’s warm during the day, the temperature can drop at night, and a good cloak is always nice to wrap yourself in.

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Thank you! I’ll be sure to do that then.

Any recommendations on where to find a good cloak? Are there any at the event itself? Portugal isn’t the best place for this kind of stuff unfortunately.

The traders will definitely have a wide range of cloaks at the event, going shopping is a fun pastime by itself, even if you don’t want to buy anything.

One thing you might also want to consider is footwear (if you haven’t already). Decent boots are a must, especially if you’re planning to go into battle. Even if you’re not, uncertain weather means that the possibility of mud is high. There’s been events where the ground has been baked hard and dusty but in general, prepare for mud.

There’s a popular saying that “kit ends at the ankle” and while that’s technically not true (there’s rules against sneakers), what it really means is that good walking/hiking/combat boots (and sometimes, when necessary, gumboots/wellingtons) are appropriate and a good idea for everyone. Much better to have dry feet than anything else.

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The Brass Coast (I have thought ever since the first Empire event) have a definate advantage in terms of dressing for the weather. They can dress right down to a light vest and swooshy trousers, and stick a dozen warm layers on underneath :slight_smile:

On the tent issue (yes, camp OOC) here’s a plan.

  1. Join a group by agreement on Facebook or wherever.
  2. Ask them to buy you a small tent (2 man plus, a cheap one) for the weekend. Let’s assume it’ll be a nice weekend (risky but plausible). You promise to pay them back or to sell it on.
  3. You meet them on site on Thursday, pay them back, take possession of your tent, and use it for the weekend.
  4. Afterwards, you pack down your tent, and either take it home, or sell it to the group for a small amount.

Just a suggestion, but it might work?

And you’re replying fine :slight_smile:

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I’m flying in from the US on Thursday of E1 this year, so I can appreciate where you’re coming from. You’d be surprised how much you can bring with you in terms of gear though. If you plan on attending regularly, it may be worth getting with someone to share a storage unit or to hold onto your large/heavy equipment between events.

As an aside, I’ll be moving to Portugal in August/September and I’d love to pick your brain about it.

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Feel free to tag all you want.
The wiki page has a list of traders who will be there and most will happily deliver/hold an item to the event. The weather can be problematic. Expect regular showers and wind and you wont be under prepared. Most camps will have fires and if you need to warm up just ask to trade or opinions on some such topic.

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Seconding that you should wear warm layers under kit if the forecast isn’t great, they’re quite easy to hide. How much camping have you done? Even if during the day sounds warm, bear in mind it usually gets very cold at night if you’re not moving around much or wearing warm clothes.

In some ways, travelling from the US is easier than Europe as I notice long-haul flights tend to have far more generous luggage allowances (IIRC you can fairly easily have 2 large hold bags). However, I am perhaps using slightly odd logic there as a long-haul flight probably costs less than a short one with extra luggage booked in advance, but it’s actually getting surprisingly comparable.

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