Nickname’s Beckett, I’m 19 and currently hoping to get into LARP and LARP events.
Been playing Tabletop RPGs for about 3 years with some experience in roleplay and I’ve been looking for something interesting to get into since leaving College has left me with very few local friends with interest/time for the hobby.
Currently, I haven’t got the funds to participate properly (Transport & tickets cost so much it hurts… ), so in the meantime whilst I pull myself together, I’d like to get to know the system a little more. I’ve watched videos, read a bit of the wiki but I want to hear from some experienced players as to how to get the most out of my experience when I do get the chance to go.
So first off, character creation: How and What’s best?
Ideally, I’d like to be a bit of a dashing rogue, slumming it in a tavern as a comedic idiot with an intriguing past who gets dragged into the fight OR a slightly cheeky middle-class fighter working alongside the higher-ups with a penchant for getting into a bit of mischief and trouble. Think Trevor Belmont from the Castlevania Anime or Allen A’ Dale from BBC’s Robin Hood.
Been looking at the nations and I’m stuck regarding which would be the better one to pick regarding my ideal character so I could use a little help with that.
I have costuming experience but I want to know which nation I should focus myself for before committing to a design.
Second, Ideal Baggage arrangements?
I, as of the moment, do not have a car. Hence trains are my best bet of making it to the campsite (Once I can afford it, of course). I am planning on building an authentic pack out of faux-leather and layered linen (Probably with a hidden waterproof layer between said layers) but I need to know roughly what I ought to be taking, such as fresh clothes, spare armour, items of interest, extra. A tent is… currently something I am uncertain of in regards to achieving. Again, I’m broke as a bent-in bucket and after looking at the price of the event itself, the tent seems like it will be… a difficulty. So! Does anyone know what the exact price of a tent for 1 lonely idiot is, if there is communal accommodation for factions/groups/etc, if there is anywhere to buy an authentic tent or… Well, literally anything.
As fun as stargazing is, British fields are not known for being very warm… or comfortable without a tent of some description.
Finally, is there anything a Newbie Player should know prior to landing in the middle of the field?
I know that character interaction is a BIG thing (Personally, in D&D, I always find the social politics stuff WAY more fun than the whacky stick stuff… Though whacking things with sticks is fun too XDD) and that finding work/story through other characters is a good way to progress but is there anything I should prepare myself for? Is there a hierarchy or like any chance your character could end up getting kidnapped/executed/imprisoned or whatever for story reasons? I, for one, would not mind being a damsel in distress for a plot line, laying that down now, but I wanna know if any of you have had interesting experiences in previous games regarding such antics. I’d really love to hear what you folks get up to at the events XD
Right, that should be all for now. I’d love to hear what you all have to say and I’ll be in touch.
I’ll also be sure to let you all know when I can FINALLY make it to one of these events because honestly this. Looks. AWESOME!
I’m by no means experienced as I havent been to my first event yet, but I have been struggling with the question of finding an affordable tent myself!
From what I have read, bell tents are the way to go if you’re looking to camp in the IC area. The bad news about that is, canvas bell tents are terribly expensive. You can find cheaper bell tents made of polyester, but I’m unsure if they would be suitable for the IC area. (Maybe depends on the colour scheme?)
As for your other questions I’m not really qualified to answer! I know there’s a newbie orientation event at 4pm on the Friday to give us some sense of direction, but aside from that I think it’s all about meeting new people and building up stories during the events. Best advice I’ve come across is for your character to have a goal and have opinions on contentious topics.
So the first concept, probably the League, it’s definitely hitting the Dashing notes and the bits of rouge that work well in Empire (Some don’t as well as they would in tabletop.)
That being said don’t expect people to drag you into the fight.
The second one, I think might work better I would suggest Dawnish Yeofolk, there are definitely Robin Hoodesk/Merry men looks that would work great for Dawn (although some of the grittier looks are more in the Marchers or Navarr.)
It has a clear class divide so you can play the cheeky fighter from a lower class, and mischief and not being held to the same standards are touched on in the yeofolk brief.
Empire DOES not have imprisonment because it sucks in LARP, I’ve yet to hear of a kidnapping plot. However, the Empire does exercise capital punishment, and people have ended up being executed for things they have done in their backstories.
There is no best build, only the one that you works for you. It sounds like combat might be quite important for you so taking combat skills would be good. Shield and armour is sort of the meta but if you want to be more of a rouge then you don’t need a shield.
Are you going to be wearing any armour? This will determine what you do with your points. If you do have armour then you can use your xp for hero skills such as cleave which allows you to cut off any limbs that aren’t covered in medium armour or better. You may find ambidextrous fairly fun to use and of course there is the throwing skill (which isn’t very good but might fit your character).
If you have no armour then maybe put a few mints into endurance as that is your heath and the ‘unstoppable’ hero skill which allows you to heal back hp for the cost of a hero point.
Hero points can be used to resist rp effect as well which can be useful.
Do you know what nation you want to join? Sounds like you might want to go for league, the marchers or dawn. Their is an archetype for the league that is all about being a little bit of a cheeky duellist, Dawn is all about duelling or there is the marchers if you want that feisty kind of character. Each nation has a different way of voting so it is good to know about that before hand. Are you definitely going to be a bit of a fighter? There is politics, religion and magic on top of the combat stuff, also the combat isn’t non stop, there are designated times for fighting which will usually be around 30 minutes each morning and maybe 30 minutes in the evenings if you can get on a skirmish, which isn’t always possible.
For tents, you don’t need something fancy. You are able to camp out of character with something modern. I would take some clothes for wearing out of character, maybe some stuff for the shower (and shower shoes), money (there are food stalls which I can tell you more about later) and or food, bin bags to put muddy stuff in, a light source, a mat of some kind to put your sleeping bag on and that is really all you need.
Things that I think you should know as a new player is your backstory isn’t as important as you think. The story starts at empire. This is a mistake that I have made. Another thing is foot wear can be out of character so go for stuff that is practical rather than what looks good. There is a rule of no trainers however. Make sure you also look at the wiki. With the hierarchy stuff, there is depending on the nation you have chosen and again, it is all determined by nation. You could be executed if you really push it but it is unlikely that you will be imprisoned as that is against the law at anvil and if you get captured on the battle field that would be basically considered a death as your character is gone and isn’t coming back.
With plot, there are two kinds: the one made by PD and the one made by the players.
Fun things to do: battles, songs and stories around the camp fire, drinking at the bars (you can use in game money for this), talking to people and maybe seeing some of the official tents like the hall of worlds.
Ok, so Funds - It can be a bit pricey, but as it’s only 4 times a year, it’s doable. You can use my recommend-a-friend code to make it a bit cheaper ( 3218.6752 ) Which gives I think £15 off? Full disclosure, I also get account credit for the recommendation
Character creation - You have the right idea re: Costume. Figure out where you wanna be, that will dictate the theme of your garb. Bear in mind UK weather, and keep Hot Weather, Wet Weather, Muddy Weather and Cold weather in mind. Layers are your friend
Your concepts are all good. Pop onto the character creation on PD main site and mess about. It’s not a one-shot deal to make characters, although when you book the event, you’ll need to have a toon selected. Bear in mind, you don’t NEED to spend all your points before the event. You can use any spares during and event - There are PCs in the God Tent - So theres no pressure to take skills that you don’t know you’ll use. THAT being said, PD are cool with new players. If you play the event, and realise you chose all wrong, pop into the God Tent or if after, Email them, ask nicely and explain it was your 1st event and they’ll help you out.
Sleeping - Easiest option: Sleep OC. There’s a huge OC campsite, and modern tents are much easier to pack down small. As for stuff to take - honestly, thats a WHOLE 'nother thread, and has been asked loads of time on here. But the essentials are: Tent, Bedding, IC gear, OC gear, washbag. Your IC bag sounds awesome though, and will look good on the field.
A tent for 1 person - Now is the time to look around, as Music Festival season is starting soon, sop places will have sales. Halford usually has something good. Cheapest one at Halford at the moment is £30. Not the best tent, but does the job for a couple of nights. Go Outdoors does Pop-up tents for £15, but they can be touch and go.
Some groups do camp together, but it’s usually a group of mates, and not really an actual communal thing.
As for a newbie - Read the Wiki. No need to read in-depth for a nation you wont be in (Unless you want to). When you arrive, there are New Player things at the start before time in. They will talk you through stuff and go on a little skirmish (If you want).
And yes. All the rest of the stuff you say. Ther are many many games going on. Military game, Politics, Trade, Religion, Mage, Healer… Theres LOADS of stuff happening. Have a look in the forums for ‘Froth’ posts. Thats where people talk about the cool stuff they’ve done.
The mindset should always be: It’s a Game. It’s meant to be fun. If you are not having fun, Pop to GOD or go find the egregore (Basically a mini-ref and the ‘Spirit’ of the nation). I don;t think it’ll be a problem though.
Unless you do something that you should be arrested or executer for, you’ll be fine. Nothing like that really happens ‘Off Screen’/inbetween events.
But yeah, walk around, find stuff to do, talk to people, buy stuff, sell stuff, get drunk, eat cake, watch bards… You’ll have a ball.
Pretty much every camp is very newbie friendly. You might even be able to link up with a group on here or Facebook, a lot of them are cool and will invite you to pop over before time in to have a chat, and work out quickly how they might already know you to save awkward role-played mistrust or whatever - Just makes for an easy transition. That being said, theres nowt wrong with a lone wolf if you are cool with chatting to random people
Hello and welcome, to the hobby, the game, and these forums
As mentioned, there is a new player discount, and you may be able to get others depending (I think there’s a student discount, for instance). Transport can indeed be pricey, but if you’ve the time and inclination, you may be able to find other LARPers in your area, who may be willing to give you a lift in exchange for petrol money.
You’ve already had good advice re nations.
I would definately reccomend camping in the Out-Of-Character area for your first visit, at least. In that case, and assuming you aren’t coming to the first event (which tends to attract bad weather), you may be able to get away with a cheap geodesic camping tent (if it says 2 people, that’s 1 person and LARP kit).
What camping experience have you got? Because this is similar to a weekend festival: toiletries, spare socks, a couple of spare layers, sleeping bag, any food etc… Happy to expand on this.
There is not communal accomadation for factions, there might be spare crash space in an IC tent, depending on the group, So you’d want to join a group. And for that, you’d want to pick a nation…
Here’s a few tips:
Read up a LITTLE on the wiki. Your basic nation page, the page for your home province, and the explanations for your skills. That’s the minimum. If you add in a couple of the Winds of War/Fortune, you’ll have a point of origin and a recent news story to discuss.
Decide in advance how much you’re planning on bringing or buying to eat. There are caterers, and they’re good value, but not immensely cheap. And you can bring in various munchies (and many do, all the way up to in-game feasts), but that means more stuff to carry. You MIGHT be able to find someone heading off-site on a shopping trip when you arrive, but don’t count on it.
Arrive as early as you can. On Friday there are Newbie workshops. You can arrive and camp from Thursday. The more time you can spend chatting, looking around, getting in some practise, the better.
And if you’re early, you also have the option of a spot of shopping. There’s a score of traders selling everything from accessories to costume to full plate mail. A weapon is likely to be what you want to pick up, I reccomend buying it on site.
Happy to expand on any of the above.
And yes, it IS awesome. Look forwards to seeing you, when you can make it!
I’d recommend you don’t set your expectations based on D&D experiences. The tabletop and larp mediums excel in very different ways. Like books and movies you can’t fairly compare the two, though you may certainly prefer one over the other.
In a large scale larp, it’s more about creating your own adventure. PD has plots running around that you can engage with, but they don’t typically come looking for you unless you’re involved with a certain body such as an Eternal’s Herald visiting the Conclave, a foreign diplomat addressing the Senate, etc… The trade game is pretty strictly PvP. In game design, this is excellent because it allows players to engage with the parts of the game that they’re interested in and leave the rest.
So if you’re not that interested in combat, you don’t have to engage with combat. On the other hand, if all you want is combat, you could sign up for one of the big battles, monster the other, and try and get on every skirmish and quest you can find (oversubscribed for that exact reason), or join the skirmish crew and fight as an NPC all day and all night.
Since you’re broke is a bent-in bucket, I would recommend your first character leave combat behind, at least at the beginning. Barring interest in the magic game, don’t spend any of your XP until after you joined the game and see where your interests lie. This will allow you to use The apprentice mechanic, which lets anyone else loan you a skill in their presence. So you could attend a fighter practice, such as the Dawn’s square and someone with a sword and board can teach you how to fight sword and board even though you don’t have to Shield skill. Similarly you could attend a crafter, and they can loan you the Artisan skill so you could craft one of a couple beginner items. So just focus on picking a nation, making some basic aspirational kit, and pick up a tent to camp OC. I think that’ll be your best bet for a cheap trip.
“Anyone who is a full time student, a full time member of the armed services, a pensioner, or receives state benefits as their main income is eligible for the concession on the ticket price.”
Additionally, the ticket price rises as the event gets closer, there’s a (small) discount for booking multiple events, and there’s also the “recruit-a-friend” bonus, which allows an existing player to give a new player a discount for their first event (and get it themselves for their next event).
If you’ve any interest in asking for help in a quicker, larger, and admittedly much more volatile group, ping me a private message for an invite to the unofficial Empire Discord group. Whole bunch of people there with helpful advice, and also opinions (you can usually ignore the opinions).
And as I mentioned earlier you can use my recommend-a-friend code to make it a bit cheaper ( 3218.6752 ). I know its a bit cheeky to put it on here, but hey - Helps you and helps me
Also if you are Witnermark, Navarr and/or looking to be a trader, Myself and my buddy are more than happy to have a chat on-field.
Helped me knock the price down to something considerably easier to budget so thank you so much
Currently looking to get my boots stuck into the world and story for my first run, hopefully in June as a Navarri since 1.) I have heard about Navarri tavern crawls and 2.) They seem like the best fit for a beginner player such as myself, in terms of both costuming and roleplay.
Trading isn’t something I’m immediately fussed with on field, I wanna get a feel for who else is selling first before setting up perhaps selling my marionette dolls IC.
My main priority is selling a few pre-June to fund my actual getting-there budget.
Couple of interested Varushkan’s on FB and a few points to advertise to Marchers so I’ve got something along the lines of buisness but until it’s neccessary, I’ll save IC trading for when I’ve settled my character into the Empire world (hopefully without an immediate death, heaven forbid XD)
Will definitely come up and say hi. I’m 100% all up for making new friends on field. Just hoping I can pull the funds together and get myself there in time
In terms of transport, there’s an Empire LRP: Travel Arrangements FB group where people arrange minibuses from places, share train info etc. I often got the train to Banbury and then the PD minibus back when I played one of their previous games. It’s quite doable if you have not very much kit and a small tent.
Don’t buy the cheapest “party tent” sort of thing you can get. Having your sleeping space suffer a leak/Critical Existence Failure from bad weather is awful. If in doubt, sacrifice character stuff, not OC equipment.
If you’re strapped for cash, you’ll likely get the most comfort out of a decent tent, some OC thermals for under your kit, a cloak, and some waterproof socks.
Yes, even if it’s summer. It can get cold at night, and a cheap thermal top under your kit will go a long way.
Waterproof socks will probably set you back about £20 (Unless you find them at Aldi, which is wierdly good for larp kit with their Specialbuys), but mean you can get away with cheap or leaky boots. They are magic and you just need to rememebr to wear some thin liner socks so you can use the same pair for a weekend.
I’d generally recommend Go Outdoors and similar places, look for something that’s on sale and has good reviews. This looks excellent value at £50 for example.
If you have a tent and haven’t used it in ages, check it works, that you can easily put it up, and that you can find your mallet. My first fest larp, I borrowed a friend’s tent, but all the elastic was perished and I needed to rapidly work out a new plan.
I’ve used group tents, but always when knew several of the people well and I was happy with the idea. You don’t know who might snore/be a loud drunk/etc.
I can’t go to the June one, so it’s the autumn event for me. Still, I’m hoping to get into this whole thingy too. I’m going down the Urizen mage route myself, perhaps as a journalist with some friends who work together to write a newspaper. That gives us a drive and reason to be almost anywhere. It also means I can go minimalist with the costume. Join the Urizen, matey, we do cool things like bow to each other and have “political debates” at the dinner table XD.
Sometimes PD runs plot specifically for characters certain archetypes, e.g. for a while Bravo characters in the League were getting some of their income at each game-event in the form of a dodgy street-drug instead of coins… your game may be more interesting if your character fits some archetype.
Start from a personality and see where it fits: build a character around that.
Perhaps choose some aspect of your own personality and either switch it off or take it to an extreme. (Don’t make it totally unrealistic though: someone with zero caution or self-preservation wouldn’t have survived long enough to reach adulthood and come to Anvil.)
Start from a distinctive bit of costume you have: put it on, see how you feel, what attitude fits with it…
Choice of skills (if you want to buy any before starting play) and of Personal Resource are not worth thinking about too much until later, after you know who the character is and what general sort of things you want to do. And the skills etc. might end up depending partly on other people, e.g. a character who wants to cast rituals and joins a coven will need to coordinate with the other members on what rituals they master.
I don’t know the examples at the end, but from your description both of those would fit really well in the League. Matching it against possible archetypes, the first could be a bravo or a cicisbeo or a mountebank… or two of those, or even all three at once. One of the League’s Egregores (thus definitively on-brief and fitting the style and culture) is a cicisbeo and mountebank; he goes by the name of Harlequin. Alternatively, you might be able to make it work in the Brass Coast.
Your second one could also work as a bravo (you might want to look at joining a mercenary company in play… or potentially some other kind of group, either in play or OOC-in-advance) or maybe something in the Marches… ooh, or perhaps in Dawn, if you can arrange to be part of some noble’s “house”, working for/with the nobles. That’s the nation with the clearest hierarchy in its social set-up.
Of course, “Robin Hood” makes me think Marches, since the concepts for that nation draw a lot from (common conceptions of) the England of Robin Hood’s era: longbows, pikes/bills, stolid stubbornness, down-to-earth practicality, harvest-time celebrations etc.
Oh, and on the “intriguing past”: it can help with giving you a sense of who the character is, and getting into the characters’s headspace, having a feel of being that person rather than yourself… but don’t expect other people to be all that interested. It might happen, but don’t count on it.
Other than the things already mentioned, you might want to take (current) size of the nation into account, e.g. at present Wintermark has a huge number of people, which has its good and bad points if your character is in that nation.
Sounds awesome, but you’d probably get more joy and satisfaction from some other piece of kit that you could make instead, unless for some reason your character is going to be carrying it around the field a lot. You can use modern luggage/rucksack to bring stuff to the event, then keep it out of sight during the game. Perhaps make a nice pack if you still have time and money after you’ve sorted out OOC essentials and the IC stuff that your character will use more than the pack.
The wiki is huge so reading all of it is probably not realistic, but some parts of it are essential. Somewhere on this forum, there’s a thread where some of us gave our opinions on which parts of the wiki a new player needs to know. There’s not all that much: the OOC rules, the basics of the setting, the basics of your nation’s culture… it’s fine to play a character who doesn’t know much.
Edit: found that thread: What and how much should I read up on?
Not much of a hierarchy, but some characters have managed to gain Imperial Positions, e.g. Archmage of Night, Grandmaster of the Shuttered Lantern, Senator of Sarvos, Empress of the Empire, General of the Wolves of War, Cardinal of Pride… there are a hundred or so such positions. As mentioned, in Dawn there’s the clear (but not hereditary!) distinction between the Nobility and the Yeofolk. The law is enforced mostly by player-character militia, but the incorruptible magistrates who judge cases are played by members of crew (like civil servants).
Your character could certainly be executed if judged guilty of a sufficiently serious crime: see the wiki section on the law.
Kidnapped? Well, sometimes in battles the barbarians take prisoners, and there have been rescue missions to rescue prisoners… or ransoms paid, in at least one case. Oh, and there was the time a character was highly obnoxious to a bunch of other characters, who kidnapped him, took him away, beat him up (OOC did some nice bruise make-up) then delivered him back to his group’s encampment wrapped up in a smelly old carpet.
(Bear in mind the gameworld setting is gender-neutral, so the “damsel” aspect is irrelevant.) You can’t count on being able to arrange for the story to go that way, and if it’s at a battle then your character might well be killed rather than captured (or might just bleed to death) but yes, it is a thing that can happen, and you can work to raise the odds of it. Also, there have been a few times when PD has offered such opportunities to players in certain categories, though generally not for your first game… e.g. if your character’s “resource” is a Small Military Unit that was fighting alongside one of the Empire’s Armies that had things go badly during downtime (the time between the game events), then before the next game you might be offered the option of having your character start the game as a prisoner, and on the Friday evening there would be a “skirmish”, with some (typically a few dozen) player characters going through the magical Sentinel Gate from Anvil to wherever your character is, to attempt a rescue. Or the same could happen if your character has, say, a farm or a business in a region that has been conquered by enemies of the Empire.
Final piece of advice: bear in mind that you’re taking a risk if your enjoyment of the game depends on your character faring well and succeeding at the character’s goals, whatever those might be. If you design your character with that in mind, you can have a great time regardless of whether things go well or badly for the character.
(Mind you, sometimes that’s a risk worth taking. For example, my character is a violinist and a member of a theatre troupe/coven in the League, and I wouldn’t enjoy that if the music and plays were not generally well-received by other characters: IC success and OOC satisfaction are linked there.)