Hi, I’m very new to LARP. I am a uni student and am looking to get into LARP without breaking the bank to much. Any help would be much appreciated!
Have you looked at larpinn, i think they do basic sets but depends on what nation your joining, as some colours aren’t recommended like white or black for brass coast
Larpwarriors, viking store and deinlarpshop are fairly cheap depends what your after though, always double check with other sites to get the best deal and always double check postage.
So weapons and armour are going to be likely your big costs.
OC camping gear if it isn’t something you already have can be a little costly but you’d be surprised the impact a decent tent and sleeping bag will have on your event.
Costuming definitely depends on what nation you are playing, what local charity shops and similar you have nearby and what your personal skill with needle and thread is like
If you’re not too large, you can actually get surprisingly good LARP costume from places like supermarkets, TK Maxx and Primark at the moment. They have lots of linen stuff (in women’s sections at least, but would be fine for a man who can fit into it as Empire costumes are generally gender-neutral).
Lots of good advice here. Costume can be cheap or can be costly; it kind of depends on how much you want to spend on it.
Weapons and armour, however, are pretty easy to give rough costs to. A simple LARP-safe sword from a reputable supplier is about £50-£65 (such as this one).
Armour depends on whether you want light, medium or heavy armour. For a newbie I’d recommend light. A simple quilted gambeson can cost about £60-90 depending on where you look, and is suitable for most nations.
All in all I’d say you’re looking about between £150 and £200 for a basic weapon, armour and some costume. This might sound like a lot, but LARP is like any other hobby: you have to spend a little up front for years of enjoyment. It’s all an investment.
If you have time to go hunting through charity shops or know someone who can sew then your costume can easily be less than £20.
Camping kit if you ask around your friends and family can probably be borrowed - certainly for OOC plastic tent camping, and if you can find a friend to share a tent with (which is both warmer and often more fun) it can be cheap to buy a better quality tent that you know will survive E1/4 bad weather.
You can possibly also borrow weapons and or armour once you are known to others in your nation. Some of us veterans have got far more shinies than we could possibly wear or use and asking on the boards before the event you may find someone who can chuck a spare in to bring for you. Of course if you decide to play a non-combat character you probably don’t need either, and there is plenty to do in Anvil without ever committing violence.
Don’t skimp on money for your boots. They need to be waterproof, ankle supportive and hardwearing or you’ll have a miserable event.
Hi I’m Jim. I started larping as a student with little space, and it takes a lot of effort to make me unscrew my wallet. Kits costs are a bit “how long is a bit of string?”. If you already have camping gear, most of your expense is covered. I reckon the cheapest kit possible is “your OC walking outfit, plus a robe and belt over the top”.
Here’s a very good guide to making kit with basically no sewing skills.
Not getting ill of cold/wet/heat/bugs in a field
Read this list. If you don’t own the things on the list, buy the things on the list. I will now recommend cheap places to buy the things on the list.
For camping gear and boots on a budget, I highly recommend Decathlon, as being cheap and well-made.
- They somehow have a £20 tent that has a double wall and excellent reviews). Personally I’d push to the £35 one and look in sales too, because tents last years and if it fails it messes up your event hard.
Hunting boots. Waterproof. £30.
- I have a set of their hiking boots I got for £70ish. They are good and waterproof boots, this is a reasonable saving to make if you find a set you find comfortable.
- The other good option is army surplus boots, not least as they are designed to run in, and hiking boots are not.
- In any case try them on. If they fit and are waterproof, get them. Then look after them.
- Waterproof socks massively mitigate any sort of boot fail.
- I find that shop particularly useful as they are a sports and martial arts supplier which means you can go try on stuff like jodphurs (as hose for Marches/Dawn/League). Or pilates trousers with non-elasticated bottoms (I’d happily wear those in Highguard or as a Kallavesi for example). Or a karate gi you can ditch the belt for and dye as Urizen base kit (Don’t buy a judo gi, they are heavy, absorbent and WILL NOT DRY).
Also, Mountain warehouse and Cotswolds have sales on right now too. Cotswolds are generally more expensive and good, Mountain Warehouse is alright but a bit “you get what you pay for” sometimes. I’ve got plenty off both. I’d have a look at this one. The backpacker-style designs sacrifice some space, but they are much more-wind resistant.
Wierdly, hardware stores are very useful. Hot wash a cotton dustsheet and you have fabric pretty cheap. They sell rope for a belt, leather aprons, chains, all sorts of bits.
Like people say, kit very much depends on nation.
For a base layer, look at sales on hippy shirt stores. Or go to a charity shop, buy plain white shirts, cut collars off, take a £3 seam ripper to the pocket. If you want them to look more natural coloured, make a LITERAL BUCKET FULL OF TEA, shove them in there with a load of salt, leave for a few hours. It’ll stain them down a bit.
Look outside your gender’s clothing section. It’s much easier to get women’s linen trousers that don’t have a modern looking cut. Again, trawl charity shops. if you have 2 shirts and a pair of trousers, you can grab a tunic at an event. If you need more warm laters, the pro cheapo larp tip is “stick an inexpensive thermal T-shirt under your kit.”. You can also fit a waterproof/water resistant jacket under loose kit like a robe. I got one stupidly cheap a few years back by skimming through outdoor clothing clearance here.
The Marches, Navarr, Dawnish yeofolk, Unconquered and Wintermark have a lot of overlap on “basic shirt and tunic in natural colours”.
Highborn tend to wear things like black robes and cassocks. Which you can get cheaply and easily off Arabic clothing stores, especially online.
Urizen and Freeborn kit (depending on colour) is the sort of thing you can pick up in the sale section of Indian clothing websites if you have a look around. Polyester is just fine, we’re not re-enactors.
Varushka have a definite look in “white shirt+ embroidery” but that seems to be in in female clothing of late. I don’t have any Varushkan concepts, so I don’t have much idea on kitting it.
Unless you can sew, the League will be a bugger to kit on a budget. Because you’re stuck more with larp kit or renactment kit, and the look is very distinctive.
This one helps me out loads! I’m planning on making a Navarr scout as my first character.
All costume is aspirational, League costumes doubly-so because someone who follows the brief properly is so rare.
In all honesty, the basis of more or less every starter League outfit is a cheap pair of leggings from Primark and a shirt with no collar. A doublet or jerkin and a hat with a feather are the bits which might take some work or some cash. I actually think there is a bit of an undeserved stigma attached to League costumes, because many of us are using one statement piece with a whole load of cheaper clothing. League costume is defined as much by the rings and the attitude as by any particularly expensive clothing.
As well as all the good advice above…
Welcome along! To the hobby, the game, and these forums!
I played League as my .3 and put the kit together on the cheap as he was only a 2 event filler PC, so I agree. It’s still the most awkward IMO, along with Freeborn, just because a lot of the kit is less reusuable (In the end, I solved this by re-using some of my Freeborn layers as Sarvosi style kit).
It’s just quite a bit more difficult than “Brown tunic, green trousers, and you can change your Nation by your number of hats and tattoos”
Also Das Shoppe trades on the main traders row, selling second hand pre-loved costume, generally with stuff suitable for any nation, and she does swaps and trade ins also, so if you have kit for an old character that you can’t re-use, trade it in for something for your new character and give someone else the chance to make use of your surplus.
@Jim gave a lot of excellent advice above. It has also reminded me:
Dawnish noble kit is your most stereotypical generic fantasy stuff, which you can often get cheap because it’s so common. Mytholon have a good selection.
Stuff that can pass for Urizen is also quite in fashion at the moment, have a look around Primark. I have a dress some people assume was custom made which actually came from M&S about a year ago (the asymmetric blue one for anyone wondering).
Good boots are going to be used regardless of which nation as generally kit breif ends at rhe ankle.
Ex military boots with a good sole are great as they are already broken in, put new insoles in them and you are good to go.
Bear in mind that what you spend isn’t necessarily gone for ever: you may well be able to re-sell kit for a reasonable amount, e.g. I bought some second-hand leather armour in good condition from ebay, used it for a character for a year or so, then when that character died I sold the armour (still in good condition) to someone in my local larp group for about the same as what I paid originally. So then I had the cash to buy different kit for my next character.
Also you might be able to get lucky with a second-hand weapon, but that’s more of a risk (will it pass weapons-check for safety?) and the price might well be proportionate to how much life it has left in it.
I’m Male Brass Coast half of my costume is female clothes and most of it I got from charity shops. Aim for ones in wealthier areas they have a wider variety of clothes. Also instead of looking for something that could work dont be afraid to make it work, with a few changes.
You can buy a weapon on the field for fairly cheap £40ish from one of the various providers. Or I’d recomend borrowing one if you can that way you could try different ones to see if they work for you . Same with armour.
Its not the cheapest hobby but you can cut costs buy buying 2nd hand stuff though they may not be the best quality.
Half my League costume (especially the rings) and almost all of my fabric comes from Oxfam shops. Now I have access to the superstore in Oxford, I can see a big chunk of my salary going into their tills.
The other good place is Homesense, for some reason. I even found a small bridge in there once…
Now this I have to know.