How to approach people

Hi, i am not new to roleplay, however i have never done LARP before. As i will be attending some time this year, i wanted to ask a question about how to approach people. The character i play has a few goals, but i am not sure how start achieving them, i have heard that talking to people is a great way of doing this and making friends and ultimately having fun, but i am a little nervous with the aspect of talking to people who know a lot and i know nothing. Is there any tips on how to start talking to people, especially if i don’t know what to say and how to approach someone if i do.
Many thanks
Toby

Hey Toby, welcome to Empire!

One of the best phrases to remember is “I’m new to Anvil” (or some variation) - this is basically code for being a new player, so hopefully those in conversation with you will take this into account. Don’t worry about knowing everything - the Wiki is vast, even those who have been playing for years don’t know it all!

One of the tips our group came up with for helping new roleplayers fit in, was having three things that you could talk about:

  1. An opinion on some recent news (the Winds of Fortune and War aren’t yet, but will go up on the Wiki and FB before the next event). Don’t necessarily worry about all of them, just one or two that catch your interest.
  2. What have you been up to recently? Think about the season, the weather, wars and local events (see number 1) - you can make something up provided the scale is reasonable. You may not have anything you can think of for this right away, and that’s fine too.
  3. A personal story from your past, designed to give some insight into your character. Why did you choose to study magic, or not? What happened the first time you met a sovereign or what brought you to our Vale? It can be ‘real’ or allegorical. (We’re Varushkans, so swap out the Sovereign/Vale for something relevant to your nation!) Again, you may not have anything set for this yet and that’s okay, it’s something you can work on and refine over time.

It can sometimes be a bit difficult to just approach people - I still have trouble and am in my third year. Generally on the whole though, people are willing to chat (just check it doesn’t look like they’re in a meeting). Sometimes it can help if you have questions, especially about a different nation to your own, for example asking about how a certain campaign is going when you’re passing through the Dawnish camp. This can help people to make a connection with you, rather than you just hovering nearby.

Which nation are you thinking of joining by the way?

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Thanks for the advice. Me and a few of my friends are thinking of joining Wintermark. i haven’t quite settled on a backstory at the moment but i have many ideas!

Welcome Toby, to Empire and these forums :slight_smile:

Triska gives some good advice, particularly about weaving your character in with the story of everyone elses.

So you’re in Wintermark: Find out what your armies have been doing the last few months (in the Winds of War). Do you have an opinion about that? Were you fighting with them? Where?

What do you think of issues on the Wintermark borders? The Thule orcs to the north (apparently biding by a peace treaty), the Jotun orcs to the west (remobilising after a retreat and heading through the 'Mark lands, apparently…).

Does your character or group have opinions on virtues, politics, trade, other nations? Will you have trading to do or advice to ask? Or at the simplest level, are you looking to visit every nation in Anvil and get a drink and a story? And do you have a story to share…?

That gives you something to talk about, but as for approaching people…

“I’m new to Anvil”, as mentioned, is effective. Playing in Dawn, I have a tendancy to open with “Hail, warrior/citizen of [insert best guess nation here], how goes this meeting for you?” Asking for directions or a quick introduction to what groups/nations are visible is also good. Ask about festivals (there are lots, across the nations, so there may well be one coming up…).

And if all else fails, there’s always “Do you know what’s going on?” :slight_smile:

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Thanks!

What character concept are you playing? The best situation for meeting new people will probably involve characters you have something in common with. For example my character met most of her friends through Conclave.

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He is a young man who is looking to learn more about the way of virtues as he does not really understand it but would like to learn more and is a very upfront in his talking, he is reasonably dumb so loves asking questions about anything and will not hesitate to help his friends, he is very honorable in that sense. I am thinking he may have a history with the Thule orcs too. at least this is all speculation for me at this point.

Sounds like you could get a head start by discussing The Way with lots of people to get their opinion/understanding of it.

There are priests for every virtue, synods of each virtues priests, and people to therefor go and talk to all over the field. Including the Imperial Orcs, who will have a slightly different view :slight_smile:

And you haven’t even started on the mechanical build (skills etc), which opens many other options.

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Turn up on the Thursday and hang out in your nation’s camp, meeting people OC makes it a lot easier to approach them IC.

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There are various new player intro events listed here: https://www.profounddecisions.co.uk/empire-wiki/Event_schedule

My first event, I was alone, meeting up IC with a group I had only ever spoken to one of, through here, and it was terrifying (until I got there and realised everyone was lovely). Definitely use the “this is my first visit to Anvil” route to flag your new player status to people you’re interacting with. Some will be very busy and seem a little gruff, but many will jump on that as an opportunity to wax lyrical at you!

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As said above find a way to put yourself into the world. The other thing is try to become a specialist in a field. Aim to know as much as possible about a subject then run with it.

Or be very loud about very strong opinions that are possibly incorrect… wait, we’ve done that in the coast… it may lead to execution for heresy but will definitely start a conversation, so I guess it depends how set in your opinions you want to be (and it sounds like not very, so this could be a great way to get priests seeking you out to set you on the right path).

Some other options that aren’t already covered here:

Have an ice-breaker - my first character had a fortune telling basket, and it was the perfect way (for me) to force start a conversation. “your fortune told for a ring”, with lots of cheeky responses to people who said no. Other good options here: sell cake or sweets, purchase & sell rumours, collect songs for a songbook, collect rings for specific virtuous project, distribute a leaflet, buy/sell in world resources, gather support for an IC position,

Something IC to fiddle with in your hands often helps if you are anxious. An IC newspaper, knitting, a set of dice etc.

Once you have pushed yourself over the “argh, strangers” barrier, get really curious. Ask where they are from, ask why they have come to Anvil, ask what their goals are and offer to help (or ask what their goals are and plot to destroy them at all costs). It is much easier to actively listen than it is to talk, and it helps ground you in the world.

Escalate quickly - if you like someone and their goals, great - they are now your potential best friend/cult leader/ mentor. Do anything and everything to make their lives better.

Go to IC meetings - virtue assembly, conclave, Bourse, Senate, any national meetings. If you can get in, sit in and listen (at least until you get bored). Spot who is doing something you find interesting and tell that person “I really liked what you said about x -how can I help?” at the end of the meeting. It is likely they will have many errands they need to get done and will be grateful for another set of feet to assist.

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Wintermark likes to call everyone together at the start of an event just after Time In at what we call “Moots”. It’s a good thing to come observe as the Wintermarkers who are interested in helping new players or players looking to Get Stuff Done tend to stand up and address everyone.

Wintermark also have a tradition of “hospitality” (I think most nations do), that anyone is welcome in a hall for a drink (can just be water if you want) and a short stay. So most players are happy for you to just walk up to their camp, introduce yourself, and have a chat. It won’t take long for you to get involved with things if you start of by asking people what’s going on and if they want any help.

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