Lacking the hard skills of your archetype

What do you do if you’re considering a character type that you lack some of the hard skills for? ie you as a player do not have some key abilities your archetype would suggest
Can you brush it off or should you pick another type to avoid misrepresenting the brief?

Some examples of characters I’ve considered but not done:

Troubadour - because I like gathering and sharing stories of great citizens and the interplay of glory and virtue. But I absolutely cannot sing or play an instrument.

Sentinel - for the exploration of strategy and the history and philosophy of war. But I am quite a bad fighter, and often don’t enjoy Empire battlefields (compared to other LARP battlefields).

(Hi Graham! :slight_smile: )

To quote Matt P…

“In tabletop (role-playing games), you can pretend to be whatever you can imagine. In LARP, you can pretend to be what you can portray…”

If you CAN, I would suggest you pick an archetype that you have the hard skills for.

There’s a certain amount of wriggle room though…

Given your examples above…
A Troubadour focussed mainly as a story teller. You could collect and write-up the tales of great heroes, tell or even chant them to a rapt audience, or craft small sermons demonstrating the virtues inherent or demonstrated in each tale…

A Sentinel who, due to old injuries, no longer takes the field of battle. Investigate and guide others towards quests and skirmishes and battles, giving them advice and historical examples. Co-ordinate training, resource allocation, ensure that the right warrior goes to the right war with the right skills… Being a scholar and advisor for war instead of a front-line fighter.


There are plenty of people in life who aren’t necessarily great at aspects of their jobs, but are good at others. As Geoffrey says, you can put reasons into the back story to explain it. I’ve met a lot of fighters who for one reason or another don’t take the field at anvil and a sentinel who devoted themselves to tactical warfare and wasn’t the best personal fighter would still work.

For the troubadour, you could be good at all the other aspects of the role, but musically be the one who is always assigned to backing vocals, or just claim that you play an impractical instrument for the field. If your character plays the cello or something truly monstrous like the harp, then there’s no way they’d bring it to Anvil so it would easily be something that happens “off camera”.

I don’t think you necessarily lack the ooc attributes. As others have said, troubadour storyteller works well. Even a troubadour who collects and distributes written stories about people’s deeds fits the spirit of the role. Sentinels don’t have to battlefield fighters, a strategist absolutely works.


This is a tough question, as some areas are easier to bluff than others.
For example, a rubbish fighter can blow all their XP on hero points and Mortal Blow, then four times a day they can one-shot a barbarian for an epic badass moment. But strategy is all about hard skills and no soft skill will compensate for not having them.
So in terms of the sentinel archetype, playing a tactician is totally on brief and awesome, but you may need to be ready to defend your ideas in a robust debate (which to me sounds like great fun, but some people won’t want to), or possibly via a vigorous exchange of pamphlets over multiple seasons.
If you go down that route, my advice would be to start with the rules on War on the wiki so you understand the mechanics - nothing would get you off on so bad a foot as suggesting plans that simply don’t work within the known rules.

For a troubadour, I absolutely don’t think you need to know how to sing or play. Sharing stories is fantastic game and arguably even more valuable. A singer might entertain a crowd, but if you tell a story about another character that has a huge impact on their character arc. And you can shape character arcs by whose stories you tell and how (which is amazing fun).


That is a good point but I think I didn’t express my fears accurately. I’m less concerned about being outclassed by people who are better fighters, debaters etc, more concerned about being rejected as not being a “real” example of that archetype.

If you’re discussing strategy with someone who calls themselves a Sentinel and your debating is more effective, you’re still engaging with them as a strategist.

I have twice played Dawnish characters who did not go on the battlefield and were heavily criticised for that choice. One of them was a knight-errant and I lost track of the people who informed me I couldn’t call myself a knight-errant if I wasn’t a warrior.

That’s explicitly not what the knight-errant page says (read paragraph 3) but it’s a common expectation on the field. I did not find constantly fighting against that expectation enjoyable roleplay and that’s the kind of thing I’m trying to avoid.


It is also deeply liberating to play someone who is shit at something and you know OOC that they are shit at it.


And keep in mind, jumping into a hole in the line and waggling your stick in an aggressive fashion to keep 3 barbarians back is still EXTREMELY helpful. Even if you never deal a point of damage


Better being shit at something when you know OOC that they arent imho, i mean i took huge delight in RP’ing my Int 6 D&D Fighters gloriously awful plans :smiley:

That is solid advice for anyone with wavering confidence. But I’ve been on enough Empire battlefields to know they’re usually not an enjoyable experience for me.

It’s really more a case of wondering if having an archetype like Sentinel but never fighting at an event is an example of trying to have your cake and eat it or even Doing It Wrong.

To the best of my recollection there are several characters who are either sentinels or sword scholars who do not take the battlefield in Urizen. It’s not something people people generally seem to make a fuss over.

There are a variety of reasons not to go through the sentinel gate, not least because spaces are often limited and many PC’s have been fighting all season so may not be up for fighting more while at the most important political gathering of the calendar.

The only way I could see this being a “having your cake and eating it” scenario would be if a character spent all their time bragging that they were the greatest warrior ever seen, but then refused to actually fight anyone. Even then, they’d probably simply find that they just ended up getting ignored IC.