No, I do mean the 1% of society who are rich, powerful and influential. We are the D&D style heroes with the power to change the world.
Think of the Anvil summits like the G20 or the Davos symposium. It is the rich and notorious, the movers and shakers getting together to decide the future (for the next season at least) of the Empire as a whole.
The least wealthy people there will be still enormously rich, which is why the prices are absolutely ridiculous, 8 beers @ 5 rings each costs the same as the administration fee ( 2 crowns) of the civil service to change your ownership of a resource. (Somewhat equivalent to the several hundred quid it takes to change land registry records when buying a house in the real world).
If you made it there with your resource stuff and pocket change in hand you are part of the one per cent. Your resource stuff is the whole season’s output, quite possibly from the many people you have working at your mine / business / fighting your battles etc. It’s not the sort of pocket change you might pick up by accident.
It could be the compensation given you by the civil service for your ordeal in slavery etc, could also be the last collection of stuff you managed to get away with before the orcs over-ran your home if either of those work?
Hence no beggars and no muddy rags (unless there is specific on brief reasons).
So, I appreciate your situation is difficult when you don’t have much OC cash. Believe me, I know: I first came to Empire on my gap year between jobs with only a little cash saved up, and for the last 2/3 years I’ve been attending as a student. So, regarding IC/OC wealth, I’ll throw out my best advice:
Being poor IC
Personally I don’t think it’s utterly verboten to start off play as a relatively poor person, but you do need to keep in mind what others are saying: 18 rings is a small amount on the field but in universe it’s a rather large amount, and owning a resource indicates a higher level of wealth or influence than most NPCs will have.
It’s true that PCs generally do represent the upper echelons of society in the Empire, but wherever rich people go you’re also going to get common folk following after them in order to spin a profit. That was how I started my current character: essentially bottom of the heap, in Anvil in a very basic costume. I was still learning the game so mistakes I made and gaps in my knowledge were easier to justify as my character being foreign to the ideas and knowledge that was more common among the Empire’s big names. My 18 rings represented several months of hard work and careful saving, and I was looking to turn a tidy profit by selling herbs, fruit and veg he’d foraged at grotesquely inflated prices that the richers would be willing to pay. The amount of money I made doing this (a crown was more than my character had ever held before!) and the connections I made IC were enough to justify a rapid ascent through IC society as I purchased skills and built up my kit.
So, I don’t think being a poorer character is off the table, but you need reasons as to why you have what you have and why you’re at Anvil. I don’t think anyone will abuse you for playing a beggar but it might not earn you much, because IC the Empire is very meritocratic while OC people are going to be keenly aware of the fact that you have both a resource and the starting rings. It’s probably wiser to seize on the stuff you mentioned like spreading rumors and gossip, charging people for “”"“important”""" information, marketing the skills you have, etc. So, while I’ll argue that it’s okay to play a poor character, mud spattered rags might be pushing things a bit. You’re probably not going to be finding a whole 18 rings on a dead barbarian on the way to Anvil, nor is someone dirt poor likely to have found and started managing an entire abandoned mine by themselves: a mine resource usually represents all the employees and infrastructure that a mine needs to function, not just a sole guy swinging a pick axe in his spare time ala Minecraft.
If you want to be a refugee then that can certainly explain why you’re poorer, but not really ‘wearing rags’ poor. If you’ve been captured by one of the barbarian nations for years and years then that definitely explains why you’d be out of the loop on Imperial affairs and why you’re still trying to get back on your feet… but it’d still raise questions as to how you’ve managed to raise 18 rings and a mine without finding the time to change your clothes.
You can’t escape an OC lack of money which is a pain for Urizen, because while most LARP costumes rely on layering to look really good that’s especially true for Urizen. But, I’m a huge fan of using Ebay for an affordable costume shop, and I think Ebay can be your friend too!
For the moment I’d say forget about getting stuff from actual LARP stores. It looks good but it’s expensive. Places like Mytholon are fairly affordable and often have things on sale, but even then you have to pay for shipping. Ultimately I think it’s going to be cheaper and look better to layer repurposed clothes you get from Ebay or second hand stores, rather than spending your entire costume budget on one single wizard robe. Also don’t worry too much about buying weapons and armour: that’s the most expensive part of a costume and as others have said, you get quite a few people on the field who are willing to lend out stuff for a battle. It’s easier to get someone to lend you a weapon for the duration of one skirmish than it is to get someone to lend you costume for a whole weekend.
Two tips for shopping on Ebay:
- Keep an eye on the material, and try to stick with cotton, wool, linen, silk, etc. even if it’s part of a blend. It’s more on brief than 100% polyester and other artificial fabrics, but still cheaper than wool clothes out of a shop. However, for Urizen specifically one of the pages does say that lighter, more modern fabric is more permissible than it might be in other nations.
- Learn to ignore the ‘women’s’ label if you’re a bloke. Doesn’t matter. Women’s clothes often provides either the form fitting cut or the loose, pleated fabric that lots of nations call for. Get them in XL sizes so they fit and hang a bit more loosely to hide where they’d be fitted for breasts or narrow waists.
For a base layer I’d recommend having an ebay search for terms like ‘granddad hippy shirt’ which will turn up a lot of fairly loose shirts secured with buttons or toggles - buttons are on brief for Urizen! Alternatively, look at women’s tunics: these are often baggy, plain, have a lot of loose fabric that hangs in pleats, and they come in pale or bright colours.
For trousers I can’t find anything specific on the Urizen pages, but reference photos suggest that baggy trousers are available. Very baggy harem pants with a crotch down near the ankles are more brass coast, but searching for harem or linen pants will bring up quite a lot of loose fitting trousers. Their waists are elasticated but this can be hidden under your tunic or a sash.
For the robes I’d suggest either finding a large, cheap dress and just slicing it down the middle then hemming it (or not, if you’re going for a tattered look), or, and bear with me here, a dressing or bath gown. A long one made from the appropriate material will do the job: not one of those really fluffy fleece ones or one made from flannel, but one made satin, silk or linen that you usually wouldn’t dream of wearing is technically made from on brief material, especially if you wear it open at the front so it’s less obviously a dressing gown. Look for kimonos, too: they’re not mentioned in the Urizen brief but I’ve definitely heard talk of them being closest to Urizen of any nation, and again they’re something fairly easy to use as a wizard robe if you leave them open at the front.
So, putting that advice together, let’s see what we can get:
A 5XL grey tunic - £5.75
Some 3XL grey harem pants - £5.49
A dark blue kimono with tan/white trim, 3XL to make it more robe-y - £12.43 (inc. shipping)
And to top it off a long, grey head scarf that you can tie around your waist as a belt/sash! - £2.99
All together those four items make a basic costume for £26.76. All of these items are based in the UK and all of them except the kimono are free shipping. The colours and sizes I suggested are just ones I came up with after a glance at the Urizen brief, as it suggests pastel colours and shades of white complimented with some richer colours, and plenty of loose fitting fabric for that robe look - it’s obviously up to you what colour scheme you want to go for and how fitting you want your clothes to be. I haven’t been completely purist with the materials, either: the trousers are cotton blend and the kimono is cotton, but the tunic is polyester and the sash is viscose. However, these are still light, floaty materials that should be good for Urizen, and with the tunic under the kimono and the belt being wrapped up around your waist, I don’t think it would draw too many eyes.
When you’re really on a budget ~£27 for a LARP outfit might sound pretty radical, but at some clothing or LARP shops you might be spending that much on a single piece of costume or a nice new t-shirt. This is just an example and I don’t know how all these pieces would actually look together, but I’m trying to illustrate how you can look for very cheap bits of clothing that you might not think to go for regularly and tie them together into a costume, and even if it doesn’t make the best costume ever I’d hope that it would look better, be more comfortable and last longer than a mud spattered curtain with a head hole
I just want to thank everyone who has been kind enough to respond. It’s not just the practical answers but the welcoming sense of camaraderie and inclusion that are so valuable and encouraging. I am blown away that Ginj would spend all that time typing up such good advice and doing all that research on my behalf! Thank you all.
I need to do some rethinking. I enjoy low power characters but guess I need to get with the program and enjoy a different kind of challenge. Already starting as a hero with access to wealth and resources definitely does a lot to elevate and empower new players and avoids the nasty grind of starting as a pleb. Another reason to love Empire’s innovative and clever design.
Again thanks for your help and encouragement. And the www.mytholon.com/en link who are having a 70% off sale if anyone is interested.
I don’t think it alleviates the pleb status. It just changes what pleb means. Haha
Realistically, it’s a mega-game where you could be a rockstar in one section and a pleb in another. Ex: “You’re a badass warrior on the battlefield, but how many Thrones have you got?” or “Wow, you have a ritual lore at 5?! Can you craft the thing we need though?”
Its also set up to have players avoid setting themselves up for a bad time, ive known a few people play beggars at larp and while its highly profitable for them its also super hard work and dispiriting, if youve chosen to be a beggar people will play to that and give you crap for it or pay for a pittance to do tedious jobs etc. Some people love it, but the average person wont usually!
Also personally, having bounced over the poverty line a lot in my own life, its quite nice to play at being a bit better off in my hobbies Ginj has given some excellent costume advice above and id also say to spend some time cruising charity shops (virus allowing) as you can find some really great kit in there too, especially accessorises.
You can play a combatant without weapons and armour too, look at healing or ritual magic for things that just need words and some basic herb phys reps can come from a poundshop plastic plant cut up a bit and put in a basic bag. You could even lean into the money side and go trading, if you put the shoe leather in you can make ludicrous sums just buying cheap and selling high across the field, mostly because most folks DONT do that
Tell me more of these ludicrous sums of money of which you speak! I am starting 7 years late to the party after all.
Above all I am looking for a “niche” or an “in” where I can be useful and included. My top pick was Artisan as that automatically gives me something of interest to others.
Please do keep the advice coming.
I’ve thought about checking prices and selling resources where they’re most wanted. But I have so much fun pursuing my goal. A crown or so profit is going to make less difference than a few scintillating IC conversations. And I could carry something to sell while having those conversations. So I’ll be offloading my ship’s cargo to the trader who gives me a fair price when I need it. There must be a fortune to be made across the field somewhere.
Sounds like a plan! Remember that as long as you’re having fun, it doesn’t matter too much if you aren’t making a fortune at the same time
Honestly the only thing that might be a barrier is not having Facebook, and that’s nuisance level not terrible.
Not having a car/driving means your options are public transport or getting a lift with other players, there is a group on Facebook for travel arrangements.
Not drinking at events: there are a lot of us who don’t, I don’t drink at all, I’m fact I find it reduces my enjoyment if I do (particularly hungover in a field, but also the sheer bollocks of it all).
In your position the only thing I’d consider is a throwaway Facebook account solely to post on travel arrangements.