New Player Wintermark Costume

Hi, I’m new to Empire and looking at creating a new costume. My character is a young hardened captain of a fleet, or at least aspiring to be. I want his costume to resemble what once was great craftsmanship but over the adventures is now battered and each imperfection tells a story from battle or encounter.
Would these ideas be appropriate for the world and have you got any advice?

I’m afraid that’s a bit too modern for the wintermark brief.

Are you planning on being Steinr, Suaq or Kallavesi? They each have specific costume briefs, and we’ll be happy to help you find something that suits you and the brief.

Weathering a costume to make it look lived in isn’t too difficult, but also do remember the Empire events are the equivalent of Davos or the G20 meeting up once a quarter, you’re someone important just by turning up, and you’ll probably be wearing your best to make an impression, so it isn’t likely to be your everyday wear.

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Thank you so much.

Yeah I was worried it was too modern, I’ll go for a different look. I’m planning on being Steinr and I am looking for a cheaper way of doing it. I like the aesthetic of the Rohirrim and the diagonal leather armour of the Starks but it can be quite pricey.

I was thinking a signature coat/cloak perhaps like Thorin Oakenshieds. Most the advice I’ve heard is to have a signature feature.

Is there a specific colour scheme?
Are furs appropriate for the Wintermark look?
And are there any more recommendations on reference and cost effective sollutions?

Thank You

Welcome Sodnods, to the game and the forums!

It’s a good concept, and the bone-handled knives are a nice idea (if you can find some LARP-safe ones, which is likely), but the overall look there is a little too modern, as mentioned. Think more Viking and less Pirates of the Carribean.

Certainly a cloak or coat, with a thousand scars, each with it’s own story, is a grand idea. I played a pirate lord (in Dawn), and had many stories, although for that nation I was dressed up shiny.

Furs are indeed appropriate, in moderation. Bear in mind the events are usually in warm(ish) weather, so you don’t want to go overboard (I have a vivid memory of a different event, someone wearing furs and leather armour over the top, sweating all their facepaint off as they battled heat-stroke…).

Colour schemes… many groups in Wintermark have different colour schemes, but this tends (from an ousiders POV) to be more accents than large blocks of colour. A Scarf, a sash, a shirt under their cloak or armour, in the Hall colours and insignia… far more subtle than the (I could tell your group and nation from 100m away) of Highguard or Dawn. Have you picked a group to go with, or are you intending on going solo? I would not reccomend the latter for your first event.

There is a facebook page for Wintermark, who I’m sure will give much useful advice on costume, groups, colour schemes, and the like. There is a page or two on the wiki on costume guidance for Wintermark. Would you like some links?

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The wiki has pretty good costume briefs.

For Steinr you’re basically after a t-tunic, probably a cotton or linen one for the summer - any natural colour will work, not really bright, but orangey reds, mid blues, rich brown, with a bit of braid on it, neck wrists or hem. For winter the same again but in wool. they’re pretty easy to find online, second hand from one of the buy and sell groups or make yourself if you have even the most basic sewing skills.

Trousers I would suggest looking at linen plain leg trousers, charity shops and places like primark have them this time of year - check the rails for the other gender too, as 2 pairs is probably not a bad idea!

If you want to show off your fleet background can I suggest hunting for braid with fishes, waves, ships or similar on it, ebay will probably have something and then you can add that to your tunics to show off your wealth.

The basics are here, with a simple t-tunic pattern at the bottom of the page: https://www.profounddecisions.co.uk/empire-wiki/Wintermark_costumes

Adding a Stark style cloak or Rohirrim style armour would definitely be on brief, but you’ll probably need to save up for those, although haunting the second hand lists might mean you get lucky.
In the mean time a blanket would make a great cloak - army surplus work fine, and you may find if you ask around on the wintermark boards that someone can lend you armour for the first few events.

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Luckily, Wintermark has one of the most in-depth costume briefs on the wiki, here and here

Wintermark costume tends to favour natural tones, with relatively muted colour accents as Geoffrey says, usually to identify group allegiance. For a Suaq, lots of rough, natural-looking fur is ideal, but the Steinr and Kallevesi can also wear some fur garments - most importantly, it should still look rough and natural, to distinguish it from the neat fur trim of Varushka or the decorative fur of Temeschwar.

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I’m thinking about going along with a friend and because I am young try to be taken under someones wing. I really like the idea of heavy RP and unique story ideas. I’m going to see if I can join somewhere but want to create my character first as well as my friends.

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My best friend recently made me a Fur cloak so thats a must. I’m going to hit the drawing board because I’m so inspired by this community. Any RP advice?

That sound cool. Turning up to see what goes on at Anvil is a perfectly valid reason. Joining a group in play gives you an excuse to go round and ask lots of questions too.

I hope you realise that Wintermark is the biggest nation on the field, so you may have to go looking for your RP, but if you’re willing to get stuck in you’ll do fine. Do make sure you’ve picked something to do other than fight, the battles take up only the mornings, and if you want the RP you’ll need to poke yourself into the religion/ magic or political game, and will need some skills from whichever thing interests you.

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I’ve heard some stuff about Wintermark being abused by the empire (or at least my character) at some points and was thinking my character is fuelled by curiosity and questioning authority. Not to get assassinated or executed just to create a motivation but I love story telling, it’s my passion so thats my focus. I may save hero points and decide what part of the game I want to get stuck into. Weather its the politics or trade

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I’m not sure what exactly you mean by “abused by the Empire”. Obviously I don’t know everything that happens on the field, but I can’t think of any major events that could be construed as that since I started playing other than Dogri Thulesbane (which I think actually went down slightly before I started playing) and the recent invasion of Semersuaq by the Jotun. That being said, because Wintermark is such a big nation a lot of stuff tends to happen internally and news of it doesn’t spread to the other nations, so maybe I just haven’t heard about it.

Also, happily, politics (at least, the Senate) and trade don’t require you to spend any points at all, and you can poke your nose into those sides of the game whenever you want. If there are any skills you’re interested in trying out, I’d recommend taking them for your first event. PD are usually happy to refund the points to a new player if they discover after one event that they’re not having fun with the skills they chose.

If you like storytelling, you may want to look into the scop archetype, as detailed here under “Art and history”

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There’s people in every nation who claim their nation is unfairly maligned by the Empire as a whole. Wisdom dictates you go and question it and see what you learn.

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Realises my own costume consists of a bunch of blue sheets and a belt
Ah geez, it might be time to invest in some pantaloons if everybody else has such good costumes XD

Sheets are best costuming start tho’.

Cheap, easy to get hands on, and not super shreddy if you take shears to it for sewing.

Also, everyone starts costuming somewhere.
(Casually eyes their first cosplays)

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There’s a huge range of costumes on the field, from people who have spent literally hundreds of pounds on custom-made, beautiful kit down to folks making do with fabric from charity shops. While we all aspire to improve kit over time and to do the best with what we have, don’t bankrupt yourself! As long as you make an effort, and don’t slouch around in trainers, that’s a good start.

Top tip: the majority of my kit has been made from charity chop curtains, old bedlinen, and the cheapest fabric that IKEA has to offer (I <3 BOMULL).

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Some of the best costume I had that lasted a character 4 years was furnishing fabric offcuts, a pair of curtains and 2 sheets from charity shops. Still using the cloak for another system 10 years down the line.

Empire is aspirational. Do your best to stick to your nation brief, don’t forego food to afford it, and please feel free to ask for help! Plenty of crafters love to share their skills, and no questions is too silly, honestly we’ve all been there at one time.

Also you may well find that what you thought, or even were recommended, would be great doesn’t fit you, your character, or your way of camping. You’ll find as you live as your character that you need certain pouches or pockets in different places, that your skirt hem needs to be this high to stay out the wet or cover your bottom when you sit. That laces in one place just can’t be done up solo with cold fingers but moving the fastenings around makes something much easier to wear, or a thick cloaks works better for you than thermals underneath.

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The trick to being on brief and looking good isn’t to spend money or time on fancy kit, it’s not to spend money or time on off-brief kit.

I.e. a brief says “X is rare, Y is common” it means “X is fine if that’s what you’ve got, but Y is a good upgrade”. I’m assuming from that description you’re playing Brass Coast? In which case bright pantaloons are a good cheap upgrade that makes you more Freeborn. But a lovely, historical-replica Burgundian gown would be a complete waste of money that makes you look Dawnish or Marcher.

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