New Player Wisdom 2017

So if you started playing Empire this year I hope you had a good introduction to the game :smiley: . Now can I pick all your brains for one or two things you’ve learned this year that you think will be useful to next year’s new players?

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Your boots may not be as waterproof as you think they are. Be prepared with spare footwear and dry socks, because wet feet are one of the fastest ways to being utterly miserable.


There are two kinds of new players: Those who will be happiest bringing a mostly blank-slate/self insert character they’re happy to abandon after an event or two so they can learn the ropes and those who are going to be happiest having a fully-realized personality and backstory and just course-correcting their expectations on the fly. If you don’t know which one you are, I’m afraid I haven’t figured out how to tell, so good luck.

Also, your initial gut feeling about what nation you wanna play might turn out to be wrong. Varushka was not my first choice, and I ended up there because a bunch of us started playing at once and Varushka was pretty much the only nation in everyone’s top three picks. Happily, Varushka turned out to be the best nation and I have no regrets at all.

I guess the overall message is check your expectations and be willing to compromise.


Coming to E1 after a 7 month wait I struggled at first in the smallest event of the year with only a small number of new players, I knew no one at the event… And coming into the Navarr at a time when there was sooooo much angst. So mu advice is this.
1)I’d recommend not going solo, turn up solo and find a group? Sure, but staying it is hard. Not that there aren’t advantages, if you are willing to work 2 or 3 times as hard then you can gain loads of friends from around anvil. Being solo means you avoid 80% of the grudges and infighting between groups but also lose the numerous advantages of being in a group. This all being said, I’m still, by my own choice, a solo player.
2) Don’t expect to get lots of plot… or any to that point, unless you attach yourself to someone important or are part of a large group. In my opinion your best option is to go and just make your own plot.
3) if you have an idea do it, if you go asking everyones advice before hand then people will try to stop or sabotage your plans, wether conscious or unconscious, cos they dont like the sound of it or it may throw their plans out of wack. Once you’ve got the ball rolling generally people will change things to allow it to keep rolling. But ofc talk to people you trust and would be supporting.


I’d dispute point 2 - there’s plenty of plot available if you’re willing to go digging for it. I’ve had hours of occupation over two events because I cast Signs and Portents and decided I was going to damn well figure out what my vision meant. You have to work for your plot, yes, but it doesn’t require hitching your wagon to someone important.

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I thought I was going to have a throw away character but got super emotionally invested in him XD

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I admit I may have worded that badly. Basically I meant dont expect to have plot handed to you but most people I’ve talked to are of the opinion that if you are connected to a someon then it is far easier


It gets cold quickly when the sun goes down. Seriously heat pads or being able to warm up by a fire or have somewhere to go with lots of people so you can warm up. As a lot of the events go on late until the evening. So make sure you have someway of keeping warm.

Also the majority of people are extremely friendly and more than happy to chat and give advice and help if needed. Your costume is fine as well, I know a lot of people worry about this, but so long as its nothing overly modern then people won’t say anything or don’t seem to mind.

Finally be proactive and engaging you’ll get a lot more out of it going round talking to people than sitting back waiting for someone to come to you.


On the sock-theme: have a separate pair of sleeping/tent socks and then pairs of outside socks. Always pack extra to what you think you need if you can.

If you’re sleeping in the IC field, bring an eyemask and ear plugs - unless you can sleep through Beethoven’s symphonies, you’ll be glad for them.

Remember to eat and let yourself nap/rest if you’ve had trouble sleeping - I did not do this during E1 this year, and so had a very tough event. (snacks in a belt pouch can be a good friend!)


Just come back from my first event in E4 of this year.

First thing I would say is everyone is actually awesome, nobody is going to judge you or be unpleasant in any way to you as a person, everyone is friendly and helpful as hell so probably the point over all would be don’t worry about what other people are doing!

Second thing I would say is stick your face into stuff. Interested in what someone is doing or like the look of it? Ask them about what they’re doing, I’m sure they’d be thrilled or failing that ask someone else who’s watching!

Thirdly is don’t go all out for what kit you need, get your basics for your first event and go from there. Get a tent for the OOC field and bring a load of layers, make sure you’re comfy. As you’re doing a lot of walking make sure you’ve got good shoes and socks.


Sorry Mark, longer list here.
10 things that worked for me as a solo(ish) newbie at E3:

  • Before you arrive, read the wiki about cool stuff that interests you. Pick a nation, for whatever reason. Just go with it, have ideas of what you want and be willing to change that when you get to the field. It’s just a character that enables you to have fun. You can change skills after the first event if you need to. It’s a game, enjoy it.

  • Post on the forums, join Facebook nation groups (if on Facebook) and make it be known you exist and are coming to an event. Maybe someone has some old kit you could borrow/buy. Maybe someone likes your character idea and wants to discuss it further or meet you on the field.

  • Test your tent beforehand. Try putting it up by yourself if you’re travelling solo, or with your tent buddy. Bring extra socks and underwear. Have dedicated sleeping clothes that stay dry in your tent, only use these for sleeping. Look up camping tips online. You still need to sleep during the events, go to bed at a reasonable time and you’ll feel better during the day. Make sure your boots are comfortable and worn in. If possible, get waterproof socks.

  • Arrive early if possible and offer to help people set up their tents. Everyone will like you as a person out of character and they’ll be a little nicer IC maybe.

  • Introduce yourself to everyone you think looks cool in your nation. It’s your first event, you don’t need to be known far and wide yet. Focus on making friends in a manageable way and you’ll have plenty of people wanting to take you up on offers of roleplay. If you like the sound of other nations, find them and introduce yourself to them too.

  • Go socialise in the evening. You don’t need to consume alcohol and if anything I’d suggest against alcohol consumption if you can socialise without it. And you’ll not be hungover for the next day.
    And you can get by without a drink, you’ve been doing it all day possibly.
    But the verb in that original point is important:
    GO somewhere and socialise. There are player-run pubs all over the site. Go for a wander with your new friends. Make new friends. Make a nuisance of yourself (in a fun roleplaying way, don’t be a Grendel).

  • Remember the immortal phrase
    " I’m new to Anvil, can you tell me more about that? "
    Everyone wants to get you involved in their version of the game. Because more players = more fun. So they’ll want to show a newbie all the cool stuff they get to do. And if they aren’t welcoming of newbies, do you really want to hang around them?

  • Think of Empire as this crazy improv weekend where you get to keep saying “Yes, and…” to the bonkers awesome crazy that comes out of other players’ mouths. You’re there to have fun so don’t feel like you have to agree to everything, but if something sounds cool you should jump at it.

  • Get to know your egregores. They’re awesome and will help you in a lot of ways. Need introducing to a certain flavour of the game, ask your egregore. Feeling a bit left out, ask an egregore. Interested in a different nation, ask an egregore from that nation.

  • Help people pack up if you don’t have to run away on Sunday. The traffic goes super slowly on Sunday, be a good person and help the cool people who sheltered you and gave you drinks and company take their tents down. You’ll feel good and you can chat about the cool stuff at the weekend.

  • I came to my first event as a group with two of my friends. As a shy person, it definitely was easier and felt safer to know that you always had someone to hang out with, but it also didn’t force me to get to know people and make new friends. So what I’m trying to get at, even if starting conversations or being social is hard for you please try, everyone is super nice if you give them a chance to be :smiley:
  • Also, you don’t need to know everything on the wiki but it will really help you on the field, if you take the time to study your own nation bit more. Winds of fortune/war are also good things to read. Maybe pick one thing that you know very well and have an opinion about and go talk to people about it!
  • Bring a good light with you, it gets really dark and there are tent lines and mud everywhere and you really don’t want to fall!
  • Have things like snack bars, apple slices, nuts, something small you can keep in your tent because if you are like me and don’t really remember to eat that much during the day and then go drinking in the evening it’s good to have something on hand.

What every one already said and…
Keep track of time it’s very easy to miss stuff happening (I did) because you don’t know the time.
Get a notebook to write stuff down .there is so much going on that you will forget (i did).
Go to the new player meeting in the hub.
Unless you are set on playing a particular type of character you may just want to take some basic skills and try stuff out. if you spend all your skill points on magic and then hate it you may have a disappointing event.
Come in a group if you can, makes things a bit easier,
Don’t expect to join someone else’s group. Do something for them and they will be more likely to ask you to join.
Do the battles, even if you don’t want to fight . be a water carrier . Thirsty people will come and talk to you hang with a healer for some awesome rp!
If your st E1 come and talk to Me!


As a newbie at E4 I’ve got a sort of top 5:

  • bring a friend: while you can go alone, it does require you to be pretty proactive and id advise against going in a massive group too. Just me and a mate went to the last event and as a pair it was easy to slot in almost anywhere we went.

  • get a thermal top, otherwise you’ll feel like you’re sleeping in the Antarctic on your first night

  • don’t worry too much about sleeping OC rather than IC, if you’re anything like me you’ll be thankful getting a good nights rest away from the noise of Anvil

  • DONT BUY WEAPONS ONLINE! They are unlikely to pass weapon check. If you are looking for a cheap sword, try eBay for second hand ones as you know they’ve been passed somewhere before but that doesn’t mean they will pass at Empire. Much better to get a decent one in the field.

  • You will be surprised what parts of the game interest you, I was thankful I saved my skill points as I was tempted to spend them on battle skills but became way more interested in the trade side of the game.


I’d suggest not going for EBay.

I think that’s best, it was very hit and miss. I bought a sword and a dagger not much cheaper than if I bought them in field that were fine but others haven’t been so lucky.

My best advice to any new LARPer, is remember the biggest different between RP and LRP is you cannot pretend to be able to do something you physically cannot do…ambidextrous for example :slight_smile:

I disagree, buying online is fine PROVIDED it’s a recognised LARP retail website, not Amazon or Ebay etc

Very belated response but here goes:

  1. You can play Empire without camping. Camping is one of the fun aspects but good hotels are within easy travelling distance by car (though obviously this will need you or your hotel buddy to be a designated driver)

  2. Don’t stress about your costume too much. This isn’t historical renactment and you can have just as much fun in polycotton as you can in silk woven by mountain monks by the pale moonlight.

  3. Being able to wear your shoes/boots all day trumps aesthetics.

  4. Use sunscreen.