New player with a few questions

Hey, I’ve been wanting to larp for over 2 years now but have been too anxious to try it, I recently bought my own larp sword (which is on its way!! i’m so excited) so I can have something to remind me how much I want to go and hopefully will push me to finally do it. So i’ve decided it’s finally time to ask my questions, thank you in advance!

First off, I will most likely be going by myself and I am really scared about that. I know there is an introduction for new players before the event but is there anything outside like on discord for new players to meet each other and get to know each other? I would love to be able to message people before going so I feel more comfortable!

I’m also scared of not being good enough to larp and people will get annoyed roleplaying with me, I panic under stressful situations, often can’t think straight and I feel like i’m not smart enough to be able to act out a character and ask/answer all necessary questions my character might need to. I was wondering if there are any tips for that? Any tips and tricks for larping whilst feeling like you might be annoying to others. This is kind of the main thing putting me off going, I don’t want to ruin the larp experience for others by being annoying or too anxious!

Sorry for the weird questions, hope everyone is staying safe <3

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Hello Latoyia! Welcome to the hobby, the game of Empire, and these forums! :smiley:

(I have written a scarily large reply… oops)

Firstly, going solo. You will, as a player character, have to join a Nation. Which means that as well as these forums, there is also a bevy of facebook pages, one for each nation and quite a few extra ones, to meet people on, ask questions, and so on. They will likely try to recruit you into their groups. You can search for those or ask and I’ll find links to some you may find interesting. Oh, there is also a podcast I listened to recently which went through a solo new player experience, linked below (episode 49).

I would strongly reccomend reaching out and prodding some people in your nation. You might make friends, or contacts, but even having someone you know by name to meet on the field is a good first step.

Scared of not being good enough… that’s surprisingly common. It’s a big field, there’s lots of people looking frighteningly competant… we are all playing dress-up and pretend. Here’s a phrase for you: “I’m new to Anvil”. It is OOC code for (help I’m new and don’t know and am feeling a little lost).

There are a good few folk at Empire with anxiety issues. For them, there are several “quiet space” tents dotted around (often pretending to be shrines), if you need to duck out and catch your breath. The BIG STRESSFUL situations are likely to be very visible in advance (angry mobs, major battles, football games) and so you should be able to avoid them.

As well as this, as a new player, I suggest you camp “off-stage”, in the out-of-character area (at least for the first event). This allows you your own tent where you can go and hide from things for a while, and dive back in when ready.

We were all new once, and Empire is a heck of a deep pool to dive into as your first LARP, so being anxious is fine. Being too annoying… it’s a setting with prosletising zealots, and small children wanting to stab you in the ankle (to steal your small change for sweeties)… you’re going to have work damn hard to be too annoying.

Smart enough to play? You have found these forums. You have an imagination. You can write an articulate post with proper formatting and spelling :slight_smile: You’re fine.

The setting can seem daunting. Come on, it is daunting. It’s huge, with loads of history, and next year will be the… 8th? 9th? year of play? YOU NEED TO KNOW LESS THAN 1% OF IT!

Starting character should know:
Their own name.
Their nation.
Their group within that nation, if any.
Their province of origin within that nation, if any.
If they have any special skills, a 10 second blurb about what they can do.

That’s it.

Anything else you can pick up in play, wing it, ask people to explain to you, and so on. You should be able to stick this on the back of an A5 postcard. For example, if I may virtually recruit you to a former group of mine:

Name: Yailato
Nation: Dawn
Group: House Dromond
Province: Semmerholm
Skills: Can hit people with a sword and scream CLEAVE three times a day

Now, as for acting out the character, no-ones going to expect Royal Shakespeare Company levels of acting skill. If you start out as (“oh God I’m just playing me in a costume”) no-one’s going to know or care. Heck, most of us started out like that. If you want a quick tip to “get into character”, see if you can think of something. A story they like to tell. Something they fiddle with. A verbal tick, yerknow? An expletive for the setting. Yailato above might be a deep-sea trader (with an interesting story about this time they got stuck in a vast sea of weed, only to be rescued by…), or indeed, given that House, a pirate…

Here’s a solid tip. Get a small plain notebook, A5 or smaller. Put your real name on the inside, and your character name on the outside (leave room for any group symbol or name later, very helpful if lost). Write out inside any thoughts on your character, what they do, what they like, what they can do, what they have seen. Have a small pencil in it, stick it in your pocket/bag. And carry that around with you, in the game. Lots of people do; you can scribble down interesting notes, check what the heck your character skills do, note down the names of people and groups and meetings and so on.

Finally, when you get to the event (when we next get one…), see if you can get there early. Friday morning if you can, Thursday night if possible. Before the game starts (18:00 Friday), you can wander round, meet people, help put up tents (make new friends doing so), and acclimatise slowly. On Thursday night, you can likely find a fireside or tent with folk eager to tell you stories (and recruit you into their group). On Friday the organisers, PD, run many workshops for new players, including Basic Introductions, Combat Tutorials, and so on.

Now, I or any of the other moderators (and the swarms of other players, in- to very- experienced on here) will likely be happy to answer any further questions. I’m not sure you CAN ask anything we’ll consider a stupid question, so don’t be shy. Have a hunt around on the New Players section, there have been many questions asked by others, which may help.

And again… welcome!

(also, there’s a welcome video below. And some other useful links off that)

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The other big thing to look out for both on the field and in the facebook groups prior to attending is your nations egregore. These are NPC’s from PD to act as the spirit/ heart of each nation. IC they are there to bind the nation together. OOC they are there to help people find their feet and to help you have as much fun as possible. If you’re ever not sure what to do, are feeling lost or overwhelmed they are there to help you.

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Thank you so much for responding and taking your time, I really appreciate it and it’s made me feel a lot better. I actually started listening to the podcast today so hopefully that will help me too.

I think I’ll go through all the nations, choose one and try to talk to some people in it and ask some more questions. I think maybe once I’ve made a character and talked to the nation I’ll feel more comfortable too.

The notebook is such a good idea thank you! I love scrapbooking and writing in notebooks so that would really help immerse me. I’ll also try to get there as early as possible to try to meet with people and settle in.

The OOC code and “quiet spaces” are really helpful to know, I appreciate that. I’ll take note of that. Thank you again for such a detailed answer, it’s really sweet of you and made me feel loads better. I hope you have a lovely day!

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The new player team and egregores really are great in the field, and their job is to help you out, they really dont mind chatting! Folks have covered most of the things id also mention above but id also recommend Heftyyeti (noone tell him!) his videos are quite good and the discord is full of positive fellow newbies! :slight_smile:

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Adding to everything people have already said, I can very much recommend going along to the sessions run by the Player Support team on Thursday and Friday pre-game. There’s a new player social on Thursday night and New Player Briefings, Combat practice and introductions to various areas of the game on the Friday. This is last events schedule.

The New Player Briefings introduce you to the player support team including Egregores and they’ll try and answer any questions you have about Empire plus give you good advice for getting involved and having fun. Them and the socials are also great places to meet other new players in your nation so you know people in the same boat as you :slight_smile:.

The Egregores are part of the player support team, they’re there in your nation camp to help you have fun and they also have a radio so they can get in touch with the rest of player support. You can see their pictures and read more about them here.

The Civil Service are also part of Player Support and are mainly found in the Hub tent where a bunch of stuff like Synod voting happens along with being the home to the Militia and magistrates. They’re happy to answer questions about how all the various IC systems and rules work, like the Synod, Laws, that sort of thing.

Oh yes this is another excellent podcast by some relatively new players that you might want to have a listen to, it’s a good intro :slight_smile:.

Anxiety wise, you’re not alone, there’s loads of people on the field with anxiety of one kind or other. Apart from having your own OOC tent space to retreat to if needed, you can always take a break from the field by going to the OOC area and having some food from the vendors there. Personally I’ve always found playing a character to be helpful with the anxiety as you’re not you, so things don’t seem quite as anxiety making. Might work for you :slight_smile:.

Please do ask any other questions you’ve got and start new threads as well if they’re on new subjects. See you on the field :slight_smile:.

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