OC/IC Relationships (and death!)


#1

My partner and I are planning to start attending events next year - neither of us has LARPed before. As much as we both want to throw ourselves into roleplaying, we also want to spend a memorable weekend together. Thus, it’s most likely that our characters will be in a relationship. That way we can share a tent IC and not break our own immersion by sharing everyday fondnesses.

I assume that this is far from rare, but one particular hypothetical question remains… what happens when one of us inevitably dies? It seems stupidly contrived to keep re-rolling new love interests for one another, but likewise weird for a recently bereaved character to share a tent with a stranger who’s just arrived in town…

Has anyone got any tales of pitfalls and perks when full-immersion adventuring with an OC partner?


#2

Which nation are you intending on? That would colour my answer to some degree.


#3

We’re planning on Navarr :slight_smile:


#4

I know couples who play in different nations and use the same IC tent, I don’t think anyone will ask too many questions if a “stranger” is sleeping in your tent as we all know the score OOC :slight_smile:.


#5

Some things off the top of my head:

Stuff like OC sleeping arrangements can be hand-waved. Just come up with an excuse for knowing the character - “we met on the road into Anvil” is good enough - and it’ll be fine. We understand.

If one of you dies, there’s no need for you to create another love interest. They can be a friend, or even a complete stranger who ‘happens’ to bump into you first on their first trip to Anvil. I’ve played a wide variety of relationship degrees with my hubby, one of which was two asexual, agender trees for three years. Still one of my favourite characters. :slight_smile:

Alternatively, you may both want to generate new characters, possibly in a different nation, and start again. Be aware that the one who hasn’t died may have formed new friendships and may not want to retire their character, so that’s not always the best option but can work for some people. I’ve seen entire groups re-roll when they’ve lost a proportion of their members so that the group of OC friends can carry on RPing together.

On a different note, one person’s RP interests may not be the same as another’s. My husband and I have been LRPing at PD games for ten years… and we barely speak to each other IC, because we have different versions of ‘fun’. We do enjoy talking about it OC, sharing stories and shenanigans and planning cool new stuff to do, so we do still have fun together, just not in character.
Don’t be afraid to go and do separate things and come together either IC or OC afterwards to excitedly talk about what happened.


#6

Agree with all of the above - my partner and I play characters from two different nations (and two very obviously different nations who actually don’t like each other very much at the moment…). We have had no problem whatsoever doing this, and have actually only just become ‘in a relationship’ IC. You can definitely camp IC and share a tent without breaking any kind of immersion, even if you’re playing totally different games. As said above, it’s kinda waved off if everyone around knows the score. I tend to slip round the back sneakily if I don’t want anyone to see me :stuck_out_tongue:

I totally agree with you wanting to spend the weekend together, though! This is one of the reasons we decided to play IC relationship going forward. Further points below:

PERKS

  • You get to spend time together! It is your holiday after all!
  • Sharing stuff - I’ve camped on my own before and let me tell you it’s easier with two (putting up tents etc)
  • A place that the two of you can slip OC together if needed. I LOVE the immersion factor of Empire, and it’s one of the main reasons I chose this system over others, but as a heads up there will probably be at least one point in the weekend where you need a little bit of time to decompress and to slip inside your own head again. It’s nice to have a space you can hide away and do that with your partner(s).
  • IC relationships can be super fun to play!

PITFALLS

  • Try to follow your own game. I’m a naturally introverted person and can rely on more outgoing, experienced people like my partner to make connections. I found going off and being my own character quite liberating in that sense., even if it meant there were times I didn’t see him very much
  • IC relationships can be super not fun to play. This can include IC falling out, or getting way too busy to see each other. Maybe have a chat see what you both want to try to avoid in that sense. We’ve played it that we have to make time to do at least one ‘date’ thing together IC.
  • As you noted, character death can be awkward. However, this does give the opportunity to re-roll and ‘meet’ each other again for the first time, then RP a new relationship forming naturally :slight_smile:

Good luck, welcome to Empire, and have fun!


#7

Hi, and welcome. If I could offer some contrary advice, it is that playing your characters in a relationship may not be the best idea. My wife and I almost never play an IC couple, for a host of reasons, but we have other workarounds for the situation you describe.

Firstly, literally no-one will question you sharing an IC tent with your OC partner. Like people wearing glasses or wearing modern boots, it is just something we automatically gloss over and don’t notice. If you do want to put a fig leaf over it, your characters can be friends, of family members.

As to reasons why not to play a couple with your OC partner, some people do it, and I guess if that makes them happy, fine - but I always think it is a route to unhappiness. Personally I’m quite expressive of emotion to my wife, and telling her how I feel is important to me. But when I do that, I want it to be very clear that it is a sincere statement. When you are in the field it can end up feeling a bit weird, like you are confusing your character and yourself. After all, you want your characters to be distinct people, not just you in a silly hat. That is really important to preserving your mental health in a long term game. If the character makes a terrible mistake and gets shouted at, it’s easy not to take it personally - that was them messing up, not you. And if your characters have a shouty argument, that is your characters. The bad feeling between them will stay in the game, not leave you having a very frosty drive home.

Plus if/when one of you messily dies, it is easy to then share your tent with another friend who just showed up.


#8

What do you plan on doing? There are lots of activities in anvil that will allow you to do things together. If you are both magicians then you can do rituals together and visit the hall of worlds. If you are priests or politicians then you will see each other during the senate or the synod. If you are warriors then you will meet on the battle field and you may have some really good moments together there.

As you are Navarr you have the camp fire and the singing on a Saturday. That is really good fun, I went along one time (however I think I embarrassed my self again). There will always be taverns open for you to get a drink together as well.

If you haven’t generated your back stories or characters yet then I suggest you consider how deeply you are entwined as characters. You may not be the exact same roll, maybe one of your is a priest and the other is a magician but maybe you work together to deal with people who have been possessed. You may do completely different roles and do your own thing but meet up at certain points in the day.

With death, you can really play it however you want. It depends on the character. They may try and move on quickly to forget and thus you may have another lover (your partners new character) at the next event. Of course as everyone suggested the two of you could just be very good friends, maybe family and you wouldn’t have to move on as quickly. Alternatively you can pull a Romeo and Juliet thing. This may work quite well in a battle as you could charge in and go down in a blaze of glory.

With full immersion, as long as your partner or you aren’t playing an arsehole or something like that, it should be fine. I knew someone who was playing a bit of an arsehole, it made it difficult especially because he was apparently still winding down from that on the way home. I was told he came across as one during the journey which wasn’t so fun.

Anyway, welcome and if you have any more questions, feel free to ask.


#9

I know this one. I definitely have a different approach to LARP than my wife. We share a tent and might snuggle up in our Carta’s tea shop after dark, but I am not sure we spend more than mealtimes together while the sun is up.

Death is something we have discussed and it’s always going to be a hard one. We both have friends and connections IC, but we do have another life in another nation planned just in case. We also have a daughter though… That’s probably the main reason for our IC marriage, to be fair; it lets our OC family play as an IC family.

My advice? Have a plan, have another plan just in case, discuss your plans, be open about your feelings in case something changes. Maybe one or both of you will make new friends in a nation you never expected to join. Maybe one of you will have an argument with another member of your nation and be happy to just retire to Varushka at the slightest provocation.

I have two ideas for rejoining the League (including the ultra-cheesy ‘lineaged uncle’ plan) in case my wife and daughter want to stay. I have a plan for a character who has no wife and daughter, in case I die in a Saturday skirmish and need to see out the event. We also have our plan for a family in another nation who are not at all Leaguish, just so nobody could be confused no matter how well they know us. I’m still pretty sure we’ll do something else entirely if and when my combat medic overextends and his full-time-skirmish-crew Carta-mate finally gets the chance he has been looking for.


#10

Tbh, I wouldn’t worry about death too much yet. If you die on your first event? Well that’s unlucky but tbh no one would argue with you “Re-incarnating” (within reason). On the other hand, a year down the road? you may feel comfortable with the game that having a cross nation courtship could be fun. TBH what will work for you may not work for other people.


#11

To offer a middle ground between having an IC relationship and never seeing them on the field, my partner and I play characters who are in the same nation and playing the same bit of the game (foreign politics), but otherwise don’t have any connection.

This means we get a fair bit of time interacting because IC, we’re interested in similar things/events, but we also each have our own stuff to go and do.

I actually found that a massive challenge to start with, as we only got to see each other a few times a month anyway, so I definitely felt the “we’re not actually getting to spend any time together” thing.
To help with that, we started having breakfast together OC before time in as a time for us to just have a bit of a catch up before going IC, and that helped a lot (and as I went off on more adventures of my own that he didn’t know about, I had more to froth about over breakfast too! :))