Totally new to this...Have many daft questions!

Hi everyone,

I will be attending empire for the first time ever in July and I have no idea what to expect. I’ve also never been camping before. I am completely new to all of this and I have no idea what I need to bring. I’ve done some basic searches online and i’ve been reading the wiki so I think i’ve got some basics down.

Does anyone have an essentials list (or a link to one) that they would recommend for a total noob like myself?

I’m grateful for any advice you guys have, thanks! x

Hi Eleanor!

This’ll be my first Empire as well, but I’ve been LARPing for a while. This and this are two lists that get bandied around a lot when it comes to ‘what should I bring?’.

Do you know which Nation you’re joining yet? If so, it’s probably worth making contact with their Egregore. There’s also a New Player briefing at the event which it’s been recommended I and my gaggle of newbies throw ourselves at, so we’ll probably see you there :smiley:

[quote=“CogGirl”]
Do you know which Nation you’re joining yet? [/quote]

From Eleanor’s name I am guessing Dawn. :slight_smile: (Yay!)

Do check out the various Empire facebook groups as well. Particularly the Dawn one.

Hiya!

Do you have a group that you are going with, or are you coming by yourself? If you are coming by yourself I endorse all the above, plus perhaps asking around to see if a group within your chosen nation wouldn’t mind taking you under wing for an event or two.

Definitely ask about the New Player team when you get on the field, they will want to help you find your feet.

Empire is a great game but because it’s so huge and there’s so much going on it can be easy to find it intimidating - stick with it, and never be afraid to jump in to something if it’s going on around you. I got my current job by simply sticking my hand up in the air and assuming I’d figure out how to do it afterwards.

My top tip for camping is ALWAYS assume it will be cold at night. Don’t skimp on getting a layer of insulation between you and the floor and ALWAYS take one more layer of duvet/blanket/sleeping bag/all three than you think you’ll need. It might be warm during the day but it still gets cold at night, even in July. Being cold at night is something that will completely drain your energy and potentially ruin the event for you even if you are having a good time during the day. Better to have too many layers that you have to remove than have too few and lie there all night shivering and waiting for the sun to come up.

Also, make sure you have a plan for eating well; it can be easy to forget to eat and drink if you are having fun so either allocate some OC cash to food & water or bring plenty along with you (or a combination of both).

Wise words! I wish someone had told me that before my first event way-back-when; spending a miserable evening wearing every item of clothing (ooc and ic) that I had and still freezing was not the best introduction to the hobby :wink:

On that note: a cloak / coat / other suitable IC top layer is a godsend, and can be made pretty simply (my first cloak was a fleece throw, split down the middle to make a serape, with some ribbon hastily hand-stitched around the edge, and it served me faithfully).

On the IC side, pick a nation but don’t feel bound by your initial choices. PD are very happy for new players to completely change their character if you find something isn’t quite as fun as you thought it would be or realise you missed something awesome.

Having somewhere IC to sit down and have a drink and a bit of shade is great. If you don’t join a group with a tent then find out where the social gathering place is, retry much every nation has them.

Plan your costume choices assuming mud and rain. Wellies and thermal under layers are not inappropriate.

On a more serious note, the ground can become very muddy, although PD will do everything they can to minimise it. Boots with zips will become clogged (pack a stiff toothbrush for cleaning them), and a pair of slip on OC Wellies are a good idea for things like going to the toilets and showers when you’re in the OC area. If you have normal base layers under your clothing (a good idea if you can) then bring a couple of changes.

If you’re coming by car and have space available a raised camp bed is one of the best purchases you can make, if not make sure you have plenty of insulation under your bed as well as covers on top. Don’t get a cheap tent, the extra money is definately worth it, and try for one you can stand up in if possible. A 3 berth tent is the minimum size you should be considering, each berth is literally a space for a person in a sleeping bag, so normal camping gear takes a second berth, and your IC gear takes a 3rd.

The event has catering, with a good mix of caterers on the OC field and a few IC as well, although you can also bring a camping stove and cook your own food. There is 1 bar which serves drinks for real money, and many many bars which serve drinks for IC money. You get a small amount of IC money (18 rings) which is typically enough for several drinks, and have a choice of resources which you can use to either do things in game or get more money (enough to get really really drunk on in the IC bars)

Other things to consider - if you’re camping solo, make sure you don’t need help getting into or out of your costume. If wearing a dress or robes go for a raised hemline or make it possible to raise your hemline at need (I wasn’t kidding about the mud). Have a warm cloak or over layer, even it’s hot during the day it can be cold at night. Put on sun cream even if the day is overcast, it’s much to easy to forget, and keep a big bottle of water in your tent, it’s easy to forget to drink while IC.

If you want to fight then you’ll need a monster costume, this can be plain dark clothes. There are 2 big battles each event, and if you fight 1 as your character you’re expected to fight the other as a monster (which is really really fun). You don’t have to do combat if you don’t want to, Anvil is safe and there are plenty of non-coms who stay behind during the battles.

My first event was - generic trousers
Fleece robes
A few belts to keep things on me
My food for the event
Of course my camping gear.

But not much else

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Please make sure you have good footwear, bad footwear can make an event a no fun slog…

If at all possible it should be dry, supportive and comfortably broken in, as you are going to be on your feet for quite a lot of the day. Supportive is good for the battles as the ground uneven and you don’t always have time to watch your footing. The grass will be wet in the morning and evening even if it doesn’t rain.

If you are buying new boots for the event wear them round the house first to get any bits that might rub or cause blisters walked off.

Bring spare socks so you can change over as often as you prefer.

People will ignore the not absolutely IC styling as long as they’re not dayglo so better to go for comfort first.

[quote=“CharlieP”]Please make sure you have good footwear, bad footwear can make an event a no fun slog…

If at all possible it should be dry, supportive and comfortably broken in, as you are going to be on your feet for quite a lot of the day. Supportive is good for the battles as the ground uneven and you don’t always have time to watch your footing. The grass will be wet in the morning and evening even if it doesn’t rain.

If you are buying new boots for the event wear them round the house first to get any bits that might rub or cause blisters walked off.

Bring spare socks so you can change over as often as you prefer.

People will ignore the not absolutely IC styling as long as they’re not dayglo so better to go for comfort first.[/quote]

Quoted for truth. My character stops at my ankles. I wear proper hiking boots (waterproof, breathable, decent ankle support) and proper hiking socks.

My boots were brought a few years before I started larping, and I just cover the orange stripes with black marker pen. This stays on with no problems until they are so covered in mud that nobody can tell anyway. Don’t spend lots of money or fuss about footwear if you already have a pair of half-decent hiking boots.

Thanks for the advice everyone, I’ll definitely be adding some stuff to my list now!

For those asking, I’m in Dawn (house Vandale). I’ll be joining my friends who are also in the same house. I’m looking forward to meeting everyone :slight_smile:

Steel toe caps for the win

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I always recommend something like this for new players:

shoezone.com/Mens/Safety-Footwear/Boots/Earth-Works-Mens-Leather-Rigger-Boot-in-Tan-58521

Cheap, looks IC(ish), and has the all important steel toecaps…

What’s with all the steel toecap fetishism?

Are PD crew throwing scaffolding shackles at players feet?

[quote=“MickoftheLakes”]What’s with all the steel toecap fetishism?
[/quote]

Puzzles me as well. Never worn them in 30 years of LRP and never felt the need. But whatever floats your boat :smiley:

I also don’t have toe caps, but I do have sturdy walking boots that I know I can wear for four days straight without a blister in sight. Given my predisposition to falling over my own ankles, having ankle support means I don’t fall over quite as often.

My open toed sandals are reserved only for the warmest of weather, and for non-com stuff only. And, to be honest, not even for that long because sun-baked earth is as tough as concrete and it isn’t long until my feet ache for a bit more cushioning and support!

Puzzles me as well. Never worn them in 30 years of LRP and never felt the need. But whatever floats your boat :smiley:[/quote]

In my larp career have lost two pairs of footwear to walking into tent pegs, and I have a 2" scar on my shin from a third such incident (that was so realistic and so painless that people complimented me on my wound makeup before realising it wasn’t makeup and dragging me to first aid).

Precisely zero of these incidents would have been prevented if I were wearing steel toecapped boots.

My boots look IC are good and sturdy.

They give me confidence in my stride.

Let’s keep it away from ‘fetishes’ and innuendo. Or I will seriously weird you out!!!

I paid an obscene amount of money for some really good leather boots.

I then paid out a similar sum to get some for my wife because she suffered a couple of battle-related injuries from lack of ankle support in the woods of Tournament Stud. With ankle support her mobility increased massively and her enjoyment of fighting likewise*. So I would have to say that your number 1 priority should be a good fit of boot with ankle support… the players are very forgiving of boot toppers or half-chaps that make OC footware look IC, whereas the field is far less forgiving of cool-looking boots that don’t fit right.

  • Her boots are also prettier than mine, so I’m sulking. :wink:

Those are cool, but you don’t even have to go that far - I use plain brown OOC hiking boots. If you actually look at them, they’re fairly modern, but they’re nondescript enough not to draw the eye so nobody cares. :slight_smile: