So me and a couple of friends have recently bought a tent that we want to run a small bar/gambling den out of. It’s one of those green canvas army dining tents, about 12 by 12.
We’re in Varushka and while people do use the dark green canvas tents so it’s definitely IC enough to be ok, we’re thinking about ways to dress it up to improve its look and feel for Varushka. Would anyone have any ideas or suggestions for best way to do this, particularly on the inside of the tent as the dark canvas might make it pretty dark on the inside.
My group in Varushka also uses a dark green canvas tent, and my first and most important point is lights! However you want to do them, you need some lighting…we’ve been without in ours a couple of times, and it honestly just makes everything feel dark and unwelcoming. I’d advise against tea lights simply because open flames in tents are risky, but also because you need a lot to make enough light for a tent that size. If you can get some LED lanterns or similar, and dress them up appropriately, you should be able to hang a couple up and have them on tables (I’d recommend both hanging and standing for an even distribution of light).
As a Varushkan, you no doubt already know that one of the most important things is the hearth magic of hospitality, so make sure that you have a table with some nibbles and some liquids. Definitely make sure that you have some water so that you can “force” people to accept hospitality without making them consume something they may not be comfortable with (also make sure that you have some generic goblets for this purpose, not everyone brings something with them). Obviously if you’re running a bar as well, then you’ll not want to give away stuff for free, but water is somewhat of an exception.
We come from a cold and harsh land, so multicoloured throws that you can put over chairs (or that people can wrap up in!) are a fairly good idea and bring a needed dash of colour. If your group has a banner or symbol, then hanging a canvas version (a light canvas might help brighten things) on one of the tent walls tends to look good, as do trinkets or mementos such as braids, bits of weaving, carved symbols of the virtuous animals, etc. Even little figures or similar, though try to avoid anything too “Marcher-poppet”.
There’s a few ideas to start you off, I hope they’re helpful! Looking forward to seeing your bar/gambling den all set up
if you want to brighten the garage tents hanging white cloth / sheets as a roof lining helps more than you would think.
If you stretch them over the ridge under the canvas while you’re putting the tent up, and then tie the corners into the top of the walls it reflects a lot of light without getting in your way.
Should only need a couple of flat double bed sheet, easiest from a charity shop.
You could use some solar lights, with the collectors outside, disguised by empty crates or other ways. The lights can help with brightening the interiors. A use of cords or Velcro ties will work for attaching them to the metal frame and keep them out of the way. Also, some of the fairy lights can have covers on them, look for Varushkan-oriented covers.
Some big bright wall hangings help a lot as well. We covered the roof of our dark tent with lightweight white fabric which cuts down on the amount of lighting you need.
I would start by thinking about what you want to convey about yourselves and your group. Banners that have a story attached to them, mementos from a vale or a campaign, etc. The aesthetic is important, but so is the contribution the dressings can make to telling the story you want.
Much more important, to my mind, for improving the look and feel for Varushka would be to ensure that the games in your gambling den are suitably Varushkan-themed rather than being your standard LARP staples of blackjack, poker, roulette etc.