What are some surprisingly good hard skills?

We all know how swordsmanship, public speaking, musical ability and massage can greatly aid in one’s game and achieving their LRP goals. I’ve heard recently about how being able to do somewhat complicated multiplication in one’s head can go a long way in making them a great and profitable trader, but are there any other hard skills that are useful that some people may not have thought about?

(I’m personally interested in ones that can help in making loads of money, but all suggestions are welcome)

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-Memorisation- being able to keep names, faces and desires straight for multiple people you’ve only just met.

-Baking- cakes make a good amount of coin if you sell them.

-Fast feet- Not only does being able to run quickly keep you alive on the battlefield but being able and willing to leg it the length of the field is a good way to be able to make money.

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Legible handwriting - even in the dark and with damp paper. Being able to read your own notes, or guarantee that someone can read what you’ve passed them is helpful.

Being succinct - no-one likes long meeting in larp, so being able to sum up concisely or distil your argument into a couple of sentences helps.

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Stealth - being able to sneak about is sometimes vital on skirmishes, and it’s surprisingly hard to learn how to not just move without noise, but move without attracting attention.

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Information gathering and writing, editing and being able to synthesise that information into something more easily understandable.

I managed to make a certain amount of cash by picking a topic (The Grendel) gathering every bit of info I could find on the wiki and from the field and then sticking it into a report for people.

If you’re good at writing entertainingly and know how to put together a paper or magazine you can make money that way. But it’s difficult and you need a team of people to help with producing that and selling it on the field.

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Dual wielding is a skill which is both useful and uncommon. For 90% of people who try to do it, a shield would be a better option because they trade a huge slab of cover for a thin parrying stick which cannot be used against projectiles.

To dual wield effectively, you must essentially be able to fight one handed with either hand and yet still use the other hand to do something only tangentially related. It’s like being a drummer; two hands do two different (and yet related) ranges of task at once based on muscle memory.

To even match shield-use, that off-hand needs to cover a wide range of deflections and parries without fouling your main hand weapon. To be worth using two weapons, you need to know how to attack with the off-hand as well as when to just use it to parry. That said, it is very good when done well.

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My characters two main skills are walking around and asking for things.

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Kindness, consideration and generosity. Gets you friends, and they’re totally OP.

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Networking (among people, although I hear computer networking is also appreciated in GOD). Finding out what the current issues are, who they are important to and who might be able to fix them is vital in a political game. Not just for gaining influence but keeping it - staying influential means maintaining networks and keeping on top when things change. I have found networking as a relative nobody very different to networking as someone with a prominent imperial position, so gaining AND keeping it long-term will require two quite different variants on that skillset.

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Memorability…

When people across the field recognise and remember you, they’ll come to you for advice, or purchases, or martial aid.

To an extent, information management and updating. If you’re able to keep the latest winds of fortune in your head, you may be able to anticipate what stuff is likely to happen, what issues different nations and be focussing on, and how you can profit from it…

…for example, noting the conjunctions and winds relating to nation X, then turning up and selling them stuff for dealing with their problem… at a tidy profit.

Otherwise, as previously mentioned, having a group of OOC and IC friends who will help out with stuff is one heck of a cheat code…

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It occurs to me that sewing might be profitable. Think of all the wardrobe malfunctions and split seams that must happen during a game, then imagine IC repairs…

Battlefield Awareness is another classic hardskill, being able to read the battlefield and avoid becoming too focused on one thing is a vital skill on the battlefield for anyone, but especially if you’re commanding any number of people.

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Actually IC repairs not all that profitable, because hand sewing takes time. It’s a good conversation starter though.

On the other hand having a packet of safety pins and some cotton tape or string for holding it all together until you get home is good for several free drinks!

Sewing beforehand to make stuff to sell, or even just your own costume is good for prosperity though.

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CARDIO IS OP! If you can run for long periods of time without tiring you’re overpowered! Similarly if you can run fast you’re the last to be cut down by the Grendel! (Too soon?)

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Public Speaking is also great. The silver tongue can be used to many a benefit.

I do see a lot of larpers for whom battle may be their main source of cardio. Any exercise is good, so don’t think I am knocking it, but a light jog a couple of times a week can really transform your hobby. You can stay in the fight longer, get into position faster, maybe even shed a few pounds if that’s something you feel you’d like to do. I recommend Couch to 5K, if only because it’s the one I seem to do once a year (I always stop running in October / November) and it works or me.

There is a school of thought that you should train in your normal kit (especially if you are out in full harness with a tower shield) and that 100m in armour can be worth a lot more than running 5k in a t-shirt and shorts. Not sure I agree, not 100%, but it’s one school of thought and you do need to build muscle in the right places to be effective in full plate.

For those more serious though…

You need stamina to get through a battle, but it’s more like interval training; you will walk a lot, do a light jog every so often, then do a minute or so of really intense physical activity, go back to a light jog as you withdraw, then back to milling around. The ability to push yourself even when you are hot and tired and sore is the difference between a heroic last stand and getting back behind the shield wall.

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I agree wholeheartedly, whatever you can do for exercise is better than nothing, even if it’s a walk up the road! Been playing a skirmish emu for monstering and I’ve been cycling 15k each day to try and get some cardio in!

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Heat tolerance. Fortunately at Empire I play a squishy mage so plate armour is not a thing I have to worry about, but in another game I get very close to heatstroke on a regular basis (I did the sensible thing and didn’t play today) because my ability to cope with heat is getting far worse with age.

Edit: Also, cold tolerance. I used to have none of that at all and needed several layers of thermals even at relatively warm events. That has improved while my heat tolerance has got worse.

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Also related, Bigger people tend to have more issues with knees. (I’m 6"3" and carried a lot of extra weight). As an exercise choice for for people who prefer lower impact, try yoga, tai chi, Pilates, ect. the more stretchy workouts have done wonders for my posture and gait, meaning tromping in chain is much more manageable.

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My two most useful skills not so far mentioned for increasing my enjoyment and (hopefully) those of others have been story-telling and philosophy. The latter is probably the slightly more surprising practical skill but I have found that it’s enabled me to have a lot of memorable IC conversations.

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