What are/were your worries about going to Empire?

Empire would have been my first LARP. I was planning on going to the April event with a friend of mine, and I was so excited. Going with a friend seemed like the only option, as everyone on the forums and facebook groups recommends it, and as we’re both 17 it’ll put our parents at ease knowing that we’re not going alone!
I’d been wanting to go to Empire for so long, and had sorted my character and everything, even bought my ticket, when my friend suddenly decided they didn’t want to come. I really started to panic. Suddenly I wouldn’t have an IC (and OOC) link in the playing field, I wouldn’t have someone I could talk to about the event, I didn’t have someone who would help me prepare, and ease my anxiety. I began to contemplate not coming at all, just giving up on it because I wouldn’t have the familiarity of a friend at the event with me. But after I thought about it, giving up on things because my friends had pulled out had become my speciality. I didn’t join D&D club at the beginning of the school year which I was so excited about, I didn’t end up going along to the LGBT meetings because my friends thought it was weird. I’d become that girl that wouldn’t go to the bathroom without a friend (metaphorically).
I decided I was sick of allowing my decisions to be determined by my friends. I wanted to have fun, I didn’t want to have any regrets.

And so, ladies, gentleman, and beyond, I’m very happy to announce that I’ll be coming along to the April event! (despite having to miss a day of school…)

I wanted to share this because I’ve been having a lot of second thoughts about Empire, and I’m sure that a lot of other young (or not necessarily) new larpers have been having the same thoughts, especially when faced with the problem of going alone!
I was so excited for Empire before my friend pulled out, and even now after deciding that I will be going, I have to keep reminding myself of that excitement.

I guess you could say that this post is for everyone having second thoughts about going to Empire (or even to anything at all). It’s especially at times like these where you need to ask yourself what you’ll end up regretting most; going, or not going.

Now I want to ask all of you, what are (or were if you’re a veteran!) some of your biggest worries or fears about going to Empire/your first LARP? And to the LARP Veterans, what are some of your key words of advice, fun memories, or embarrassing mistakes you’ve made?

(Also a quick note here that I would be over the moon if anyone wants to meet up IC/OC at the event, or even if you want to send me a little message, whether it’s to talk about how excited we are, talk about some of our worries, or even just a little friendly chit chat! We can all do with having as many LARP connections as we can get! (My count is currently at 0…). I’ll be playing a young girl from Navarr, called Luciaana/Lucia for short, so I’m sure if anyone wants an IC connection we can figure something out! (Message me!! I’m desperate!!)

Apologies for the long post! I really hope this post is helpful! :slight_smile:

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theblankrogue,

Congratulations on holding on to your courage and deciding to come along! Welcome to the game and the forums!

Navarr are a friendly bunch, and I’m sure you’ll find quite a few people to chat with, notwithstanding their social meetings. If you want to get started, I can reccomend the folks at Bronwens Rest (name of group and teahouse) as cheerful and chatty folks, in and out of character.

Have you found the facebook page for Navarr?

Advice? There are many threads of good advice on the New Players forum alone, but here’s a few tips:

  1. “This is my first visit to Anvil” is an in-game code for “Help it’s my first event and I don’t understand”. Use it when needed. People will be happy to explain/show you around.
  2. I reccomend camping out-of-character for your first time, in a tent you are familiar with.
  3. There’s a lovely “Welcome to Empire” video, I’ll link it at the end.

Worries? Here’s a few:

  1. “I’ll look an idiot” Nah, you’ll look different. There will be hundreds of folk there, in a massive variety of costumes. Some will look worse than you, some will look better than you. Some will have invested years of work and lots of income into costumes, and will look photogenic enough to make the wiki and look intimidatingly good.
  2. “No-one will talk to me” This is where you will need to find that courage again. Step up and introduce yourself. Read the “Winds of War/Fortune” when they come out for the next event, pick one to talk/ask about. Or just march up to people and ask them where they’re from.
  3. “It was last week”. I still have this one. I have a morbid fear of arriving at a site to find one guy sweeping up to tell me I’ve missed the whole thing. The sight of that field of tents is very reassuring :slight_smile: You’ll always get irrational worries.

I hope you’ll get other responses, gotta go now…

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One thing I found helped me with the ‘courage’ was getting a RP effect Hallowed item on me. In my case a Wisdom one that made me go be nosy, but there are anointings and hallows of all Virtues. Courage has them too. That way I had the mentality of ‘hey, it’s a RP effect, if people are annoyed, it’s not me, it’s the RP effect causing it’ and that let me go meddle in all kinds of things. :slight_smile:

Also, LARP is like cricket - it looks utterly weird from outside and makes no sense and people look silly and things have silly names. However when you’re actually in it and playing and involved, everyone’s using the same silly words, wearing the same silly clothes, and everything makes sense. :slight_smile:

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… And frequently rains, goes on for days and ends in a draw. You might be on to something here.

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E1 this year will also be my first event at Anvil. My biggest worries were ‘Would I be fit enough to keep up in combat with a bunch of people 10-20 years younger than me?’ ‘Will LRP turn out to be as enjoyable as Ive built it up in my head to be?’ and ‘Would I have enough in common with people from quite different backgrounds and life experiences to me for it to be sociably enjoyable?’ I crewed at a player event based around the nation I’ll be playing in (Urizen- a Sentinel called Antimedes) this weekend, it was freakin’ awesome fun, I found the LARPers there to be a very diverse bunch with a broad range of ages and life experiences, but a common thread was how friendly everyone was and how committed to making it a fun experience everyone was. I also found that I was fitter than I thought (though I am feeling a few aches from running around in mail and plate all day). Doing this as a warmup for e1 has really eased my worries about Empire LARP (I’ll be going solo as well) and made me even more ridiculously keen. My only regret is that I didn’t start LARPing years earlier so I really admire your courage in going for it, and am sure you’ll have a brilliant time! I echo what Geoff says about finding your national FB page!

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My main piece of advice is - don’t worry about not knowing all of the rules. I’ve been going three years and still don’t. Some things (such as religion and crafting) still confuse me. And if anything that gives you something to learn IC :slight_smile:

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Ny biggest worry: That I won’t enjoy it.

E3 this year will be my first event and my first larp ever.
At first my big worry was to be alone there, to not find people to hang out with, that was solved pretty fast though, while I’m still technically going solo I’ve found a bunch of people who are more than willing to spend some time with me.

My present worry is that I will spend so much money to get there only to find out that larping isn’t for me. Now you probably think “well you gotta try it to know” and yeah but I could do that here in Sweden and not travel to another country to do it and save me a lot of cash. And now you’re thinking “well yeah, you should probably do that”, problem is, larp isn’t very big here. When I say not big, I mean “I have to explain what larping is to 7/10 people” big. I’d probably have to spend just as much time traveling to a Swedish larp as to empire if I want to find a decent one (also it would feel really weird doing it in Swedish). I now also really want to meet the people I said were willing to spend time with me :joy:

My second biggest worry is that even if I do enjoy it, I’ll never come to another empire event.
Sounds like a dumb worry but the reason is quite simple: Sweden.

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I’ve grudgingly come to the conclusion that I count as a veteran Larper. (At the point there are players at events who were born after your first larp you really don’t have much choice.)

The main worries when I started were looking silly and not being good enough. A bit like when you don’t want to dance at a club/party, you want to, but you don’t want to because you won’t look as good as anyone else, or won’t know the correct moves, or you know that you’re not a good dancer.

Your eyes are inevitably be drawn to the person over There who looks absolutely f**king awesome. It can be hard to get involved when it looks like everyone else has spent hours/fortunes on their costume and appear to have memorised the entire wiki. You sort of feel like, “what can I contribute?”

If I’m honest. I still get this from time to time. It’s fine in systems I’ve been playing for years, but later this year I’ll be going solo to new Larp system. (2nd time I’ve gone to this particular larp, but it will be my first event there by myself. First event there were 3 of us but the other group members aren’t continuing with the system.)

I have all the usual worries, what if no one talks to me? what if I can’t get to do anything? what if it sucks and I hate it? Even as someone who has been larping for years, you still get those pre event / pre new character jitters from time to time.

If you can push past that and get involved, you’ll find that most larpers are truly wonderful and accepting people. Not everyone has awesome kit. Not everyone is a good public speaker. Not everyone is a death machine in combat. Most people will accept that, (particularly when people are new) and will do their best to help people get involved and have fun.

I’d second the suggestion of Bronwyn’s rest in Navaar. They’re a good bunch of players and an excellent introduction to the rest of the game. For your first time it’s perfectly acceptable to play the “first time at Anvil” card and just wander around getting a feel for the place and finding out what you’d want to do. Then find someone experienced at whatever area you think you’d enjoy and ask them to show you the ropes.

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I think possibly my biggest worry is that I’d gotten the wrong impression of the nature of the event and the setting. I was worried that my character didn’t really fit very well and that my plans wouldn’t be appropriate.

And, as it happens, those worries were kind of correct. My original conception of my character was a much worse person than he was approximately one hour into the event, after I’d course-corrected to account for how different it was to my expectations. That’s not to say you can’t play an unpleasant or even evil character at Empire, but my character was selfish in a way that didn’t really play well with the Empire setting or the atmosphere of Anvil. So I pushed that characterisation further into his past, since it was mainly meant to be a relic of when he lived through harder times to begin with.

My main plan at my first event, also, was to try and get my name out and make some money through a voucher scheme. Again, about an hour into the event, it was clear there was no way to make that viable - there simply weren’t nearly enough people whose deal was being a stationary shopkeeper. So I had to ditch that particular scheme. Happily, though, I had back-ups, and I ended up getting involved in plenty to keep me occupied throughout the weekend. I ended up breaking even on money, but I think I made good progress on getting my name out for a first event.

So the lesson to take away is, I guess, don’t be afraid to adapt your expectations, or to adapt your character. April will be my third event and that same character now feels entirely at home in Empire and at the events, with lots for me to think about in terms of goals and character development. And money-making schemes.

(This hobby is great and I’m really glad you’ve chosen to give it a go no matter what, I hope you enjoy your first event.)

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I often worry about kit before a game. My interpretation of a purely verbal brief rarely matches the majority view so I really struggle to work out what appropriate kit is. Something with multiple sources of inspiration is also hard for me to decode as again most people gravitate towards a similar look and I go the other way. Fortunately now the game has run for a few years the wiki is packed with good photos of what people actually wear to games I can reference when picking out kit for a new nation/role so I don’t have that problem any more.

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My eternal worry is my soft kit not being up to scratch and having a “malfunction”. Ive ripped 2 pairs of hose in unfortunate ways so I’m making my own. But the worry is still there.

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My personal experience has been that turning up solo can actually work out for the best - yes it’s nerve-wracking ahead of time but as well as it encouraging you to go talk to people and make friends when you don’t bring your own, you get to be completely selfish in doing what you will enjoy.

The first fest-larp I attended was Maelstrom (a previous game by PD), which five of my friends already played. I scraped together cash and kit, let them all know I was finally coming along and… not one of them would be at that event! The closest I had to a familiar face was my housemate’s newly-ex boyfriend, which would have been fairly awkward. As it was, I fell in with a friendly bunch (thanks Sacuza New World Trading!) who were very welcoming and also introduced me to some of their friends since I was alone.

Conversely, I joined Empire at e4 last year with two friends and came away with fewer stories to tell. On reflection the time spent checking in on each other would have been far better spent diving into the game. One of my friends joined Wintermark and got much more involved than the two of us who created Navarri characters and mostly wandered around Anvil together. This time we’re planning to do our own thing by daylight and meet up around the campfires later.

The key thing I advise, besides the good advice you’ve already had from others, is to persevere; creating your own plot is the surest way to enjoy the game but it might take you some time to find what’s fun for you. And that’s fine. Have a go at what you think you’ll enjoy, give it a good attempt but if it isn’t the fun you expected, try something else and don’t let that first attempt spoil your weekend. Just so long as you’ve enjoyed the event overall, it doesn’t matter if (for example) it’s taken a couple of hours at the hospital (another welcoming place that’s easy to find - big green tent by the Sentinel Gate) to realise that you don’t want to be a physick after all.
The fun I had at my first larp all came after my first character died within 5 minutes of entering play. Fatally mugged, his soul consumed and his still-warm corpse dragged off for ‘recycling’, I very nearly headed home on Saturday morning. But instead I took some time to pep myself up, made a very similar character and had another go. That night I was guarding a barricade, on tender-hooks as I watched out for the undead who were scurrying about in the dark beyond the watchfires. And that felt absolutely amazing! Yes losing my carefully crafted first character sucked but soldiering on really payed off.

My perenial worries are the OOC ones; have I packed everything, do I definitely have loo roll and matches, are the tent poles in this time (there’s my most embarrasing mistake). Larpers are such a friendly and forgiving bunch that fluffing my characterisation is only a little niggle now - after all, who outside of my head will know?

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I attended my first event last year in June and I couldn’t find a single person I knew, who wanted to attend with me. I had a huge degree of anxiety about attending my first event; I was constantly worried that I was spending so much money, on something I might not even enjoy. Despite these reservations, I decided to take a leap of faith and attend an event.

It proved to be one of the greatest decisions of my life. I had a blast, made lots of wonderful friends and started a new group. The key is to just be open-minded, try and meet as many people as you can and ask questions.

For any people attending on Thursday evening in a similar situation to myself, I would recommend going around your nation camp and talking to people OC; perhaps offering to help them set up camp. People will be friendly and they will make you feel way more comfortable. It’s also good fun to swing by the tavern at night.

As some final words of assurance for all those attending alone. The people I would go on to be friends with, I met about 10 minutes after getting off the train. The moral of the story you need never be alone for long at empire.

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I think what worried me most was a mixture of the practical and the introductions bit. I was super nervous and stammered my way through a lot of the first event knowing no-one – but I had a great time and learned a lot, making some of the best friends in two minutes I have ever had.

The best advice I would give to help would be:

• Practice getting your kit/make up how you like them. Don’t worry about having the perfect kit for your first event, its great to slowly evolve your characters ‘look’ over time – but you want to make sure its comfortable for your first outing.
• Pack your kit so it’s easy to put on.
• Make sure you have all your essentials i.e. Tent, spare socks, a wolly hat, sleeping bag, wash kit, water bottle etc.
• Plan your journey in advance, so its also one less thing to worry about.
• Think what makes your character them. What’s their favourite colour? Do they like onions? What is their opinion on the imperial orcs? What are the afraid of? This means you have a good idea about who/what your character is ahead of the event. If you know your character loves music for example, then that’s something to go looking for at the event!
• Form an opinion on things in the game. Does your character like or dislike the Faraden? What about the League? Do they love to trade with the freeborn or tell secrets with the Varushka?
• Chat to a few people in your nation prior to the event - this helps make friends, is an opportunity for those last minute questions, and allows you to have connections the minute you hit the event.
• Don’t be afraid… we have all been new, and nearly all of us are very happy to help with questions, directions etc.

Lastly don’t stop exploring – there is a whole world out there on the field, so don’t hesitate to go looking for what you find interesting.

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April will also be my first LARP experience in… nearly thirty years, and I’m certain things have radically changed since then, so I consider myself ‘new to LARP’.

Like you, I have a million questions, and I will kick off my own thread in a few.

I do have some new event/experience anxiety, but I am also excited by the prospect of a new event and experience. Perhaps it’s an opportunity to make new acquaintances and learn something new, and that can feed the mind and heart, and you’re not tied to anyone else at the hip, which can be both intimidating and liberating at the same time.

Good luck, and maybe we’ll cross paths in Anvil :slight_smile:

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E4 last year was my first event, mega-nervous as many people dropped out of the trip. In the end it was just me and a mate, but this worked massively in our favour as it was easy to slot in to other groups etc. Made tons of new mates, mostly Navarr (they are a friendly bunch), had a great time and can’t wait to return in April. My advice is to chat to a few people OC before time in and go to the new player meeting- and bring lots of socks!

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Empire was my first ever larp and my biggest worry I think was just that I would get there and not know what I was doing, or be ‘bad’ at it.

Finding a group OOC beforehand to join up with made this process much easier, so if you can find a group you like the sound of who welcome new members, I’d recommend joining. It means you won’t feel quite so lost when you first arrive and you’ll always have people/a base you can go back to. It helped me enormously, plus it meant that I had links to other characters in the field which gave my character more of a purpose. But it’s up to you if you do that or not!

I also spend a lot of my time in the hospital - they’re a very welcoming bunch up there even if you’re not a physick (and extra hands to fetch and carry/hold people down are always welcome!), so you can always drop by there if you need some company.

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theblankrogue,

It’s been a week, you’ve got over a dozen responses, many words of advice, and many worries and tales mistakes made. :stuck_out_tongue:

How are you feeling now, and has anyone come forwards to say “meet me there!” yet?

And would you like an IC reason to come wandering into another camp at the next event? Or for someone to go looking for you IC? (just something light and introductory)

Heya,
I returned to larp after many years off. For my character, I take an aspect of my personality and turn it up to 11!! I am naturally a bit grumpy, so Bear is very grumpy, but with a heart of gold (once you get past the grump) :slight_smile:
Enjoy the event and just get about!! If you find yourself in Varushka, drop by and say hello (you will find me in the Vor’Azi tent).

Hi! Well, well… I’m also a newbie and I still haven’t gone to any Empire but I’ve been checking the event for a year or so and I’m really excited about joinin but still, my biggest fear is that I’m alone. I’m new to Scotland and English is not my first language so also there’s the fear of not understanding some vocabulary, but I’ve done a little bit of larp in Spain so I have a bit of experience… I think is great what you guys are doing here and since I started reading the forum I started feeling more and more sure about coming next year after getting my gear from Spain.

I wish I could get to know someone from here before my first time so… If anyone is interested in having a connection IC or OOC, doesn’t matter, with me I would find great to talk by messeges and find out!

But yeah that’s basically it for me: going alone, language problems and having the correct gear since the rules are not always the same ones for that (I’ll have to check on it hahaha).

Thank you for all the posts, you guys help a lot!:smile:

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