Swifty, first up, welcome along to the forums, the hobby, and the game!
As mentioned, this is not a cheap hobby. However, you have several options:
(firstly, you may want to work out which nation you’re playing in, as it will influence costume choices)
Hit the charity and second hand shops for old trousers, shirts, things that you could adapt: maybe with a bit of crude (or skilled) sewing, maybe with a few accessories. Belts, old blankets (= cloaks), sashes made out of whatever…
You can also look online, there are likely people selling 2nd hand larp kit. Also historical re-enactors kit, which can be a little more expensive, but good quality. The stuff from Wish is allegedly dirt cheap, and durable as tissue paper. If you desperately need something for your first event, cheap, you may want to risk it.
Once you’ve picked a nation, ask around on their Facebook page (or these forums), and see if anyone is willing to sell/donate kit to you. We all started somewhere, and many of us have piles of old costume…
You can get to the event and pick up stuff there: Das Shoppe is a 2nd hand shop on site, and does trade-ins… simple costume may well be available, but it’s a gamble as to what’s there.
The many traders there will happily sell you whatever you need, but you may need to shop around, and this will be the expensive option.
Yup, this stuff’s pricey.
If you want something to use on the field of battle, or whatever, your major obstacle is the weapons-checkers. Your larp weapon must be SAFE, and the weapon-checking crew will check all weapons, and mark them as SAFE / UNSAFE.
Buying stuff online… may or may not pass the check on the field. It’s not usually worth risking it.
PLEASE DO NOT INVEST TIME AND MONEY TRYING TO MAKE YOUR OWN WEAPONS (sorry, but this idea comes up a lot with keen new players wanting to cut costs).
The cheapest method is likely to be as with the costume: talk to your nation, ask around, see if anyone is able to lend/sell you a spare, for the event or longer. If these fail a check, you haven’t lost much.
There will be many traders on site who will happily sell you a weapon or six, but prices start from £15 for a small dagger and go up steadily… If these fail a check, you can go back and get a refund or replacement, I suspect…
On the plus side, the weapons, especially if it’s something fairly generic (plain longsword) will last for years of careful use, and be used by multiple characters. Think of them as an investment.
- The organisers, Profound Decisions, also do a free-cycle of lost property. It’s not advertised as to when, and new larpers get first dibs, but you could in theory acquire anything there, including weaponry and kit. Don’t count on it though…
I hope this helps, if you have any further questions, however silly, please ask, and we’ll do what we can