Where to find Larp Weapons and Armour, cheap and reliable

Larp seems really fun and all, but a problem i keep getting faced with is cost. By the time I go to empire i will be 18 so money won’t be as easy to get, especially with uni, however i still want to look the part even if i look like I am playing the part of a peasant.

So i was wondering if anyone had any good tips or sites where i could buy reliable weapons and armour without having to put myself into debt. My main focus is some good looking clothing for the rp areas. I have looked into a fair bit and a classic longsword can be £60 at its cheapest, light armour can get cheap but only with sites like wish which i have heard terrible things about. Armour isn’t a necessity but if i can get some for cheap it’d be good.

If you’re going for the cheapest, avoid combat roles, or make friends with people that would be willing to loan you weapons/armor. There are plenty of things to do at Anvil aside from combat and you can save up over the course of several events to get yourself kitted out to fight. Much like miniatures wargaming, LARP isn’t a cheap hobby.

2 Likes

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)


Kit*:
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.


Weaponry*:
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 :smiley:

6 Likes

If you arent playing a mage then imho the best armour to get is some steel butted chainmail. If fits the brief of most if not all nations and is easy to put on, covers all areas needed for the hits.
DO NOT BUY BUTTED ALUMINIUM. It falls apart.
You can pick up generic steel mail from online larp sellers like mythlon or Epic armoury for 80 upwards.

You can most likely borrow a sword from your nation, or group if you join one. Most veteran empire fighters have small arsenals. A 42" sword costs upwards of 70 pounds.

So if you start putting some money away now you will be set for April. Perhaps with xmas coming you can ask for some chain mail… :slight_smile:

1 Like

Costume wise have a look here - https://www.highstreetlrp.com/ as they’re working on cheap costume advice for all the Empire nations :slight_smile:.

Also I can recommend either learning to sew to make yourself a T-Tunic as they’ll be wearable in pretty much any nation as long as you do them in the right colours. This is a decent guide for simple larp costume DIY projects - http://tutorials.abbott.me.uk/ . Alternatively beg a favour from a relative or friend who can sew. I understand Tunics with some fancy trim make excellent xmas presents :wink: .

For second hand armour I would recommend hitting the following places .

Facebook - UK LARP KIT
Facebook - Empire LRP Kit
Plus your nation’s FB group as well.

Also as people have said you might be able to pick up some second hand armour at the event, however it goes fast so you’d probably need to be shopping on Thursday.

Generally I’d try picking up a Gambeson to start with as that’ll sort you out for Light Armour and if you want to upgrade to either Chain or Plate you’ll need a Gambeson for padding anyway.

Personally I picked up a Mythlon Arthur Gambeson at the start of Empire and it’s done me pretty well the whole time, so it’s been a decent investment.

Weapons wise I’d actually save up and get yourself a sword and a buckler at the event, the advantage you’ve got with that is that is that if they fail weapons check you can easily get them replaced then and there. Plus you can try them out and you won’t need to pay postage.

One other option as well is if you fancy playing a battle mage and can beg/borrow/steal a larp staff is that Mage Armour can be a lot cheaper to pick up. I managed with a big Hero Belt with some runes painted on, a headband and some Vambraces. Click on that link for the rules of what counts for Mage Armour.

Oh and welcome aboard, if you’ve got any other questions do feel free to ask them here or start a new thread :slight_smile: .

5 Likes

as a newbie slowly gathering kit, that free-cycle event sounds awfully tempting. Is it just something i sign up to with GOD at my first event?

This may sound daunting, but have you considered making kit?
I’m always nervous asking that question, because when I started I had no clue how to sew, and it annoyed me when people suggested that I could learn - thus I don’t want to pay that irritation forward.

However, I did eventually find that it wasn’t as impossible as I’d first thought, and I could gradually make more of my own kit. I still don’t make the real top tier fancy stuff, but will confidently make the basics myself and that saves a lot of money in exchange for my time (usually my time in the evenings when I can watch TV while sewing). You might find that this limits or guides your character choices - you might choose to play in a nation or an archetype because it is one you are able and enthusiastic to make. If it isn’t an idea you want to dismiss entirely, lots of people will be willing to help with suggestions for patterns and easier ways to make cool stuff.

4 Likes

The Free Cycle thing is kinda organised as and when the lost property is sorted out - there should be a notice up at GOD about when it’s going to happen at the event. I wouldn’t rely on it as it can be a bit of scrum and you can’t tell beforehand if anything useful to you will turn up.

2 Likes

AS a larper of 10 years experience I can vouch for the fact that my swords, staff and shield have all been to many more battles than my character has. My character doesn’t even have the ability to use the shield for real!
There are many more larper’s with a far bigger collection and given a little warning before the event, perhaps on your nation FB page, plenty of people will be able to shove another sword in the car somewhere, and will probably be happy to show you how to use it too.

4 Likes

Also worth asking around to see if you have a sewing relative or friend with a machine who might be persuaded to help (For appropriate beer or cake payment). Various people have dragged out their machine recently for sewing scrubs or face masks and might possibly be looking for a new project now. T-tunics are a good start and useful for monstering even if they don’t quite go right first time, and you can re-purpose charity shop linens for cheap fabric to practice on.

1 Like

Two questions:

  1. What nation are you likely to play?
  2. What sort of character do you want to play?

Combat is a minor part of the event. A couple of hours on Sat and Sun, plus some skirmishes. If money is limited, spend it on the kit you’ll be wearing for most of the event. This is why I second the recommendations for padded armour. It counts as light armour and also works as a warm layer for the earlier events and for evenings. Velvet Glove are great on account of them making their own ones reversible, with 2 colours. Effectively you get 2 different coloured top layers and some armour for £70.
http://www.velvet-glove.co.uk/index.php?page=20

As far as looking good goes, you don’t need armour to battle! If you’re really pressed for cash or space, I recommend playing a healer archetype. You won’t need armour or a big weapon in order to be effective, as you’ll be a bit back from the main fight. You can then go around with a sword and buckler as your defensive weapons, as you won’t need a wand/rod/staff to cast.

You could also make your character without any combat skills to start. You can spend XP at the event, and literally choose skills to let you use whatever weapon you manage to borrow.

You can always retrain your PC or pick up more combat skills later. If you take Battlemage you get some extra hits and can wear a headband, massive belt and vambraces for armour. If you want to try out clankier fighting, every PC has Heavy Armour skills and you could go weapon and buckler. My current PC started as a ritualist who would sling on Medium Armour if he was needed on a quest,

1 Like

I would recomend getting some cheap soft kit from the above sources. Maybe spending some money on a new gambeson and cloak depending on what nation/archetype you are going for - as they are things that are both IC and warm.

Depending on your uni, you may have a larp society that lend out kit. Warwick have a huge number of swords/spears/etc - and some quite decent leather and chain armour.

Other than that people have a suprising amount of spare kit. It would be a pain in the butt to try and organise borrowing all the kit you need to start off with, but at my first event some kind people leant me greaves, a sword and a sheild. A lot of people on these forms would probably be happy to leand out their old chainmail shirt - or their spare sword. I definately would.

Also, if you can split kit buying - so you are doing some before your first event, some after it helps the budget. More than that - having some experience with larp weapons and armour makes it easier to make good decisions when you buy.

1 Like