Will unarmoured melee characters get slaughtered?

I’m completely new to any kind of LARP, and if I can get things together in time, hoping to get to the next event.

I’m not going to drop money on a set of armour straight away, just in case I don’t enjoy it, as I assume armour doesn’t come cheap. At the same time, I would like to experience the battlefield (how else will I find out if I like it?).

I don’t want to do magic. I’m going to buy a weapon on the day, but am thinking of getting a spear, as I’m short and need the reach. If it’s relevant in terms of fighting style etc., I’m looking at joining the Navarr.

Am I just asking to be made into a human pin cushion? Still trying to get my head around the skills, but I could get 1 or 2 ranks of Endurance to keep myself alive?


Hero points and Unstoppable might help you stay alive as well as endurance. Spears are iconic weapons for Navarr according to the wiki, so that sounds like an awesome choice for both tactical and coolness reasons.

It’s possible, but your best bet as a new player is to see if anyone is willing to lend you enough bits of armour to cobble together a full set of light armour. People are usually willing to help new players on the first game.

Although you will certainly learn battlefield awareness as an unarmoured combatant :slight_smile:.

Spears are cool because you can poke away from behind someone else, so that might help too.

Welcome along Anax. If you are short, using a spear, and in Navarr, I think you’ll be doing pretty well :slight_smile:

As mentioned, hide behind others, act as support, and keep an eye out in all directions.

As for pincushion, it’d take heavy armour or a hefty shield to make the archers ignore you, so even if you bought some armour, you’d still get potshots.

(On a metagaming level, if you play WITH Navarr, you won’t be monstering AGAINST the archers in playing Navarr)

To stay alive, Hero points and Unstoppable will be very handy. If you bought 1 rank of Endurance, Unstoppable would get you back up on full hits (3), if I read it correctly.

And as mentioned, you might well be able to scrounge the bits for a suit of light armour off someone.

Thinking Navarr just because I like the look, and that the focus on practicality means it should be good to build upon and switch about, no need to be pristine. So it’s a nice coincidence that the iconic weapon fits with me :grinning:

Fiddling about on the skills thing - thanks, looks like that’s how to maximise survivability! Have got 6 points left after making myself able to use a spear: so 2 for endurance, 2 for hero and 2 for unstoppable.

I’m a cautious person, so hiding behind others and acting as support should come naturally :slight_smile:

I don’t currently know anybody, so I’d be surprised I could scrounge anything. But that skill setup sounds like I should have a chance at looking after myself, if I’m careful.

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I would advise having a look at the traders when you get to the event. I was able to pick up some light armour at the 1st event I went to for about £60.

Coupled with endurance and unstoppable, it certainly kept me on my feet through my 1st battle. It may be worth shopping around before the event and check the wiki page for light armour peramaters before attending, as you may be able to pick up armour that works for your character build and stops them becoming an ex-character very quickly!

Hi there,
Have you joined the Navaar facebook group? and are you coming solo or as a group? If solo I would highly suggest poking your head on there and saying hi.
A big 7" spear and little armour is perfect for skirmishing and engaging then retreating to tie people up.
Skills wise I would suggest:
Weapon master (2) [so you can use your shiny spear]
Hero Points (2) [this gives you 2 points a day]
Unstoppable [this allows you to heal 3 points of damage for a hero point, even if you have just been put to 0 hp but not usable if you are envenomed or your chest is cleaved or impaled]

For a burgeoning combat wombat this I think is a good start.
With the last 2 points I would suggest looking at either (in no particular order):
Chirurgeon (1) Lets you pick people up who are bleeding out and at least get them moving.
Fortitude (1), This gives you a longer bleed out and more chance of surviving being envenomed. It’s very useful as there are reasonably cheep potions to give you more hits to start with.
Cleaving Strike (1), Lets you cleave limbs and add a little more oomph to your blows.
Extra Hero Point (1) Get more use from those hero skills
Mighty Strike Down (1) Exactly what it says on the tin. Bowl people over and stab them when they are down.

I would not suggest Endurance as a starting skill. One hit in most cases will not keep you up unless your in a 1-1 situation, You have no armour, so you will have 2 hp, If you can loan enough light you would have 4. and for your first event find an oaken hide tonic. Same effect for a day for 5 in total.

TLDR Welcome to empire, play how you want to play the navarr are a bunch of crayon faced murder hobos and great to hang around with.

P.S. Do make sure to try the stab safe spears and halberds. So much fun to use and much better (IMHO) than a “solid” Non stab safe spear. This guy does VERY good work: Redirecting...


IMO, most battlefield deaths happen when people over-extend and the line rolls over them, or they die too far out on a flank for a healer to get to them in time. You’re likely to be running around the flanks as a light skirmisher, so the second is more likely than the first.

Unstoppable and other skills will help, but if you have to run back through a mob of barbarians to get to your line, you’re just going to fall over again. And a cleaved limb will ruin your day - you may want to think about taking Relentless.

Hero points or not, there’s a few simple things you can do to increase your chances of staying alive:

  • Stay with your friends
    Number one, most important thing you can do. Friends can defend you from attack, pick you up when you fall, and heal you with skills. If you find yourself alone, retreat to friendly troops, even if they’re not your nation.
  • Find a shield buddy
    You mentioned a spear, so I’m going to assume it’s a two-handed stab safe one. Find someone with a shield and stand just behind them on their weapon side, blocking incoming attacks and stabbing at people. You’ll be partially protected by their shield, and attackers will have to deal with both of you.
  • Watch for archers
    With no armour, arrows will absolutely mess you up. A single arrow to the torso will have you on your death count, an arrow to the arm will make it impossible to use a (two handed) spear, and an arrow to the knee, well, you know the memes.
  • Be ready to run
    Be aware of the battle around you. Have an escape plan. Light skirmishers aren’t there to get bogged down in line fighting, so be prepared to hit and fade. Retreat rapidly, but retreat as a group to reform somewhere more safe.
  • Stay with your friends
    Seriously. You’re fragile. If you find yourself alone? Run.

Hey there, I’m in a relatively similar position to you - first empire and no armour (though through rp choice) and had similar qualms.

During a sanctioned event where I was monstering I decided to play out the role (no armour) to see if it was survivable. Naturally monstering is different to being a player (for one the monsters were better organised :smiley:) however it taught me a couple of things.

It is deadly, but only if you don’t pay attention. One of the previous commenters mentioned you would develop battlefield awareness - you really do! In the end this is key to surviving and having an impact. Being on a line is unacceptable save for emergencies - you will die quickly. However I ended up settling on ‘pulse warfare’, I.e. Your strength is in speed and identifying weaknesses to exploit and withdraw. Stalking behind the lines and seeing a gap open, a vulnerable 1on1 you could flank or an unprotected flank you could threaten to force them to thin their line. I ended up being in a small group doing this: see gap/1on1/sprint to it/dispatch the opponent/ withdraw as the enemy comes to fill the threat and move up the line.

This is a fast style of play and was knackering but also great fun. If you do it right you should not get hit, if you are… Run! The fly in the ointment are archers, part of your battlefield awareness needs to be a sense of where they are at all times as they will be hunting you…

I found for this reason unstoppable was helpful. If you got hit by an arrow or got unlucky it gave you space to get away - this is important as if you are getting hit it is your mistake you are in that place in the first instance.

Tl;Dr: it’s actually good fun and survivable so long as you are happy to be a bit athletic and constantly on point


^^This. The event in question was brilliant fun and monstering there was a great learning experience in terms of how Empire combat works and what sort of combat role you might enjoy. For me I learnt I enjoyed being a heavy sword & board frontline fighter more than being a skirmisher, but YMMV and it’s down to individual preference. Obviously it’s a bit close to e1 now but any other new players interested in a combat role, if the opportunity to monster at a player event comes up go for it!

I wouldn’t worry about not knowing people, get yourself along to one of the new player meetings on the Friday and make sure you’re introduced to the Navarr Egregores Liz and Dave who can show you around and get your started in a nation. They might be able to point you at some groups who can lend you some armour and you can fight with for your first battle. Everyone likes an extra spearperson :slight_smile:.

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Ideally spears are a second line weapon, so you should be far enough away from your enemies to not get stabbed too much. It’s going to depend on hardskills, but if you want to be an unarmoured fighter, archer or long weapons is the way to do it.

Thanks all :slight_smile: Appreciate all the comments, just responding to a few things:

2-handed stab-safe spear is what I’m aiming to get. Though I will check up what else is selling, to possibly pick up cheap light armour.

Will need to have another look at how to spend the skill points!

How do I get an ‘oakenhide tonic’? And does that mean I need to bring a vial with me to the event so that I’ll have a phys-rep?

Have you joined the Navaar facebook group? and are you coming solo or as a group? If solo I would highly suggest poking your head on there and saying hi.

I have, mostly just a lurk and read down it. I did ask a question though :smiley:

Coming solo, with the desire to make friends… Which is more than slightly daunting.

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See an apothecary, and they’ll either tell you the herbs to get or give you a price for it.

Bringing your own vial will help, as you can take that to battle and not have to return someone else’s phys rep.

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Gamberson’s are really cheap i think i got mine from larpwarriors.co.uk for £60 but one that covers chest and top of leg from wish was £13 with a cheap set of leather arm guards and you should be sorted for cheap, for my first event i spent more on weapons than armour.

Don’t buy plate armour from Ebay is the moral of my story even if it is good price, time i spent modifying it to fit, shortening straps and filing and sanding sharp edges it must be over 5 hours now…

You can definitely use unstoppable to pop back up again from a chest impale/cleave.

What you can’t do (and this is one that’s frequently still forgotten) is use unstoppable to get back up if you’re paralysed. You have to use the skill as you hit 0 hits, and if you’re paralysed when that happens you’re out of luck. Luckily paralyse is far less common a call, particularly from monsters.

If you only have 2 hits, then you only ever really want to be using unstoppable when you hit zero. It heals a maximum of 3, so it will heal you to your maximum each time, going from 1 hit to 2 is far less efficient than going from 0 hits to 2.


Speaking as a short, (formerly) inexperienced Navarr fighter I can say that a stab-safe spear will 1000% improve your battlefield experience - you will look good, be able to hit people who have longer reaches, and won’t get hit by them as much.

Couple of things:
Pick your targets - don’t get drawn into fights with enemy polearms as this will negate you advantages;
Hit and move - don’t get bogged down into slogging fights as your lack of hitpoints will really tell;
Practice - there will be organised and disorganised sessions around camp to do so, led by experienced but friendly fighters;
Monster - you can, if you prefer, fight BOTH battles as a monster. I did this at my first event and I learnt a lot. It’s a very different experience but will help you grasp the basics without risk - plus they lend you armour.

Look forward to seeing you around!

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I was unaware, I though the cleave/impale needed removing first?

Edit: Also if you are looking for practice the League will have a duelling competition through the friday and saturday. Any one wearing gold ribbons are fair game to challenge and there are prizes for each ribbon redeemed.

That’s actually a fairly common misconception. Cleave and Impale just reduce your hits to zero if they hit the chest. There’s no effect to remove and all you need to do is get hits back to stop you dying.

Amusingly this can lead to moments where it’s actually “preferable” to take the arrow in the chest, as you can unstoppable back up again, whereas a arm or a leg hit is significantly more problematic.

Side note: having checked the wiki it looks like venom doesn’t stop Unstoppable anymore either. I’d missed that change.

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But Weakness would (due to stopping all calls)