So I’ll keep it simple, I’m completely new to larping but found out about it through the boys on tabletop weekly and was seriously impressed by the scale of it all! So it looks like me and a couple of others are planning to attend this year as part of Wintermark - however I wasn’t entirely sure where to start with a character background. I’ve read through the wiki, and am completely open to any of the tribes; but I would love to hear from some of you guys about your own backgrounds, just to give me some idea of what personal origins you chose for yourselves.
Well welcome to empire. I don’t know much about wintermark, what I do know however is there a lot of new players who join it. If you are fine with being in such a highly populated area, then go ahead with wintermark but the other nations are all good fun as well if you don’t want to do that.
My personal background is that my character’s father ran a cult and then everyone died but he can’t remember any of it. This was my safety net, just in case I forgot something. If you want to know more about wintermark, maybe join their facebook things.
Vidarr, welcome to the hobby, the game of Empire, and these forums
It is an impressive scale, isn’t it! Wintermark is the largest nation at the moment, and tends to be a popular choice for new players. On the one hand, this means that you’ll have lots of company, on the other hand, you may get a little lost in the crowd…
I’m on my 3rd player character, and they’ve all been in the nation of Dawn. Because I like the aesthetics, gung-ho attitude, and shameless tendancy to charge screaming “Glory!” Also they are deeply romantic, tragic, and melodramatic.
My current character’s background: A yeoman of Dawn, he was forced off his farm along with many others when the Druj invaded Semmerholm. Upon returning, he found that a new House had established themselves, and sworn vengeance on the Druj till they all died. So he has joined them, intent on healing and supporting them until the ancestral enemies of Dawn are exterminated.
Incidentally, you may want to have a look through the most recent set of the Winds of War. This includes a lot of stuff happening in the Wintermark lands which would make excellent backstory for a new character(s).
Happy to answer further questions, give suggestions, etc
I’ve moved around a bit; Dawn (for the music); Varushka (for the spooky aesthetic and because some real life friends were already playing there); the Brass Coast (for the brazenness, party atmosphere and the chance to wear all my favourite colours simultaneously) and finally two-and-a-half characters in Highguard (because I love the in-game religion, plus a different group of friends had been trying to recruit me for ages).
To create characters I like to pick three things: nation, Virtue and lineage (if any) and see if I can find a common thread that ties all three together. For Renata, her Changeling hauteur and Ambitious nature intersected really well with the honesty of the Coast.
I also like reading through the wiki until I find a bit that really inspires me and build a character around that idea.
Hello! Welcome along!
Currently playing WM so feel free to drop me questions by PM I will do my best to answer them!
Remember you can always change your background after you’ve played should you need to but the broad advice is to keep your background vague and short, bullet points are good, a couple things to stand on, why you’re in anvil, something that has happened in the past etc.
Personally my character was in one of the imperial armies for a few years before returning home due to a family emergency and taking up a place on the group trip to anvil.
I feel like it’s worth mentioning that your tribe is likely to colour your character’s experiences quite significantly- your choice of tribe is a fairly significant undertaking, as all three are very unique and different. Something you’ll want to work out sooner rather than later!
Oh, additional note on backgrounds:
Don’t get too hung up on them, don’t invest too much information and plot into them.
Your characters backstory is meant to be a starting point, and the important stuff starts happening when they start play. There’s a cliche that LARP characters may have dark and brooding backstories… and no-one cares
That said, a few details such as a clear place of origin, one or two things you’ve done*, and involvement in some part of recent history can be useful, and can give a plot team something to hang things on…
good example: (ah-hah, Bob is from area 6 of Province C. We shall send in an NPC to find him and then ask him questions about Anvil…)
bad example: (Bob has stated in his backstory that he is fleeing a murder he committed in his home city. Send in a magistrate to investigate…)*
*This is why you don’t put a criminal past in your backstory. The magistrates can and will catch you based on stuff in your backstory. This can be fun, or disastrous.
Nail on the head.
Oh, your Wife/Mother/Brother/Cat died at the hands of a certain race of people? Oh and you swore an oath that you would seek revenge? That’s nice.
Me? Oh, No - My home life is dandy. I’m just here to make money and get drunk.
Personally, I think it’s more important to have an IC target or aim. It’s much easier to roleplay your actions if you know the outcome will help towards your goal. Hating the Grendel is fine, but unless you are working your way up in the military ranks to get into a position where you can push and army towards your revenge… then don’t bother telling me. Tell me something cool. Tell me about that time when you drank an odd potion and your leg turned green for a week.
Here is a link to the backstory that this site heleped develop for me last year.
Having now played this character for half a year I think the most important thinig is to have an arc for your characters moving forward, rather than backward. To some degree my GF and I/the people of this forum planned out the first half of a tragic love story - which gives the characters a sort of anchor/motivation for all of the other things they do.
As @Geoffrey_Willoughby says, they generally become largely irelevant as soon as you hit the field. The exception to that I think is if in your group you can create interesting dynamics - like our tragic love story. This means that your backstory isn’t something that you sit round hoping for someone to ask about- but is continually embodied.
A less convoluted dynamic could be maybe that two of your group are constantly trying to outdo one another- in drinking, in fighting etc. In my opinion whats best is to create dynamics that are fun to do and fun to watch for the people around you. This makes people want to get involved with your characters and their stories.
My impresion is its easy to lose your characters backstory in the game - because the 3000 other players don’t know or care about it- but everyone cares about coin and battles etc. I almost thought of Tristram/Unas/ their relationship as having handles - things that would be easy for other people to grab onto and run with - and other people getting involved makes the backstorys feel real. As soon as your outdoing each other brothers have other characters taking sides and chearing them on it suddenly makes the characters and their relationship 3d and solid.
I would have given up on all of Tristrams convoluted tragic past -had i not had so many great people around me feeding into it and enlivening different aspects of it. Whilst a lot of that came from the general goodness of their hearts - a lot of it was that there were things someone on the outside could enjoy and get involved with if they wanted to.