Wisdom, support and guidance needed for new player!

Hello there, I’m Tom! I hope this finds all of you well!

I am just beginning my LARPing adventures for the very first time, and I am very unsure of how to begin.

I am coming into this fresh and solo currently as I don’t know anyone, though I would be highly interested in actually joining up with a group if I fit the bill!

As character creation goes, I am enjoying the concept of working on my strengths ( I have some previous sword training) and thought I could aim to step into the boots of an character whom is willful, noble and combative - thriving off victory, and enjoying friendly (competitive) duels. I was considering equipping myself with a Bastard/equivalent sword. I am Toying with a militaristic character background and in a test I chose Mortal blow and Stay with me!

So far, I think this all points me toward Dawn I believe? Another that drew me was Wintermark(?)

I have some armour I am interested in, but am unsure of whom to buy from (as far as quality and trust goes) and what would suit, as of course - if there are colour schemes/requirements for groups, I don’t want to invest heavily for it to be incorrect or unusable. Right now, I am quite drawn by the “Claw plated body armour” from Darkblade UK. Below I’ve posted a screenshot of one of YouLarp’s headcam battles, link as follows: Empire LARP 2016 Full Battle Headcam GoPro - YouTube - I really appreciate this gentlemen’s armour set and style

As far as lineage and other things (which I am sure there is a lot I have missed or have not thought of yet that I need to!) - I could really use some help, I am quite nervous about taking part and starting my quest - but equally very excited!

Any help would be so appreciated - thank you everyone!!

read the rest of the post by new players gather information then join the Facebook groups and chat :slight_smile:

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Okay! Sorry for the wall of text word bombardment, I shall get on that :slight_smile: Thankyou!

So first welcome to the forums,

From what you have mentioned I would definitely agree that Dawn would be a good fit. You described alot of the key elements of Dawn in that paragraph. There is a great emphasis on proving yourself, competition and we are the only nation that has a nobility. Not to mention Dawn has the Glory square, a clear area which it commonly used for sparing and duels.

You might consider the Knight Errant archetype this has a few advantages for a new player:

  1. You aren’t formally attached to a group, so it’s easier to move if you find some people you really get on with.
  2. Dawn holds knights to a higher standard than Knight Errants (So it’s easier to play a knight errant to get used to things.)
  3. As a new player the test of mettle basically gives you some objectives to achieve and pushes you towards doing things. (and the trick to having fun at empire is having objectives.)
  4. A good test of mettle in play gains respect and Glory.

It’s not that hard to find a Dawnish group in play particularly as a knight errant. However, if you would like to have a group looking out for you for your first event, I play in House Carsenere in Dawn.
We are a group based on the edge of Dawn, in lands the Empire has never conquered (The Barrens). It’s a fairly diverse group both in terms of character types, but also experience. We have a 3 players who have been playing pretty much since the start, but also a number who started more recently. (And I’m fairly good at introducing new players to empire having done it 7 times now.)

I will stress Dawn is definitely a nation you don’t need to find a group before starting,

Bastard weapons and Mortal Blow: To use mortal blow you require a weapon which is 48 inches, and the longest weapon you can use one handed is 42 inches. If you want a weapon you can switch between a one and two handed fighting style with, you want Cleave rather than Mortal Blow. If you are going for Bastard weapons you also don’t need Weapon master. (Although Great swords are also on brief for Dawn and a valid option.)

Stay with me! is a cool skill and I have yet to hear anyone regret taking it.

I will point out, if you are aiming for Dawnish Noble (either at gen or becoming one in play) the “Claw plated body armour” isn’t a great fit for Dawn. (I actually really like the claw bits on the upper chest and pauldrons, but the panels lower down aren’t ideal) . It is however a fairly cost effective way of getting Medium armour, and you could always cover it with a tabard later.
(On quality about 9 years ago some friends of mine brought 5 sets of Darkblade armour and I have yet to hear any complaints about it.)

If you wanted something generically suitable for Dawn, basically metal (Or Poly plate), the colour schemes of Dawnish houses generally apply to the Cloth kit, and then they tend to have silver armour (or Gold, but armour colour tends to be personal preference.)
Leather is a bit trickier, because Black and colour of house heraldry would be perfect, but not really transferable. Still you could always wear house colours over the armour.

There is generally a good choice of armour that you can buy from traders at events, if you want to get a feel for armour.

Lineage: Lineage isn’t essential by any means, it’s perfectly fine to play a basic human. Each of the 6 lineages require you to look supernatural and have an effect on your characters personality.
Some of the lineages require more work than others, Cambion and Changeling can both be done just by putting on some Horns/Antlers (Which are a bit more time/money investment to start with but are easy to put on in a field.
I’ve seen some really effective simple Naga makeup as well, but Draughir takes a little more effort. It’s worth remembering that lineage is completely optional.


You’re a saint you know that Elliot??

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Hi Tom,
if you’re leaning towards Dawn, I can offer you a place in my group. I am happy to assist and/or tutor new LARPers, and have many years experience of doing so. Feth, I sound like a job application :stuck_out_tongue:

If you’re going for the One Big Sword style, then a bastard sword and Mortal Blow is mechanically a good idea. The dividing line between 1 handed and 2 handed swords is 42". With no overlap. So a great big sword of 60" can’t be used 1 handed, a 42" sword with a long handle can be used 1 or 2 handed, but doesn’t allow any of the mechanical advantages of a 2 hander.

I’d reccomend a big sword and maybe a small back-up weapon.

As you can see in your photo, a lot of groups (especially in Dawn) have matched shields and/or tabards/surcoats. So armour style/colour isn’t necessarily a make or break issue for a group. A covering layer, accessories, a good reason why, all can bend whatever you’re wearing into whatever character concept you’re after.

An example: I play Argent Dromond, a seafaring knight of Dawn. Most of his fighting is done on board ship, so he doesn’t want armour that will sink him. He is thus wearing scale mail (The prop for this is a suit of aluminium butchers mail I bought years ago). Being aluminium, it wieghs next to nothing. Now while this doesn’t look too Dawnish, he has a good reason for it: As an artificer, it’s enchanted to be a Mithril Shirt (medium armour, +1 hit). He claims that the enchantment is a Brass Coast variation which also enchants for bouyancy. Therefore, in game, he’s wearing a suit of Brass Coast armour that wieghs nothing, and in fact floats (good for naval combat). I get to wear my comfy old armour without investing in heavy plate, and I cover it up with a surcoat in my house colours to look more Dawnish. Given that the rest of the ensemble is large heraldic shield, emblazoned high helm, steel greaves and bracers… not many people bother to notice that that Dawnish noble’s shining armour isn’t actually Dawnish style…

That particular suit “claw plated body armour” will be either medium or light armour, depending on thickness and accessories. Probably medium. It’s an excellent investment that will look good in many a LARP system, and last you for years.

Lineage… the lineage rules and options are there for people to have fun role-playing with. For those characters who want to play human+ in a strange direction. There’s minimal mechanical advantage, and extra hassle in getting ready, but it can look awesome and drive your character to new and interesting places. “Wilful, noble and combative” does sound like a Changeling to me, that is, influenced by the realm of Summer. For that, you can get away with pointy ears, but small (or large!) antlers are also cool. Changelings are common in Dawn, where their attitude of “Competant, aggressive show-off” fits right in.

You’ve gotten several replies while I’ve been typing, so I’ll finish with a note on Knights Errant, as mentioned above…

The colours of a Knight Errant are blue and yellow, a yellow sun on a field of blue. This on a tabard is acceptable minimal kit to wander round Dawn in. As a Knight Errant, you aren’t tied down, can talk to everyone, and can search for a group that you like to flavour of, or indeed go solo. Knight’s Errant are often less well equipped than the shining martial lords, so it fits your position as a new player as well.

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Thank you, it’s good to be here! Thank you for such an informative and thorough reply - this is really helpful!

Okay fantastic - I’ll be definitely be going with ‘Dawn’ then! The defining features of Dawn sound really immersive and fun to get involved in. With such a fire for proving oneself - it would seem it would give me plenty opportunity to develope character as challenges, interactions and situations arise! The Glory Square sounds absolutely fantastic,

Okay thank you, that archetype description and it’s advantage definitely sound like a good option and very helpful to me. I really want to get involved and stuck into what I can, so this clear sense of objective and record of achievement of them would be a great motivation. May I ask how you begun, and what you felt solidified what you were to pursue? Whether that be prior planning, or perhaps a specific moment, I’d be very interested to hear!

It’s certainly reassuring to hear that it is so welcoming here! I was worried I would struggle to find somewhere to slot in - though I am sure that I’d like to find a place for some RP where connections/ties/memories can be made and footing established.
You’re group sounds really interesting, I enjoy the feeling it’s background gives off (Especially the ‘Never Conquered’ aspect of it’s origin in The Barrens). I’m going to continue preparing and doing my best to ready myself - obtain all I need and make sure I’m headed in the right direction - but your invitation and warm welcome is greatly appreciated! Thank you! Your guidance and support would be fantastic - if that’s okay?, I wouldn’t want to inconvenience you any way,

Would it be okay to send you along a PM and discuss in more detail? I’m hopefully going to talk to some more people here and get a feel for the community before I decide, it’s only my first few days on the forum afterall - but I am working quickly and am very excited to get stuck in and set off!

Thank you for your weapon advice! I will give it some more consideration. I have performed best in sport duel-wielding and with two-handers so I would definitely like to commit to one of these styles. Do you think there is a distinct disadvantage (that is dire/best avoided) in not having a shield?

That’s good to hear, I had images in my head of great RP moments for Stay with me! and it was definitely something that I felt that could help give character-definition in both a practical and roleplaying sense.

I will have to reconsider my armour choices then I guess, I’ll have a browse of some examples and see what speaks to me! I definitely want it to be practical and not ‘too’ showy - as I feel it would give an interesting edge to the character of someone who prides themselves on their ability with the blade,looks like they do too - and are willing to prove it.
Black leather sounds like an interesting thought, and then I could use accessories to facilitate house colours if required/fitting - to the drawing table!!

Aside from basic human - Draughir was my other consideration, but I think I need to look into them further to decide between them. Basic human is always a safe and perfectly good choice so I won’t regret following either line as long as I am comfortable and happy RP’ing it!

Hi there!

Thank you for the warm welcome! Again, everyone seems really kind so far - so that’s definitely putting me at ease! Well we are both guilty of that probably haha so no worries! I thank you for your reply and all the advice!
Hopefully after some more talking to fellow members I can get a feel for where I want to head group wise (Unless I stay Solo’esc) - it’s definitely great to know that there are individuals such as yourselves and those who have replied who are happy to support and help!

Ah okay, I best stick straight to 2h’ers then or as you said, I am going to forfeit the advantages. I really want to get into the thick of sword combat without a shield as I don’t want to put that between myself and who would be ‘my foes’ - I think there is an air of awe to a blade being what stands between yourself and a challenge!

As far as back up weapons go, is there any disadvantages or restrictions on taking them? There’s always room for knives on belts and a smaller sword but I wouldn’t want it to cap other avenues for combat/skills.

I rather like the story behind whom you play and how you manifest it! That sounds rather interesting. I like how all the styles and practical-sides to the armour ensemble come together. Is this an over arching background/shared point of origin for your group or is this your personal backstory?

After talking to you and other members, I think i’ll keep the Claw Plated Armour in my mind, but also seek other options - as I am not sure I would feel ‘right’, definitely want to feel that it’s a part of the character so I can throw myself into the events that make up my first experience - make a mark and a beginning for whom I play!

I had not considered Changelings until your mention - I will do some reading and see what I think! Thank you! That boosts my options to Basic Human, Draughir, and Changeling - all of which sound great! Just need to find what feels best!

Oh I see, are these colours of a Knights Errant universal then to display themselves as such? It sounds like a great place to start, thank you for all your advice! Would you mind me messaging you at all if I have any other questions? It would be great to learn more about who you play, your motivations and maybe I can learn from that!

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The warm welcomes aren’t entirely altruistic, we’re hoping to recruit you for our groups as well :slight_smile:

No problems with backup weapons, no disadvantages or restrictions beyond the OOC ones of extra coast and another prop to potentially lose on the field.

Stay With Me was a skill I had as a previous character, a battlefield medic. It often manifested itself with him sliding to the side of a dying knight, (pretend) slapping them around, grabbing the front of their breastplate and hauling them off the ground, while shouting something like “Stay with me! Stay with me! You are not going to die today! You’re going to get back on your feet and into the fight!” (and because he was also a Physic and an Apothecary) “Now drink this, take a deep breath and go kill more orcs!” Yes, it generates many good moments…

My group was defined as Dawnish Pirates/Privateers, so some sort of naval flavour was implied. I wrote the backstory and explanation as justification for slightly off-nation kit.

The Sun on Blue was the Royal Heraldry of the Kingdom of Dawn. And like several tartans in Scotland, is available to any who wish to be obviously Dawnish without being affiliated to any one noble House.

Happy to answer questions etc, feel free to PM me.

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Yeah sure PM away

So on one hand having a shield is a great advantage, I personally have spent pretty much all my exp on out of combat skills, but once I have the magic item of shield use I can be a really useful addition to characters who are more combat focused.
On the other hand this is about having fun, and “I want nothing but a blade between myself and a challenge” sounds really Dawnish and cool. Sometimes it’s worth going for cool. Not to mention you seem to have a lot of specific experience with great weapons that should help.
To an extent it’s hard to talk about 2 handed weapons in practice, because they used to have a different call, so Mortal blow is pretty new. Still worst case scenario if it horribly fails and isn’t fun, PD are very good at letting new players restat after an event or two.

“As far as back up weapons go, is there any disadvantages or restrictions on taking them? There’s always room for knives on belts and a smaller sword but I wouldn’t want it to cap other avenues for combat/skills.”
Only RL practical ones, like OOC cost and how many you can carry before they get in your way. You can carry as many backup weapons as you have phys-reps and space for.

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Thank you everyone for their wisdom and advice in this post! If anyone has anything further to add, it would be most welcome and appreciated, there is always more to learn! But honestly, you’ve all been so kind, welcoming and helpful - thank you for all your efforts and time!

(Currently piecing together an Armour set, much excitement!)

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Everyone is incredibly welcoming in all groups. If you do come to Dawn, explore the houses, make friends, then ask for a test of Mettle.

If you’re going for leather armour, my advice would be to get stuff that you can wear metal over.

I have this one http://www.darkbladeuk.co.uk/leather-larp-armour/female-larp-body-armour/leather-plate-warcoat which, since it doesn’t have shoulder bits built in (flat over the shoulders) means that it fits a surcoat/tabard and plate pauldrons over the top easily. (that would be the main disadvantage of the claw armour)

Going for a good base bit of armour is a good plan, as you can wear it to monster as well, and if you get more spare cash you can “upgrade” by buying bits of plate to wear over the top if you like. It is, however, worth thinking about protection. Leathers won’t protect you from arrows, whearas heavy chain will. If you can wear heavy chain it’ll give you that advantage. Ultimately though, wear what won’t injure you, and roll with what happens.