Writing IC

Personally I lve to carry some kind of notebook at larps, and I see here on ther forum that a lot of people do it too. What do you use to write? A simple ballpoint pen is my favourite, but how could I modify it to make it look more IC?

I personally take the nib out of a cheap pen and tape it to a feather. Is that a good quill? It is not. Don’t do that. You can buy ballpoint quills I’m pretty sure. Get one of those, or, like, a pencil. Don’t tape a nib to a feather. That’s a bad way to write things.

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I use a cheap wooden fountain pen from eBay, it has a refillable cartridge in it. My handwriting is neater if I use actual ink and I like the way iy looks too

If you can find a big enough feather (swan feather primary, for instance), then you can actually insert the cheap biro nib into the end, and it looks a little better.

Some craft shops will sell wooden pens, with an apparent twig with a biro down the middle.

Indeed, these can be bought on site at quite a few of the traders, along with pencils.

I’d advise packing a few plain pencils and some change, and buying some IC pens when you get there.

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I use a dip pen for my ledger but I have a bought feather ballpoint as well for my notebook since I sometimes don’t have the luxury of a table.

I have these - they took a little while to arrive from India but they look good and are cheap enough I’m not stressed about losing them. The tips screw off so if you manage to hang on to them long enough for the ink to run out you can replace it with a standard ball-point refill.

If you want something with a cap I had one of these for years - not precisely IC but generic enough and not too pricey.

If you want to be fancy with a fountain pen, this is an excellent one for the price that takes international standard cartridges.



I play a reporter so am constantly writing and also constantly losing pens. I have the Rosewood ones SevenSecrets linked and also have a pencil on a string round my wrist (Gremani made so a lot prettier than it sounds. It’s Ikea pencil size). The pencil never gets lost but the writing is never as clear in my notebook. My advice is always have a back up pencil and if you lend your pen to someone, stand over them until they give it back!

The biggest issue I have is that lots of the wooden pens have really short refills (about half the length of a standard bic one) so they run out faster than I’d like and I’ve not been able to find anywhere to buy a stock of spares - if anyone knows a source, I’d love to know please!

Find a crow’s feather (or any other bird you like), take out the inner chamber and ballpoint of a cheap pen, insert it inside the feather and it will look perfect :slight_smile:

A couple of the vendors on site sell pens like these Unique Natural Wooden Ball Point Wood Pen for Birthday Wedding Guest Lover for sale online | eBay which is a pretty easy solution - they tend to be a bit chunkier to hold, but they do look IC.

Personally, I feel those twig-with-the-bark-on pens (or pencils for that matter) are weird and wrong.
The Empire is full of skilled woodworkers who make lovely things. Why would they do something so crude? After all, OOC those bark-pens are fun-novelty-things and I don’t think anything like them existed until recently.

On the other hand, a nicely made handle/holder (made of wood or horn or silver or jade or whatever) for replaceable nibs (of feather or reed…) …now that’s something I could see someone having in the Empire setting as a nice step up in luxury from a simple bare feather/reed.
So as a more convenient physrep of that, something like the nicely turned wooden pens that SevenSecrets mentioned seems like a good option.

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Alternatively… for temporary notes, how about writing on a slate, with a slate pencil? You can wipe it clean afterwards. Used to be the norm for schoolchildren, after all…

Or even a wax tablet and stylus.

Important things can be transcribed to paper afterwards.

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I have one of these https://m.ebay.co.uk/itm/Chic-Portable-Wooden-Suction-Pen-Students-Fluent-Writing-Fountain-Pen/391971337070?_trkparms=aid%3D555018%26algo%3DPL.SIM%26ao%3D2%26asc%3D20171010182013%26meid%3Ddf93097b9fe74e3db87f4cad12233859%26pid%3D100890%26rk%3D2%26rkt%3D12%26sd%3D152837348809%26itm%3D391971337070&_trksid=p2056116.c100890.m2460

What about these?

Those are the ones I linked up thread, mate :wink:

And thoroughly endorse - really quite nice to write with.


I look forward to finding out, I bought some when you linked them. :smiley:


I know they have been spoken about above but for rough note i think they might be ok?

Oh yeah those are fine. A bit rough and ready (I can’t see Dawnish, Highborn or Leaguer scribes using such), but a good choice. The biggest issue is keeping them in your pocket, and then falling on one during a fight. Because those twig-pencils are Durable.

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Got these in the post today. Not overly impressed. 7 of the 10 don’t work and plenty of the nibs don’t push through properly. Can likely fix but will a bit of work

I’ve generally gone for plain metal ballpoints with crystals on the end, as some of the stationary shops near me had a lot of them on special offer when I started Empire. A bit like these ones on eBay, except the ones I use at the moment have coloured barrels rather than black.

Well, I don’t like them (as I said above), but it seems other people do. I feel normal pencils are better: the twigs draw special attention to themselves (because they’re unusual novelties, unfamiliar and very modern), twigs would be harder than normal pencils to make IC, twigs cost more OOC, and the “lead” in normal pencils runs the full length (whereas in the twigs it’s only an inch).