A blog for costume references, insight into costumes and what they mean for the person wearing them IC and OC and tips on how to make your own kit from trousers to shields. Welcome to LARPers Bazaar
In the UK all the BIG events are finished until 2015, thankfully I still have Norseman sagas and Wild West in November and potentially Dumnonni Chronicles at the end of this month.
I am sure there are a lot of other smaller events running right up to christmas
thanks for the compliment =)
One year anniversary, god my one year was a whole lotta years ago, but i still manage to find events and people that remind me of that first year level of keen and excitement. In fact I just finished an event that did exactly that and now I am re watching every pirate film possible to give me more ideas for costume
all of the metal armour i wear at LARP is either full contact quality or reenactment quality, so your soft kit and armour is A ok for LARP
following swifly on from my rant about costuming at LARP comes a rant about rules at LARP.
In general I find the games that create more drama, more roleplay more moments of sheer epic are the same ones that have very few rules and trust their players to be adults and not take the piss. Games like V57, Dumnonni, Heroes and Dragons, Mythlore, Wild West to name but a few. These games focus on as few rules as possible to as to not break immersion by suddenly needing to find a ref to ask what your magic just did, or a combat peppered with loud shoults of DOUBLE, CLEAVE, etc etc.
On the other hand the games with a lot of rules apparently because without rules people cheat ( see above to see this is largely BS) have a huge amount of cheaters and people who flagrantly have no desire to learn or follow the rules. On top of that a lot of the time it feels like the game organisers themselves are trying to pidgeon hole the player base into clearly defined roles in an attempt to ensure people do as their told.
A game i attend regularly has recently added a new ” skill set” to the game that without which the player base can no longer traverse the sea. Now this game is set in the Norse world ( a culture that lived off the sea for food as well as raiding) and in game already there have been a lot of trips over the sea. BUT suddenly anyone who wants to be able to claim they can sail must have a skill that functions purely in downtime.
To me at least someone who was overjoyed when Mythlore came out with only five core rules this seemed a huge throwback to older styles of LARP that had extensive rules marking its origins in table top roleplay. In modern LARP rules get in the way and detract from the game far more than they add to the overall experience.
A friend said to me today ” you do really just LARP for the kit don’t you”
and it made me think, what kit and costume means to me and how that impacts my experience at LARP and my perceptions of a LARP.
As a rule before attending an event I will always look through photo galleries of that event and ask people whose opinion I trust their thoughts on the game. If the images I see are of poor quality kit, modern tents etc almost regardless of how good a review a friend might give that game I immediately start to convince myself its not worth my time.
To me how much a person invests in their kit and costume is a sign of how much they invest not only in the broader game aesthetic, but also how much they’ve invested in their character and how much they care about adding to a visceral world.
Someone walking into a tent and announcing they are Lord of Casterly rock but dressed in cheap black leather armour, glasses modern boots and a cheap tunic will not get the same world response from someone doing that in gorgeous custom made costume and plate armour.
Now that is not to say that everyone must run out and find a custom costumier, but costume according to what you can achieve. Too many people feel that at event 1 they HAVE to have everything, and if they cant afford the kit ( or make the kit) to make them look the part, any old thing will do.
This is to me a flawed perception of costuming, half the fun of costuming is showing a change in a character, start of as a poor knight, with no armour and only your families treasured sword, then as the events go on and you are able to afford more and better kit slowly add it over time. A year later you may be in shining plate and your character has visibly changed with the story of the game rather than making do and looking the worse for it.
Much the same in a film, if a film has been poorly costumed it immediately jars the audience, it stops us truly believing in the world the director is trying to draw us into. I am by the main incredibly lucky that the people I most often LARP with like me are obsessive over their costumes, this leads to some of the most immersive roleplay and environments I have seen at an event. Examples include the Butchers camp at Empire, the entire world of Mythlore, the Village at Dumnonni and Norseman sagas and the Imperial Orc camp. Everyone who enters these areas is immediately hit with not only a visually stunning camp area but populated with characters with utterly believable costume.
it is easy to remark on an attitude like mine that ” of your a costume nazi and elitist”. No i pride myself in putting together costumes that look real and believable and fit the aesthetic of the world that charachter inhibits. I want people to see my costumes and think, wow i want to aspire to that level of detail and quality, or Yup that is definatly an imperial orc or a knight or whatever i am trying to portray. People who have asked me for tips on costuming or help I hope have found me full of suggestions of how to do things and where to go. After all when i was 17 and just starting LARP someone took me to one side and taught me how to costume properly.