Your first character’s kit By Jack Shannon

FANTASTIC! You’ve started LARPing! This is great news. But understandably, you’re feeling a *bit* wobbly about how to actually, y’know, put it all together.

But hey, don’t worry! Your buddies at Darkblade are here with some tips.

SORT YOUR BASE LAYER
What the flip is a “base layer”?

A base layer is the stuff that goes next to your skin. It’s the kit that you add stuff to in order to make your character. When you’re starting off, choose versatile dark colours. That way, you can use this as a base (see what I did there?) to build up your kit and also to Monster* in.
The Adventurer's Larp Shirt and a pair of Cotton Costume Trousers is a great place to start.

In autumn and winter, you want a thermal tee-shirt underneath to keep your core body warm. It also helps to have a couple of changes of base kit in case one shirt gets wet/muddy/covered in ketchup.
Avoid polyester. It looks nice, but you’ll sweat like an Assassin at a Paladin convention and *may* catch fire.

SHOES
Nothing will ruin an event more than sore/wet feet.

You will be on your feet for most of the day, either running, fighting or wandering around trying to find the food vans.
When you start out, a pair of good walking boots is perfectly fine. Most people ignore what kit you wear from the ankles down. You can get them at any outdoors shop, or at a military surplus store if you want a bargain. When you have a couple of events under your belt (more on those later), consider upgrading to something fancier, like the Medieval Larp Boots.

Bring at least 2 pairs of spare socks. Trust me.
 

TAT STORAGE
Within about five minutes of the game starting, you will acquire a phenomenal amount of tat. Including, but not limited to: IC letters, flyers and newspapers. Coins, gems and other shiny stuff. And finally, bits of dead goblins. You will need somewhere to put everything.

 

A good starting point is a belt. You want something sturdy, which also looks the part. A belt will also draw in your base layer and break up big blocks of colour. We sell a dazzling array of belts. But when you start off something like the 1" Belt is a good starter. Don’t worry if you’re bigger or smaller than average, just ask and Tim can always pop on some more holes for you.

On your belt, you’ll want:
A Plain Sword Scabbard will keep your weapon out the way when you’re not using it.
A Soft Leather Money Pouch for your IC coins.
A Large Pouch for things like your wallet, phone, character sheet and an emergency chocolate bar.
Finally, Sliced Bread (as in, The Best Thing Since) will keep everything neat and tidy.


After a few events (and when you have more special materials, potions and dead goblin parts to store) it might be worthwhile investing in a Shoulder Bag or backpack.


STABBY STUFF
Ok, Here’s the cool stuff**! If you’re planning on going into battle, you’ll need some kind of weapon.
Darkblade sells a good range of different swords, maces, axes etc- all of which are safe and suitable for use at all the major UK systems. We can also make sure that all weapons

 

As well as a main weapon, it’s worth getting a dagger as well. That way, if your sword is shattered, you’ve got a backup blade handy.

ARMOUR
If you go into a fight without armour, your first character is going to be very, very short-lived.
Armour is expensive and is a major investment- but it is well worth spending the money on good quality.

We have a full guide to LARP armour here. It’s worthwhile buying your armour before the event so that you can try it on and make sure that you can run, move and sit down in it comfortably.

ACCESSORISE!
By now, you should have a fairly solid kit. Now, bring it to life! Little touches and final flourishes make your kit look less like a costume, and more like your character’s clothes. Sashes, tabards, jewellery and make-up can all help you to stand out from the crowd.

Darkblade offers a superb Embellishments service which in English means “fancy patterns and that”. Tim can engrave pretty much anything onto anything. Just let us know what you want and he can pop it on for you. If you’re joining a group, having their symbol or icon on your kit can help you feel like you belong. If you’re going to Empire, Tim can also put any of the Empire Runes on your pouches or armour. Just drop us a line.

FINALLY…
Write things down.
There are lots of names and stuff to remember. An IC pen can’t hurt either.
 

Stay hydrated. You can’t LARP thirsty. Get a wineskin or a bottle here.

Get yourself a bargain. Tim is always going a bit mad and making new prototypes and deal bundles which we stick on the Specials page. Be sure to follow our Facebook page so you don’t miss out on one-off items.

Tim is desperate for human*** contact. So, feel free to get in touch with any questions you have and he’ll be more than happy to help you put your kit together.

 

We’ve been making LARP stuff for over 25 years. And remember, all our leather stuff has a lifetime guarantee.

So, if in two hundred years time, a rivet comes undone on your armour, just get in touch and Tim (or, a hyper realistic robot that believes itself to be Tim) will fix it, no quibbles and no questions asked (not event about the bloodstains).


*Monstering- this is when you take your turn being the bad guys on quests or battles. Don’t worry, just grab a mask from the pile and go with the flow.

**I mean, it’s all cool. But swords are just the best, aren’t they?

***Or Orc. He’s not fussy.