Further Events:

My first LARP Character

Or: How i get to my first Character in five easy steps!

1. What to be?

While considering what to play you should first imagine being that person for an extended period of time (e.g. several days at ConQuest). Famous characters and heroes from movies or games are a great source of inspiration in general. Maybe you'll be a "Witcher", an "Elve" from Lord of the Rings, a northman inspired by "Skyrim" or "Vikings", an noble lady as seen on "Game of Thrones" or a warlock straight out of "World of Warcraft". 

But what would these characters do while they are not fighting, having important talks or doing heroics in general? How is their daily life and are you willing (and able) to bring that to life as well? Legolas always looks pristine while shooting Orcs - but you would have to wear Make-Up (including ears) around the clock and continuously walk like a ballet dancer. That get's challenging real fast. 
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2. How to be unique

There are thousands of characters at ConQuest. If every second mage you meet is called "Gandalf" and every other Lady "Mellisandre" or "Daenerys" it would get boring soon. That's why you should take your inspiration from above and make it YOUR character instead of a generic movie-icon. 

In the beginning it might be tempting to stick as close to your inspirational model as possible - but you'll soon discover that this is rather confining and can lead to less acceptance of your character by other players (who feel too strongly reminded of a famous movie-hero). 

Aside from an individual name we recommend changing the characters backstory slightly. Maybe add some strokes of fate, disadvantages or fears. In general are shortcommings always more intriguing for your character than heroic abilities or things he/she can always do perfectly. Instead of asking yourself "How good a fighter/mage/thiefe am I?" you should rather think about your characters hidden fears, things he/she is afraid of loosing or what kind of hidden agendas or even dark secrets should better remain undetectet...

3. How to become this character

Your idea of a character should now be a unique concept - including an individual name and original background story. And you probably already have a very detailed idea on how he/she should look. 

Again we recommend to slightly differ from your movie- or game-model. For starters because an exact copy of a movie or game costume is a lot more elaborate and costly than what you want to spent on your very first character. Additionally because you need to be that character around the clock. You are not going to act out single scenes but become that person for a couple of days. 

Instead of an original Viking replica a simple cotton or linen shirt should do. You probably don't need handmade leather shoes at your first LARP - sturdy hiking boots with decent gaiters will do! And instead of a heavily embroidered silk blouse your character might just start her first adventure wearing a leather bodice or corsage. 
 
It is common practice by the way to get cheap (but solid) "basics" and improve those by adding details. Make them look used or old by adding patches, seams or little defects. The hobby of pimping your own costume is probably as old as LARP itself.
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4. How to enable others to support me?

At ConQuest we go by the basic rule "Your character can DO what you can PORTRAY!". This essentially means two things for your start being a LARPer: 
- try to be as convincing as you can be while depicting your character (concerning acting and costume)
- never expect other players to perceive your character as YOU think they should

It is possible to be a noble lady in beggars rags. That's not easy but has been done. At the same time you'll have a difficult time to make others beliefe in your dwarf character if you are actually 6 foot tall. In that case it just doesn't matter how cool your dwarven beard looks like. 

For your first character try to depict someone that others can easily see you as. Try to be someone that you feel comfortable while portraying. Try to make sense - even as an imaginative character. 
 
Finally: always try to react towards other players and respectivly their characters as you would want them to react to your. If you should encounter a fierce Viking warrior who suddenly starts taking in a sexy and slightly slurred french accent try to stick to the act and accept the character as it is offered. 

5. What about rules?

The most important rules were already mentioned. If you follow these instructions you can do without a rulebook. But if you want to reassure your idea of your character or his/her portrayal take a look inside our rules. There you'll find a list of all abilities that are relevant inside the play as well as guidelines concerning hitpoints and armour. 

These rules should help you to assess how much a sword might hurt your character (probably pretty badly), how many "hits" it takes to die and so on. As a mage take a look at our "effects" rules to get a grip on what spells to use and how rituals and other otherworldly stuff fits into our setting and world (and which superpowers are better left at home). 
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Prepared for your first ConQuest!

If you follow all these tipps and advices you're prepared for your first ConQuest!
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