Thinking pose

thoughts on lrp and characters

How much is too much? When is it time to say goodbye to a character? I've been wondering that ever since I realised that I participated in 14 lrp events in 2009.

On the one hand, I love my characters, I love working on their costumes and I love the people I play with. On the other hand, some of the events I go to really tick me off sometimes with their rules or the decisions made by the organisation. And there is still more events I'd like to visit, more characters I'd like to play. So some characters might have to go...

There's two events on my list that I would drop in a heartbeat if it was only about the way the event is run. But it's not only about that. Characters are fun, other players depend on me. lrp is a wonderful excuse to spend time with friends who live on the other side of the country. Not to mention that characters are a great excuse to spend exorbitant amounts of money on strange items or pieces of clothing. (I mean, I really really want this for Amelie!)

So when can you say it's been enough? When is it time to retire a character and say goodbye to an event? How do you tell others you don't want to come anymore? I don't know. I'll admit that I'm afraid of buying anything for Amelie. I want to, I mean who do you think this is for? But what if she dies? Or what if I have to stop playing her because of some other reason? Will I have wasted that money? Will those things wither in my closet?

A sideways related pondering of mine is: where do I go next? Twi and I have been, on and off, fantasising about new characters that we could play together, and because we don't know which event we'd like to go to, there's no deadline, and we don't really make time to work on the costumes either. Which is a shame. It's a wonderful concept. JW and I want to play something together too, but that concept is even vaguer, and it will have to wait until Lextalionis is over.

So, tell me. When do you think it's been enough? How do you tell other players that you won't come anymore? Do you ever reuse old costumes? Or do you just keep them for old times sake? And finally: do you know a fantasy larp event where two satyrs would have some fun?
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wow, I love the long red gambeson!

I only have 2 characters, (5 if you count vortex) so I don't have the problem of too many characters, I want play more events but time is my main problem.

I do reuse costumes though, Alhandra's red dress, has been anything from a gnome's outfit to little red riding hood to demon's worshipper.

Maybe it is different because i'm mostly a NPC...
Armstreet is a fine business, their stuff is fine and customer contact is great. I know not everything they feature is made in the USA (we tried selling their shoes, which came from Luthunia directly to save on shipping).

Aside from that.

One of my characters, Lanelle Strongwind, has been 'refridgerated' for a while. I used to have a lot of fun with her, but then some of the people I played with opted not to come back to the event for various reasons.
The trouble was that since the plot focused mainly on Gods and Goddesses and Lanelle had nothing to do with that, there suddenly wasn't much to do. When Hagor went missing in the game and there was more problems with Gods and Goddesses, I decided that two events of not having any fun was enough. Now Legendfalls has announced they'll have their last event for a while and I'm still unsure whether I should go.

And then your question about costumes for dead characters: how about Delma's costume? Did you sell it on Marktplaats? Or are you saving it, secretly hoping to use it one day?

I still saved Nieske's costume, because I loved playing her and I might one day bring her to Myriad, where dead characters are allowed to rise one last time. On the other hand, the ending she had was just about perfect, it was definitely one of my best moments of roleplay, and nothing she'll ever experience will ever top it.
I keep her costume on one clothes hanger, layer over layer over layer. Perhaps it's a tribute. Perhaps it's a longing to remember what good times I had and a wish to play her again. And the Admiral promised to one day take a good picture of Nieske, because I don't have one.
Money is often a bit tight for me, so I have a guideline that anything I get for a Larp character either has to be generic enough to be usable for different characters, be cheaper than five-to-ten-ish euros, or be made myself. Mind you, it is just a guideline which can be broken for a good cause.

This means that old costumes can often be re-used, if they still live up to my current standards. Many of my older costumey bits have been donated to Larp orga's when they were either too specific to re-use myself, or just not to my standards anymore (like many synthetic sins of my past). Limited space keeps me from being too sentimental about stuff, and still our Larp costumes fill a floor to ceiling wardrobe three meters wide, not even including props yet.

Sometimes a costume item may seem very specific, but then it turns out it isn't. I own one black sleeveless snakeskin-patterned pleather coat I once made as a costume to wear the the Elf Fantasy Fair. The character was a re-animator (modern day necromancer, basically). So far I've used it for generic Halloween costumes, a necromancer NPC, and most recently for a lizardman sage for which it was perfect.

I could see the ankle-length gambeson as a great base for any kind of armoured character, honestly. Combine it with white robes and shining armour for a paladin-type, for instance, or black leather armour and a quarterstaff for a battlemonk.

Because of the restraints of both time and money in some cases, and the decision to play new characters in another, I've quit several groups in the past couple of years. Quitting Larps (or any social activity) isn't easy, but I've yet to come across a group which wasn't understanding about the decision to stop playing with them, as long as you're up front about it. Give them ample time to decide how to deal with it IC, at the very least.
Whoa! Die gambeson is super!!

Bij elke kostuum neem ik mij weer voor (delen) ervan het te gebruiken, maar ik geloof niet dat mij dat ooit gelukt is ^_^. Bij een nieuw personage komt meestal toch een specifiek plaatje in mijn hoofd wat daarbij past. Ook worden mijn kostuums steeds beter qua kwaliteit en ontwerp, dus ik zou de jurken van zeg 5 jaar geleden echt niet meer aandoen. Sommige daarvan heb ik nog steeds omdat het of een duur kostuum is geweest (en ik nog steeds in mijn achterhoofd heb om het te hergebruiken) of omdat ik het een gaaf karakter vond, nostalgie. Gelukkig heb ik nog niet heel veel verschillende karakters gespeeld, dus de hoeveelheid kostuums valt mee ^_^.
I usually throw together a costume from stuff that I already have, together with one or two new items. And those are reusable for other characters as well. So that makes it less of an issue for me to drop an event that I don't like.

If 14 events a year is too much, nobody can say but you. It's like a hobby that you do about once every month. That's not too much for a hobby, one would think. You have people that train twice a week and go to a dozen tournaments each year too. I used to do that too. So 14/year is not exceedingly much.
I have been to several events, just to check them out. But i am trying to get to the point of one or two a month, to keep it fresh and something to look forward to. Cause my way of play mostly busts up the monday's and takes a lot of energy. So i made my own list of favs, ones i skip a event because of falling in the same month with one of the favs and ones who aren't that much fun.

With Unity i play Doc. Which has become a real workhorse the first event as the chief medic. And i am not sure if I like that. Its a though schedule, Medic 24/7 combined with the fact that people drop OC the second it turns 2:00 at night, when i finally have the time for some informal play and the reason i started medic in the first place: psychology. My Bro is waving a nice concept in my face. So my second Unity will be as Doc, but he may get dropped the thirth time.
I just hope I get in right now. And once that is over, I'm sure Trudi can make the Doc's life a little more fun.
For me, I found that two weekends after each other don't work. I do not have fun the second weekend. So if an event is linked to another event, I don't go to one, I only make exceptions when I we're talking about favorite events. I think it's when you know you won't have fun, and that you won't get anything else worth more then having some time at home out of the weekend, it's time to call it quits. It is wise to make sure people you're in a group with know what's up before your final event, so they don't get blindsighted when you decide to stop, but outside of that it's all about if you get what you want from an event. If you don't, no matter how much you're missed it's not worth it.

As to old costumes, I find that I re-use all remotely generic things as an npc, and the non-generic things are great for fairs an the like. Just because you no longer play a character doesn't imply there are no excuses to wear the costume anymore ;) Especially if no longer playing the character isn't combined with a lot of hardship.
Having too many active characters is usually not a problem with me. Mostly they don't live that long ;-)

My problem is more that I would like to play more larps and try out a few radical characters just for a one shot. But with my job and the kids and everything, six weekeinds a year (plus some sundayafternoons) is the most I can do.

And I second anemoona; a new costume always seems to be preferable to rewearing one. There are only one or two basic things I reuse (like a nice sturdy white robe, that goes with a lot.)

I have retired some of my characters, because I no longer had fun playing them. It was Jishin from Yoshida, because I felt I was not able play her the way I wanted to (something to do with perfectionism while not being very heroic or a good fighter IRL), and old herb lady Rawenda, because she didn't have enough stuff to do at the event. No plot for her, and you can enjoy yourself with experimenting with herbs only for so long.

Most people I play with, I can meet at another event anyway. So it's not too bad if I quit playing. And at Aon I just return as someone else.

I don't think I will ever re-use a costume, except for NPC roles. My costumes were designed especially with that character in mind and I also enjoy creating new costumes too much. I merely recycle accessories, weapons, etc. or perhaps some undergarments.

However, I resent the thought of throwing away clothes or something I put so much effort in to create, so yes, I keep all my costumes!

I will recycle my whole Call of Heroes character at Aon, however, because I didn't like the event and played there only once, but I did enjoy that character. So she's just going to move to another reality :-)
I agree with Lenny.

You play at a event, because you think it's fun. I quit playing at Kederan. It was a difficult discision. There are even some people I don't see on other events. But then I thought: if I really miss those people, I'll make sure to meet with them at home. I love larp with friends, but larp shouldn't only be about meeting a friend. I can do that without a larp. So I retire a character when I don't feel like playing it anymore or when I don't like the event anymore.

I keep the clothes. Luthine's skirt used to be Dawn's skirt. But the other dresses I only keep for the sentiment of it.

Don't feel bad towards others when you quit a larp. Or when you substitute one. Larp is expensive enough, you should only play it when you have fun in it.

It's only natural if that discision is a hard one to make.

Margriet
I always re-use everything.
I currently play two characters. The first one, Aurelius, has an outfit that is custom made for him. But I have made it so that I can use parts of it for other events. I have worn part of Aurelius' outfit, combined with other parts, at an Elf Fantasy Fair.
My second character, Jonathan Slow is going to be wearing an outfit consisting of recycled parts only. I will probably play him during one day only (while my first character is gone for a day) and I didn't want to make something new for him

When I don't like an event, I don't come back. Currently I am playin only on event, Loenar, which occurs twice a year. I have absolutely no desire to play any more than that.
(Anonymous)
Het is heel simpel, zodra je ergens de lol van de hobby niet meer kan vinden is het tijd om er mee te stoppen. En dat er dan andere personages op je rekenen is erg jammer voor ze. Jij moet lol vinden in je hobby, je moet niet degene zijn die de lol voor anderen komt brengen zonder daar zelf nog plezier aan te beleven. Ik ben daar na 13 jaar spelen echt heel makkelijk in geworden, als ik er geen lol vind in het spelletje dan kap ik ermee. Daardoor ben ik ook veel selectiever geworden in welk evenement ik ga spelen en welke ik lekker oversla.
Qua personages ben ik ook heel makkelijk (je weet hoe snel ik ze er doorheen jaag). Is tie dood, dan is tie dood, nieuw kostuum maken! En dan eindig je met een zolder vol kostuums... ik hergebruik zelden oude kostuum(delen). Ik maak liever iets helemaal nieuws.
En als ik ergens iets vind wat ik echt niet mooi meer vind ten opzichte van de kostuums die ik nu maak geef ik het weg aan een vereniging.
Dus kortweg: stop ermee als de lol er af is voor je.

Pat