Packing for Divine Intervention LARP: Part Two:
Costuming and Personal Effects
Part of a series in which I pack my kit for DI Larp. I pack a little heavy for this game, you will not have to pack this much in general for your standard weekend long boffer event.
This category could essentially be called: the only category that is really essential to actually play the game. One does not need to bring the food that I mentioned before, or the set dressing for their cabin that I will mention in the next post, to actually play the game. However, you do need a costume and a weapon, in general, at the bare minimum.
I am playing in New England, where the temperature in a given weekend in LARP season can go from say, 85 degrees during the day down to nearly freezing at night. (As I experience in my last event of DI.) I have been to events where it snowed unexpectedly, or it rained the entire weekend, and I know myself: if I am wet or cold I am going to have a bad day. So, I like to be prepared. As such, this is what my costuming spread looks like.
From top down we have outer layers, underlayers, socks, and several pairs of boots. I am not going to go into the nitty gritty of it, because everyone’s costume will be different. However, I like to be able to layer things on, and take things off, for comfort, while still maintaining my characters color scheme. (In this case, the scheme is “clashing colors” with the only unifying thing being orange ribbons over yellow.) I have a very lightweight jacket, and a very cold weather jacket, and various underlayers to mix and match.
I also have in character pajamas. This will also be something that highly depends on your game and your play style. Most people will not need this. This game is a 24 hour game, meaning, it’s always on, until game is called at the end of the weekend. If I go to bed, there is a reasonable chance someone will come wake me up because something important is happening, or someone saw a ghost, or something, so I have in character pajamas so that if I must go running out into the night I can jump into action quickly without breaking immersion.
On the upper right it’s all packed into a carrying basket. I like to bring much of my stuff in containers that are fairly ready to go. I can slide both of these baskets under my bunk and not have to do much unpacking. For some games, where the cabin decor isn’t important, I will just pack into a big tote, but this game I rely a lot on my cabin feeling like a house, so my stuff that can be seen needs to be setting appropriate.
An interlude: Socks, and why everyone always tells you to bring a million pairs.
One of the first things I see people remind new larpers to bring, and this was true of my first larp experience as well is “Bring way more socks than you think you need.” I had no idea why they told me this, until my first rainy larp. I was uncomfortable with cold and wet feet. Periodically, because I had heeded this advice I ran back to my cabin and changed my socks which did wonders for my mood. I have seen however, a poor fellow a couple years ago who was getting more and more miserable until on Sunday morning he was a shivering mess huddled over a fire trying to dry his socks which by then were a filthy wet mess molded to his feet. He admitted that he had forgot to pack more than one pair, but was embarrassed so he just tried to tough it out. Someone gave him a pair, but it was very sad. Don’t feel embarrassed if you forget socks. SOMEONE will have extras. Just ask. I also bring at least two pairs of boots to an event, because if one pair soaks all the way through, or loses its sole, (this has happened to me!) I am not helpless.
Weapons and Accessories:
Aside from the very basic parts of my costuming, I have a lot of other junk I layer on myself to go run around fighting monsters.
Chantarelle gets a new hat every couple of games. I can’t help it, I love hats and I find them very useful*. Their culture is very hat centric. We have a lot of hat based courting rituals, etiquette protocol, spiritual protocol… I could probably make a whole post about Zamen hat politics. My primary hat is my vaguely musketeer style hat, which is the first hat I made for this character.
I am primarily a hammer fighter, but I like having the flexibility of a couple of additional fighting styles in a pinch, so I also have ranged. Which in this games system comes bundled with thrown weapons, so I have a boot dagger at all times, and some cute throwing bottles. This game allows for nerf bows, so I have a painted Rebelle weapon, because I like the smaller ammunition and very easy draw style.
Everything else on the table is simply flair, though, an argument can be made that belts and pouches are fairly essential for holding on to items and components and things, if one neglected to sew pockets into their costumes… cough cough, me. Chantarelle does not have a wide variety of jewelry, but they do have an abundance of scarves and gloves for various temperatures and occasions. My trusty tambourine, (battle bard life!) I also have a specific pair of matching glasses I wear for this character. The frames are metal, so while they are garish, it is possible for them to have been made with materials available in this setting.
All of this sans hammer gets packed into this second basket.
And that is more than everything that a reasonable person would need to play this game. A costume, and accessories, and weapons, packed down into the baskets. I don’t put the shoes into anything because the way I have to pack my car they get tucked into the space above my wheel well in my trunk.
There are a lot of heading off to larp situations where one will not be driving themselves. This is my local home game, so I have the luxury of being able to pack heavy and get it there in my own car. Many larping situations will require folks to pack luggage and fly to an event, which is something I have no experience with, so I cannot speak to it. However, I will be attending the Felbis event Beinspora next year, so I am going to be seeking out tips! If anyone has any thoughts on packing their larp kit for airline travel, please comment! (Especially if you have a blog post or a youtube video on the subject I can share)
Thanks for reading part two of my packing ramble, and remember:
You are never too old for Make Believe!
*Hats for me are fairly important as I have a sun allergy, which when combined with my wasp allergy essentially makes larping a little dangerous. I do it anyway because my community has been excellent about ensuring the safety of people with medical needs. I am aware that this is a luxury. ( I am going to write an article about larping with allergies but I might call on a friend with more experience in this matter to assist me.)