Welcome to Empirical Purple

A blog by Simon Brady to cover a surprisingly wide range of geekiness, in a combination that no-one else does quite the same way. Probably. Either that, or it'll just be Simon talking about the likes of Football (usually the Soccer variety), PC & Tabletop Gaming, WWE, Movies, Music and occasionally even my actual job of Graphic Design, depending on what I'm up to in the world.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Empire LARP Event 1 Impressions

It's three weeks since I attended the first event of Empire, which means it's three weeks that I've reflected, frothed (apparently that's a thing), planned, purchased and arranged for the second event of Empire at the end of May.

As I said in a post before, as well as to anyone who'd listen at the time, this was my first LARP event. Perhaps it was some way of making sure they'd go easy on me, or more likely just a way of expressing enthusiasm. The most heartening response was a sarcasm-absent "Really? I wouldn't have guessed."

In short, I loved it.

I made some mistakes over the four-day weekend, of course. I felt like I crossed over the IC/OC barrier too often and too easily but, then again, I didn't really find the character on the first two of the four days and was much more comfortable the longer playing Jacob went on. On the Saturday I accidentally stabbed an Orc in the face with my sword in an unfortunate timing co-incidence of the end of my sword swing arc and a stride forward by my opponent. That was the first time I've wielded a foam and latex sword in anger, so next time I'll be safer - in the Monday battle I certainly was.

Other than those few incidents, however, I'm not entirely sure that I fucked anything else up. If I did, I wasn't aware of it.

The group I was a part of, introduced to them via my girlfriend, were lovely, welcoming, helpful and gave me an amazing introduction to LARP. They made everything very easy for me in terms of costume, characterisation, background, environment and I couldn't have wished for a nicer group. 

A few people I interacted with had superb improv skills. You could throw something at them and they were totally inhabiting their character, ready to respond perfectly at a moment's notice. Most people, you could see, were having to work at thinking on their feet to one degree or another, so everyone allowed each other the time to get their thoughts out correctly. Manners and politeness were everywhere in this group storytelling effort, which was lovely to be a part of. It was very middle class: lots of people you could imagine being one of the quiet ones at school who read fantasy novels. This is in no way a criticism, as that's exactly who I was at school. I felt very much at home and can't thank them all enough.

The nation of Highguard in general was also lovely to play with, making almost instant friendships with those around me that translated brilliantly to the OC field. I'm sure everyone feels the same about their group and their nation, but from start to finish the Highborn were fantastic.

It was the coldest Easter weekend in recorded history, so a lot of the wonderful costumes were covered up under extra layers. It'll be interesting to see what people have come up with by the end of May as improvements to their E1 costumes, as well as being able to show off the ones that were buried under coats and cloaks the first time.

The organisation was excellent, especially when you consider that it was Event 1 of a new system, in below zero temperatures, with almost double the number of players that they'd experienced before (up to over 1800 on Saturday, so I heard). Even the toilets were especially nice for a festival.  Of course, there is room for improvement in many areas, but I can't make anything more than a pedantic criticism from my point of view.

These are my overall impressions, so I've split my character's story into a separate post for another day to save my own eyes, as well as those few brave souls who might like to read both posts.


  1. I hate the word "froth". It's one of the most disgusting words in the English language :/

    1. It's fine when reffering to drinks, I just wasn't aware of any other usage before Empire/LARPing :/