A couple of weeks ago I wrote about my own costume for Odyssey LRP. Well this is what my partner wears when he’s playing Odyssey LRP in Carthage, it’s generic enough that I think lots of people could use this as a base for many different games and nations. Or of course if you’re planning to come back and play the last two games in the Odyssey LRP story arc… perhaps you fancy choosing Carthage?
Carthage are the most fantasy nation in Odyssey LRP in many ways. There’s very little evidence of what kind of clothes Carthaginians would have worn so the brief in reality is ‘roughly North African’. Just so that we know roughly where we are in the world, this is where Carthage is located:
In Odyssey LRP Carthage is briefed as being a bit rough and ready. Old clothes, furs, heavier looking armour, and practical details seem to sum up the look of the nation. Browns, creams, and a key colour identifying your Warband seem to be the key parts of a Carthage costume. But like I said in my previous post, making your costume seem like your character wears it all the time is the key to making it look like clothes rather than costume.
So we started with a base layer. These are a pair of leather bikers trousers obtained on eBay* second hand. I’m not always a huge fan of leather trousers in LRP, but as Adam points out, they do allow him just to sit down anywhere he wants and not find that his trousers have soaked up water. Not to mention they’re hardwearing in a game where he spends a good amount of his time fighting in the arena.
The shirt was also picked up second hand at an event, but you can pick one up here for £80. That’s quite a bit of money for a LARP shirt, so personally I’d be looking at something more generic or even making my own T-tunic or similar for a few pounds (future tutorial here I feel…).
But either way, this is your ‘indoor’ layer. It’s what your character looks like on a hot day, or when they’ve just got out of bed and put some basic clothes on.
It doesn’t appear in the action photo above, but this red robe is the latest addition to the costume. Profound Decisions have a social contract in their games, where you look to improve your costume between each game if possible. Adam didn’t really have anything tying him to his Warband (who all wear variations of red) except a scarf, so I ran this up for him to wear next year.
The tutorial will be coming soon, but essentially it’s five rectangles of fabric, costing a grand total of £3 or so. I think we’re going to be cutting it down to knee length to stop it getting in the way, but a simple robe like this is an easy way to add both movement and depth to a costume. It’s also plain and simple, and therefore easily reused for new characters or different games.
Then comes the armour. Odyssey LRP has an unusual set of armour rules. It uses the idea of ‘cultural armour’ to make everyone from a nation look similar. The Romans wear Lorica, the Greeks wear breastplates that imitate muscle or other historical styles, and the Carthaginians wear leather breastplates or jerkins. It’s a clever idea and it means that you can usually tell which nation a character is from with just a glance.
It doesn’t matter that you’re covering up the two previous layers – in fact you should absolutely do this, especially if you’re going for the rough and ready look! This layering makes it look like your character has picked up costume as they’ve gone along rather than walking into a shop and buying stuff that all fits together. It also helps to have garments that are cut differently. The way that the robe is cut and put together differently around the arms to the under-shirt adds to the ‘collected over time’ look (rather than as if your character has gone to a single designer and bought all their stock).
Don’t forget you need somewhere to put things. Belt pouches seem quite medieval much of the time, so they didn’t feel quite right to me for an ancient world game. This belt is an old military ammo belt that was again found cheap on eBay. It’s real leather and crucially it’s weathered and worn. For many characters ‘new’ is unlikely to feel right and leather does take quite a while to wear in.
Lastly there’s the cloak over the top. Both North Africa and the UK can get really quite cold in the evenings. And of course over here in the UK it always manages to rain over the course of a weekend event.
This cloak was borrowed from Wookie at Mandala Studios and I suspect if you asked them they’d make another similar. It’s wool with both fake and real fur, as well as beads tied onto leather thonging. Next on my ‘must make’ list is something similar with a detatchable fur mantle so that the cloak can be used in different games and with different characters. I’ll most likely base it on my Minoan robe that I wrote about before, I also wrote about it twice on my blog.
When you’re making your cloak think about your character. While a beautiful long cloak might suit a shining knight or a mage, we needed something fighty and slightly thuggish. Hence it’s knee length and it has arms – a cloak that fastened at the neck couldn’t be shed quickly in a fight to avoid getting caught.
I hope you guys enjoy these kinds of posts. I’d like to do alot more in the future with costume tutorials thrown in the mix. If there’s anything specific that you’d like me to consider tackling, please let me know!