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Larp archery guide – part 2: clothing

Larp archery guide – part 2: clothing

Here’s the second part of the larp archery guide. In this entry I will try to help you with choosing a costume fitting a character fighting with a bow. Experience tells me that the most important factor is mobility.


In order to provide mobility required to play as a fighting character armed in a bow, one should wear a light armour. Personally I recommend a reasonably loose-fitting leather breastplate, which is light, looks good and gives a freedom of movement. It’s crucial that it doesn’t interfere in drawing your bow and it’s manufactured in such a way that there are no rigs or belts on which you could accidentally snag your bowstring. The leather armour’s look is a secondary issue and it depends on the player’s preference. A good addition to an archer’s armour are vambraces. They can be very decorative and they protect the forearm against the hits of the bowstring when shooting a bow.


In case of less wealthy characters, such as poachers, peasants, hunters etc., a simple linen or cotton shirt or a short-sleeved gambeson are a good fit. I suggest rolling up the sleeves of your shirt so the loose cuffs don’t get in the way of the bowstring. When choosing such an outfit one should remember about proper makeup and accessories. If you play a poacher or a hunter, you can add rabbit or fox fur to your costume, which will complement your look perfectly and add some flair to it.  


A hood and a cloak can be a great addition to an archer’s outfit. One should remember that in the case of a cloak, drawing arrows from a quiver on the back may prove to be  uncomfortable – or even impossible. Because of that, I would suggest buying a hood if you wear your quiver on your back. For those who wear it on their belt, a cloak shouldn’t be problematic and should work well with the rest of your outfit. A long cloak can also help with masking you when you’re hiding in thick bushes, which makes preparing an ambush easier. The choice of the outer clothing should be based on practicality.


In my opinion, the biggest issue is always choosing the proper footwear. Boots should be comfortable, waterproof, breathing, sturdy, matching to the rest of the costume, and within ‘our wallets’ reach. It’s not a simple task. So far I’ve walked in nine different pairs of larping boots and I’m still looking for those perfect for my favourite type of a character – an archer. Historical shoes often have leather, flat soles, which decreases their traction in most kinds of terrain. If you’re not a part of a re-enactment group, think about modern soles. It’s a well-known fact that everything usually boils down to a compromise between price and quality. You can order a pair of hand-made, million-golden-coins-worth shoes from a manufacturer; you can also hunt for a bargain on popular auction or market sites; or you can take a look into the shoes offer in the 5 Żywiołów larping store. You can find there a variety of propositions in the larp boots category, which should meet your expectations. Pants for an archer are strictly an issue of a player’s preference, as well as of the played character’s social status.


It’s similar case with jewellery and such accessories like pouches, belt bags and pauldrons. They are not essential, but they add flair to a character. In my opinion, every larp character, not only archers, should have at least one pouch on their belt or a bag hanging on their shoulder. You can hide there your notes, character sheet, dice or some snacks. It can also be used as a plot item if you acquire one during the game.

I recommend checking the first part and following the next parts of the “Larp archery guide”

With regards,

Łukasz “Captain” Krasoń

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