Thinking about crewing…

Just so I can always find and add to it, here’s an answer to the question: “I’m turning up to crew an event, what do I need…” Mostly from a list HarryW started on the Death Unto Darkness forum, as follows:

I would suggest as basic crew kit:

Black / plain dark top

Black / plain dark trousers
(recommend hard-wearing for both)

Warm layer

Shoes with good grip & ankle support

And that’s it! The rest is provided for you.

Which is common sense, of course.  That base top should be long-sleeved if you can; it’s easier to make long sleeves shorter than the other way round… And if you do have boots that aren’t trainers, or just that aren’t branded; bring those rather than any others. In fact, the closer to genre/period you can get, the better. I usually travel with some plain black, unbranded jogging bottoms and a pair of brown leather trousers, and a white baggy shirt and a long sleeved T. It’s worth checking if everything else _is_ provided. It might be, it might not be.

She goes on…

Optional extras which you don’t need but which you’ll thank me if you decide to bring:

Kneepads (I got a really tough pair of “nailers’ trousers” – basically combat trousers with integral kneepads and lots of pockets – for about £20, they are the dog’s)

Water bottle to carry out with you (e.g. in a belt pouch or on a tankard strap)

Gloves (I recommend fingerless / sniper mittens)

Your own weapons (crew weapons are provided, but crewing is a great opportunity to field weapons you later want to PC with – be aware that if you put them down they may get picked up and used by other crew, so you may find yourself doing repair work)

Flashlight

Shemagh / scarf / other face covering

Multitool

Kendal mint cake

Kneepads. If the event is mainly outside, oh my lord is she ever right about kneepads. I don’t favour Kendal mint cake myself – it’s just sugar. Flapjacks do it for me, but each to their own.

Under “Optional extras”, I’d add:

More headgear – as well face covering, if you’ve got any genre-appropriate headgear bring it along. When you’re playing a number of different roles, headgear can make you look a bit different.

Bag – useful things, bags, and one appropriate to the genre will always come in handy. (I realise I now have hats, gloves and bags listed. Accessorise or die, sweetie…)

Belts – again, just handy. Often, the crew costume you’re supplied with won’t quit fit right, and belting it in makes it a lot easier to manage. In my experience – event kit piles never have enough belts.

Baby wipes – just in case the organisers run out.

That magnificent prop you happen to have knocking around that’s perfect for the event. I’ve lost count of the number of times a crew member has said “I wish you’d said you wanted a scale model of the Taj Mahal, I’ve got one at home, I’d have brought it if I’d known.” It’s worth just asking if the organisers would like anything, just in case…

HelenW also advises…

Bear in mind that anything you bring to crew may potentially get ripped, muddied, rained on, picked up by someone else and taken home by accident, soaked in fakeblood, stuck in a gorse bush or set on fire. I LARP on the understanding that anything leaving my house may not return to it; I actually don’t lose that much kit at all irreprably, but if you work on this basis you’ll only ever get nice surprises.

Couldn’t agree more.

And when I say “Optional”, I mean it. If you haven’t got any of this stuff, please do still turn up. Good crew are like golddust, and my favourite sorts of larp couldn’t run without them.

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