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Garb Standards at KoN

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Hi everyone! As many of you know, I'm MK, the Props and Atmosphere Marshal. I just wanted to take a second to talk to you all about costuming and appropriate garb at KoN. We have had a large influx of new players this year, so I feel like this is something that will be useful to them and even to veterans in making sure that we continue to maintain and improve our garb standards.


One of the things that we strive for at KoN is a higher caliber of garb than a lot of other LARPs. We do this to help maintain immersion and (this may seem obvious) to make us as individuals and the game as a whole look good. This is one of the selling points of our game and something that we really stress and enforce. Moral of the story, this is a central part of our game culture and we need to make sure that we maintain it.


That said, we do tend to give a bit of lee-way to newer players because we understand that it takes a bit of time and money to build up an anachronism free kit, but there are certain things that will never be acceptable and are easy to avoid. Specifically, visible t-shirts, sneakers, jeans, modern cut pants, etc. have no place in our game. If you must wear them, hide them. If we can see them, you will be asked to change or go NPC. If you are in doubt as to whether an article of clothing is appropriate, please feel free to ask. Anyone on staff should be able to tell you whether something is or is not appropriate, but you can always reach out directly to me or anyone on the P&A staff if in doubt.


Please note that we do not make exceptions to these standards for cold or wet weather. Part of preparing to attend a KoN event should be checking the weather since many of our games are cold, wet, or both. There are multiple forum posts concerning appropriate ways to prepare for cold weather games to assist if you have any questions.


As far as the aesthetic nitty-gritty of our garb standards, KoN is a Historical Fantasy setting, meaning that historical-based garb and fantasy-based garb is appropriate. I would place the cut off for historical-based garb at 1500 AD. This means that garb that would be classified as steam-punk, Victorian, Colonial, or modern is not acceptable at KoN. Essentially, anything beyond the Renaissance is unacceptable (e.g tricorn hats, French Highwayman coats, Pilgrim garb, powdered wigs, pirate garb, etc.). Roman and Greek style garb, Japanese/Asian garb, barbarian/tribal/Viking garb is also acceptable as we have nations based on these cultures. Fantasy-style garb is also acceptable (e.g. Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, Legend of the Seeker, Merlin, etc.), though I reserve the right to disallow Fantasy-style garb that tends towards modern aesthetics.


I understand that this can be a bit difficult to quantify, especially for players who are new to LARP, so here are a few questions you can ask yourself if in doubt:


Would this look out of place in Lord of the Rings, Ancient Rome/Greece, Game of Thrones, Renaissance Italy, Ancient Japan/Asia, or Conan The Barbarian?

Y – Not appropriate

N – Appropriate


Could I wear this to the grocery store and check out without people staring?

Y – Probably not appropriate

N – Probably appropriate


Remember that there are always ways to improve your garb for both your NPC and PC kits and we encourage all players, new players and veterans alike, to be consistently looking for ways to make themselves look better. Attention to detail can go a long way towards an anachronistic free kit (e.g. eliminating things like white socks and modern belts). Historically-inspired garb like long robes and tunics can hide modern under-layers (like long john and underarmor) and give a very medieval, non-modern silhouette which adds to the immersion of the game.


If there are two things that you take away from this post, I want it to be this:


1. We only care about things we can see. If we can see it and it's inappropriate, you will be asked to correct it or to go NPC.


2. If you have any questions about what is appropriate garb, please ask.




Thanks for taking the time to read this. I hope we can all work together towards maintaining and improving the high quality of garb that we've had at KoN for the last decade+.





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Here is a link to a post the lovely Suzie made in April with helpful tips on getting garb together without breaking the bank or looking like sadness.

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Update/Addition - Something that has been in place for a while now, but may or may not be being communicated to the newer players, is that we'd strongly prefer if Christian religious iconography be avoided in garb, gear, and props where possible. Vanderkamp is a Christian campsite and we would very much like to maintain the good working relationship we have with them, so being respectful and avoiding possibly offensive situations is the best policy. If anyone has any questions or is unclear about this policy or if something falls into this category, please feel free to PM me or the 1st or 2nd marshal (hivemind & kender). Thanks! smile.gif

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To elaborate on what MK said above:


  • Items specifically tied to a mainstream real-world religious faith are forbidden. Don't show up in Crusader garb, don't show up in Catholic priest regalia, don't come dressed as a monk or nun, and so forth.
  • Don't display any overtly religious icongraphy.
  • Avoid real-world religious references in your backstories.
  • Avoid using spoken words or terminology that can be misconstrued by Christians. This covers things as simple as a profanity ("Jesus Christ, man!") or as complex as an NPC ceremony involving a circle of players in black robes and torches.


The point above regarding "religious iconography" probably needs a little more discussion. Here are examples:











Any cross variant that has an elongated arm, in any direction, is gonna make us go




Note that, above, I said "acceptable". This means that, if you show up wearing something with ANY kind of "acceptable" cross on it, we're not going to make you take it off, however, we are going to roll our eyes at you and think to ourselves that you're an unoriginal low-effort scrub.


Religious symbols from non-Christian religions are somewhat more likely to slip through (since they're unlikely to ruffle anyone's feathers at a Christian camp), but there's still no reason for anyone to show up wearing a surcoat with a Star of David or really ANY of this kind of stuff on it, period:



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Reminder that cold weather is not an excuse to have modern layers visible. Beanies and modern gloves are not acceptable. Layers like long johns should be completely hidden by appropriate outerwear. Boots that are not period appropriate need to be covered. Violators will be asked to change or swap out these items for more appropriate garb. If a violator is PCing and does not have anything appropriate to swap out these inappropriate items with, they will be asked to NPC (where plenty of appropriate layers will be available to them.). If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or Kyle or to post here for clarification.

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Thanks! I've asked a couple times for Mr. Andy to do it, but I think my request gets lost amongst the other 5 that I tend to send him all at once. smile.gif

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