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Welcome to Riverbend Combat Association. Listed below are a few things that newer members should put some thought towards during their first few weeks of fighting. Before you go any further though, check out the Realm Info page which gives you pertinent information about Riverbend.
This page is intended to give you an idea about what you will need to obtain in order to participate in combat. You do not need these things until you've been out for long enough to decide if you want to make Riverbend a hobby.
The three basic requirements are garb, equipment, and a name. We'll start with the easiest first.
Choosing a Name
Ultimately what makes Riverbend more than just a bunch of people bashing each other with foam padded sticks is that we make an attempt to reenact medieval and fantasy genres. This is very difficult to do when you are yelling "Fred, behind you!" We require a minimum amount of roleplaying, that is, you must choose a new name. You needn't go any further than that, though many people do enjoy creating entire characters and histories to go with their new names, and we encourage this.
When choosing a new name, do not choose a historical figure or a character from a book, movie, etc. Be creative and original and pick something relatively short to make communicating in the heat of battle easier. Also, if you come up with an obscure, difficult to pronounce name, people won't remember you, which is probably a bad thing.
Now that you have a name, you need to get clothing. You won't look medieval no matter what people call you if you're wearing blue jeans. Period clothing can be acquired a number of ways. There are many online peddlers of medieval garb and accoutrements. This is a good way to go if you have a lot of time and not a lot of inclination to learn how to make your own. Check out the Links page for merchants.
Luckily, you don't have to be rich to dress medievally. You can build your own garb, which is great for a couple reasons. First off, its cheaper than buying from a merchant. You can get a cheap broadcloth for about $1/yard and make very passable simple tunics and even pants with it. If you need help with a pattern, use the Simple Tunic Pattern link at the top of the page. The next best reason for building your own costume is that you have far greater choice in what exactly you will end up looking like.
When you make your own costume, you can do a few simple things to enhance your appearance. Judicious use of simple trim can turn a mediocre costume into one befitting royalty. Also, making a costume with matching accent colors can make you unique and identifiable from across the field. Sometimes designing and constructing the perfect costume can be as much fun as fighting.
You have a new name and the clothes to match, but these things alone do not make a warrior. You need weaponry. How you go about acquiring your equipment depends much on what fighting style you wish to employ. An archer will have to find a suitable bow, wheras a simple flourentine (two sword) fighter will be able to purchase or build two swords and will be ready to go. A heavy infantry "sword and board" fighter will be almost as easy to equip, but at a slightly greater cost in either time or money.
If you have more time than money, we highly recommend building your own weapons. It is something of an art to perfect, but almost anyone can make a passable weapon on their first try, and it becomes easier from there. Like costuming, building your own weapon allows you to put love and care into every step, resulting in the perfect weapon built to suit you exactly.
Before you invest too much in your new weaponry, please check out the Ranks page. We do have a few restrictions on what weaponry our newer members may use.