Obvious Barbarians

Discussion in 'Art, Costuming and Props' started by Ragnarok, Apr 7, 2016.

  1. Ragnarok

    Ragnarok Adept

    So I play a Barbarian in SoMN and sometimes Chicago. While I fulfill all the costuming requirements for being a Barbarian I still find myself being confused with a human from time to time. I want to really step up my costuming despite my inherit lack of craftiness

    My question to my fellow Barbarians: what advice would you give to an uncrafty person that wants to be obviously a Barbarian simply by sight and with out and roleplay interaction.
  2. B.Barber

    B.Barber Scholar

    ...sortof hate the barbarian costumeing standards... delineateing a separate "race" by clothing alone is a terrible idea...

    Be that as it may...

    General useful guidelines:
    Non-finished edges- Hemming and finished edges should be kept to a minimum, this is a mark of higher-craftmanship and tools.
    Rough materials- That is, non-refined fabrics and leathers. Low threadcount. Natural, breathing materials like hemp, cotton, leather...so forth. It shouldnt look like it needed a machine to have been produced. Avoid metal hard-ware for closures.
    Non-standardized construction- That is, dont work from set patterns. OR try and fake not working from set patterns. No right-angles, no fine-tailoring... Think organic shapes.

    There really is not any great way to go about it that dosnt require some crafting effort (you have to start somewhere, just dont be intimidated, you can do it, it just isnt going to be POOF overnite accomplishment) ... just tossing furs on yourself is probably not going to get you any farther than you presently are... raising the bar comes with work. but, still, check this stuff out...

    -Note the difference between the wildlings and the non-wildlings.

    Rough hewn, simple shapes. Not shiney, not clean. THis is all easy to construct stuff.

    Of if you want to look at the more classic fantasy angle... theres some metal used here, but a lot of the design is based on all natural materials, letting the nature of he material be the star and not trying to refine it into something else. Texture, earth colors (even most of the metal is kept in the warm family)
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2016
  3. Ragnarok

    Ragnarok Adept

    Wow that's a lot of fast and terrific advice. Thank you so much!
  4. KyleSchmelz

    KyleSchmelz Fighter Marshal

    Knowing your costuming, I think that's one thing that can make it look human. There are a lot of straight lines, "civilized" materials, symmetric patterns, etc, and I think if you either upgrade some of the base pieces or add some accessories that add a bit more of a wild flair to it, you'd look more distinctly barbarian. The fur on your jacket, for instance - you have a line that goes very neatly along the edges and fairly even cuffs. I'm not saying you should start tearing your jacket apart (there's a fine line between low-budget barbarian and hobo), but consider adding some items there that break up the symmetry or disguise the modern cut.

    One thing I tend to focus on with costuming is breaking up the silhouette. I think you end up looking most human when you take off the furry jacket, and that's at least partly because you have a more modern silhouette without it. Your leather armor fits really close to your body - maybe consider adding something to the armor to add a little bulk to your frame? You could also do a warskirt - something as simple as a wide belt with rough-cut fur and/or leather could go a long way. Leave the edges raw, distress it, dirty it up like the leather panels the Dothraki guys have hanging down at the waist in the second picture. If you're not working with either high-end leather or really thin leather, you can just beat it up and stomp on it and rub dirt in it until it stops shining.

    Pants are a detail that are easy to overlook when you're doing the rest of the costume, but a modern pair of pants lead to a fairly modern look. I used to think pants weren't terribly important, but my costuming improved a lot when I upgraded from my old cargo pants.

    Face-dirt and warpaint help too. Even if the costuming isn't quite to the standard you're looking for just yet, the right style of warpaint makes pretty good short-hand for "this guy's a barbarian". I'll have my makeup kit with me at the event this weekend if you want to experiment a bit.

    As a general note when you're adding to your costume, keep in mind you don't have to do it all at once. Get a good image in your mind of the end goal and just work your way there one piece at a time.
    Alkalin3, Flyaway Bird and Durnic like this.
  5. Bigens73

    Bigens73 Newbie

  6. Alkalin3

    Alkalin3 Templar South Michigan Staff Marshal

    I'd take him up on this. My gut is warpaint, especially a dark blue or red might really drive that point home. Fake blood also works in a pinch, depending on the type of character you're playing.
  7. Roland

    Roland Newbie

    The easiest way to be a barbarian is not to speak Greek or Latin.
    Muir and nothingtoseehere like this.
  8. Muir

    Muir Rogue

    Barbarian is, now that Gypsy is gone, the race most in need of a rewrite. Way, way too easy to end up with a 'How, Kemosabe' level of bad.

    That said, the suggestions above are still good. Obvious hand stitching, unfinished edges, and utilitarian gear that's made of rough-cut leather and fur are all good. I'm always hesitant to recommend war paint because there's no great way to separate it from the exact way we rep makeup races and things like spirit marks.
  9. Bigens73

    Bigens73 Newbie

    I find Barbarian in my mind played more like a Viking than a Native American. But that is just my thoughts.
    Ragnarok likes this.

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