The rules for Strange LRP have been designed to keep things simple and fluid in play, and the look and feel of the game has been designed to be in keeping with the literature and media we have drawn inspiration from (including the works of Jane Austen, Susanna Clarke and many a BBC period drama). Click on the picture below to see the pdf of the Strange LRP rules (including character creation), or scroll down to gain more info on the look & feel of the game and see our photo gallery courtesy of the esteemed Beth Dooner & Oliver Facey.
Look & Feel
Strange LRP is set in 1821, the late Regency period. We know that many people will have or may wish to wear, costume from the earlier regency period of 1805-1815 (Empire-line muslin dresses are the classic look). We also know that some people prefer the darker colours and dropped waistlines of the later regency period. For this reason, the general costume era spans the years 1805-1830.
Of course, many people, especially older characters or those of lower social status may be wearing hand-me-downs or less fashionable clothing that harks back to the previous Georgian era (think tricorn hats or frock coats for men, petticoat, jacket and stays for women). We have created a Pinterest board that should give you a few ideas if you’re stuck.
There are several films and TV series that will also give you plenty of ideas. The classic 1995 BBC series ‘Pride & Prejudice’ is perfect, as it is set in 1813, and shows the start of the transition from white muslin dresses to the darker silks and frills of the later Regency Era.
Men: Hair at the time was short, and brushed forward. Some men may have long hair, a leftover from the Georgian period, and a few old-fashioned types would have kept their periwigs. Shirts would generally have been made from muslin and pulled over the head. Waistcoats would also have a high collar, jackets would have been single or double-breasted and both breeches (with a ‘split tail’), and long trousers with a fall-front were worn. A source for men’s fashion concerns of the period can be found here.
Women: hair could be long, or short. During the earlier regency era, many women were growing out their hair after keeping it cropped to wear under a wig. As with men, some women would have clung on to the “big hair” of yesteryear. Fashionable Regency hair was often a messy bun, with a ribbon wound round a couple of times, or a beret. Bonnets could be worn out of doors, with a spencer or pelisse for warmth. For daytime, a kerchief often filled in the neckline, for evening wear, sleeves were short, and long gloves were worn. Pashmina-style scarves were popular, and are easily obtainable from charity shops. Due to the British activities in India, paisley was a popular pattern and fabrics such as muslin and printed cotton were also popular. A reference for women’s fashion can be found here.
In later years, waists dropped, colours moved away from pastels to stronger colours and the dresses became more elaborate. Hair was dressed in a knot at the top of the head, with ringlets at the front.
This was an exciting time, and the world was becoming smaller. British people, especially those with a military background or city-dwellers, would have been exposed to a range of cultures and traditions. People are people are people, and we often love anything that is a little different or ‘exotic’. So by all means feel free to incorporate little cross-cultural touches e.g. Indian shoes or a taste for Spanish food. Create a nice IC reason for it and it will make this Strange world all the richer!
Still stuck? Here are some ideas to get you started! These are not exhaustive and you may wish to depart entirely from the suggestions here, depending on how you would like to play your character.
Hedge Magician – you might cultivate an air of mysticism by wearing accessories or clothing that harks to a bygone age; medieval jewellery, an exotic hat or fabric. If you are not wealthy, your clothing may be hand-me-downs that were of good quality…once.
Wealthy Dandy– You have, or have had money. You dress in the height of fashion, wearing the richest fabrics and impeccable tailoring. You are accomplished, well-read; excelling in the arts, etiquette and noble pursuits. You live high the high life, and your list of creditors is long…
Blighter-You are riff-raff, but possibly quite clever. Your clothing has been handed down several times, although you may have modified it to achieve some semblance of fashion. It’s worn, and dull from wear. If you are a successful blighter, you might have a old-style jacket made from slightly threadbare velvet, or a fancy hat.
Foreign Spy – What you wear depends on how well you think you can blend in, or who you hope to gain access to. You may be posing as a dispossessed foreign noble, in the finery appropriate to your station, or a servant seeking work, wearing clean, practical clothing that will not draw attention. your hair is modestly covered by a hat or cap.
Keep an eye on this page as we’ll be updating it with more costume links periodically, including patterns and tutorials, especially tutorials for how to transform existing kit into Period-appropriate costume.
Of course, if you’re still at a loss, get in touch!
Some helpful links:
Jane Austen’s world – this page has some useful links to articles about social customs
Women’s Regency turban cap tutorial -I’d like one of these!
Jessamyn’s Regency costume companion – I practically lived on this site when I was researching Lady Georgianna’s Regency kit for our tour. Advice and tutorials in abundance.
Jane Austen.co.uk – more tutorials!
Shortgown tutorial – interesting, and would suit a working-class character
Apron with pockets tutorial– this apron has little drawstring pockets…cute!