To Tabard, or Not to Tabard?
by Rosemary "Kyara" Campbell
To tabard, or not to tabard? THIS is the pressing question of those intrigued by nice garb in the Realms! In Gau Dring, we love looking fancy. It feels like for every event we’re making a whole new wardrobe, but is that really such a bad thing? Apparently, a lot of the Realms used to like being fancy, but that appears sorely lacking nowadays, although, I must admit I’ve seen some turnaround at the feasts. While there has been visible improvement thanks to Newbie bins, the No Jeans Initiative, and various shops, we still see fighters running around in wife beaters and basketball shorts. For this I give one word: crusty.
I have heard the debates about garb, and by far the most commonly used excuse for lack of garb is this: why am I going to spend the time and money on garb when it’s just going to get covered by a tabard? I get it, you want to represent your nation, but doing so will hide all your garb anyways...sort of. Well, if that’s all that’s holding you back, why wear the tabard? Take a look at Gau Dring’s heraldry. We do have tabards for petitioners, but place more emphasis on creativity and good garbing than wearing our colors. We do this by not requiring them to wear their tabard, but to at least have it on their person, and full members get to design a garb piece based on their character to show off heraldry.
|Behold, our garb, it is our heraldry!|
From left to right we have Enlon in classic crappy fighter garb aka what not to wear. Then Asharn with his headband, Lako with the overcoat, myself with my skirt, Neko is in the back so it’s hard to see but there’s purple there! Redd with his cape, and Crystal with her tabard around her waist. Please disregard the munchkin.
The best part about this is everyone in the nation still represents without lowering their garb game, and it’s made all the difference. Not only have my nation members and myself received compliments on our illustrious garb, but we’ve also been told that we are inspiring people to get better garbed as well. Now THAT’s a compliment!
On top of that, making the garb is fun. We have a personal fashion designer- Edward Lynch (aka Redd) who might design you something if you offer him enough gold/green, a seamstress and seamsters(?), and fabric stores; glorious, glorious fabric stores. The process is always an adventure, allows for nation bonding time, and the results are splendorous. Few things feel as wonderful as walking up to the questing party in your new garb, I can guarantee it’s a confidence booster.
Better garbing can also help with character development. People often don’t think about what their character would wear and why, and that can make a huge difference when it comes to roleplay. Why does your character carry around this token, do they wear pants because they're a warrior? For us; How would your character show off the nation symbol, a cape? A skirt? A headband? Anyone who is a heavy role-player can tell you that garbing is a whole new level of fun that really does open up the door for character development.
Still though, if you genuinely prefer wearing a tabard, that’s ok! But there are still far better options than running around naked IC with nothing but a tabard on. Here’s a secret: you can still wear garb, even if you’re a fighter. I don’t want to hear any of this “garb is for 3 paths” nonsense. You are doing yourself a disservice by essentially saying that you’re too lazy to make, commission, or find better garb options, and honestly, it’s really a pretty sleazy thing to do to the game as a whole, in my opinion. By not garbing you are representing a distinct lack of consideration for the role play aspect of our Live Action ROLE PLAY game. It encourages a lack of culture, a lack of consideration, laziness, and instantly marks you. I think the only excuse for it is being a new player, and even then they should be directed to someone who can help them garb up and be dressed better after a few events.
I can hear the complaints now- “It’s not cooomfy”, “It’ll get hit by a sword and take my aaaaarm”, “I’m laaaazyyy” Well, me too with that last one, But that’s beside the point.
Have you never worn garb? It’s comfy as all get-out if you make it or get it made right. Where’s your support caster?! And overall, there ARE ways to work around any complaint you may have! But still, I can understand these thoughts, so before you get all “Well if YOU don’t like it, why don’t YOU DO something about it!”,
I am spreading awareness. I am making my own as well as my nation’s garb, I spend all of my gold on garb (and sometimes food), I’ve been releasing little diamonds at our events for new players (under 1 year) to turn in for a tunic or something small of my creation, AND I’ll be opening shop, specifically with fighter oriented garb.
Come see FOX ‘S TEAS AND FINERIES for fighters and otherwise (Please don’t spill the tea). I will be taking LIMITED numbers of commissions because like many college students who play in the Realms I have exams, and unlike many college students in the Realms, I am taking 22 credits and work in a lab, so I am very, very busy but I’m doing what I can, people.
In conclusion, step up your garb game, and don’t use your tabard as an excuse to disservice yourself or the game. There are better ways to garb, tabard or not, and it really isn’t expensive. Take it from a poor college student who has, along with other poor college students made their nation some great garb and is still striving to do even better.