For Halloween this year, I have decided to take a step further into geekiness and attempt my first cosplay. I will try to recreate my 4th level Barbarian: Torf, and his questionably sentient mordenkrad: Bessie. I have been playing Torf and Bessie for a few months now in weekly Skype games with @TimsMartini, and I have fallen in love with the character and his quirks. What better way to continue my character development than to actually sit down and think out his complete appearance, equipment, and all – down to the detail.
Now, I’m far too modest (unfit, flabby) to flaunt my rippling abs and chiseled pecs in this costume, so what should Torf actually wear? I am currently browsing styles that seem to merge Native American clothing with that of the Vikings. Torf spends most of his time in the wilderness, sleeping on rocks and crushing dinner with a tap from Bessie. Beads and bones will drape from his waist and shoulders. Also, Torf recently slayed a dire wolf, whose pelt would handsomely complement the outfit (if the real thing didn’t cost like $450!!).
Now, focusing on what I CAN afford and accomplish – Torf will be wearing leather bracers, and I will try very hard to implement a ‘flame’ theme into them. This is a reference to Torf’s uncanny luck at being set on fire at least once every session. I am going to attempt an embossing technique, using a tribal flame pattern (pictured below). I will also be working celtic knot designs wherever possible – be it in the leather twine or pressed into the bracer edges themselves.
Another idea that hits me instantly is that Torf will need battle paint – most likely a blue tribal color. This is perhaps the easiest part, as Torf’s designs would likely be drawn by his own hands – creating intimidating lines across his face.
So that’s Torf. Now Bessie is much easier for me to picture, in fact:
I will create Bessie out of Styrofoam and PVC, with perhaps a balsa foam face (I can’t carve worth a toot, so we’ll see how that comes out). So far, all I’ve managed to scavenge is the wooden handle: a 6′ long 1-1/4″ diameter dowel rod that feels pretty weaponly on its own.
Unfortunately for this project, my home town of Danville is freshly out of craft stores and costume shops — I’ll hit the road tomorrow and share more of my cosplay booty.
So I leave you with an open invitation for all you cosplayers and prop makers: What is your advice as I (obviously a novice) enter the world of cosplay? Any building tips, caveats, funny stories? Leave ‘em in the comments or tweet me!