3 things you'd tell a new player about being dedicated to Wisdom

  • The Virtuous apply what they have learned; Wisdom knows all knowledge is incomplete.
  • Let every word you speak carry meaning; do not use forty when four will do.
  • Wisdom is not always knowing the answer; Wisdom is finding the right question.
  • Test what you learn; only fools accept hearsay as truth.
  • Despise folly and chastise the fool that spreads it.

Here we are at the third of our 3 things series on faith and this week we’re tackling Wisdom. The virtue that has much and at the same time little to do with “common sense”.

Priests and pilgrims of Wisdom, what 3 things would you tell a new player who was interested about getting dedicated to Wisdom OOC and the kind of game Wisdom gives you at Empire?

As always try not to get into the meat of the IC arguments around Wisdom too much, but an introduction to some of the questions you might start off asking is fine.

Have a look at the paragons Zoria, Isenbrad and Atun and the exemplars Avigliana di Sarvos and Kala, tell us how you’ve used them in play.

Also talk to us about the Auras of Wisdom and how they work with your game as a wisdom priest or pilgrim.

Part of our 3 Things about series: Pride | Vigilance | Wisdom | Courage | Loyalty | Prosperity | Ambition | The Way | Heresy

3 things you'd tell a new player about being dedicated to Loyalty
3 things you’d tell a new player about being dedicated to Courage
3 things you'd tell a new player about being dedicated to Pride
3 things you’d tell a new player about being dedicated to Prosperity
3 things you'd tell a new player about being dedicated to Ambition
Choosing a Virtue
3 things you'd tell a new player about Heresy :fire:
3 things you'd tell a new player about following the Way (and not being dedicated)

So here are three things that have helped me playing an irritating git of a Wisdom priest. :slight_smile:

  1. Key things here are “all knowledge is incomplete” and “finding the right question”. As a player you can probably pull off “I’m keen on learning more / doing more about this thing, and I’m always learning” better than you can pull off “I know everything there is to know about this thing and am Very Wise”. It also gives you a really good reason to go out and do things - learn more about events, see if that changes what you believe, and adapt to new knowledge. The “test what you learn” part also gives you a reason to talk to more people and find out where they hear some information, and then chase it up to the source.

  2. “Let every word you speak carry meaning; do not use forty when four will do.” Brevity is great. Use this to your advantage! Is someone in your National Assembly going on and on? See if you can get them to summarise! It’ll help you and them be clear on what they mean, and the other people in meetings will thank you so much for it. Keep things brief as well when you explain things. Getting to the point is overpowered. :smiley:

  3. Most of the Wisdom exemplars and paragons have as their legacy something that looks ridiculously huge and unattainable for players (inventing runes? Starting a new system of measurements? Naming all the animals?), because Empire is not a game of discovery and exploration in the same way that PD’s former game Maelstrom was. Don’t let this put you off. You don’t have to find something specific to make an impact in a Wisdom-y way - and if you do want to make that sort of impact, there are still specific useful things you can probably find. There’s almost certainly something that other people aren’t looking into enough that you could learn about, write down and share - and if it turns out there are other people, awesome, then there are people who you can team up with!


I chose to go for a Wisdom dedication at game start as something for which I wouldn’t necessarily be expected to actually have all the answers. There’s definitely good opportunity playing as a Priest of Wisdom to go for an approach where you lean towards the ‘right question’ part of the brief, allowing you to play someone with an air of authority (varying by nation, etc etc) without having to consume many wiki pages of background.

There’s also obvious crossover with the Questor brief (and its extension into Lucidianism), and so one can (as I did) throw these together for a relatively easy character brief, while still having a good number of threads to it.

As for the Auras, for people who want an easy-in to that sort of thing, I can highly recommend the anointing The Focus of Wisdom; the majority of anointings put up are for people going and doing a specific thing, generally through the Sentinel Gate, and that purpose often makes for a nice easy ‘problem’ to name for the anointing.


Wisdom isn’t WIS

This isn’t long term consideration, the grey beards and wrinkles of experience. This is the knowledge that you have, and what should be done with it.

Wisdom isn’t hindsight

“Not how I would have done it” isn’t a religious issue.

Wisdom is action

Do it. Now.

Fail harder, do it better, if you’re running fast enough, you’ll at least make a dent in the wall.


Not playing a Wisdom dedicant, but it has been my observation that:

  1. To have optimum fun with this brief it is worth looking closely at the teachings on the Wiki, because Wisdom is one of those Virtues that doesn’t map closely to our OC understanding of the concept. In fact, it doesn’t map closely at all. The IC version of Wisdom is WAY more fun to play than the All-Knowing Sage archetype :smiley: Partly because it encourages experimentation, accepting the possibility of failure and DOING THINGS. And partly because it means you don’t have to digest the entire wiki in order to be doing it with conspicuous zeal :wink:

  2. Look back at the teachings and auras again! Confusing the IC concept of Wisdom with the standard real-world one is prevalent enough that there are a lot of shorthands doing the rounds, on-field and off. Which is good! But… also there’s quite a lot of subtlety to be found there. (Four words, not forty… unless forty are required to make your point well.) It is well, well worth having a think about them, because the ability to instantly shut down people who are lecturing you inaccurately about your own Virtue is 1) deeply satisfying 2) Wise AF :wink:


As a corrolary to “finding the right question to ask” I would add “finding the right PERSON to ask”

My first year as a Hakima dedicated to Wisdom I got a lot of game out of finding people who knew things and getting that information to people who needed to know things…


Here’s a few bits of opinion from someone playing a Wizard who is also a Wisdom Pilgrim:

Being dedicated to Wisdom lends itself to quite a few character archetypes, but often these are not the ones you would think. Wisdom dedicants are not sages sitting on the mountain waiting for others to come to them, ready to dole out mysterious and vague plot hints - they are investigators, teachers, problem solvers, journalists and strategists. If you like playing characters that work with information and knowledge, then being a Wisdom dedicant is a good way to reinforce that. The key part of that is “work” - staying relevant in the information game is very rewarding, but it takes effort and persistence.

Look at the Auras and Hallowings to get a better grip on what Wisdom means in the Empire setting. One my favourites is the Hallowing of the Volhov - carte blanche to be a nosey parker and get involved in other people’s business. Chastisement is another great one, as is the Focus anointing. If you find yourself at an impasse, direction-wise, find a priest and get them to apply Religion to your character.

Wisdom dedication can be applied in pretty much every part of the game. If you choose to get dedicated to Wisdom and make that an important part of your character, you are jumping into a pit full of plot, PC & NPC enemies/allies, opposing and supportive agendas, no matter what area of the game you get involved with. The crossover potential for Wisdom characters is massive, and all information is useful somewhere - you just have to throw it at the right things (and finding the right things is a key part of the Wisdom brief).


This is only one thing, but I got into Wisdom because I love learning about game metaphysics. Finding more out about the game world is one of my favourite things in larp, which fits rather well with ask questions and test stuff.


Be brief; more importantly, encourage others to be brief. Nothing ruins positions like not being listened too, and nothing stops you being listened too like talking in excess. This applies to everyone, but Wisdom is the virtue containing the IC compulsion in the clearest terms.


It’s about doing (exemplars and paragons are fun)
You should be doing the things, it’s more experimenter than hermit on a mountain trope. Don’t worry about the consequences, Consequences lead to more questions, which lead to better answers, no knowledge is complete. There are no exemplars or paragons of Wisdom that mediated themselves to a higher plane of existence on a mountain, they did stuff and made thier mark. You can’t discover runes but you could discover the means of killing eternal or immortal Thule dragons. Or enact an entire change of magic, or change theological doctrine, or be a genius general who murders an entire barbarian nation through clever plans and ruthlessness

It’s not about chin stroking (auras are good)
I’m repeating myself but wisdom isn’t about sitting on a hill, it’s about doing, discovering and acting. Captain hindsight is the nemesis of Wisdom, look at the auras, these are excellent keynotes to remind yourself, there is one actively against hindsight.

Dont waffle, death to walfflers (illumination are things to go by)
Larpers love to talk, and everyone needs thier say, but having meetings that stretch into hours are the death of fun, it’s hell (from someone who spends too long in meetings!). Be the one that makes Brevity happen. Because 5 purple wanting to speak for 5 minutes each on a topic is 25 minutes before counter questions and bickering, and that’s only 1 topic. And you’ll never hagging meeting at empire on one topic. You think you will. But you won’t