A couple of questions from a potential new player


Reserves… lovely idea, often committed early on. Given that the battles tend to be pretty evenly matched in terms of quality AND quantity of troops, everybody ends up doing something pretty quickly…

An important note, alluded to elsewhere, is that these are not, OOC, military formations. Apart from a few contingents on each side, they aren’t well-drilled military formations IC either.

Both in and out of game, you have hundreds of individualistic enthusiasts wanting to do something, few of whom have experience at marching or even standing in formation.

On both sides, we don’t tend to pause to allow the other guys to get a breath or get into formation, we charge, IF its a viable tactic. So IF our guys are ready, IF we have a good chance of pulling it off successfully, IF it won’t screw up everything else.

I’ve taken the field with Dawn since the game began. And we love to charge. Sometimes we don’t because we’re outnumbered heavily. Sometimes we don’t because we’re holding a flank, battle-line with others, or position of importance. And sometimes, rarely, it’s because the guy in charge says “Hold!”* for no apparent reason.

The dying rules are pretty finely balanced, and many many heroes have fallen behind and died, cut-off from their friends. Executions and torture, being really rather traumatic, are done carefully and judicously by the Skirmish Crew.

And casulties are still pretty heavy. Last event, Dawn lost nearly 20 in one battle. The next day, the nations fighting lost over 100 between them.

On the Honour subject… generally you’re right, although we’ve been trying to fight honourably against the Jotun for a while. As they won’t consider any sort of treaty against a dishonourable opponent, and we’d really like to stick that war on Hold for a year or two…

There are generals etc. I might see a Field Marshal (overall battle command), national commanders (commanding each nations troops), and lance commanders (each commanding 10 to 20 troops). With runners and similar passing information and orders around. Which means that sometimes you have a breakdown in communication, or a lack of battlefield understanding, or even a general doing the wrong thing for the right reasons…

Which is entirely appropriate. Our battles have become far more co-ordinated since we started using more banners, and being able to easily identify runners, generals, etc. This is not a bug, it’s a feature. :slight_smile:

Ritual teams have and do enter the field of battle. Nothing like unleashing a MASS VENOM into the middle of a battleline… No, they can’t recover mana by ritual, but they can only cast using crystal mana anyway, so they may well carry a large cask of that onto the field, and maybe a Mageblood potion to replenish their personal mana if they’ll be doing something else (battlemage, healing).

*More usually “Dawn! Stop trying to charge! Stand your bloody ground and hold formation! No! Hold!”


What ritual is that? I’m curious. Also:


these are the rituals that you can perform without a ref and are called battlefield rituals.


Unfortunately there are a few errors in your logic here.

Point 1: This isn’t a traditional battle. The Empire teleports a few hundred heroes of the Empire into a strategically significant location and they go wild. The imperial armies number in the thousands and they have reserves and formations and all you would expect. The heroes who go through the portal usually do not have a significant numbers advantage, and the reserves (if there are any) are more often engaged than not.

Point 2: Assumes that the enemy is not also out of breath and recovering from the last bout of violence. In cases where one side is feeling fresh and the other aren’t, then they’ll push. As others have said though you need to experience it to really understand how many other factors can influence the flow of battle. If one side start to push and promptly get hammered by the first 3 imperials they approach then the push can easily falter.

Point 3. You’re forgetting game balance. PD specifically don’t want players slitting throats all over the place as it makes it all too easy to “accidentally” kill your IC rival while monstering. Executions, kidnappings, torture etc are exclusively carried out by the skirmish team, PD’s full time monster crew. They do happen, but in a controlled way. Also executing enemies on the ground is inefficient from a time persepctive. (see point 4)

Point 4. The “against their will” part is potentially problematic from an OC perspective. Certain types of RP you need the other players OC consent for, anything potentially upsetting or traumatic for instance. Difficult to organise in the heat of battle.

From an IC point of view it’s also counter productive. Those orcs carrying your kidnap victim aren’t fighting. You’re removing a healthy combatant to deal with an enemy who’s already defeated. If you win they’ll still be there later, moving them doesn’t give you a significant benefit.

As for the RP perspective, you already get that, just replace “being dragged away” with “bleeding out on the floor” and you have the current situation. Dragging them away doesn’t actually increase the RP potential, it just makes it artificially more difficult for the players to rescue their friends (which also opens up the potential of OC griefing again)


A lot of good answers, thanks guys!

As good a poet can be or an artist is it’s always going to be a struggle to convey the memories, thoughts, experiences to somebody who never had the chance to make those.

Had I been colour blind and you kind people were trying to explain how the different pallets differ we might be at a similar impasse ^^ Most importantly, thank you for the patience.

I have big military ambitions so we will definitely see each other on the battlefield! That’s when I’m not selling amazing cakes in anvil trying to save up for the many different goals I have in mind :wink:

I’ll have more questions in the future so if I didn’t manage to strain you enough, be sure to have a look in the topic from time to time!!


One thing I’d like to mention that nobody else has, that I’ve noticed. Because this is a fantasy game, more ways of fighting are effective than you might otherwise thing. The Roman-inspired shield walls of Highguard do well, the bill blocks of the Marchers are incredibly good at what they do, but there’s also other groups with less conventional tactics.

The Freeborn kohan have a reputation as berserkers, ignoring orders unless it suits them, sprinting across the battlefield while screaming before cutting down lone soldiers in a single swing, then pulling back just a quickly. Helps terrify the enemy and thin out their numbers.

It’s really the individuals who can make or break a battle. I’ve heard of a skirmish a few years ago, led by Wintermark troops. They got surrounded in a full circle by enemy troops, and they would have died if not for the actions of a rather famous Dawnish man formerly from the League, who used his spear to knock three enemy soldiers on their asses and got everyone to push through the gap.


Very good point. Empire is not a simulationist system; it pays to remember that!


One hit does not equal death. In fact most orcs need at least 5 not counting heroic call or such. That can make combat a much more grinding affair than thought.


Narrow though I think GNS is, I think it very much is a simulationist system, in that Empire is aiming to simulate the battle scenes of gritty but epic fantasy, where small numbers of heroes can have a disproportionate effect on the narrative.

It’s not trying to simulate historical combat, as historically, no wizards among other things :P.


Hiya so a couple of questions.

Character creation:

  • I want to have a fleet to provide me with resources as well as a plot mechanism for RP usage. How would it work out if I’m based in a landlocked territory? I can’t find an empire map with rivers and lakes outlined.
  • Character code, do we get it after paying for first booking or making a character? For the promotional code.


Hello, almost landlocked fleet owner here! You can still have a fleet, you just have to be a bit more imaginative about it. For mine, I simply state that they navigate the rivers to reach the open sea. My partner (same territory) states that his are mainly river boats rather than being sea-worthy. There will be rivers everywhere, and no-one is going to be an ass by claiming that there isn’t one in your area.

EDIT: upon checking, both Redoubt and Zenith have rivers in Urizen if you were still considering that nation and wanted to be on an ‘official’ river.

  • The actual mechanics of this are below the abstraction layer. Fleets work identically for everyone, regardless of the territory they’re based in. For roleplay purposes, make up something about navigable rivers, or that you have no idea - people do that for you, or whatever else works for you.
  • PID/CID numbers are generated at the point you make a booking. I am unsure when the referral code is created, but it cannot be before that point.


If you have a PD account, log in and go to https://www.profounddecisions.co.uk/account/recruitment?2 - if this has a code towards the bottom, then that should be your recruitment code.

I think this gets generated when you create an account, but I’m not sure on that one.


Amusingly, the map is carefully set up so that every nation (except Imperial Orcs) has a territory with sea access. To the west they go through the Gullet, to the east through the Semmerlak and the Barrensea, and even Navarr accesses the Barrensea to the east through the Feverwater outflow fiver.

Your territory may not have a seaport, but your nation does. And if not, park your fleet at Sarvos! The League will be happy to sort you out a berth, for a very reasonable fee…


Thanks guys, managed to find the recruitment code which I struggled to on my own ^^

A couple more questions if you lot dont mind:

  • Artisans, is it worth 4 points of an investment, are there many other artisans out there or is it easy enough to find somebody to make you magical items for your resources and a fee?
  • Talking about fees, if I do find an artisan how much would I be paying for the luxury?
  • How long do magic items last for usually, outside of the 3 free ones you get as a new character?
  • Starting at e4, it seems a bit of a waste to take artisan as I would be looking at 2 of the 3 free items expiring before e1 2019.
  • Artisan to earn money during downtime while covering my otherwise lack of weapon master with a finely made ring or is it not worth the hassle and its much easier to just take weaponmaster, a point of endurance and maybe a hero point instead?
  • How saturated is the artisan market?

Thanks for your time guys!


Can’t really speak to the specifics of the Artisan market, a lot of which depends on what you’re looking for in terms of price and availability. Something like the various weapons are probably more common than the esoteric coven stones. Its also going to depend nation to nation.

Other than your starting items all artisan items last for one year unless they are crafted with Illium in which case they are permanent. These are rare and expensive but major status symbols.


It’s probably only worth taking hero points if you’re going to take a heroic skill like Unstoppable- having a way to access Unstoppable is a good idea if you intend to fight hand to hand. Another way to access it is by having an enchantment like Fight tooth and Nail or Sound of Drums cast on you.


Artisan + fleet is a combo I used with great enthusiasm for years…

The fleet generates stuff, you go around selling stuff and chatting about making stuff, and get customers to make things for.

There ARE quite a few artisans, and indeed a guild thereof. This doesn’t stop you from doing so, and indeed you can get a good amount of game from it. If you start as part of a group, you can be very popular taking resources from friends and passing them back enchanted items.Also, most of the more popular items (weapons and armour) will sell pretty well.

So yes, it’s likely worth it.

Buying stuff from an artisan, you can look at about 1crown per resource used, + any labour fees they feel like adding. Which could be anywhere from nothing (fellow nationals), a few rings (most likely), a few crowns (you’re being gouged here).

Magic items last for 4 major events. That is, you make them before E1, they last through E1, E2, E3, and E4. And any played events in between. If you try to sell them, generally I dropped the price proportional to the length of enchantment remaining.

If you start at E4, you’d get 3 free items. One would last 1 event, one would last 2, one would last 3. So item 1 would run out before E1, item 2 would run out before E2, and item 3 would run out before E3. And in the meantime, you can likely either sell them (note reduced prices above) or make replacements. It’s generally fairly easy to gather the resources to make an item or two each event. And of course, you can always make a free item or some Artisans Oil if you have the time.

Artisan will get you some shinies and buffs. Do you really need weaponsmaster for your character concept? Bear in mind that a lot of items (warriors plate, Mithril Shirt) mirror a point of endurance. And you can spend xp to buy that later as well :slight_smile:

Market saturation… not really. I was selling a couple of the more popular items (Warriors Plate, Mithril Shirt, Oakenheart Shield) and never really had too many issues shifting things. As there are hundreds and hundreds of folk wanting these, and character turnover, and the items only lasting a year, and occasional artisan PCs leaving play… there’s usually a touch more demand than supply. Depending on our prices, of course…


@Bradstyley @Geoffrey_Willoughby @Ricohard

Thanks for the artisan info, I was reading it per months rather then per events. Would be much easier to understand if it was simply written as seasons honestly, but I’m glad I got it now at least ^^

So far the idea is to get Hero + Unstoppable + Artisan. As for the items I had on my mind:

  • Reaving mattock or Butcher’s cleave
  • Alderman’s Edge
  • Warrior’s Plate
  • 4th to be decided ( a banner maybe, but if I’m fighting two handed swords then I can’t use a banner :thinking: )

I liked the idea of unstoppable for additional survival, and the items chosen mostly reflect that as well, at the same time it would be nice to have that extra umpf and surprise an ork with a sneaky impale :wink:


The conceit is that we visit Anvil every three months, but PD wisely decided not to celebrate the winter solstice on the 21st of December. It does mean that we have out in-game spring equinox about a week before the real-world summer solstice though.

Not sure how anyone gets confused; the Empire calendar makes perfect sense to astronomers and druids…


What do you lads think about the above build for a new character?

I would be trading a lot regardless so I’m thinking artisan works well there, what of hero/unstoppable with weapon master coming from the ring? Good/bad thinking?