A positive grilling of niche questions from a new player

Greetings Imperials! :smiley:

Like many, I’ll be part of the new player boom Empire LRP will doubtless have in its next event, and I’ve been scouring the wiki for months now, crafting costume pieces, growing more enthusiastic with each day, and kicking myself for not discovering this event sooner.

I do, however, have many questions. If you’d be so kind, answer any combination of them that you can. The less objective questions will benefit from different answers from different people, so any insight/perspective you can offer will be greatly appreciated.

1. I’ll be joining Dawn as Ozilius Brightstone, Earl-Enchanter of House Brightstone, of Astolat. Do the Earls of Dawn ever hold meetings? How many Earls are there? If your character is also an Earl, do you take to the battlefield? What’s been your favourite “Earl-moment/experience” at Empire, as in, a time when it felt really cool to be an Earl? I extend this question to other leaders of any nation. What’s been your favourite “leader moment” at Empire, when all of the extra responsibility was rewarded with a cool RP experience?

2. Magicians- how do you roleplay the consumption of a mana crystal? How big are your mana crystal phys-reps? Where do you keep them on your person? How much do mana potions normally cost? Are they affordable or super expensive?

3. Battle mages- what’s your mage armour set up? What did you do to distinguish your armour as being magical? What is a “hero belt” exactly? I only want my mage armour belt to be about 4 inches wide and have a magical-looking gemstone buckle, with some patterns and decoration on the leatherwork. Would this qualify as a mage armour belt, or must it really cover the whole abdomen, like a wrestling belt?


‘Repel’ uses a magical force to drive the target away from the caster. They must move away at a brisk walk or faster for ten seconds or until they have retreated at least 20’. If they cannot move away from the caster due to the presence of an obstacle, they must move as far as they can and then be pressed against the obstacle for the remainder of the ten second duration. While pressed against the obstacle they may talk but may take no other actions including blocking with a shield or parrying a blow.

Does this mean a repelled character can not block/parry incoming attacks for the duration of the effect? Is it a legitimate tactic to chase after a repelled target and attempt to strike them in their vulnerable state? Or is it only if they are “pressed against an obstacle” that they cannot take other actions such as blocking/parrying?

5. Is it ok to wander, in-character, into someone else’s IC camp without an OOC invitation?

6. What happens if you cast a spell, or use a Cleave/Impale on a monster like, say, a war Rhino?

7. How likely is it to be very muddy? From pictures, it looks like there was an extremely muddy- in some parts flooded- event not too long ago. Was that just a freak occurrence, or should I bring wellies?

That’s all I’ve got for now! I’m sure some answers will inspire more questions.

Thank you for your time!


Welcome! I can’t answer all your questions but I’ll give you what answers I can.

I believe there is an informal “Earl’s Council” that meets on occasion.

It depends on the camp, but it’s usually okay to approach a camp with people at it so long as you do so openly so there’s chance for them to tell you you’re not welcome.

A war rhino is too big to be affected by calls, as per the wiki:


Therefore you would only do a single point of damage for hitting them with a weapon or implement.

Smaller monsters may not count as monstrous and may take calls as a PC would.

If it rains, it will be muddy. This being the UK, showers are not uncommon - particularly at events in April. Sturdy footwear that can deal with those conditions is a very sensible plan.

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I can actually answer a lot of these!

  1. Earls! Yes there is the earls council at the start of every summit. There are enough earls and representatives to fill the orzels largest tent. So my best guess of how many earls there are is an unhelpful ‘lots of them’ enough that just knowing who all of them are personally would be a reasonable challenge.

While not the Earl myself. The best moments experiancing my Earl and spending an event as his representative is giving inspiring speaches to your house before big moments to drum up the tension.

  1. Magic stuff.

So the rules for consuming mana is deliberately vague. For rituals I just touch the string of pendent crystals I keep on my belt to drain the mana from them. For replenishing personal mana i like to rip the card with my teeth so it looks like I’m eating a Crystal.

Basic mana potions are cheap enough. Only 2 herbs and a favour from a herbalist. There are lots of people who will trade a +2 mana potion for a crystal mana (which is more efficient than using the crystal directly to power spells) and there are normaly enough chambers to replenish mana in dawn and in the empire so long as you are friendly.

  1. Battle mage! So I have leather head band, bracers and a thick wide belt (maybe 6-8 inches) and no other armour. Combined with the fact most of my leather stuff is painted and that I have no other armour and carry a big stick, the mage part is pretty obvious. The head band is normally short hand for mage on the field (though some dawnish like to wear crowns and circlets so no always)

As long as your belt is more than just something to hold up your trousers. It should be fine. Kit is aspirational. So if you are looking at a thinner but embellished belt it should be fine.

  1. Repel.

As far as I know it’s only if you are pinned that repel stops you from defending. Also consider what u are repelling your opponent towards (normally their friends/ the enemy line) in my experiance repell is a good defending spell to give you space. While better offensive spells are shatter for groups and paralise for duels (but they are more mana costly).

5 camps.

Yes and no. Like by all means approach people and their areas and talk to them. But respect that they might be busy or not wanting to deal with visitors either IC or OC. Also you can’t enter a closed tent that’s in the rules. Most people are very friendly and welcoming and have an open area infront of their camp to host people anyway.

If they ask you to leave it’s not only polite to do so. But in game lore make it legal to attack an unwanted guest.

It’s best to play it by ear and use common sense. But you can fully enter open areas and come up and talk to people.

  1. Monsters.

As a monster Hunter it breaks my heart that they recently made a blanket ruling that call in genera don’t work against non human enemies. There are exceptions to this rule (like true valorn dying instantly to venom spells) but in general your spells won’t work on things with big costumes. But if it does. Be sure to report it to the gathering of hunters.

7 mud.

If there is rain there will be mud. Not always welly’s mud but pretty much always hiking boots mud. Though there have been events of extreme mud. Check the weather and if you have bag space. Prepare for the worst. Keep your feet safe and dry.


Hi welcome to Empire :slight_smile:

I’ll answer some of your mage questions as that’s my wheelhouse.

  1. Generally hold the crystal, cast the spell, then drop it into a pouch, tearing the card as soon as it’s safe to do during or after that bit of combat. I normally keep them in a pouch on my belt and phys rep size this is a picture with some of the resin mana crystals you can buy on the field from various vendor or online.

  2. I had a circlet, a single bracer (as mage armour can be asymmetric, rock that single fancy paldron look :wink: ) and a leather hero belt with runes painted on it with leather paint. A 4 inch belt with patterns and decoration sounds magic enough to me :slight_smile:

  3. I’m not sure, I usually if I’m repelled spend all my time on running away as far as I can for 10 seconds. Drop an email to rules@profounddecisions.co.uk for clarification on that.

  4. Depends on what you mean by Camp, there’s OOC rules against opening a sealed IC tent and group camps can be quite spread out with various tents. In our camp as it’s normally near a stand pipe we don’t mind people coming through our central area and then out the other side.
    An IC consideration is “There is a traditional defence to an assault charge which applies where unwelcome visitors who refuse to leave your camp are cut down, removed from camp and then provided with sufficient medical assistance to avoid permanent injury.”. But I understand that only applies to a group’s camp, not say an entire nations camp.
    So letter of the rules is don’t go into sealed tents, but anything else is fair game OOC, IC be prepared for any potential IC consequences from characters objecting.

  5. As wiki says Monstrous Creatures like War Rhinos are not affected by calls. One thing to point out is that Briar Husks (which are monsters but human sized) have a very specific reaction of exploding when you hit them with venom. It’s very entertaining to be a lightly armoured battle mage on Vallorn skirmishes :slight_smile: .

  6. Depends :slight_smile: On the current site they’ve done work on the drainage so some areas of the IC field are much drier now, and drain much quicker in rain. But if there’s been rain in the weeks leading up to the event and there’s rain during the event, it gets muddy as the ground is waterlogged.
    So wear solid, water proof (resistant) footwear like boots and be prepared to hitch up skirts and robes or when making dresses and robes have them come to mid-calf (10 inches from the floor…ish?). That’s called the Anvil cut :slight_smile: Sealskinz waterproof socks are also useful.
    Generally you should get some warning if the event is going to be a muddy (use the Met Office website, the BBC are usually more pessimistic).

Hope that helped feel free to ask more questions here or start new topics on specific things :slight_smile:


For point 4, based on how this is written it only applies when pressed against an obstacle. The intent is to make sure people don’t take their repels into obstacles so they don’t have to run away. Email for explicit confirmation.

For point 5, OOC yes (subject to the rules on closed tents). But you may find that it is not IC ok.

For point 7, it’s 2000+ people in a field for a long weekend. There is infrastructure in place to help, but heavy rain + lots of people tramping over the wet ground will cause mud, particularly in areas of high traffic. Being prepared for mud is good practice - I pack Sealskinz.


On your point 5: Do remember the events at Anvil are more like the G20, or the Davos Summit. You’re expressly there not to fight but to mingle and network in Anvil proper. (Going through the Sentinel gate (magic Teleport) is another matter).

Most people with IC tentage have a public facing entrance, awning, table and benches etc which is designed for you to come over and say hello, trade, or canvas for opinions and votes. There aren’t any camp guards, or walls between national camping areas, you can usually tell when you’ve walked into the next area by the set dressing but that’s it.

Some tents usually placed further back are just for sleeping but they’ll have the doors closed, but most on the major thoroughfares are actively touting for passers by!

A few people have posts and bunting as a fence, but they’re usually ones with small kids who need a visible reminder of where their boundaries are, or they’re trying to avoid people falling over tent pegs or into cooking areas so don’t cross those. There will be a general entrance further along.


Quick response to 2: I buy a big box of rock candy from a Chinese supermarket, and smash it into smaller shards that’ll fit in a jar or bottle. Because it’s cheap, destructible and even edible. If I’m casting a spell I don’t bother, but it can be cool to dissove some into tea, etc for a ritua… .


Hello and welcome to the game and to Dawn :smiley:

  1. Generally each House in play has an Earl (or equivalent) playing. So there’s about 20 to 30 Earls. Many if not most of them DO take the battlefield, some have been doing so since the game started… (Earls Carsenere, Novarrion, and De Rondell, for starters…)

I spent a year of so playing an Earl. I quite liked being able to (try to) boss around the Earls of Dawn, to propose solutions from a position of some authority to the Imperial Consul (international relations, complex stuff), and to decide which side of a various disputes my House was going to come down… Possibly the best was a quieter, OOC skill use: IC meetings, Talking to my House, and sorting out what we were doing, laying plans, and plotting… Ah well, fun while it lasted :slight_smile:

  1. I have a pouch of props, about thumb-size. When using them I hold them up, adjust my spell vocals to mention them, and then pocket the prop again quickly. Mana potion come in reasonably cheap for the “couple of extra mana back” and expensive for the “full tank fill-up”… exact prices you’ll have to find out in play…

  2. Wide belt, shoulders, pectoral, bracers and headband. In House colours, with runes painted on in an appropriate pattern combination. Basically, black leather, painted by me. Want a photo? Your belt sounds fine.

  3. The mud tends to stick in the memory… it’s not that frequent. Extensive work by the Redcaps has reduced the issue. There will likely be a few muddy spots, unless the site gets soaked in advance. Sturdy walking boots and several pairs of socks are frequently reccomended.


Thank you all so much for taking the time to write such thorough and helpful responses, I really appreciate it. Seriously, reading these has made my day.

@Emmanovi Ahh, my mistake I must have missed the wiki page on monstrous creatures- that’s really helpful! Thank you.

@Smason Insanely helpful. Especially the tip about trading Mana crystals for mana potions. After choosing a Mana Site as a personal resource, I had resigned to not having anything to trade since I figured I’d just be consuming my resource- but this tip ads so much more game for me, I’m ecstatic.

@Mark_Wilkin Useful/insightful answers all, I’m especially grateful for the hyperlinks, and those are some great tips Re: footwear and the elements.

@tea Interesting! I see what you mean about the potential for using obstacles to nullify the repel. I will indeed email for further clarification, as it will massively affect my spell choices.

@CharlieP Valuable insight, thank you.

@Jim That’s hilarious, and smart.

@Geoffrey_Willoughby Love the insight into the Earl-y stuff. Yes please, a photo would be great!

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Me patching up my Earl during a tournement. Note the runes painted on belt, bracers, and pectoral. They translate, approximately as “This battles bloodshed is transformed into the beginning of your glorious destiny”. Quite Dawn. :slight_smile:

(actual meaning of runic combinations decided by me, there aren’t really rules for stringing them into sentences… but it looks good and it’s the theme of his Heal spell…)

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One general note of caution - don’t build your entire battle/combat plan around using a spell all the time. If you’re fighting a lot, you’ll mostly be using simple blows. Even using crystals, mana gets consumed fast.


There is indeed an Earl’s Council. It meets on Friday and Saturday evenings, although times can vary (usually about 7-7.30ish). Not every Earl will attend but a lot do, or send a representative in their absence. The Orzels do a fantastic job of the decor which makes the meetings very atmospheric. There’s actually a primer in the files section on the Dawn Facebook page that tells you what to expect and the rules of Earl’s Council.

I do take to the field. I’m a heavily armoured spearman. I can’t say I’ve had much chance to prove my leadership skills as there are only 3 other people in my house at this present time, however in one battle I directed a Navari archer to shoot two orc mages who were holding the imperial lines by attempting to shatter any weapon that came within reach. It was a somewhat glorious moment for me tactically at least.

With tents, if they’re open and someone is inside, it’s best to ask them if you can enter, it’s just polite to do so. Closed tents are a definite no, but these are more likely to be sleeping tents. Although as the owner of a Tea ( and gin) house you are more than welcome just to wander in.

Mud is generally more of a problem at the start of the year. Wellies are a good shout, even if you never use them. Bring plenty of dry clothes too, even if you never need them. People will generally pull together to help push stuck cars. If you do get muddy it’s a good idea to bring a bag to put your damp kit in, so it doesn’t mess up any clean stuff you might have. Also invest in a good cloak, if its waterproof or you can waterproof it then more’s the better.

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A side note on mud. Something you may seen referred to is the “Anvil cut”. This is the cutting of cloaks/robes/dresses so that they hang not floor length, or ankle length, but stop about mid-shin.

Because that way even if you’re sinking into the mud by 10cm every step, you won’t end up with a huge heavy sticky mud-spattered hem…