A Ramble - Healers and Money

Hi all, back again with more questions! This universe is just so fascinating, I can’t stop finding new things!

I wanted to talk about my character’s goals. I want to be a purely magical healer to start with, and eventually speccing into chirurgeon to give me something to do when I run out of that mana. I have a mana site as well. I’m in the nation of Wintermark, following the Suaq tradition, and I am a grimnir. But more specifically, I wanted to work out what goals are acceptable for this character.

As a grimnir, I’m focused on healing. But I also want to be making money. I have a variety of goals, and I can’t do them all simultaneously. I want to become Grandmaster of an Order (either Golden Pyramid and push for healers to be fairly compensated for their time and skills, or Silver Chalice for the same reason). I also would like to eventually acquire a Mithril seat on the Bourse, to upgrade my mana site and diversify my income. I am aware of how crazy expensive they are (I remember reading somewhere it’s upwards of 20 thrones?), which is why I’d probably get to it after joining the Conclave and building my cash reserves.

I’d also love to translate some popular OOC card games into the game. Nothing complicated or digital, stuff like Poker, Blackjack, Skull (look it up, a super simple game of bluffing that’s quick and easy).

Also had an idea to charge on the field. I don’t think it’d work and it does feel kind of gross to be taking rings in someone’s hour of greatest need. Let me know, good idea, bad idea?

So my question is, at the end of this ramble, is what should I focus on doing? And is translating card games into Anvil a good idea, especially for someone of my tradition and nation?

1 Like

Welcome back! :slight_smile:

Making money as a healer can be tricky. I recall a League healer who used to tuck his business card into bandages etc, but that’s a little mercenary for Wintermark. Possibly a card of:

"Come visit me at X Hall if you wish to express your thanks. Any contributions will help others on the battlefield… "

Order Grandmaster… well, you have Ambition! No idea how you’d go about that, I wish you luck!

To buy Mithril is expensive. It’s probably cost you 8 to 10 Thrones to buy the Mithril necessary to do so… might be easier to see if you can get your site enchanted…?

Check the wiki for
Lions of Phoenix Reach
of
Carve the Crystal Guardian

…although those are more for turning your mana into military might :slight_smile:

A seat on the Bourse is likely to be more 200 thrones than 20… I think a lot of them are bought by national consortia, rather than individuals… Investigate!

Some card games could certainly be adapted. Bear in mind that playing cards in game may not be what some folk want to do. But it’s certainly worth a shot!

No idea how these apply to your nation/tradition I’m afraid. I suspect someone else will pitch in soon :slight_smile:

2 Likes

Thanks Geoffrey!

I really like that idea, encouraging them to come and repay me in the form of hanging out and enjoying a drink together, feels much more like Wintermark to me. (I might end up slipping a card into peoples pockets for different reasons, perhaps political campaigning…)

You’re right that it might be much easier to enchant my mana site (I have no idea what that would entail, or how to go about it, but it would be far easier than scrounging the funds to buy my own seat/mithril)

Have people adapted card games in the past? Or simply just brought them along and played them together? I heard about a couple of casinos dotted around which seemed excited but there’s no way the culture of Wintermark would be okay with that level of gambling.

Thanks again!

You can’t enchant increased production on to mana sites, I discussed it a while back and basically got told something about self-sufficiency being boring. Mana sites are a good option for easy money via selling mana, but if you want to run a resource at maximum efficiency, you want a regularly enchanted Farm and to buy your mana in :stuck_out_tongue: (If you’re shouting I FOUND THE MARCHER at this point you would be right).

Other good options are a Military Unit (Which could be a medic squad), and getting generals or other interested parties to chip in to enchant it. Then you’ll get an extra Guerdon payout without having to pay for the mana. Businesses are typically a bad option because the rituals only scale well with a LOT of businesses.

Because of the ludicrous costs of personal resource upgrades, they are a bit of a road to disappointment in most cases. They are a narrative goal of “I want a giant mana pylon” not a solid IC investment over anything but a very long lived PC. I suspect the most common source of upgrades is “kickbacks from National bourse positions” as usually a National Bourse seat provides the correct resource to upgrade the levels of the resource type that votes for it.

I used to play a battlefield healer, and I didn’t charge for general battlefield healing. I did charge for cleaning up fallout from rituals etc at Anvil. The reason being that when I was on the battlefield, I wasn’t paying the characters in front of me a bodyguarding fee for screening me from the enemy. If I was at Anvil, we weren’t all doing a job together and if an Archmage needed punching in the back of the head to get the glowing runes out his eyes, he was going to have to stump up a handful of rings.

You could easily charge for specific services though:

  • You can pay me a fee to come on your Quest if you happen to lack a healer.
  • I’m going to go on this battle and heal everyone. But for a reasonable fee I will attach myself to your unit and give them priority with my magic. You’re selling Magical Medical Insurance.
  • Hang out at the Field Hospital after quests and sell people healing spells at a few rings a pop. It’s faster than waiting for a Physick to do 5 min of surgery and then taking 10 min of R&R. And since you get your mana back by sitting in a magical aura for 15 min, you can buy a full mana recharge for the price of a cup of tea.

The serious magical money tends to be in getting into a coven that does contracted rituals, as there’s less competition on the big ones. So maybe get your battlefield skills then pick up 1 Ritual Lore and learn the skill of “cat-herding 10 mages into doing a thing”. It’s way OP. When I said I used to play a medic, his other main job at Anvil was as part of the Farm Ritual Admin Squad for the Marches :slight_smile:

3 Likes

Ooo, good ideas Jim. A freelance healer for smaller quests (which I’m not sure I know how it works) sounds really fun! Not to mention hanging out in the healing tent and bouncing between it and a magical aura feels good for quick healing.

However, I have no idea how rituals work, or what each lore does. Any quick guides out there?

1 Like

There’s a few good guides kicking about IC. I wrote at least one back in the day. What I’d probably advise is to start out with a goal of “I want to make money” and advertise yourself as a skilled magician who’s looking to get into rituals. Because most covens want more ritualists, and if you don’t commit to a plan beforehand they can teach you the rituals and lore they need. Remember you can save XP and spend it at an event, or retrain a skill over downtime.

The Empire is a republic, and you won’t get far in the big ritual or Orders game without some mates behind you. You need Magnitude for the rituals and Votes for the positions. Which means getting into a large group or building a coalition.

Importantly, the Conclave positions aren’t held by people because they’ve got lots of Personal Mana or ritual lore, they’re held by PCs who are successful politicians. So have a think about your PC’s motivation and personality. They’re a gambler, but also a healer who’s sworn to stay out of the fights? Is the gambling a substitute for the fact they miss the risk of fighting? Do they think that the Order of the Golden Pyramid should be teaching magicians how to grift Heralds at card games? What separates them from Bob The Generic Cambion and his “I am very good at Business Rituals and will make the Generals pay you for raising forts” pitch?

It’s not the winning, it really is the taking part that counts. Because only one PC can win the position, but everyone remembers the characters who make some outrageous or imaginative pitch, because that makes a solid impression!

3 Likes

The +mana recharge aura, btw, is called the Solace of Chimes.

I’ve linked the ritual listing page below. No quick guides, you’ll have to research the Lore :stuck_out_tongue:

Rituals are, in simple steps:

  1. get enough mages with lots of levels in the right Lore together, and count the numbers. Get a ref to watch, ideally.
  2. spend a lot of crystal mana while doing some cool roleplaying of appropriate flavour.
  3. Get the ref to note down what effects are on whom, and hand them the crystal mana cards.

The IC mechanics are channeling rivers of magic from the Realms in a mighty group effort, bent to your combined will!

https://www.profounddecisions.co.uk/empire-wiki/Rituals

https://www.profounddecisions.co.uk/empire-wiki/Solace_of_Chimes

I’ll warn you, skirmishes are a really high risk/high reward activity… jumping in as emergency healer could be exciting and short…

2 Likes

I think going in as a Grimnir looking to see Healers rewarded for their toil is a great concept, very Prosperous. And likewise having the Ambition of becoming a Grand Master is great long term aim, more people doing that sort of politics means it’s more fun for everyone so :+1:.

Card Games wise you might want to take a look at this rather fine IC deck of cards, The Journey Deck .Which I think you can still pick up from here and some of traders on the field. There’s some rules for different games on that website.

Oh I’ve also heard tell of an IC game called Threadweaver, which revolves around betting favours with other players, can be popular with certain Heralds rumour suggests :). I’d ask around if you’re interested in learning it.

You’re not always going to be healing people and if you’re not out doing Night Skirmishes, something that I’d definately ask for danger money on, then running card games in one of the IC bars could be a good way to pass the time of an evening. At least where it doesn’t clash with Conclave. I know some folk have played big money card games at Empire, mostly in the League, but it’s not a part of the game I’m that familiar with.

Making money on the field is a real trick, the Bourse isn’t sewn up, but big groups with resources and those who have been in the game a while do have an advantage. If you’re good with cards then adding a gambling pit to a bar that doesn’t have one could make you bank, especially if you’re the house so to speak :slight_smile: .

Being grandmaster does also get you free mana and resources (see the list of orders here) it’s entirely up to them how they distribute, sell or do whatever. As long as you continue to have support you’re good. However if you want this role then you have to enjoy the kind of politics that goes on in Conclave, otherwise you might be bored to tears.

I’d recommend trying to get an idea of what politics is going on from other mages, in your order and outside as knowing the stakes of what people are talking about helps (also standard Conclave advice, bring your own chair and water, possibly other drinks/food if you want).

2 Likes

Do you have a group?

Some of your ideas are going to be more easily attempted with some mates to back you up.

I am a healer, and a mage with a mana garden, I am also looking after funds for our small group (about 7-10) for large purchases. I am given herbs or I bulk trade for them to keep myself and 2 other healers in the basics, but when we go to battle we get handouts from our nation to support our efforts.
For little rituals for my group I use our mana. For big rituals I ask for the mana and a fee for myself, sliding scale, but I am a strong enough mage to do quite alot solo which makes me cheaper than finding a coven to do it. You need to get your name out there for this to work.
We as a group also have a trading post, selling snacks, small crafts and trinkets. We have a couple of less mobile players so someone is there to run it most of the time and that makes quite reasonable income for the OC effort and costs put into it. ( A box of home made cookies, and burning designs into wooden beads I am happy to do between events).

As far as the political stuff goes, get others interested in your points, try the Prosperity assembly. See if you have any healer groups in your nation, see who are the movers and shakers in your nations, senators, perhaps priests, whoever is loudest (!) and make sure they know you’re interested in these things.

As of the last year we as a group went in with a player organised consortium and currently own a very small amount of 2 bourse seats. At the moment we are selling on our bit of the resources produced to make more money for reinvesting but we’re getting there. Bourse seats go for between 4-600 thrones at the moment, very few players can afford that, most seats seem to go to some sort of buying group, who put up a named individual to be the seat holder and represent them,.

Still I admire your Ambition and Prosperity, and think you have several years of game play planned out there!!

2 Likes

The thing you have to consider is the large people in heavy armour you are trying to charge to pick back up (with personal mana that is essentially free) are the only thing stopping you getting full of arrows or cleaved into pieces by angry barbarians on the battlefield. So be prepared to be told to do one or be counter charged a protection fee after all fighters have to pay for potions and magic weapons to keep back liners Alice. Everyone has their role to play.

Renting yourself out as a personal healer could be good business. Especially if you find an individual or small group who want garenteed protection and don’t have their own.

Just be prepared that if you say ‘I’m not going on that skirmish unless I’m paid’ there is a good chance that someone else will just step up and do it for free with maybe a few herbs from the hospital. And you will be left with no money and no game.

Magical orders are fun. Remember you don’t have to be grandmaster to push change. You can campaign the existing GMs. But also running for grandmaster is super easy. Just be a part of the order and turn up to the election with a good speech.

Unless you are selling a lot of OC goods then it’s unlikely or will be able to buy a borse seat with the money you make in game on your own. Syndicates seem to be the way to go if you have decent capital.

1 Like

“but if you want to run a resource at maximum efficiency, you want a regularly enchanted Farm and to buy your mana in”

Or had a farm in Astolat, Casinea, or Semmerholm in Autumn 379YE, cast a certain ritual and then kept quiet about it (Strange harvest - Empire) which I’m sure was perfectly safe has had absolutely no long term side effects

2 Likes

Sorry to derail the subject a little - but how prevalent is this deck in-game? As in if you say “Who’s for a game of cards?” will people expect you to get this deck out rather than a standard deck or not?

Well there are several hundred decks out there, however I’ve mostly seen it used to do Tarot readings but that’s mainly as I never have the time of an evening to be around where people would be playing card games :slight_smile: .

1 Like

I’ve certainly played poker using the journey deck at events.

2 Likes