Balancing skills

So, I’ve not yet been to an Empire event, but I really enjoy LARP and this one seems real appealing. I’ve been toying around with two character concepts, one of which works nicely with the skills available, and another which makes me quite worried that I’d die if I went with it. More specifically speaking, I’ve been working on a corsair and a knight-errant.

The corsair uses a crossbow, sticks mostly out of the way of combat, but has a sword and buckler for if things get dicey up close. The only major skill for this is the marksman skill which (while expensive) still leaves me with four xp, which I decided would be good going into chirurgeon and physick. I end up with a pretty rounded backlines character, who can make sure the beefier fighters are still alive and fend off any foes who might get close, with bolt and blade.

The knight-errant, I wanted to use a two-handed sword for, and wear heavy armour in the form of chain and a few assorted bits of plate to round out the armour requirements. Here there’s the issue that on the front lines, the majority of people are shield-users, with big heavy walls to make sure there’s a gap between you and horrible orcish death. There’s also polearms and pikes behind that line, but it seems to me that a two-handed sword might be a little out of place. So I decided that since I might not have the help of a big hunk of wood and metal, throwing some extra health on would be good, putting me up to six hits, more than enough to survive a skirmish. Then I get stuck on the rest- if I put another point into endurance, that’d leave me with a floating point, and I don’t know where to put it- I could save it for later, of course, but I still don’t know what I’d do with the thing. So, I thought, why not try hero skills? But then I’m stuck with the issue of, do I go for just the two hero points, and take Unstoppable so I have a few second chances to get a killing blow in, or run the heck away? But if I do that, I miss the main draw of the great weapon, Impale, with which you can make mincemeat of orcs, and do it three times if I put the last point into hero points.

Anyway, the whole point of this rambling garbled mess is, I could do with some suggestions or input; should I just play the corsair, not spend any points, and then when they die put the extra points into making a better knight-errant? Should I just scratch the whole concept for the Dawnish character?

When my house entered play we used to operate with greatsword users behind shield users*. Dawn has a few spear users/staff, but not enough to fill out an entire back rank, and for some reasons no one in Dawn has a pike. Also there was at least one Dawnish greatsword unit that took the field last battle, which took no casualties.
There have been battles where I have ended up in the front lines with no combat skills, sword and buckler.

The greatsword is a very Dawnish weapon, I have no idea how the change in call will work, but I do not think as a weapon on the battlefield is a death sentence.

If you are wearing heavy armour, you have 6 hits before endurance (2 hits as a person + 4 for heavy armour). Personally 5 exp on endurance as a starting character feels like a lot to me. On Unstoppable verses impale, go with what you think would be more fun, since both calls in there present forms are quite new. For what you want one possible route to look down is artisan, as a fighting character artisan can provide actually more exp than it costs. As well as making you a more valuable contribution to a house.

In particular
Warriors Plate (+1 endurance) - Free
Butchers Cleaver (Can use impale with hero points) - Free
Aldermans edge (Grants weapon master) - 12 resources (If you select items in the right order you get two seasons of this at the start)

On a build like:
Artisan 4
Endurance 2
Hero Points 2
You are effectively looking at 6 exp worth of skills from magic items,

As for the corsair, it seems reasonable but not my area of game.

*This changed due to slow attrition, we would still do it if we had the knights but the two great sword characters died. This was due to doing something heroic in the retreat rather than having a great sword being highly fatal.

I like your corsair idea, although to my knowledge we don’t have many archers of any type in the Brass Coast so you wouldn’t have anyone to buddy up with, as it were. That does make you interesting though, and a handy second-line fighter. If you aren’t taking shield, bucklers are fab.

Battlefield healers are always in demand (it’s where my character is going next, although it’ll take me some time to build up the XP). We’d love to have you in the Coast.

Just as a note, you’ve said you are a LRPer so you probably already have an idea but here are the PD bow rules: profounddecisions.co.uk/empi … Bow_safety

Some quick thoughts:

As long as you’re willing to wear heavy armour, great weapons or polearms are very viable front-line builds at Empire. Without it, things get a bit dicey.

Crossbows are particularly expensive/difficult to use compared to bows, because they’re much less common, and so the monsters don’t shoot your ammo back as much.

What would you be doing while not at battles with each character? Empire is a full weekend, and in that time you’ll do at most one battle, plus maybe a quest or two. Most of your time is spent at Anvil, so it’s useful to have an idea about what you’re going to be doing when not fighting.

Alright, in order-

McGonigle; apparently I was under the impression heavy armour was 3 hits (I guess because of the three tiers of armour), I’m more comfortable without going with endurance now. Artisan might fit the character well, since wandering warriors should be looking after their own weapons and equipment, although I’m not sure how expensive/difficult to obtain the more expensive equipment is (I’ve had my eye on the Captain’s Command but I realise that’s a real expensive piece of kit, the other thing I’ve been looking at has been Dawn’s Glory, which is far more affordable but gives a nice little hero point boost), and I don’t want to get past the point of the gear I can make being useful (though I can always make a bunch in downtime and pass them off to others, since they’re free and all). I’ll have to give that more of a think, see if I like the idea. I do feel like people who choose greatswords over polearms are more likely to end up dying gloriously rather than not dying, for some reason, though I’ve got no grounding for that.

LauraH; working alone fits the character I had in mind rather well, going around solo and saving people from near-death while not drawing too much attention. I’ll have a sword and a buckler, although the buckler might not pass weapon checking since it’s being made by a novice in LARP creation, so I might have to rely on other people making sure I’m not taken down, if I’m wandering about reviving. (I’ve also had a fair few reads of the bow rules, I bought my crossbow from Umbra Armoury so I figure the thing should hopefully pass check. The bolts I’m buying from someone recommended to me by the seller, as well.)

tea; heavy armour is definitely the goal so far, just possibly sparse in terms of cleave/impale protections (current plan is a sleeveless chain shirt, one full arm with a shoulder, other arm with a brace, two greaves, and a gorget. Possibly with a bevor), although that might make things a little lighter to move around in. I’ve already realised crossbow use is going to be expensive, which is why I’m intending to be sparse with actually using the thing, mainly for if I’ve got an angry orc with their eye on me, and they’re not close enough to get into melee. In terms of Anvil, corsair would be wandering around Anvil, mostly just taking the place in for the first event, maybe having a few games of mancala, trading, socialising, just enjoying the environment. Knight-errant would be, hopefully, after I’ve gone to a few events, so I’ve have more of an idea of how things go down, so that’d involve whatever an itinerant yeoman warrior might usually do; making friends, training, sparring, getting drunk, maybe a little reading, losing all my money. I find the idea of the non-combat stuff almost more interesting than the combat (I’d say they’re about even, really), just in an environment like that.

For your Corsair have you considered the Relentless skill and some Hero Points as that lets you repair your limbs without needing someone else to heal you? Just an idea, the battlefield healer thing is entirely cool and the Brass Coast would love you as LauraH said :slight_smile:.

Of your two ideas I’d go with crossbow corsair as my impression is that there’s a lot more space to shine in the Brass Coast “fighty” game as it’s not as heavily subscribed as in Dawn. Also the Brass Coast on the battlefield are mainly skirmishers so that lines up with a bit of archery. As you probably know you can keep all manner of people occupied just by pointing a loaded crossbow at them :slight_smile:. Pro battlefield tip would be to find a few people to work with as one of the things that kills you is not keeping a eye out for orcs, which if you’re a healer you’re going to have to have your head down at points to do your job. Battlefield awareness is the one thing that I tried to drum into people the few times I did small unit command.

Also remember that your character has a resource such as Military Unit, Fleet, Congregation and the like (profounddecisions.co.uk/empire-wiki/Resource) this will give you something to. Depending on the resource you’ll get a certain amount of game deciding what to do with it, or trading the resources they bring in to get yourself some magic items. For example a military unit finding out what the Empire is up to involves going and talking to generals, or even going along to a War Council to listen in as they’re free to attend you just don’t have speaking rights. Fleet has a bunch of implications if you’re Brass Coast as the Broken Shore Bounty is decided by the votes of captains raiding that season. I don’t know how much this is sewn up already but it might give you game as an independent captain.

Off the top of my head, I can only think of one archer in the Brass Coast currently active on the battlefields. I’m sure he’ll be glad of the company if you choose to go down that route.