Charcter concept idea help


Hi there,

I am completely new to empire and larping. I was wanting some help on a character idea.

My friends are marchers and after looking into them they do seem like good fun however I have not had much luck thinking of a concept that will fit in the marcher setting. Though I have had one that I thought I could do and that is a warrior priest guy thing. I end up playing a lot of clerics and paladins in DnD campaigns I play and therefore would like to also try and transfer this across so concept goes as follows:

  • Marcher Priest dedicated to courage.
  • Wielding hammer one hand and a big book in the other
  • Picking up Chirurgeon and helping in the back line little healing and helping.

The main questions I am after being answered are. Are the priest benefits RP or actual in game benefits? Can you go into battle as a priest? I am also struggling a little bit with the wording on the rites a priest can do? And what should I expect RP wise and is there anything I should take note as a priest?

If you have advise or feedback that would be great.

Thanks for reading.


The priest skills both have mechanical and RP benefits. For example, anointing usually is just about giving someone an emotional push and saying ‘Look, feel more virtues, it will be great for everyone’s game’. However anointing can allow you to negate negative RP effects. Negative RP effects are a lot more mechanical than positive ones as they can limit you, this is why you don’t want them. Consecration is anointing for land and hallowing is anointing for items. If you want people to act a certain way, hand them a hallowed item with the virtue you want them to be more open to and you’ve suddenly got people being more generous or trying to be more wise or courageous. Exorcism can be useful when people get possessed and it is a chance for some really good RP. Testimony allows you to sort of brand people, almost like customs stamp passports they want people to watch. With insight you can check these words or to see if someone is being effected by anointment. Finally excommunication. Religion is very powerful in empire. The empire is quite religious and it is woven into many things. Taking that connection away from someone can lock them out of a lot if they aren’t careful.

You also get personal resources. This can be anything from a business that provides money to a mana site that provides crystal mana. As a priest, a congregation is recommended, it provides you with liao which is used to perform all of your priest skills and it gives you the right to vote in synod (the religious senate).

Now, let’s talk about battles. Anyone can fight however if they choose. They can use a single handed weapon, any armour and a buckler. They may not used two handed weapons, shields, duel wield or use any ranged weapon without skills. You start off with two HP and every hit does one damage. This means armour is very useful. Shield skills are quite popular as well. If you want to try it out without having to go in as your character, you can try playing a barbarian during one of the battles. For that time you go off and play a barbarian and then after the battle you resume your character.

With your book, what would it do? If it is a larp safe weapon you will need ambidextrous which takes away one skill point. Dedication takes away two. Chirurgeon will take away one but all you can do is pick up people who have been downed. That leaves you four more XP. You probably are going to take pick up at least one priest skill though you don’t have to. That leaves you with three. You have to consider what you want to do. If you want to do more fighting then maybe pick up the hero skill and then one call. You could instead pick up another HP. If you don’t want to do this then you can get physick and then you can be better at healing.

Onto what to expect as a priest. There are seven virtues. Understanding them will allow you to get yourself out of bad situations if you have done something wrong IC (in character). If you can reason that stealing food from a baby is virtuous then you can get away with it (unless you have stolen out of character stuff). People may not like you but the law cannot do anything to you. The marchers have their own special way with dealing with such people.

Those who have don’t believe in the seven virtues or believe there are others, are considered heretics. It isn’t easy being a heretic but it isn’t impossible. Their are a few virtue cults out there which are basically groups that follow false virtues. These people usually get executed as the cults clash with the law but not always.

As a priest you will usually be expected to give advice and champion your virtue but you don’t have to. In the end it is up to you how you play your character.

With RP in general, expect your top RP moments from DnD but be aware that some people do break character. When it is all going, it can be really immersive and some people experience bleed (which someone else has explained in great detail on here so I recommend you go and find it).

With performing rites, it is up to you how it goes. You can do these extreme fire and brimstone sermons or the hand on the head (if you have permission) and the all of that stuff. You can instead go for something more quiet and more meditative.

Sorry this was a bit long. My advice now is to look up more about the way (the religion if you didn’t know) and the marchers. If you want to share your ideas for your backstory I would be happy to hear them. I hope this helps.


First up, welcome to the hobby, the game, and these forums!

Yes, a Marcher Priest (a Friar, perhaps?) dedicated to Courage is a fine idea.

Please don’t hit people with books. Carry one around, by all means, and read from it (excellent idea, as you can then have sermons and speeches and setting notes in it), but don’t use it as a weapon. As noted above, even if you can find a larp-safe book, it’ll not be much use :slight_smile:

The mechanical benefits of the priest skills are numerous, but subtle. For example, we’ve had skirmishes and battles with nasty overlaying emotional effects. Fear. Weakness. Incipient Madness… In these cases, those blessed (Anointed) could push through the problem and carry on regardless. Last battle had a nasty sort of wraith thingy placing curses on folk: They needed to be exorcised in 30 minutes or they died (allegedly). Hallowings and Consecrations I can’t speak of, but I suspect others can tell you of their use.

They are also fairly RP heavy. If you can lead people in a prayer, give a short call-and response, small sermon, that sort of thing, you’ll be fine. Usually your subject will be joining in and pushing it along as well.

If you’re jumping into LARP and Empire as a priest, for your first character, you’re really going for the deep end. To compare it to D&D: You don’t get to ask the referee if your character would know something. You don’t get a prep card from the DM of stuff that might come up this session. Your character knows only as much as you know.

I mean, we’re a nice bunch, and we won’t pull you up on any mistakes or blank pauses, but if you’re going to play a priest, you’d better have a pretty good grasp of the religeon. So yes, a book full of notes (including of all your abilities), several sermons to bellow during battle, and a big hammer makes a pretty good start.

Now, a quick note, you start play with 8 character points, but you don’t need to spend them all at once. You could quite easily go for
Dedication (huzzah, you’re a priest) for 2, Anointing (blessing folk with Courage) for 1, and leave it there for a little. Armour and ability to use a (1-handed) hammer comes free. I would also take Congregation as a personal Resource, allowing you to fuel you priest abilities. It also sells well.

And then, if you decide you want to take your character one way or another, you can drop in to the Games Operation Desk (aka GOD) and ask to adjust your character one way or another. For new players at their first event, they’re very forgiving, anyway.

For a spot of healing, Chirugeon works fine, but have you considered the Hero Skills? Hero Points and, say, Stay With Me would cost a total of 3 character points and allow you to bring someone from dying to 1 hit with a few seconds of roleplay…

Happy to answer further questions, including re background. Have you found the Facebook page for the Marchers yet?


Thank you for your feedback in regards to some of the points made. In regards to the book it would not be a weapon maybe I did not give off the right message the book would be a place to store information such as prayers, stories and lore on the way.

The plan is to be more back line supportive like giving buffs of courage and healing people the book was meant to be more of an RP aspect in that I would pull it out to recite prayers. I have not joined their Facebook but I will do so.


That’s what I thought you meant anyway :slight_smile:

It’s a good concept, and I look forwards to seeing it in action!


If you want to go down the buffing route then you could look into pick up some mage skills. Along with dedication you could pick up magician and then maybe purify, heal, empower or restore limb. If you only pick one spell you have 3 Xp left. You could get one priest skill and then if you really wanted to, you could get chirurgeon and maybe put an extra point into mana. You start off with 4 mana and every time you get a point in extra mana, you get 2 more. You wouldn’t be able to wear metal armour if you become a mage so you are a little bit more vulnerable. In the end, it is up to you.

Sorry, I forgot again. Welcome to empire and to the forums.


i have nothing to input but…



One idea is that you could make the big book a phys-rep for a Sungold Basin somehow or swap the book for a big goblet or something. That would let you use the dedicate skill and a dose of liao to do the equivalent of the Stay with me skill. It’s something that can be very helpful for priests helping people on the battlefield.

Also as a priest you absolutely can go into battle, you can wear as heavy a set of armour as you own or can borrow and use a sword and buckler without any skills. I went in with half priest skills and half combat skills heavy armour and a great big sword at E1 and I had a whale of a time being a paladin type :slight_smile:.

Sometimes being anointed by a priest is helpful to overcome auras that exist on the battlefield, so you need a source of spiritual strength to resist them. But mostly the fun I got out of the priest skills was roleplaying giving virtuous counsel and helping people with their virtue and faith in the way. It’s a lot of fun.

Oooh if you’re a Marcher you could have a tankard for your Sungold Basin and channel the spirit of Friar Tuck perhaps :slight_smile:. A Monk who brews ale and straps on armour to go crack some heads is totally Marcher .


Marcher priest player here. Feel free to PM me if you want to talk about marcher priesting :slight_smile: .
There are really 3 sorts of priests in Empire

  • Political Priest: I have a Congregation and try to influence the Synod/be nosy at politicians/reward or investigate people.
  • Spiritual Priest: I have Dedicate and use Ceremonies to inspire people or fix problems. Read about Shriving it’s great.
  • Pastoral Priest: I talk with people about Virtue and try and guide them to doing the right thing.

You could be any of these in different amounts, and don’t need to be all of them. Your concept sounds very spiritual/pastoral, so you only need a Congregation if you actively want politics. It’s also easy to swap from a Congregation to say a Farm (Which is a very thematic choice for a Monk) or the other way round if you decide you want less/more politics.

Chirugeon is a solid choice for a back-line PC as it never runs out of power. My advice would be to get a girdle book (Book that hangs on your belt) for the preachin’ book. Then, wield a hammer and buckler. There’s a popular trick of getting a cloth cover for your buckler or shield and attaching sermons to the back.

An important thing to note is Virtues aren’t gods. They won’t smite you, change your alignment or cause spell failure if you’re wrong. Meaning it’s more important to check the brief as you don’t have that feedback (even if you want to be Wrong on something it means you’re only your intended sort of Wrong).

As ever, I reckon a good starting point is to pick your favourite saying, Aura and favourite Exemplar or Paragon of your Virtue, and go tell everyone you meet about why they’re great. Then all your actions lead back to guaranteed Virtue Stuff.


I thought that a congregation produced liao and that was why you wanted one. I don’t know the rough trade value of liao so I couldn’t say if it was easy to buy but I have a feeling that it would be easier to have a congregation if you wanted some, but I’m not sure.


The rough trade value of liao is 18 rings at the moment, as that’s what you can sell it for in DT. So about 5 Crowns if you sell all your Congregation’s liao output. A farm gives you 9 Crowns a season. That means you need to get about 4 Crowns worth of fun out of Synod politics for Congregation to be worth your time. The Synod is expensive.

For a heavily combat oriented character, Farm could be better as you can:

  • Afford equipment and potions. Like the Mendicant Cassock, an item that reduces your reliance on liao by quite a lot.
  • Get your farm buffed so you can buy even more stuff.
  • Be the “Virtue Vote” in Senator elections.
  • Buy Liao. There’s always Liao for sale, it’s how people get the big mandates done in a nation with few priests.
    It all depends on if you want the legal powers of a priest, or you’re only interested in the spiritual and social RP. Either is fine.

It’s explicitly okay, even encouraged to be a priest without a Congregation if that’s not your fun. The Monk brief especially says they mix preaching and land ownership, and a farm is a solidly thematic choice.


Ah okay. I’ve only got experience with mana crystals which, if I remember correctly, can go for 20 to 30 rings if you are lucky and they are a fairly difficult to find. With mana, if you want it, it is best to start with it so I just assumed it would be the same for everything else.


Congregations are wierd as they give you two very different things. If you just want a big pile of liao, Congregation is ironically the worst resource, because its trade goods output is low and liao prices are really volatile (Mandates have a huge effect). Whereas mana is always in high demand, because at the very least you can turn it into >30 rings with a farm buff ritual.

Congregation gets you:

I both love Congregation very much (3/4 of my PCs had it), and also think it charges a bit too much for the political power. Mandates and plot tend to rapidly burn out your liao, and it leaves you with very little cash to spend on battle equipment or personal goals. So unless you really go for broke in using the Synod authority, you end up quite dependent on a group.


Again thank you for all replies it has been a large eye opener.

The tankard is a great idea however how do you attain a Sungold Basin do you by the items and if so how long will it take to gather all the needed items.

As for @Jim comments I had no idea there was so much politics in being a priest and in fairness I rather leave it completely alone, I am not that sharp or tactfully at the political scene. I’d rather keep to the spiritual and pastoral. I have been reading more and I think courage is the one I like the best as it fits well with the concept I am planning. See the group I am going with all come from Mournwold and from what he told me it’s a rough place right now. So my character is more out in the fields repairing the damage of war and inspiring folks to push on in their hardships. The only thing my friend said was that it would be cool to wield a two-handed war hammer or maul however how effective is that as a path?

As for the monk idea it does sound good but would I then need to travel with other monks or can I just be a one monk band? Also don’t you require liao to do priest rituals or not as if I go for a farm how do I get liao, trading sounds rather complicated?


A Sungold basin is a magical item. An artisan who has learnt to make it can produce one for you. They will require payment and may also ask for the materials required. Once it has been made you can attach it to a suitable prop, in this case a bowl, cup, goblet or urn. You will have to provide this but it shouldn’t be to hard. The effect lasts for four events after it has been made and then it stops working until you get it enchanted again. The physical representation of an enchantment is a white ribbon that has the name on it.

If you have a farm as your personal resource (you can only have one personal resource at a time) then the only way to get liao is to trade for it. It shouldn’t be to hard, you just need to find someone how is selling it which can be a good way of talking to people. If you go to the brass coast area at anvil then you can pick up a magazine which gives you the current prices of items. It will cost you as everything does in the brass coast but it can make things simpler.

You can be a monk. It is an archetype of the marchers which means it is the marcher name for a specific kind of person. You do not require anyone for you to be most things. I think the few exceptions are if you want to have an imperial title, if you want to be a ritualist doing really big rituals, if you want to trade or if you want to do stuff on the battle field but on the battle field.

If you want to use a two handed Warhammer or maul, that is fine, you just need to pick up the weapon master skill which costs 2xp. It will give you a bit more reach in battle and probably make you a little bit more offensive with your fighting because of this but in the end, it is about what you want to do, not what is in the meta or what everyone else wants you to do. For example, there is a skill called thrown which allows you to throw things. It isn’t very good and not many people get it but people have because they like the idea of it or because it suits their character.

I’m glad you are finding help here, I hope this adds to it.


You COULD join a group of monks, or you COULD be the lone representative of a monastary, or you COULD join another group as a monastic rep…

“Yeah, we’re all from the town of wossname, and Rook here’s from the monastary on the hill nearby…”

Using a great big hammer is cool, but you’ll have to pay for the skill (weapons master), and the actual hammer could be costly (Great weapon phys-reps are nearly the most expensive props in LARP).

If you’re from the Mourn, then you’re really jumping into the Marcher brief with both feet :slight_smile: Have you considered taking Exorcism amongst your priest skills? There are a lot of angry ghosts there., left over from the Mournwold campaign…

(one of the awesome things about Empire… entirely due to player action…!)


As a new player, I would strongly recommend a polearm over a great weapon, for several reasons:

  • New Marchers don’t need to buy their own polearms. Several Marcher players bring spare polearms to loan to new players so they can get used to it. This saves you cash to spend on soft kit, a sidearm (like a one handed hammer!) or armour. You have a reasonable chance of being able to borrow some heavier armour if you just show up in some padding.
  • Polearms are much easier to learn. You are permitted to thrust, and it’s simple to start out by tapping people in the legs, which is effective, easy, and avoids face hits. Great weapons have a shorter effective reach and can’t thrust.
  • As a Marcher, you can fight with them in a big block, where teamwork and discipline is more important than personal skill. Great weapons need you to get closer.
  • The skill to use a polearm is the same one as for using a great weapon, so you can always swap later, or borrow a big hammer for some practice sparring.
    If you don’t buy Mighty Strikedown, then you lose nothing by swapping weapons.

The Marcher priests are a generally cooperative bunch, and if you need to get hold of liao, plans range from “We’ll sell you a few” to “We’ll send someone around to organise a mass buy” to “I know a guy”. Personally, I tend to sort this kind of thing through a mate who plays a broker in Navarr. “Hi Dan here’s 4 crowns get me stuff plz”. There are a lot of traders, liao only tends to be in short supply if someone needs dozens of it for a plot.

Check out the Marcher Religion page for the monk/friar difference. Friars are a priest attached to a household. Monks are a group concept of “religious community”, and are most fun when you have a group that buys into that. Your idea sounds more like a friar.