Combining Nationality and Lineage

The wiki states that there are individuals of every lineage in every nation of the Empire, but are there certain combinations that don’t really work or that are particularly tricky to play?

Certain combinations seem to go together quite well as they’re somewhat similar (The League and cambion, Dawn and changeling, Urizen and merrow) at least from the way I’m reading things. A friend and I hope to attend our first event in September, and she’s left a lot of the planning up to me.

I’m playing with the idea of Dawnish merrow but I’m not sure if I’m making our lives too difficult (and that’s without looking at the fact that I get carried away a lot so am playing with the idea of creating our own House :confused: ).

Dawnish merrow will be challenging as there’s two competing sets of roleplay effects. Might be difficult as a noble but could be fun to be a yeoman who has to be cajoled into getting a test of mettle.

I know there are some combinations that are distinctly uncommon, for example there are few Merrow in the Brass Coast and they have a tendency to foster them to Urizen … _attitudes

Check the various nation pages and their “lineage and species attitudes” bits and they should tell you what’s common and uncommon.

I’d say when you’re starting out don’t be afraid to go with the cliche, it’ll usually be a strong narrative direction and you’ll gel with your nation’s brief easier.

Dawnish Merrow has been done by Percival to good effect. You also have the tactical knight. Fights against the heart on your sleeve thing a bit but doable

I don’t see why it can’t be done. The wiki says individuals of any lineage are common in Dawn. There is even a picture of a Dawnish merrow weaver on the page! … _attitudes

It does kind of depend on the role you wanted to take. A merrow advocate seems like a good match of analytical type with role based on analysing information. A merrow troubadour would be strange but maybe achievable - a calm collator and spreader of tales?

Dawn does need Yeoman and a Merrow would fit right in there helping their nobles to achieve glory, no questions asked :slight_smile:.

I’d been through the nation overviews and the lineage overviews but somehow missed that there were individual lineage attitude info pages for each nation… oops! So thank you for pointing those out.

I’m not certain about roles so far but I think if we do go for Dawn (which I’m mostly drawn to as I know we can reuse the costumes outside of Empire) troubadour is out for both of us- I want to interact with as many other players as possible (both in and out of character) but I can’t see either of us performing.

Now there are two ways playing a lineage in a nation could make your life more difficult:

  1. Prejudice towards that lineage, Briars basically everywhere, now I won’t go into that in great detail as Dawn has no problem with Merrow.
  2. Clash of national identity and lineage.

The second seems to be more where the potential problems lie: Dawn is fundamentally an emotional nation, the heart is something you wear on your sleeve, glory is all about recognition. The emotional detachment of the merrow is going to struggle with that. Also they have a slightly more cerebral bent than Dawn defaults to.
(On the other hand the focused nature, and determination fit quite well with the Dawnish questing mindset, as long as you get a test that interests you.)

Now the first thing to stress is that your character struggling with something doesn’t nessecarily make things harder for the player. If you would struggle with bold public declarations of love, that your character has good reasons to struggle with it isn’t going to make your life harder. Also being a slightly bad fit for the nation, gives you an IC excuse for any OOC anxiety about a field of people you don’t know. If you are looking at the merrow roleplaying effects and going that sounds like fun go for it, you have the time to work out to pull it off in a way that fits with Dawn.

On a tangent I can totally see Merrow troubadour working, coming at music from a very mathmatical and educated view possibly dabling in the music of the spheres to support rituals. Alternatively using rediscovering songs as a medium to learn about history would also work.

Yep, more the clash between national identity and lineage I was worried about… perhaps a couple of knights-errant who have yet to find a house they feel entirely at home with?(ooh, which would make us slightly poorer, which gives me an excuse not to go all out with the costumes for the first event…)

Knight-errant has a number of other advantages: It gives you a clear objective for your first event and lets the two of you scout out groups in play.

Yep, having some clearly defined goals for our first event would be massively helpful as it will be the first time wither of us have LARPed.

I always recommend new players give a lot of consideration to NOT having groups, and finding what suits them in play. People are always open to extras and talking about themselves, and it gives you a chance to find groups or people you really identifiy with in play, rather than signing up and finding out that it isn’t quite your kettle of fish afterwards. People are VERY inclusive in LRP, people will go out of their way to make sure you all have fun.

Almost the entirety of Ferrero’s Game is giving other people things to do or helping them, and it is super rewarding!

I think we’ve moved pretty firmly away from the original plan of creating a house, mostly because the thinking was “well surely it’s better to be noble???” There will be much planning with the intention of getting much game!

An additional question on this one (which you may well tell me to explore more IC rather than here, I’m just really trying to make sure I’m putting the right concept together), would it be fair to compare the nationality/lineage combination to the whole nature vs. nurture debate (with the nationality “nurturing” having a little magical kick to make it stick)?

Nationality/lineage clashes can be problematic to roleplay, but they can also create some interesting opportunities FOR roleplay. I’m currently playing a Merrow Hakima in the Brass Coast - not a natural fit, as Brass Coast Merrow are normally fostered out to Urizen where it is thoughtt they would be “happier.”

One thing I have found is that it in the Empire setting (where switching nation is not as difficult or as uncommon as it can be in other fest systems) you need to think about two separate issues when playing such a character:

1: Why are you in the nation you are in?

Any lineage can be made to fit any nation, but in certain cases it takes more work. In my case, I decided that the cerebral part of my nature manifests as a gift for languages (it helps that I can phys-rep that…) and a fascination for astronomancy and navigation - both of which are assets in a seafaring nation. He also loves to travel, and as a young man felt the call of the sea - although I have so far managed to avoid talking about seeking out new lands and new civilisations, and certainly haven’t Boldly Gone anywhere!

2: JUST AS IMPORTANT why are you NOT in nations that would seem a better fit?

I decided that my character had indeed been fostered in Urizen, but never really “fitted in” - he is too blunt, too free to offer his advice where it is not wanted, and does not understand the subtle diplomacy that is part of everyday life in the spires. This is a handicap in Urizen, but make him perfectly suited to the meddlesome Hakima archetype on the coast (which he eventually gravitated to after a career as a ship’s captain - buy me a drink, and pay me a ring, and I will tell you the tale…)

Sounds reasonable. I’m playing a briar from Urizen, which is one of the nationality/lineage clashes - a thinker whose very blood sings and pulses with the need to stop faffing about and DO something, anything, rather than think. It’s a lot of fun, but part of the fun of it is that I’m playing someone strongly Lineaged, so it’s more of a war between conflicting and opposing urges than it is a harmonious whole. A smaller amount of Lineage at odds with one’s national character would just be ‘a bit odd’ - someone who was only weakly briar and from Urizen might just have a bit of a loud voice or have trouble keeping Poise. Provided you meet the minimum physrep requirements for your Lineage (so for mine, that’s a bark-covered scar on me somewhere) you can quite happily play someone whose mind is unaffected or only very weakly affected by the magic in their blood.

(Why am I in Urizen? IC explanation - Briars express late in life: I was damned if I was moving nation after thirty-five years an Urizeni. OC explanation - it’s great fun playing a character who is prejudiced against himself)

Do I take that to mean you can move an existing character to another nation? Or am I reading wrong?

You can. To officially change over, the character has to be accepted by the new nation’s Egregore.

We have a chap who came over from the Marches and is now a fine Urizen sentinel. From appearance to formal recognition took (IIRC) 3 events.

It can also be a background thing too - several of our group (including my own PC) started the game as Urizen, but have backgrounds of immigrating in to the nation before 376.

[quote=“Nigel Evans”]

You can. To officially change over, the character has to be accepted by the new nation’s Egregore.

We have a chap who came over from the Marches and is now a fine Urizen sentinel. From appearance to formal recognition took (IIRC) 3 events.

It can also be a background thing too - several of our group (including my own PC) started the game as Urizen, but have backgrounds of immigrating in to the nation before 376.[/quote]

Excellent, thanks :slight_smile:

I’m a good example of why blindly joining a group through someone else is a bad idea…

Ooh, that’s an interesting/unusual one! Brass Coast actually had a certain appeal to me, along with a few other nations… I think I’ll need to sort out my OOC reasonings and then work out how they translate to IC reasons (for some reason I don’t think my personal dislike of pastel colours that’s put me against Urizen quite translates as a legit IC reason)!

Brass Coast merrow and Urizen briar definitely sound like they’de be harder to make work than Dawn merrow, so thank you both, you’ve given me hope!!