Conclave - Questions

Having played Empire for over a year now, I should be able to answer these question but I cannot find a link on the Wiki (if there is one then just point it out!)

Notwithstanding, I have a few questions about the Conclave:

Is the point of entry to the Conclave still through the Regio, or is there a another way of getting in?

is there any advantages of being a truly ‘interdependent’ member rather joining an Order?

Is it just a ‘speaking shop’, i’ve heard horror stories about how long each session last, and that potentially eats into my drinking time :slight_smile:?

After a year getting to explore and get to know people in Anvil, I would like to expand my game and the Conclave seems to be the nest way of doing it. I would be grateful for any answers.

The Conclave is held in the Hall of Worlds, and the Hall of Worlds is entered via casting Operate Portal at the Imperial Regio - generally the regio is kept quite close to the big white tent which is the Hall of Worlds tent so it’s convenient to get in shortly after casting it.

There are no clear obvious advantages of not joining an Order - you are locked out of most of the mechanical parts of Conclave if you don’t. It’s possibly you might be able to spin some kind of political advantage out of being a free agent if you have a very strong idea, but mostly people don’t ask / make much of a thing about what Order you’re in if you don’t, so you are best off being in an Order and then just wandering around and interacting with other people anyway - I have fairly regularly crashed meetings of other orders without any hassle.

It’s not just a talking shop but there is a lot of listening to speeches - if you don’t like watching people orate and watching the audience for their reaction and calculating whether it’s worth your precious mana to jump in, then you might only want to show up when there’s something personally important to you on the agenda (which is available at the Hub before the meeting) or someone is making it worth your while to show up and vote.

Measures are being considered to make it take less time, but it’s actually quite information-dense and there aren’t many good options that cut down on the time while keeping the good stuff.

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If you aren’t a member of an order I believe you can’t speak in conclave, and certainly can’t ask questions after someone else’s point.

Conclave is a lot better now the mana cost is in place as that does limit people waffling.

You can just stay until the bit you want to deal with is done and then leave, you don’t have to do all of it, but if you are a member of an order and want to have your order token counted you need to be there at the start.

I have quite often gone intending not to stay for the whole thing and then stayed because it was interesting.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with bringing snacks, drink and something to sit on anyway!

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Thank you - I don’t mind listening to speeches to get a general feel for the Conclave. I might spend the first couple of occasions to understand the politics though. I’ll think I might join an Order but not on my first visit, I am interested to see how they react with each other.

OK, that is interesting to know about being a freelance mage. Still want to observe how everything works first unless there is one Order that particularly interest me (how do I go about joining an Order?). i am a battle mage so I assume that there is one Order that specifically caters for us, or are battle mages represented by all other Orders?

…noted about drinks, snacks, and more drinks (er, a place to sit is what I obviously meant).

Yes you get in via the Regio, as the Hall of Worlds tent is next door :wink:

Battle Mages are traditionally represented by the Rod and Shield in conclave. But that’s not a hard and fast rule, you can be a battle mage on the field and join any order you like.

You join an order by declaring yourself part of one and getting someone to cast Arcane Mark on you (a Mag 2 Autumn ritual) that the civil service can then see when they count numbers. I think there’s conversation around improving how this works so watch this space for updates there though.

Definately get a look at the agenda in the Hub beforehand as you can then work out what bits you can duck in and out for. Bring a folding chair if you can. Also bringing a picnic with wine and water is my personal conclave survival tip :).

Also one advantage of being part of an order is that you can get info on what the hell is actually going on politics wise from your order mates, your Grandmaster may or may not chose to brief people and hold meetings with their order outside Conclave to help this. But arriving a bit early to chat to your order mates can be a good idea.

It’s taken me two games to start getting a handle on the politics that goes on in Conclave and the best way to do that is to be part of an order that’s doing stuff and working out who knows what’s up in conclave in your order.

Oh randomly which nation are you in as in some cases going and chatting to your larger national covens can also give you some good background on what’s going on.

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Oh also while I think of it, just because you’re part of an order doesn’t restrict your freedom in any way. You can do what you want, but there are some things you will need support on if you want to get stuff done in Conclave so having allies and the ear of a Grandmaster (or several) is a way of doing that.

Very useful information - thank you. Maybe I will join an Order after all (looks like the Rod and Shield would be ideal for me). The Political side of the Conclave is what interests me the most, and it seems like being a part of an Order may help me to move that forward.

Thank you all for your suggestions - they helped me clarify what and how to get involved in the Conclave. It has been great reinforcing the little knowledge I have.

Just to be clear on the point: joining an order does not grant you the ability to address conclave. Grandmasters have the ability to allow anyone to speak (provided the mana gets paid for time that costs mana, it doesn’t actually matter who pays it) when it is the order’s turn to speak, and this is not just members of their order.

That said, if you are not a member of an order, unless you have met and spoken with the grandmaster beforehand, they are unlikely to grant you the ability to speak. So they work out as the same thing in most cases.

Makes note to find out who the current Grandmaster of the Rod and Shield is

This page is your friend in that regard, although good luck finding them as I have no idea what they look like :).

https://www.profounddecisions.co.uk/empire-wiki/Current_Imperial_titles (scroll down)

Grandmaster for Rod and Shield is up for re-election at the next event. This could be a good opportunity to get involved in things, as it’s not a huge order and there will be a smaller meeting to sort the election (I think on the Saturday).

You join an order by getting someone to induct you in using the “Arcane Mark” ritual. It’s pretty easy and there are civil servants who have it if you’re having trouble finding a PC with it.

I also recommend going around and talking to members of each order about what their order believes in and seeing which ones match up to your character’s interests.

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I think that’s not totally right, but not far off in practice. When it’s an order’s turn to talk, it’s up to that order’s Grandmaster to choose who speaks. My understanding (might want to check this in the Conclave page of the Wiki…) is that the Grandmasters can give speaking-time to anyone they choose, but normally they’ll just give it to people in their own orders. So, yes, it helps.

Also, your character has the option of breaking the law by pretending to be in an order. (Getting away with it is a different matter.)

See the Conclave page and the others linked from there:
https://www.profounddecisions.co.uk/empire-wiki/Imperial_Conclave

All very useful information - thank you everyone. :relaxed:

If you want to participate politically, joining an order is important.

As a mage ritualist without an order, I have been able to:

  • Vote on issues that are not related to an election (e.g. “So-and-so proposes naming this star “Batman”, all for/all against…”)
  • Vote on Archmages
  • Vote on other positions such as Dean of X College
  • Catch up on Magic News
  • Run into heralds and Eternals who pop up during conclave
  • Drink as much wine as I can carry in there

I cannot:

  • Vote on elections of an Order
  • Vote on Gambits (who gets mana for rituals)
  • Vote on who gets materials for things

Now, I’m not sure that is all correct, just what I have done in field because it maybe hasn’t been clarified at that time.

I have poked my nose around a couple of orders and, with no interest in positions and politics, I haven’t seen a massive benefit other than making friends and catching up on Mage News, and depending on how slack the order is, you can probably get away with attending meetings anyway.

And now I’m conflicted :wink: I might wander round and try to get feel for the Orders on the first occasion - a lot of what you have posted makes a lot of sense (in conjunction with the other advice on this thread). I definitely want to the Conclave ‘in action’ (note: don’t arrive too many bottles Varushkan mead or all I will be doing is having a nice sleep on the floor…)

Lots of things to think about now. Again thank you all for your help (I’ll be the mage wandering about asking random questions :slight_smile:)

Talking to orders and finding out which will suit you can be fun - I’ve enjoyed those conversations from both sides of the line, as a newbie magician trying to find where they fit in and a more experienced one helping other people find their niche.

So my advice: talk to some magicians in play! Find out what their orders are about! Maybe go in with some ideas of which ones suit you, but be flexible and have some fun magechat!

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Also note that there is nothing final about joining an order - the same ritual will overwrite your arcane mark with another one just as easily as giving you the first mark.

From the wiki: So you can easily get a Civil servant to get you to join an order (or change order) Would mean giving them 1 mana.