Death and Dying


#1

Clare Evans, head of Player Support has written a few words about character death that might be of interest:

Afternoon All.

Over the winter I want to talk in more detail about some topics about Empire. I’ll put a post up in a bit canvassing for ideas but in the mean time here’s a piece on Death and Dying at Empire and what to do.

Death and Dying.

If you play a character at LRP events there’s a chance they may die at some time. There are good reasons for why death is an important part of role play games. It adds tension and value to your actions. It helps the game change and develop. Avoiding taking risks might mean you miss out on cool opportunities.

However it also sucks. You’ve invested time, money, thought and emotion in that character. You and they have had adventures together and told a story together. You’ve made friends and have personal effects and costume you love.

And then there’s the bit where your death wasn’t a glorious one. When it was the lost in the crush of battle because you got swept away from your mates, when you were left behind bleeding out, when you didn’t get the dramatic moment. These deaths are equally valid and heroic because you are the heroes of the Empire.

But death is a part of that story, and though you might not have been ready for it and didn’t want it it’s something that has happened.
People deal with this in many different ways and have many different attitudes towards it happening. All of these are valid.

Empire and PD have a concrete No Resurrection rule. This means that if your character is dead there is not a way to bring them back. There’s nothing worse than a carefully crafted plan and action to kill the Big Bad only to have their minions resurrect them the next year.

So what happens. When you reach zero hits you start your Death Count. This is normally three minutes but there are ways you may have extended it. After your Death Count expires you are Terminal. Terminal means that you are beyond saving. You can spend as long as you choose terminal but your character will die before the start of the next event. You cannot do anything other than talk and dramatically role play and can only move around with assistance from other people. All the rules for dying players apply to you. You can choose the moment that you finally die. This is an opportunity for tearful goodbyes, parting words and all manner of drama.

Execution in your Death Count or when Terminal ends your characters life.

The rules for these actions are found here - https://www.profounddecisions.co.uk/empire-wiki/Combat#Dying

Next you need to register your death with the GOD desk. This is just a case of going to the GOD tent, queuing up and telling them you are dead and them registering it on your account.
Now what you do is up to you. It’s probably a good point to have some food and a drink and sit down and think about what you might like to do next. Needing to mourn a bit and get a bit of distance on your character for your next one is completely normal and fine. There will always be unfinished business that your character left hanging, don’t worry about this. It’s now someone elses problem!

Some people have their next character planned and even turn up to events with their kit ready just in case, plenty of people don’t.

There’s a common misconception that PDs monster room will lend out kit to dead characters for their next one. I’m afraid that’s not true, that’s a way that we lose a lot of kit and have a shortage for the NPCs we need to kit up. However that’s not to say we won’t help in any way we can, contacting Player Support, one of your egregores or asking GOD to contact us for you is the best way to do this.

The next common misconception is that on death you can join skirmish team or the NPC team. That’s not very likely either. We plan well in advance of the event and our teams actions are planned out for the event. Stopping to brief and train a new addition doesn’t really work.

However, the player support team are available to talk to you and help you through your options.

So now you can create a new character and explore a different area of the game, start a new story and have more adventure.

It’s good form not to go back in as your twin or son or best mate or such like and it’s good to think of a different area to be interested in. This avoids conflicts of interest and the need to compartmentalise your previous characters thought and feelings. However there is nothing wrong with going back into the same group or nation. Some people choose to change nation when they die, some don’t.

So you mix your kit up a bit, borrow some stuff from your mates, have a rummage through the traders for bits to make you look different and go back in. There is no time limit on you doing this. If you want to do it next morning, next event or in an hours time this is all fine. We all deal with things differently.

You create a new character on the computers in GOD and get a new character pack. Everything that belonged to your old character is now lost to you! It is possible to create an In Character Will -
https://www.profounddecisions.co.uk/empire-wiki/Will

You can just create a character with a name and nation and flesh them out further after the event or you can go full in straight away!


#2

Useful words. :slight_smile:


#3

I’m surprised they don’t normally accept people onto skirmish crew. It used to be that players were so strongly encouraged to monster skirmishes there was controversy over penalising nations for NOT helping skirmish crew.


#4

What I do and what I recommend in battle is dip your hand into a pouch and whilst doing so say the vocals of the spell.

At a suitable later moment I either discretely rip them or hand them to a ref if there is one near by.

To visibly get out pieces of paper and rip them up at that moment whilst demonstrating what you are doing detracts from the roleplay. Keeping crystal phys reps means keeping track of them as well as the cards that are supposed to represent them, and then breaking them, littering them etc. Just too confusing. The rock sugar idea sounds interesting however…


#5

Skirmish crew and monstering the other battle are different jobs.

Monstering the other battle is part of your agreement as a player if you want to do your nations battle. You will end up with a basic brief and be one of the several hundred opposing hoards for the players to kill a lot.

Skirmish crew are the permanent opposing force that belong to the plot team, and will be given complex briefs for various skirmishes, and the major battles, and will be assigned to stuff before the event.

If you want to join the skirmish crew then you need to apply beforehand so the plot team can work with your strengths and find out where you will fit. They are recruiting: https://www.profounddecisions.co.uk/empire-wiki/Current_crewing_opportunities

Role details here : https://www.profounddecisions.co.uk/crew-wiki/The_Hundred


#6

No, I definitely meant skirmishes, not just battles.


#7

From my understanding on the other side of the hedge, there’s been a fairly large shift in how PD schedule, brief and run skirmishes over the past year or two. I don’t have much experience of how it used to be, but I understand that player monsters were needed at various times to help fill roles for skirmishes, which could go out at a variety of times.

These days, there are quite a lot of skirmishes planned for each event, trying to make best use of the spaces and crew available. Gate numbers are balanced based on the number of crew, and generally two skirmishes are running at any one time, with the crew split between them in teams.

As far as I can tell, the only time PD currently request player monsters for skirmishes is for the larger affairs where the skirmish crew would benefit from a core of extra bodies - and there are only a couple of these at any given event. They’re now advertised in advance as part of the Winds to ensure PD get volunteers at the right time to improve everyone’s experience.


#8

Thanks, that makes sense. An old system was the each nation would have a skirmish monstering slot with an expectation (but not as strong a social contract for battles) that if you played skirmishes you should also monster your national skirmish slot. This is why it surprised me that this has now gone full 180 to PD actually not wanting players joining skirmish crew mid-event. This got very poor turnout and I don’t think that one lasted very long, sounds like they have now accepted that and adapted very well to the crew they do have.