Debt in Empire

Hi all, I’m currently putting together my first empire and thought that making 20 thrones to get out of debt would make for a good simple short term goal whilst starting out, since my longer term goals are a bit more vague and well, long term.

How feasible is this idea? Is 20 thrones too much money? I want the debt to be fairly significant but not so much that I couldn’t feasibly pay it back over 1-2 sessions.

How is debt dealt with within the empire? Could a character be taken to court over a debt or is it left to the creditors to reclaim their money?

Are there any PC loan sharks in empire? if so would I be able to start the game already in debt to a player or would I have to accrue the debt in game. (Not sure how I’d go about repaying the debt if not to a player, just hand the money over to the refs?)

Any help or pointers you could give me would be greatly appreciated.

I think you want to revise your number downwards. Base income for a player is 18 rings. An income background resource would get you 1 Throne a season. I’d suggest that even 1 Throne debt would be significant for a new character without a farm or business. How are you planning on making money?

As to dealing with debt, there is an IC Civil court for matters that people can’t resolve between themselves but that’s rarely used. It’d probably be creditors shaking you down themselves or sending their agents. You might be interested to look at Reckoning and Reckoners in The League. I’m not aware of any PC loan sharks. You could perhaps contact PD and ask about being in debt to a criminal organisation like the Vyig (note: any involvement with criminal gangs may get you in trouble in the Magistrates too - depends how much plot/risk you want) or about having a background court fine you need to pay.

Maybe you could be saving up to make a donation to an Anvil organisation like The Academy or Hospital or to a Sodality to repay an honour debt that you feel you’ve incurred or something like that? Then you’ve got somewhere to give the money at the end of your hard work and it gives you a reason to track them down in the field and talk about it. Pick whichever one interests you most.

I think it would be difficult to get into significant debt in uptime without building relationships with people to persuade them to lend in the first place. Lending money IC is a tricky one - IC you could theoretically track the character across the Empire for repayment but OC they could start a new character at any point and you’ve lost your stuff.

I hope this helps!

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So the average player comes into play with roughly a throne and 18 rings worth of value, (less if you have a congregation more if you have a mana site.) Which you get at the start of an event. In addition, artisan potentially gives you some magic items to sell.

Now making a significant amount of money is tricky, but trading your resource for money and making a small profit should be possible. If you pulled off 20 thrones that would be seriously impressive.

I’d suggest that the 1 -4 throne mark would be more reasonable, 1 throne you should be able to easily pull off with anything but a congregation. 3 thrones would definitely require you having to make a profit, rather than just sell whatever you have as income. It’s worth pointing out that a lot of magic items fall into that mark, and having an outstanding contract for X item could give you more game, (particularly if you start with a business.)

Finding someone who is happy to start with your character in debt to them, should be reasonably easy, as you are essentially promising them free things for very little cost. I’d advise finding a way that on some level you are getting something out of the relationship.

In terms of debt enforcement, the reckoners in the league, potentially the threat of the Lictors. You might manage a civil case around a broken contract, but I’m not even certain around that. However, if you think this plot is fun it would probably work better to have a debt you are strongly inclined to keep. Perhaps someone saved your life purchased you from slavery and for cultural reasons you need to repay them. Perhaps you pawned a precious item as collateral against the debt.

Thoughts on why you accumulated that debt in the first place are probably important,

It’s also worth pointing out that a lot of nations have archetypes that are essentially traders on behalf of a group, with varying degrees of power within that relationship. Depending on what your long term aims are, this might actually be more fun than starting with a debt. It gives you a group, a clear IC thing that your money is going to, and will probably allow you to do more trading than you would as a solo player.

Dawnish Seneschals are a archetype that really work on the thankless trading job (https://www.profounddecisions.co.uk/empire-wiki/Dawn_economic_interests) although there are definitely similar roles in other nations

Are there groups IC that provide loans to PCs/ Groups? without getting too IC what is it like getting a loan in Empire (amounts, intrest, debt collection ect)

Thanks guys, i’d completely forgotten about the Dead Reckoning system, probably not good since i’m planning on playing a leager. I’m now thinking of perhaps having had my characters debts paid off by a third party before the start of the event, on the condition that he work the debt off for them. This would let me do something a bit more varied than just earning money I think. Are there any groups or organisations (rather than me just finding a random player group and sayin “yo, I owe you”) that would do something like this?

Interesting thought. I did do a little searching around for this sort of thing a while back.

Some of the larger and more prosperous groups will likely extend a loan to a friend in need. And this, on a friendly and informal level, may well be interest free, but you’ll owe them a favour.

Some of the larger merchant cartels in the League may be willing to make out a loan to a stranger, but they’ll likely ask for things like collateral, oaths, and a signed contract. I suspect the Butchers Bank would do so, and charge some interest…

…ah, and then we get to Prosperity. Where as I understand it, it’s Greedy (a vice) to charge a high interest and begger someone for your own enrichment, but Prosperous (a virtue) to help another to better themselves. So you might be able to get a fairly large loan at a fairly small interest rate, especially if you’re willing to swear big solomn oaths and things.

If you then default, you may get fined a lot by the Magistrates, and maybe have “Oathbreaker” or similar written on your SOUL! Which will get you a bad credit rating, to say the least…

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You could ask about making background links on The League Facebook group Redirecting...

When you ask, you might want to include some details about your character (e.g. are you a mage, artisan, etc. and if you’re dedicated to a virtue) as a mage based group may be more inclined to support a fellow mage, for example. Also, think about what type of group you want to link with - what areas of the game are you interested in being involved in?

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Just a quick aside: Dead Reckoning is not about the money (money is tracked in the accounts).
Dead Reckoning is about everything else: generally favours and grudges, that sort of payback… the same way people in the real world talk of “calling in a favour” but a little more organised.

Random thought were you aware of the Lictors?

The Lictors hunt oath-breakers, and those who refuse to honour agreements, contracts or obligations. In the Autumn Realm they are viewed with some suspicion or fear, and even deadly political rivals think twice before breaking sworn agreements. They can be invoked, apparently, by any of the other eternals of Autumn to officiate over agreements or oaths.