E4 2019 ++A Final Note on Playing the Game++

Now that the Winds of Fortune are all done, I’d like to take the time to add a final note about playing the game.

Over the years, we’ve been lucky enough to have some dramatic conflicts develop in the game because of the actions that players have taken. Empire relies on players to take these risks to keep the game exciting and engaging. It’s fine for some characters to compromise, but if everyone does that and nobody does anything controversial then the game loses most of its more dramatic moments.

Crucially the player-characters taking those dramatic actions are great roleplayers who are playing Empire the way it was meant to be played. The game is set-up to encourage and support exactly this style of play. We explicitly promote Empire as a game of politics and conflict between characters. By taking those in-character actions that make the game more challenging and more dramatic, players are making Empire more enjoyable for everyone.

Unfortunately we’ve had a few reports of players out-of-character criticizing other players for taking actions that negatively impacted their character. Doing that is completely unacceptable behaviour in Empire. Any game that includes elements of player-character vs player-character interaction relies on everyone being able to clearly and definitively seperate their in-character experiences from their out-of-character experiences. People who cannot do that should not play a game like Empire. Nobody who attends Empire should harass people out-of-character on the basis of the in-character actions their characters have taken.

Obviously it is fine for your character to be angry if their plans have been thwarted by the actions of others - those reactions are an important part of the game. What is not acceptable in Empire is to treat other players with disrespect or show any kind of out-of-character disfavour because their character’s actions disadvantaged your character. We will treat reports of players doing that the same way we would treat reports of players cheating or breaking the conduct rules.

Everything that happens in-character should stay in-character - lets keep it that way so that everyone can enjoy playing a dramatic game of politics and intrigue.