Family questions

Hello! My wife and I have decided to come to E4 2019 as our first foray into LRP. We are bringing our two year old.

I would be curious to hear of your experience with toddlers at Empire. Any pitfalls to avoid? Are there any groups or areas set up specifically for children?

Is it necessary that our family be of one nation? I could argue that on one hand it works thematically but on the other hand having different backgrounds means the IC reasons we are together are interesting. Would it make our experience easier to be of one nation or does it make no difference?

Thank you in advance,
Orion

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So just touching on the nationality question, I think that the nature of the egregore bond would make family life difficult with spouses from different nations. An imperial citizen can certainly live in the borders of another nation, but would find it practically impossible to actually integrate unless they changed nation. Plus, the egregore bond makes you want to take part in your nation’s culture, which you might be prevented from if you spend much of your time in your spouse’s nation.

Of course, this isn’t inherently bad for you as players. It creates tension, which you get to play with. However, having a kid means people might innocently inquire as to how the two of you manage it, what the logistics are, etc. and I know not everyone finds it fun to come up with an answer to that.

If you want the best of both worlds, perhaps have one of you originating from a different nation but having changed nation in backstory (possibly for the sake of raising a family). Your attitudes towards the two nation’s cultures and traditions will shift because of egregore magic, but you’ll still remember how you were brought up. Although, if you’re just worried about being distinct characters, I assure you that the nation briefs are broad enough for two characters from the same nation to be very different people.

Hello! We took our small for the first time age 3 (he’s 5 this year).

The biggest thing is that while you are there you are primarily a parent. If there’s two of you you can switch off childcare (my husband battles, I don’t, so I’d have the morning/lunchtime slot), but having a child there means what you can do and where you can go is very much dictated by the kid and their tolerances.

I would say a home base of your own in the IC field or very close by in the OC fields is essential. There is a PD provided space - the Academy (aimed at school-age+ but very tolerant of smaller folk), its adjacent Quad (open space, roped off) and a tent/covered space known as the Orphanage which can be used by parents, all clumped together near the Civil Service Hub. However, it’s not open at all times, and can be very busy, so having your own camp to retreat, that your child is comfortable in, is important.

It’s camping, in a field, with a lot of people about. There are environmental hazards (ruts, ditches, stinging nettles, puddles, campfires, attractive shiny cooking knives and utensils). If your little one is very mobile, curious and/or inclined to wander you will need to be on your toes (we were fortunate that ours was quite shy at first and liked to stay near us). A label or tag with an IC contact method - nation, group, IC symbol - and OC phone number attached to them/their clothes is a really good idea.

I would strongly recommend you all be one nation. You can always change later once you’ve more experience of what works for you as a family. As Knave says, having one of you with background in another nation and one or two quirks deriving from that is a nice compromise.

For toddlers you can get away with very basic kit, with one or two nation-specific accessories. Let me know if you’re wanting for base layers as I have a fair number ours has outgrown, and please do ask if you have any more questions!

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I’d like to bring to focus something else rather then what you’re asking about. If you’re not staying at a bed and breakfast nearby, a camper van but instead a tent - even at e4 it can get very cold at night. Me and my wife were struggling last year, our air mattress died so even though I refilled it a couple of times during the night we still were waking up to the cold hard ground many a time. Even with sleeping bags that were supposed to be good in minus temperatures, was a hard time.

I’d agree with knave, I’d assume as a family you live together - unless you’re a sailor and have a lady in every port and this one happened to give you a child I guess - and if you do live together, the magic of egregores binds you to a specific nation that you live in. You can still have bits of your gear represent that you Used to be from a different nation but joined your spouse in the current one, can make for a fun character background.

edit: damn, people are fast to reply, most of what I said was already touched upon :grin:

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If you do Facebook this group may also have further suggestions:

Empire Lrp: Parents of the empire

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Looking at logistics for a moment, from someone who bought a well-behaved two year old, but will be deferring bringing a less well-behaved two year old.

  1. Base. One of you will need to be around the child at all times, with resources available for that child to sleep, eat, and all the other things children do. This means that some base or cart is going to be required on the IC field if you intend to role-play at the same time as child-caring. I’d personally recommend an IC tent.
  2. Nation. This will be much easier as both from the same nation. The alternatives that I see are carting a substantial going-out bag between nations or hanging around outside your home nation. All of the Empire sub-games have boosts that are not available cross-nation. Consider a compromise, something like “We’ll play X first, then when the one of who wanted to play X dies, we’ll play Y”.
  3. Toys. You’ve got a little while yet, and you can steer some tactical choices of toy purchases. Many modern materials can be hushed away as one of the bourse materials. “That’s not plastic, that’s fine quality Weirwood, you can tell by the smooth finish and the ease with which it takes the dye” is easy, until you are looking at stacking cups.
  4. Camp. Make sure you know how your tent goes up. Make sure you’ve got options for sleeping that are “two under for each over”. All the camping hints and tips you can beg, steal or borrow count for triple when you’ve got a little one.
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Thanks for the response. I was not familiar with the egregore bond. Here’s a link for forum readers of the future:

https://www.profounddecisions.co.uk/empire-wiki/Nationality#Egregore

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Thanks for the tips! We may be in touch for the little one’s costume.

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