Favourite OOC moments of Empire

Empire as a game has a lot of things that you look back on between events and sigh “that was cool, that bit there…”

And sometimes, it’s not what your character did. Or what anyone elses character did. It’s the offscreen stuff. The monster crew. The RedCaps. The prop team.

Those times when you monstered, and people were talking about it IC. Those times when the PD staff went the extra mile for you and made the game special. Those times when the monster you were facing was the best thing of the day.

And away from the game a touch further. That time when you made new friends at the caterers queue. Those folk who ran in to help with pitching/striking a tent.

Little moments when you and your character were not important, but which made the game better.

Share some here…

The more recent the better, but anything goes. It’s a cold winter. Lets have some warm stories…

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Before Empire even began, PD had put up details for it, and made up introduction packs and costume guides… and asked for payment well in advance.
The game started, functionally, with a kickstarter. They had a lot of new kit to buy, and a lot to do, and wanted Empire 1 Year 1 to be memorable (it was, but the weather was not their fault), and as awesome as those to follow. So PD asked their prospective customers to pay months in advance.
And they (we) did. The money rolled in, and orc masks were bought by the hundred. The money rolled in, and orc armour was cast by the crateload. Toilets were upgraded, arrows were provided, street lighting was sorted…
And that first event, though freezing, was blimmin awesome. Because we, the player base, stepped forwards in an act of faith, to make a game as good as possible, from the first time-in.


A couple of years back, there was a battle. It got mentioned, I believe, in an Empire podcast, not for what the characters did, but for what the volunteer monsters did.
Playing poor quality Druj auxileries, about 120 of them moved to block the 80 Imperial troops who’d come through the Gate first. Faced with Dawnish knights running at them and grinning, they all thought “nooo, these other orcs can take that charge…”, and slowed to a walk.
“Guys, this doesn’t work if we ALL slow down”, and stopped.
“Dammit fellas, I want to be at the back when they get here”, and started trying to shuffle back a little.
“We have no formation, we’re all going to die, I’m out of here” and ran!
Dawn broke them on contact, chased them 200m across the field, massively overextended (again), but that’s irrelevant.
What’s cool is that instead of playing Disposable Minions 1 to 120, these monster crew roleplayed cowards who wanted to live. And it really added to the feeling “conscript troops”, and the variability in the barbarian horde. Which made it all that step more real and engaging.


(Okay, here’s a simpler one. I suspect a few of you have had this)
Earlier this year, I drove my little car around the woodchip road through the Dawnmark field. It was hectic, everything was on a timer, and I was hot and tired. And I/my car slipped off the road, a wheel spinning in a small pothole…
…and half a dozen folk walked up, set their shoulders to it, and heaved me back on the road. And then walked off.
I didn’t need to ask, didn’t see their faces, and was able to give them nothing but a wave in thanks.
But Empire players saw and solved the problem in less than 10 seconds, without request or reward. You’re all lovely people :slight_smile:

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Storm Katy.

Hear me out.

PD had secured a permanent site. Which fell through. A new site (Dadford Road) was found. Everything was moved there on short notice at great expense, but the game could go on.

And then, things got worse.

“You can’t take all those cars up there”. A fleet of ATVs & trailers were hired on short notice at great expense. People were parked up at the campsite and they and their kit ferried back and forth to the site. This was not a smooth or easy process, but it got done. The game will go on.

And then, things got worse.

No-one knew the site, or how to lay it out to make things work. GOD was erected about where the Hub lives now. Varushka was in (the as-yet undiscovered) Lake Anvil. Trader row was soon to be River Anvil. Mhorish were on trader row. Feast (remember them?) were the only other caterers, and they were where GOD now goes. These were problems that were yet to be truly realised. The game can go on.

And then, things got worse.

Play began. It was wet, it was cold, it was windy. But we’re LARPers. We’ve done all this stuff before. The game is going on.

And then, things got worse.

By Saturday, the storm was serious. The site crew and various volunteers were on constant rotation shoring up and repairing tents. Some people were giving up and going home, but the game goes on.

And then, things got worse.

The constant soaking and wind caused serious attrition to the tents of the Empire. Soon, the Hall or Worlds became a refugee camp. Many people had given up on actually playing, but getting off-site was a very difficult prospect. The task of coordinating the evacuations via ATV was a mammoth that I’m glad was not mine. I’m sure Jon still has nightmares. People were huddled for warmth in any dry-ish spot they could find, wearing every piece of clothing, IC or OOC they had. But the game was still going on.

And then, things got worse.

Somewhere around midnight Sunday (4 day event - remember those?), the generators failed.I was sure the game could not go on. That was, both literally and metaphorically, the darkest hour for PD. As far as almost everyone thought, the game wasn’t going on. Couldn’t go on.

But it was.

The lights came back on.

Time out that night had come and gone, but for the first time all weekend, things were not deteriorating.

By morning, it was still raining. It was still a mudbath. Most of the field were clamoring to go home, and the evacuation queue continued. But some people were playing. The game still went on.

As the day progressed, it looked like less and less play went on as the field emptied.

Finally, at about 5 minutes to time out, one solitary bedraggled figure (you know who you are) came into GOD.

“I’d like to process a ritual”. No problem. We’ve got power. The game is still on. It’s probably just a downtime buff.

It wasn’t.

It was a curse.

That needed delivering before time out.

At least two people were categorically still playing

That game went on.

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I think it was some time in 2016 or 17, on the way to an event I stopped at Tesco. I tried to leave and the car would not start. It had been fine, now it was just dead with no sign of why. Called the AA, they found a blown fuse. Changed it, problem solved! Drove to site.

Then we found out there was an underlying reason why the fuse was blown, and it was just going to keep blowing through them about every other time the car was started. We stayed for the event, then we had to work out how to get home. I went begging to the redcaps and Ali Pennington gave me a big pile of fuses, plenty to make sure I could get home and get the car to a garage the next day!

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I remember that event. My highlight of that event was, our group decided to rent out the Temeshbar (I don’t know the details), took the pub sign from our camp (The Slaughtered Fox Tavern) and proceeded to drain the barrels. One pint at a time. Prosperity bar prices.The fire was stoked, and people from every nation was drinking, singing and enjoying them selves.

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Coming to an event on my own back in Y1, and knowing that I could technically pitch my tent by myself… but not needing to because a vague IC acquaintance of the time wandered over unprompted and asked if I needed a hand.

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A year or so back there was a ridiculously hot event, where every time you went outside risked sunburn. In my cavalier rush to get to the event I glanced at my tent and thought ‘yep, all there’ without checking properly. Getting to site, I realsied that I’d got the roof, but no sides. Our group tent was suddenly an over sized gazebo.
I found Woody in the redcap team and he radioed through to Tom, who identified some spare parts in the PD stores; we managed to get a tent wall that matched ours. It was enough to go halfway round the tent structure, which was a whole lot better than nothing and saved me a four hour round trip to go home for my missing pieces. In the end it was perfect - the one wall shaded us from the sun, but the gap let a welcome breeze through which gave us the perfect summer weekend.

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In the immediate aftermath of storm Katie a host of people helped us get stuff from the two camps I would normally pick stuff up from to where the van was parked as there was no way to drive on the field. I also had the fun of having come down with some dreadful infection and had been dragged off site to spend Sunday feverish mostly in bed.

So when we finally came to try and move the van it just wouldn’t move from the mud and even better the front tow point wouldn’t screw in. So we ended up being towed backwards by the farmer in his tractor, almost ending up in a ditch but we made it off the field. The Redcaps and the farmer + his family were magnificent :slight_smile:.

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Oh god yeah, Storm Katie. I’ve mostly blanked out the end of it, to be honest.

The red cap who made sure I got safely back to my caravan after I had a breakdown on the Sunday is to be saluted. No questions asked, no judgement, just made sure I got a seat on the trailer offsite, and checked someone was there to make sure I was safe at the other end.

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Sometimes its the tiniest things that remind you our hobby is full of great people. I was struggling with the step to the loo; someone asked what would make it better. I almost jokingly said ‘dump a pallet’ The next day there one was! Since then there has been a pallet step, and it’s made the step up manageable. Little steps, big victories.

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My favourite moment was just a piece of advice from another player.

I’d worked hard with my character and was just starting to get bits of recognition for my efforts (other characters from other nations seeking me out etc) but I died on the Saturday morning battle.

I struggled with it a bit as I didn’t know what to play next as I really enjoyed being a trader but didn’t want to copy my old character again.

He just told me to play however/who I wanted to play because at the end of the day it’s my hobby, we only get to do it a few times a year so do whatever gives you the most satisfaction.

Simole words but it was nice to hear.

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Like a lot of people, mine tend to fall in the “people helping people” category…like the redcap who helped us cart all of our stuff up to the car when our tent collapsed during Storm Katie, or everyone pitching in to help stuck cars (I ended up ruining a coat by having mud all up one side!). Or even at the last event I think it was, where the weather went wet, windy, hot…a group in our nation had their kitchen start to blow away as I went past, and a whole bunch of us just rushed in to hold it in place so they could rescue their belongings. Empire just has this wonderful feeling of camaraderie when things are a bit shit OC!

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