Freeborn scrivener - too obvious?

Hi, I’m Emily. New to LRP and therefore Empire. I have a few questions I’d love some help with.

I’m planning on playing Brass cost/freeborn for definite. I like the idea of being a scrivener in particular but I’m also worried that it might be over done as it seems like an obvious career choice? Will I be one of hundreds? Something religion based would be my back up likely.

I’m also trying to convince my partner to come with me to LRP and figured, if we won’t be one of hundreds, he could create the contract wording and I can make it look good. (I could do both but trying to find him something to do he might enjoy!) Is that a partnership that could work or is it needlessly splitting the role of scrivener in a jarring way?

I’m also struggling to understand how I might allocate points for this type of character, if anyone has any tips or wiki links I’d be really grateful!

Thanks for any advice,

Emily

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I wouldn’t worry too much about doing something obvious, PD is really good at making sure that there are more interesting layers for discussion when you work with the setting. They will also tend to dispatch plot to the field knowing that certain archetypes are likely to be interested in it, and I believe they use the information on archetype frequency to steer plot writing efforts.
Also, consider whether you’d rather be one Freeborn Scrivener among a bustling marketplace of 30 others, or a solo Freeborn Curator. Being “the only…” does initially seem like fun, and can be fun in a tabletop, but doesn’t tend to translate so well to a Fest LRP (especially when the 30x Scriveners are having 30x the encounters sent their way).
In terms of XP spend there is one obvious choice, but quite a few less obvious choice. The obvious choice is Scrivener's Bloodmark - Empire. Magician + Autumn Lore, spend XP on Autumn Lore, until Autumn Lore 4. This also resonates well with themes of contracts and deals. The less obvious choices are anything really. Scrivening can sit well alongside artisan and trade choices, it can sit well alongside martial and enforcement choices, and it can sit well alongside priestly and virtue choices.

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I wouldn’t worry about there being too many of any particular archetype! There’s a limited number of archetypes while most nations have several hundred players so there’s probably going to be quite a few of even the most under represented archetypes milling around. The Brass Coast is a pretty big nation (I always get the feeling it’s one of the bigger camps on the field) and given the IC importance of scriveners I doubt anyone’s going to be upset about having more at hand.

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Hello and welcome, to the hobby, the game, and these forums! :smiley:

While I have little contact with the Brass Coast in play, I doubt there wil be loads of Scriveners in play. It’ll certainly be a good idea for getting you out and about and talking to people, which can be a tricky starting hurdle.

A partnership with one of you doing the words and the other the art sounds rather cool; you could end up making contracts and agreements which, if nothing else, are likely to be treasured as mementos of play for years afterwards by grateful players.

Interestingly, as a Scrivener archetype, there aren’t any skills suggested (literacy and artistic ability come free :stuck_out_tongue: ), so I can see how you’re a little uncertain. As sqweelygig suggests, Autumn Magics are an idea: This “flavour” of in-game magics, as you may have found, leans towards trade and profit and organisation. If you go that way, you will likely be asked to join the several Autumn Covens in Brass Coast, all busily enchanting stuff…

Or indeed, you could incorporate your back-up plan and go for a Priestlike character, blessing those you write contracts for?

I’ll point out that you don’t NEED to spend any character points for your concept. I’ve had characters I could have played spending 1 point, my wife has played a character for years not spending any… You can always spend them before or after the event, and PD are very understanding of new players wanting to restat after misjudging something.

To an extent (and I realise this is tricky having not LARPed before…) what do you want to do at an Empire event? Wander round exploring and talking to people? Engage in in-game philosophy and religeon? Perform magical ceremonies? Seek out quests and sprawling battles? Trade and swap songs and stories of the world? Sell cakes? Any or none of these can be fun ways to spend the weekend. Heck, you could post a small advert in the Hub (in-game civil service tent), find a suitable spot somewhere, and have clients come to you and buy you tea while you write up their contracts :slight_smile:

It’s a blank page. But as a scrivener, it’ll be a valued one :smiley:

Have you considered asking on the Brass Coast Facebook page? There might well be other people playing scriveners who can advise you more precisely…

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As a former Freeborn scrivener, go for it! You can do it in two ways: write up contacts there and then, or take commissions to produce pretty ones in downtime between events (or, more likely, both).

As has been mentioned above there aren’t XP skills that you can really spend on it, a lot is about being quick to talk about your skill and offer your services. It is also unlikely to be everything you do on the field, so have a back up plan for things you might be interested in: politics, religion, magic, combat. Those come with more skills you can buy with XP.

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Like people have said already, go for it. LARP works best where people lean into the archetypes and cliches that are part of a nations background, as the more people working to make them come alive the better the world is. Also I know there are Scriveners out there but I’ve certainly not heard of a glut of them :smiley: . Even if there are a bunch in the Brass Coast, it’s a big Empire and all sorts of people out there can do with fancy looking and properly negotiated contracts :+1:. Also being a team of Scriveners who work together sounds like an excellent idea.

Something that might work with being a team is to play Hakima and either find a Hakima group to join or set one up yourself. They’re Ritual Mages but they have a very particular role to play in the Coast which is pretty cool. Oh have a look at the magical traditions and see what appeals :slight_smile: .

The Brass Coast also have a particular way of doing religion so see if that’s something that’s something that appeals. It’s perfectly possible to be involved with the Synod by taking a congregation resource without any religious skills. It just means you’re more involved in the politics and moral arguments side of things, which might work depending on which of the three tribes and their outlooks you choose.

Best of luck and if you’ve got any other questions don’t be afraid to ask :smiley:

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Don’t expect to spend all your time on the field writing contracts! Think what else you do, between writing contracts - ideally, having some sort of trade yourself which means you have something to be writing contracts for.

e.g. if you’re an Artisan, you spend most of the event buying raw materials (a simple exchange of resources for money, no contract needed) but also looking for people who might want to buy a magical weapon or armour or whatever. If you’re going to spend the whole 3 months until the next event making a special item (or overnight using the ritual Timeless Hammer Rhythm - Empire ), you want to make sure you’re paid… So you take a deposit, and write up a fancy contract, and specify how much they’ll pay next event for the item etc.

Or maybe you’ll offer to bodyguard someone on the battlefield, and you get paid as long as they don’t get knocked to 0 hits or something. You’ll need to write up a contract to agree that! Or so on, or so on.

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Hey, am Freeborn. I used to list ‘scrivener’ as part of my character’s portfolio, but these days I do little as my event is filled up with Other Stuff. Three advices

  • Don’t invest money in inks, papers, whathaveyou before seeing if this is the game for you. You might turn up, discover that you are all about religion, and have no time to scribe. Unless you already have kit, don’t spend money you wouldn’t otherwise.

  • Contracts take time! All the scriveners I’ve known about have had the problem that you either rush (and get lesser quality prop) or take time (and make less money, and spend half your event doing calligraphy) Can be mitigated by taking orders, and/ or preparing ‘standard’ contracts ahead (for bodyguard, for entertaining, for making artisanry, for hookups …)

  • Have another string to your bow. Being a priest is good, Magician is good. Artisan looks good, but actually doesn’t take much field time (depending on how fast you can find materials and clients) Being support to a family (and hence getting involved in their shenanigans) helps with the ‘and now what?’ points, when you don’t have anything right now.

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As a priest and a scrivener you could take Hallow and imbue your contacts with a roleplay effect that would effect anyone who touched the contract.

Well strictly speaking they’d need to have the contract on them for the Aura to effect them, so it would be anyone who picked the contract up. But still cool idea :slight_smile: .

Wow, thank you everyone for such thoughtful replies!

It’s definitely given me a lot to think about. Likely leaning towards scrivener being a bit of what I do rather than the whole jam.

In terms of what I want to do, you’re right it’s a difficult question! I reckon I’ll probably be like a ‘country bumpkin’ gawking at the whole thing initially, definitely want something that gives me lots of opportunity to dip in to what looks interesting (and maybe dip out again if it’s not my thing!). I like joining in with dancing/singing but not being the instigator/centre of attention. I 'm unlikely to have time to make contracts/cakes/objects to sell all day and definitely want to have time to experience the empire equivalent of leisure time is so any points in the right direction (other than taverns, already noted that :wink: ) are valuable!

Thanks again for the wealth of replies - you’ve all made me feel really welcome! :slight_smile:

Soo much to think about - luckily I can’t go until the July event at least (pandemic allowing) so at least I’ll have time to plan if nothing else!!

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Bear in mind that the Empire is large, and the proportion of it’s population who visit Anvil are small. You could cheerfully be the equivalent of the local magistrate in a little village on the west of Ireland, who ends up in Brussels to consult some books, and is grabbed to help officiate an inter-continental treaty :smiley: You will likely never have met the Throne, or maybe even not your Senator. And now here you are, at the seat of power, standing at the Hub of a hundred world-changing decisions… by all means, gawp like a country bumpkin. Ask questions, collect stories, say YES to stuff! And try to avoid getting appointed Ambassador to Faraden. :stuck_out_tongue:

A wander through all of the bars, tea shops, and hospitable tents of Anvil is an excellent way to get (drunk) your bearings, and meet many people/clients.

I look forwards to bumping into you some time.

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Hello, and welcome to Empire! There is definitely plenty of room for more scriveners in the game. While many people’s characters do some scrivening on the side in addition to other things, I can’t think of many people who are dedicated scriveners above everything else. The other advice given above is excellent so I won’t repeat it, but I will add a link to a lovely wiki page with some further details about contracts that can easily be overlooked if you don’t know it’s there. The Brass Coast hearth magic - Empire

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