Full of ideas that need some feedback :D

Hey my dear friends!

:exclamation:Warning: This post is huuuuuuuuge, Jesus! I had a lot to put out of my brain! By any means feel obligated to answer it. But any time dedicated to answer of course will be much appreciated! :heart:

I’m glad to be here, with the opportunity to talk with you all that, by what I saw in the other posts, looks like a very welcoming and warm community!

To anyone that feels like contributing to my questions, I think I would separate them in two aspects:

Language and Character Concept.

I think I will address the language barrier first, because I think is the more straightforward (hopefully not the biggest) problem.

Well, english ISN’T my mother language. I’m originally from Brazil (currently living in Portugal) and I would say that my english is fluid, I hardly have problems on expressing myself in english (I was living last year in Germany, and spoke english the whole time, me and my girlfriend only speak english and I was able to evolve my dance carrear there solely speaking in english), of course my skills are not exquisite, and my grammar isn’t that great haha :x

How bad is that? I wonder how many people from other countries go to Empire and if this is a common issue or if this isn’t a issue at all.

And another curiosity is if people would use ancient english language or something IC. Of course I expect nobody will be using the slangs from the last summer or something (and they probably shouldn’t for the sack of immersion, anyways) but I’m wondering if people will speak a very polish or antique english that me, as a foreigner would have trouble to understand.

To my advantage I’m quite nerd in the sense of liking videogames, RPGs, fantastic medieval movies and such, so I think I can grasp most things about the theme.

Writing all this stuff, is making me feel that I’m just worrying to much about it, but I would feel better with you guys and girls letting me know how to think about all this language thing. :smiley:


Ok, with that said, the character ideas:

Firstly I would like to make the statement that I read the topic of another fellow beginner: Lost Cause? And I’m bringing that up because the topic of being poor or a beggar was heavily discussed there and, my character concept touch a little bit into this aspect. So, just saying, to spare you guys from bringing again all that precious knowledge here. :smiley:

I will probably start brainstorming this character in a very unorthodox way, (because isnt about background or nation, but I can’t help it, once this idea doesn’t leave my mind) because what I see is maybe what would be his first scene in the event:

This man in poor conditions on the side of high transit path/street, poorly dressed, in a bad shape, maybe hurt, maybe cursed (not really, but perception is reality in the eyes of the other PCs, right?). He isn’t begging for money or nothing, he is just there in pretty bad shape. With a sign saying something like “I will remember your faces”, something not straightforward, open to interpretation. And then see how people react. If they help, if they toss currency into a cap or something (even tho I wouldn’t position the cap in a obvious way like if Im asking for it), if they bring me food, if they talk to me, if they try to protect me from the cold. Or if they will mistreat me (unlikely, but who knows), be spooked or afraid?

Ok, this probably not looking too promising, but will tell what I want to achieve with that, both for my character and mechanic with the game (even tho my mechanic logic of the game is very little, so you guys can help me validate that), and even for personal reasons.

The personal reason: I feel that I personally (like many others) had my share of struggle in my life OC (and because of the current global situation, I’m struggling a little bit again, to be honest, but nothing compared) and I’m mostly proud of all the decision I made as an individual to change my own story. Of course there was people on my way that helped me through the challenges and helped me be in a place and situation much better than before :smiley: And I quite like my life and the “story” of it. That’s why I would like to portrait that in this fantasy story as well. I’m very aware that in LARP there is a opportunity to be a different person and for sure my character will not be me, but I believe that from struggle comes strength. I would love to portrait another story of a rising star and, at the moment, to start like a rich noble it is something that don’t please me at all (maybe a future character?).

The mechanical reasons (I need a lot of feedback on that because I never larped before): By what I could grasp from watching thousands of videos and reading a lot about LARP (lately mostly Empire), there is this thing with the PC’s that they are always hungry for plot hooks, right? So when I thought about this scene, I was initially thinking as it would be a cool idea for little NPC event (I considered volunteering as NPC in the beginning, when I started seeing LARP stuff) or something, because would be easier to pull this off, if this scene was part of something bigger. But them I realized that as a PC, I actually can be this bigger thing, because this is a game that give huge agency to players, looks like.
So I thought if I manage to make my scene to look like a plot hook or if people would think of me as an NPC, this would greatly improve the chances of interaction. And maybe if they think I’m an NPC, this could encourage PC’s to be a little bit mean as well to me, because they know that NPCs can probably take a little bit more roleplay heat hahaha (opposite to other players, that by what I can guess, people are mostly helpful).

So what I want to mechanically achieve isn’t be a beggar and use a gimmick to make some coins (if it happens, will be colateral effect, really), but put my character in a position to be addressed (because I may look like a plot hook) with or without kindness, with the underlying message of “I will remember your face” and what my character really means by it (people figuring out or not) is “if you help me, I will remember your face and pay back one day, greatly. If you mistreat me, I will also remember your face, and when this will come back to bite you”. And by that, right from the start would be lovely if this little scene would create multiple connections of my character with many possible future allies and enemies/adversaries. Plus, this first scene can shape a lot the perspective my character will have of the society as a whole. This can end up molding how he believes on their values, politics, religion (in an instance that he may be helped mostly for religious characters and because of it, have a stronger ties to this aspect of the game, for example) and so on. And I can see this scene being me miserably having fun for 30-45 minutes suffering shirtless in the cold of the UK, but then its over. Doesnt matter how much a PC literally help me or if no help at all comes, I would probably have it planned to a pre-determined friend to come in my aid in case nobody else come. Scene is finished, no more shirtless miserable situation, and I would start from there, but hopefully with multiple cool triggers for a lot of roleplay to be done with possible helpers and in the future events, when my character became powerful (I want the guy to be ruthless), he can pay a visit to some faces that mistreated him.

Somehow just looks so cool in my mind to go closer to someone that mistreated you, 2 years later and say: “I remember your face”. hahaha

Summing up:
I got obsessed with the idea to make something right off the bat that would start a lot of connections that could bring consequences for years, in friendships and alliances with other PCs. Plus is just very attractive to mess with the possibility of the game that you, as individual, can have an greater impact.

But please, my friends, I’m very open for a reality check. I’m literally having crazy ideas out of control, but without experience in LARP to validate it. I have a very thick emotional skin, so if is needed, feel free to criticize my ideas, by what I read in many other topics in the forums, was more than enough to see that you all have no ill will in your responses. :sunflower:

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Well, english ISN’T my mother language. I’m originally from Brazil (currently living in Portugal) and I would say that my english is fluid, I hardly have problems on expressing myself in english (I was living last year in Germany, and spoke english the whole time, me and my girlfriend only speak english and I was able to evolve my dance carrear there solely speaking in english), of course my skills are not exquisite, and my grammar isn’t that great haha

That shouldn’t be an issue at all. If your speaking proficiency is as high as your writing proficiency, then you shouldn’t see any issues due to language barriers. As it’s a fantasy game, the most likely language issue you’ll run into is uncommon names for things, like Synod or Conclave.

How bad is that? I wonder how many people from other countries go to Empire and if this is a common issue or if this isn’t a issue at all.

There are lots of players from other nations in continental Europe.

And another curiosity is if people would use ancient english language or something IC. Of course I expect nobody will be using the slangs from the last summer or something (and they probably shouldn’t for the sack of immersion, anyways) but I’m wondering if people will speak a very polish or antique english that me, as a foreigner would have trouble to understand.

Empire players use modern English grammar and syntax. I haven’t seen or heard of anyone using Middle or Old English at Empire.

The mechanical reasons (I need a lot of feedback on that because I never larped before): By what I could grasp from watching thousands of videos and reading a lot about LARP (lately mostly Empire), there is this thing with the PC’s that they are always hungry for plot hooks, right?

In a tabletop game, smaller LARPs, or linear LARPs, players are more reliant on the Storytelling staff to provide plot hooks. This isn’t so much the case in FestLARPs. With large player bases, the players themselves tend to provide the RP content. There are lots of players at Empire who go with friends and mostly relax. Some go for the physical combat side of the game. Still others compete in one of the many political arenas at Empire (Senate, Synod, Military Council, Conclave, Bourse).

There are NPCs running about, but the scope of things happening with NPCs at events is generally larger, usually have large-scale consequences, such as interactions with foreign diplomats or Heralds of supernatural beings from one of the six Realms of magic. As a result, the characters at Empire are bigger in scope as well. If the goal you’re aiminig for is to have other players initiate RP with you, I’d recommend something more proactive, as it will give other players more to base their reactions on. If I saw a character begging on the side of the road in Anvil, I’d assume it was a player (because the NPC crew are slammed with too many plotlines already, haha) and that they were probably just looking to scratch up some coin and kill some time while waiting for friends or evening shenanigans.

This can end up molding how he believes on their values, politics, religion (in an instance that he may be helped mostly for religious characters and because of it, have a stronger ties to this aspect of the game, for example) and so on.

Matt P has discussed this in one of his writings, Dour Untalkative Strangers. Have convictions and beliefs when you walk into game and you will generally have a much more engaging experience at Empire and you will provide more engagement for other players as well. Entertaining RP (whether humorous, outlandish, thought-provoking, etc…) will get you lasting IC and OC relationships far better than just about anything else I can think of.

I hope I’ve answered most of your initial questions. If you have any more, feel free to post them. Welcome to the game! :smiley:

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@Kai_G has done an excellent job of answering the language questions, so I’m going to look at what you’ve said about your opening scene.

So, as you rightly surmised from the other thread you read, being a beggar at Anvil would be rather out of place - the people who attend Anvil are the cream of the crop, the top 1% of the Empire, etc. If you look like a beggar, people may ignore you because they think you’re a scammer.

I would say though that, even if people don’t think you’re an NPC, you will likely get approached very quickly. Interacting with other people, either PCs or NPCs is literally the bread and butter of this game. Just be prepared for them to ask for details - if you say you’re hurt, a physik will be called; if you say you’re cursed, a magician will be called. If you’re lying about your condition, people can prove it relatively easily. I am not saying don’t do it, just be prepared to be called out on it!

The final thing to keep in mind, is that there are a lot of people at Empire. A lot. I think at least one of the games last year had roughly 2000 people booked to come. So don’t be surprised if you can’t remember the faces of all the people who didn’t, or even did, help you!

Apart from this “opening scene”, what are your actual plans for your character? What nation are you looking at, what kind of things do you want to get into (e.g. fighting, magic, politics, etc.)?

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(Looks like my excitment about larp is over the top and because of that my posts are getting long, I will try to always leave a resume of the post in the end of it, with the main points :x)

Thanks @Kai_G and @Triska for your valuable answers!
I’m glad that the language will probably not be a major thing. My speech is probably I little bit worse than my writing, but I would say not by much. :smiley:

@Kai_G, thanks for the very useful references you posted! I watched the video and read the essay!

I’m wondering then, that probably I could change this scene to something a little bit more active, like my character asking for help to the public to help my character, but maybe looking awfully suspicious (not by intent of the character, but by design in a OC perspective), just creating this uneasy feeling of “something is out of place”. Some situation that would put people on a position to make a decision based on their gut feeling, without too much information.

What just occurred to me is that maybe my mindset going into this, is dabbling between a individual PC mindset and something like a plot writer. Maybe I shouldn’t be thinking so much about all this hahahaha I think this confusion kicked in by the excitement of seeing Empire gives a lot of “power” to the players. But maybe I need to realize that this is much more about power to the playerS (in plural) as a mass, and not literally power for me to stir the whole thing (even knowing that this may be possible, from time to time). I’m having too much thoughts that would be justified in the IC perspective, but that would actually push forward an OC agenda. Or another way to put it: I’m planning to much of IC stuff, with an OC mind.

I probably should chill on that a little bit.

That is so true, specially because I don’t think I am that great of photographic memory. This would totally be a challenge and this was one of the loopholes that would need to be fixed, because this idea as originally thought as a NPC event, so probably I would have the means to track down all these names more easily. But I’m starting to back down on this idea, once I’m starting to suspect my approach to this is being too scriptural. Perhaps I need to think with the field of view of an individual, without meta game knowledge.

Moving forward to the character itself, I think what appeals to me is breaking stereotypes (in real life I love to look like a nerd and be able to show off as a dancer, and despite not having the most intimidating appearance, being a martial artist), so I would love to look like a fighter, but be heavily involved with politics or religion. This mismatch usually helps me, because when I’m underestimated, I usually perform better, and when I’m being praised too much for what I do, sometimes I feel a little bit of the “impostor syndrome” effect. So I would much rather prefer be the odd politician or the improbable religious figure, this gives me a little cushion, somehow. And again, overall I just love this break of expectations. How cool it is to surprise people, after all?

I’m definitely drawn to battle side of the game, and I don’t have problems to flirt with IC death. I think would add the immersion for me, if life is at stake :smiley:

One question: there is any indicator if in Empire there is an unbalance in the ratio of non-combat and combat characters? Or this isn’t even a thing, because being as well willing to go for combat is generally good?

Other aspect about the character is that I would probably need to bring some aspect to it that justifies me not having the knowledge of an average person in this world (like coming from a very distant place; being dumb as a rock; most of my life in captive/slavery; etc). This world is huge and I would hardly know enough of it in the first event. There is this consensus that the side effect of having such an amazing world, it kinda restricts you in the background of your first character? (I’m not complaining at all, I just want to double check if I should go that route - and I will try to make something great out of it - or if I’m missing something)

First nations that appealed to me was Wintermark and Highguard. But I want to be very considerate about the smaller nations (is the writer in me again?), because looks like Wintermark is already overpopulated in comparison to others.

Summing up:

  • Am I thinking to much as a writer and not a character?
  • Somewhat restrictive backgrounds for beginners to cover the lack of knowledge of the game: myth or fact?
  • Combatants: the more, the better?
  • Narrowing down the character creation: Warrior/Odd Politician, Warrior/Unexpeted Religious? Wintermark/Highguard?
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And just to add one thing, it may be looking my questions are all over the place and not objectively about creating a character, but it really helps me to get the grip in the intangibles, limits and invisible nuances of the game, connect with the possibilities of LARP and Empire in a more broad way. Knowing what I have in my hands, I pretty sure will make much more easy and enjoyable to craft a character and enjoy it a lot. :smiley:

Thanks for all current and future contributions on enlighten me! :heart: :sunflower:

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Don’t worry about the order of your questions, everyone develops their character ideas differently!

So, with regards to fighting, a majority of people do it but this isn’t a bad thing. There are plenty of non-combatants (myself included), but there is no need for this to be balanced in the game. Basically, fight if you want to!

The Wiki is huge, as you’ve already found - the best thing to do, is to focus on the bits that are relevant to you. You can know the Virtues without knowing how Synod works, or know of the other nations without knowing their territories or character archetypes. This is perfectly okay! Some of it you’ll pick up as you go along, but not knowing things can give a great chance for RP (e.g. “Oh, you’re a Navarr vate? What does that mean?”). You can opt for a “reason” not to know things if you want, but it’s not really necessary; nobody expects you to know everything! There is also a code in play - if you say to someone that you’re “new to Anvil”, they’ll recognise that you’re a new player and will likely help explain some bits and pieces to you!

Moving on to stereotypes, just because you look like a “fighter”, doesn’t mean people would necessarily rule you out as a politician or priest. Mainly because so many people fight, there’s no real stereotype for fighters! You can definitely still surprise people as a politician or priest, but since I play neither, I’m not sure I can advise how. No doubt someone will come along who can :slight_smile:

Nation-wise, yes Wintermark is by far the biggest, but this has pros as well as cons. Getting noticed may be harder, but having a lot of people around can give you a lot of opportunities to connect, which could lead to getting involved later on.

The important thing is to create something that you’ll enjoy. Anvil is busy, and exciting, and often full of things that you don’t expect. Unless you actually have the behind-the-scenes knowledge, thinking like a writer may just lead to frustration. You can, in the long run, help create game for other players, but you probably need to work out your own game first!

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@Triska thanks for such a great answer!

I know something that can help me greatly: let’s say I will come to a study plan to have the basic knowledge of the game, as the Wiki being my source material. In your opinion, how should be the study be organized chronologically? I will give it a try:

Read Game Overview first > than Empire Overview > then check the World Overview > and so on and on…

I know that the main page of the Wiki present all this things on this order by a reason, but I feel my brain would explode before I finish all of it hahaha (and I already heard that to consume all the wiki isn’t necessary - and probably not possible - to start to play). So what (in your opinion) is the “most have” content I should get my grasp in first, before going to make creative decisions for my character? What is the sweet spot of minimum viable knowledge, to move forward?

Again, I know there isn’t one right answer for that, but for now I’m overwhelmed hahaha :'D

Futher question for narrowing down the possible religious path of my character:
What you people thing would be the less dogmatic religions on the world of Empire?
I would prefer that my character if aligned with a spiritual belief, that isn’t blind faith and that things only are why they are, because someone said it, or the dogma said it.
Plus points if the religion accepts its followers to question (with respect) their teachings and behavious.

I’m personally Kardecist spiritist and I love it the possibility to intertwine rational thinking with spiritual beliefs. :smiley:

To come back to the language question, many real languages are equivalent to in game ones, for example most romance languages (like Portugese) are commonly spoken in Asavea, so your character may have spent some time there, perhaps even been born there and converted/emigrated which might explain your fluencies.

the other part, it certainly seems like you are planning as a writer making a good scene rather than character, id look back on how and why you might have ended up there and specifically look at the Virtue of Prosperity as i could easily see that scene being a parable of that virtue perhaps, or a trap :smiley:

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There is only one religion in the Empire, the Way of Virtue. There are 7 virtues, most believe that following one in particular is the best way to improve your soul for you next reincarnation. Exactly how you do that and how your character chooses to work on that virtue is fair game for discussion, although there are pointers on the wiki. Do note it is actions not thoughts that count.

Arguing religion can be a game in itself, that is basically what the Synod does.

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Oh wow @Noserenda, you opened some interesting points here. I will check what is Asavea on the wiki, to further on think about what you just said.

Will give a quick look on the Prosperity think. The parable really appealed to me. I’m a big fan of Jesus as an idea - not necessarily catholicism - and the guy (whatever he existed or not) used a lot of parables, I like that. Maybe if I end up being a religious person, I could use parables to spread the world of my faith. And this may help me double, because I would give the writer/storyteller in my a chance to shine IC and not have this urge to “write” in a OC perspective.

Thanks for such a gem! :heart:

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Interesting, @CharlieP! I will check on Synod as soon as possible to have a better grip of what you said!

If the is only one religion and you can live your faith in such different manners, maybe the filter of dogmatism can be found more clearly in the nations? Any observations of some of the nations have a more inquisitive behavior towards the religion, maybe trying to push its limits and borders and, on the other hand, nations that are more conservative and obedient? :slight_smile:

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Excellent question! I would recommend this great thread that was written up not too long ago: Amy's guide to the minimum your character should know.

It’s a mixture of OC and IC information, and gives a really good overview of everything. It also includes links to further reading on the different topics covered, should you want or need more detail.

It’s okay to feel a bit overwhelmed by it. A lot of us approached the game in the same way, thinking we needed to know EVERYTHING, before realising that nobody cared if we didn’t - because nobody else does either!

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Wow, that’s fantastic hahaha :heart:
Thanks @Triska!

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There are definitely a plurality of religious views in the Empire, despite having a state religion, im pretty sure in Highguard especially you could spend the entire event discussing theology :smiley:

I mean hell, even in one of the least religion focused groups in the nation we ended up in a theology huddle at a player event discussing the implications of what a certain Eternal believed to be the truth of the universe :wink:

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If you’re a fan of “Jesus as moral example” style religion hooks, you should check out Paragons and Exemplars on the wiki. They can be thought of as a bit like saints, or Buddhas, individuals that personify a Virtue, often with many stories and parables attached to them.

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That sounds great! Thanks for pointing this out, my friend!
I will add that to the things I need to read, for sure! <3

My dear friends, I’m back with some more questions:

Adoption is a thing in this world?
I’m asking that, because I just met here a brazilian player and her together with her partner want to attend as well to Empire. Like I heard many times, is always nice to go with a group of people you know OC. This idea of us making a trio IC started looking very interesting. The thing is that they are really into Dawn and this isn’t something I was thinking for my character. And when I say that, I wouldn’t mind to be a part of Dawn Nation, but I think the cultural brief don’t fit my character that much (I’m a little bit more drawn to Highguard, The League, Wintermark).

It is a possibility or done before, someone that had their childhood in one nation and for some reason (adoption for example) became citizen/dweller of another nation?

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Both very much so, its even common in some places! :slight_smile:

Though the egregore bond means you fully embrace your new nation culturally, you dont forget the times and bonds you had before then.

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As Noserenda said, it’s pretty common. People move around, whole groups move around, settling where their heart takes them.

It’s entirely possible for you to have friends/relatives in other nations, to hang out with them socially, camp with them and so on.

It’s also possible for you to start in Dawn with your friends, leaning away from the brief, and explore changing nations in play! Which would give you your own adventure right from the start: Which nation do I fit best in, and how do I get there…?

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The last comment is actually what one of my group (yet to hit field as a trio because /2020/) has gone with due to us all agreeing that ‘first character is group linked, go from there.’

Context wise, one of the players in the group has already seen play in 2019, got us roped in. They’re currently in Urizen and suggested we join them to give it a go

So, the little Urizeni trio we’ve got has two folks who are born and bred, and the other was adopted in from Navaar at a relatively young age due to his Striding meeting a relatively grim end (and historical trade/research links between some of the Spire and that Striding)… Which has led to some jokes about going from a fairly heavily forested area to literally sea side cliff face must have been a tiny bit of a shock for a 5 year old.

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