How do I Mountebank?

Hello Everyone

I was unsure if I should put this in new player forums but thought that people here might know more. I’m really wanting to come to empire, but I don’t want to pay the money getting in and then just wander about not doing much. I’ve looked about but I can’t really find much about playing a Mountebank, and I’m pretty set on it. Just wondering if anyone here has any advice. RP, costuming, really anything would be welcome, bearing in mind that my budget is not likely to be high.

Thank you very much!

Don’t worry about your kit too much, its your first event and no one is expecting you to have it all that quick.
I always saw a montebank as a confidence trickster, or prankster. They tend to be mages but not a hard rule. And there is a lot of cross over with bravos also.

Do be aware that empire is a game where you make as much of your own game as possible. Dont expect things to drop out of the sky. Bring a set of cards and run 3 card monte and find the lady, be loud and brash and heckle, just know when to reign it in.

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Welcome to the League.
Do you have a group? Empire is easier to play if you have a couple of people backing you up. If not, don’t worry - make your first IC goal be find a cart to join, and go meet people IC to talk about what they look for/see if you have similar goals to them.
Have an icebreaker - an ambition, a card trick, a basket of cake, something to tell fortunes. Something that gives you an excuse to wander up to people and talk to them. Once the conversation has started, ask them questions and find out what they want.
Running actual scams at your first Empire is hard, but if you have a good idea for one go for it. Alternatively, ask people for stories of great cons IC.
Really don’t worry about costume: at the most basic, a puffy shirt (H&M currently sell a leagish shirt for <£20) and two pairs of cheap legging in contrasting colours (cut slashes in the top pair with scissors) plus a cheap mask will do. There are traders on site who sell kit as well.

Lots of opinions here:

Charity shops will become your friends. Look for cheap rings, bits of bling, you might get lucky with some appropriate clothes too.

Masks can be bought relatively cheap from eBay or similar. I even sell/rent some IC.

Depending on weather you might not need more than a base layer and a flouncy shirt as a male. Cloaks can be made cheaply (wool rectangle and a brooch) or bought onsite for not extortionate prices.

Backgrounds are more sort of “guidelines” and league backgrounds can have a bit of overlap. Mountebanks are great (bias here) but a lot of league players like to draw on the cheeky chappy image. I personally see them as good indicators of what is happening in a nation and the possibilities of game available.

General RP advice: follow the improv role of “Yes And…” - be prepared to run with an idea and add to it. Don’t be afraid to be the villain in someone else’s story. Everyone at anvil is a hero but some play more of an anti hero role. Some even play less savoury sorts. Check in with people out of character if you feel uncomfortable or are worried they might be uncomfortable. Everyone’s here to have fun, be excellent to each other.

And finally be friendly to people before time in (6pm on the Friday) and arriving as early as possible (can arrive even on the Thursday) can help you relax and meet people out of character before the IC political intrigue starts up. You win brownie points if you help people set up their tents or even help with the big ones (hospital/theatre/bar tents)


My partner-in-crime and I are both playing students at the Diora University with the Mountebank archetype. Mostly this influences how we do rituals - we run with minimal accouterments (our masks are simple, our costumes basically non-existent, and I’ll usually borrow items from audience / participants rather than having set props the way a troupe would) and rather than having a prepared script I’ve got a general plan for how the ritual plays out and then fill in the blanks improvising with the target,

@Chamespond’s advice is all really good, so seconding all of that - especially the part about ‘Yes, and’. It’s also worth Having Opinions on things - if you go through the recent Winds of Fortune and find things your character might care one way or another about, that gives you a grounding in the setting and an investment in what happens to it. If in the field someone starts talking about a thing your character doesn’t yet have an opinion on, ask questions until they form one.

Goals are also good. Something simple and tangible, with an obvious criteria for ‘yes I succeeded at that’ can be a godsend if you find yourself without an obvious direction. For example, if there’s a Virtue you particularly care about, try and find a priest of each Nation to explain what that Virtue means to them. You’ve given yourself something to pursue, and you’re creating game for other players by letting them flail about something they care about.


As well as having goals/ambitions for your character, it can be good to think about what your character has to offer (or press upon) others… opinions/arguments, rituals, rumours, entertainment, assistance, services, goods, games, a listening ear…

Not necessarily anything major, but something to start conversations and give people a motive to talk with you, and a starting-point for whatever.

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I would suggest wandering around and finding groups. What city are you from? If your In Holberg or Temishwar there are elections that if you are a business holder lets you vote.

I was going to go for Tassato, because it just seemed to fit more. And by the way, thanks for the really good replies so far guys! I was honestly expecting it to take a lot longer, and I’m beginning to fear a large gap between this post and when I actually manage to attend :smile:

Tassato is a great choice (again, biased here) and one of my favourite in-character questions is about which side of the river you’re from. Always say the right side.

Also, it’s perfectly fine soaking in the info for a while before you attend but don’t feel like you have to be super knowledgeable before your first event. Remember the golden phrase “this is my first time at Anvil” or “I’m new to Anvil” and most people will treat you nicely. And if they don’t you know to avoid them.

If you have time you can also play the slow delivery from online retailers game without fear. Wish gets used by some people and the results are mixed. Be prepared for it to be money down the drain honestly, but it’s one site I’ve heard people use.
The other better option IMO is to do the charity shop circuit multiple times before you attend. Stock is always rotating so you’re just increasing your chances of that lucky find.
And final thing if you have time is using eBay or Etsy or similar for statement pieces like gaudy rings or jewellery.

And I’d also look at the Forum for a good beginners guide to wellbeing and survival as a person since this is a Fest Larp with camping and the elements and such. OC wellbeing and survival guide You want to stay warm, happy and healthy so you can really bring your A game.


That’s how the senatorial elections work in every league city.
As for the times, quoting from

So at the event this coming weekend, Holburg business-owners will be choosing the senator for Holburg.

Out of curiosity do you have the link for the H&M shirt?

I can’t find exactly the one I bought, but this is similar

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