IC theft - I don't wanna get robbed!

What steps need to be taken to avoid having your stuff lifted in character? I’ll be camping in the OOC area so won’t have the luxury of just casually dropping my stuff into a ‘locked’ tent constantly.

How frequent / common is IC theft? It costs ~£100 to attend empire and I really don’t want my fun literally snatched away. Worryingly whenever I see IC theft discussed on the forums it’s more of a ‘how to steal within the rules’ guide that seems to encourage it. I’ve also watched a few of the hefty yeti videos and he comes across as someone who steals whatever isn’t nailed down, and his guests just laugh along with him?!?!

Basically how can I enjoy my weekend without having to watch my back constantly?

(Edit: spelling)

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How can you enjoy your weekend without having to watch your back constantly? By learning how to enjoy watching your back constantly! Vigilance is a virtue for a reason. If you’re worried that someone is going to steal from you, you’re perfectly justified in saying so to their face IC. If someone takes offense, tell them to take it up with the synod. You’re just trying to make sure your soul gets through the labyrinth quickly and safely.


I’ve played for 7 years, carried some quite large sums occasionally and never been the victim of theft.

I’ve heard some stories of people being defrauded - being told a tall tale, handing over money and getting nothing, but that would be the same buyer beware that applies to any haggling trade system. The stories mostly get told as an example of lack of Vigilance.

Remember even if you’ve been stabbed up and are on your death count you can scream all you like - preferably with descriptions of your attacker and they went that way, and the militia will do their best to find them and prosecute them. Therefore this is very unlikely as it is very difficult to get away with. (hence the discussions trying to work out how to do it!)

Also most nations frown on theft from citizens because it’s considered un-Prosperous and not Courageous when there are opportunities to make the cash in much more grand, impressive and Virtuous ways.

Putting your stuff in your belt pouch, or pocket or on a purse round your neck and it will be fine. Try not to leave it in a bag unattended. Lock boxes are group things and useful if you’re going to battle and haven’t finished your trading etc, try not to take anything you don’t absolutely need through the Sentinel Gate.

I would be more worried about dropping your stuff in the mud. If you do that it’s probably gone forever!


I have to confess that I haven’t watched any of the HY videos, but actual theft (as opposed to convincing/conning someone out of their money or items) is relatively rare in my experience. Normally as well, when people post asking how to do it they tend to receive a lot of “why steal when you could X?”

As CharlieP says, keep your money and resources on you - it’s actually very hard to lift something like that without them noticing. Get a bag that you wear across your body so you’re less likely to put it down and leave it behind, and pouches can be attached to your belt. This is how I carry my stuff personally!

IC phys-reps have to be handed in to GOD within 30 minutes of someone stealing them; yes it’s a bugger to “lose” a magic item that you’ve worked/IC paid for, but you should at least get the phys-rep back which is more important.

You can also get a lockbox and a chain to “chain” it down, which stops it being removed or broken open (at least, not without a lot of time and noise!), but that would require perhaps making friends with someone whose tent you can leave it in.

And yes, if you’re being mugged then shout and scream out as loud as you can! People love to get involved in drama and shenanigans, and Anvil is pretty busy, so it won’t take long for people to come running.

Overall though, it really doesn’t happen very often. Just take care not to leave your stuff lying around in the open!


It does happen, no two ways about it. However I would say that it isn’t commonplace because, IC, it’s not Virtuous to do so which means the game it built to discourage it and it’s frowned upon by most characters in the game.

One thing to bear in mind that - assuming folk follow the OC rules which nearly everyone does - only your IC belongings would be stolen. Any physreps (such as a sword or shield) are returned to GOD and you can get them back (but without any ribbons as that particular IC sword has been stolen). You would only lose IC valuables, not OC ones. Still frustrating, but hopefully not a financial OC loss.

The point that Charlie raises about screaming is a genuinely good one: it’s easy to assume that when you are on your death count it’s all over but it isn’t. People cast Speak With Dead even after you’ve gone, as well as you bringing attention to the matter by raising hell with your voice. Only works if someone is robbing you in character of course, rather than thieving stuff you’ve left somewhere.

But mostly, I would encourage you only bringing stuff onto the field that you can carry. Belt pouches are excellent for this. Choose small physreps for things like mana or liao so you can have a pouch full of the stuff without being lumbered down by it.

EDIT: simpost with Triska! highfive


PD have clarified over the years that they don’t encourage casual theft as a playstyle at Empire (it was huge thing at their last game and they’re very much running a different game now). That led to the rules that were brought in to say that you can’t enter someone’s IC tent when it’s sealed and the introduction of IC unbreakable boxes and chains.

I find that theft is something that’s talked about a lot OOC but not done as much IC. Plus you won’t find the players who actually do crime IC talking about it on YouTube in my experience.

Mugging is generally not a thing due to the rules that people have already mentioned, just the fact that there’s a militia in game who do go out and arrest criminals is a deterrant. You won’t find many cases of it in the Anvil Court Reports.

My practical advice for keeping your stuff safe if you don’t have a group tent you can secure stuff in, would be get a bag and some pouches and only carry what you need to on the field. And yes only take what you what need to onto the battlefield as well.

So all in all I wouldn’t worry too much about it, it’s not a big thing in Anvil and as long as you take a few practical precautions you’ll be fine.

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Think what your PC has that’s actually worth stealing. Then secure it.

  • Mugging people at Anvil is not only pretty unheard of (unless you’re covering for a political crime) it’s a bad risk. It’s loud and takes a lot of time to search someone. Fraud, embezzlement and heists give you way more money and fun. Tent looting is boring but does happen. But again, you can keep your valuables to hand.

  • You cannot legitimately steal anything that is not an IC item, such as a PD provided physrep, an IC document, etc.

  • Any item that is stolen must be returned to the player or GOD within 30 minutes. If it’s an item owned by PD, they’ll just say “sure, keep it”.

  • Stay relaxed about this. Even if you lost half your cash on the battlefield at one event, you’ll still have more money than us poor priests who only get about 5 Crowns’ worth of Liao (You can sell it in downtime for 18 rings each).

  • As mentioned, a starting PC will have 18 rings plus about 9 Crowns (Edit: Wow it’s been a long time since I’ve played) of stuff. All of that will fit in a large belt pouch. Keep it on you.

  • If someone nicks your magic weapon or armour, they have to haul your phsyrep off site, hand it in to lost property, then attach the ribbon to their own physrep. Again, they can’t nick it if you’re wearing it. I’ve known polearms to be nicked, but nobody I know of has successfully pickpocketed someone’s sidearm.

  • Some of the most commonly stolen item types are actually documents. Plot documents, gossip, love letters, blackmail material. Again, keep them on you.

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I’ve played Empire since Y1E1 and I’ve never been robbed.

I’m aware of people entering IC tents in our nation and making off with ribboned items, but that’s why we don’t leave ribboned items lying around!


While I think of it, I can heartily recommend this leather satchel from Darkblade - A4 Leather Satchel. If you’re a trader or need to carry around a bunch of documents it’s ideal and is pretty much indestructible :slight_smile: .

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It’s good to hear that it’s rare, it’s the sort of thing that’s hard to know without attending.

So it sounds like the advice is basically: imagine you’re on the London underground. Keep your stuff in a bag and you’ll be fine!

Thanks for the responses all!


Pretty much exactly. Anvil is the meeting of the movers and shakers of the Empire. Everyone there already has plenty of money. Desperation is an unlikely motivation for for crime, and to be the target of something motivated by serious greed means you need something worth the risk of getting caught. Wow, it sure would be nice if we could HAVE THE IMPERIAL CROWN BACK. Yep, a PC stole that. I’m jealous of him for getting that story.

Pretty much all petty theft is “the sort of dickhead who walks off with an unlocked bike”. If by “bike” we mean “magic sword”. It’s a terribly boring play style, and I don’t recommend it, but it happens. Although as a Vigilance priest, my PC has taken great joy in popping hallows on unattended magic polearms.

If you want a super duper bag, learn the night pouch spell. It’s cheap to overcome, but it’s a good tamper-proof seal.


While Steve has stolen a number of IC items, he’s VERY good about only doing it with veteran players. He’s not about dicking over new players and I think most players who do knick IC items have a similar outlook.

I’ve been hired as a covert bodyguard for merchants who are transporting large sums across the field, Between discretion, security, and the inconvenience of having a downed target screaming at the top of their lungs, mugging someone is actually QUITE difficult.

As said before, the 2016 update Boxes and Chains says, “…any solid box which is locked cannot be opened in game without the key or a mundane way to pick the lock. If the box is chained to the tent then it cannot be removed.”

Obviously, this makes it pretty easy and convenient to secure IC goods in an IC tent. It may be inconvenient to make your way to your OC tent, but that can be a much more secure way to store your valuables “in a secure location on the outskirts of Anvil.” I’d recommend it for any valuables you’re unlikely to use, such as when saving your currency/materials for purchasing/crafting magic items.

I think you mean 9 crowns, rather than 9 thrones. :joy:

Having a pouch that’s difficult to open or slip a hand into is a good way to carry goods on you. Make sure that it’s unlikely to come undone or slip its contents. Many a player have dropped crowns or thrones from their pockets while crossing the field.

Night pouch may be easy to overcome with Piercing Light of Revelation, but in my experience, Day ritual lore is the least frequent on the field and the cost of crystal mana (currently between 30 and 45 rings in the field) means that it’s generally more costly to open a Night Pouch than most players are willing to gamble on what’s in your Night Pouch.

It’s like investing in a lock. Yeah, bolt cutters exist, but not many people own one and, as a thief, if you’ve got to pay everytime you use your bolt cutter, you’re not likely going to do so unless you know what’s in the Night Pouch.

I hope all that’s helpful. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:


I have been aware of one real theft in my time and that was from a tavern. They just picked up the (unlocked) lockbox and ran away. That was a high-risk, high-reward crime. I was part of the group trying to track it down and then we wandered to GOD after half an hour to pick up the box, which was empty of coin, but only coin if my memory serves.

When I lost my own money, it was usually some fast-talking Navarri child or a ritualist putting up their prices due to ‘supply and demand’.


I’ve never been robbed while the there, much like real life you could but, the law will come down hard. Plus unlike real life if you are getting robbed you’ll Likely be surrounded at any given time by the hero’s anvil, many of which are clad in plate armour carrying big swords. Most of whom would jump at the chance to bring down a thief. This is coming from a wintermarker thieves don’t least long there…

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