Looking for some help with a character idea


So I’ve done LT and I found it a bit lacking and was looking at Empire and it seems more my deal where I actually have info to build my character around. What I was hoping to play is basically an investigator from pathfinder style character. The League seems like the obvious choice, with the whole big cities and such. However I can’t really find a costume that fits with The League and this idea. I mean would I be fine turning up with a tunic, hose and large coat and maybe a renascence-esque hat? (Plus a cool mask of course)

I have a few fall back ideas but I figured this would be a good way to engage myself in the world, collect information about people and the world.


Short anwer on costume: Yes. The point about the costume briefs is to look distinct and avoid inappropriate things like say, top hats in Sarvos. I’d look at some of the Leage styles and maybe think about a slashed tunic, or having a big loose shirt under it.
TimB has a really good guide to costume (inc. making a hat) here.

In terms of playing an investigator, have you looked at the Marches? We have not one but two investigator archetypes! I play a Thresher, combining magic and good old fashioned boot leather to track down sorcery. I am happy to talk about the investigation game via PM.

There are also the Beaters, who are a combination of army scouts and thief-takers. They’re more in the “Wandering lawman” sort of trope, but there’s no reason you couldn’t play an urban Beater from the bustling market town of Meade. Market towns are currently under-represented, and it’d be great to see a hard-boiled Marcher detective exploring that part of the brief. It’s a guaranteed way to stand out while sticking right to the brief.

Marches is probably a bit easier to costume for out of basic lrp kit, as it’s inspired by everything from the 12th century (e.g. Cadfael, I am basically just playing Cadfael!) to early Tudor. I’ve done my costume out of collarless hippy shirts, simple tunics and second-hand re-enactor kit.


Highguard also has an investigator-style character in the form of Inquisitors, if you prefer a more religious slant.

Basic Highguard costume can be done with a dark shirt and trousers, a basic tabard and a hood.


Oh man do you mind if I steal the idea of a hard-boiled market town beater for some in-character fiction? That’s too good to pass up.




Something you may be interested to know is, there isn’t very much crime in anvil. It is almost impossible to get away with murder and if you want to steal from someone, you have to actually do it instead of pretending you are doing it like you do in some systems. As almost everyone is armed, this will be very difficult. As people have suggested above, the things you are most likely going to have to investigate are to do with heresy. People aren’t allowed to do unvirtuous things. No one would probably care if they did unless that thing hurt someone.

I would imagine the most common way people are attacked is through curses. These usually are end up being more inconvenient then deadly as the really dangerous ones are quite expensive to do.

The other use of your talents would probably be finding things or people. It is unlikely that ‘Shum dame walksh into ya office’ and asks you to locate her missing father, it is more likely to be ‘oh I’m looking for this guy as he has something to tell me about a meeting later, can you go find him for me’. I did have to do a bit of investigating but a lot of the information had already been collected by various people. It was a magical incident. I don’t know how you would look into such things other than with rituals (unless of course, as in my case, people had done it before me and so I just had to ask). Day and night would probably be the lore you would look to.

I think @Jim 's idea with the thresher would probably work best for the kinds of things I have seen about. If you are going into magic and investigation, I recommend dropping a few skill points in the above mentioned realms as they have some rituals about information (especially day) and you may find it useful. There is also winter when you want to talk to the dead. You shouldn’t need to take any combat skills but you can if you want. You could even take some combat spells such as entangle and paralysis as they will stop people from running away.

I hope this helps. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask.


Eh, there’s a wide range of stuff if you get known to a few people as an investigator type.

Some things my non-militia PC has dealt with at Anvil:

  • 2 large scale confidence scams.
  • 1 missing body.
  • 1 murder investigation.
  • A LOT of “Is this ANOTHER BLOODY Feast of the Broken Wheel prank, Martin?”
  • Curses. So. Many. Curses. Get Winter Lore 2/3 or Insight and you’ll see SO MANY CURSES AND SPIRITUAL WOUNDS. Plot more than PVP, as the PVP ones are fairly obvious in their effects usually.
  • Working out why exactly a bunch of Feni had started a plunder-rampage across the Marches.
  • Exposing a PC Anarchy cult.
  • Chasing a case of Tulpa posession based on the reports from a PC team who went off on a quest. Getting reports off PCs who do skirmishes/Sentinel Gate quests is often very fun.

There’s a lot of supernatural bullshit, and a lot of classic “take reports and gather evidence” style investigation works best on plot or magical stuff, where the evidence trail is clear due to the game mechanics. Most of what I have managed was with a combination of Detect Magic, cynicism, and reading up on useful bits of the wiki. But being right there with Insight, Physick (for traumatic Wounds), or Wisdom of the Balanced Blade helps a lot…


@JIm yeah the Marches Thresher seems a good fit actually. Plus I really like the tradition of totem magic, I haven’t really looked at Marches before because I do re-enactments and wanted to kinda keep away from that at LARP. So thanks for that. Yeah that sort of boot leather stuff is definitely what I was after, walking and talking. Proper Sam Vimes style detective. I wanted to stay more magical than religious but Insight does seem like a must take. I’m kinda stuck with how to build it now though. I’d really like to be able to cast through a staff but apart from that I dunno what to take.


If you are looking for a Sam Vimes type feel then the marchers are definitely the nation for you. They are all about doing the work and getting things done. Also don’t worry about it being close to re-enactment. The wiki says that they are not about being historically accurate, even if their clothes suggested they would be. You can cast with either a wand, rod or staff. Wand being the shortest, staff being the longest. If you want to use a staff then you will have to take Magician and then battle mage. Battle mage allows you to use mage armour. This means as a mage you can wear armour as I don’t think you can wear full metal armour as a mage.

If you want to make it fairly good for combat and investigation then you can go for, shield (2 xp), Magician (2xp) and then extra spell (1xp) to allow you to take either paralysis or entangle (entangle would probably be better because even though they can still move their upper body, it is cheaper and you only start with 4 personal mana). I don’t think I need to tell you how useful a shield is. The magician skill allows you to create bonds, detect magic and operate portals.

Another thing you could do is get the magician skill, extra spell (probably with the same two options) and the battle mage skill (2xp). Now with the staff, you have the reach advantage and you will live longer with your armour.

Either way you would then have 3 xp left to spend. You could put those into lore (I recommend night, day and or winter) for rituals so you can do some detective work or you could put some into extra mana. The first rank of extra man cost 1xp and you get two extra mana, the second rank cost 2xp and again you get two extra mana.

Alternatively you could get a hero point and then either relentless or unstoppable or you could get some points in fortitude and endurance. Either of these will give you a little more survivability.

If you don’t care about viability as much and want to have a more dirty brawler then you could get the magician skill, then ambidextrous (1xp) so you can take a sword and a rod/wand. This means your enemies will have to face a crazed marcher, running at them with the furry of summer and two weapons instead of one.

You will now have 4 xp left over. Why not get the throwing skill. It is not very good but it allows you to draw throwing knives from where ever you can hide them and throw them at your unsuspecting enemy.

Now you have 3 xp. You could spend it on some of the skills I suggested above.

If you are willing to forgo the throwing knives then you would again have 4xp and so could take some skills that will have people coming to you. could pick up chirurgeon (1 xp) and then Physick will allows you to tend to peoples wounds and heal them. This could be very useful if you allies have been injured and you need to get them back up and ready to fight or if a suspect has gone down and you need them alive (though with winter magic you don’t really). It could also be a good way of getting leverage over someone in the moment. If someone is dying, you can offer to heal them for the information you want. Instead of that you could get artisan. This means you can make magical items either for yourself, for friends or for customers.

I hope I haven’t thrown out too much info and that this helps. If you don’t know about the wiki https://www.profounddecisions.co.uk/empire-wiki/Main_Page here is a link. You can find more about weapons armour and skills under rules which is the last on the right at the top.


Cheers yeah I have been reading the wiki quite extensively. This is really useful for ideas. Thanks a lot man.


No problem. I’d be interested to hear about what you decide to pick in the end, though of course, you don’t have to tell me. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask.


So I’m thinking ambidextrous, magician, battle mage, extra spell (paralysis), extra mana, day lore 1 (Hakima’s Glass, Piercing Light of Revelation). With a plan to progress into Winter lore for balanced blade.


thats like 1000 times more planning then i did


Just to make sure you know, you can’t wield a staff and another weapon as a staff is a two handed weapon, however, of course, you could use a staff, put it down and then use two weapons. Also fun fact (though not needed): the hakima are the scholars and magic users of the brass coast. Also do you know about solo casting? If you don’t then I have some good news for you, if you do then it doesn’t matter.

Finally with detect magic, I believe it allows you to read the white ribbons that you find attached to items (though I’m not completely sure as I have never done this). All magic items have these white ribbons which has the magical effect on them.


No I do not know about Solo Casting. Is that just where I do a ritual by myself?


Yes. Most rituals require you to do it with people however if you have enough lore then you can cast it on your own. The two rituals you were considering both are magnitude two. If you master one of them, that will half its cost making it magnitude one for you. As you have one point of day lore, you can cast that ritual on your own. The two limiting factors for ritual casting is finding the people, and having the mana. You don’t have to worry about finding the people and it will only cost you one mana out of the seven that you get if you pick a mana site for your resource. Quick question, do you know the difference between personal mana (You start off with four of that but as you have taken extra mana you will get 6 persona mana) and crystal mana?

A few other things you may be interested in is that there is a militia, that you can join and they deal with crime and that the marchers have their own special way of dealing with criminals. The milita will capture and sometimes kill (I’ve seen this once. They do try and avoid killing PCs). I’m not sure how you join them and I think I heard they don’t have any more places but maybe look into that.

Now with the marches, they have something called the rough music. Unlike in the world of Terry Pratchett, this is not a violent affair. A crowd will gather outside a build or home and make a lot of noise to show their displeasure and basically annoy someone into either leaving the community or repenting. I saw this happen last event. I thought it was something to do with the broken wheel (the brass coast going crazy and doing various silly things) but it was the marchers showing displeasure.


Yeah I know about personal and crystal mana. Yeah I’ve read up on the wiki loads, it’s very hobbits and Yorkshire without the waistcoats. Which is where I’m from so I’ll have the proper accent :stuck_out_tongue:


Okay good. When I first joined I had no idea about the difference between personal and crystal mana. In fact I had very little idea about a lot of things. Luckily my backstory allowed me to shrug it all off and pretend there was a reason for it all.

It is good that you have the proper accent as it will be a lot easier for you. I always start the weekend off with a different accent and then slowly it goes back to mine.

The marchers make me think of the west country and isn’t Yorkshire a bit far north? I’m just asking out of curiosity as I’m quite interested in the Yorkshire area as I have some ties to there. Even if it isn’t the exact area, it doesn’t matter. I don’t know I’m probably just talking rubbish now. I hope I haven’t come across as rude.


The West Country and Yorkshire are very similar when it comes to historical stereotypes. Mostly because they were the two areas of Britain where the main land barrens turned during the Industrial revolution. Though not industrialising The Marchers have a lot of the same stereotypes you know stubbornness and this kinda mob rule stuff. No you’ve been helpful dude.


Okay good. I thought I was going to get a reply saying something like ‘Your incompetence is unfathomable and it causes me physical pain’. You are right about the stereotypes, I just didn’t think about it as when I think of industrial revolution I think mainly of ruin and success rather than the personalities of the people. I’m glad that I’ve learnt something. Anyway, the hour has become so late that it is early and the new day is soon to dawn so I will shut up for now. Good luck with your character, as I said earlier, if you need any more help, just ask.