My cousin is over and he loves DnD and i’d love to grab him for empire. He niormally plays a wizard who fireballs everyone. What are the most fun things that you can suggest for a wizard to do?
Go to the Hall of Worlds and snark at the Archmagi and Heralds from strange Realms.
Cast Paralyse on people in the field and turn their helmets backwards.
Pretend that you can cast all sorts of complex and powerful spells that don’t exist in system (yes, like Fireball).
Do hugely melodramatic rituals involving yourself and your helpers performing very silly songs and dances, possibly with puppets and cream pies.
There are two routes he can go down. The first is battle mage. This can be great fun because, while everyone else is simply doing damage, you are causing mayhem with various spells.
The second route is rituals. This can be the participation or the creation of them. It takes a certain kind of person to want to do make them, so if he isn’t that kind of person then there isn’t really any point to it as they are expensive to make. I personally enjoy that kind of stuff. I get to sit down with like minded people and come up with new ways to deal with problems.
Actually performing rituals is probably some of the most fun a magician can have RP wise. It allows you to really get into it and do some interesting things.
I’d say that if he wants a bit of both then battlefield rituals. You also get an immediate effect, something that you can witness and say ‘I did that, all that power, all that destruction is down to me’.
The least fun thing about being a magician is looking for crystal mana and I would say sitting through the conclave meetings. Both are time consuming and boring but are sometimes necessary. You can sort of get away with not going to conclave but if you are a ritualists, sooner or later you will have to go looking for mana. You can make this interesting if you know how to but is very likely just to turn into a fetch quest with you running about the field finding people who are actually willing to sell and are selling at a price you can afford.
I suggest you tell him that magicians in empire are more like Gandalf (I’ve never read the books, only seen the films but before people start trying to take my nerd badge away, I did the read the hobbit but that was long time ago). They have a few cool tricks but in the end you are probably just going to have to hit someone with a big stick if you decide to fight as one.
I’m surprised you didn’t add:
Annoying Leviathan with stupid questions such as ‘Why can’t we be friends’
Trying to convince the dawn that you have some how brought a horse back or at least saying that you have summoned one’s spirit. (Yes I know I’m speaking to two members of dawn, I’m sorry, please don’t hurt me).
Playing practical jokes on the Urizen with funny magic as apparently they like that.
Playing practical jokes on the high guard with funny magic as apparently they don’t like that.
And anything that results in a brass coaster making poor decisions with money.
Most fun thing: “Get some morals”. You’re a protagonist but not the protagonist. Empire is a 1500 or so player game, and being a Wacky Chaotic Evil Troll PC is a rapid road to being ignored or crushed by a few hundred people who are sick of your random cursin’ and paralysin’.
You can look at the past PC antagonists of Empire and all the cool, well-remembered ones had some sort of consistent morals and a plan. Be it “Let’s get some Vengeance up in this Empire” “Eternals are Evil, Defy Them at any cost” or “HI DAD LET’S HELP BRIARS”. Nobody thinks “Random angry sucker who showed up and tried to knife the Empress Because Reasons” was an interesting antagonist.
That’s not to say there aren’t a bunch of dickhead wizards in powerful positions. But they’ve earned their place by being more useful than they are annoying. They get shit done.
Thanks to the Way of Virtue, you don’t have to be particularly nice morals, but if you can tie your Evil Plan to the Virtues, it makes it easier to get the political capital to say “fireball an entire Territory”.
Some Generals uh, pretty much did that as a cunning plan to break the Jotun in the Mournwold. That created massive backlash and great political plot, as there were loads of people to blame and they could actually defend their horrible idea beyond “Well, I can cast four Fireballs a day, use 'em or lose 'em”
Actually doing some proper shenanigans with Eternals and Heralds is decent choice for someone who’s amoral, I can also recommend joining Urizen as there’s plenty of support for that in the brief there.
Also pushing the “wizards should be in charge” agenda in conclave as a member of the Celestial Arch.
One way of doing curses is to jump on people that a bunch of folk don’t like but who haven’t had the guts to curse them themselves. Do the thing and you’ll find yourself with unexpected allies :).
If this was a reply telling me I have done something wrong then I’m sorry. I thought I would say this just in case.
Don’t be amoral, it’s boring and destructive. In DnD the bulk of your time is spent interacting with monsters. In this a “just fireball it” character can fit. A character with only one reaction will get boring when the bulk of the weekend is spent interaction with other players, and worse than that it actually reduces how interesting the story / world is.
I’d suggest the easiest fun to have is to pick a cause / motive / moral, and pursue it hard. Remember the player characters are not the good guys. This is an empire which blasted a territory with fire to kill a particularly virulent infestion. Where torture and mutilation are regularly used to terrorise enemies. Where “Better than Muggles” (paraphrasing slightly) is the motive of one of the Conclave orders.
We may basically be the bad guys because of the amount of people we have betrayed but at least we aren’t as bad as the Druj.
Also I think it depends on how amoral you are going to go. You might be a trickster who will mess around with people but knows when to stop as it will get them into trouble if they continue or you can have someone who is just really annoying and unkind all of the time. The latter is definitely too extreme but the former may work if done correctly. People being amoral causes conflict which is interesting in stories and larp. I would agree however that it can’t be your defining characteristic but I think it is fine if it is a fairly big part of a persons character.
at least we aren’t as bad as the Druj.
We have some standards!
But on the OP, I’d agree that in Empire you are most likely to have fun but having a compelling - and Virtuous - reason for doing what you do. Not long ago the Urizen National Assembly voted it was only worth trying to save their kidnapped children if doing so would endanger fewer citizens’ lives than it would save (https://www.profounddecisions.co.uk/empire-wiki/379YE_Summer_Solstice_Synod_judgements#Statements_of_Principle). Amoral? Maybe. But logical. Have a principle, and stick to your guns. If you can base it on one of the Virtues, all the better, given put so much store in our religion.
Now there’s an interesting paradox. For the moment I’m considering as equivalent a bundle of similar terms around morality, purpose, cause, etc and bundling them under “reason to act”…
- An agent with zero morality (truly amoral) has no reason to act. They should do nothing since there is no motive for them to act (aka Peace for anyone with a Heresy filter).
- An agent with a shallow morality (fireball everything) is largely boring. They will agree with you, or they won’t. They will be no deeper conversation to be had around this. In some examples they will just kill you, just because.
- An agent with a deep morality that is compatible with your own can make for an interesting ally or competitor.
- Which brings me to the most interesting and valuable of resources, an agent with a deep morality that is different to your own. These are the ones to look out for.
I would look upon someone who is amoral as unpredictable. They may give you some great information because, why not and then go and make that information void, not to spite you or hurt anyone, just because they can. I look upon the weather as amoral and the weather is such a powerful force both physically and in literature. It decides battles, it invocates feelings, it gives you something to strive again. You can never truly tell what it will do next but you can always be sure, it isn’t doing it to inconvenience you, it is doing it because that is what it is going to be doing.
As long as something happens, there is possibility for conflict. Two armies may fight, they may make peace or they may just not turn up. There is a chance that someone is going to come out badly from any of these outcomes which would create conflict.
In the end, as an amoral person, you may not create conflict with yourself (though it is like because I’m sure people would find it annoying) but between people around you.
Oh also, things get really scary when they get into power.
I reckon that Urizen Nation Assembly judgement looks extremely moral, especially by the standards of Urizen. (Usual disclaimer applies of “it’s an IC document, PCs may lie/spin”).
- The Assembly stated it was morally wrong to take the course of action that was likely to result in the most Imperial deaths.
- They reckoned “Save the kids” was likely to kill the most Imperials, and was therefore an immoral act.
- They stuck to that moral position in the face of people literally shouting THINK OF THE CHILDREN.
- Other characters might not like those morals, but the moral code appears to be there.
- If future SoPs continue along on a consistent line of “Saving the most lives is more important than who those lives are” that’s a clear moral agenda.
Excellent larp morals. Logically defensible, simple to stick to, and likely to offend a lot of PCs
Whereas an amoral Statement of Principle would be more along the lines of “There’s some kids stuck slaving in a salt mine. That’s sad for you isn’t it?” or “We said it was wrong to pointlessly risk lives, but give us 10 Thrones and we’ll do it”.
Urizen is certainly a good nation to do that in. Urizen has lost a lot recently and certain player character, myself included, are taking it hard and are very much a case of what we’re doing isn’t working, We need to be more radical.
I will say Urizeni culture is one built on reason, they rarely do things just becasue. It may be to influence a Node, or get the end result as quick as possible. i.e Fireball ing, he wasn’t going to talk anyway and it’d be dangeorus to go in, best just blast from a distance. As long as you get good reason for it go for it. But Urizen look down very much on just because.