(New Player) Is it okay to have a character without ambitious goals?

I’m looking forward to playing my first session whenever the next event begins, but looking through the forums I see that everyone seems to want to gain as much clout and position as they can.

I’m not cut out for politicking and don’t really want to be the centre of anything big, but the world itself seems appealing to me.

Is there a path to success for someone who just wants to be generally useful without gaining any kind of real importance in Empire?

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Hello, and welcome, to the game and these forums :slight_smile:

Because the Player Characters are, to an extent, the “movers and shakers” of the Empire, and because the loud and ambitous players tend to be the most obvious, you could certainly get the impression of everyone wanting power and prestige :slight_smile:

But for every player wanting to be the next Senator/General/Trade Prince, there are a dozen planning such grandiose schemes as “have an IC romance”, “drink at every bar on the field” “fight on the battlefield with my friends”, and so on.

Generally useful? Make things for your group (Artisan, Apothecary), support them in battle, handle the finances, or just be the social person who knows everyone and can suggest who to talk to for any given problem.

Ambition is a virtue in game. But so is Loyalty, Prosperity, and others. Pick something to do, and have fun with it.

An example: my first character decided to catalogue all the heraldries on the field. All the symbols of all the groups in all the Nations. Inmportant? No. But after a while he could identify and name everyone and had contacts everywhere :slight_smile:

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TLDR: As long as you make your own fun, you can enjoy Empire.

So Empire is very much a system where you define what success looks like. The game does have a really fascinating and deep lore and there is alot to discuss with that and the current events (Winds of War, and Fortune) that are released before each event.

Saying that compared to smaller LARP systems, Empire has a low density of plot, and the most obvious parts of that are aimed at one of the political games. When you combine this with the hundreds of players on the field, it means it’s very easy to get left on the side-lines, and to be unengaged.

Now this doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun with a lower impact game, I know players who have great fun and their game focuses around bimbling and being pleasant, or looking after people. But I’ve also seen people bounce of the system for lack of plot, or spend much of their weekend looking bored.
There are a lot of roles in the system which are essentially good support skills (ritualist, priest, artisan, physik) but typically use of your skills will not fill your time.

Particularly without a group, the key to having fun is going to be proactively seeking out people who are interested in similar things to you and making connections. Your goals don’t need to be huge and important, but having some goals to work towards, and being active will help you have fun (Starting out these could easily just be learn more about your bit of the game.

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Helpful advice, thank you!

I’m thinking that it might be good to just start out running errands for more influential characters, approaching someone without a task in mind would be nerve-wracking for sure. Any tips on how to approach people for work in-game?

I definitely want to be busy most of the time, so it sounds like I’ll need to check out the listings (if I’m not mistaken, those exist?)

Combat is probably out for a while, too loud/pricey for me XD

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Yes offering to help someone with an imperial title will probably be welcomed with open arms, most holders are trying to be in 3 places at once!

Have a look at the various imperial titles, they’re all shown on the wiki, the Senators and Cardinals are likely to be the busiest, and you should be able to find one of those by asking a few people, or checking in with your Egregore (spirit of the nation, NPC from PD who is there to help new players).

Otherwise I think the Imperial offices are still asking for help, to take minutes of meetings, pass messages, collect information or opinions (even though we don’t currently have an Empress). They’re based out of a tent near the Civil Service Hub which most people will be able to point you towards.

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Absolutely! If nothing else, having a position of power is a lot of work and lots of us go away to Empire to not do work.

I find being involved is easiest to happen if you attend Virtue assembly meetings; there’s usually something to do that’s useful without having a position. And because it’s Virtue work it’s automatically contributing to the Empire (if you like the religion game of course… funnily enough I love it, can you tell?).

In general though, my biggest tip is simply - say yes. If you hear about an event that people are advertising: go. If someone asks if anyone wants to do something: say yes. If something odd kicks off in the bit of the field you are in: stay, watch, and offer to help.

There’s always something going on on the field and if you are open and positive you’ll rarely be short of something to do.

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@Sabine litterally if you wander up to anyone with a position and say “Hi new in town, do you have anything you needs doing in return for a few rings?” you’ll end up with some stuff to do :slight_smile: .

If you’ve got an idea of what your fun is, then you can be more specific, like offering to find people and pass messages on is good as that gives you reason to explore, talk to people and also get to know who and where people are.

With my second character I had a look in the Winds of Fortune for a hook to get myself introduced, I found a question that I thought people would be interested in having asked to Leviathan. I found a ritual group who could cast it, got a cost and then went round seeing if people wanted to throw mana/money at getting an answers. Once we got the answer I just had to go around and tell everyone who’d paid what it was. Me and the ritual group ended up making a tidy profit as well :slight_smile: But the most important thing was I started building my rep as “guy who knows things and finds out stuff” which is what the character was made for.

Oh also here’s a good podcast episode made by some relatively new players and they mention some ways they got involved when they started.

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Ambition isn’t about aiming for a big thing because it’s big, it’s about aiming for what your character wants and pursuing it vigorously. I wrote a guide a while back to playing a support character that has some strong principles and goals.

My next PC is going to be a Draughir Ambition pilgrim (or maybe priest) in Navarr, who could be described as “Darth Helpful”. My aim there is to stand behind someone who seems Useful (or who hires him) solving problems for them and being known to do that.

Remember that Vader, Tyrion Lannister, Colonel Tigh, Jeeves, Captain Carrot etc are not the boss of their respective teams, but they’re strong characters with big influence on their plots. And in several of the cases, more iconic characters than their superiors.

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I started the game to be no one of inportanc and to just chill when I started and look after my son’s. Overtime I found things in game I cared about and then did things.

At the end of the day it is fine not to have any ambitions and then find them in game .

The important thing is to enjoy yourself. If you are not enjoying yourself them sometimes stepping back and thinking what can I do to have more fun and this may be settling on something to try and achieve (even if ooc you expect to fail)

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