Newcomer with a bagful of questions

Hello Empire forums, Furiora here, average newcomer with a bunch of ideas flying around through their head and just as many rule questions.

Where to start? Well, I guess I start with weapons. I’ve got a few ideas of what I want to do, I just wonder how much foam is a good baseline. For the record, I don’t wish to build my own weapons because I think it’ll be cheaper then buying them, I just enjoy crafting and going into battle with things I’ve made myself, you know? Gives you OOC personal attachment to the weapon that can make IC attachment even more real.

I don’t plan for my first weapon to be a curved one, although, while I know PVC and similar stuff is banned for weapon cores, does anyone know if a carbon fiber core has to be a tube or a rod? It is possible to buy flat panels of carbon fiber that could then be cut and sanded into a curved core. Has anyone seen swords made like this on the field or for sale?

On to character stuff, I’m thinking of a WM Kallavesi (how is that pronounced, by the way?) Naga who is not currently, but aspires to be a Stormcrow (So I can get a feel for the RP, setting, ect. before taking on the full role of a Stormcrow. Wanting to include a feathered mane as one of my trappings, is there a way I can avoid making it too Stormcrow-ey while still using black feathers?

Sliding back slightly to talk about weapons again, I plan to be a battlemage in combat with either a staff or a rod+shield (wisdom of war dictates shields help you not die). Now, I’ve seen other posts about making a rod look distinct from other kinds of weapon so the opponent knows to expect magic calls over weapon calls; I had the though of a large crystal that has a hilt like a sword for holding it. Like one of those rectangular crystal pendents you see on etsy with a guard and handle slapped on the none tapered end, or two of that idea slapped pommel to pommel if I decided to go with a staff (yes, I happen to own a double-bladed lightsaber, why do you ask?) My other thought was an obvious rod/staff handle section with a blade that looks like pure magical energy, if that’s a thing in this setting.

I’m assuming the Scales can run anywhere between minimum and full body. Like say I want my forelimbs and a “hood” of scales around my head, neck and upper chest (not like a cobra’s hood, hood as in wear a fabric hood would cover)

Wow that was a wall of text I wasn’t planning on assaulting people with off the bat, but there you go. Looking forward to joining an event when this pandemic comes to a close.
Thanks for listening.

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Welcome to the forums! I’m sure other people will weigh in - but here are some answers:

  1. Making your own weapons
    I don’t know much about it - but the Empire weapons requirements are very stringent: you can expect it to be expensive and your first few attempts to fail weapon checking.

  2. WM Kallavesi naga stormcrow trappings
    Sounds like a plan. Stormcrows tend to wear black feathered mantles (short capes). If you are planning black feathers as part of your trappings, add them into your hairline as if they are growing out your head. They definitely won’t be confused for a Stormcrow’s outfit.

  3. Rods
    Again, I’m not an expert. Rods must look ‘arcane’ - however you want to define that. Here is the guidance: https://www.profounddecisions.co.uk/empire-wiki/Weapons_%26_armour#Implements

  4. Scales
    Yep, scales can be anywhere, but especially on the upper face. There is a lot of variation on this between players, so you’re free to do whatever suits. Remember that you can increase your trappings each event, but not decrease, so it’s worth starting small so you can increase. You could consider starting with feathers in your hair before going full feathered wig.

EDIT: Yes, Kallavesi is exactly how it is said.

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  1. Yeah, so I’ve heard over and over. Hence why I prefaces that I don’t want to DIY to save money, I want to DIY because I enjoy learning how to make things.

  2. Yeah, that was the plan, I just saw that one Stormcrow with like a huge mohawk of feathers. Pretty impressive to say the least.

  3. I’d argue for a huge chunk of crystal to be more arcane then weapon, but that’s personal bias from having the idea I guess.

  4. Yeah, just wanted to make sure. Although I got a small laugh at the last part, you couldn’t have possibly known, but I’ve hardly got any hair left, haha.

So is it Ka-la-vee-see or Ka-la-veh-see? I can see it with both a long and short e.

For the subject of curved weapon cores, these are technically very challenging (and I used to build weapons semi-professionally). I strongly recommend starting out by learning to build conventional straight-cored weapons on fibreglass or carbon rods and only shifting up to long curved cores once you have substantial experience.

Trying to cut one out of a flat sheet has a number of problems - the most obvious one is wastage. Less obvious but probably more critical is that you wouldn’t get continuous fibres any more, so you’re losing a huge amount of strength.

One method which should work (but is a ridiculous amount of work) is to buy a lot of flat carbon strips and use very strong glue and a lot of clamps to laminate them together into the shape you want. You’d need to be really careful and precise about your gluing, because there’s going to be a lot of internal strain in the structure and any flaws are likely to result on your weapon disassembling itself when it hits something.

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I didn’t plan on that, I just wondered if it was possible.
Sounds like you’d need to make the carbon fiber yourself so you do get continuous fibers in a curved shape. Didn’t think of that at all! Very insightful.

Ah, okay. The pictured kallav(eh)si on the wiki is wearing a fancy feathered head-dress. Head dresses of one sort or another are worn by most kallavesi. You will want to try to show that your feather hair trappings are not mistaken for that - e.g. by adding a featherless skull head-dress on top.

Yeah, that’s pretty much what it requires if you don’t want it to just break very quickly.

Short curved weapons, like large knives, can be done more easily using a short straight core + some leather or just a lot of foam. So they’re pretty common to see for sale. Long curved weapons are really rare precisely because of how hard it is to get a useful core.

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@batmage thanks for that. Mentally noted, was planning on wearing a raven-skull mask anyway, so that works out.

@tea Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Might look into getting a small curved knife as an “oh shit” weapon.

I have come up with a rough concept of my idea here;


I admit it looks very sword like in 2D because you just see the profile, I feel it would look much more “rod” like in 3D with it’s obelisk like “blade”. Also plan to make a rune-covered necklace in a similar shape to the “guard” so it’s a symbol of personal magic, rather then just a sword guard; she saw the symbol in a vision quest… that works, working that into my backstory.
Also, this is just with flats, I’ll of course take as much time and effort as needed to make the “blade” look like a crystal, rather then a sword.

Good advice has been given above, so I’ll just add another Welcome! :slight_smile:

Rod and shield is a good combo (our last Empress used it, among many others); I have been trying rod and buckler and switched to staff soon after. For getting the shield, you may with to consider finding a group willing to lend you Greensteel Bracelets (these are a magic item that grants the skill: Shield Use) A realitivly common item and cheaper on your starting build than 2 points on buying the skill.

I suspect you may well have found the runes on the wiki… (below)… as a Winterfolk mage covering everything with runes sounds grand.

If you are making your “sword” as a black crystal obelisk with runes down the side (maybe in bright silver?), that should look more rod and less sword… are you sure you want the quillions though?

I play a battlemage healer myself, happy to discuss things on request.

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It looks nice, it does look a bit swordy though. Remember there will be lots of people with magical swords covered in arcane sigils, so you need to make sure it is not at all mistakeable for a sword. A blunt or foreshortened tip would help, maybe, or losing the crossguard?

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@Geoffrey_Willoughby Happy to meet you. Yeah, I have some experience with live sparring and a shield was a lifesaver, literally. I’ll keep that one in mind, sounds like a good idea.

Yeah, I’ve seen the runes and such before, this was just a quick mock-up of the design. I did the rune like design on the guard because I felt it needed something personal on there and got inspiration.

I feel the guard gives it more of an elegance behind it. This might just be from the idea that a club or similar object is a peasant or cave-person weapon while a sword is refined and noble that is prevalent throughout real world history.
If the same history exists in Empire I do not know, but I can come up with IC reasons for why my character would want a guard, as complex as “she saw the design in a vision when she was young” to as simple as "I want something to stop enemy blades sliding down and cutting my fingers.

@batmage Yeah, I get what you mean as well, which is why I’d put so much effort into making sure it looks like a large crystal rather then a sword blade. Reasons for wanting the guard over not having it are above. I do feel it’ll look more rod-like in person due to the overly thick blade and incorrectly proportioned bevels for a sword. But again, that could be personal bias, we’ll see what weapons check say about it. Even if it doesn’t pass as a rod, I could use it for a future fighter character if it passes safety. Even if it fails safety and fails as a rod it’ll be a learning experience, so worth in the long run.

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You could probably get away with angular, pointy or quillions by themselves, but all three puts it firmly into sword territory i think, pommel too really, though you could perhaps make it more magical looking by making the crystal a wide base that tapers? So you still have hand protection but it looks more natural?

Id really want to drop the pommel and make it look like a narwhal horn grip too but ymmv ofc :slight_smile: .

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@Noserenda the crystals I took inspiration from can be long and thin though


Looking at this, maybe I did overshoot the point length, that’s something I’ll tone back.
Although I did cobble this together after scanning the rune pages back and forth.
I’ll admit, some of the designs are function, a lot of what I see as “rods” look top heavy, again, more like a club-type weapon, while my character would wish for elegance. The pommel might be able to go though, I’d just have to find something in my skill level to replace it; I can manage simple shapes, but I don’t think I can carve an animal head or something out of foam yet, haha.

I think part of your problem is that the shape says sword - and on a battle field from 50ft away it’s going to read sword because they won’t be able to see the details. Once up close it’s still going to read sword as it will be moving too fast to see the details.

Battlefields are large and fast moving so what you are and what you’re carrying need to be obvious, or the opposition won’t know to expect your calls, and may not take the damage you want them to. The sword shape would make them think cleave, not repel or venom, and with the opponent also wearing an orc mask which obstructs both vision and hearing somewhat, you really need to be easy to read.

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Yup rods don’t have hilts, generally they’re straight with something mystic on the end, crystals being a common choice. What you’ve drawn is a magic sword. If you’re looking for some inspiration the Rods category of magic items has a description of each of the crafted magic rods (as opposed to standard magic rods :slight_smile:) which describes them.

Also here’s two pictures of rods I’ve found


(rod in the right hand)

Buuuut as a former rod and shield user I’d actually recommend getting yourself a staff. The problem I found with being a shield user is that I kept getting dragged into shield walls and close fights, where you’re at a disadvantage because you don’t have metal armour on your legs. So one cleave to the leg and you’re down. Having a staff gives you reach and also reminds you that you are squishy :slight_smile:.

Weapon making wise, some of the best people to talk to about making your own weapons (when they’re not busy) are the weapons checkers at Empire. They can give you a rundown of all the common ways they see weapons fail and suggest ways to build your weapons that avoid that.

Oh yes and the pronunciation guide says kalla-VEH-see :slight_smile:

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@Mark_Wilkin @CharlieP ah well, fair enough. Will shelve that idea for a future character, unless I just carry a sword as well.

Unless you think it would look more “arcane” as a staff with a reduced guard. I get that reading the weapon is important, though, maybe I can make it look more like it’s holding the crystal rather then a sword’s guard?

If you can get they made for you there are some specialist paired weapons for Battlemages. They’re not the safest of weapons for a mage to carry but they do make you look cool, you need the ambidex skill to wield them. I still recommend the staff for battlemages, but if you want to go for the Aesthetic then go for it :smiley:

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@Mark_Wilkin Yeah, I’ve seen those, need to get my left hand up to speed before I could think about using those on the battlefield lol.
I meant using this idea as each side of a staff, I’ve got more experience with the “darth maul” style of weapon then a full on staff so I feel a staff weapon with a “normal sized” center grip would suit me more then a full staff (which would have to have padding down it’s whole length, thus widening the grip section)
I could loose the guards if 100% needed, but, you know. if hand snipes are a thing in the rules I don’t quite recall, but IC hand-snipes are almost certainly a thing, makes sense a character would want to avoid them.

I regularly use a staff as a battlemage and having guards on it would seriously get in the way of using it, the best defence is to be far away and exploiting your reach.

That and avoiding archers, the true enemy of battlemages
:smiley:

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That’s why I wanted to go rod & shield in the first place haha.

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