I have a question. You and 9 of your friends are setting up a group with a strong theme behind it, What skills does your group take to achieve this theme? Everyone is starting with 8 XP so no extras.
What kind of theme? Are you fighters, politicians, money-makers, magicians, or something else? Or are you looking for a balanced group rather than a specialist one?
Your decision - pick a theme, build the characters for it
I would say have three shield bearers. They would require two out of eight xp to be able to use a shield. Once they have this, perhaps spend the rest in endurance or hero points and the unstoppable skill. They will be your wall and should train to form up in front of the group quickly to protect you all.
Next I suggest two people with spears. This requires, again, two out of eight xp. I would use the rest of the points on the same things as the shield bearers except change the unstoppable skill to the cleaving strike skill. They will attack over your shield wall, keeping the enemy at bay and dealing a lot of damage.
To make sure everyone stays alive, I recommend next you take two medics or two support mages or a medic and a support mage. The medics should have a skill Chirurgeon and a skill in Physick, leaving four more xp. With the rest you could get some hero points and the stay with me skill.
For the support mage they will need to take magician and then it is up to them what spells they take. Heal, mend, restore limb, purify and empower can all be good choices. They could also entangle or repel. These will help keep people at bay. Again hero points and the stay with me skill can help as well.
I recommend one archer, which requires four xp to be and then maybe use the rest of the xp on support skills. They will be able to out put damage when your spears and shields may not be able to. This will force the enemy to either retreat or advance. If they retreat you can take more ground, if it is safe. If they advance then they will be coming into stabbing distance. They could also be one of the medics or they could take the artisan skill for the remaining four. Having an artistan in your group means you have access to enchanted weapons which can be really helpful.
Finally, a priest may be a good idea. For this you will need dedication for two xp. I recommend you then take anointing which require one xp. This means that they can help protect the group from any negative RP effects. With the rest of the points they can either choose to be more battle and take a shield or a spear, support with hero points or Chirurgeon or again take the artisan skill. As an artisan, they can also sell their enchantments which can help the group get a bit of money.
Last thing. All but the mages can take metal armour. I recommend that whoever can take heavy armour, should, however, try and priorities the front line fighters. I hope this helps.
Look upon my Arcane Might (The that’s Mag 80 build):
So the first simple thought is give everyone 3 ranks of X lore, at which point in your realm of choice you can hit Mag 80 which for most realms means you can hit the vast majority of rituals.
You could drop a few ranks of ritual lore for either Apothecary or Artisan, but being able to it 80 unaided is a really sweet spot. (Not to mention if you really want
This is more a mechanical build than a theme, but as soon as you choose realm and nation you could develop this into a really strong theme (probably in multiple ways.)
As for Realms:
Day: You have an army buff, a really good scrying group, and it has some really great solo rituals in it
Spring: At that levels you have a fort, the Rivers and Mountain (although some of these are presently interdicted)
Knowledge is Power
This group is a Wisdom Sect and Coven, (Possibly a Banner as well but eh.) It is built around having every single ritual that discovers information in Imperial Lore, insight, (some more priestly skills for fun RP) and then a bunch of fairly transferable items so that you can get any memember of the coven/sect who is OOC capable.
You are a one stop shop for any information ritual, I’d then probably combine this with as much hard skill information gathering as possible, mantaining a personal library, and having communal mealtimes where you share information with each other (This is also for easy Cat Herding.)
(Swim Leviathans Depths, Combe the Beech, Scrying, Whispers through the Black Gate, Clear Council, Dreams in the Witch house, Signs and Potents, Whisperng Shadow Courtiers, and a few mentioned below.)
Character 1: Autumn 3 (For Hand of the Maker)
Character 2: Day 3 (Skein, Bright Lantern)
Character 3: Winter 3 (Wisdom)
Character 4: Day 2, Winter 1, Priest
Character 5: Day 2, Night 2
Character 6: Day 2, Winter 1, Night 1, Voice for the Dead
Character 7: Day 1, Winter 1, Artisan (Probably Priest Buffs,)
Character 8: Night 3,
Character 9: Priest, Insight, Testimony, Consecration, Apothecary,
Character 10: Priest, Insight, Hallow, Artisan
Items that give Exorcism and another priest skill for character 4.
Few more things along the lines of turn non fighters into better fighter
Maybe Litany of the Labyrinth because it’s cool.
5 Mana Sites:
2 Herb Gardens:
1 Green Iron Mine:
The Parents of the Roads.
So this is the really highly themed group, probably actually far too Niche for Empire, although if the right quest or battle came up they would actually be amazing. If you could get a core of 5 or 6 who did player events together it would probably work better. You make sure the Roads are safe repairing them when the wardings get damaged. Still the theme is amazing. I’d probably use the ritual rods to ward the Varuskan camp when not in battle.
On the Battlefield I would probably have one ritual team in armour at all time, then effectively swap the armour if you want the other coven slots (Or personal mana). You should actually have quite a lot of healing from all the wands that you have.
That you could merge your covens to cast dreamscape if someone really annoys you is a useful option.
I’d aim for all of the ritual teams having a wand and magical shield/spear use. It is very heavy on the ritualists in terms of group resources, but I think it’s worth it for the really cool build (although possibly Artisan Fighter to throw some basic items at the fighters is worth incorporating You also have a Day coven capable of enchanting some more spells into people as well in case.
2 x Warding Teams (6 Characters in Total) – Each A coven
Two Character with Winter 3
One Character with Winter 1, Artisan, Day 1
Generic Fighter Build,
Armoured Physik (Mostly for Traumatic Wounds)
Maybe an Archer
Battlemage Day 1, Three Spells Possibly Purify, Repair limb, Repel
Green steel Bracers,
Wands of Heal and Repair Limbs
Take whatever you want. I would suggest that anyone who wants to be a mage co operate so they (if interested) can collaborate with rituals. Fighters work best if they compliment each other. A shield wall, bill line, archers ect… combat works best when you understand you cant do everything and just doing one job REALLY well is more useful. I know i’m happier seeing 5 people with shields with a mage, or 4 great weapons and a couple pole arms pop up than a random collection. Means you can fight together better at a given role (which can and will change as the battle progresses). Your group can and should be general as a whole (if you want it to be), but it should also specialise and support itself on the personal level.
In Empire LRP there is only one skill that is not improved by also having 9 of your buddies doing it; alchemy.
Fighting is best in well practiced, complementary formations, and gets phenomenal with a close support mage and a support artisan.
Ritualism, if you want to achieve above rank 20 you need more than one caster. This is the pick me and my two buddies went for. We built a trio optimised to perform the farming rituals.
Priests increase in power from items, and only in variety from XP, so to hit the large numbers you’re going to need a group.
Artisans have a large number of recipes already in Lore, and have limited build slots, so are suited for a group.
Alchemists have a sufficiently small number of recipes and infinite build slots, so are not really suited for such a large group to specialise in.
This is just looking at the skills, the personal resources are also worth considering.
Take Congregation. With 9 of you, there’s enough you can:
1: Be a good proportion of a small assembly and really have some political heft.
2: Be a large enough bloc to have an internal brutal schism all by yourselves.
The nice thing is with 8 points to spend you can multi task quite well. Want to be Physik? that’s 4 points. So take weapon master, dedicate and Exorcism. You can fight, if you have heavy armour reasonably tanky. Useful on the battle field, and have access to political game.
I would say its probably more important to sync your personal reasources. Depending on the nation some are more important than others. And every one having a Farm or Business is easy to deal with, having a herb garden, a mana site or 2 ect will give the group some versatility.
For ritual mages, 10 “rainbow mages” (1 rank of each realm lore) is pretty munchkin. If you all master the same rituals you would be mag 40 in all realms in the regio.
9 Brass Coast characters all with Congregation & Magician.
That should give you primacy, or nigh on, in the national assembly which is a powerful start.
One of you could probably be Cardinal of The Way if you hit the ground running at E1 since 90 votes is a healthy chunk and there will likely be a few candidates to split the other votes.
9 people is also more than enough to elect one of you Grand Master of the Silver Chalice, since only about 9 people turned up to their last challenge - so nab that too.
Now 2 out of 9 of you have Imperial positions and it’s only cost you 2 xp each. Spend the rest however you like, because it’s not at all important compared to having a coordinated group.
Remember that the Cardinal of the Way selects the Conscience of the Senate as well. Traditionally you pick someone from a different nation to serve in this role (or gatekeepers) but people have broken tradition before so you can freely hand that over to someone in your group as well and demand someone pick a fight over it .
More Multi Realm Covens
7 Characters: 2 Ranks in Summer, Winter and Autumn
3 Characters: 2 Ranks of Summer, Winter and Battlemage.
You have Mass Entangle, Mass Venom, Mass Repel, Inevitable Collapse into Ruin, and probably two warding spells.
You have an income of 70 mana, (So Two Mass Rituals and 10 mana of buffs even if you can’t get mana from elsewhere.)
I Pronounce your Doom!
So it’s possible to build so that with 1 casting of Sorin’s Rank of Agony, your coven can hit every personal curse in Imperial Lore, and have a few ranks left over for Paralysis as a spell for easier pronouncing.
It is something I’ve thought about: there are currently nineteen “extra recipe” sets in the game, so a group of four starting characters can have them all between them. But I don’t think you’d be able to generate much advantage from being able to do so.
(Aside - it is highly probable that additional recipe sets exist and are a discoverable secret in the field. Here is an example of potions being added to the lore)
Given that I currently am the Conscience, I shall hang my head in shame at not having included that possibility!
It might be possible to make it so that you build a group to make being an apothecary more fun even if there isn’t a huge advantage. (Although I am generally of the impression that Apothecary suffers from being the Drinks Machine of Empire)
Run a tea rooms, have an alchemists workbench where you actually mix up potions, have enough of a winter coven to be regularly ruthless vigilancing.
Without a shadow of a doubt I’d take a ritual team.
Everyone has Mage and [Lore] 1.
After that it’s personal choice whether you take Artisan, Spells, or Apothecary.
Additional to that I’d pick a theme more specialist than just “lore”. It could be an eternal, a type of ritual (i.e. army buffs or something).
That lets you immediately establish a strong brand which is also half the battle.
…The other half is magical traumatic wounds.
I regret nothing.