Separate Nations

Hi! My brother and I are super excited to come to E1 in 2020 (Yay! Also, yes, I know, that’s a long darn wait). However, we are in the process of character creation and may possibly want to play as different nations. How much/how will this impact our ability to play together?

Welcome NatDevonLad, to the game and the forums!

There are quite a few people planning their attendance at E1 already, the good news is plenty of time to prepare…(the bad news is it’s a long wait).

If you and your brother are playing in different nations:

You’ll have to seperate for the occasional national focussed event (elections, for instance)
It will be difficult (if at all possible) to get any blessings/enchantments etc to affect you both.
You will not be in the same formations on the field of battle, and may not even be on the same side.
You may find that plots aimed at one nation or another drag you apart in terms of interests and play objectives…

…that’s it, really.

You can camp together, if you wish.
Invite each other to each others national events.
Go socialising together.
Go on skirmishes (quests) together.

You can even be in-game brothers as well, whose hearts have called them to different nations… there’s a good story there, and could work well.

Happy to answer any further questions!

4 Likes

Thank you so much for your quick and comprehensive reply! I just read about Empire a few days ago and absolutely kicking myself for not having done so in time for E4 2019! Quick question about being from different Nations: if we want to camp together, can we do it in the IC area, or only OOC?

This is perhaps more important than you realise. While many people in the same nation end up assigned to different formations (healers going one way while a knight in armour goes another), you are at least fighting together. In different nations, there’s maybe a 50-50 chance that one of you will be playing an orc and trying to murder your friend’s nation; you may even find yourself facing your IRL friend from behind an orc mask.

That is quite common even in the same nation, to be fair. Many events are compromises; fight the Grendel (pirate-orcs) with enough numbers and you get a benefit, but how do you convince other players to forgo lucrative trading opportunities?

I have seen cross-nation friendships thrive, but I have also seen players switch nations so they could be in the same group together full-time. Also, maybe in hopes of not having to kill an eternal for their future father-in-law, but mostly just to be with their friends.

2 Likes

Thank for the advice! I think my brother will likely go for a more combat-oriented role (not sure which nation), whereas I’m currently considering more of a Highguard priest, with little-to-no desire to fight.

Mainly I’m concerned about missing out on things which would be happening in each nation’s camp (socialising, event info, etc). I’m thinking that we might be able to have our own shared tent and then spend most of our time separately at our respective nation’s camps, occasionally meeting up for things?

If it’s going to be more of a pain than it’s worth, I could foresee just choosing the nation he chooses, but would be nice if international play could be feasibly do-able.

I would strongly recommend seeing if there’s a nation that interests both of you as you can fit combat and priesting of one kind or other in every nation. Having a buddy in your own nation you can go do stuff with is pretty helpful in getting you involved and also giving you confidence to say hello and start asking questions.

Highguard has a lot of scope for fighty stuff, either heavy armour, battle mages (minimal armour so can be cheaper to sort kit for) or skirmishy stuff with Unconquered. What kind of stuff are they interested in? And what in addition to HG priest sounds interesting to you?

Happy to help brainstorm something that fits you both :slight_smile: (In fact invite them over).

Oh for reference sharing an IC tent is absolutely fine, you’ll be coming back late and getting up before time in so there’s no issue. You can use any vague excuse you like :).

1 Like

You might find it easier to camp OOC for your first event, unless you are an experienced canvas camper with your own suitable tent already. OOC camping is much easier, with a lot less kit, allows you to decompress and froth with your brother more easily and none of the camping is very far from the IC field anyway.

2 Likes

I think that’s actually a pretty sound suggestion. I was initially excited at the prospect of being able to watch the IC world go by whilst I sat outside my tent, but having done some research it looks like the tent itself is going to be really expensive! It might be sensible to step off the accelerator for my first event and keep things simple. Even when brainstorming character ideas, I’m thinking it may be better to only create a foundation and to flesh it out after having been to some events?

Yes all the nations have a adventurer archetype looking for a place intentionally.

For Highguard you could be someone who’s just completed their military service or returned from pilgrimage and is looking for a Chapter to belong to.

In Dawn they’re called questing knights and so on.

The important catch phrase is “I’m new to Anvil” which lets the rest of us know to explain stuff a bit more completely so you can get involved. Also say “yes” as often as possible.

2 Likes

Taking it slow for the first event is a good idea. Do you have any experience at LARPing?

A light character sketch rather than a novel of backstory is a good idea: Profound Decisions do read them all… (this means that if you have a murderous criminal past, you may get arrested for it…). Remember that the important stuff should be what happens in play.

As for sitting by your tent watching the world go by, if you join (or just hang around with) a group in play, you will likely be able to rest in their tent, leave equipment there, grab a seat there, help run the bar, and so on. Alternitively, there are several bars, the tavern, and in-game eateries if you want somewhere to chat and snack.

After you decide on nation, looking at groups might be a good idea.

2 Likes

Yes, this will be my first LARP. I love the concept, as I’ve spent some time in theatre groups at university and love roleplaying videogames, so it seems like the logical fusion of the two. I also love socialising and consider myself pretty outgoing. My brother maybe a little less, so I don’t want to totally abandon him at Empire, though we expect to have different interests and I get the impression that LARPers are very inviting.

At the time of writing this my brother is away, so discussing nations and characters and things is on hold for a few days, which is why I’m short of details atm.

Please excuse me going off the original topic (I’ve never actually used online forums before)…

1 Like

It’s your thread, and it’s a valid subject for the New players section.

RPG + improvised theatre is a reasonable way to look at LARP.

By coming to Empire, you ARE jumping in the deep end. There will be thousands of other players. You will be coming in at the start of the eighth year of a long and complex story…

…luckily, as mentioned, it’s a system friendly to new players, and full of cheerful and helpful people.

In a group, you can encompass all sorts of activities anyway. Even if it’s a group of only 2 of you, it doesn’t matter if you split up to do socialising, trading, religious debate, quests, magic, politics, and only meet up in the evening for a drink and to exchange stories…

A group has to be all one nation though. That would be (usually) a Chapter in Highguard, or a House in Dawn, or a Spire in Urizen, etc…

So you and your brother COULD join groups aligned with your interests in separate nations, or a substantial group with room for everything, or form your own small group.

If you take the latter route, you don’t need to have an on-field presence (a tent), but making some friends and having somewhere to drop things is very helpful. Even if it’s only “guys, can I leave my chainmail and shield in the corner of your tent instead of carrying them back to the OOC camping…?”

(I play in Dawn. my heavy stuff tends to be martial)

Still, if you too are still choosing nations, a few words:
Read the top page or two of each nation. And then pick out one or two that grab your interest, and dig a little deeper. You do NOT need to know everything about your nation, let alone everyone elses.

Chat with your brother about what you want to get out of the game, what sort of characters you want to play, and what you want to do all day. Don’t be afraid to play tourist for the first event, or make characters you’ll likely drop after playing them once. A lot of people end their first event planning a lot of changes and different directions.

And carry on dropping by here, we’ll answer anything… :slight_smile:

2 Likes

Some very useful advice, thank you!

Let’s assume that he and I choose to play the same nation. Would you still recommend camping OOC? The IC camps are so much more enticing to me, despite the cost and effort needed for them. But, if it’s not advised for completely new players, I would understand.

Also, on a completely unrelated note: my brother makes replica weapon, armour, accessories, etc. by leather work, smithing, etc. Might he be able to sell these at event IC? I’m sure they’d have to meet safety standards, but are there any other rules?

Also, I’ve been trying to work out how I might be able to create a character which plays to my skills and interests, but to no avail so far. I’m very interested in lore, I’m a linguist with a great passion for all languages, I love drawing and writing (though I’m no expert in either!) and very interested in the idea of the Way. I enjoy public speaking. I might be interested in support roles on the battlefield. The priest role and the physick most interest me, based on what I’ve read on the wiki, but trying to nail down anything further.

Certainly for the first event, camp OOC. You’ll have a lot to take in without camp planning, an IC tent, and being “on-stage” all the time… and at E1, there is also the threat of the weather…

You can certainly spend E1 looking at tent designs, asking after them, and networking: you may well find someone wanting to sell off a bell tent, for instance…

Re trading:
https://www.profounddecisions.co.uk/empire-wiki/Trader_guidelines

No replica (metal) weapons, but if he wants to peddle stuff IC, for IC or OOC money, then that’s likely fine. I advise you drop PD an email and enquire in detail on this.

Re character creation: you don’t have to take the battlefield. Storyteller priest is a valid concept in many nations, especially if you have the hard skills* to carry it off. Physick is a nice starting skill set, and gives you a clear and valued role, but can eat a lot of character points.

Bear in mind, as a new player, you could swap around almost everything on you first character during/after the first event (PD are understanding of “I want to do this other cool thing I didn’t know existed!”), if not retire the character completely and roll up another…

*Soft skills = stuff on your character such as Priest.
Hard skills = stuff that YOU have, such as a good public speaking voice, a good memory, sincerity, ability to stand up and preach at people, and so on.
(Hard skills such as Good Cardio, Remembers Names, and Passionate Speaker are, frankly, overpowered… :stuck_out_tongue: )

2 Likes

If you do nothing else to prepare, get into shape. Remembering names and making good speeches are awesome, but you they are going to take a long time to master; good cardio just needs a couple of months and a willingness to ache a little in the morning.

Try out Couch 2 5K if you have never really been good at cardio, because it is honestly the biggest bang for your buck of any LARP-hack I have ever known. It lets you stay in the fight when the other players are flagging, it lets you get out of the fight when the line breaks.

I would seriously say that basic cardio is the difference between tiring after five minutes of battle and walking off the field after an hour and a half ready to go again. Just… Don’t expect to go again, that’s the adrenaline talking and you are going to crash in five to ten minutes, so go find a bar or tea shop to sit down in while you recover.

3 Likes

Id certainly look to compromise and join one nation together, preferably Highguard because we are the best :stuck_out_tongue: You can play any character type in any nation but tbh you will either compromise both of your experiences missing out on stuff or running back and forth or just not see each other much if you do get sucked in, possibly leaving one of you kicking your heels, which sucks.

Wheras if you are together you can still go off and do your own things, (The scope is definitely there for two players in the same group, the same character type and the same general goals to barely see each other all weekend and still have a great time) but you are also there for each other straightforwardly without having to choose between different national games which can often (Deliberately) clash with each other across nations.

Also camping OOC is big and clever until you know you like this lark :slight_smile:

3 Likes

Okay, brother has returned and we have pretty much decided… onward to Highguard! (at least for our first event :stuck_out_tongue:)

I think the Unconquered appeals most of all to him, whilst I will stick with the more traditional Highborn priest or healer. I think the “two brothers with divided loyalties” schtick could play quite well here. Are the Unconquered like a Chapter that you have to apply to join, or can you just write your character as being one automatically?

Having done some more reading, he is no longer interested in the combat side, but extremely interested in crafting and peddling. He’ll refer to the wiki for weapon and armour guides, as well as contacting PD for more specifics. Who knows, a keen future craftsman may be in the works: watch this space!

As for me, I think a Priest of the Way would be a sensible opening role, with the option to hone in on a specific Virtue in the future when I am more familiar with them. I wonder if we could get away with my brother’s character being more cynical of established national and religious beliefs, with my character trying to keep him on the straight and narrow path. (btw, I’m not saying that we only intend to play together, but I think it’ll give us just a little more to play with initially until we know other people).

In line with the IC-brothers concept; I’ve been looking at Highborn naming conventions and noticed that often a character is referred to as “X, son Y”. So, by both being “son of Y”, it would more clearly establish the relationship between our characters for the benefit of other players.

Any more general thoughts you guys could help with based on the brief “two Highborn brothers, one devoted priest, one cynical craftsman”? Any idea which territory this kind of background would make sense to be from? Ways to mesh it into the general lore?

Thanks for all the amazing help so far!

1 Like

Are the Unconquered like a Chapter that you have to apply to join, or can you just write your character as being one automatically?

The Unconquered are an archetype - you can think of them a bit like a character class, though it’s nothing so formal. So you can absolutely begin the game as one of the Unconquered, and the people around you will understand that as shorthand for “Highguard skirmisher”.

3 Likes

Sounds like a solid plan :slight_smile:

One thing i would say is egregore magic makes your national stereotypes seem like the only sensible recourse. Rather than being cynical of those id suggest clashing along pragmatic/idealistic would be a more fulfilling angle and would really fit the nation in play. Some would say the National assembly is dangerously idealistic and the Unconquered as a whole overly pragmatic after all. :wink:

Any territory would work, though Reikos tends much more towards pragmatic as a whole (YMMV!) having been under he heel of the Druj so id look towards the other three tbh, any of whom should fit nicely. Pick one? Id say Casinea as the other two have a similarly (but not as big) priestly angle.

Another angle could be you both doing military service in different armies, the Seventh wave is very Unconquered heavy and its long term general very pragmatic which may have influenced your brother while you may have served with the more idealistic/heroic Granite pillar or Valiant Pegasus? Gives you both some hooks to other characters as significant numbers of players will have served with one of the three (Though the Pegasus is relatively new, so you might be too old ooc :smiley: ).

Hope that all helps, ive got to catch a train!

2 Likes