The Academy's worth


I plan on hopefully attending next year, as I turn 14 and want to fight as soon as I pass the Test of Arms. However, I have heard that it can be daunting solo at your first event (my father wouldn’t be much help as, unusually, I am bringing him along more than anything, and he has never done anything like it), so wanted some sort of foothold. I am aware of the Academy’s purpose, but was interested in:
The current demographic (mainly in terms of age) if anyone has experience working there
The freedom of the academy- am I allowed to drift in and out of lessons depending on interest, or, even better, choose what to learn no matter the time?
In general, its worth, especially as I am of an age and inclination that means I can, and already have, researched much of Empire and its history via the wiki.

I also plan on, before an event I attend, asking on the Brass Coast Facebook if any groups are looking for younger members


Welcome along to the game Mannalos!

The Academy is good for learning the basics, although yes, at 14, you may be perfectly able to absorb most of what you need from the wiki.

Current demographic that I’ve observed is that it’s mostly ages 5 to early teens? It’s quite difficult to tell, so I suspect someone will pop up and correct me shortly.

I think attendance is pretty free and on a drop-in, drop-out basis, as they generally have a list of lessons etc up, and of course smaller people are dragged in or out by their parents on a regular basis.

I can certainly reccomend finding a group beforehand. The Brass Coast are a friendly bunch, and will happily answer many questions :slight_smile:

If you’re next event to attend is going to be next year, you do have plenty of time to sort things out though!

I shall leave others to answer in more detail. :wink:


My anecdata as the parent of a four-year-old who enjoys the Academy but is a little young for a lot of the activities:

There are definitely a fair number of teens and older pre-teens still using/involved with the Academy - they fielded at least a dozen on the Cadet (i.e. full combat) quest last event.

Lessons is a bit of a misnomer. There are actual sit-listen-and-learn lessons, but just as often there are guest speakers, hands-on practicals (there was a lock-picking lesson a couple of events back), tactical exercises (the Academy has just acquired a gorgeous map of imaginary lands with armies and such so they can do proper war games). Following your interests is absolutely encouraged.

If you can hook up with a group, if only to have a home base on the field and some people to bounce off, it will likely help massively.


That’s very helpful, thanks.

A little emoji :slight_smile: for you and for the badge


That makes sense, and yeah, with the group I didn’t really mean to engage. Just meet a couple of people and make connections. It’ll be interesting to learn some of the practical stuff


so you can go to what you want at the academy alot of what they do is help you learn about the game world and interact.

At 14 you will also need to pass your test of citizenship first which gets you a character points. Children have passed this as very young age but I believe until you are 16 you need to do that before you can take your battle test. It would be best to check with pd to be sure on this.

Do your all ready lrp elsewhere or will empire be your first lrp game?


I have not LARPed before but engage in roleplaying in the few areas I can, including pacing my bedroom. The wiki states that you can take the test of citizenship at any age and the test of arms at 14, which is the age I intended to attend. Then at 16, apart from buying alcohol, you pretty much have full access to the game.


yeah so in practise this normally means take citizenship first and then battle test as you do not get skill points till you have passed this then take the test of arms. And it is not a given you will pass either. t The citizenship test is about understanding the game world and your nation and character and where you want to go.

The battle test I believe is seeing if you can cope in a combat situation. So it may be you do not pass them both at your first event. Though at 14 you will be able to go on the cadet mission.

Do you know anyone else who already goes along? Are you going with a group?


Unfortunately not. As I’ve said, I am aware that it can be quite daunting for a new solo player. That is part of the reason I was asking about the academy: it is something that acts like a group and puts me in contact with some people, but I don’t have to bear any allegiance to it. I will ask before the event if any BC groups are happy with taking in a younger member though.
I would love to go with a group, but I seriously doubt I have any friends close enough or friends who are interested in LARP to the extent that they would invest the huge amount of time and money in coming with me


yeah generally people are friendly just other experienced people you know can help get you involved but tbh just willing to have a go will get you a long way.I would say the Academy is the best place to go to get a start and meet people. Get down there Friday night and meet and talk toe people. They will let you know the schedule of what they have planned for the weekend and there will be people there to help teach you what you need to know or answer questions. There are normally people around willing to teach you all sorts of things.

Clearly you have read the wiki to some extent already and that will help as well. Also go round and talk and meet people it is all part of the experience.

I have 2 sons of my own one 10 and one 14 but they have both been lrping since they were babes in arms they have used the academy on and off over the years but it has been really helpful place to get established and meet other people. We are based in highguard but you will meet people from all the different nations there and lots of different ages


I suppose the main thing is to just stop thinking about it, turn up and do it. And yeah, I sometimes get a tad obsessive about reading wikis


sorry edited my previous comment… there is alot to read on the wiki so not a bad thing to have read lots of it. Knowing it will help massively with the test of citizenship. They may well have some guide books on what you need to know to pass that at the academy and if not theAnvil Library may well have one.


Thank you, you’ve been helpful. Just a shame you’re Highguard… tut tut


well my character was born in the brass coast but then changed nation :slight_smile:


So. I’m a younger player- 16 at the time of publishing this message and can wholeheartedly recommend the academy. Though the wiki is encompassing it can often fall fault to it’s own size, there will always be aspects you’ll miss; not only to the academy help build upon your prior knowledge but also extend opportunities and game for younger players.

Most groups are fairly receptive to younger players, as a fellow Freeborn I’d be happy to help in anyway I can. I’m hardly on the Forums however, only here because someone linked me to this topic, and I’d be much easier to contact on Facebook at: Samuel Newton or on the Empire Discord server.

In Pride and Prosperity,
Aurelio i Sarado i Riqueza


Thank you so much. I know Empire, and the Freeborn are very welcoming (you read it everywhere) but to see it in action is hugely reassuring. If I find the funds to go, I have the highest hopes you will be meeting Brejaño i Seperez i Erigo soon.
Thank you again


@Mannalos I would suggest asking on the FB and seeing if anyone has some armour to loan for a fight.


The value of a group to help get you into the game as it runs on the field, as opposed to how the wiki describes it, cannot be overstated. Many players coming along on their own for the first time struggle until they fall in with such a group. That you’re of an age to try the Academy, a place you know will take you in and help you out, is to your advantage. I’d turn up to it at least and see what the staff have to offer.

(Note: I just started typing: “It depends what type of character you want to play”, but, like, mistake 3 in the LARP book is letting yourself have no fun because “it’s what my character would do” is different to your fun. Especially with your first character, make sure to spend an event finding out what’s going on!)

Edit: Nothing wrong with the Highborn :stuck_out_tongue:


Thanks. I may have found a couple of people may be willing to let me into their group. However, I will check everything out. I suppose in your first event, it’s less playing your character and more preparing to do so next time


Kinda, yeah. It seems a bit odd to think of your hobby that way, but yeah. I’d been doing a small local LARP system for a couple of years when I went to my first fest and I was wide-eyed at the scale of it.

(and that game was, like, a bit under half the size of Empire at present).