The Marches character making help?

I’m trying to get a handle on making my character.

I’m going to be part of Kings Stoke as I already have a friend there, and the folk there have said it’s fine to join them. My first event will be E2, but I’ll also be bringing my kids for E3.

I was thinking about owning a farm (farming bees).

And I’d like to get involved in politics, maybe being a political aide, or apprenticing to be a diplomat. Do the Marches have any diplomats? Would a Marcher diplomat type fit in?

Also, as I can’t really fight for various reasons, is it worth being a magic user? The land rituals sound interesting.

Are there advantages/disadvantages of different lineages?

Umm, is there anything else I need to think about?

1 Like

Many, many Marchers own farms and farming bees sounds perfect for a Marcher. This is what has led the Marches to being one of the wealthiest nations in play.

Every territory in the empire has a senator. So a Marcher diplomat is a solid concept and being someone’s aid is a perfect way to get into that side of the game.

Using your XP to become a ritualist can give you extra game outside Senate politics. You could get involved in Conclave politics as well or instead, and there are a number of useful rituals for farms.

Lineages are RP-elements only and have no stat adjustments in Empire. As a new player in the Marches, the only lineage I’d recommend against in the Briars as there’s a strong animosity against them. If you’re looking for that kind of conflict in your RP, then that’s the lineage I recommend. haha

:joy:…so not Briars then. Why do people have lineages? Does it make for a more interesting character?

Lineage lets you put a spin on the character and help them be not just you in a funny hat. it’s a good way to start out as it gives you a few sure personality traits. The biggest advantage of playing a naga on this PC is it regularly reminds me to sit down, take a break and enjoy that :wink: .

I’d probably pick 2 sorts of ritual magic maximum. I played a character in King’s Stoke with all 3 farm rituals, and the trouble was he was spread so thin that he couldn’t do much other magic. Spring is very focused on combat or large rituals, so might be the least good for you. I’d look at Summer or Autumn for farms and other stuff, and Night, Day or Winter because those give you divination and plot-detecting rituals.

There are no Marchers who are Ambassadors to foreign nations, so that’s certainly a worthy goal. There are definitely Marchers who do internal Imperial diplomacy and politics (Hi I play one, don’t even have an official position).

I’m currently playing in Pickham Monastery, which is canonically just down the road from King’s Stoke, so if you want to chat by PM or something let me know.

Also have a look at the archetypes, specifically Landskeeper.
these are magicians who put the national interest first.

It’s a deeply political brief, and was a lot of fun to play. My one was part of Kings Stoke, fought in the bill block, but off the battlefield, he was very clear that he cared about what was good for Marches, not necessarily what was just good for Upwold or the Empire. I did a lot of diplomacy via Conclave and talking to people who had positions there.

Ooh… sounds like you already have a decent couple of handles on your character, and I look forward to seeing it in play. I see “farm.”, “politics.”, “non-combat.”, “diplomat?”, “magic?”, “lineage?”. I’d answer the “magic?” and “lineage?” questions before hitting play, but PD are fairly flexible about re-statting after a one event trial-run. “Magic?” is an easy decision - what levers and buttons do you want available for your character to change the world? If the answer is “chants, gestures and mana”, then the answer is “Magic”. “Lineage?” is less easy - do you want to have a little rules support for certain character traits and motivations, provided you also advertise these?
So, skim reading and pattern matching your opening post for a moment:
“I’d like to get involved in politics”, “are there any advantages of different lineages”… Have you considered Cambion? They are set up to be a domineering political agent.
“worth being a magic user?”, “the land rituals sound interesting”… the land rituals are interesting because of the collaboration, exploitation and income that come off the back of them, not because they themselves are interesting. Politics and diplomacy, encore!
“farm”, “politics”, “Kings Stoke”, yup, of course the Marches gives politics to the farmers, they’re the only ones with a decent long-term view of the land.
“bees”, “economic rituals”, “farm”, have you considered Prosperity as a virtue, but also probably good to leave for play.

2 Likes

As a Marcher briar, I would heartily recommend playing one unless you definitely don’t want to deal with the anti-briar sentiment. King’s Stoke are, as a rule, allies to briars, so you would at least have their support against anyone who tries to put you down.

Thanks, that’s really helpful, and it’s helping me work out what to do. I also need to develop a back story, but I’ll need to talk that through with the rest of the family.

I need to have a closer look at the lineages. Why are people prejudiced against Briars?

In general, briars tend towards being energetic, straightforward, and single-minded. This can mean that when they decide something is a problem, they will remove that problem by the most lateral means they have available, without consulting anyone else. This can be annoying for some people.

Briars are also associated with Freedom Heresy because of their psychological inclinations (and because historically they usually make up a signficant chunk of Freedom cults), and with the Vallorn because they’re born of spring magic.

In the Marches specifically, briars are known to corrupt the land. A buried briar causes all manner of unpredictable Spring magic to manifest in the land surrounding the corpse. As a proper Marcher burial entails being done on your steward’s farmland beneath an appletree, this tends to be what Marchers call “bad for farming”. This worrying effect has built up a lot of superstition around briars, to the point that some Marchers wouldn’t let a briar work their land for fear the sweat will corrupt it.

Briar is also the easiest lineage to hide once it’s manifested, and the most likely lineage to manifest late in life without any prior signs, which means you never know for sure the unlineaged human you’re talking to isn’t secretly a briar…

In short, briars are tied to unpredictable magic, are inconvenient to have around, provoke paranoia, and prejudice has a kind of inertia that means once it gets started, people will come up with all sorts of reasons to keep it going.

1 Like

Briars are roughly speaking the Anti-Marcher. Untamed nature magic vs Tamed farm magic. Abrupt and direct vs Grudges and animosity. Energetic vs Dour. You can easily see how when the game designers were looking around for prejudices to include they chose Marcher Briar prejudice. Add in a bit of hearth magic, and the prejudice becomes accurate.
Those who chose to play a Marcher Briar are selecting Hard Mode at the difficulty screen and I respect this choice even while disrespecting their character.

1 Like

" A buried briar causes all manner of unpredictable Spring magic to manifest in the land surrounding the corpse"

This is a common IC opinion that it’s valid to hold, but it’s specifically down on the wiki as “folklore and hearsay” not fact. So playing a briar gives a chance to argue against that/threaten to have yourself buried on your enemies land in the dead of night when you snuff it, etc.

https://www.profounddecisions.co.uk/empire-wiki/The_Marches_lineage_and_species_attitudes

1 Like

Lineages do now have a small IC advantage, but of course they have a disadvantage that it’s one more step to prepare your character each day. If you don’t go into battle, that’s less rushed (I miss 12.30-1.30pm after monstering as I have to layer my wax gills on after battle and let them set).

Note lineage is very hard to change, unlike resource and skills. You can’t remove lineage unless you happen to be in the right place to please the opposite kind of eternal (but you’re a mage, so this is possible). You can gain lineage with exposure to certain magics (it will say on the wound description etc) or by an eternal’s boon.

I found I was able to get involved with things that were going on more by keeping it simple (as I did initially with everything but Merrow). I don’t regret the Merrow, but my next character’s going to be unlineaged if anyone ever bumps Sianu off. I’ve got to the stage of giving some reason to!

Linieage is also great if you want to add a little bit of a spin on your character that is slightly off brief for the nation (emphasis on slight)
Personal Example: Urizen (the best nation) isnt too much on trade and comerce (at least on the wiki). But put a little silver on my face and it makes perfect sense for my Urizen trader because Cambion (best lineage).
“Extreme”/ Funny example: The Urizen culture loves a lot of personal space. For instance handshakes are usually reserved for friends, not casual acquaintances. This doesnt stop a group of Urizeni Naga from hosting a regular “Naga Pile” in thier teahouse, where all are welcome!

As for Phys Reps (physical representations), there is actually quite a bit of lee-way as to what all you use. You can spend a hundred pounds and an hour applying makeup and prosthetics and horn wigs. But you can also splash some appropriate colored paint on you and that is entirely reasonable.
I for one got tired of my tall horns nearly breaking my neck everytime i encountered a low door, or tree brances, or a tent flap, or a tall guy wire, or an arrow, or Spear, or someone elses horns…
The point is, and always remember, your there to have fun and once more you paid to be there. If something is un-funly uncomfortable or inconvenient, ditch it .(you’ll get a bit more leeway to alter yourself since your new, but after a few events you do need to settle on your physreps)

2 Likes

Thanks so much everyone.

Someone has mentioned that I might be interested in the Imperial offices (is that right? Still learning…) as a way to get to know what’s happening more widely politically, and to get involved in the background.

I think it could be interesting, but I’ve got some questions:

I’m wondering whether I’ll end up mostly away from the other Marchers, and lose out on getting to know people?

Who is actually running them at the moment, given there’s no empress? Who’s the power behind the throne?

Would being part of that be a good way to get more involved in Empire politics in the future?

The Imperial Offices are basically “imperial politics club” at this point, they were a support group for the previous throne and they’re still providing services like hosting ambassadorial meetings, keeping a list of senators who still have a second to use and the like.

Ambassador wise I don’t think they’ve ever had a Marcher as an ambassador (?), so getting involved is an excellent idea. People to talk to include the Imperial Consul and the Imperial Chaplain Consular

You will have to decide how you spend your time, people do manage to split their socialising between their nation and the rest of the field. But you’re choosing where you have influence, if you have lots of friends and contacts in other nations then that’s something you’ll have more than most Marchers. But you won’t have to cut yourself off from your nation, just chose how you spend your time carefully.

The Imperial Offices is certainly one entry route into politics. Others I can think of off the top of my head include, being an aide to one of your Senators (and potentially a proxy for them) or being a priest and sticking your nose into whatever seems interesting (in a way mandated by the Way :slight_smile:).

King’s Stoke is a pretty good group to be involved in if you like politics, as running a bar gets a lot of people through, and they have a lot of connections outside the Marches. The Imperial Offices is good to get involded with because you don’t have a named responsibility like an Imperial Position, so you can offer a much time as you want.

1 Like

Good point about the bar, I’m looking forward to getting involved :slightly_smiling_face:

Thank you, that’s really helpful. So, what are the Imperial Consul and the Imperial Chaplain Consular?

I like the idea that Empire has an unofficial politics club, takes my back to my university days :grin:

The Imperial Consul liaises between the Senate and the ambassadors, and sort of acts like the de facto ambassador where no position exists. They are appointed by the Senate. The current Consul is Skywise Fal, an Imperial Orc, since Summer (E3) last year.

The Imperial Chaplain Consular liaises between the ambassadors and the Synod, and makes sure the ambassadors stay on the straight and narrow when it comes to the Way. The current Chaplain is Aureliana Perpetua Nicasia Saverio di Sarvos, a Leaguer, and the next scheduled appointment is at Spring (E2) by the Cardinal of the Way.

2 Likes