Tips for getting involved in subversive/heretical plot or RP?

Hello, not wanting to cross into IC discussion, but wondering if anyone has any tips for getting involved in plot or RP for some of the schisms or heresies of the way.

My character has some secretive leanings towards certain aspects of it, but isn’t really the type to seek out other priests and debate them on it (frankly I don’t know enough about it to do that)

Not looking to be told about the existence of secret groups, but wondering if any one has any tips for how to seek it out or even create it.

thanks, hopefully I’m not crossing into any save it for the field territory.

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Just wander up to an assembly meeting and go “So Montane wasn’t all that bad.”

Really though I assume there’s no easy way to find these things out, perhaps talk to people who have been inquisited.

It is difficult. I would try and find some grey areas to have opinions about in public, and if people seem to agree push them further.

Probably best to avoid Vigilance priests though.

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My character has some secretive leanings towards certain aspects of it, but isn’t really the type to seek out other priests and debate them on it (frankly I don’t know enough about it to do that)

I think “isn’t really the type” might be a stumbling block - is there a way you can steer your character round to talking about this sort of thing?

If you’re not sure about going up and debating, asking people “what are your thoughts on [some heresy]” could be interesting, although you may then have to clarify whether you’re asking about their speculative thoughts as a priest or what they would teach, because some people are probably going to be quite wary of expressing heretical/blasphemous/idolatrous views. :slight_smile:

If you’re looking for schisms to ask about, the Schisms and Heresies page on the wiki has a list of possible ones! This was written before game start and so is kinda historical inspiration rather than stuff that’s definitely come up in play (it doesn’t include the recent schism about Yael’s preaching of the Land Without Tears, for example). But it’s an interesting starting point if there are any that you’d like to ask more about.

If you’re not sure about going and seeking out other priests to debate them, you could try talking to your own group about it, asking them what their thoughts are, and either trying to refine your character’s own beliefs on the matter or actively try to persuade them round to possibly-heretical opinions. Be wary on the latter about other characters that might have harder-line opinions about whether that “possibly heretical” is “definitely heretical” - although possibly, that might be what you’re aiming for!

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(The above is advice on how to create RP yourself around heretical discussion, or find player-instigated RP; I suspect any actual PD-run plot about such would either be much more obvious or secretive enough that it’s chance whether you’d find it, but player-instigated RP is just as fun as PD-instigated RP. :slight_smile: )

A lot of people will do things that are not really in their nature if something drives them to do it. So, if you want to get involved but “my character wouldn’t normally do that” then what would make your character abnormally do that? And can you arrange for that to happen? Maybe the death of a friend shakes their faith. Maybe the execution of a public figure for heresy makes them question what they have been taught? Maybe they have just heard too many stories of bad people doing bad things in the name of virtue and they want to ask questions?

Also, you don’t just have to ask priests about heresy and opinions. A priest is more likely (but not necessarily) going to follow the Way as it is taught. A mage, a soldier, a merchant may “interpret” things differently to suit them. Or may have come across alternative teachings that suit them better than the Way. Read Winds of War/Fortune, look for people who are disillusioned of the current “system” - whether it’s the Way that has let them down or not.

In any case, right now seems like a great time to start planting seeds for these things. There’s some big schisms and more foreign influence in the Empire than there has been for a little while.

Thank you for advice people, very helpful.

I suppose the problem isn’t so much my character, think the problem is more about not knowing enough people - my group can be a bit insular and I’ve found it hard to break into the priest game to speak. I’m a fairly confident person but I’m never sure who to approach, can also feel a bit like people don’t take you seriously when you’re younger looking.

Haven’t been since E1, this yael controversy might provide some fun rp opportunities with the group, I think I’ll give it a go!

I suppose my ideal would be to find a cult of unitarians or some false virtue, but it seems that sort of things either very uncommon or very well hidden.

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So in all honesty, if you guard your character’s fascinating secret inner life too well then nobody will find out about it. If a heretic screams in the woods and nobody is around to see it, are they really a heretic?

Virtue Acts. If your character believes their heresy is virtuous, they should act on it!

Yes, this is likely going to involve a degree of playing to lose OOC. But ‘they are really playing to lose’ can be considered a compliment. That’s not to say that you should play someone without any concept of danger - the most successful heretics I know were actually quite circumspect about their massive, heinous crimes - but an excellent piece of advice I heard about playing a heretic is ‘drive your character like you stole them’. Burn bright, hot, and possibly short - but have fun - and then go on to the next character concept upon your nearly inevitable messy demise. Yael was a player character. The next schism or controversy might have your name on it.

Or, you-know, you might succeed. You might change Doctrine and make the Empire accept your belief. You might win. If you do, you will go down in history. Worth a shot, no?

Even more than most of Empire, this playstyle is most fun in a group. You need to have some people to come home to - some people to bounce off non-adversarily - partners in crime - or you’re probably going to burn out and/or accomplish little more than a public execution.

If on the other hand you just want to be mildly heretical - well. Go look at Synod boards and the Hub noticeboard, look for bills posted or judgements raised by people who look like they might share your views - or post one. Go find allies.

If you’re interested in idolatry, find a herald of an eternal you like the sound of and tell them. Yes, they probably can’t get a message to their boss - but you never know, and it might be that the herald has a task that you can perform in the name of their inhuman master.

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I have had an idea to play a hate priest from the mourn. See how long it takes to get killed while spreading around as many auras and anointings.

“I anoint this weapon with the spirit of the mournweald, the virtue that fueled us to fight against the Jotun. May it provide a source of strength in your darkest hour”

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I will attempt to post something full later.

However I would like to say that the Synod Civil Service fully endorses player-led heterodoxy, progressive theology, schisms, heresy, blasphemy, idolatry, abuse of powers and accusations of all the above.

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I mean, that was literally the Friar Robin plot PD ran, so the current record is 2 events. Be aware that you cannot start play dedicated to a False Virtue and NPCs do not easily hand out False Dedications. It took a Freeborn group a year of rather obvious Vengeance activity to get hold of a means to create those auras, for example.

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And then they all died almost immediately after!

Try interacting with NPCs who might be sympathetic. A high profile Vengeance cult turned out to have links to a foreign nation who follow it, so if your heresy is orthodox abroad, see if you can speak to any foreign delegates of that nation. The ambassadors are listed on the imperial positions page so generate a benign excuse to talk to them. Although as Jim said above, that took time to build up the relationship.

Eternals and heralds are not generally out to enforce the Empire’s heresy laws, in fact some encourage breaking them (one eternal rather liked an Anarchy cult). The worst that is likely to happen from trying to discuss heresy with a herald is that it thinks you are of no further interest to it.

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(Incidentally the Schisms and Heresies page on the wiki seems to now have been updated with the Yaelian Schism, which is neat to see.)

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My pro-tip is simply this: consult the handy list in the Hub of when each Virtue Assembly meets (usually most of them meet every day) then go along to your AND any others you fancy - seriously most Virtue Assemblies are cool about people ‘joining in’ most of the time.

This will let you meet and engage with other priests in a comfortable setting AND it will quickly get you up-to-speed on the burning issues of the day. You’ll quickly start to find opportunities to drop comments or observations that will attract ‘like-minded’ souls …

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Another one that’s been used effectively - join the militia, make sure you are the one in charge of the investigation on anything you actually want to get involved in. This might work better when you’re already involved in it otherwise your target naughty comrades might assume the infiltration is the other way round.

Empire is a game with great room for heterodoxy. For example the the De Lusignans were far more than just magical Terrorists Cursing Places Because Anarchy. Before they got caught, were engaging in increasingly unsubtle attempts to paint Vigilance as Fear. They didn’t like Vigilance but they also didn’t like Fear any more than we did. The Freeborn Vengeance lot were non-too-subtly encouraging retribution without actually saying Here Is Some Vengeance.

The fun part of the Way for me isn’t slapping aura ribbons on things, it’s having moral and spiritual authority. Currently there is a major schism over Yael and a hot-button issue over how we deal with “Evil Virtue” i.e. “We tortured that army because Virtue/No You Didn’t”.

There is definitely game in trying to get other people’s views declared heretical, or openly skirting the line. It doesn’t require mechanical skills and you can be open about it for longer without dying.

For what it’s worth I rocked up intending to cause controversy with pamphlets and my PC ended up Imperial Inquisitor.

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This page is amazing.

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I would suggest looking up the Now Wiki Officially Recognised player-created sodality The New Scions of Atun in the field. I here they have occasionally had Controversial Opinions.

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

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