What Character archetypes are needed in each Nation?

Hi all, me and a friend of mine are thinking of getting into empire and I was wondering what each nation needs more of. It might sound vague but what I mean is from what I’ve seen Wintermark has a lot of fighters and the Brass coast has a lot of traders. I could be wrong about those examples (haven’t ever been to empire) my friend and I dont have a particular preference, but think itd be fun to go where we could add the most to a nation.

Thanks for reading my long ramble .

People who pick a brief and back it. The named archetypes are here, and are a good starting point. If you can say “Looks like that’s Landskeeper/Archivist/Sentinel business, HOLD ON, I GOT THIS”, you’re half way there. All large games suffer from people being generic. If you can really buy into a role, you can show off a part of a Nation and encourage others to join in that game.


Similarly for “I used to serve in this army, and represent that thing it’s known for”. E.g. playing a beater from the Bounders, or a torturer from the Iron Helms (the latter being the I Want Controversy option as that army’s existence is major political plot, due to people being unhappy with it literally having a Monster battalion etc).


Thanks for the info I was also wondering from each nations perspective what they want/ need more of like if the Navarr need more brokers or if Wintermark need more Grimnir. I know thats more opinion based but any ideas would be interesting.

Honestly. all nations (except perhaps Wintermark) could do with more of everything. Don’t feel you need to find an empty hole to have fun, play the character you want to play and have fun doing it.

That said No one is ever going to turn away another skilled Ritualist and there is always work for an artificer or a Physick.


The best way to enjoy yourself is find something you think “Wow, I have to play one of those” and play it.

That said, Wintermark is hugely overpopulated (in my opinion, I’m just a player), so if any of the other nations appeal to you, show them some love!


So I definitely get that there is a desire to turn up somewhere where you will be valued. The thing is aside from the really small nations I would be surprised if it was easy to say X needs Y. Being something that your group is really short of is more achievable I could easily say what my group needs but that doesn’t mean Dawn as a whole is short of them.

This is compounded by some of roles like ritualists being very group dependant, so turning up in the Grendel because they don’t have enough Skymages and finding that you can only hit Sky 12 and they really need the 30-40 range would be meh. (It’s an example from one of the enemy forces.) Guisers in Dawn might be a playable example of this.

That being said no one needs more apothecaries :p.

There is the brand new Sword-Scholars archetype in Urizen, there might be a couple appear at this event but there’ll be very few of them I imagine, might be an opportunity to get in on it early and help define it in play…

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This may sound like an odd one… but more Mages in Urizen.

The Mage archetype is Urizen’s ‘political wizard’ archetype, and there are fewer political magician heavyweights
in Urizen than you might think at first glance.

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My impression of how things are in the League…

Archetype Description Abundance/shortage
Merchant Prince A Merchant Prince is head of a Guild, the tight-knit mercantile organisations which define the shape of League society. There are a goodly number of guilds in play, and each guild has its Prince, so there’s the appropriate number of Princes.
Often a large fraction of a guild’s non-prince members don’t really seem to fit any of the listed archetypes.
Bravo Bravos are the members of the mercenary Free Companies, as rough and rowdy off the battlefield as they are disciplined and professional on it, and immensely proud of their Companies. There are plenty of bravos in Free Companies, and some other characters who seem bravo by nature even if they’re not in a mercenary unit. Quite an imbalance of sexes though: given that in the game-world they exist in equal numbers, there’s a shortage of female bravos (even compared to the ratio in the Empire player-base).
Bishop The Bishops of the League are its high priests, who provide Virtuous guidance to any who can afford it, and who compete using the size and influence of their congregations. My impression is that currently there are not very many who make their priestliness the core of their identity.
Troupe Magician Troupes are bands of actors who often go masked while performing, and when performing ritual magic. To them, magic is a commodity like any other. For a long while there was just one (IC-professional) troupe (The Four Rivers Theatre), then another one was in play for a while until too many died in battle… but more recently there’s the Withering Gaze who are mountebanks but almost troupe-like, and a new troupe started play at E2 this year (I forget its name). Still, another troupe wouldn’t go amiss, or an existing troupe might benefit from an additional member: 4RT and Withering Gaze are both small groups at present.
Mountebank Mountebanks are street magicians whose tricks may be sleight of hand or genuine magic, many of whom skirt the edges of the law playing short-cons and rigging street games. My impression is that there are only a few at present. Although maybe there are some who are passing themselves off as something else…
Cicisbeo A Cicisbeo is an expensive professional paramour, the only exception to League culture’s absolute prohibition on extramarital relations. There are a fair few of them, but a disappointingly small minority of them are male (given that in the gameworld they exist in equal numbers).

I would absolutely love to see one of these for other nations (especially Urizen in my case). It could really help people find a niche in thier nation and help them find a better game if that’s what their looking for.

Archetype Description Abundance/shortage
Arbiter An Arbiter is the appointed leader of a Spire, often (but not always) its wisest and most skilled mage. Much like Princes in the League, there as many of these as there need to be. Most spires have one.
Sentinel Sentinels are scholar-warriors who strive for excellence in the ways of warfare. There used to be a lot of these, but recent events have thinned their number heavily. This is the classic warrior for Urizen, although there’s going to be competition from the new archetype “sword scholar” which is a type of warrior priest and the new cool flavour of character
Questor The Questors are a sect of rationalist priests who believe the Way of Virtue is an unfinished doctrine, and must be questioned to understand its truth, relevance and moral rightness. It doesn’t feel like there are many pure priests in Urizen, and I can’t remember ever meeting someone who introduced themselves as a Questor. Mage priests and warrior priests are far more common.
Illuminate The Illuminates are an Urizen priesthood who work improve the Empire’s Virtue by identifying and influencing pivotal figures to become Virtuous. I’ve never met an Illuminate either. Which is not to say that they don’t exist, just that they are slightly low profile. As with the other priest archetype my impression is that they’re thin on the ground.
Mage Urizen Magi are cunning politicians who use magic to bolster their influence, both in the mortal world and in the Eternal Realms. There are a few high profile political characters, but more of these wouldn’t hurt.
Stargazer Stargazers are pure scholar-mages who study and experiment to advance humankind’s understanding of magic and the Realms, and use their power to improve the world. Probably the most common character type. That said being the nation of mages means that distinguishing between the subtler archetypes can be a bit tricky, so some characters that appear to be Stargazers may actually be one of the other more political archetypes.
Seer The Seers are kin to the Torchbearers, seekers after objective truth who maintain extensive libraries. Many are powerful diviners. I have no idea if there are any seers in the Urizen nation at present, there are several people I’d suspect of being seers but since there’s a lot of crossover with the Torchbearers it’s hard to be certain.
Architect Architects meticulously study the Empire’s economy to identify where and when to invest for the best return, and to exert the most influence. Architects are pretty well represented, although as with sentinels there have been high profile casualties recently.
Torchbearer The Torchbearers are a political movement devoted to spreading truth as wide and as fast as possible, in a quest to keep the Empire “honest”. Pretty well represented. Many characters have similar views on truth and transparency even if they may not strictly speaking have selected the archetype.

Looking back on that, I think the key message is Urizen has a lot of sentinels, and a lot of mages and after that it gets complicated.

While you’d probably find it difficult to mistake a Bishop for a Cicisbeo (there’s a joke in there somewhere) in Urizen you could look at a mage and unless they’re shouting it from the rooftops you’d have to be fairly vigilant to work out if they’re a Torchbearer, Seer, Magi or Stargazer. Similarly an Urizen in full armour and a full complement of weapons is probably a sentinel, but could just as easily be a torchbearer, or even a priest.


How on earth are those pretty tables made?

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This Illuminate says hello.

That said I agree, given I spend a lot of time as a healer and can talk the stargazer talk I can understand that if I haven’t spoken to you as an illuminate specifically you wouldn’t know it.

In the case of my post, by copying Canashir’s post and spending 10 minutes going through the formatting carefully to work out what was causing what. :wink:

Then you can cut and paste most of the information from https://www.profounddecisions.co.uk/empire-wiki/Archetypes

Urizen. It’s not that they’re a nation of mages, it’s that they disguise everyone else as more mages. And the Navaar think they’re the sneaky ones.


I personally would love to see more rowdiness from the bravos. More “Do you quarrel!” and such. Feels far too polite some times.

So an attempt for Dawn, I’ve split the Archetype of Witch, and threw in a generic knight

Archetype Description Abundance/shortage
Earl The Earl of a Dawnish Noble House is the House’s leader, who leads the House in all its great achievements and who sets its conditions of membership. There are around 30 Earls or Enchanters in play, honestly unless you really want to make a group of 1 this probably isn’t needed
Enchanter Some Earls who have studied magic choose the title “Earl-Enchanter” or simply “Enchanter”. Most learn ritual magic to benefit their people; some build relationships with powerful Summer Eternals. Less then there are Earls
Knight-errant Knights-Errant are men and women engaged in their Test of Mettle, who are still technically yeomen but who are expected - and who are questing - to prove themselves glorious. So Knight-Errant is a aspect that is temporary by nature, it’s a really good archetype to gen on, because it gives early game activity and let’s you IC find a group.
Questing knight Questing Knights are those Knights who have proved themselves worthy in their Test of Mettle and have chosen to keep on questing for ever-greater glory For all the Knights in Dawn, we don’t have many questing knights and I think we only have two groups of them (some of which include House Knights in them
Troubadour A Troubadour is a priest who learns all the stories of their Noble House, past and present, and tells them in poetry and song to inspire their people to greatness. At times this has felt low, but we have a good number of amazing Troubadours at the moment.
War Witch Witches are Dawnish magic-users. In noble houses, they fight alongside the House’s warriors. At one point there were really few of them in Dawn, they have definately increased but as the nation with the most defined battlemage brief more would be nice.
Witch-Weaver Most others belong to Weaver Cabals, independent groups of ritual witches which accept both yeomen and noble members. This is a weird one I was going to say Dawn has plenty of Weavers, we cast strategic rituals by essentially raw numbers but conceptually there are less who are pure Weavers
Guiser Itinerant entertainers who often combine magic with their performances and practice dramaturgy. They are often (sometimes justly) accused of being spies, tricksters and mountebanks as well as performers. Dawn never feels like it had a Troupe of Guisers, there are groups of weavers who shift towards Dramaturgy, and there may be a lot of Guisers who just slip into ritual groups. I’d love to see a proper Guising Troupe but without a group (or a resolution to be a solo ritualist) much of the interest of the archetype vanishes
Seneschal A Noble House’s Seneschal is a trusted yeoman who oversees its financial affairs, arranging deals and trades and keeping the House solvent. Dawn is slightly short of these typically, in that many houses don’t have one, or are about to loose one.
Advocate Dawnish Advocates are yeoman politicians who navigate the murky waters of Senate politics for their noble masters. So this is a bit weird in that basically there aren’t many slots, Dawn doens’t have many, but that’s because but we have three Senators, although there are a few other characters in Dawn who might be able to use them, it’s also really hard skill heavy.
Retainer A yeoman Retainer is a Dawnish Noble’s most trusted attendant, who works closely with a particular Noble, or sometimes for the whole House. I think most of Dawn’s (non-weaver) yeofolk are probably more this than anything else although actually the one to one relationship is short

Dawn also has around possibly a quarter of it’s players who are in the House Knight role, which despite it seeming like the Dawnish default isn’t an archetype.

Archetype Description Abundance/shortage
Dhomiro A Dhomiro is a member of a Freeborn family who is chosen by the family to be their representative to the wider world; sometimes as a leader, sometimes as an emissary. Every Dhomiro has a family, though I don’t believe every family has a Dhomiro. And a number of Freeborn groups aren’t families, so who knows.
Kohan Kohan are groups of volunteer and outcast warriors-without-family, who traditionally pledge loyalty to a group of hakima. Since I joined Empire last year, there’s been a huge boom in kohan numbers, to the point where we field something near the majority of the Freeborn fighting force. What we do need is different groups of kohan, since we have one banner and one subgroup to that banner.
Sutannir Sutannir perform inspiring religious ceremonies for the Freeborn, and (more importantly) organise the parties that follow. There’s a fair few priests in the Coast, but the numbers of Sutannir aren’t super high.
Hakima Hakima are highly-organised groups of magic-users whose loyalty is to the nation, not their family. They are taken to be wise. Like the Kohan, there has been a bit of a surge in Hakima numbers, with two covens in the field now.
Corsair Freeborn Corsairs are traders and privateers who deal with - and raid - barbarian shipping in the Bay of Catazar. Used to be the bigger portion of the Brass Coast fighting force, but then a whole lot of them died at Black Plateau. There’s a fair number of people who have do their Corsair-ing in downtime though, and a number of Corsair families.
Scrivener Scriveners are Freeborn contract-writers who help traders frame the terms of their deals, and then decorate them with artwork and calligraphy. From what I know, there’s still a number of Scriveners around, though some less that use the beautiful artwork for contracts.

A whole lot of people in the Brass Coast don’t fit into the archetypes; family mages, apothecaries and traders, family guards, etc.

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Here’s a simple example. This table…

Archetype Description Abundance/shortage
Prince Leader of a guild As many as there are guilds
Mountebank Trickster A few

…is the result of this text:

|Prince | Leader of a guild | As many as there are guilds |
| Mountebank | Trickster | A few |

In fact what I did was copy and paste the table from the Archetypes page on the wiki (see the link earlier in the thread) and then edited it.

Agreed! After all, there’s a lot of that in the flavour-stories on the wiki, and the wiki also says,


Still… I’ve tried to do my part to contribute towards that on occasion. I’m thinking of a time my character got into a fight over a comfy chair (just a matter of not backing down), but sadly the other person acted all offended and surprised, complaining as if my character had been unreasonable in actually delivering cuts.

And there has been a disappointing lack of proper duels. Playing music to accompany them is fun!