Inspired by various discussions I came up with this list of questions which could be useful for new players to think about what their character’s opinion on them is. These are completely optional - this is far more effort than I have ever put into a character background! But if you know you want to engage with an area of the game, the choosing at least one in that category will probably be useful.
Please do not post answers here - keep those for the field - but other question suggestions welcome.
You may have already considered which virtue they’re most interested in, but what is your character’s LEAST favourite virtue?
Look at this page: https://www.profounddecisions.co.uk/empire-wiki/Schisms_and_Heresies What is your character’s views on the schisms? Are there any heresies they believe?
https://www.profounddecisions.co.uk/empire-wiki/Axos_religion and https://www.profounddecisions.co.uk/empire-wiki/File:The_True_Way.pdf MORE HERESY
Here is the current update on war fronts: https://www.profounddecisions.co.uk/empire-wiki/381YE_Winter_Solstice_winds_of_war
Do you agree with how the Empire is prioritising military resources?
Which not (currently) Imperial territory would you most like conquered? Maps here: https://www.profounddecisions.co.uk/empire-wiki/Maps
Which Imperial territory would you be most sad if lost to barbarians? If it looks too safe, which one on or near a front you can properly worry about?
The Thule peace treaty (barbarian orcs to the north) is about to expire - should it be renewed?
See the schisms and heresies page - what do you think of inclusionism/exclusionism and realmism? Why?
Which one of these would you most like to meet? https://www.profounddecisions.co.uk/empire-wiki/Eternals
Would you like to change the emnity/amity/neutrality status of any of them?
Would you like to see any rituals interdicted?
What’s your favourite curse?
https://www.profounddecisions.co.uk/empire-wiki/Historical_Thrones Pick one and fangirl.
Is there a historical event that causes you to intensely dislike another nation? Don’t expect a large number of people to passionately agree if it was set a long time before the start of the game but if you’re OK with that, have a massive prejudice.
Senate and bourse are too far outside my area of interest, please suggest similar questions for them!
On a similar note, Religon:
Paragons and Exemplars Pick one and fangirl,
This is a really nice post and will give players new and old food for thought. I would also ask that players refrain from digging too deep and damaging new players self confidence. I can already see on Wiki that Empire is deep and complex and it is impossible for a new player to know everything so please be respectful and do not set traps for us to fall into.
I have already seen this kind of negative behaviour on Facebook and it would be a shame to see it on the field
See you there
Not the case at all @Yorrell some of these opinions will absolutely be controversial and put you into conflict with other players on the field. But that isn’t a bad thing and can lead to a better game, after all people who’ve chosen to play Briars expect some prejudice and not giving them that actually makes for a worse game for them. You’ll be able to see what attitudes are common in your nation by checking your brief and on things like their attitude to Lineage they’ll be made obvious.
And to add to @Penny’s list I’d say:
Lineages: do you like some and dislike others? Do any annoy you? Do you mistrust some or all of them?
Orcs: what do you think about the other species sharing the Empire? Lots of recent changes in the Empire’s attitude to Orcs, they’ve got their own territory now for example and a senator? What do you think about that?
I recommending picking a few of these for spice when you start out and then adding to them as you encounter stuff in game.
@Mark_Wilkin I think @Yorrell means a possible situation where an experienced player (unknowingly or otherwise) asks questions on topics a new player might have no idea about and no opinion to speak of, controversial or not. Someone diving right into the game could feel overwhelmed and excluded when Empire veterans start drilling them on their opinion on, say, Yaelian schism, attitude towards Eternals or whatever tragedy happened in Mournwold - and that’s not creating good game, that’s a new player feeling like they aren’t as knowledgeable as is expected of their character. As a new player myself, I can attest there’s a lot of digging for information on such recent history, even with the wiki as wonderful and up to date as it is.
That said, I think the vast majority of Empire players would remember how it was to just begin learning about this world and would be sensible in their approach. Plus the advice and ideas for character refinement in this topic are excellent, great as starting points for research into personal areas of interest, or just fine tuning an existing character concept. I’ll sure be going over this list in the next week!
Thanks @nolanis, that’s exactly what I mean.
If you are playing a 30,40, 50 year old character etc. there has to be an in game assumption that the character has some basic understanding of the world and its geography and recent history. A player has to give themselves some kind of backstory and more experienced players need to find a balance between aiding newer players into thoughtful story telling rather than ridiculing them for their lack of in character knowledge.
Anyone who has even done tabletop will have at some point turned to the GM and said, would my character know this?
Glad it’s helpful, I promise I won’t be grilling people expecting them to have answers. I may start another thread on basic things you character would know. If I do ask any of those in character, it’s either just to make conversation or because I’m trying to sell you my opinion, not because I expect you to have a pre-prepared answer, but I think I try to avoid anything too meaty with new players.
I’ve been in this game since it started, and I don’t know everything, not by a long chalk. I know virtually nothing about magic and Eternals, for example. I don’t know much about Wintermark or the Marches, and even my favourite part of the game -the Way - I can happily admit to only remembering a handful of my favourite Paragons. You will not be alone!
One thing I’ve found helpful is remembering that coming to Anvil would be a daunting prospect in-character. For sometime who grew up as a priest in the Thule-inhabited end of Karsk, for example, they would legitimately know almost nothing outside of their own very small world. I wrote my last character very deliberately to explain the huge gaps in my out-of-character knowledge.
The phrase “it’s my first time in Anvil” has become shorthand for “I’m a new LRPer/new to this system” and in general you’ll get a knowing “ah!” and support/help in response.
My character is also from Karsk but has travelled all over Varushka as a Warden and trader,I like your “it’s my first time in Anvil” line and while I have this already written into my backstory I need to remember to say it as often as needed
I have also had a couple of maps printed to canvas which I can use in character to aid me in remembering my journey
Something which is worth bearing in mind, most players aren’t looking to trap you typically if I’m asking about something you don’t understand it’s:
- Because it’s an obscure thing my character (or me) is really into and if you don’t know and sound vaguely interested you will probably get an explanation of what it is.
- Because your kit is awesome and I didn’t realise you were a new player
- Because it’s something major, that if you don’t know I think you would have more fun in the event if you knew.
(I wouldn’t necessarily expect a new player to have caught the recent events around Semmerholm, Knights of Glory and Eleonaris interest. But they will likely have more fun if they know enough to engage with the predominant mood this event in Dawn.)
There almost certainly are a few people on the field who are unpleasant enough to try to trap you, but generally we do try to help (and asking questions is a useful tool for teaching.)
To add to the list - Magic:
Eternals Pick one and fangirl.