All crew will receive some time-off during the event to allow them to relax and take a break. You are welcome to use use this time to play a character, but we ask all crew who are playing the game to follow the simple guidelines laid out below. These principles are designed to ensure that you can roleplay without worrying that anything you are doing might undermine the event for other participants. If you think anything you are doing is likely to be a concern, then check the issue with Matt Pennington for further guidance.

We really want all our crew to enjoy the event . Crewing is hard work - and precisely because of that fact - you have more right to enjoy the event than any player. But that enjoyment comes from the satisfaction of delivering a really great event for our players. We can't enjoy the event in the same way that players do - doing that risks us getting into situations where we're taking something away from a game which is all about player choice and player agency. So there are limits on what you can do when you're roleplaying at Empire during your time-off.

Event CrewGame Crew
Camp PlannerAcademy
Crew WelfareBard
DriverBattle Team
First AidCivil Service
Gate CrewCostume
ITEncounter Tents
Participant WelfareMagistrate
Player RefNPC
SecurityPlot Production
Set DressingPlot Team
Site CrewProps
SparkyRef - Field
TavernRef - Skirmish
Toilet TeamSFX
Traffic ManagementSkirmish Team
Weapons CheckWorkshop


The amount of time-off that crew get is primarily determined by the area they are working in. Each member of crew is assigned to a team, as laid out in the crew organization - your team leader will be able to let you know what hours they will need you and what time-off you can expect.

In general, if you're carrying out your crew responsibilities during the event, such as a member of the NPC team or the GOD team then there will be only limited opportunities for you to take time-off while the game is running. Where possible we employ a planned rota of shifts for people who are working logistical jobs during the event - like the refs and the god team - so that you can have a break every day and potentially enjoy a little of the event. There is less time-off for those who are working in the plot department - but most crew can take an evening off to see friends.

If your job entails work before and after the event, such as the site set-up team, or the traffic or gate team, then you are welcome to join in with other crewing activities once the site work is complete, but you are also welcome to play most of the event if you wish to. However please do not assume you will be able to begin playing as soon as the event begins, site work is often not complete until a few hours after time-in. And bear in mind that we might need to call on you at any point if there is an emergency.


One of the goals is - as far as possible - to operate a standard setting of crewing guidelines across our crew. The ideal is to have the same rules for everyone. However in drawing up the rules, it is very clear that all our crew fall in to one of two categories. To try and keep things as simple as possible - we have created a single page to cover the guidelines but the first section on the basic restrictions applies to all crew. The second section describes additional restrictions just if you're a member of the game crew.

Game Crew

The first category are those crew who spend large amounts of time crewing during the event - doing very visible roles involved with managing and running the game. We call these crew the game crew - because they run the game itself. The game crew can take time-off and roleplay during the event, but they can't play a prominent role in the game because that is incompatible with be part of the team who are running the game.

Event Crew

The second category are those who often do most of the work before time-in or after time-out - mostly doing roles involved with the logistics of the event, handling things like electrics, site set-up, and so on. This includes the weapon check team dealing with weapon safety. We call these crew the event crew - because their role is focussed on the physical logistics of the event - rather than anything to do with the in-character side of Empire. The crew working in this department are playing their character through-out the majority of time-in - they have no backstage access to plot or character information - as such they are playing the game just as any other player might.

Restrictions For All Crew

  • No spoilers
  • Crewing comes first
  • Check in and out with your team leader
  • Support the Game
  • Play One, Monster One
An event is like a magicians trick - never pull back the curtain to show them how the trick is done

No Spoilers

As a member of crew, you may well be privy to information some or all of the players do not have. It is vital that you firewall this information appropriately and do not mention it to other players at any time. Doing so spoils the event for the players and leads to accusations that damage the reputation of all the crew. We appreciate that this rule is very obvious to most people who have been crewing for any length of time, but as the most vital rule of crewing, it is important to spell it out explicitly. Spoiling the plot is more than just leaking plot details - it can includes simple things like warning players that a particular battle will be harder or that it contains a lot of a specific monster or call for example.

In fact no spoilers is so important that you should bear this mind in rule at all times. Sensitive game information that you learn while crewing should never be divulged to players - before, during or after an event.

In practice, this rule isn't really that different for players. It's bad form generally to spill important in-character information to other players unless you're in-character and roleplaying. But it's important for our crew to be responsible Empire participants and obviously you're much more likely to know important information than many players are.

The real difference between crewing and playing is that crew put the event first

Crewing Comes First

We’d like to avoid any situations where we are short on crew – we depend on everyone to be available when they are needed if they have come to Empire on a crew ticket. What we’re asking here is that you always put your responsibilities as crew first, rather than your character’s development or goals. If there is a specific IC event that you wish to attend, then we will accommodate this if we can, but ultimately if you are crewing then you are expected to be available to crew at the times you are needed. Sometimes that is going to mean that you miss out on bits of the game because we need you to help run it.

We have given you a place on the crew because we need you

Check In/Out

Each department will manage this differently, but the basic expectation is that people will check verbally with their team leader before taking time-off. The goal is to allow team leaders to manage their teams, without having to annoy everyone with the hassle of formally signing in and out. Most event crew or plot crew will be asked to take a break of a few hours before returning to crewing; the site crew are more likely to be asked to be on call if they are needed or to check back in at a certain time.

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition

Support the Game

  • Play the brief
  • Avoid comedy characters
  • Don't play a stab-monkey
  • Treat money and materials as if they were valuable

It is important that our crew are seen to be responsible participants in the game, many players will look at how crew play the game as an example of how it should be done. As such it is important that when you play a character, that character conforms to the brief. Obviously every character should be an individual, but don't play a Dawnish yeoman who despises the nobility - or a League citizen who wants to return to an agrarian lifestyle. Our characters should embody and personify the brief in a way that enriches and deepens the setting for everyone.

Empire is designed to be a very serious political game in which there is a large amount of PvP politics, but murder is the last resort of the truly desperate. As such we discourage players from playing comedy characters with stupid names, and also encourage them not to play stab-monkeys who just want to hang round at night and murder people. There are great games that allow for both these styles of play - they're just not something we want in Empire. Consequently it's really important for our crew to avoid both of these play-styles.

Finally, it is really important for crew who are taking in-character resources for their character to treat them as valuable. Much like a battle, the economy is a finely balanced thing - throwing money around as if it has no value damages that subtle balance in the same way that a monster taking too many hits damages the play balance of a fight. So please treat your resources as if they have real value to you. If you have money, spend it - but spend it carefully and don't flash your money around. If you have items to sell, spend some time roleplaying to extract the best price you can for them. If you don't want to be bothered haggling, don't take items to sell! You can get by perfectly adequately in Anvil with a dozen rings in your pocket for an evening's roleplay.

Play One, Monster One

It's fine for crew to play the battle if you want to do so as your character, but if you do then you must monster the other battle. This is the same restriction that applies to all players who attend Empire - if you play one of the battles then you must monster the other one. It exists so that we can have roughly equal numbers of participants on all sides of the battle. Your normal crewing responsibilities, whether before or during the event, are not an alterantive that you can do instead of monstering. You must not play one battle and then work a shift as a weapon checker or part of the toilet or bar team or similar, because if you do that then you're affecting the balance of combatants of the battle in a way that makes the battles less enjoyable for all participants.

If you want to take the battlefield then check with your team leader to make sure that your crew responsibilities will include enough time-off that you can be free during both battles so that you can monster the other one. If an emergency situation develops - and you're called on unexpectedly - then that's a perfectly valid reason to miss monstering. But don't plan to play one and then be crewing during the other one please.

It's a player-led game

Additional Restrictions for Game Crew

We've laid our five specific restrictions for game crew, but it's important to appreciate that the general principle here is that you are free to play Empire provided that you take a minor role in the game and don't become an active player in the politics or the economics of the game. You can take ritual magic and support your group doing rituals - but don't be the go-to character for people looking to parley the ritual ability for influence. You can vote for a senator or a cardinal - but don't stand for the position yourself. You can buy crafting resources to make items for your character or your group - but don't buy and sell bourse resources for profit - all of these things are activities that push your character into the foreground of the story - they're things for the players to do.
  • Don’t accept an Imperial title
  • Don't get rich
  • Don't take player spaces
  • Don't grab the plot
  • Don’t break the law
  • Don’t take a congregation

If you want to test a man's character, give him power.

Abraham Lincoln

Don’t Accept an Imperial Title

We very publicly promote Empire that as a player-led game. The players portray all the most important characters of the Empire, the senators, the generals, the archmages, etc. This is fundamental to the design of the game and is also one of its big selling points. If crew accept an Imperial title it undermines one of the selling points of the game and can lead to the same questions about fairness that affect in-character crimes. It is also undeniable that characters with titled positions have significant duties attached to them in the setting. Characters with an Imperial title have commitments on their time that are incompatible with the need for crew to be available when we need them.

It's ok to support characters with an Imperial titles. Provided you're not trying to be the power behind the throne, it's fine to help and support any other character - but the position and the lead decision-making role that comes with it should go to a player.

Money: power at it's most liquid

Mason Cooley

Don't Get Rich

Wealth is just another form of power so it follows the same restrictions that Imperial titles do because the same philosophy applies - this is another area set aside for the players to lead the game in. If crew get rich it undermines the essential player-led nature of the game and it can also lead them to question how trustworthy the game crew are if the people with access to the money out-of-character play rich characters. We want to avoid these pitfalls - so members of the game crew should avoid getting involved in buying and selling bourse resources for profit, or being part of the bourse syndicates that do. It's fine to buy and sell basic resources like herbs, mana, and even realm vis, but avoid trade in precious, rare, or illegal resources like true liao, rakshasa's tears, or bite.

It's ok to buy crafting materials to make items if your character is a crafter - or even to buy a few wains to upgrade your personal resource, but please don't upgrade your personal resource beyond level three.

Don't Take Player Spaces

Empire has quite a few areas of the game that strictly limit the number of players who can partake in them. Quests, skirmishes, and tent encounters all specifiy how many players can take part. If your character goes on on one of these, whether it's a past life vision involving just two characters or a large skirmish for 75, then you're taking a spot that was meant for a player. If you're playing an NPC, either a plot NPC, or a field NPC like an egregore or a magistrate, and you think you need to go on an encounter, then please talk to the plot team about that before you go and we'll give you guidance.

It's ok to go on a battle - or to take part in any encounter that allows every member of a nation to go if you qualify - since those encounters don't limit the player numbers.

Don't Grab the Plot

Empire is designed to be a game of politcal and social rivalries between player characters and most of the things that happen just involve the players. However we do run plot at the events and occasionally you'll encounter npcs with an agenda or an exotic magic item or similar. We have only very limited resources for running out plots at events, and the stuff we create is intended to be taken up by the players. It's meant for their characters to get involved with and to take the lead role.

It's fine for your character to have opinions on the political and plot issues of the day, it's fine to encourage other players to your point of view, but please avoid situations where you're left holding the plot item or determining what will happen with an ongoing plot.

You can't do the time - so don't do the crime!

Don’t Break the Law

The Anvil setting in Empire is designed to be a law-abiding location - at least compared to most LRP settings. We work hard to encourage the majority of players that this is a game about political interaction, it's not about murdering people outside toilets or turning their tents over for their stuff. By not breaking the law, you are helping to reinforce the setting for everyone. Crew are allowed to play controversial characters, you are welcome to have a strong political agenda - provided you stay legal when pursuing your goals.

Following the laws isn't just about sticking to the setting, there are issues involving perceptions of fairness; regardless of the actual facts it is hard for players to maintain trust in the game organizers if their characters have been done over by the people running the game. There are also genuine play-balance problems, with potential issues of crew characters getting away scott-free by leaving the field and returning to crew roles for the rest of the weekend- while players struggle in vain to hunt down the thief/murderer/arsonist/conclave streaker. That creates an element of disparity between players committing crimes and crew characters committing crimes – and we need to avoid these situations.

Don't Take a Congregation

Because of how Synod voting works, if you're not on the field for a considerable amount of the event, you're likely to mess up the voting game for people trying to get a Greater Majority - your votes will count against the motion even though you couldn't have cast them, and people will get upset trying to find you when you're not around.

For this reason, unless you can expect to be on the field for the majority of the event, we'd rather you didn't take the Congregation resource with your character.