Overview

We are implementing a number of additional safety measures intended to reduce the risk of COVID infection at all events in 2022. Some of these measures (such as the entry requirements) will apply for the whole year. The other measures on this page will be reviewed before each event, to allow us to take account of current conditions.

The measures we are implementing go beyond some of the legal requirements for an event of our size and structure. This is a deliberate decision we have taken to try to keep our event as accessible as possible for members of our community who are vulnerable to risk from COVID infection. We are asking our community to support measures that have been common practice for the last two years, so that people who need these steps to be safe can still attend and play Empire.

If you are lucky enough to be fully vaccinated with no underlying clinical vulnerabilities, please understand that we require everyone to follow these steps so that members of our community who are not as fortunate also feel safe enough to attend and participate in Empire.

Key Requirements

  • To fully take part in Empire in 2022 you will need a COVID pass, a face mask, cold weather layers, a bottle and a mug

Please make sure that you have the following additional items to ensure that you can fully enjoy Empire this year.

  • COVID Pass - you will need this to get entry to the event
  • Face Mask - you will need a face mask to make use of key IC and OOC locations like GOD and the Senate, Conclave etc
  • Cold weather layers - many tents will be set up with increased ventilation - which means they will be colder than usual - plan accordingly
  • Bottle and mug - there will be no water carries on battles and no swigging from bottles from round the camp fire, bring a bottle for water and a mug for sharing drinks responsibly

Entry Requirements

  • You can attend events in 2022 if you have taken a negative LFT test on the day of travel or you have a valid COVID pass
  • You must have not newly tested positive for COVID in the last seven days

All participants who are attending an event in 2022 are encouraged to test for COVID using an LFT before setting off for the event. This is not mandatory if you have an appropriate COVID pass, but it is still beneficial to all participants for everyone to take a test even if they are fully vaccinated.

You must have a valid COVID pass or a negative lateral flow test (LFT) taken on the day of travel to enter the event. You cannot take a test at the gate, and you must make the relevant preparations before you travel. The best way to do this is to preregister your vaccination status with us if you are able to. The page on entry requirements lays out what you need to do in detail.

If you do not meet our entry requirements for COVID safety at the event, you will not be permitted entry to the event.

Face Masks

  • Face masks are optional while outdoors at the event
  • Face masks will be required in Profound Decisions tents and IC buildings when not public speaking or eating or drinking unless exempt
  • Face masks must be three layer construction or equivalent
  • Groups may require people to wear face masks in their tents - you must follow the guidance set by the owners of the tent
  • You must make sure you bring your own face mask - free masks will not be readily available

Checking In
If you are asking another participant if they are mask-exempt, please be polite and respectful and appreciate that they may have had multiple people query their status already. You must accept their response, if they indicate they are exempt, you may not query why or ask for proof. If the group tent you are in does not allow anyone in without a mask, please make that clear rather than checking if they are exempt first.

Please appreciate that mask exemptions are not all or nothing; someone may be able to manage face coverings in some circumstances but not all. We would rather someone wear a mask where possible but remove it they have a genuine need rather than avoid the risk of that happening by not wearing a mask at all.

If you are mask-exempt and you are asked to put on a mask by another participant, then please be patient when indicating that you are exempt and appreciate that they are only trying to ensure everyone follows the rules.

If any participant does not follow the rules, please let a member of crew know, and we will address the matter.

Wearing a face mask is optional while outdoors at Empire, but we will support all players who choose to wear one if they wish to do so. In terms of costume, medical face masks are covered by our rules for accessbility aids. We will not be providing an in-character explanation for masks, and participants should discreetly ignore this element of the game as far as reasonably possible. Criticism of other participants for wearing face masks is not permitted.

You will be required to wear a face mask when you are in a Profound Decisions communal tent or structure with one or more sides and a roof, unless you are mask-exempt. This includes the GOD tent, the Conclave, the Acadamy, Senate, Military Council, the Hub, our encounter tents, and when ordering from the bar at Anvil. We will raise some of the tent walls on our tents to increase the ventilation - if we are able to raise all the sides then we will do so. You do not have to wear a face mask while in any Profound Decisions tent or structure that has no walls on any sides. Participants may remove face masks while eating or drinking, and while public speaking to address a large group of players, such as when addressing Conclave or Senate.

For Profound Decisions tents, the masks used must be three layer construction or equivalent or a commercially available suitable medical mask. You can use good quality home made masks that are made following best practice, or you can use one of the modern masks that are available. It is not sufficient to use a piece of cloth pulled up to cover the mouth, such as a snood or scarf.

Anyone playing merrow or another lineage whose lineage trappings may interfere with wearing a face mask is encouraged to change their phys-rep or go without that part of their phys-rep for the events while this policy is in place, in line with our regular rules. If your character has any additional non-lineage physrepping on the face this may be omitted while the mask rules remain in place. If it is a magical mark, such as Freezing Brand of Irremais, it can be moved to the forearm or similar location.

We will support individual groups who choose to require that people wear face masks when visiting their tents. You must follow a group's face mask rules without argument if you wish to enter or use their tent at an event. All our caterers and traders will be entitled to set the policy they choose for their tents and stands on the same basis. Groups may set their own rules for what masks they allow in their tents.

Face Mask Exemptions

  • You do not need to wear a face mask in Profound Decisions tents and facilities if you have a legitimate medical reason why you are exempt
  • If you have a medical reason why you need to remove your mask under certain conditions then you are fine to do so
  • You cannot use a player or group's in-character tent unless you meet the face mask requirements set by the tent owner
  • Under-11s are exempt from using masks, under 16s should wear masks if they are able to
Maskexempt.png
An in-character mask exemption badge designed by Steph Pardoe.

People who are exempt from wearing face masks for medical reasons are welcome in Profound Decisions spaces. You do not need to provide any proof that you are exempt. Young participants under eleven are exempt from wearing masks, older children up to sixteen should wear masks if they can manage it. You can wear a lanyard or appropriate out-of-character badge to indicate that you are mask exempt. You can also use an appropriate in-character badge like the one shown opposite designed by Steph Pardoe (You may see similar designs with different wording on signs outside tents reminding you to wear a face mask). Please appreciate that you may still be reminded to don a mask on entry into the restricted areas if the person challenging you does not see your lanyard or badge - just let whoever has asked you know that you are exempt.

If you can wear a mask but you have a medical reason why you need to take it off under certain conditions then you are fine to do so. Please wear your mask whenever you can, where it is appropriate, and remove it when you have to do so for medical reasons.

Some groups will be happy for anyone to use their tent without using a mask, while some groups will ask for you to don a face mask if you are not exempt. There will also be some groups who need to insist that everyone using their group tent wears a mask, for the safety of one or more members of the group. You cannot use a group tent unless you meet the mask requirements set by the owners. Please note that the "group tent" classification includes some prominent in-character locations in Anvil such as the field hospital, the Imperial Offices and the Anvil Library.

Anyone who has difficulty accessing GOD due to out-of-character reasons during an event can nominate a friend to go to GOD on their behalf. If you believe you are likely to have difficulty using GOD, please email us in advance so that we can make a note accordingly. If you prefer not to enter a Profound Decision tent because you are unable to use your mask or because you do not wish to enter a crowded tent, please ask anyone in the tent to get the attention of one of our crew to help you. We will try to get a member of crew to meet you outside to assist you when we can, but please do bear in mind that if the tent is busy, the crew team inside it are likely to be busy too.

Toilet Blocks

  • Face masks are strongly encouraged in all toilet blocks on site
  • Queue outside the blocks when queueing is needed, and observe social distancing as much as possible
  • Use external hand washing facilities by preference where available

We will open all toilet block windows to maximise ventilation where we can, but please consider wearing a face mask when using the toilets if you are not exempt, for the benefit of other participants. If you do need to queue to use a block, then please wait outside the block and observe appropriate social distancing, especially when inside the block. Be respectful and give other participants as much room as the blocks allow. We are in the process of arranging additional external hand washing facilities, so please prioritise using these where possible.

Shared Drinking

  • Please ensure you bring your own drinking vessel if possible
  • You must not drink from bottles that are passed around the camp fire for people to share

Sharing drinking vessels is strongly discouraged at the event - please ensure that you have your own drinking vessel if possible. One of the most common ways to spread infection at live roleplaying events has been people drinking from communal bottles that are passed around.

It is fine for people to pass communal bottles around to pour themselves a drink into their drinking vessel, provided you do not drink directly from the bottle.

Social Distancing

  • Groups may enforce social distancing in their tents - you must follow the guidance set by the owners of the tent
  • You must respect other participants' wishes to maintain a physical distance from others

We will not be enforcing social distancing on the site at the forthcoming event, but we will support individual groups who wish to impose social distancing in their own tents. This may involve limiting the number of people who can use a tent at any time, or asking people to remain 1m or 2m distant from each other while inside a tent. You must follow a group's social distancing rules without argument if you wish to enter or use their tent.

Social distancing will not be enforced anywhere that is outdoors at the event, but we expect all participants to be mindful of the fact that some individuals will prefer to maintain a larger distance than normal. If you approach an individual and they ask you to step further back, or they move to increase the distance between you, you must respect their wishes.

Many people enjoy hugging friends at live roleplaying events, and for many of us this first event will be the first time we have seen some of our LRP friends for two years. You must be mindful that many people remain uncomfortable at the prospect of being hugged. You should check with anyone before hugging them and avoid pressuring anyone into gestures they are not comfortable with.

Ventilation

  • Profound Decisions tents and structures will have increased ventilation
  • Please plan for a colder event

We will be taking steps to increase the ventilation where possible in all Profound Decisions communal areas, including Conclave, Senate, GOD, Military Council and similar. The guidance we have received is that improved ventilation is one of the best steps that we can take to reduce COVID transmission, so we encourage all groups to increase ventilation in their tents where possible.

Please plan for a cold event! We strongly recommend the use of thermals beneath your regular costume at this event.

Battles and skirmishes

  • Combat will inevitably present an elevated COVID risk compared with many other parts of the event
  • Profound Decisions orc masks will no longer be used for two battles at the same event
  • We will not be doing make-up for players volunteering to monster the battles
  • Some battles will feature a range of opponents until we have enough orc masks to cover both battles
  • You must bring your own water if you need it - there will be no water carriers on the battlefield

Combat at Empire features large numbers of participants pressing together and shouting at each other. While battles and combat skirmishes are held outdoors, it is inevitable that the COVID risks associated with combat will be higher than for other parts of the event. We are taking steps to reduce COVID risks on battles and skirmishes as outlined below, but COVID face masks will not be required on battles and it will be difficult to respect people's personal space during combat. Please make sure you are aware of these risks before you decide whether to take the battlefield.

Orc masks

Profound Decisions own approximately 500 latex orc masks which we provide to participants who volunteer to monster the two battles. In previous years, we have sprayed the orc masks with an anti-bacterial spray between the battles on Saturday and Sunday. Due to the ongoing risks of COVID, from 2022 onwards the orc masks will only be used once at each event. This means that each orc mask will only be used by a single person at the event. It will not be possible to try on different orc masks for a suitable fit. If you put an orc mask on, then you will have to wear it for the battle - it will not be possible to change it for a different orc mask. Once an orc mask has been worn in a battle, it will be collected and placed in a container separate from any unworn orc masks. All our orc masks are washed, disinfected, and dried between events, which is the same procedure we applied before the pandemic.

We do not currently own enough orc masks to provide a full set for each battle. We will be purchasing additional masks as we can afford them, until we have enough to outfit all volunteers for both battles. Our Skirmish Team will continue portraying the commanders and elite warriors of the orcs, and we want all Imperial Orc players, players in Elite Military Units (EMUs), and players with their own orc masks to continue to wear them as they have done previously. This will ensure that all our major conflicts are still focused around the Empire's engagements with the orc nations and that the orcs continue to form the core of any enemy forces encountered. Where we run out of orc masks for a particular battle, our Battle Team will provide suitable alternative roles that work within the scope of the campaign plot and backgrounds of the various orc powers.

Make-up

We will no longer provide make-up for volunteer monsters on the battles due to the transmission risks associated with shared make-up and sponges. If you are able to apply your own make-up, please consider doing so.

Water

There will be no option for water carriers on the battlefield going forward. This is due to the high risks associated with shared drinking vessels. There will be an increased number of low-combat support roles such as mages, healers and priests available for people who previously volunteered to carry water supplies.

If you require water during a battle, you must bring your own water bottle, whether you are playing or monstering. The easiest way to disguise this is to put a plastic water bottle inside a sock and tie it to your belt or costume. When monstering, you must ensure that you fill up your bottle with water before heading to Battle Prep as the water tap in the crew area runs very slowly.

Personal Orc Masks

We will purchase additional orc masks as finances allow, so that we can return to regular battles as quickly as possible, but this will take time. The biggest single thing that you can do to help us is to purchase your own orc mask to use when monstering. This would be a huge boost to our Battle Team and Profound Decisions in general in this difficult time, but it would also allows you to have a mask you can personalise and ensure fits you as well as possible. As an added bonus, you'll be helping to support LRP traders recover from two years of lost sales. We appreciate that not everyone will have the funds available to buy their own mask, but we want to encourage those who can to help out.

A list of suppliers and orc masks that we think are suitable is presented below. If you have any queries about these orc masks, want advice, or want to share other alternatives then please contact our [Battle Team].

  • Mandala Studios - Mandala supply the PD monster masks
  • Dogsbane SFX
  • Monsterminx
  • Epic Masks from Epic Armouries - these are European-based and might be subject to additional import charges
    • Bestial, Carnal and Feral. sculpts sold in Dark Green, Blue, White, and Ochre are appropriate
    • Available from Larp Inn and Larp Warriors in the UK
  • Ungebil.de - these are European-based and might be subject to additional import charges