Overview

The following is a list of frequently asked questions that players have sent us. If you have any queries about Empire then it is worth checking the FAQs first, to see if the answer to your question is here. Otherwise email us at rules@profounddecisions.co.uk with any questions about the rules or empire@profounddecisions.co.uk with any other questions about the game. We'll answer as quickly as we can and we'll add your question to our FAQ if we think it is likely to be of interest to other players.

Specific Categories

In addition to this general list of questions, there are specific pages where we've gathered together some of the more commonly discussed topics.

Playing the Game

What are PID and CID?

Your PID is your unique player identification number. It's always useful to quote your PID when you e-mail Profound Decisions as that makes it easy to find you on our database.

Your CID is your character identification number. It is made up of your PID and the number of your character (so if you are on your second Empire character your CID would be "(PID).2"). CID is used in some areas of the game on the field such as ritual magic.

How old to I have to be to play Empire?

You have to be over 16 to come to events unaccompanied by a guardian or parent. Further information can be found in the section about children.

How dangerous is the main field?

We do not usually run camp attacks on the main field. Our goal is to try and create the feel of a buzzing settlement right at the very heart of the Empire, a place of relative security. Our NPC magistrates work to ensure the law is kept, and the enemy is very far away. We want the field to feel like a place of relative safety, a place where characters can feel free to walk around without weapons or armour if they choose.

The idea is to contrast this with the very real danger that is present whenever the players leave the main field. Those characters that use the Sentinel Gate to teleport to the Imperial battlefields will find themselves facing very real and very deadly threats. For the overwhelming majority of the time, players will know when they are heading into danger and those players who wish to avoid combat should find this easy provided they remain with the safety of the settlement.

Is PvP murder allowed?

We are quite explicitly setting out to make assassination as difficult to achieve as possible. The Empire has a legal system, run by NPCs, and it will make all possible effort to identify and execute assassins. Our intention is for the majority of conflict between players to be political and social in nature rather than combat based.

Assassination of characters is still acceptable out-of-character behaviour; what we are doing with the campaign is deliberately making that as difficult as possible for the assassins to get away with, so that it becomes a tool of last resort rather than the simplest way to deal with political enemies.

Can I organise activities like fighting practice using social media?

We encourage people to get active and organise cool things to happen at events - both during the game and before it. We do ask people to save in-character agendas for time-in as far as possible, and ‘keep the game live’. However, we also want people who are excited about the game to pour that keen into the game and help others learn skills like safe, cohesive fighting - if that’s what they want to do. Lots of people organize activities like practice fighting sessions across different nation camps and we encourage players to do that if they want to.

Doing OOC organising inevitably does make the people doing that organising more visible and well-known. That happens for everything that goes on in the game – organising player events, making pamphlets that you distribute in the game, dressing beautiful tents, and so on. The more prep people put into the game, the more recognition they can gain. The only way to stop people gaining any possible benefit from making the game better would be to stop people making the game better. We don't think that makes sense, so we don't prohibit anyone, regardless of what role they play in the game, from organising out-of-character things that support the game, whether that's fighting practice or other things like player events or minibus transport.

Instead, we want to encourage everyone to embrace the opportunities to make the event better. In a similar way to fighting practices, we also see players working hard OC to set up in-character theatres, performances, player events and so on.

Our rules for online posting state that you can post to draw attention to the activity you have planned, to make it easier for players to find and get involved with it. We ask people to stick to basic information if they are organising an IC activity - so if you’re putting on an IC casino, you can post a flyer for it without getting into any IC interactions or discussion of IC agendas beyond the facts of where and when it’s happening.

Can I pick the lock on a box?

If you find a lock, then you, as your character, may attempt to pick the lock - provided you are confident you know what you are doing and are not likely to damage their phys-rep. There is no open locks skill or spell - you can only open the box if you can pick the lock on the box.

Whenever you are interacting with other players at an LRP event, especially if you are in their tent stealing their stuff, you should take all reasonable steps to avoid damaging their kit and props. If you do break another player's LRP kit at an event, we expect you to be honest, let us known and to take responsibility for that.

Always remember that any phys-rep you take must be taken to GOD within 30 minutes.

Can I use recorded music in my IC tent?

We have asked all players not to use background music playing from an electronic source in the IC area. Using music like this remains a controversial issue, some attendees like it - but some don't. In Empire we have worked as hard as possible to encourage the presence of IC musicians at events - and we want to continue that by encouraging players to hire IC performers if they want IC music in their establishments.

Can I smoke in the tents?

You cannot smoke in any of the Profound Decisions tents or structures that are on site. Smoking is prohibited in the Senate, the tavern and all the large IC spaces in all circumstances. If you wish to smoke then you must leave the tent to do so.

You must not smoke in any other tent on site unless it is your own tent or you have been invited in and given express permission to smoke by the owner.

Can I use a puppet to represent a creature?

You can use a puppet to represent a creature, but should be aware of your fellow players. Puppets are not everyone's cup of tea, so people should act accordingly. If you're in your group tent - then it's fine to be roleplaying with your puppet - because if someone isn't in to that they can just go and roleplay elsewhere. It's not appropriate however to bring a puppet into a public area and demand everyone interact with it. Ideally, don't force people to opt-out - make it a thing people opt into.

Basically respect your fellow players and be conscious of the fact that puppets enhance the game for some people, but they detract from the game for others. Be considerate and if you're doing something unorthodox then look to act in ways that don't force the roleplaying on other players if it's not their thing.

The reality is that we don't want to create a rule that says "puppet allowed" or "puppet not allowed" - because we want Empire to support players who enjoy that kind of roleplay - and also support players that don't. If people are respectful of other other players and appreciate this stuff is not everyone's cup of tea - and act accordingly - then we think Empire is big enough for everyone who does and doesn't like to play with these things to get along.

What do I need to bring to the event?

Anything you want to! There are some essential items we do recommend though:

  • Tent
  • Your costume
  • Warm bedding
  • Warm clothing
  • A torch or lantern
  • Food, or money to purchase food on site
  • Your medication, if you require any
  • Bug spray/sun cream
  • A water bottle

Plot

Can we have our own giant monster?

It is not possible for the Empire to create monsters for their own use on the battlefield.

There are a number of significant reasons for this - to do with the massive challenges involved in using monstrous creatures effectively and safely on the battlefield, and the problems involved in fielding a force that can challenge the players. There are problems phys-repping such a creature.

A monstrous creature can literally turn a battle by itself - it would be utterly impossible for us to play balance battles to make them challenging and enjoyable at the point where the players can field such a thing whenever they choose. So on that basis alone it would be distinctly unappealing for everyone involved - for us - and for the players. It sounds exciting - it sounds super-cool - but all our experience of LRP tells us that the actual experience of it actually happening - would be really crashingly boring for everyone concerned - if not the first time... then certainly the second time, the third time, the fourth time...

There are safety issues - monstrous creatures often have significant safety constraints which are more difficult for players to manage. And there are phys-repping issues - with the quality of any monstrous creature dependent on the abilities of players to create them rather than hitting a known benchmark if we make them. There are problems with who operates the creature - most monstrous creatures need one or more people to give up their battle experience to operate it. That's ok for crew - because they're there to make the event fun for the players. It's distinctly less cool for players to have to do that - but we can't spare the crew to operate one *for* the players.

The most important principle is stylistic. Empire is about the players being heroes - it's about them battling against terrible monsters. It's not a game about hatching terrible monsters that go off and do the fighting for you and wipe the enemy out so you don't have to bother. We want players to feel like the most important characters on the battlefield, not to feel like they're here to make up the numbers while their monster kills all the orcs. In essence we're not prepared to countenace even the possibility that players end up as third spear-carrier from the left as their monster rules the battlefield.

For all these reasons we don't support any options for the Empire to have monsters on the battlefield and the setting is deliberately written to make it impossible for the Empire to field them (the Sentinel Gate does not allow them to pass through).

Can I request or suggest a plot idea?

We do not encourage players to send us suggestions for plot they would like to happen in the game. Partly this is a fairness issue, if it were possible to request plot by email then we would soon be inundated with hundreds of requests - we would spend more time answering emails than we do preparing the event! Critically the way to get more involved in the game would be through email - and that is something we are very keen to avoid. We want our players to play the game and to get involved with plots in the game based on the decisions their character makes.

However the main reason we don't pick up requests or suggestions from players is that the limit of the plot we run is not based on the number of ideas we have. Rather it is based on the time required to write and document a plot before the event and the time needed on the day to brief and debrief the NPCs. Our crucial limitation is the number of writers we have - not the number of ideas. Most of our writers are full of ideas of their own that they want to write - and their enjoyment comes from writing their own plots and seeing them come to life in the game. The best way for us to get more plot at events is if our writers enjoy what they are doing - which means encouraging them to use their own imagination to come up with their own plot ideas.

Some of our writers do read through backgrounds and pick up ideas for plot from them. This is relatively rare and players should bear in mind that there are literally thousands of characters on our database! We recommend that players create a background to help them define their character - not to try and create your own plot hooks in the game.

If you're hoping for a plot to happen because you are looking to achieve a specific outcome, then the right way to pursue that is to chase the mechanisms that exist in play to try and make such things happen. For example - the Synod has powers to seek out wrongdoers inside the borders of the Empire, while the Senate has powers to allow them to research Imperial history. You can also talk to your egregores when you are in-character at the event to get advice from them on how you might pursue an in-character goal. What you can't do is advance that goal by emailing in between events - you can only do it by actions you take while in-character.

Money and Game Items

Can I sell things for IC money?

It's fine to sell most things at the event for in-character money. People often sell food they make, drinks they prepare, and even props they have bought or made. Any thing which is appropriate for use at the event can be sold for in-character money - provided that you do so at the event.

You must not sell IC money, or sell things for IC money, online or between events. The purpose of IC money in Empire is to create a basis for characters to buy and sell, so that trade and commerce can be in-character activities that take place at the event. That purpose is undermined if you try and acquire or dispose of IC currency by selling things online or between events.

You can advertize services and products in our facebook groups and forums that you will have for sale, provided that you state your price. Haggling or negotiation over prices must be left to the field.

Are the game materials edible?

Our coins and materials are designed to be sturdy phys-reps; they're not designed with cooking in mind and have often passed through many different hands and been dropped in the mud. We recommend that you don't add them to food or drink.

When does magic item duration end?

The year duration for magic items created by an artisan begins at the next event that your character attends following the downtime that you make the item. The item is valid for that event, and for the three events that follow it.

Costume

During 2021, we extensively overhauled our costume guidance, and several of the frequently asked questions are now addressed directly in that section of the wiki.

Does PD provide costumes?

No. Players are expected to provide their own costumes for the event. There are traders on site however, selling everything you could possibly need to get started - costume, armour, and weapons.

Do I have to phase out my less appropriate costume?

As long as it meets our minimum standards, it is fine to use costume classed as less appropriate at Empire. Less appropriate simply means that it is something you should aim to replace, when you are looking to upgrade your costume, until then it is fine. Only costume classed as "inappropriate" for Empire cannot be worn at events. You can read more about this on our costume page.

There are lots of reason to wear "less appropriate" costume - it might be the costume or armour that fits you best, it might be what you have available or can afford, or it might just be the best garment you have available that complements the ideal costume that you do have. We encourage everyone to develop and improve their costume over time - but how you do that is down to you and your budget.

Can I use a modern tent as an IC tent if I dress it?

As explained in our rules about tents, modern tents made of obviously plastic materials like nylon cannot be used in the IC area at Empire, even if you have tent dressing for them. This means that dome tents and party tents cannot be used in the IC area as well as other similar tents. The reason we don't make an exception for tent dressing is that it changes the decision from one that is reasonably straightforward (is that a modern looking tent) to one that is utterly subjective (have you dressed it enough). All attendees on arrival are always adamant that they will fully dress a modern tent but the results vary dramatically. The issue devolves into an argument about how much dressing is required and what the minimum standards are.

In effect what we are doing is asking everybody who doesn't have an IC tent to make a sacrifice and do without an IC tent. There will be hundreds of IC tents on the field and your character will be able to use many of them. The OOC camp site will be nearby and you can sleep there and store vital supplies there. By excluding modern tents from the field we will achieve a much higher standard of IC immersion through the IC area, so everybody gains, but it does mean that folks without IC tents have to make that sacrifice so everybody can have that gain.

Can I wear a kilt?

As detailed in the Navarr look and feel, Skirts, especially war-skirts are fine for men or women in the Navarr (and indeed elsewhere), but players should take care to avoid kilts. The classic highland kilt made of bright tartan, either short or full, is inescapably linked with the 16th century Scottish Highlands and is thus less appropriate.

Battles and Monstering

Can I get a friend to monster for me?

People who play non-combatants will be welcome to monster both battles if they wish to. However you can't play two battles just because your friend is monstering two, the onus is on the individual - if you want to fight in an epic battle, you have to personally play your part in helping those epic battles happen, quid pro quo.

How should parents handle monstering?

It's important that young children are supervised throughout the event, so two parents or carers who are attending an event together can share monstering responsibilities if they wish to. This exception to the normal rule about sharing responsibilities takes account of their other responsibilities. This means that one of them can play one battle and one monster the other battle at the same event if they wish to. We encourage them to swap over between events, but of course this is up to them.

Booking

How do I get my ticket?

Profound Decisions don't send out paper tickets. When you arrive on site, our gate team will find your name or PID on their lists and check you into the event. You'll then be able to collect your event pack from the Games Operation Desk (GOD). If there are any problems, or you are booking on the gate, they will direct you to the Games Operation Desk.

If you have your PID (player identification number) this will speed up the process. This will be on your PD account once you've created and paid. If you have problems with your account and booking admin@profounddecisions.co.uk should be your first port of call.

Can I book on the gate for the event?

Yes you can. Profound Decisions highly recommend booking and creating your character beforehand but you can book on the gate under PD's current guidelines. We highly recommend creating an account and a character, even if you are planning to pay on the gate as it will save you a huge amount of time at the event.

Why does my bank payment take days to appear?

Regrettably, Barclays Bank will not allow us access to their computer systems to integrate our payment system with theirs. This means that we cannot fully automate your payment, we are forced to download the payment data from Barclays by hand. Therefore, once a day we download all new payments. These are then imported into our software and processed automatically using the unique reference code for each player's account.

Unfortunately the data supplied by Barclay's is incomplete, which makes it impossible for us to distinguish between payments on the day they are received. This means we can only process payments for a day once we can be certain that Barclays will not add new payments for that day. Worse, Barclays have written their own software to conceal the true date of any payment received on Friday, Saturday and Sunday so that it appears as if the payment was received on the following Monday, presumably so that their computers can take the weekend off. As a result we can't process any payments sent on Friday, Saturday or Sunday until the following Tuesday at the earliest.

This means it can take up to a week or longer for your payment to appear on your account. Please be patient - it will turn up! We take several thousand payments this way every year, and the number of problems is in single figures and are always quickly resolved. But it does take time - bear with us and your payment will appear on your account as soon as we can process it. Your booking will always be honoured based on the day you sent your payment, not the date we process it.

What is the requirement for concessions?

Anyone who is a full time student, a full time member of the armed services, a pensioner, or receives state benefits as their main income is eligible for the concession on the ticket price. You only have to be eligible at the point where you provide the proof of your eligibility, so students or can claim the discount for the year even if their course ends in the Summer.

You must provide proof of your eligibility. The best way to do this is to email proof to us at admin@profounddecisions.co.uk after you have booked. We can then mark your entire booking as having the concession confirmed. If you don't do this then you will be forced to bring proof to the event and then queue up in a long queue at GOD before you can play. Please don't do this, it's bad for you and bad for us! Email us a scan of your proof and we will log it to your account.

Can I use a recruitment booking code for Empire?

The promotional discounts for new players are valid at all Empire events.

How do I book my child on to the event?

The website has now been updated to allow players of all ages to book on to the event. Anyone who is attending the event must have their own account, regardless of age. Once you have created an account and entered your birth date then the ticket prices will be updated to reflect your age and booking options.

About the Site

Do I need a tent?

Yes. Profound Decisions events are camping based and players are expected to provide their own tents to sleep in. Some players choose to use a nearby hostel - but the majority of players camp on site.

Camping is a choice between the IC (In character) and OOC (Out of character) fields. Any tent is suitable for the OOC field but camping on the IC field needs to be done in a canvas tent of an appropriate style for the game.

Are there toilets and showers on site?

PD provides toilets, wash basins and showers, as well as standpipes for access to clean, drinkable water, on site.

What is there to eat?

We have caterers at events who are based on both sections of the field. PD booked caterers take real-life money.

The current caterers are listed here Caterers at Events

There are some player run establishments who take IC money.

Can I cook on site?

Yes. You will need to provide your own cooking facilities and there are rules for ground fires that must be adhered to, but you are welcome to cook on site if you wish.