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 with any questions about the rules or 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.

This section of the FAQ contains questions about lineage and orcs. For questions about other parts of the game, please see the more general FAQ.


Can I play a lineaged character with no physical trappings?

No. Every lineaged character must have at least one of the physical trappings listed.

Can I use animal make-up for my changeling?

Changelings are not anthropomorphic animals - they are human beings touched by the majesty and power of the realm of Summer. Some changelings have a single trapping associated with regal animals - a lion's mane, the stag's antlers and swan's feathers - because of the majesty of these animals, not because they are actually lions, stags or swans. They are not animals; they are neither animalistic or bestial and the trappings cannot include other features of these animals.

Can I use red contacts for a changeling?

The list of eye colours offered for the lineage is intended to be definitive. All the lineages have the potential for unusual eyes, so it is important to ensure that the list fairly short so that a lineage had a clear definition for what it was. This presents confusion with other lineages; orange eyes could easily be confused for the yellow or blood red eyes that some draughir possess for instance. We understand that someone with existing coloured lenses may want to use them, but we'd prefer players not to if they don't fit the listed descriptions.

Can I increase my lineage trappings?

Yes, but as mentioned below and under trappings, some individuals with lineage may find that their lineage grows stronger with the passage of time. If you want to do this, then your build on your phys-rep over time to increase the degree of lineage that your character has. The precise mechanisms by which your lineage grows stronger vary from character to character, it may be the passing of time, exposure to magic, etc.

This process does not go in reverse however;you cannot become more human over time. You should consider carefully if you want to increase your trappings as it is difficult to reduce them once you have done so.

How can I remove my lineage?

Having lineage is a major decision for your character. Once your character is lineaged it is extremely difficult to remove that lineage. In-character, the only known method of removing lineage is through the assistance of the eternal Ylenrith, and her boons are extremely rare and difficult to come by. Ritual magic does not have the power to remove lineage, although it may mask it for a time with glamours such as Twilight Masquerade.

Out of character, if you find your lineage trappings are problematic, for example if you are having an allergic reaction to a prosthetic, then you can reduce or change the way your lineage manifests. You must have at least some physical trapping of your lineage however.

If it is impossible for you to continue with your lineage trappings then you will need to create a new character.


How do I tell the orcs apart?

Imperial Orcs and Barbarian Orcs are physiologically identical - in the same way that Scousers and Mancunians are physiologically identical. Telling them apart is possible, even easy, if you know them - but very hard if you're from Timbuctoo. The Imperial Orc players know about this problem and they're cool with it. Players who aren't playing orcs who have an IC concern about telling the Imperial Orcs from the Barbarians will need to make some kind of IC effort to learn to tell them apart. This is a deliberate part of the game design - it's a feature, not a bug.

Can I hear ancestors from another tribe?

If you are an orc, it is perfectly acceptable to hear the voice of your adopted parents when they are dead.

Basically you can hear an ancestor if (a) you are genetically related to them or (b) you met them personally or are genetically related to someone who met them personally. What can't be done - currently - is to hear the voice of someone who isn't in that set. Ritual magic cannot allow an orc to hear the ancestor of an adoptive parent.

Will it ever be possible for orcs to use virtue-based religious skills?

No. It is a fundamental design principle that orcs and humans are different with regard to spiritual roleplaying. No orc will ever become dedicated, for example. There is no way that an orc character will ever be able to use the religious skills available to humans.

Can I play an orc who belongs to one of the main barbarian orc tribes?

No. All orc player characters at Empire must be part of the Imperial Orcs nation, not one of the barbarian nations. While it may be possible to cultivate connections to a barbarian orc during play, such relationships often end tragically. Creating a background in which your character is part of a barbarian nation is better avoided. We will not provide you with any additional information about the barbarians than is on the main wiki, and some of that information is based on the Empire's view of the barbarian orcs and thus may be misleading.