Time-in and the IC area

  • Time-in begins at 10 am and ends at 1 am each day
  • You are always in-character (IC) in the IC area during time-in
  • The Imperial Senate chamber is time in throughout the game
  • You must not roleplay your character outside the IC area
  • Stealing items is generally prohibited in Empire

Normal roleplaying begins at time-in, which is 6 pm on Friday and 10 am every morning thereafter. Normal roleplaying ends at time-out, which is 1 am each morning and at 3 pm on the last day of the event. The IC area is the section of the campsite reserved for the game where all roleplaying must take place. Each event guide will clearly delineate the boundary of the IC area.


The exception to this rule is the Senate Chamber. The meeting place of the Imperial Senate is the political hub of the Empire and the building remains time-in from the start of the event until time-out at the end of the event. Players who choose to remain in the Senate building after time-out each night do so because they wish to continue roleplaying. Please avoid this area after time-out if you are no longer IC.

Everyone who is in the IC area during time-in is considered to be IC. You should avoid the IC area during this time unless you are playing your character. If you are in the IC area and you wish to stop roleplaying then out of courtesy to other players you must leave the IC area first unless there is a genuine emergency.

You may continue to roleplay with other characters anywhere in the IC area after time-out so long as you do not take any confrontational actions. You can talk and trade but you must not attack another character, or use any ability.

For example, you are in a casino so you may continue to roleplay after time-out but you may not steal items or money from other patrons and you may not attack anyone.

You must not roleplay once you leave the IC site boundaries. Stealing game items is generally prohibited in Empire, except under specific situations.

Behaviour while IC

  • Avoid inappropriate references while at events
  • You must not use any secret IC information which was gained while OOC
  • You must not use OOC information or methods to gain IC advantage

The themes that exist within Empire include romance and courtship, mind-influencing magic, drugs and addiction, human sacrifice, racism and prejudice, prostitution, violence, robbery, torture and murder. They do not include non-consensual sex or sex with minors. It is not possible to know what real life experiences other players have suffered, so you must avoid IC references to either of these two subjects in play to ensure that you do not upset any of your fellow players.

The wiki lays out forms prejudice that are specific to the Empire setting - for example a briar will face prejudice in many parts of the Empire. We regard the choices that players have chosen to make for their character as acceptable subjects for discrimination in the game - please do not conflate these with real world discrimination issues such as sexuality, gender, and religion. See the rules on Conduct for more information.

You should do everything reasonably possible to ignore any secret information that your character has not gained IC. You should only act on the things your character could legitimately know. It is usually inappropriate to tell another player something that their character might desperately want to know. If your character has been murdered, for instance, you should avoid telling your friends who murdered your character, for they are likely to want to take revenge. If another player actively tells you something that you did not want to know while OOC and you believe that doing this has affected your ability to discern the information IC then speak to the head referee. The head referee will assess the situation and may give you permission to act on the knowledge your character has if they believe it is appropriate.

You must avoid using OOC information or methods to gain an IC advantage at events. It's fine for group members to support each other, and it's fine for characters to sell the phys-reps for things they've made for in-character money. But you must not use purely OOC means to explicitly seek an IC benefit for your character.



  • If you wear a disguise it is only as good as the phys-rep you use
  • You must answer truthfully if you are OOC challenged about your disguise
  • You must not disguise yourself as a member of a different lineage or species
  • Pretending to be dead on the battlefield follows the normal rules for disguise

It is perfectly acceptable for you to wear a disguise whilst in character (IC). Your ability to change your character’s appearance is only ever as effective as the phys-rep that you use; so if someone recognises you then they may choose to recognise your character, regardless of the method used to change your appearance.

If you believe you recognise a character that you have met previously who appears to be in disguise then you may check out of character (OOC) by asking them. You can ask if they are playing a character by name or by reference to a meeting you have had but you cannot simply ask if they are in disguise. You may ask a referee to check a character’s identity to avoid asking them directly. If another participant asks you if you are playing a specific character in disguise then you must answer truthfully.

For example, you are playing a Freeborn merrow called Iago but you have disguised yourself as one of the merrow of the Kallavesi. If anyone asks OOC if you are playing Iago or ‘your merrow’ or ‘the merrow I met last night’ then you must answer truthfully.

It is much easier for someone to obtain prosthetics for a lineage or species phys-rep than it would be for a character to adopt that disguise. Because of this, you must not disguise yourself as a member of another lineage or species. You may disguise your character, but must actively avoid any make-up or prosthetics that could conceivably be confused with the phys-rep requirements of another lineage or species. This restriction does not apply if you are using magical means to disguise your appearance.

For example, your human character could glue foam horns to their forehead but this would not be sufficient for any sane character to think you were a cambion. Therefore, you must avoid putting horns on your forehead as part of a normal disguise.

If you are pretending to be dead on the battlefield - then you follow the normal rules for disguise. If another participant asks OOC you if you are dead or dying - then you must answer the OOC question truthfully.


  • Perimeter fences round camps are strongly discouraged in Empire
  • Any fence that exists is as effective as the phys-rep; your character can cross it by any means available
  • Do not enter private tents without permission
  • Walls and barriers on battlefields follow different rules - you must not climb over them or break through them

The camp at Anvil is the single safest place in the Empire, and as such there is no credible threat of any kind that a perimeter fence or wall round a camp would serve to protect against. This set-up is part of the game design, intended to make Anvil as open as possible to encourage interaction and roleplay between everyone present and to discourage players from spending their time guarding gates.

If you do encounter a physical barrier at the event, then it is only as effective as the actual phys-rep for the barrier. If you want to climb over or push through it and you are able to do so then you are fine to do so under the rules of the game. Other characters are likely to take in-character exception to you coming into their camp in a way they have tried to prohibit, but all actions must be treated as fully in-character by all participants.

Players are not allowed to make any out-of-character complaints at any player who attempts to force their way over or through a barrier. Because of this it is not permissible to deliberately build a barrier using anything that is fragile or vulnerable such that it would become an out-of-character issue if it is damaged.

These rules only affects barriers and walls placed around camps, you cannot enter another player or group's tent without their permission to do so. Stealing game items other than those identified with a gold ribbon is generally prohibited in Anvil.

Walls and barriers on battlefields exist to make battles more challenging and enjoyable for all participants. They are there to create tactical problems for players to solve using their character skills, not to see which players are physically capable of getting over them. Crucially, it is not possible for any individual to safely climb over or break through a wall in the heat of a battle. For these safety and design reasons, the walls follow different rules and you must not attempt to climb over them or break through them.


  • You can forge letters and other purely in-character documents
  • You cannot forge game items in Empire
  • You cannot forge bourse notes or voting bonds

In-character forgery is not a theme of Empire. The divinations of day and night magic ought to make it trivial for the authorities to identify characters who were forging coins or similar items, but in practice this isn't possible for OOC reasons. You may forge IC documents written by NPCs or PCs if you wish to do so - but you cannot forge coins, herbs, potions, mana crystals, materials, liao, or any other similar game items. In particular, you cannot forge bourse notes, voting bonds, or arcane projections.

Recorded Music

  • Do not play recorded music at the event

Empire is a game of hard skills by design - success in Empire is intended to derive primarily from your abilities as a player. For this reason, playing recorded music at events is prohibited. There are many talented IC musicians in Anvil - if you want to have music playing in your tent then you must find a way to persuade one or more of them to perform for your character.

Artificial Intelligence

  • Do not use content, art or text, created using generative-AI tools in the field at Empire
  • If you think someone is violating the rules, you can report it to a referee or a moderator but you must allow them to resolve the matter

Content that is made using generative-AI tools (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generative_artificial_intelligence) is banned in the field at Empire for the same reasons. It is fine for digital artists to use procedural tools to create art for the game, but images manufactured by AI art engines must not be used in-character. Likewise, writers can use modern tools to proof their writing, but any substantial block of prose that is manufactured using a large-language model or any equivalent AI tool must not be used in-character at Empire events. (Generative-AI content is also prohibited in our online spaces).

It is not always easy to tell if something was created using AI. We don't want participants being interrogated every time they produce a piece of art or text for Empire. So if you think something may be breaking the rules, then you can let a referee know (at an event) or our moderation team if it's online, but you must leave it to them to deal with.


  • You should report anyone you suspect is cheating to a referee
  • Do not make public accusations of cheating

Profound Decisions make all reasonable effort to ensure that players are not cheating at events. Please do not make public accusations of cheating. OOC complaints during time-in ruin the atmosphere of the game and only exacerbate the problems caused by cheating.

If you think that another player is cheating then please report the matter to one of the referees as soon as possible and leave it for Profound Decisions to deal with. If referees find players cheating then they will deal with the issue as appropriate.

It is advisable to get a referee to accompany your character attacks another character. The referee will be able to help ensure that all the game rules are followed fairly by all participants.

Further Reading