Contents

Weapons

  • All weapons must be at least 8” (20 cm) long
  • All weapons must be a phys-rep of a weapon
  • Some categories require you to use a set grip to fight with the weapon

There are six basic weapon categories in Empire. Any character can wield a dagger or a one‑handed weapon but they must purchase the Weapon Master skill to use anything larger. Weapon categories are also important for enchantments.

One-handed spears, polearms and pikes require you to use a set grip when fighting with the weapon. These grips are set for a combination of safety and play balance. You don’t have to carry the weapon like this when you are not fighting, but you must use the mandated grip throughout any fight where you use the weapon.

All weapons in Empire must be a phys-rep of an actual weapon - an object commonly used in battle. LRP-safe versions of common household objects like pans or gardening tools like shovels cannot be used as weapons.

Daggers

  • Must be between 8” long and 24” long

Any character may use a dagger in combat provided it is between 8” long and 24”. The only difference between a dagger and a one-handed weapon is that you cannot use a dagger with any heroic skills or with enchantments suitable for one-handed weapons.

One-handed Weapons

  • Must be between 24” long and 42” long

Any character may use a one-handed weapon in combat provided it is between 24” long and 42” long. Flails up to 42” long are included in this category and can be used by any character. Larger flails are covered by the rules for great weapons.

Great weapons

  • Must be over 42” long and up to 60” long
  • You must hold the weapon in both hands

Any character with the Weapon Master skill may use a weapon up to 60" long provided they hold it in both hands.

Stern von Holberg of the Orphans preparing to ruin a barbarian's day.
League defender with polearm

Polearms

  • Must be between 60” long and 84” long
  • You must hold the weapon in both hands with at least 18” separating them
  • Can have a thrust-safe tip

Any character with the Weapon Master skill may use a weapon between 60" and 84" long provided you hold the weapon in both hands at all times and keep at least 18 inches separation between your hands during combat. This means that you cannot fight by sliding the polearm back and forth through your hands so that your hands meet - your hands must stay 18 inches apart throughout.

If the weapon has a thrust-safe tip then you may make thrusting strikes with it.

Pike

  • Must be over 84” long and up to 108” long
  • You must hold the weapon in both hands with at least 18” separating them
  • Must be a phys-rep of a pike
  • Must have a thrust-safe tip and only be used for thrusting

A pike is any phys-rep of a pike that is between 7 foot and 9 foot in length. You must hold the weapon in both hands at all times and have at least 18” separation between your hands during combat. A character must have the Weapon Master skill to wield a pike.

A pike must have a thrust safe tip. You may only thrust using the pike, you may not swing any weapon that is over seven foot in length.

One-handed Spear

  • Must be over 60" long and up to 84" long
  • You must hold the weapon within 6" of the centre of the shaft
  • Must be a phys-rep of a spear
  • Must have a thrust-safe tip and only be used for thrusting

A one-handed spear must be a phys-rep of a spear which is between 60" long and 84" long. The weapon can be wielded in one hand - but you must hold the weapon within 6" of the centre of the shaft during combat. A character must have the Weapon Master skill to wield a spear one-handed in this manner.

A one-handed spear must have a thrust-safe tip and can only be used for thrusting. You cannot swing a weapon of this size when it is held in one hand.

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Implements

  • Offensive spells can only be delivered using an implement
  • Must be a safe phys-rep of a wand, rod or staff
  • Should not look like a weapon
  • Cannot be used with heroic skills

An implement is a magical tool that allows a magician to deliver an offensive spell. All offensive spells require an implement to be used. You cannot use an implement to deliver a regular spell such as mend or heal.

All implements must be weapon-safe phys-reps. They may appear to be made of any material, and should be decorated and shaped to make it as clear as possible that they are magical implements and not weapons. The ideal phys-rep is a suitably arcane looking rod, staff or wand. You may use a quarterstaff, but you cannot use a spear or anything that is clearly a phys-rep of a weapon.

A character can cause a point of damage with an implement, but they cannot be used with the heroic skills cleaving strike, mortal blow or mighty strikedown.

Implements come in three broad classifications; wands, rods and staves. Any character with the magician skill can wield a wand or rod effectively, but the Battle Mage skill is needed to wield a staff.

Although any magician may choose to use a wand or rod as an implement, some magical enchantments can only be placed on wands and some can only be placed on rods.

Wands

  • Must be between 8” long and 18” long

A wand is 8” to 18” long. Magical wands usually enhance healing incantations such as restore limb or utility incantations such as mend

Rods

  • Must be over 18” long and up to 42” long

A rod is 18” to 42” long. Wielded in one hand, a rod is popular with many magicians who take the battlefield because it can be combined with a shield or with another one-handed weapon (provided the magician possesses the skill to do so). Magical rods most commonly enhance battlefield incantations such as repel or empower.

Staff

  • Must be over 42” long and up to 84” long
  • You must hold the weapon in both hands
  • A staff that is at least 60” long must be held in both hands with at least 18” separating them
  • Can have a thrust-safe tip

A staff is 42” to 84” long. It must be wielded in two hands, but greatly extends the magician's reach for delivering implement incantations. Staves are popular with magicians of all backgrounds, but require the Battle Mage skill to use in battle. Magic staves may enhance battlefield incantation or grant benefits to ritual casters.

A staff that is between 60" and 84" in length may have a thrust-safe tip. If it does then you may attack, and deliver spells and incantations by making an appropriately safe thrust to strike your target. You must keep at least 18" separation between your hands when wielding a staff that is 60" or longer.

Bows

  • You must have the Marksman skill to use a bow or crossbow
  • You must hold the weapon in both hands to shoot

You may use a bow or crossbow. All missile weapons require both hands to shoot and do IMPALE automatically, with no need to call the effect.

Crossbows in Empire can only fire one bolt at a time - you can use a phys-rep crossbow that has more than one channel for a bolt, provided that you do not load more than one bolt at once.

Thrown Weapons

  • You must have the Thrown skill to use a thrown weapon
  • Must be 8" or longer and passed by weapons check as safe for throwing

You may throw weapons of 8” or larger provided that it has been passed as safe for throwing. Throwing weapons may include axes and javelins, but you cannot throw shuriken, rocks or tiny throwing knives shorter than 8” long.

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Shields

  • Any character can use a buckler up to 15” (40 cm) in diameter
  • A shield must be gripped by a handle held in the hand
  • Characters with the shield skill can use larger shields
  • You can push with a shield, but you cannot shield barge another character

Any character can use a buckler, a small shield up to 15 inches in diameter. If you have the shield skill then you can use a larger shield. The maximum dimensions for a shield are based on the shape, listed in the table below.

A shield must be gripped by a handle held in the hand to protect the wearer. A shield that is simply strapped to the body does not protect the wearer. All blows that strike a slung shield are considered to hit the character wearing it.

Some special calls still effect a character even if the blow is blocked by a shield. A character is still repelled, entangled, or knocked off their feet if the blow strikes their shield, although they do not lose any hits.

Shield Type Max Dimensions
Buckler 15" (40cm) diameter
Round shield 40" (1m) diameter
Tower shield 40" by 24" (1m by 60cm)
Kite/Heater shield 48" by 24" (1.2m by 60cm)

If you are standing still or walking slowly then you may hold a shield out and push with it. You are not allowed to shield barge other characters; you must not run, shield first, into another character for safety reasons.

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Armour

  • All characters can wear armour
  • Armour that covers the torso and another location provides extra global hits
  • Some armour protects from CLEAVE or IMPALE
  • Magicians cannot cast spells while wearing armour

Armour protects the wearer by increasing their global hits if it covers the majority of the torso and at least one other location. Valid locations are the head (with a helm), the arms and the legs, or you may cover half of your arms and legs.

E.g. A mail vest covers your torso but does not cover another location. If you wear it with a helm them it would count. A full-length mail hauberk covers the torso, thighs and upper arms so it would always count.

Medium armour protects a character against CLEAVE, while heavy armour protects them against CLEAVE and IMPALE. You are only protected if the blow strikes the armour phys-rep; if it hits an unprotected part of the body then you are affected normally. Your armour continues to protect you in this way even if the hits it provides have been lost.

Any character can wear armour, but magicians cannot cast spells or perform rituals while wearing armour.

To count as armour, the phys-rep must be a phys-rep of a suit of armour. A leather coat or biker-jacket does not count as armour and is not appropriate costume for the Empire setting. Leather armour may count as light or medium armour depending on the thickness; adding studs or rivets does not make it count as heavy armour.

Armour does not provide separate armour hits, it protects you by increasing your global hits. Armour is not repaired separately. Whenever you are healed back to full hits all lost hits are regained.

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Thick leather armour is medium armour.

Wearing more than one type of armour does not grant any additional hits.

Light Armour

  • Padded cloth or thin leather armour (between 1.5mm and 3mm).
  • Provides 2 extra hits only.

Any armour made of padded cloth such as a gambeson or light or thin leather such as a thin leather hauberk provides the wearer with 2 additional hits. It does not provide any additional protection against heroic blows.

Any cloth or leather that is less than 1.5mm thick counts as clothing, it does not count as armour at all. Costume made from foam or karrimat does not count as armour.

Medium Armour

  • Thick leather or any lightweight armour materials, such as polyurethane or aluminium.
  • Provides 3 extra hits and protects against CLEAVE.

Thick leather armour (the majority of the armour is more than 3mm thick) or any armour made from a light weight material such as polyurethane (e.g. Norton Armour), aluminium, or mixed neoprene and steel provides the wearer with 3 extra hits. Light mail, such as modern ring mesh (butcher's mail) or mail with an open weave (sometimes called "ring mail"), counts as medium armour.

If the wearer is hit by a CLEAVE heroic blow that strikes a piece of medium armour rather than directly hitting the wearer then the target loses one hit but does not take any additional effects.

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Most steel armour is classed as heavy armour

Heavy Armour

  • Armour made from steel or a similar weight metal
  • If there are plates used they must be at least 1mm thick
  • Butchers mail and ring mail are not included as heavy armour, regardless of the materials used
  • Provides 4 extra hits and protects against CLEAVE, and IMPALE

Any armour that is primarily made from steel provides the wearer with 4 extra hits. Other base metals that weigh the same such as brass would also count, but aluminium and titanium armour count as medium.

If the wearer is hit by a CLEAVE or IMPALE heroic blow, that strikes a piece of heavy armour rather than directly hitting the wearer then the target loses one hit but does not take any additional effects.

Mage Armour

  • You must have the battle mage skill to wear mage armour
  • Must cover at least 3 locations including one of the chest, shoulders or waist
  • Providers 2 extra hits only
  • Does not protect against CLEAVE or IMPALE calls

Mage armour is a magical talisman that protects you against harm but allows you to cast spells and perform rituals. The talisman is made up of several pieces fitted to the wearer's body to protect them. The parts of the talisman superficially resemble pieces of armour, but armour that is ornate and ceremonial rather than practical. They are often decorated with runes, crystals, gems or other magical accoutrements and it is clear that the armour protects the wearer through magic rather than by physically deflecting blows.

Mage Armour.jpg
Mage armour by Tanner in the Works

Mage armour provides the wearer with two additional hits. Mage armour does not protect against CLEAVE or IMPALE. To qualify the talisman must include three of the following items including at least one of the first three items on the list:

  • Pauldrons (shoulders)
  • Pectorals (upper chest)
  • Hero Belt (waist)
  • Circlet (head)
  • Vambraces (wrists)
  • Gorget (neck)
  • Greaves (lower legs)

The items must be substantial and cover a significant portion of the area but it is possible to use a single pauldron, greave or vambrace if appropriate for the costume.

You must have the Battle Mage skill to wear and use mage armour. Although mage armour is magical in nature, any character with the battle mage skill is assumed to have access to a suit of mage armour, in the same way a warrior has access to a suit of mundane armour.

Mage armour can be made out of any real world material, provided you try to make as clear as possible that your character is wearing magical protection and not mundane armour.

Further Reading