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 FAQ 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.

Obscure Questions

In addition to this list of frequently asked questions there is a list of obscure questions people have asked to which we have provided answers. They are included for completeness and for reference purposes and searches.


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

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.


When will the full rules be released?

The core of the Empire rules is now available on the wiki, but some elements, notably magical items and rituals are likely to take a little longer. We hope to have them available soon. We prefer not to issue release dates for things because it is very hard to accurately predict when these kind of jobs will be complete.

What are the restrictions on bows and crossbows

All bows must have a maximum draw weight of 30 lb at 28" (72 cm). All crossbows must have a maximum draw weight of 30 lb. We do not use bow competency tests at Profound Decisions events. You cannot parry or catch arrows that are fired at your character.

Bows and crossbows must be wielded in two hands. Pistol crossbows and wrist-mounted crossbows cannot be used in Empire.

Do I have to spend all 8 character points?

You do not have to spend all eight character points when making your character. Unspent points are saved and can be spent on that character later. However you cannot spend those points on a different character in the future. Only unspent points that have been earned by attending events can be spent on a new character.

Does the CLEAVE have to hit armour to be stopped?

Yes. The armour you are wearing on your torso and body provides additional global hits. But to protect you against a CLEAVE or IMPALE, the physical blow must strike an actual piece of armour. If it hits a part of your body (other than your head or neck) which is not protected by armour then you take the full affect of the heroic blow. If the blow strikes the actual armour itself and the armour protects against that blow then you just lose one hit.

Can I use steel armour that doesn't cover my torso?

To gain the benefit of increased hits, your armour must cover your torso and one other location, either your head, legs, arms or half your arms and legs. But you still gain the protection provided by the individual piece of armour, appropriate for its type, if it is struck.

E.g. I am wearing a soft leather vest and helm which counts as light armour and provides me with two extra hits. In addition I am wearing steel vambraces and a hardened leather hero belt. If a CLEAVE or IMPALE strikes my steel vambraces then I just lose one global hit. If a CLEAVE strikes my thick leather hero belt then I just lose one global hit. If the blows strike me anywhere else, then I am affected normally.

Can I wear mail under my costume?

Yes, you can wear armour under costume, or even other armour. Your armour does not have to be visible. If you wear a steel vest of mail under your costume or other armour then it would protect against IMPALE or CLEAVE as normal.

What happens to my hits when I swap armour?

If you are wearing armour and you have lost any global hits, then you drop to one hit when you remove your armour. If you have lost any hits when you put a suit of armour on, then you do not gain any hits by donning a suit of armour, until you are healed.

In theory it would be possible to use fractions to calculate how many hits you have, in practice this is needlessly complicated for a situation that will almost never arise (people removing armour while wounded and in danger). The rules above are as simple as they can be and ensure that there is never any advantage to swapping one set of armour for another.

Can my magician wear pieces of armour?

A character cannot cast spells while wearing any piece of regular armour. A magician with the mage armour skill may wear mage armour which provides two additional global his but does not protect against CLEAVE or IMPALE.

You may not cast spells while wearing pieces of armour, such as greaves or vambraces. You cannot wear anything that would protect against a CLEAVE or IMPALE and cast spells at the same time. You can wear costume or mage armour that includes some metal if it is part of your costume but it is better to avoid it looking like armour and it does not protect against CLEAVE or IMPALE. If you wish to wear a helm for safety reasons then you may do so.

Can I use a wand to cast heal?

You cannot use implements to change the stated rules for casting a regular spell like heal. This means that the regular rules apply, the spell requires you to touch the target for ten seconds while casting the spell and neither you nor the target attack or be attacked during that time. You can use a wand or other implement as part of your roleplay. The various magical wands, rods and other items that exist are intended to be used as aides to roleplay when casting these spells.

Can you be fed a potion if you are dying?

Yes. You cannot drink a potion yourself, if you are dying on zero hits, but you can have one fed to you.


Can we play a mixed-nation group?

At the event, the main field will be split into ten distinct camping areas, one for each of the nations and one for the Imperial Orcs. Nation is your primary source of identity and the key route into all the politics of the game, so any Marcher character that spends their time hanging around in the Dawnish camp is likely to be cut out of a significant portion of the game. For this reason alone we are actively discouraging mixed-nation groups and asking players to focus on creating a group that draws from one nation.

It is important to point out that the nations are all part of a single Empire - they might have political differences on many issues but they are fundamentally on the same side. As such it is perfectly reasonable to begin the game having existing alliances and contacts with groups in other nations. If half your friends want to come from Varushka and half want to play Winterfolk then we would advise you make two groups - one from each nation - and put links between them in your respective backgrounds. It's normal to have close friends and allies from other nations.

When will the Imperial Orc brief be available?

The brief for the Imperial Orcs was postponed to allow us to get the remaining setting released. Regrettably that pushed it back down the work queue for a few months while attention was paid to other jobs which had been waiting for the setting to be finished first. The core brief was completed months ago, but there is a lot of editing and rewriting to do before it will be ready for release. We are now focussing on the brief and like the rules we are confident that we will have it released soon.

Can I play an Imperial Orc in the Marches?

Imperial orcs are the equivalent of a nation - they have their own camp, their own armies, their own generals and so on. Anyone planning to play an Imperial Orc should be based out of the Imperial Orc camp.

Who do I talk to about my background?

We are not currently accepting background submissions but there will be guidelines and a place for them to be submitted in the new year. We appreciate that players are keen to discuss their backgrounds, but we need to finish the setting first, so we would ask you to be patient a little longer.

Where is the world map?

The fully detailed maps are still being finalized by members of our team but higher-level maps can be found here.

Do mythical and real world beasts exist in Empire?

Most indigenous European fauna like boars or stags exist in Empire - but obviously they are unlikely to turn up at events. The notable exception are horses, which did exist but were wiped out centuries ago. Fantastic beasts, like trolls and dragons also exist in Empire, some of them as myths, some of them as creatures that you can meet.

Mundane details of the setting are broadly European in character, so non-European flora and fauna such as lions are not found in the Empire but are known of in foreign lands.

What beasts of burden exist?

Horses are extinct in Empire and oxen are used as beasts of burden instead.

What are the coins and what are they worth?

Imperial coinage is made up of rings, crowns and thrones. There are eight crowns to a throne and twenty rings to a crown.

It is effectively meaningless to talk about what coins are worth, since Empire will use a free market economy system in which players set the prices of items rather than the organisers. As a result we have no idea what things will be worth and prices will change from event to event. The starting income of a normal character is 18 rings, every normal character will receive that amount of money every event. We'll release more details about what money and items characters will start each event with once the rules are released.

What accents can/should we use?

We are not specifying accents for individual nations, because many players find accents difficult to manage and we wish to avoid any assumption that people need to use a specific accent. It is also important to appreciate that while a nation like the Brass Coast is inspired by the costumes of South America and Moorish Spain it isn't meant to be Moorish Spain - you can use a Spanish accent to help develop your character but you don't need to.

It is worth appreciating that caricatures of accents have been used to ridicule ethnic groups for decades. It is appropriate therefore to avoid the kind of misanthropic mangled accents of bad cliches of ethnic groups from the Orient and Arabian Peninsula, because they will offend some players. However LRP is fundamentally about the appropriation of cultural motifs to create context and setting, in the same way that these motifs are used in literature, theatre and film. So it is absolutely fine to make your best attempt at a credible Spanish accent for your Freeborn character or Russian for a Varushkan character if you wish to do so.

Can I invent a Paragon or Exemplar?

The current paragons and exemplars outlined are not intended to be an exhaustive list but illustrative and to be expanded on. You can create an exemplar for your background but you should avoid creating paragons as these are few in number. As with any part of the setting, this will need to be checked to ensure its consistent with the setting game (i.e. an Inspector Clouseau like character will not be accepted as an exemplar of Wisdom).

Group background submission will be available in the new year, so you can include details of any historic figures then. It is worth reading about the signs of the Paragon and Exemplar.

Can I play a priest of a False Virtue?

It is possible to be a priest of a False Virtue and it is possible for such a priest to dedicate others to their False Virtue - but you cannot start out that way, you have to try to achieve it in play. Of course you can start out as a person who believes in the False Virtue and is seeking to become dedicated and to spread it.

What is Hearth Magic?

The simplest possible definition of Hearth magic is magic that works in the world, albeit unreliably, without any skill. Hearth magic is useful in rituals, where it can sometimes be combined with "true" magic to make the effects slightly more potent. But Hearth Magic is a real potent force, it's a superstition in the same way that people in the real world believe that a piece of lodestone suspended in water will turn to point north.

Game Style

Will the concept "Find Out In Play" exist in Empire?

The idea will be irrelevant in Empire - all the rules for the game (skills, items, spells etc) will be accessible to every player through the wiki and alongside everything published by us about the setting. Empire is not a game of discovering new technology and any character that wants to know these things can.

There will be secretive things going on in the game that players can discover. There will be secret societies and cults, hidden agendas and powerful forces manoeuvring against the players - but players will be free to froth about the game afterwards.

Do I have to volunteer to monster?

The Empire events run by Profound Decisions will feature one or more large battles, involving hundreds of participants. We have ordered four hundred orc masks and are in the process of ordering four hundred sets of orc armour. We can't possibly operate with that many crew, so to ensure that there is an epic horde to fight against we will need volunteers.

Volunteering will only be required if you plan to fight as your character in the battles. If you don't wish to take the field as your character, then there is no requirement to monster any of the battles. If you do wish to fight in the big battles then you will be required to volunteer to monster every other battle. There will be two battles at each of the first two events to ensure everyone has a chance to play one battle and monster one battle at each event.

We are confident that we can make monstering every bit as fun as playing. We need volunteers to fill out the barbarian hordes to make the battles as epic as possible, but our intention is that the majority of players find crewing one of the battles to be nearly as enjoyable as playing them. We are deliberately designing our barbarian foes to make them fun roles to portray.

There will also be skirmishes and other fights with the barbarians and other threats the Empire faces. We are aiming to have enough crew to operate these smaller battles ourselves, so volunteers are welcome but are not required.

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.

How do battles work?

How will battles work? (I paraphrase) Battles at events will form part of a wider campaign against the barbarian enemies of the Empire. Players will have opportunities to make pivotal interventions to turn the tide of war in their favour - provided they can triumph. Battles will feature objectives for the Imperial forces to achieve rather than being "meat-grinders", achieving those objectives will improve the position of the much larger Imperial armies in the field. Things may be kept simple at early events to allow everyone to get the hang of the system but ultimately the intention is for those players playing Imperial Generals to decide where the Imperial armies are sent and to choose which battles to send the PCs to fight from the scenarios presented to them by their civil servants.

How dangerous will the main field be?

We are not planning to run camp attacks on the main field - the 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 will 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 magic 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.


What is the requirement for concessions?

Anyone who is a full time student, in receipt of unemployment benefits such as job-seekers allowance or is a pensioner 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 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?

Everyone is a new player for Empire, so the promotional discounts for new players are not valid this year for Empire. We may extend the scheme to cover Empire next year. Recruitment discounts are still valid for Odyssey, so if you are an existing Odyssey player then you can use the scheme to recruit new players for Odyssey.

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.