Overview

The Empire rules and setting are licensed under terms that allow anyone to use them freely for any reason and to modify them for their own use. As a result, anyone can choose to run a live roleplaying event and call it an Empire event if they wish. In fact, some elements of the setting were deliberately designed to facilitate this shared approach.

Although there are many advantages to this freedom, the drawback is in the consistency of the setting and rules experienced by players. If someone runs an event that includes elements that contradict the material that Profound Decisions have published for Empire then it can negatively affect the campaign continuity or increase confusion about the Empire rules. To try and balance this we have produced a set of guidelines for sanctioned events - Empire events which are considered by us to be a part of the same campaign that we are running.

Help from Profound Decisions

  • We can provide only limited help
  • We cannot provide plot, NPCs, or refs for your event

Although we welcome other live roleplaying groups creating and running their own Empire events, our focus is very much on our own events. Every available resource that we have is spent making our own events better - we don't have spare crew or plot that we can provide for other events.

Any existing Empire refs are welcome to attend your event as a referee if they wish to do so. If they are able to access the Profound Decisions website while at your event then they will be able to perform all the ref functions that they access at events using our tablets.

We don't write plot for other events - all the plot that is created by us is intended for our own events. We will offer sufficient advice and help with your plot to ensure that it can be sanctioned as part of the ongoing Empire.

We can also provide some cards, resources, and ribbons for a sanctioned event that involves a significant degree of combat and peril.

Players

  • Please email us with any changes that happen at the event

If you perform an ongoing ritual at a sanctioned event, then please keep any mana crystal cards that are used to one side and post them to our head office address after the event with details of the ritual you performed and the participants you performed it with. Once we receive the crystals we will process the ritual, so that any ongoing effects are included in any downtime processing. If an event takes place after downtime has been processed, then the rituals will take effect as if they were performed at the next Profound Decisions event. If you perform a ritual that does not have an ongoing effect then you do not have to inform us, and must destroy any mana cards used at the time.

If the magical items or bands that your character is bonded to change at an event then you should inform Profound Decisions by email so that we can update your character record.

If your character dies at a sanctioned event you should report this by going into the page for your character on the Profound Decisions site and clicking "Report Character Death"

Rules

  • Sanctioned events use the Empire rules published on this wiki
  • Any rules changes or variants must be published in advance of the event

If you want to run an Empire event that is sanctioned by Profound Decisions then it should use the official rules. Changing the rules has two potential drawbacks, first it creates confusion for players about the rules and their character's abilities. The rules give the players a basis for understanding their character's abilities and what they can legitimately expect to happen in the setting. More importantly, our events are largely self-reffed, a player applies the rules to their character, so they need clarity about the rules they should follow. If you agree a rules variant for your event with us, then please make sure that your players are aware of this by publishing appropriate details in advance of the event.

In a LRP game, the rules have powerful implications that help to define the game. For example, stories in a setting in which you can resurrect the dead are fundamentally different to stories in a setting where that is impossible. Every live roleplayer has different views on what their perfect LRP would be - by implication they all have different views on what the perfect rules would be. We don't pretend that the Empire rules are what everyone in LRP would choose, but on aggregate they are what the players who choose to attend Empire events have chosen to play. If you want your players to enjoy your events then it is wise to respect their choices.

Of course it is possible to write in-character elements to your game that subvert the rules. If you don't want your characters' wounds to heal after a few hours of rest, you can force that by setting your event in a region afflicted by a terrible Winter magic curse that prevents it. Choosing what elements of a setting are unusual or different in some way can be part of the creative process of writing plot. But events where the setting causes the rules to work dramatically differently or where the plot appears to have been created purely to subvert the rules will not be sanctioned by us. Many rules are so important that we will not sanction them being subverted under any circumstances. For example, we will never sanction a plot that allows a character to recover after becoming terminal.

It is important to appreciate that the Empire "rules" cover more than just the game rules themselves. The critical example of this are the rules for conduct at our events. We know these rules do not appeal to every live-roleplayer, but they are the rules that PD have put in place for our Empire events. It is perfectly reasonable for Empire players attending your event to assume that the same rules apply. We encourage all sanctioned event organizers who are happy to use Profound Decisions rules to publish that with an appropriate link. If you have decided that you do not wish your event to confirm to the rules for conduct then please make sure that any variations are clearly indicated in advance of booking.

Plot

  • Sanctioned event plot must be shown to Profound Decisions
  • Sanctioned events must not create new eternals, paragons, or foreign nations
  • You should clearly communicate the style of your event to your players

We will not sanction your event until we have seen a copy of the plot that you plan to run. If you want to run a sanctioned event then you need to submit the outline of any plot which is essential to your event first. As you detail the plot for your event then you can check any significant developments with us as you go to ensure that you are not creating problems. You should submit a final copy of the plot for your event two weeks before the event takes place. Our plot team will check the plot for continuity with our campaign, they may have some suggestions for ways to link things to the plot at the main events.

Sanctioned event plot should be of a level of significance equivalent to a character or group's background. For example, we will not sanction an event in which the players must prevent an evil cultist performing a ritual to prevent the complete destruction of the League city of Sarvos. In particular, this means that you cannot create new eternals, paragons, or foreign nations as part of your plot. If your plot requires some unique element of this kind, then you should employ a less significant equivalent - such as a herald or exemplar.

In general the sort of things that it is appropriate for players to create for their background, a Marcher Household, a Highguard Exemplar, a Dawnish Herald are the sort of elements that you can create when writing plot for a sanctioned event. If you must use something more powerful - like an eternal - then you must use one of existing options defined on the wiki.

The best sanctioned events will use plot with appropriate scope. It is common for plot writers to want their plot to be dramatic and significant, but plot that threatens the existence of the Empire, an Imperial Nation, or even an Imperial territory - are just not workable for a sanctioned event. It's not fair on the Profound Decisions player base if they turn up at their next Profound Decisions event to find that the Marches were ruinously destroyed at a sanctioned event attended by thirty players three weeks earlier. For this reason we won't sanction plots of this kind.

A plot can still be dire in nature, even if its scope is limited. A Varushkan plot that threatens the inhabitants of a Vale, a Navarr plot that risks the destruction of a Terunael ruin, or a Dawnish event set in a ruined keep in the Barrens. These plots can be compelling even though they won't change the course of the world; they don't have to be far-reaching to be dramatic.

The Empire wiki defines a set of plot guidelines which are well worth reading if you intend to create a sanctioned event. These are the style guidelines we encourage all our writers to use when creating plot for our events. Our goal is to create a distinct style for our events so that our players know what to expect. By default many Empire players will assume that if you are running an Empire event then it will be in the style of other Empire events. Your event should reflect the style of game you want to run - but please respect the Empire player base by communicating clearly the style of game that you are creating.

Event planning

Most sanctioned events will be considerably smaller than a Profound Decisions event. As such it is very ill-advised to create a plot that requires the characters to have access to a specific thing to resolve the plot - Murphy's Law dictates that the characters attending your event will not have that skill, ability or item.

However, someone attending your event will cast Signs and Portents. Please read this ritual carefully, make sure you understand how it works and ensure you have the results written well in advance. The rules for Empire give the players many ways to analyse unusual items and effects that they encounter - so you should ensure that you are familiar with rituals like Bright Lantern of Ophis and have the results ready for when it is cast.

You should also be aware of Whispering Shadow Courtiers and the rituals Shadowed Glass of Sung and Clear Lens of the Eternal River. The former ritual can be a useful conduit for reinforcing themes or providing additional information about your event, while the latter two rituals are designed specifically to complement linears and location-based scenarios.

Resources and items

  • Combat events are eligible to receive a small number of resources

We expect players who are attending an Empire event that includes significant amounts of combat to expend some herbs, mana crystals, and liao during the course of your event. Therefore it is appropriate for such events to include a small amount of resources that the players can acquire during the course of the event. We will review the plot for your event and decide how many resources are appropriate based on the number of players that you have booked.

Although the players expend herbs, liao and mana crystals, it is possible for a combat event to include anything of value in the Empire world - money, magical items, materials or even resources. If you require specific resources then make sure you request them well in advance of your event. If your event requires a magical item then you should use one of the magic items listed on the Empire wiki. If your event simply must include some unique magical item then you can request this. We will need a very clear definition of the item's power as early as possible to consider whether we will allow it.

Once the items and resources for your event are agreed, then we will arrange to have the cards, phys-reps and item ribbons shipped to you. Please make sure that any game items have an official Empire item ribbon attached to them before the game starts.

Logistics

  • Sanctioned events will be listed on the Empire wiki

Once the plot outline for your event has been sanctioned and you have booked a site then you can advertise your event on the wiki list of sanctioned events. You are then free to promote your event as a Empire event sanctioned by Profound Decisions.

Further Reading