Category Archives: Empire

Empire 379YE Autumn Equinox


  • We got caught by a speed camera as we approached the site
  • Craig was in an accident the Tuesday before and had whiplash
  • Getting so dehydrated I felt ill and nauseous in Conclave


  • Taking the field meant I didn’t have as much time for running around organising things
  • Missed Saturday dinner due to not stopping all evening
  • Attaching latex scales took much longer than I expected
  • Trying to attend multiple meetings scheduled for the same time doesn’t work very well
  • Going “feck it” to touching up my makeup on Sunday morning means there a few photos of me with a rubbed off forehead
  • So tired on Saturday evening – kept napping everywhere
  • My bag got nicked while doing a ritual and we lost the covenstone
  • Bonding at last event went wrong and it turns out I wasn’t actually bonded to my robes…
  • Never stopping moving. Google can confirm that the only times I really stopped moving was Conclave…


  • Taking the field meant I got to (a) try out chainmail as my elite mercenary without losing my new latex scales to an orc mask and (b) got to be part of Team Saker as part of the back-up Day ritualist team
  • Salted caramel cream liqueur goes down as well as ever
  • White chocolate strawberry fudge also went down well
  • Dem Cambion girls
  • Chilling on site on Friday meant I had time to experiment with latex scales
  • Two addresses and a gambit meant I got to make my name in Conclave
  • Being recognised in Military Council was a new experience
  • Tent is sufficiently cool during the day to mean beers aren’t overly warm
  • Civil Service Hub cushions are good for napping on
  • Now known by name to archmages, grandmasters, generals, senators, and the warmage
  • An Imperial Title has been created for the job I’m doing because people thought I deserved one
  • Political drama generating MC politics on Sunday
  • Suaq dance party
  • The Nightclub of Worlds
  • Mana rich for a while (before I miscalculated and gave more away than I meant to)
  • Tea-stained map experiments were a success
  • Mhorish breakfasts
  • Carrying the stool around gets annoying but it’s worth it in Conclave
  • Still not from Urizen

A lack of game

I don’t know why but I don’t do LARPs very well. I don’t seem to be able to hook into them or get involved in things. Plot passes me by and I never know how to get into the game.

It’s not just an IoD thing, but I feel it more there. At Empire, event plot pretty much passes me by but I’m so busy doing other thinBluträchergs that I don’t notice that I didn’t get involved in it. This is likely part of the problem I had in LT as well – I couldn’t get involved in things, so I didn’t like playing.

I can recognise this in IoD games as well – in Requiem, where I’m Harpy, I don’t notice as much that I’m not involved in the plot that everyone else seems to be pulling out of the woodwork somehow. In the other games, I can’t find my way in, and I feel lost as a consequence and don’t enjoy the games. I find myself asking if anyone would even notice my absence.

My lack of ability to hook myself into the games has led to me abandoning playing Forsaken to NPC, and abandoning playing Awakening to aST/NPC. I don’t really know why I haven’t given up on Lost yet. The thing is that I know I can enjoy these games, but typically the times I enjoy playing these games is when I have things to do that aren’t relevant to the plots of the game. My last Forsaken character was a lot of fun because he just wanted to punch things, talk about punching things, and intimidate people – and I enjoyed that game as one-dimensional as it was.

I find I always feel that there are groups of people who find the plot and run off with it and become epic in the game, and I drift along at the sidelines with no idea how to do that. The only reason that I’m where I am in Empire now is because Rob offered me some work and after a year of doing it, I’ve managed to make myself known to the point of being recognised by most of the Conclave.

It feels like there’s some trick I’m missing – something that I’m doing wrong or not doing at all that leads to people having fun at games and getting involved in epic plots. It feels like I’m failing at my hobby, and like there’s no point in my trying because I’ll never manage that.

Part of all this is that I’m terrible at setting character goals for myself. When I write an NPC for myself, it’s not an issue to find goals because they’re related to making the plot work right, but when I write a character I just can’t do it right. It’s sheer luck that I’ve managed to both get a character goal and (potentially) achieve it at Empire, and it wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t been handed a job by someone else.

Perhaps I should just stick to crewing and storytelling as it seems to be where my abilities are stronger.


I feel sick, it’s hard to focus, hard to breathe, and I’m trying not to let on that anything is up.

My little brother was run off the road this morning by someone driving recklessly and is currently in hospital waiting for a CT scan. He (and his new car which dove into the ditch with him) was supposed to be on the boat from Shetland tonight, and we were going to be heading down to Empire on Thursday.

Now I don’t know if he’ll be able to leave the hospital today, never mind attend a LARP at the other end of the country this weekend.

What makes me feel worse is that I feel terrible about looking at alternate travel arrangements. This is a nightmare, and I feel awful about being selfish like this.

#rpgaday2015 day 23 – perfect game for you

Honestly, depends what I’m doing and what type of game we’re playing, but I want a game I can get involved in, that I can engage in as I want to, where I can work to my own agenda, and/or to a shared one, and where I have OOC support in doing so.

I find all of that at Empire. I usually find it all in most tabletops I play in as well. Genre, system, and setting tend to matter less to the above criteria because I can usually find a hook into genre and setting I wouldn’t normally play in, and systems just take adapting to.

#rpgaday2015 day 22 – perfect gaming environment

For my perfect gaming environment, I need to be comfortable. It doesn’t need to involve sofas, or cushioned seats at all (though they can help) – it just has to be an environment I’m comfortable in. I should feel comfortable enough to go and get a drink, or a snack, and ideally comfortable for the other people to do likewise. It doesn’t need to be a space that’s mine – neutral spaces or spaces belonging to other people are also good.

Most of my gaming is at Empire, or with the Isles of Darkness. The RAF Club where we hold IoD games is somewhere I’m comfortable – I’m on the Committee, I know the staff, and I have the run of the place. I very rarely feel uncomfortable because of the environment, no matter what’s going on. At Empire, there are over a thousand people on the field, and I know that no matter what else happens, I could duck into Mhorish and catch a friendly conversation with people in there and restore my calm or I can retreat to my tent for a bit and get away from people. These are environments that I am comfortable gaming in, and that means a lot for me.

Basically, perfection is an ideal you’ll never really reach, so I’d rather stick with what I know works – which is a friendly atmosphere where I feel comfortable.

#rpgaday2015 day 17 – favourite fantasy RPG

I don’t know that I can answer this one really. I’ve played fantasy systems, but I wouldn’t ever really say that fantasy was my go-to roleplaying genre. I’m more into modern or futuristic games in the main.

I’ve of course played D&D (3rd and 3.5) but didn’t really find it an enthralling setting (though I do get occasional urges to go monkey with the spell system again). I’ve played Heroquest, Earthdawn, HERO Fantasy, and Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (1st and 2nd). I’ve massively enjoyed some of those games, but I don’t know that I’d call any of them my favourite fantasy RPG.

Other games I have sitting on my shelf, or games I’m anticipating include Fireborn (the RPG of being dragons reborn as humans) and Karthun: Lands of Conflict which is based on the fantasy RPG campaign in D20 Monkey. Thing about Karthun is that it’s not actually an RPG, but a setting. It’s a complete rewrite of setting based around some of the ideas in D&D [1] with completely different takes on how things work – and the Kickstarter (which I backed) is also providing a GM’s book with guides on using the setting in various systems including FATE, 13th Age, Pathfinder, D&D 5th, Dungeon World, and Savage Worlds – I’m looking forward to getting my hands on the PDF to give it a look through.

To take a different tack, my current favourite fantasy RPG is Skyrim (yes, it’s a video game). I’ve not counted LARPs in this, where the majority of the LARPs I’ve played have been fantasy games and I am finding it difficult to decide which of Skyrim and Empire I enjoy most – it’s a tough call. Currently I think Skyrim wins because I don’t feel particularly extroverted at the moment and what I do at Empire requires a certain level of extroversion (which is a strange word).

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. this interpretation based on reading the webcomic

#rpgaday2015 day 16 – longest game session played

Here, I’m going to “cheat” because while it might mean tabletop, my longest game sessions are always going to be LARPs.

So, longest LARP event I’ve been to was a four-day event, timing in at 6pm on Friday with a final time out at 3pm on Monday. Bearing in mind that Senate never times out at Empire, that makes for a 69 hour time in, even if I did spend about 18 hours of that time sleeping.

In terms of longest single time in period, I was thinking that would go to Projekt Ragnarok or even the last No Rest for the Wicked event, but given I crewed Ragnarok and was STing No Rest, it seems unfair to count them as a session played. So I guess I’m left with the 17 hours timed in from the last Empire event (wake up 10am Saturday, hit bed 3am Sunday).

To pad this out a bit more, I can add in travel times. The longest it has taken me to get to an event is 24 hours (travel from Shetland to Aberdeen to Edinburgh to Derby) and longest trip back from an event is 36 hours (same journey but in reverse with an overnight stop in Edinburgh).

#rpgaday2015 day 6: most recent RPG played

So, this is another one of these where I can break it down into LARP vs tabletop.

The most recent LARP I’ve played is Empire by Profound Decisions. That was a mere two weekends ago in Spernal. Empire is a fantasy LARP with a lot of features I like in the game and a huge range in scope with people being able to play just within their own group, within their nation, or within the entire Empire with a other sub-groups you can get involved in as well. For myself, I’m getting heavily involved with the Shuttered Lantern (one of the mage orders) and the Military Council (the council of Army Generals) as I take steps to organise military scrying across the Empire. My next event is already part-planned as I try and organise exactly what I’m doing and who I need to speak to.

The most recent tabletop RPG I’ve played was a Deathwatch game run by Rob. It kinda trickled out of existence as these things sometimes do. It was followed by the last tabletop game I ran (Black Crusade) which has ended up trickling out of existence in a similar manner.

#rpgaday2015 day 5: most recent RPG purchase

My most recent RPG purchase… Huh. I don’t actually know.

My most recent LARP purchase (of a personal rather than business kind) was my new buckler, bought from Eldritch at the last Empire, but I think I should go for a tabletop answer here.

On the assumption that Kickstarters count, my last RPG-related Kickstarter was Space Roller, which just funded in the last week. Sci-fi dice with glowing centres.

My last RPG Kickstarter was the Planet Mercenary Kickstarter, which is bring the world of Schlock Mercenary to the roleplaying table. Still in production.

The most recent RPG that I’ve had arrive after purchase is Feng Shui 2, otherwise known as one of the only Kickstarters I wish I’d backed out of instead of leaving my pledge in. Still, I have my copy now and it’s sitting on my shelf waiting to possibly be read at a later date.

The last RPG video game I bought was probably Skyrim, which is absorbing all of my time. On a related note, my Skyrim saves were on the cloud, so losing my HDD did not lose me all of my progress.

#rpgaday2015 day 4: Most surprising game

Right, so I have one for this, but it’s not a tabletop game.

Empire, 379YE Spring Equinox (2015 E2) was surprising to me on a number of levels. I enjoyed the event massively, making it one of my favourite LARP events of all time. I engaged with the game on different levels than I ever have before, and it was fantastic.

Surprises of the event:

  • Conclave: apparently I really like attending Conclave, and what goes on there is actually of massive interest to me. This actually surprised me.
  • Getting known: by the end of the event, I had people seeking me out and delegating tasks to me despite only having really known me for a few days in character.
  • Scrying: I was leading rituals, and enjoying doing so, with my ritual patter pretty much exactly being two minutes without any scripting.
  • Conclave: BEST CONCLAVE EVER proven weight loss supplements. Spider heralds leaping out and attacking people? That was awesome.
  • Stab-safe mage staffs: I’d been dubious, but stab-safe mage staffs are awesome.