|This article relates to content added by Royalty (DLC). Please note that it will not be present without the DLC enabled.|
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The Empire is an ultra tech level faction added by the Royalty DLC, with a variety of unique mechanics.
They can have a randomized name with a Greek theme, though the description will contain "Empire".
You can choose to join the Empire promoting your pawns with Nobility ranks and being rewarded with things such as the powerful Psycasts, Monoswords, or Cataphract armor; Alternatively you can fight them and loot the same things.
Empire caravans, trade ships and settlements can only be traded with by a pawn that holds the title of knight/dame or higher. This pawn must be the one to initiate the trade and must be present in any caravan parties.
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An ultratech refugee society from the planet Sophiamunda. Their culture is based on a code of honor, a strict class system, and enforced social stasis. These are the survivors of a great calamity that tore apart Sophian society. They fled to the rimworld using the remnants of their fleet. Despite losing so much, their ships and technology still make them powerful. They will refuse to trade with anyone who lacks the appropriate royal title.— In-game faction description
The Empire are the remnants of a technologically advanced interstellar empire, or of one section of it, originating from the planet Sophiamunda that have fled from a great calamity. They are organized in a feudal hierarchy nominally headed by a far-off Emperor, however, due to the lack of faster-than-light travel, much of true day to day power is held by the Stellarchs who have dominion over their entire star system.
Various facts about the Empire can be gleaned from Imperial Backstories, namely:
- The noble households are served by the common folk in a variety of roles from domestic to military, despite the technology available to the Empire before its fall.
- An Imperial Church exists, monotheistic organization with both Inquisitors in the church's anti-heresy school, and psychics in the church's psychic school. The church also provided Chaplains for the military, non-combatants that provided for the medical and spiritual needs of the soldiery.
- Grand, ancient starships acted as powerbases for noble families along side more traditional planetary holdings. Nobles and commoners alike would be born and raised on these ships.
- Wars of succession, as well as smaller scale conflicts over inheritance, were not unheard of. Some families implemented contingencies to guard against this.
- They fielded a developed military and, unlike most Glitterworlds, it saw combat, possibly routinely but definitely within the last generation. This combat included both planetary combat, involving infantry and aircraft, and space-borne ship-to-ship combat.
- Noble titles are primarily hereditary, and at least some families practiced primogeniture. Those that did apparently practiced absolute, rather than male-preference, primogeniture.
Note that while the update to version 1.3.3066 removed the reference in the faction description to a "multi-planet empire", the Title descriptions of make reference to multiple Consuls each in charge of their own planet, and multiple Stellarchs each in charge of their own star system. Thus, the Empire is, or was, canonically multiplanetary and interstellar.
Nature of the calamity
An ultratech refugee society from another planet, organized along feudal lines. They lived for thousands of years in a stable multi-planet empire with a strict caste system, an intricate code of warrior ethics, and enforced cultural stasis. Invaded by powerful outsiders, they fled. Despite losing almost all of their people, their fleet and technology still make them powerful. They will refuse to trade with anyone who lacks the appropriate royal title.— In-game faction description prior to 1.3.3066
The calamity that forced the Empire from their territory and to the rimworld where the game takes place was originally explicitly invasion by a powerful, unknown enemy. This was confirmed by both the in-game description and contemporary statements by RimWorld developer, Tynan Sylvester. With the changes to the faction description in 1.3 to references to a nonspecific "calamity", it is unclear whether this invasion is still canon.
With the addition of the places system used in the random lore generation of Ideoligions, cultures with Sophian backgrounds will have lore that references rebels lead by a "Revolutionist" and bio-engineered plagues deployed on the planet. It is possible that this is the enemy and/or calamity that destroyed Sophian society, though rebels would not constitute an "unknown enemy", if such an enemy is still canon.
What arrives at the rimworld is a fragment of a destroyed Empire which was mostly annihilated by some unknown enemy. It's a small refugee fleet with tiny numbers of people but very strong technology and an honor-and-tradition based culture. They're led by a stellarch, the highest-ranking person in their faction. The Emperor never shows up in the game.— Tynan Sylvester, "RimWorld - Royalty Launch Trailer" on Feb 25 2020, reddit.com/r/RimWorld
Look at how the Imperial characters are named - Tynan Sylvester - RimWorld Developer.
The Empire appears to be roughly based on the Byzantine Empire - a fracturing, once-mighty empire driven from their previous homeland. This inspiration carries over to the use of Greek-inspired names for imperial pawns, similar Greek and Latin inspiration for their settlements, and their use of term Cataphracts for their heavily armored elite forces. Janissaries, conversely, are Ottoman in origin. The Ottomans were, in part, a successor to the Eastern Roman Empire. This is partially confirmed by the above quote from Tynan.
The name of the Empire varies from game to game, but follows one of several patterns:
- [Empire] of [ofThing]
- The [Empire] of [ofThing]
- The Exodus [Empire]
- The Refugee [Empire]
- The Broken [Empire]
- The Shattered [Empire]
- The Fallen [Empire]
- The [Color] [Empire]
Where [Color], [Empire] and [ofThing] are replaced by one of the following:
|[ofThing]||[Constructed Word]||the Sun||the Moon||the Universe||God||Perfection||Eternity||the Spirit|
- The Imperium of the Sun
- The Green Commonwealth
- The Exodus Sovereignty
Empire pawns always have backstories from the "Imperial Common", "Imperial Fighter", or "Imperial Royal" categories. While "Imperial Common" is nominally the default, Imperial Citizens can spawn with backstories from either the "Imperial Common" or "Imperial Fighter" categories, Troopers, Janissaries, Champions, Cataphracts, Stellic Wardens and Stellic Defenders spawn with the "Imperial Fighter" category exclusively, while Bestowers and Nobles, including the Noble "Wimp", always have backstories from the "Imperial Royal" category.
|This section relates to content added by Biotech (DLC). Please note that it will not be present without the DLC enabled.|
The table below describes the chance for a given pawn from this faction being one of the xenotypes added by the Biotech DLC. Note that this value does not account for chances in xenotype chance from ideoligion or from pawn kind, it only shows the base value before those factors.
Despite being ostensibly space based, the Empire maintains settlements on the surface of the planet, presumably as outposts. Trading with these outposts requires a title of Knight/Dame or above.
If attacked, these bases always/usually have:
- A barracks with beds.
- A floored shuttle landing zone defined by four ship landing beacons with a shuttle waiting on it - the shuttle will fly away soon after the player's pawns enter the map, but the shuttle can be destroyed if action is taken fast enough.
- A throne room with fine flooring, a meditation throne and potentially other accoutrements such as drapes and braziers.
The base is usually defended by the a force approximating the following:
- 5x Troopers
- 3x-4x Janissaries
- 2x Cataphracts
- 4x Champions
Royal Tribute Collector
If you are not hostile to the Empire, Royal Tribute Collectors will visit the colony approximately twice a year. Tribute collectors are essentially Empire-only trade caravans that exclusively accept gold and prisoners in exchange for Honor.
- Royalty DLC Release - Added
- 1.1.2647 - Stellic Wardens and Defenders now spawn with prestige cataphract armor and helmets, instead of regular cataphract armor and helmets.
- 1.2.2719 - Empire soldiers now have more distinctive haircuts. Empire is no longer enemy with civil NPC factions or neutral Ancients. Warning added if players call Empire military aid when there are enemies on the map that the aid won't fight. All Empire pawns have at least the title of Freeholder. Bestowers and Bestowal Ceremony added to Titles mechanics. Empire faction bases will have a throne room and shuttle pad, often with a shuttle on it about to take off.
- 1.2.2753 - Bestower is no longer required to have archotech eyes.
- 1.3.3066 - Adjusted royal apparel colors. Empire pawns spawn with apparel materials that scale to their social rank. Grenadiers added for Empire Breach Raids. Patch notes list that grenadiers with no longer spawn wearing grenadier armor, however this is somewhat incorrect. See the Grenadier armor page for details.
- 1.3.3080 - No longer proselytizers, making it less annoying to host them.
- 1.4.3523 - Imperial champions can use spears and longswords.