I had this idea a long time ago, but I was a bit worried about creating it. However, I thought 'why not' and so here we are, just to see what kind of people might be interested, if anyone at all! Our roots are based heavily in AG, so don't be surprised if there are similarities between this one and that.
You can find us on the RIZON IRC server, which thankfully is the same server that #BCB is on. If you're having trouble, just click the Amaya Icon to use the online client. Then, just type in "/join #ARgamesooc" and there you have it! You can ask all of your questions there. I myself would recommend a proper IRC client, such as mIRC, or using the Mibbit client.
There are three channels that we employ.
- Freeform (#RAgames): In this channel, player characters can hang around town or the agency, socializing and getting to know each other. Think of it as in-between actual quests, with no actual plot or anything of the sort. Anyone can join at any time, it's just people spending time together, maybe talking or going out for a drink! You don't need to participate in the freeform to go on quests, however.
- Quest (#RAgames2): Here quests are run. Instead of one actual GM, or game master, any of the players can take on that roll and run something themselves. It could be a one-time job where they have to escort an important dignitary or fight off bandits, or just find an old lady's prized necklace! If you enjoy writing, you could make a two or three session long little story arc, if you wish! Quests generally vary in subject, and so long as it makes sense, you can do quite a lot.
- Out Of Character (#RAgamesooc): Here one can talk about anything going on in a quest, or in freeform. Or you guys can just chat about anything, it doesn't matter! Bug someone to run a quest, tell people you are actually starting one, or just chat about your day. You should probably hang out in here to catch wind of a quest or anything interesting in the game.
So how do you join? Well, as I said, we are rooted from the AG, so their character creation rules, special moves, and quirks also apply to this game as well. The rules may be found here:
CHARACTER CREATION RULES
SPECIAL MOVE LIST
Now that that is over with, on to the setting!
The Kingdoms of Anturia and Raymoor
Founded around a thousand years ago under the reign of King Salazar II, Anturia has always been a step ahead of the other parts of the world when it comes to technology and magic. She is a wealthy and prosperous nation, and many folk flock from all over to try and bask in the reflected glow of the kingdom’s big-name scientists and wizards. It could be comparable to all of the young women struggling to become actresses in Los Angeles in the forties, on the same scale with failures. Young engineers, mechanics, mages, what have you, usually try and then miss out when they try to make a name for themselves.
Other people just try to make a meager living for themselves, and in most cases the conditions in Anturia are a lot better than the slums or villages they originated from. But this kingdom is not any sort of ‘promised land’, or a country free from turmoil. Far from it, actually. With a large influx of money and people, there also comes corruption and lawlessness. Any land outside of the capital city of Valford falls under the jurisdiction of people put into a place of power because they managed to cut a deal with someone higher up.
Accompanying the shady figures in power are strenuous war-like tensions with neighboring and sister kingdom Raymoor. Once upon a time, both Anturia and Raymoor were a single kingdom united under a single flag. The wealth was shared, and it was good times all around. That was before a law was passed, one that gathered quite a lot of distaste down in Raymoor. Taxes on wheat and other food products took a hike, and while Raymoor’s capital and otherwise fancier cities sat on piles of gold, the poor farmers in the plains to the South were left with very little.
The king at the time was a very stubborn man, and he refused to repeal the taxing. Money was needed what with the kingdom investing in colonizing a newly-discovered island to the northwest, and then spending troops and even more gold to make sure it was well defended from greedier countries. This sparked feelings of hatred and dislike for the royalty and nobility, and with the kingdom vulnerable thanks to all of the soldiers being shipped away, they struck.
The Duke of Raymoor’s capital, his wife, and other high-ranking members of the nobility were killed by angry citizens, and they took over the southern part of the kingdom with the intent to secede. This left Anturia to decide between sending their already thin numbers of troops down to retake the king’s land, leave the border to Ebeneos and it’s warring tribes open, and suck numbers away from the still-then vulnerable colony. With growing support for these farmers and citizens rising up in his own kingdom, a treaty was negotiated wherein all of the southern lands were given to then-elected King MacDonald.
While the farmers got what they want, they cut themselves from the teat of Anturia’s leaking success. Instead of focusing on technology and inventions to get money, they slowly began to outsource large cities and buildings, replacing them with farms for food. As Anturia grew and more land was consumed for housing instead of farming, they needed to turn to a nearby nation for food. Guess who got the better end of that deal?
The problem is that most of the technology used to grow, harvest, and transport crops comes from Anturia, while most of the food used to feed her citizens come from Raymoor. While this arrangement was made quite grudgingly, it has worked out in favor of both kingdoms. But the citizens view each other differently. Raymoor is considered to be a land of simpletons with no intelligence, and they view the Anturians as stuck-up snobs who believe that they know everything. Even the nobility barely get along, always arguing about territory and shipping lanes.
This has become worse with the crowning of the most recent son in the MacDonald line, a very aggressive and prone to violence king. Both sides believe that a war with the other is inevitable, and those who live in the capital will mention the Guard does not seem to be as strong in numbers as it used to be…
Anturnia is bordered to the West by the crystal blue waters of the Caspian Sea, named after the first explorer to sail her waters to what he deemed to be a ‘New World’. He set sail not more than four months ago during Anturnia’s Annual World Fair, wherein they display feats of modern technology and magic. His voyage was funded by the nobility and is apparently supposed to bring in many new resources for the kingdom. Sailors had talked amongst themselves about an apparently uninhabited land across the Sea, but it is a long and arduous journey.
To the North is the republic of Ostwyn, with her capital of Icewick. While the country itself may be freezing cold and buried in snow for the most part, the people are quite warm and accepting of strangers. The majority of citizens are lighthearted and enjoy drinking, dancing, singing, having fun. While Ostwyn and Anturnia get along relatively well, a lot of the richer folk believe their non-monarchial government is stupid and will not work out in the long run.
Then to the west is what one could call the country of Ebeneos, but it is populated mostly by tribes that war for power over one another. Descended from a fearsome band of Ebenosians that terrorized Anturnia in her early years, each leader claims to be the rightful heir of the first ruler of the land, Bao-Zhi. While their conflicts are mostly contained to their own lands, sometimes their fights end up on Anturnian soil and draw her soldiers into the battles as well.
The capital city of Valford is a large one, with state-of-the-art technology and prestigious academies located in or around the downtown area. The majority of citizens are that of the rich or upper-middle class, with the poorer inhabiting the suburban residential area or the slums on the very outskirts of town, depending on your wealth. In the more heavily-guarded part of town lies one of the very few hills that haven’t been stripped down/flattened to make room for buildings, and atop it sit’s the castle where the king lives. Behind the castle is the extremely busy port and recently built airport where airships (think galleons with hot air balloons) transport people around the country and the world.
In the commercial part of town one will find many different shops, selling clothes or things like appliances and furniture, gramophones, all sorts of things. At the very end of the commercial plaza, though, rests the widely-known Ringwald Agency, where problems that the kingdom’s soldiers or the city’s Guard cannot handle are sent. The people employed there take either these big tasks or simple problems presented to them by citizens around the world, and are then paid to take care of whatever it is they have been asked to do. It is one of the booming businesses in Aturnia, where you only need to demonstrate your ability not to be a twit, and you are more often than not accepted.
Your character will, obviously, be a part of this agency. Please keep in mind the stuff here is listed as only a basic guideline to important history. You can come up with cities or other countries by yourself, though try to keep things realistic and believable. It does not matter what your character did before coming to the agency, though once again please ensure it is realistic. If he is a mass murderer he will probably be wanted in this country and others as well.
The agency was refurbished from an old university, and is rather large. There is an east and west wing, connected in the middle by a two-story sort of 'free room' where agents can spend the day with each other. In this large room one can find a bar, a few bookcases, sofas and chairs, a gramophone with a large collection of records, and other luxuries like a pool table. It is connected to the cafeteria where food is served, one single large room.
There is a small grassy courtyard where folk may train, be it targets and firearms or dummies for punching. The east wing holds living quarters for the agents it employs, Ringwald's office, and a collection of other offices for purposes from financing to member upkeep. The west wing holds a library, a trophy room and game room where animals or creatures that were killed are put on display, staff quarters, and the kitchen.
Magic is not a common art, nor is it a simple art. It can be learned, but it takes patience, a few years, and intelligence. You may also be lucky enough to be born with it, which makes it easier to find a wizard to take you on as an apprentice. These schools, however, are quite expensive, and the majority of poor folk most likely found some wizard to strengthen the powers in them. Magic is unwieldy and not practical, though. You are generally taught only one specific mastery in magic, say if you are a Fire Mage, you will not learn how to cast water spells or anything like that. It is difficult to learn one genre of magic by itself, but melding two together takes years and years, and usually does not pan out well.
There is also magic that involves technology, and that is called Flectomancy. These types of mages build things and then bring them to life with their powers, like automaton soldiers. The kingdom has a few of these in their employment, and metal men are not a rare sight on the battlefield. Like guns, though, they are not common either. Their deployment is only for important matters, decisive battles. Using magic that brings life to inanimate objects is more difficult that spitting fire from your palm, mind you.
As a side note, monsters do exist. Trolls, giants, ogres, ‘demons’ in a sense, ghosts and the undead. However these rarely come anywhere near the highly-populated towns seeing as the defenses would tear them up. They do and can prey upon humans, but in the capital city such an event is a rare one indeed.
Anturia, and to a lesser extent, the rest of the world, finds itself in the early stages of the industrial revolution. Factories have begun to outsource simple hand work in favor of assembly lines which get things built far quicker. The transition from swords and bows is no doubt happening, but outsourcing them completely won’t happen for a long time. While cannons are a common sight on battleships and military airships, actual handheld firearms are less common. But they are not entirely rare, either. Skilled soldiers are entrusted with state-of-the-art rifles, which are breech-loaded. Revolvers are the common type of pistol, and are given to higher-up army officers or nobles that have enough money to buy one. They are very expensive, but they exist. Bows are considered easier to wield and cheaper, and swords are still the bread and butter of combat.
Nearly thirty years ago the first motorized vehicle was created, and that was an engine that could follow a set of tracks so long as it had fuel. Now, that concept has been expanded upon, and most of the larger cities along with Valford itself now have train stations and rail lines connecting them. A lot of money was spent placing rails that lead into Raymoor in order to transport both passengers and goods, though mostly the latter, to the needy nation of Anturia.
Horse-drawn carriage is still the cheaper method of transportation, and it is more reliable than the large iron trains that break down quite often due to poorly optimized design flaws. But they are worth their money, and famine is even less probable in Anturia thanks to the supply lines that it has with Raymoor.
Airships are a common sight now thanks to the ingenious concept of crossing magic and technology. The engines that keep them moving along with the tech that keeps the balloon inflated are attributed to the magic the pieces are imbued with. It does not take a lot of time to enchant them, and they are just as expensive as any engine to produce. Aturnia has the largest fleet of battle-ready airships of any country, along with ones that transport passengers around the country and world. It is said getting to fly on one is a beautiful experience.
Beyond weapons and vehicles, there are simple things that make house life easier or more luxurious. Records and gramophones are abundant, playing the older and soothing tunes of classical music or the newer, more swinging sounds of jazz. Refrigerators exist as well, though they are more large freezer rooms and are expensive to obtain and then maintain what with their power source also coming from magic. Simple things like electric razors and watches are abundant now, and are relatively cheap to obtain. That aside, things like electric grids and radios are a long way off, and the world is still lit with candles and oil lanterns.
Belief in a god or gods is not new or revolutionary. It has existed for quite a long time, but whether or not they exist is still up in the air. The majority of people in Aturnia believe in a single, loving God, but their religion is not the only one out there. Some people attributed the magic they are born with as a blessing by a specific god, usually one that is associated with that power in their society.
People have told stories of angels from the heavens visiting them or helping them fight, but as it stands there is no conclusive proof of a higher power. That does not matter to most, though, and they instead have great faith in the god or goddess that they believe in and pray for. You would be hard pressed to actually find an atheist. Usually they are very educated people or nobility, though with the latter it is more along the lines of a fashion trend than anything. The nobility is not new to… being strange to be different.
English is the main language here. You don’t have to speak in that silly ‘art thou’ sort of tone, though you can have accents if you wish! British, African (yes people of other skin colors exist here too), German, whatever! Think of the countries as comparative to normal countries. Anturnia is Europe, Raymoor is America, Ostwyn is Russia and Ebeneos is Asia. Imagine the culture to be similar in such a sense as well, if it helps.
But be warned if you make a character that doesn’t speak English (I don’t see why you would) you probably won’t get anywhere.
Attitudes toward other countries have been touched upon, but you don’t have to adhere to them religiously! It is your character, after all, and if he/she is from Aturnia and likes everyone, that’s perfectly fine. What should also be considered, though, is social tolerances. In most countries, women are viewed as equal to men, but in Aturnia and Raymoor a good portion of people believe women to be inferior. This comes from the early years of the country, wherein women were considered property instead of people. Conservative-valued folk still believe this to an extent.
Racism is no stranger in Aturnia either, and with all the foreigners pouring in, some white folk believe that the immigrants are stealing jobs and are going to make their lives harder. Again, it is not wrong for you to have a sexist or racist character, so hey, try it! Confrontation makes things exciting.
Clothing varies. This is a pseudo-Victorian period, but by all means you don’t need to have hoopskirts or anything like that. A mixture between modern and old, if you will. A character going around with his pants sagging and a shirt that is untucked would be scorned, but a woman wearing a gown with a hoopskirt would get weird looks unless it was a formal occasion. Don’t be afraid to dress your character oddly, though! If he/she is from Ebeneos, they might weird silk kimonos, perhaps! Just keep things reasonable, yes?
ps i am gay why did i do this oh god
This post has been edited by Susan: 27 November 2011 - 06:25 AM