Category Archives: Sabres of Infinity

August Update

As of this update, the second version of Chapter 3 of Lords of Infinity is now complete, which means I’m devoting my efforts to finishing the final version.

This third branch (Chapter 3C) is perhaps the most interesting of the three, at least, from a design standpoint. It’s going to be the rarest, since accessing it relies on the player making a series of very specific decisions in Guns of Infinity, and then importing that file over. My optimistic estimate is that maybe 5-10% of players will end up seeing it, or even knowing of its existence at all, unless they find out through forum posts or word of mouth (or this blog, for that matter).

However, this does not mean that this chapter is going to be any shorter or less fully featured than 3A or 3B. Nor does it mean that someone coming into the series fresh won’t be able to have a good time with the two chapters they will have access to (though the existence of the third version offers another incentive for newcomers to buy the whole series). It does mean that I’ll be able to essentially create what is going be a more or less “secret” storyline, full of unique content which will not only be a full chapter, but serve as a goal in itself, just like certain chapters of Guns of Infinity were.

In the meantime, August’s installments of A Soldier’s Guide to the Infinite Sea and An Adventurer’s Guide to the Fledgling Realms are now up.

Advertisements

A July Update

I just thought you’d all like to know that I have finished writing and have started bugtesting the first version of Chapter 3 of Lords of Infinity. There’ll be three separate versions, one for the Aetoria branch and two for the estate. At this rate, I should be able to finish all three by the middle of September.

My short-term goal is to get to a certain point of Chapter 6 by the end of the year. That would put me on track to be text-complete by the late summer or early fall of 2020, with a release at the end of the year.

Needless to say, Lords of Infinity is going to be a huge project, likely the size of Sabres and Guns put together, if not more. It’s arguably the fulcrum of the whole planned five-part series, which means the success of the whole may depend on how well it holds up.

In other news, July’s installments of A Soldier’s Guide to the Infinite Sea and An Adventurer’s Guide to the Fledgling Realms are now up. As usual, these worldbuilding columns were funded by my supporters on Patreon. If you’d like to get early access, or have a say in what I write about next (or contribute to my living expenses as I work on Lords of Infinity), then I’d certainly encourage you to pitch in a few dollars a month, if possible.


A Quick March Update

This is just a quick heads-up that the March updates for A Soldier’s Guide to the Infinite Sea and An Adventurer’s Guide to the Fledgling Realms are now up.

In the meantime, I am still busy working on (one of the iterations of) Chapter 2 of Lords of Infinity.


A Quick February Update

I’d just like to let everyone know that I am now well into working on Lords of Infinity, so these updates are going to get a lot shorter.

I am still putting out Patreon articles every month though. February’s A Soldier’s Guide to the Infinite Sea, and An Adventurer’s Guide to the Fledgling Realms are now up.


A Quick December Update

I was going to write about the political factions within the Tierran Cortes for this month’s blog post, but as it turns out, my supporters on Patreon voted for an article on the exact same topic.

As a result, you can find that article as the latest installment of A Soldier’s Guide to the Infinite Sea, which is now up alongside this month’s entry in An Adventurer’s Guide to the Fledgling Realms.

Happy Holidays.


Someone Who Is Good at the Economy Please Help Me, My Kingdom is Dying: The Budget Crisis in Lords of Infinity

Today I’d like to talk about one of the central elements of Lords of Infinity‘s plot: the Budget Crisis.

As the war with Antar ends and the Unified Kingdom of Tierra becomes reacquainted with a peace it hasn’t seen in more than a decade, the crown finds itself in an exceedingly precarious financial situation. Historically, the Rendower monarchs (with the exception of Edmund II) have been very thrifty rulers and their governments have followed suit, maintaining a carefully hoarded surplus to ensure that there is always cash on hand in the case of an emergency. This was the case in 601, when the League of Antar declared war. Unfortunately, three factors meant that this accumulated reserve quickly disappeared.

First of all, there was the fact that Tierra has trouble feeding itself, even at the best of times. This meant that traditionally, Tierra imported grain from Antar. Since this was no longer an option, grain had to be imported from Kian and Takaran merchants, who took advantage by raising their prices. To keep the population fed, the crown issued grain subsidies to keep the cost of bread affordable, which rapidly became a major expense.

Secondly, there was the simple fact that the war was ruinously expensive (as wars tend to be). Weapons, uniforms, supplies, and those needed to make, transport, and fight with them were all paid for at the expense of the crown. Every battle meant enormous sums of money had to be spent to replace lost equipment and fighting men. While individual soldiers of the King’s army could get rich off plundering Southern Antar, the King’s government got nothing.

Lastly, there was the matter of the debt that Tierra began to accumulate when its currency reserves ran out. To keep the war going, Tierra needed to borrow. A lot of this money came from Tierran banks, but a vast portion of it came from overseas. Only Kian and Takaran banks could lend the amount of money the crown needed, and neither the Kian nor the Takarans had any confidence that Tierra would survive a war with its larger, more populous neighbour. That meant the interest rates these overseas banking houses offered were far higher than normal, under the expectation that Unified Kingdom might not even exist to pay them before long. While this prediction was proven wrong, the debt, and the need to service it, remains.

With the war over, one of those expenses is gone: the King’s army has been reduced to its peacetime strength, with officers placed on half-pay and houseguard regiments being released from royal service. However, the crown still has to bear the cost of servicing the war debt and the grain subsidies (Antar isn’t going to be exporting much grain to Tierra any time soon), something which it can only really do with the help of war taxes which are only growing more and more unpopular by the day, especially now that the war they were purportedly paying for is over.

The upshot of this is that the Crown is in between a rock and a hard place. To service the debt and keep the people fed, the Exchequer needs to keep enough money coming in by maintaining war taxes. However, maintaining these taxes will invariably increase discontent, drive more Tierrans into poverty or personal bankruptcy, and possibly damage the Unified Kingdom’s economy in the long run. Alternatively, if the Crown scraps the war taxes, Tierra will be forced to declare state bankruptcy, not only destabilising the Tierran economy, but also giving the Kian and Takarans very good reasons to intervene diplomatically, economically, or militarily.

Next month, I’ll be talking about the political factions currently dominating the Cortes, and what (if anything) they plan to do to dig Tierra out of the hole it’s gotten itself into.

This month’s installments of A Soldier’s Guide to the Infinite Sea and An Adventurer’s Guide to the Fledgling Realms are now up. These worldbuilding articles are funded by my Patreon, so If you’d like to see more of this sort of content, then please feel free to contribute. Backers also get benefits like early access, and the ability to vote on the topics of future articles.


Gone Clubbing: Politicking in Lords of Infinity

Spoilers follow for Sabres of Infinity and Guns of Infinity. If you haven’t played them yet, go do that.

Today, I’d like to talk about what happens in Lords of Infinity if you choose to set your Dragoon Officer up in Aetoria, the political and cultural capital city of the Unified Kingdom. More precisely, I’d like to talk about how to take advantage of that proximity to power and social prestige, and the primary method of turning that proximity to power into genuine power and influence in its own right.

As a Lord of the Cortes, the Dragoon Officer already possesses a measure of political power tied to their birth and noble title, along with whatever his accumulated wealth and military repucation can get him. However, he is still a very small fish in a very large pond. There are nearly six hundred seats in the Cortes, and no matter what happens, the Dragoon Officer can only personally sit in one of them. If the Dragoon Officer wishes to acquire real political power, then he must find ways to influence others to follow his lead, so that he can not only control his single vote, but others as well. To do that, the Dragoon Officer must have access to his fellow Lords of the Cortes, not just physically, but socially as well. To amass and exert influence over others, he needs to make himself seen not just as one more face in a very large crowd, but as an individual player, one known to others as a figure worth trusting and working with.

He does this by joining a club.

Private clubs are a longtime and prominent fixture of Aetorian society. Located in private and well-furnished premises, they allow like-minded individuals of means (usually banebloods) to interact in a casual milieu. In the Cortes, the Dragoon Officer is one voice among hundreds, but in the sound-proofed rooms of a private club, he is able to speak privately and candidly with other club members, in places where they are almost certain not to be overheard. The outcomes of Cortes votes are often determined by backroom dealings, and private clubs are the backrooms.

The clubs themselves are well aware of this, of course, and most are very selective about who they allow as members. The more prestigious a club’s membership is, the more exclusive it becomes, as the great and the good take pains to ensure that they cannot be inconvenienced by the presence of their “lessers”. If the player intends for their Dragoon Officer to wield real political power, then they’ll have to find a way to meet, or sidestep the often-stringent requirements for membership in one of these private clubs. If they succeed, the Dragoon Officer could be rewarded with a level of access and influence among the major players of Cortes politics vastly disproportionate to his relatively humble standing within the Tierran aristocracy.

Likewise, the player will have to be careful of which club to pursue: the Dragoon Officer can only join one, and each club has its own requirements and advantages to membership. For example, the extremely exclusive Rendower Club will only accept members with royal blood, which means an Aetorian Dragoon Officer (with a distant, but certifiable link to the House of Rendower) would be able to get in far more easily than a Wulframite or Cunarian Dragoon. However, getting in means getting to interact on familiar terms with closer relations of the royal family, including major players within the Cortes.

Players preferring to amass wealth instead of political influence might find it a better idea to try and get themselves into the somewhat less-prestigious Shipowners Club, one of the few private clubs in Aetoria which allows membership to the baneless. A rather less hidebound organisation than the Rendower, the Shipowners are primarily business-oriented, and count among their members the heads of shipping companies, banking houses, and some of the foremost captains of Tierra’s naiscent industrial economy.

Of course, these are not the only choices. There is also the prestigious Admiralty Club, the firebrand Reform Club, and the newly-formed Overseas Club, the latter founded to allow veterans of the War in Antar to keep in touch. What club the Dragoon Officer chooses to join will determine the political players, factions, and ideas he is exposed to. It will make certain paths easier, and others much more difficult. It is a choice which will determine just how much the player will be able to access and influence the political leaders of the realm. As Tierra grapples with the repercussions of their long war with Antar and the very soul of a kingdom is debated and voted upon on the Cortes floor, it may become a choice which will determine whether the kingdom emerges from its postwar crisis better off, worse…

Or at all.

New installments of A Soldier’s Guide to the Infinite Sea and An Adventurer’s Guide to the Fledgling Realms are up. As usual, these worldbuilding articles are funded by my backers on Patreon. If you’d like to see more of this sort of content, or get perks like early access and the ability to vote on future articles, then please chip in if you can.