Category Archives: Sabres of Infinity

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.

Advertisements

New: An Adventurer’s Guide to the Fledgling Realms

Those of you who check the Patreon Content page today may find a new addition. As promised, exceeding $300 a month in patron pledges means I will be writing not one, but two monthly worldbuilding columns. In addition to the regular Soldier’s Guide to the Infinite Sea, I’ll also writing monthly installments of An Adventurer’s Guide to the Fledgling Realms, articles about the setting of The Hero of Kendrickstone and The Cryptkeepers of Hallowford.

If you have any interest in supporting more of this sort of worldbuilding work, consider backing my Patreon. Topics for these columns are suggested by and voted on by patrons at the $10 a month and $2 a month tiers respectively. In addition, $1 a month backers get access a week in advance.

 

 


December Content Update And Burden of Command Devblog

It’s the second week of the month, which means it’s once again time for another installment of A Soldier’s Guide to the Infinite Sea. This month’s article continues covering the governance of the Unified Kingdom of Tierra, this time regarding the various ducal governments.

Remember that thanks to my supporters on Patreon, next month’s issue of A Soldier’s Guide to the Infinite Sea will be joined by the first installment in a new column based on my second fantasy series: An Adventurer’s Guide to the Fledgling Realms. Those who pledge $1 a month will get access to both articles a week early, while those who pledge $2 a month get to vote on next month’s topics.

Speaking of the Fledgling Realms, The Cryptkeepers of Hallowford, the sequel to 2015’s The Hero of Kendrickstone, will release later this month. I’ll have a page up for it soon.

Last, but not least, I’ve written a development blog post on Burden of Command, regarding the importance of creating empathetic characters in narrative-based games, and how we are working to make sure that the members of the player’s company in Burden of Command will feel like complex and dynamic officers and men worth mentoring, leading, and protecting.


November Content Update

It’s the second week of November, and that means it’s time for another installment of The Soldier’s Guide to the Infinite Sea. This month’s installment focuses on the mechanics of Royal Governance in the Unified Kingdom of Tierra, as the first part of a two (or three) part series about Tierran governance from the highest to the lowest levels.

As usual, this month’s article was funded by my supporters on Patreon. Those who donate $1 a month or more get access to articles a week in advance.

In addition, we’ve just hit the $300 a month tier, which means I’ll soon be doing two articles a month, one on the Infinite Sea, and a second one on the Fledgling Realms, the setting of The Hero of Kendrickstone, and its upcoming sequel, The Cryptkeepers of Hallowford, so look forward to that.


An Update on Hallowford (and October Content Update)

So, about two weeks ago, I submitted the text-complete version of The Cryptkeepers of Hallowford for review by Choice of Games. Since then, I’ve been receiving and incorporating feedback notes from both CoG and my regular beta testing group. Once the current cycle finishes (tomorrow or  thereabouts), I’ll be doing one last round of revisions (which will involve mostly cutting or streamlining repetitive text and testing the import system) before doing the remaining art, the reference materials, and finally sending it in for copyediting, hopefully, sometime before the end of the month.

With luck, I should be able to get a release date sometime in December or January.

In other news, the latest installment of The Soldier’s Guide to the Infinite Sea is now up. As usual, you can support future articles by donating to my Patreon. Anyone contributing more than $1 a month gets access to new installments a week before they come out here.

 


September Content Update (and more!)

The September installment of The Soldier’s Guide to the Infinite Sea is up. This segment covers the last part of the Wars of Unification, the birth of the Tierran state, and the circumstances that led an implacable enemy of the Unified Kingdom like Leoniscourt to end up joining it.

As usual, this worldbuilding content was funded by my Patreon. If you’d like to see more, then feel free to donate. $1-a-month Patrons get access to articles a week in advance, while Patrons at the $2-a-month tier get to vote on what topic I tackle for the next month.

In other news, I’ve finished the last chapter of The Cryptkeepers of Hallowford this week. There’s only the epilogues to wrap up before we go into post-production. Hopefully, we’ll be releasing at the end of this year, or the beginning of the next.


August Content Update

It’s the second week of the month, which means it’s time for another installment of The Soldier’s Guide to the Infinite Sea.

This month’s article is a continuation of last month’s coverage of the Tierran Wars of Unification. This time, we cover the climactic battle of the First War of Unification, the foundation of the Unified Kingdom of Tierra, and the socio-political forces which led to Tierra’s unique breed of constitutionalism.

This article, as always, was funded by my supporters on Patreon. If you’d like to see more of this kind of content, feel free to pledge here. $1-a-month Patrons get access to these articles a week in advance, while higher supporter tiers get a say in what articles I write next.