Tag Archives: the cryptkeeepers of hallowford

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.

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May Updates

It’s been another busy month so far. I’ve been putting a lot of time into Burden of Command, although I suspect that the bulk of my work as a writer is almost finished. HMS Foraker‘s still moving along as well. I’ve just finished the third and last chapter, which means I’ve only got the epilogues and a few other bells and whistles to wrap up before it’s “done”. I’m considering avenues of distribution now. Assuming I find one, you might be seeing it released sometime this summer.

As usual, new installments of A Soldier’s Guide to the Infinite Sea, and An Adventurer’s Guide to the Fledgling Realms are also now up.


April Updates

It’s been a busy month so far. Not only have I been working on the last chapter of HMS Foraker, but I’ve always been spending a lot of time and effort putting together on a particular segment of Burden of Command which took me to a lot of places I’ve never been before from a technical standpoint. Needless to say, I’m not going to spoil what exactly it is, but I can say that it’ll certainly start some conversations when players see it on release.

In other news, new installments of A Soldier’s Guide to the Infinite Sea, and An Adventurer’s Guide to the Fledgling Realms are also now up.


March Updates, HMS Foraker

First an announcement.

HMS Foraker is a small side-project I’ve been writing in ChoiceScript based on Choice of Games’ own Choice of Broadsides. Currently about 80% done and clocking in at 65k words, HMS Foraker places you in command of a frigate and its crew in the alternate-universe equivalent of the War of 1812. Ordered to pursue a superior opponent, Foraker‘s captain must leverage the strengths of their experienced crew, veteran crew, and all the skills at their disposal if they mean to secure victory.

HMS Foraker is, for all accounts and purposes, fanfiction, which means it probably won’t get a commercial release (though I am seeing if there’s a way to get some kind of widespread release in future). I’m mostly writing it in my off-time to get myself back in the right mindset for Lords of Infinity after working for so long on Cryptkeepers of Hallowford and Burden of Command. It’s also giving me some space to experiment with a few new gameplay mechanics which might make an appearance in certain sections of Lords of Infinity.

Here’s a link to the discussion thread on the CoG forums, for anyone who wants to know more.

As usual, new installments of A Soldier’s Guide to the Infinite Sea, and An Adventurer’s Guide to the Fledgling Realms are now also up.


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.

 

 


Out Now: The Cryptkeepers of Hallowford

The Cryptkeepers of Hallowford is now out on iOS Store, Google Play, Steam, and the Amazon App Store!

The sequel to 2015’s The Hero of Kendrickstone. The Cryptkeepers of Hallowford takes you to the town of Hallowford, where long-forgotten magic threatens the prosperity and safety of the those who live within the town’s walls. Choose to ally with the powerful Cryptkeeper’s Guild, the town watch, or other adventurers as you delve into the depths beneath the town in search of answers, but be warned that your erstwhile collaborators have agendas of their own.

As you delve ever deeper, the threat beneath Hallowford grows ever more powerful, and an ancient secret is revealed which might shake the town to its very foundations.


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.