Our new season is now open: Spring 1677 !
Age of Intrigue
Welcome to Age of Intrigue. This is an alternate history Play by Post RPG game at ageofintrigue.com at England's 17th century Restoration court of Charles II in his later years. With about 25 players we've run the game since May 2006.
We have a strong focus on creative writing. In our narrative system staff is the impartial referee on chance and danger. Plots are both staff and character driven. You can go anywhere, dare anything, as long as you are prepared to deal with the IC consequences of your actions. We encourage creativity and intersecting plots and discourage preplanned storylines.
Chances are you are not familiar with our narrative system of moderated gaming:
- If you have experience in writing but not in roleplaying, welcome! We harbor many writers just like you and are willing to explain everything to a beginner.
- If you have experience in table top roleplaying, our game system, in its basics, should feel familiar to you. The added advantage of adding your character's thoughts and motivation adds a new dimension.
- If you come from a set of mostly Free Form RP forums (invisionfree, jinck, proboards etc.) then you are welcome too! While we do things differently than what you are used to, things are not complicated and we'll be here to help you. In essence the moderators maintain a constant stream of sitewide events while plotting personally with you. You are also welcome to write with other players within the scope of the rules. We rely on your initiative, while providing interest.
Join and experience the allure of always having a co-writer to play with, without knowing how it will turn out!
Quick list of other documentation:
- We use the AoI Game System
- Our very brief OOC rules and practical stuff is in the Rules section
- Examples of writing can be found in the Standing Ovations Thread on our boards, with more suggestions in the Reading Selection.
- If you want to know the story so far then you might want to read our Plot.
- The only thing you need to read to start is the Character Creation section.
For those of you who want to know a bit more about our community before joining, read the information below.
The 17th century is an exciting time in European History, the start of modern times. To write our stories we have selected the court in England's Restoration period. We have used the past history leading up to game's start in May 1675 (we are now at Fall 1676), including many historical figures as non-player characters, but we have thrown in a healthy dose of fictional characters and deviations from history. Freed from the shackles of actual history, anything can happen. The King could be assassinated. A fictional character could rise to Lord Chancellor.
The reign of Charles II was selected because it is a grand moment in history in which corruption was rampant and political and religious intrigues dominated the court. Much as Dumas gave life to a court in 17th century France with his Musketeers, we give life to a time in English history where the monarch yearned for absolute divine rule, a Parliament was trying to maintain some semblance of power, the arts and sciences were reborn, religious intolerance was barely contained, and the end of a tyrannical and Puritanical rule caused the most libertine period in English history. Virtue was replaced by hedonism. Loyalty gave way to scheming, while duty gave way to ambition.
No English history scholars will be at an advantage and we make no apologies for any aspect of the game that deviates from "actual history" both were it regards the historical order of things, or inventions and trends in existence. Age of Intrigue is a creative writing game. As writers we enjoy the chance to show colour and atmosphere, overlooking smaller mistakes both by moderators and by players, as well as sometimes stealing a plot device from a slight advance in years. As a rule though we try and stick to the Stuart period after the Civil War (1660-1714) to guide us. Fun is what we want, not headaches.
In fact, the game is by now alternate history. Events happened differently, and some events did not happen in history at all. This includes the assassination of the Queen during Christmas 1675, and the King remarrying.
See Also Plot
This game focuses more on politics, society and intrigue, but other themes like swashbuckling, arts, horror, mystery, romance and science are part of the whole. It is a game of subtlety, maneuvering, rumor-mongering, manipulation, decadence, and adventure. There will be mysteries to solve, enemies to ruin, powerful persons to placate, and high society to conquer. It is a court rife with hedonism and ambition. You determine what role your character will play. Will you be the noble character who resists the wanton and corrupt ways of court? Or will you climb to the top ruthlessly? Are you a social butterfly? Or a dedicated scientist seeking advancement in the Royal Society?
What AoI is
See Also AoI Game System
Our game is about writing excitingly so that everybody wants to check the site every day, sitting at the edge of their seat. It is about humour, about enjoying ourselves, about being the hero and overcoming obstacles in whatever way. We have chosen a historical game because we enjoy the setting, made great by many movies and novels.
We have chosen to moderate the game because of the thrill of secrets and unexpected things.
What AoI is not
Please understand that choosing our themes means excluding others. This is not the game to play if any of our main themes bore you to death. This game contains action, but it does not have any military activities save in Recess. This game contains romance and even tasteful erotica, but it is not a harlequin novel. This game is about advancing in aristocratic society, in whatever circle, so there is no place for those of you who would like to explore ordinary lives in the 17th century. While not entirely historically accurate, there is no place for vampires and other fantasy creatures, safe perhaps in the minds of people. This game is not for Barbie dolls who only want to dress up and play with horses, but nonetheless social activities play a large role. This is not a place for fans of historical accuracy, but instead a creative writing role playing game using an alternate and quite fantasy history as its setting.
AoI is a moderated game, not a free form game. It means that you plot together with moderators instead of inviting players to your threads. See also OOC plotting.
Is this the game for me?
Do you like the Scarlet Pimpernel, the Musketeers, Dangerous Liaisons, swishing gowns, whispers behind fans, masks, daring swashbucklers? Are you fascinated by courtiers intriguing against each other? Then you will like Age of Intrigue! It is however not just the setting that makes a game great.
You will love Age of Intrigue if you:
- have played PBP before but are looking for something fast paced in this genre
- like Creative Writing and character development
- like to write with a mature audience
- enjoy moderation as a means of adding suspense and excitement rather than find it limiting
- have patience to play the "long game", instead of immediate gratification
- are not afraid to take the initiative to get plots going
- like interacting with other players and being part of the community
- are looking for court intrigue
- are into history
- enjoy humour in writing and setting your own character up for it
Let us be honest. You will find Age of Intrigue of less interest if you:
- do not like writing stories, representing thoughts and character development
- are focused on action only
- dislike societal games
- Find moderator control of your character's outcomes and plot-meaningful actions distasteful or limiting
- prefer a fairy tale setting over realism
- expect the mods to create stories for you
- prefer one on one stories with a mod
- want to dress up a Barbie doll and play with horses
- do not like to work over the course of several real life months towards a goal
Our OOC Community
We pride ourselves on having a small but warm community where newcomers are welcomed. We relax in our OOC forum Over the Teacups were games are played and chatter is exchanged. In the Game Discussion Forum players are encouraged to give feedback on the game and help with further fleshing it out. The moderators are very active and stay in close contact with players over plotting. It is a very personal approach.
We have our own IRC chatroom #ageofintrigue over at the servers of darkmyst.org where due to the many timezones that our players live in, you will nearly always find a helpful soul at hand. If you are not familiar with IRC you can use the mibbit button in the sidebar for a webbased alternative.
The Who Was Here? Function below the forums will give you an indication which PCs were active in the last 24 hours. Moderators are online everyday but have their login set to hidden to avoid giving the wrong impression as to their availability.
Average Player Profile
Our players come from all over the world, including the USA, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, the UK and Estonia. Many of them have demanding careers, or are busy raising children, or both. Ages range from 18 to over 50, with an average of 35. We have 60% female players and 40% male. Some of the female players have chosen to play a man, or vice versa. While we have several historians among our community, players are also lawyers, lobbyists, home decorators, translators, ICT experts and sales people. All of our players take pleasure in creative writing, sometimes with tongue firmly in cheek.
The majority of our players have been with us for several years. While the application process is lengthy, it is worth it in terms of staying power.
Our Player Expectations
This is not a game for everyone. We prefer a small group of good dependable mature writers. You should be prepared to visit the board regularly and post regularly. Obviously, real life can require you to be unavailable from time to time, but a game like this depends upon writers who are responsible and can post at least every couple of days, once a week as a bare minimum. If you are not sure if this is the game for you, or that you have sufficient time to devote to it, then we would urge you to wait and observe the boards as a spectator until you can commit to the game and your fellow players.
We use both Storyboard Modding, in which your character is offered plot hooks based on his or her background, and Event oriented modding. This basically means players move from thread to thread as they move through our world, and what they do influences other storylines, sometimes across the entire game. Finally this results in the mix we call AoI style Modding
Creative Writing & Initiative
This is a game of Creative Writing. Characters are expected to develop initiative and make this a group effort of writing stories. You should not lean back and wait for a moderator to come up with something, or expect your background to play a determining role, unless you bring this up yourself.
Humour is a big part of our game and the way we write. You are encouraged to allow your character to take the fall, put him in humorous situations and to allow things to happen that simply makes for a great situation. We adore clever turn of phrases, especially if they are tongue in cheek and you do not take your character too seriously. We advocate the belief that you the writer, are not the same as your character, separate IC and OOC and sometimes providing an overvoice in which to explain why your character does things while you yourself know better.
Your PC can pursue what plots that involve him or her in whatever fashion he or she wishes. That's your responsibility as a player. Plots in Age of Intrigue are living things that continue with or without player involvement, but they can be shifted, changed, adjusted, and even capitalized by a clever player character. If you're worried that your character is following content you don't want... then stop following it! If you are concerned your character is being rather inactive... go do something.
Age of Intrigue focuses on creative writing with English as our main language. Originality and humour are the two most important factors in judging the way you play. International, non-native English speakers are not at a disadvantage. Your application will be reviewed not just for the balance of benefits and challenges, but whether overall you seem to fit the setting and community.
Age of Intrigue is for mature writers who are 18+. Our stories can be gritty or erotic at times, but above all they are realistic. We do not shy away from themes, but while they may surface from time to time, this is not a single focus game.
See Also Posting Rate
The posting rate is the number of times per week you can expect a moderator or player to post. The minimum for moderators is twice a week. The average is several times per week though even once a day or multiple times daily is not uncommon.
In return you should be prepared to visit the board regularly and post regularly. Obviously, real life can require you to be unavailable from time to time, but a game like this depends upon writers who are responsible and can post at least every couple of days, once a week at a bare minimum. We are looking for a steady commitment and offer the same in return.
The designers of Age of Intrigue would like to thank Cherveaux: Palace of Light and Tazlure for their assistance and permission for material and game method to be used in the creation of this game of Alternate History.
Recognition goes also to the vast resources of information at Wikipedia as well as historic writers of that age from which we have sourced information for our period; such as Samuel Pepys.
The Age of Intrigue site and material published upon it may not be used for anything other than personal viewing, including, but not limited to, further reproduction on any other website or in any other medium, without specific permission from the original creators and owner of such work. Please notice that we are using (part of) the Tazlure Game System or TGS, under their Creative Commons License. If you want permission to use (part of) our game system this may be granted on a case to case basis. Please PM a Privy Council member, or email us.