Our new season is now open: Spring 1677 !
With permission from its designer, we use the Timekeeping system developed at Cherveaux: The Palace of Light.
In Age of Intrigue, dating your threads is a very important aspect of the game. When entering game play the mods will give you the date upon which your character arrives. When you begin a thread you should indicate the day it is occurring, and also the approximate time of day.
You must maintain a logical and forward moving timeline. This means that you cannot create a post with a date that is before one of your other threads, the so called no-backposting rule. However you can play in more than one thread at the same time. Just as long as they are all in a timeline.
Example of a timeline
As example, lets say when you join the game current threads are being dated 11-13th May.
Your first post might be your Arrival on the Evening of the 11th May. Because you are enjoying the game you decide to start another thread, and so post ‘A walk in Hyde Park’ and date it the 12th May, Morning. And then you join the Ball Thread for 12th May, Evening.
At this point you notice a thread in the House of Lords dated for the 12th May, Afternoon. You cannot join this thread since it would involve your character going back in time. You can only move forward. All of your threads must follow in a sequential sequence, this is referred to as your timeline.
One of the common pitfalls players experience is trying to account for every day in their characters life, which means they linger in older threads and do not move forward in time. A lot of mundane things happen in your characters lives that do not need to be played out or even accounted for on the board.
It is in your interest to move forward and embrace the movement of time. Generally moderators will post plot hooks at the end of the current time blocks to encourage you to move forward. Posts that are started for dates earlier than the advertised time block will receive very little moderation and plot development unless a moderator for has approved it prior to posting for plot purposes.
An example: If the current time block is 10-17th December:
- A moderator might post an adventure hook for the 16th rather than on the 11th to encourage you to move forward.
- If Louise and Edward were talking on the morning of the 10th and wished to meet again soon, they should arrange their next thread to be dated for the 14th rather than the afternoon of the 10th.
- A thread started on the 9th looking for information will result in little success because it is behind the current time block.
When asked to report information back to a NPC you do not need to linger back in time so that the report is made at your earliest convenience. We want you to move forward and will not penalize you for doing so. If a moderator wants information by a certain date that will be made clear to you at the time and you will usually be given a date to report back by (usually well in the future.)
Impassable Threads and Time Syncs
When a large social event is occurring the current time block may become 'frozen' to prevent you moving beyond it until any plot developments or revelations have might affect how your character reacts after the event have occurred. Similarly, if a life threatening danger looms in a thread you are in, the moderator may log it as :Impassable. This means you cannot create new thread beyond that date, until the threads outcome is resolved.
At times we may hold up the entire game, telling the community not to move beyond a certain event. This is called a Time Sync and helps everybody catching up before we once again move forward. It will be used very sparingly as it can be frustrating.
Other Reasons not to move forward
If you are in a group of people and one person is not posting for some time you can choose to ignore that person, engage in chatter etc. However, if that person was about to engage in an important action or even reply to a question to do so would be rude. Several game minutes would pass without giving the other player chance to react. You also render him suddenly shy and reclusive or even insulting when perhaps he did not want to be.
As a rule of thumb give players two days to respond to a post and if it not resolves by then, contact a moderator to take over the PC for a moment so that everybody can move again. Especially hyperposters should take this to heart. Do not render people in a different timezone obsolete by posting a storm while they are sound asleep.
In the sidebar we have the Time Frame, which is the suggestion as to how to timestamp your threads and on which dates the focus of the game rests. As we progress through our collective timelines, this time frame is softly rolled forward and at the back end rolled up. Usually the timeframe is between 3-5 days.
While the Time Frame is a guide only, which you can deviate from, beware that you might isolate your character from the rest of the players if you fall behind or advance too far ahead of it. Moderation will only take place on dates within the time frame. This means if you post ahead of the timeframe you will have to wait for moderation until the rest of the game lands there too.
There is a real knack to planning and running your characters plans and appointments in conjunction with the time frame, experienced players have learnt (usually the hard way!) that it is wise to not get too far ahead, so that they are able to join others as new threads open up. (See no-backposting rule). At the same time if you want to influence events game wide we advise you to create such threads at the forward edge of time. If you need any help in this, do please talk to your mentor, or contact other players in our friendly chatroom for tips and tricks!
This period of time has passed their peak. While there may still be fun to be had in them, these threads rarely have further new developments within them that will impact the characters within them dramatically in days to come (the reason being that most often characters are already posted to days ahead at status-quo!) There are various means of completing these older threads, if you should need any advice on how to do so you can contact your mentor.
Should your thread fall out of the timeframe you may still finish it. However if there is a pressing game wide need for the thread or event to close, Moderators may decide to summarize the rest of the thread and close it. Events may at times be allowed to run "late" and fall slightly out of the timeframe if they take particularly long to finish.
In the Thick of Fun
These threads are well along their way, gaining mod focus if and when necessary, and have full potential to impact your characters life greatly. It is where most PCs are currently on their timeline. The timeframe is usually adjusted forwardly when this is no longer the case.
At the Forward Edge of Time
New threads are advised to be made on these dates, so that they have all the time in the world to finish. It is advisable to check your characters dayplanner to determine what threads he/she shall enter or create. As mods become available, they will add their focus to these threads. This is also the date that Adventure Hooks are launched by mods to entice people forward. Any events impacting the game are usually found at this forward edge as there is no established game reality yet that might limit you.
Events outside the Timeframe
Events are big group threads, or a collection of threads in an event forum, that due to their sheer size take a while to play out, sometimes even a couple of months real time. They are usually very important for their impact on stories. For this reason official events that have their own forum will continue even if they have fallen out of the time frame, so we can finish them at leisure.
You still enter an event chronologically, and within the event forum you can create new threads at any time but in chronological order and it must be connected to the event.
A time knot occurs when there are illogical things happening due to your character being in two points of time at the same time. For instance being introduced to a lord, when you are meeting him for the first time the next day. Usually you can deftly avoid such situations by some improvisation. If that doesn't work contact the moderator.
If you are in a thread and something logically follows from that but in a different location, you may create a so called continuation thread. For instance if you attended the Ball, you may have a ride home as a Continuation Thread. A midnight assignation to which you've been invited at the ball might also be a continuation thread.
This rule of thumb however is not to be abused by creating endless continuation upon continuation. Separate threads should be separate threads, meaning that if you move from one location to another check if it is really a continuation. A continuation can only be called if it is still with the same theme and storyline and is a logical sequence of events. When in doubt ask a moderator in your compendium.
People calling on you beyond your timeline
An exception has been made for people calling on you room while you logically could have been there but you posted beyond it. You may answer your door and live out that moment in time provided it does not create a time knot.
Events and Talking about them
Rule of thumb is that during the first few days 'after' an event (while it's actually still running, but our characters are posting to subsequent days) nobody brings up talking about the event, as it's outcomes are not all decided.
Timeline and Correspondence
See Also Travel Times
The mail is NOT exempt from the timeline rules, and cannot be done as a continuation of a thread unless for some reason you are able to do it in the thread itself without breaking continuation rules. This means that thank you's etc will be a few days late. This is entirely historical correct as mail took 2-5 days and was far less immediate than what we are used to.
For Windsor, with players in close vicinity to each other, please consider:
- The standard for any correspondence in the 17th century remains that it is not instant in any way or form. It takes time and your character is used to this delay.
- It takes time to write a letter, both composition and writing it to perfection without blots, spelling mistakes etc. A quill is an instrument of patience.
- Characters usually have a time slot in their day during which they attend to correspondence, both from outside and within the castle.
- Those with a full agenda would likely struggle replying to every letter in a timely manner. Some might not reply every day. In general a reply within 3 days for those in the immediate vicinity is still considered polite.
- For faster replies and thank you notes: You can use calling cards to scribble a line and push them under a persons door, or let your maid or manservant do so. Alternatively there are always pages about that can be send for such a message.
- If you have an urgent message you cannot deliver in person by seeking another character out, send a messenger instead and do so IC. The character you wish to reach might not be available. Still, immediate reply is not the norm, so this should only be used for emergencies.