Notice: This is a work in progress.
- 1 The Project
- 1.1 Preamble
- 1.2 Civilization
- 1.3 Realm
- 1.4 Religion
- 2 Draft
New continent, new opportunities. What we are putting forward is a plan for a realm unlike any other. We want to take into consideration the critics of how some things are misused, and make them right. We want to use a new approach to realm-building. Quite simply, we are attempting to create the "perfect realm(s)" (details further).
For this, we have centered our attention on three aspects of the game, originality, depth, and fun to make playing in our realms as rewarding an experiance as possible. The cultural model we have used, one that seemed to fit our objectives better and better as we progressed, is the mesoamerican model (Aztecs mainly, Mayas, Incas, and others as well).
Having layed out the general outlines of the plan, we shall further elaborate on the core concepts before moving on to the main body.
Core concepts: Originality, Depth, Fun
Originality because, well, it's rewarding, and it adds spice to the whole continent when something is different. Depth so that those who are active and/or gain power can really immerse themselves in it. Fun so that the average player will enjoy himself and never get bored. The tree together also bring stability, which should bring a long life to the realms, and therefore prolonge the positive experience for everyone (not as fun for most players when they have to begin from scratch because their realm was reduced to nothing).
Tlahtocayotl, from Nahuatl meaning "kingdom, state, or nation".
We all know of medieval europe, where pre-1300 women were treated as absolutely nothing, and still not all that great after. However, there is no need for the whole of BM to follow christian europe culture, and so we propose an alternative, a shining beacon for all women on the continent, and beyond. A civilization that not only gives them value, but gives them greater value than their male counterparts (overall, some realms of the civilization could/would become patriarchies).
One notable cultural distinction would be polyandry, where women can hold multiple husbands at the same time. This would not only be an extention of the matriarchy, but would truly be a social adaptation that would have been rather slow to appear in the BattleMaster setting: men are far more numerous than women, such inequality among the sexes is bound to bring forward polygamy.
Religion is the core of the civilization, everything revolves around it. It is the stable institution that spans over the realms to unite them. These traditions are strongly inspired off the mesoamerican religions, and so come the rituals. Allowing easy communication between it's members, it allows the members of every (potentially small) realms of the civilization to keep in touch with eachother, even if their realms are warring eachother. It allows them all to come together in peace on certain occasions, once again to strengthen the bonds between the warring factions.
Eternal peace is just as boring as gangbangs and wars of annihilation, so why aren't people doing those border-wars that are preached so much by Tom, which should truly be more fun. So, we take the concept of the flower wars, for when the civilization is not threatened. The name might make some raise an eyebrow, but these are wargames, strongly tied to the religion. Basicly, the concept is to hold battles between the realms, for the sake of having battles, to spill blood in honour of the dieties and to allow every member of the realms to prove themselves. TOs are useless in these wars, since even though the realms are fighting eachother, they are still part of the same civilization, and exterminating the other is both unthinkable and unprofitable. So in the end, when in "peace", we offer the nobles more combat opportunities than on the war islands, since the consequences for defeat are slim, other than perhaps having a border region looted, and those for victory are great, in terms of morale for the nobility, the honour and prestige gains, and the gold that can be looted. The battles, other than helping strengthen the armies, also entertain them, by giving the nobles something to do other than sit in their capital counting the days pass, and so they are a tool of internal stability.
Another aspect would be the improving of the strength of the nobles themselves, while also entertaining them, allowing them to interact with others, and also giving them more chances to collect gold. This would come through regular swordfighting tournaments, where, since the realms never truly threaten eachother, mass participation could be possible, and with the gains related to joining them, there would be very little reason for nobles not to join them. The desired internal aspect of this tradition is again to entertain the nobles, and therefore improve internal stability, but also to strengthen them up. Constant swordfighting tournaments encourage nobles to train their swordfighting skills, and a civilization where swordfighting is better mastered than elsewhere is a civilization with quite an edge on the strategical aspect. Another facet of this would be a laxer approach on infiltrators, as well as a religious protection. An increased threat also encourages the nobles to train, but this is more aimed at allowing the infiltrators themselves to train and become experts themselves, so that when the civilization is threatened, the invader faces a real threat, on all levels, as he is pacified by sword, shadows, and words.
This concept is strongly inspired off the greek city-states, and is rather simple: You have many small realms, losely affiliated, who war eachother and go on with their own lives, but when a threat arrives (such as the Persians), they unite to battle it. In our case, it gives us many advantages. For one, the more realms we have, the more council positions we have. It's really a no-brainer, but that's the point: to hand out power to as many people as possible, to give out opportunities to as many people as possible. The other direct consequence of this is the greater flower war possibilities that grow along with the number of realms, which brings us back to our point discussed above, and leads yet again to a more pleasurable experience for the players. The other, indirect effect, is that many realms also imply smaller realms, which, in turn, are prone to encourage social mobility, since you cannot have a small clique control the whole empire.
This aspect is somewhat inspired off the papal states. Basicly, it'll be a three step pyramid. At the very bottom are invaders that were repelled and pacified (and converted), or any other realm that is converted or converting without the religion being truly a driving force within it. On the second level are all the colonies that are to be founded, these are the realms that truly define the empire, they are varying and hopefully, many. At the top of the pyramid is the founding realm, the center of the empire, the heart of the faith, the craddle of the civilization. It is the island where everything starts, where tournaments are held, and special instutitions are housed. It is, in many ways, comparable to the Vatican.
Being so unique and different, one can't help but wounder how this civilization will interact with the others. The main approach put forward here is the cold war mentality, between the capitalist powers of the west and the Soviet Union, more precisely, the peaceful coexistance period. The tensions and mystery and great elements to add excitement to the game, on all levels of power (from mere knights to rulers).
This aspect brings us back to the monthly tournaments. They are a perfect way to promote strength within the empire, however, they are also perfect ways to demonstrate strength to foreigners, much like the olympics during the cold war (think Rocky IV), as well as the culture with the religious rites associated (human sacrifices) and through interpersonnal contact. This also has an economic effect favourable to the empire and the growth of the capital: such constant tournaments, with reasonnable entree fees, are bound to give the empire an eventual monopoly over the swordfighting tournaments, as others would not be able to attract enough people to make profits.
So while it doesn't try to destroy the rest of the world (though convert a good chunk if possible), it does what it can to stay strong, sovereign, and imposing.
None has been discussed so far.
This is not a state religion, but rather, these are religious states. As such, religion is intimatly tied to the hierarchy, with priest wielding power and infiltrators a little aside.
Church Elders Ruler General, Judge, Banker Priests Dukes Lords Knights Church Members Nobles Church Aspirants Freemen
Complicated scenarios may occur, as you can easely belong to more than one of these classes, but that's intentionnal, especially since church members are more highly viewed than the average noble: in fact, no non-follower should be promoted to any kind of duty, it's undesireable to even knight him if he is not thought to eventually convert.
The advisers to the king, and the council in general. This council holds all the council members as well as the priests, and this is the council where all decisions are approved and taken. People have often complained that the priest was a dead-end class, this shall make it the only (easy) path to achieve political influence, other than being elected to power or being a church elder. This will also favorise the priest class, which is essential to such a religious society, where they will be needed for RPs as well as converting the lands.
Infiltrators are a dealy weapon, if they get to train. They are also a perfect tool to prevent stagnation, through assaults of high-ranking people. As such, as well as to attempt to attract the most infiltrators possible (to rival the Assassins, or surpass them) through extremely lax rules. The infiltrators, with the blessings of the church, are free to do whatever they wish, even stab their own rulers, with the only penalty being the varying prison time. Of course, this would be because they practice the work of the gods, so they would need to be ritualistic about their operations and RP them (just stabbing the king with a fork and running away won't do), and infils not part of this society would be dealt with harshly. As they are a religious society, they also have to do the biddings of the church.
The name remains The Blood Cult, for the added impact it summons in the player.
The faith is one which attributes a very high value to life. If fact, like many anymist and shaministic traditions, most of it's rituals are oriented towards thanking or pleasing these nature gods. Like many faiths encourage a form of self-sacrifice to come closer to their gods, followers of the faith bring it one step further with sacrificing what they hold most precious, life itself, with the concept that it is better to sacrifice a few for the many than let the collective needs of the individuals hamper the good of the many. The concept lies on the flow of blood, in an analogy comparing the world much to any form of living body: movement brings warmth, life, stagnation brings cold and death. Without a beating heart (and therefore without a pulse or flow of blood), a body cools down and dies, decays, therefore, blood must be spilled regularly on this world if we don't want it to stagnate.
The faith follows a wide collection of dieties and spirits while revolving around sun worship. There are many gods that preach/demand various things, and so it is normal for the realms to pick or create different patrons for themselves, which better represent what kind of realm they want to set up. This allows for more interesting interaction, as well as more flexibility and diversity the please all kinds of different characters. It would also help create myths and traditions to be created across the empire, creating more roleplaying possibilities.
This is the most important tool to stimulate RP, not to mention make politics with foreign realms rather interesting. It lays at the core of the religion, as the flow of blood is bringer of life, and blood must be spilled for the sun to rise every morning (and therefore allow plant life, and life in general). Hangings and lootings can be seen as tools to collect the victims. Foreign adventurers can be free game.
A noble that offers his body to the gods is the greatest gift that can be done for them, as long it the proper ceremony accompanies it, such as a religious recreation of one of the myths.
On the soltices and equinoxes (real life, much simpler), special celebrations will be held according to the time of year it is. The nature of the events will vary, and so well their celebration, but among other things, we will be able to find: royal bloodletting, cannibalism, ritualistic re-enactments and, of course, sacrifices. They will have their associated gods which will be praised for the duration of the festivities.
See original content here.