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Combat Rules

Hits and dying

hits and dyingCollapse )

Hits and healingCollapse )

Dodges, Parries, ArmourCollapse )

DamageCollapse )

Weapon categoriesCollapse )

CallsCollapse )

[1]  +1 minute per negative hit – see next paragraph

[2] An Active skill is defined as any skill which requires “appropriate role-play” to use. This includes combat skills.

[3] "Any situation that would reduce a character's head to the consistency of chunky salsa dip is fatal, regardless of other rules."

[4] Yes, yes, we know axes have blades too... they’re still “blunts” for our purposes.

Costumes - Guild Fashions

The Grubb Street Press
GSPCollapse )
Trench coats and fedoras. Hat-bands are useful to stick a press card in, so it is unusual to spot a member of the press without a hat.
Shipwright’s guild
SNGCollapse )

Boiler suits, denim, dungarees, flannel shirts, flat caps – practical and hardwearing clothes, often with the shipwright’s guild emblem.
Guild of Rose and Ivory
GRICollapse )

Flowing robes, or robe-like dress, in red and white colours. Red facial tattoos, which can be as simple as a single red dot or streak, or as elaborate as you wish. (See brief)
Van Maanen
VMSCollapse )
Women: Think Hollywood in the 1940’s/50’s – film star glamour. Fur coats/stoles, silk dresses, lots of ivory and gold colours.
Men: Frock coats or immaculately cut suits, canes, top hats. Think robber barons and merchant bankers. Or failing that, Mr Moneybags from the Monopoly games.
Aegis Associates
AeACollapse )

Long leather jackets, sunglasses, rough-looking clothing, a lot of black and a lot of guns.
The Imperial Institute
RIICollapse )

Lab coats, goggles, leather aprons, “mad scientist” garb


Independant ExamplesCollapse )
Pirates. Leather, denim, ragged edges, eyepatches, Mohawks, biker-boots, gang tattoos, guns, frock coats, corsets and combat boots – anything that looks like it’s been stolen from one of the nations and customised extensively.

Costumes - National Dress


Astreus ExamplesCollapse )

1940’s/50’s style dress
For women: a-line or pencil skirts or dresses, wide-cut trousers, blouses, jackets, try to avoid particularly modern styles and fabrics (eg, a modern black suit would not be appropriate). The costumes in Mad Men are a good inspiration.

For men: suits; double breasted suits are best, waistcoats are a must, as is a hat of some kind (fedoras and trilbies are good, though top hats or bowlers are also acceptable).

Military: in style, similar to British army number 2 dress uniform, or RAF Service dress If you can’t get the jacket, something similar to RAF service working dress would be acceptable, just make sure you have some sort of epaulettes or other insignia. If you can get RAF war service dress, that would be awesome. Colours: Blue and white


Radovich ExamplesCollapse )

Noble Women: bustles and corsets, full floor-length skirts. Silks and satins and lace. Elaborate hair-styles and hair-pieces, jewelled and feathered fascinators, etc.

Noble Men: frock-coats, tail-coats, shirts with cravats, canes, top hats.

Officer Military: Dress uniform, often combined with decorative breastplates and other bits of plate or mech armour. Plenty of “Bling of war”, and armour designed to show off as much as for protection.  Colours: Green and Black

Prole Women: Blouse and floor length skirt, perhaps with an apron and/or cap. Plain, serviceable fabrics. Basic peasant gear.

Prole Men: Breeches and shirt – basic peasant gear.

Enlisted Military: Greatcoat and Ushanka. Cobbled together bits of armour. Some sort of armband or sash insignia. Think Red Army.


Massara ExamplesCollapse )

Men and Women: Long tunic over trousers, pantaloons or leggings. Salwar kameez or other Arabic/Indian influenced styles of dress are also appropriate.

Women: Simple, flowing lines, elegant and form-fitting dresses. Bright fabrics and one or two pieces of statement jewellery set off against a monochrome base.

Military: Long tunic or tabard in your warband’s colours, over shirt and breeches. 

The Guilds

Whilst the governments of the various nations rule their own lands, they also play host to six international guilds: The Shipwrights and Navigators, The Guild of Rose and Ivory, Aegis Associates, The Imperial Institute, The Van Maanen Syndicate and The Grubb Street Press. Membership of these guilds is open to citizens of all nations, and their outposts can be found in most major cities. They exist semi-independently of the nations which gave rise to them, though the amount of autonomy they are granted varies between guilds.

The Guild of Shipwrights and NavigatorsCollapse )

Aegis AssociatesCollapse )

The Radovich Imperial InstituteCollapse )
The Van Maanen SyndicateCollapse )

The Guild of Rose and IvoryCollapse )

The Grubb Street PressCollapse )

Independents and Xi-Shan

At the Eastern edge of the continent, the borders of the known lands dissolve into the predominantly unmapped Independent Territories – a sprawling mass of islands and island chains, mostly too small for more than a few settlements on each landmass. The larger nations mostly believe them not worth bringing under their control, and their inhabitants are just fine with that. There is no cohesive government – it is every city or crew for themselves, and the result is fairly lawless. The lack of land means that a lot of the inhabitants rely on piracy to supplement what resources they have, and the independent islands often play host to criminals on the run from the major nations, as well as their own home-grown cutthroats and brigands.

To the West lie the islands of Xi-Shan, an empire which guards its privacy closely. Only the port of Jian Xie is open to foreign nationals for trading and diplomatic purposes, and the Shani defend their airspace with extreme force. Even trading in Jian Xie requires a permit from the authorities, which are notoriously difficult to obtain. 


And thus completes the Nations of Anticthon!

The Independents are going to be a playable faction, but Xi-Shan is going to be entirely NPC at game start. 

Next! : The Six Guilds...

A further note re: Gender in Radovich...

This is a section taken from the Specific Radovich brief - not included in the original because
a) it's quite long and specific and I didn't want half the Radovich post to be about this one issue,
b) I thought it might be interesting to leave this one to come out in play (this may in hindsight have been a daft idea)
c) I am a numpty, who assumed that everyone would get it, until it was pointed out that I had left myself open to some huge genderfail possibilities... 

So, two short extracts from the Radovich Brief: 

"...Radovich and gender
While in Radovich the genders are treated equally and mostly the same as each other, the nation is still bound by sumptuary laws. It is illegal for women in Radovich to wear trousers or men to wear skirts or dresses. Thus, as everyone in Radovich is presumed to uphold the law at all times, anyone wearing a skirt is automatically assumed to be a woman, and anyone wearing trousers is automatically assumed to be a man, no matter what their biological sex may or may not be. This can cause a lot of confusion to outsiders who frantically point out that Count Ivan bears a marked similarity to Countess Ivanova, they bear the same pattern of duelling scars and you never see them in the same room as each other... and somehow thus deduce that either he must really be a woman or she must really be a man. A Radovichan will simply shake their head and wander across the room to talk to General Nikolai (whose moustache is tragically on upside-down) about how rude foreigners can be, as if gender weren’t something one ought to be able to decide for one’s self..."

"... The Military
There are no women in the Radovich military. Well of course not – they all wear trousers. And it appears to have escaped everyone’s notice that about 50% of all the moustaches in the military are stuck on with spirit gum, and a surprising number of officers are confirmed bachelors, or prefer the company of other men, or despite having a wife have remained inexplicably childless..."

I hope that clears things up somewhat. :D


The Radovich Empire, to the South of the known lands, lays claim to being the oldest of the three civilisations. Ruled by its Emperors/Empresses and its ancient nobility, there is a distinct class divide between the aristocracy and the proletariat; a divide which is as much geographical as it is political and economic. The higher of the two islands of the Empire is predominantly the playground of the rich and influential, covered in vast pleasure grounds, palaces, and cities full of ancient and beautiful architecture. Here, the nobility reside and spend their time engaging in the pursuits of politics, fashion, subsidising the intelligentsia, forwarding the aims and goals of their houses, and debating the issues of succession, the Royal Family, and the latest scandals surrounding the court of the current Emperor, Frederik IV.

The Second of the islands floats in the sky slightly lower, and directly underneath the first. Approximately one third of its surface area thus remains in permanent shadow. This island is where the remainder of Radovich’s population lives and works, on vast farming estates, immense factories and industrial complexes, and in the slums and shanty towns in the shadowlands. Poverty is rife, and many of the proles survive on a hand-to-mouth existence, providing cheap labour for Radovich’s manufacturing industry, which is second to none. Others turn to crime, and most of the ports of the shadowlands are havens for smugglers and pirates.

There used to also be a third island known as Victus, however, during the War of Secession, this island defected to Astreus and became known as Prima. There has been a certain amount of bad feeling between the two countries since then, which has still not entirely faded despite the intervening years. This has only been fuelled by reports of unrest amongst the proletariat, and the growing worry amongst the aristocracy that their subordinates might decide to follow the Astrean example into revolution.

Five things any Radovichan will know
  •  Your bloodline or family history. From the highest to the lowest, every Radovich citizen knows where he or she came from. Nobles like to trace their line back as far as possible, obviously, but even servants may be proud to have served the same family for generations. 
  •  Which end of a sword to hold. All Radovichans have some experience of the military, in one capacity or another.
  • The latest gossip from the Imperial court. What is currently the height of fashion, what Lord or Lady so-and-so was seen wearing at the Countess’ ball, who is the subject of a Duke’s latest torrid affair. The most recent gossip, the most recent scandals... and how to turn them to your advantage.
  • Who among your family will inherit what, and from whom. And often when.
  • The law of the land. Every Radovich noble will know what laws they or their fellows are enforcing on behalf of the Emperor. Every Radovich prole will know just how much they can get away with.
The best way to insult a Radovichan is to mis-gender them. In Radovich men wear trousers and women wear skirts. To imply that a Radovichan is not of the same gender as his or her clothing is a deadly insult.


The Sultanate of Massara, in the North West, lies closer to the surface, and thus enjoys a slightly warmer climate. Much of the land mass is covered in grassy steppe; not brilliant conditions for crops, but plenty of grazing for animals. Massara is especially famed for its horses, which thrive on the wide grasslands and live a semi-wild existence before being broken in. Massaran cavalry units are among the best in the world.

There is a distinct divide in Massara between the steppe war-bands and the more cultured city-folk. On the steppe, a mostly nomadic population is governed by local Warlords, with smaller war-bands often paying homage to more powerful leaders. Though they are treated like nobility, Warlords place no importance on lineage; anyone with enough support can form a war-band and style themselves a Lord.

The few permanent cities are ruled by Warlords – sometimes a single Warlord, sometimes a coalition – each commanding the loyalty of several steppe war-bands as well as their own personal men and women. Small merchant guilds within the city will often swear allegiance to the ruling Warlord or one of his/her allies, in return for patronage and protection. In turn, their support can help to ensure the loyalty of the populous, and the Warlord with the most support from amongst the other Warlords and Guild Leaders acquires the mandate to govern.
Politics in Massara is cut-throat, as rival war-bands vie for position and power. Whoever can hold the capital city, Meryn, and gain the loyalty of the provinces is accepted as Sultan. At the moment, the ruler of Massara is the Sultana Balkis Barhai, leader of the Mares Breath War-band. She united the cities behind her fifteen years ago, and the country has been unprecedentedly settled since then.

War-bands from both city and country often take their more nomadic life-style to the air, forming privateer crews, and have developed a reputation for ferocity. Their ships are usually armed to the teeth and then some, and because the Massarans are used to roaming, they can usually keep their crafts running on minimal resources.

Five things any Massaran will know
  • Your warleader or guild leader, their allegiance, and the chain going back to the Sultanate.
  • Exactly when a guest has outstayed their welcome. The rules of hospitality, and the codes of honour.
  • How to ride a horse or sail an airship.
  • Who your enemies are and why they must die. Who your friends are, and exactly how far you can trust them...
  • Five stories to tell to guests, three stories to tell among friends, and one great secret of your own that can be told to no-one.
The best way to insult a Massaran is to impugn their hospitality, or imply they are an oathbreaker.


Near the centre of the known lands, slightly to the North West of the Null point, are the five islands, (Astrea, Moldoran, Ichth, Longitudinus and Prima) that make up the Golden League of Astreus. Originally ruled by the nobility, as of the revolution 300 years ago the Golden League has been a republic, and is currently headed by Prime Minister Alastair Postlethwaite. It may be a result of this relatively recent revolution, but the political system has taken a while to right itself again after the tumult, and is now mired in layer upon layer of pointless bureaucracy, and it can be exceedingly difficult to get anything done. The real power within the league is spread between the Seven Great Universities, and it is they who have fuelled the Astrean national obsession with scientific advancement and progress.

As a nation, the Astreans have acquired something of a reputation for eccentricity, and creativity without necessarily recourse to practicality. While it’s true that a great deal of discoveries, especially in the fields of science and technology, have been due to the Astrean penchant for lateral thinking, it has almost always been left to their Radovich cousins to find applications for the latest theories.

With a few exceptions – such as the Shipyards of the famous Gossington League, or the printing presses of the Grubb Street Press – the Astreans have never really managed to get the hang of mass production either. It is hypothesised that this is mostly for financial reasons – Astreus is not a particularly rich nation, and coupled with the strength of the trade unionist movement in the country, large scale manufacture has been somewhat crippled.

Society in Astreus, on the other hand, is quite mobile and fluid, mainly as a result of a high percentage of the populous attending one of the seven universities; even if only for a short time, and it is an unusual citizen who does not have even a passing allegiance to one of the Great Seven. Standards of education are generally high, and Astrean tea shops and coffee houses are famous for their erudite conversation. The League may be cash poor, but it is decidedly rich in learning and information.

Five things any Astrean will know
  • The latest developments in your field. Every Astrean is a little mad where Science! is concerned, and even those not directly academic will still keep up to date on the latest discoveries.
  • Why kings are a bad idea, and how the democratic republic is the best and fairest system of government.
  • What is important and unique about the specific island that you come from. Not that any of the islands of the League claim to be better than one another (that would be undemocratic) but each island has its own character and heritage and is just independent enough to want that recognised.
  • Who your political or union representative is.
  • Which university you studied at, or intend to study at, or worked for, or otherwise owe allegiance to.

The best way to insult an Astrean is to insult their education, or imply that they have royalist tendencies.
This is the world; a vast continent, bordered to the East and West by vast, unexplored oceans.
The continent is mostly covered in dense jungle, fading into more temperate forests the further north you progress, until you eventually reach the Frozen Wastes. It is difficult to say what is beyond those, because explorers have only penetrated so far into the tundra before the cold becomes too much. Likewise, the southern extremes are bordered by the Great Desert, which is similarly difficult to traverse.
The jungles and forests that form the intervening land are barely habitable. Toxic plant spores poison much of the atmosphere, and the local wildlife is highly aggressive. Added to which there are very few maps of the area, and those which do exist are often wildly inaccurate, with fakes being commonplace. Only with the recent advent of anti-spore respirators and bio-domes has more than a superficial exploration been possible.
The population of Anticthon live almost entirely on the many floating islands that hover above the unnamed continent and the seas surrounding it. The climate on these islands is mostly temperate and hospitable, with the islands getting colder the further they float from the surface. The main form of transport is the great Air Ships; the dirigibles that traverse the sky between islands, and occasionally – very occasionally – venture down to the surface.
Weather patterns around the islands are... erratic. Lightning storms are common, but while they can get large enough to be dangerous, most of them are high enough and small enough to dissipate without causing much more than a mild hazard to shipping. More hazardous is a phenomenon colloquially known as The Haze. No-one is quite sure what it is, or what causes it, but it appears as a slightly purplish mist and a shimmer in the air. Ships that fly through it become harder to fly – sluggish and unresponsive – sometimes become lost in the purple fog-banks of a particularly large patch, or occasionally simply fall out of the sky for no reason. One particular area of sky – often made the centre point of maps of the known world – is known as the Null Point or Dead Zone. Ships that fly directly through the Dead Zone are never heard of again. Either instantly plummeting to be wrecked on the ground below, or becalmed forever in an empty sky without wind. No-one truly knows, but to attempt to fly through the Null Point is a death sentence.

The area the game takes place in comprises the territories of three main nations; Astreus, Massara and Radovich... More about those later...