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Cruenti Dei
Maybe the books are hand-copied by monks with lots of flourishes on the capitals that start every page. . .
I will tell more when I know more!
There is so much to read, so much to do, so many people to answer.

In short, so far I am happy I joined the game.

More later ( after one month).

I can answer the simple questions and I'd be glad to post a full review at some point as I've been playing it for 3 years now, though the only other play by mail game I've played is Stars!.

It will probably be a while before Walter gets a chance to review it as we are currently in a processing lull so it will probably be a month before he gets his first turn results. The game is not far off from what Jon jokes about (complete with lots of flourishes on the capitals in the style of medieval monks). Every detail is hand created and processed including the maps and the results. So now that the game is in full swing with about 50 players, it's taking a while for turns to get out. But I can totally recommend the game as that is it's only problem, and it's really only a problem for some. Others like the break as the game can get pretty crazy and involved during a turn with various poletics. I'm also working on some turn automation tools for the gm for the parts that can be automated, but it's a totally open ended game, so much of it will never be automated and who knows when I'll finish though it always seems to me like any month now I'll be done.

There are two currently open continents though they share the same game world.

Here are the pages where you can see the public turn results. Each realm also gets private turn results in the form of stat sheets. The last turn chronicle for Sahul is 52 pages, the last turn for Oratoa was 24. Next to each turn you'll also see the color coded map for who owns what territories each turn. On the Oratoan page you can also download the detailed maps that include information on each region, it's terrain type, ruins cities, religious features etc. The sahul maps aren't online but are a printed atlas.



To answer some of 4am's questions.

Usually right before he releases a turn he'll announce what positions are open for folk to join for the next turn.

Most play positions are a realm with about 7 or 8 leaders and a guard unit and their troops. Though it's also possible to play other kinds of positions, like a religious primacy (there are 4 main religions) , a secret society or a military order. Usually you contact the GM and talk about what you'd like to play and he'll give you advice about the open positions. I'd be happy to put up summary descriptions of the open realms and their situations when they are known. I'll be happy to put up a summary of Where Walter's position is at as well, if I understand which realm he's taken over.

Not everybody is fighting everybody and the two continents have very different personalities. As the game is very open ended, some folk just like to build their realms, research spells or technology, participate in diplomacy and storytelling and investigate the many mysteries that are scattered around the history and the maps.

Sahul is governed by a historically corrupt and ineffective empire that is entering a renaissance period, though with the open ended nature of the game, the players are managing to improve it somewhat. For example last turn a court of law was created. How well that turns out, time will tell. Many of the players here are content to build, research, participate in politics and trade and explore. Others want to create trouble.

Oratoa is more in the style of a Robert E. Howard novel. More primitive technologically, more warlike in culture, with larger armies, with hero's going on individual quests. Investigating ruins, searching for artifacts and writing up their hero's quests in public postings or to be included in the official chronicle.

The situation in Oratoa currently if you look at the map of turn 17 at the top of that page is that there are three pretty tough eastern realms up there that are Urdan, worshipers of the earth goddess, the west is filled with 7 or 8 smaller tarotist, chaos worshiping realms, the south center are Illuvarians, kind of like the Templar knights and the south west are formerly dissorganized wild tribes of Yagnarists, devil worshipers, that are now coming together under the banner of myself and an ally. The big region in the middle is a wild card that is unplayed so far.

The Illuvarians (Poukaiatoa and Orofer) have just declared holy war on Myself and my ally (Iagnar is me and my ally is Atuburrk), who are both from the continent of Sahul. Largely because I brought the avatar of Iagnar with me, who has a bit of a past on Oratoa. We are also in some sort of agreement with the Tarotists that nobody knows the details of and are fighting Ancalime, which along with Orofer and Poukaitoa, were determined to not allow any realm of Oratoa to trade or deal with the southerners from Sahul.

The only two realms that I know are open on Oratoa are Ancalime and Orofer. Those two nations and Poukaiatoa had a pact, but two of the players left the third in the lurch.

Ancalime might be doomed this turn or they might have fought off the Tarotists, time will tell with the results. Orofer is a small nation and I think it's chances of surviving against me for long are not great, but I think if someone wanted to pick up a fun challenge it would be a very fun position to play and to try to survive with. They do have Poukaiatoa as an ally and Poukaiatoa is at least as strong as I am thus far. Also things shift in pretty big ways, pretty quickly, so nothing is set in stone. It is always possible that Walter (who I think took up Keatoa) and the other urdan nations of Kuroa and Pakoa might help out against me because of Iagnar's bad rep. But they trade with the realm listed as the viceroyalty of new ingazi which is also an urdan realm but one from Sahul. As they and I are both technically a part of the empire of Sahul it would be illegal for them to help against me. And the three realms Ancalime, Orofer and Poukaiatoa made some proclamations that implied that the fact that the northern urdans are trading with the southern urdans, that they consider that practically an act of war and treachery to the cause of the continent to remain uncolonized.

That's it in a nutshell. I'll be glad to answer any questions. It's a crazy and awesome game. I think playing it would go well with playing one of the automated games with short turn cycles and I've often been tempted to try one of them, but I can't let myself do so until the automation tools are done. That's why I'm enjoying going through this site. It's a great way to think about and appreciate this style of game without distracting from the process of working on the automation tools.

Thanks Cortrah!
It's hard to say something about a game without playing even one turn :-)
Looking forward to play the game though.
Aye, and feel free to ask any questions, either here or there.

Though we may or may not end up as enemies, either way it should be fun and I'll be as open as possible with advice or information.

Is there any way someone can post a sample turn here? I am getting more and more intrigued by this game, but don't want to take the leap over its high paywall without more info...
I don't want to post my private turn sheets as there is too much important detail there, but the turn results themselves are all public on those pages (the chronicles and the annals and the maps). The fog of war is that the chronicles and annals describe what happens in each realm, but in a narrative form. So you have to try and figure out what's happening from talking to folk, looking at the maps, and reading between the lines of the chronicles.

In addition to that each player has 2 private sheets,

One with their realms quality ratings in Naval, Cavalry, Infantry, Airship, Sorcery, Intelligence and Burocracy levels and their investment and economic status. Their income, their leaders, the troops and spell crystals or artifacts that those leaders have. And their realms income information. And possibly their family tree (important for certain realm's succession processes)

And then another sheet with specific region information like the level of economic development of each region, it's forts, roads, ports etc and any status information like folk being affected by plague or harsh weather.

There is an excel spreadsheet that folk use to submit their turns.
But you have to fill in the details with info from your private sheets.

I did a tutorial on movement a while back that shows some of the mechanics of filling out a turn and movement
If you couple watching that with the writeups for the realm of Kommolek in Sahul's Chronicle 13 (pages17 and 18) and 14(pages 18 and 19) , that might serve as a decent idea of a single turn for a single realm.

You'll also find that in each chronicle there are 3 or 4 key things that happen that get more detail or write up, wars, dynastic failures, mysteries revealed (for example there is one group that keeps going to areas where the magical ley lines are strong and it gives them visions into the past, they are using this to try and learn more about the history of the empire) Also there is an ice age encroaching on Sahul, legends have it that if the shards of a shattered crown are reassembled, it might make the ice retreat, but no one knows for certain yet.

I'd love to put together a cohesive narrative of my realm's story over the past few years, blending the details, the roleplay and the official chronicles, but that will have to wait a while longer I think.

A great thing about the game is that even in these lulls it's fun to read the historic campaign backgrounds for both Sahul and Oratoa as they have mysteries in there that have yet to be solved.

Overall it's really a storytelling game where those chronicles and annals are the main story/turn results, they are supplemented by things that characters write on the boards, but the mechanics are just to impose a certain consistency of rules and reality on the story.
I just sent in for my rules package. When I get back in two weeks, gonna pick my position. Can't wait!

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