Alpha Info Outline
The content of this page is taken and adapted from the Alpha Info Google Doc that has been shared with the playerbase since the early days of the game. Some of the system particulars may have changed and adjusted throughout Alpha and Beta, but there are a lot of interesting details and lore, so we felt it was still a great resource to replicate and share.
- 1 Lore
- 2 Mechanics
- 2.1 @checks:
- 2.2 Teaching
- 2.3 Quality Levels
- 2.4 Tasks
- 2.5 Prestige
- 2.6 Praises/Condemns
- 2.7 Domains
- 2.8 Crafting
- 2.9 Ansi Clients
- 2.10 ASCII Picture Websites
- 2.11 Picture to Text Websites
- 2.12 Misc Guides
- 2.13 Spreadsheets
- 2.14 Combat
- 2.15 XP
- 2.16 Character Creation
- 2.17 Domains
- 2.18 House Land Profitability
- 2.19 House Land List
- 3 Glossary
- 4 Misc Info
- 1 Silver Knight is 100 Copper bits
- 1 Gold count is 100 Silver Knights
- 1 Platinum Duke is 10 Gold Counts
- 1 Orichalcum King is 100 Platinum Dukes
- 1 Alaracite Queen is 100 Orichalcum Kings
A serf earns 1 silver coin a day on average.
- Essentially all fantasy monsters that are non humanoid exist in Arx. Exotic leather is supposedly their hide. ←-- depends a little on the leather, some would just be rarer conventional creatures, while something like shadowmeld is very clearly not normal at all. I’ll have to think a little about defining that one. Apos
- Dragons are mentioned in lore but people think they are long dead, generally, if they ever existed at all.
- Game is on 3/1 time.
- Alpha is perpetual Summer as the game opens in Autumn.
1. Conversant. 2. Professional. 3 Teacher/Instructor. 4. High Expert. 5. Master
Noble houses and often Shavs will often ransom back important captured enemies.
It would be appropriate to use an altecho version of the right to Gloria for any chivalric victory.
Marriage & Relationships
Whether a marriage is relatively open or whether it is very strictly monogamous does depend on the partners. And thematically, whether a marriage is considered to have infidelity is about violating the understanding between the two, so it's about the offense done the partner. Now obviously someone could claim it was open and then lie later and said they have had their honor besmirched
Commoner marriages are much more like people would think of common law marriages, and tend to be less often formalized. Right, noble families are extremely concerned about blood line dynasties
Same-sex pairings are socially accepted, in that there's no innate stigma. However, it would be considered infidelity in a marriage for example.
If you marry into another house your children have the title/SR of that house. So a prince marrying a duchess and joining her house would not have princes/princesses for children.
How does divorce work in Arvum? Does it happen? Is it a big deal?
This depends upon the social rank of those involved. For commoners it’s not at all, since a majority are more informal common law type affairs, and the ones more formal are still just dissolvable by clergy with no fault, and division of assets can be done by lords or crown appointees depending upon fealty. For nobility, it’s much more complicated, since they represent alliances between the two houses in question. The lords of the houses can demand dissolution from the Faith, but here the politics can be extremely important if the Faith feels justified in refusing a divorce or to imply fault for one party, though in most cases the Faith would refuse to get involved, grant it, and leave the ensuing fight between the houses. Divorces between major houses could quite literally lead to wars.- Apos. (Should double check some of this thematically with Hellfrog, since she was more involved with thinking about marriage/divorce rules than I was)
Yeah, commoners can pretty much say “we’re done”, file paperwork from either end, and move on.
Courtesans are not considered prostitutes so there's no expectations there in that regard. It is closer to a geisha thing of just having a conversational companion, and wherever it goes from there is the discretion of the courtesan. There's nothing they would get in trouble with (unless the person they were with was in a monogamous relationship without an understanding with their spouse). As for price, it varies heavily, but courtesans are astronomically expensive by most. A lot of people live on a silver a day, but a courtesan could fetch hundreds or more for a meeting, and really skyrocket if nobles got into a bidding war for show
How seriously do the Whispers as an organization treat confidentiality? Would they be spying and selling secrets?
That's a matter of perception, in that they are seen as being extremely professional and respecting the confidentiality of clients. That said, a lot of the Radiants might establish different degrees of permissiveness, and in -practice- I think a lot of Whispers act essentially as spies, even if it wouldn't normally be seen as proper since clients are to be respected On the other side, remember there's no real social stigma to appearing with a courtesan, Whispers are treated like nobility. So while confidentiality is important, it's not like a whisper needs to hide her presence when she's escorting someone to an event
Champion (and courtesan) fees are very negotiable, and keep in mind that the average pay for a labourer/serf is about a silver a day, so at the low end for a champion being a few hundred for a duel that's still a lot of money thematically, even if the more renowned champions and courtesans could fetch thousands for a service. Neither the Champion nor Courtesan guilds tends to pay stipends, as it's more of a benefit of membership that they are referred work in a quid pro quo fashion without either dues or stipends normally, but that could change by the opinion of the guildmaster/Radiant rather than hard theme. Courtesans and Champions can be on a retainer, or become proteges with exclusivity agreements, but it's rare and would be seen as something expensive, and probably more the trait of the extremely wealthy nobles willing to pay in the thousands per month to keep a champion or courtesan permanently on retainer. Some might have a protege without an exclusivity agreement- they are their political patron, and their favorite that would defer other work for them, but not be exclusive.
For white journals, they can be written in advance and delivered in person, or transcribed on a single note and submitted in person, or delivered by members of the scholars to the Archive. Since all white journals are public, and screwing with journals is effectively a death sentence, that it very unusual. Black reflections have to be done in person in order to prevent tampering, and characters could never deliver someone else's for the same reason.
ICly, the Scholars of Vellichor review white journals. For black reflections, only if dictated, someone can request a blind submission, and it's left a mystery until at least the time of their death and only reviewed if they stated in their will they were fine with releasing it.
- The inquisition is secular. The taboos are not moral crimes- it would be offenses against the crown. Sedition, theft, murder, tax evasion, etc
- Also, this is important: the inquisition would definitely never burn anyone (at a stake or otherwise), as that’s a method of human sacrifice employed by some horrid savages.
- church hierarchy- Dominus, Legate, Archlector (grandmasters also here), lector/seraphs, Templar/knights of solace/godsworn priests, Disciples, Laity
- Archlectors are the individual heads of each god under the legates of the triads, archscholar of vellichor would be the archlector of Vellichor
Gunpowder will never be a thing.
Dust, an opiate that is illegal in Arx, derived from yellow lotus flowers. ← hallucinogen in extremely large and near fatal doses, which is a primary reason it was outlawed. Apos
There are other drugs that we don’t have fully named yet. There will be something more laid back that people smoke, of course, and psychotropic plants of some kind. - HELLFROG
- Most records from before this point are missing due to the utter devastation of the war.
- Most people don’t believe elves were ever really another species at this point.
- There are no mass graves of elves.
Does succession always go to the next eldest heir? Excluding women in Thrax? Does it deviate from that either commonly or in extreme situations? How would it do so in those circumstances? Would the previous ruler choose their heir, or would it be decided by the support of the the nobles in the house? Could a person take over a house if they had enough reputation/prestige in an organization through some sort of internal struggle?
Succession defaults to the eldest heir in cases when a lord has not explicitly declared a successor, though it is technically within the rights of the liege of the involved to have leniency in deciding this. It is less common to pass over an heir due to the amount of times this leads to it being contested after, which can result in wars, and typically lieges get involved to prevent this. Obviously in the case of Alaric IV there -isn’t- a liege to appeal to, as he’s the top of the chain. And no appointed successor, no known heir, and no first cousins. ‘Help vassalage’ has a writeup I think- Apos
What does Voice mean ICly? It is obviously an IC post based on Donalla’s history but how is it viewed? Can commoners become Voice? A voice speaks with the authority of the appointed position as a plenipotentiary(The word plenipotentiary (from the Latin, plenus + potens, full + power) has two meanings. As a noun, it refers to a person who has "full powers." In particular, the term commonly refers to a diplomat fully authorized to represent a government as a prerogative (e.g., ambassador).) In general, this means that as the full representative of whoever they are speaking for, they are fully entrusted to make decisions on their behalf that should represent their will. For someone like Donella, it would mean that other thraxians, despite their biases, would view that whenever she speaks she knows the will of Prince Donrai Thrax and is speaking for his will, and to thwart her would be the same as ignoring the Prince of Maelstrom, and would be answerable to that. Similarly, the Dominus of the Faith uses ‘the Voice of the Gods’ or ‘Voice of the Pantheon’ for the same reason, in that in church dogma he is literally speaking with their will. In practice, some vassals could question whether a Voice is overstepping his or her bounds, and some could be replaced if they displease the title holder who they represent. The occasional civil war might break out if a Voice rules a House in all but name and grows more popular and successful than say, the heir of the house they represent. - Apos
Roll stat + skill, keep skill +2. Based on L5R system.
baseskillcost*(0.8-.05 per level)
Roll below 1/4th of the difficulty is poor. up to 3/4ths of the difficulty is mediocre. average is from .75 to 1.2, above average up to 1.6, good up to 2 times difficulty, very good - 2.5, excellent: 3.5, exceptional: 5, superb: 7, perfect: 10, divine, higher than that.
- You give +5 bonus support the first time you support a task. You earn 4x the support in resources up to the rating limit, and then half that thereafter.
- Economic resources are worth 250 silver when buying goods in the market. These goods can then be sold back to liquidate economic resources for 125 silver each.
- You can use support/change to alter the amount you’ve supported a task, but only if you want to decrease it.
- You get (charm+command+propaganda+diplomacy)*2/social rank praises and disses a week.
- (12 - org rank)/200 is the percentage of your prestige gained that you kick up to the org. (12 - (2* org rank))/100 is the percentage of the org's prestige that's reflected in your total.
- You gain 10% of your patron’s prestige as well.
2*(charm+command+propaganda+diplomacy) / Social rank
Dominion skills are bought with resources and go from 0-10.
Every 10% of the total cost to create an item spent in extra, lowers the difficulty by 1. Up to a maximum of -10 difficulty.
ASCII Picture Websites
Picture to Text Websites
- You roll dexterity+weapon skill to hit.
- Roll (dexterity+weapon skill) + (dexterity+dodge) to parry. Dexterity+dodge to dodge.
- Dodge rolls suffer penalties from armor.
- Combat rolls are +1 difficulty per 10% of your missing max hp.
- Fatigue rolls are strength+stamina+dexterity+willpower+athletics, keep the higher of stamina or willpower +2.
- Fatigue has double the effect on defense rolls as offense rolls.
- Soak is a random number between 0 and stamina+willpower+survival added to mitigation.
- Death and consciousness checks are stamina+survival+willpower keep stamina and willpower.
- Consciousness is at a penalty of -1 for every hp you are over your max hp.
- Death is at a penalty of -1 for every 2 hp you are over your max hp.
- A result of 0 or less leads to unconsciousness or death.
- Stances increase or decrease attack/defense rolls. Guarded is +5 to defense rolls and -5 to offense rolls. Defensive +10 to defense rolls and -10 to offense rolls. Aggressive +5 to offensive rolls and -5 to defense rolls. Reckless +10 to offensive rolls and -10 to defensive rolls.
- +combatstats will show all your combat statistics.
- You gain 3 xp for your first vote, 2 xp for your next and then 1 xp per vote until you reach 10. Where it gets diminishing returns. You gain up to 7xp per account from your first three journal entries each week.
- Teaching requires you to have a skill two higher than the target, can be done once a week and gives 20% plus 5% per level of teaching discount.
- Combat skills cost double xp to learn, current combat skills are: Brawl, dodge, archery, small wpn, medium wpn, huge wpn, stealth, survival, sailing
- Costs increase by 0.2% per spent point of xp.
- Characters begin with 2 in all stats, you have up to 12 points to add to these.
- Characters have 20 points to spend on skills. 1 point is the same as 10 xp.
- Combat skills cost double the amount of points same as experience.
- Lower social ranks start with more xp: SR 3: 20, 4: 40, 5: 60, 6:80, 7:120, 8: 160, 9: 200
Why would two houses with the same number of serfs/mines etc have different gross incomes?
- Which ones? Would need to take a look
- Probably geographical modifiers from the land areas of their domains. Semi-randomized based on climate with different modifiers based on the land type.
House Land Profitability
- Varies by up to 10%
- From highest to lowest: Redrain, Velenosa, Gilden, Fidante, Malvici,Telmar, Deepwood, Wrymguard, Blackram, Ashford, Nightgold, Greenmarch, Valardin, Thrax, Bisland, Pravus, Darkwater, Saik, Grimhall, Halfshav.
- Lore wise lower house land value corresponds to a generally more dangerous/untamed region, but the differences are fairly slight.
House Land List
- Velenosa: Lenosia 
- Argento: Nilanza  (Pravus Vassal)
- Fidante: Tor 
- Gilden: Caith 
- Igniseri: Granato  (Rubino-Zaffria Vassal)
- Malvici: Southport 
- Pravus: Setarco 
- Rubino-Zaffria: Gemecitta 
- Saik: Saikland Greens  (Malvici Vassal)
- Truesworn: Esterhold  (Pravus Vassal)
- Grayson: Arx/Bastion 
- Ashford: Ashford Keep 
- Bisland: Pridehall 
- Deepwood: Old Oak  (Bisland Vassal)
- Redrain: Farhaven 
- Halfshav: Whitehold 
- Nightgold: Stonedeep 
- Thrax: Tyde Hall/Maelstrom 
- Darkwater: Darkwater Watch 
- Grimhall: Grihem’s Point 
- Navegant: Escuma 
- Valardin: Sanctum 
- Blackram: The Cloudspine 
- Blanchard: Chevalle 
- Greenmarch: Marius’ March 
- Telmar: The Telmarch 
- Wyrmguard: Blancbier 
- Abyss - Hell.
- Elysia - Heaven.
- Shav - colloquial term for the abandoned/ wild tribes who are not part of the compact and are generally hostile to it.
- Abandoned - Term for those not part of the compact. There are many Abandoned tribes who aren’t wild and warlike, who are setttled and ‘civilized’
- Prodigal- Term for Abandoned who have rejoined the Compact and bent the knee. Yes, I am aware of the actual definition. Yes, it is intended.
- The Thirteenth - Term for Tehom, god of the dark reflection. Saying ‘Tehom’ is considered very bad luck.
- Leviathan - The Thrax Fleet (also a sea monster).
- Silks - Commoner term for nobles
- Lyceum - Name of the collection of Southern City States including, Lenosia, Southport, Tor and Setarco.
Questions for Staff
Lore wise is Naval combat fought using rams, Carracks, and boarding actions as was commonly done in pre-canon Europe? How big of a deal is having a superior navy?
Might be able to make resupply of forces by land only and greatly decrease the ability for armies to march, and make it effectively impossible against some forces (like Setarco, for example, or the Mourning Isles)
Awkward question: What is the state of contraceptives ICly? Culturally and technologically.
Let’s leave that abstract.:o HELLFROG HERE! There are widely available and reliable contraceptives in Arvum. It’s expected that anyone fooling around is doing so with this protection. Not to do so is very irresponsible! **these contraceptives are certainly not magic. Not even a little. Also, these are not going to be actual in game items, but assumed. This is because pregnancy is entirely opt in
Pedro for regent. Vote for Pedro. ← Sorry, Pedro.
Other one is really long, so putting this before it: an ‘outfit’ command. I imagine a lot of people are going to want multiple outfits. Military types just for the practicality of not wearing armor all the time. It would save everything you’re currently wearing with ‘outfit/save #’ or something, then remove everything you’re wearing and replace it with the saved items (should preserve worn order, if that matters) with outfit/wear #. There are a few ways to handle where it puts/gets items. One I’ve seen is using containers, like a wardrobe or backpack, to take/put the worn/removed objects. The other (which I prefer) is an offloaded storage where the clothes are kept but cannot otherwise be interacted with without manually removing them.
I saw a post about looking for command aliases. Other MUSHs I play use +bbnext instead of @bbnew for new messages. That’d be handy.
One here by Apostate for players: It’s become increasingly obvious to me that it is unbearably awkward to not have a form of address to commoner men and women, since half the players instinctively use ‘sir’ or ‘miss’ or ‘madam’ or anything in RP. I have no strong preferences for this at all, but we probably should have one thematically. Who has opinions on it, because ‘goodwoman’ and ‘goodman’ are probably just too damned awkward and wordy. Ser? Miss? Sirrah? Madam? Mistress?
Sir is used for knights for clarification
I vote for Ser and Miss, although I find this awkward with only using people’s first name. I.e. Miss Acacia seems weird, but Miss Culler or Miss Acacia Culler less so.
I’m not sure if Sir is for knights, but if it is, Ser kind of clashes for me there. Miss/Mister, maybe? I do like Miss.
Hmm,not really sure then for men. Mister Audric Smith doesn’t really sound that good to me.
I’ve been using Master/Goodman, and Mistress/Goodwoman, or just ‘you there’. Miss for younger females.
I’m also a fan of Master/Mistress for non-titled commoners. In the situations where someone is the head of their house, I expect the surname to be used. E.g., Master Talen or Master Artiglio.
Master/Mistress always makes me think of whips and leather. Maybe I’m just a pervert. You are. (Makes me think the same.)
Could use Citizen if that isn’t too Soviet seeming. That’s more French than Soviet. #historylessonswithgareth I think that might be unavoidable, anything that draws instinctively parallels. More likely make a lot of people think of Paranoia, the Game.
I liked Mer and Mes from F-word, if I’m honest. Since Master is a skill rank level, perhaps that title should be reserved for actual masters at their craft. It might be nice to have a genderless form of address, like Citizen. Though, that has more of a city-state feel than feudal empire. Ser is too close to Sir. A one-syllable word might work best, however. Keep it short.