The Game Components
A Mysticora Scenario is the highest level game unit. It emcompasses the totality of what belongs to a game. No game objects may leave a scenario nor may foreign game objects enter such a scenario from the outside. A scenario contains one or more modules as well as a set of scenario parameters (e.g. rules used, victory conditions).
example: Nolya Maeg, the Timeless Planes
A module is a part of a scenario that can run almost independently. The exception being those parts necessary for the scenario. It contains a logically complete playing area and story line. Movement of game objects between modules is possible but rare. All local objectives can be achieved within the module itself. Each module begins with the status of "undecided". Should thereafeter in the course of play a certain set of objectives (i.e. victory conditions) be achieved then that status switches to "decided" (or "postclimax"). This result determines what effect the module has on the outcome of the scenario as a whole. Players may continue to play in a decided module but the module effect on the scenario can not be changed anymore.
example: Paths to Power (Part I of the Timeless Planes)
Maps are the two-dimensional representations of parts a scenario's game world. Variations in the third dimension are considered negligible or are handled separately. A map is divided into a rectangular matrix of atomic units called areas (see below) each identified by its coordinates. Usually a module has a single main map that is not used by other modules. Maps that are used by more than one module simultaneously represent special areas such as immaterial planes. A group of maps that are spatially connected with each other and spatially separate from all other maps is called a plane (example: Arthia, the Material Plane). Movement between planes can only be done by uncommon means (such as magic) or through special places (such as portals). The maps of a plane use a common coordinate system, and are thus arranged to create a single, uninterrupted playing space allowing natural movement.
An area is the basic unit of a map and represents the area of a square with a side length of 20km. An area is a basic structural entity. This means that physical variations below this scope are not considered (exception: habitations, special locations and buildings). Therefore, for example, an area contains only a single type of terrain (in the case of a material plane this means topology and vegetation). Each area belongs to a certain region (see below).
example: 91/85 (in the Midlands of Arthia)
A region is a group of (usually connected) areas representing an economic and social entity. It is usually also a subunit of a country governed by a local ruler who pays hommage to a sovereign (e.g. fiefdom (medieval), client state (antiquity), lands of a clan (barbarian)). In unpopulated areas a region may mean a geographical entity (e.g. a mountain range)
example: Coward County (in Anblia in the Midlands)
Habitations are playing areas below the provincial level. Habitations are towns, cities, capitals (or major cities) and always contain a population. Habitations may also contain buildings/special sites (e.g. palace, armory, mage school, alchemic factory, arena, etc.) which may be used or visited by characters. Special locations are for example dungeons, lairs, ruins, treasure troves, hidden temples, holy places, magic fountains, and graveyards and are intended for use by characters (i.e. have no direct economic or military importance). Special locations are located either somewhere in a area or in a habitation.
example: Kaiserstedt, the capital of the Holy Akhian Empire in the Midlands
Buildings or special sites are usually artifically erected localities inside a habitation or area that are of special interest to the game (e.g. palace, mage school, temple, cemetary, ancient battleground, magic fountain, etc.). Characters (and sometimes groups too) may specifically enter such places for any number of reasons. These places are also often in possession of characters and may have military or economic functions. Note that these are different from dungeons (see below). For game rule purposes buildings and special sites will be treated equally.
Dungeons are also special places, but unlike buildings/special sites do not have any military or economic function, but are soley for having adventures similar to those in pen and paper role-playing games (with some simplifications), e.g. they contain monsters, treasures, traps, riddles, etc. Dungeons may also not be owned by any characters.
Sedentary population is represented as the number of inhabitants of a habitation (urban population) or of a area (peasant population, living in villages and small towns). Each of these has one or more population groups which keeps track of all the necessary information (e.g. people/nation, race, professions, religion). Certain social structures (dominant religion, ruling class/race) must remain consistent throughout a region. Moving population can be civilians traveling with an army (e.g. pilgrims, royal family) or nomadic population groups. Population is the basic economic motor of the game. It produces, converts, and consumes goods. It is a pool from which troops and characters can be recruited. A god or a group of gods will only have power if they have populace that worships them.
Characters are a central feature of the game as they are the main manipulators. All but the most mundane actions and events are led or generated by characters (e.g. create items, lead troops, administer population, cast spells). Each character is described and kept track of individually. The description of characters is as elaborate and detailed as in many paper & pen RPGs. In game terms monsters are only characters of a special type with a more passive role. Note that each character needs to be supplied with about 1 food per day.
All fantastic beings that are not "natural" are mutations. These include all the undead, etheral (angels, demons), religious, heroic, and enchanted forms or creatures. While some mutations are very drastic others have little changes. All such beings do have a natural, racial origin though. Mutations themselves may cause further changes so that the mutation progresses to a different, usually more advanced form. Such an advance is can only be caused by the deeds of the mutated character.
example: vampire, ancient vampire
Soldiers form the bodies of armies. They are much more limited in the amount of variation as compared to characters. Therefore they are always grouped in multitudes of the same type. Their activities are limited to the military and logistic aspects of the game. Note that each soldier needs to be supplied with about 1 food per day.
example: 7 "veteran Akhian knights"
An army, band, or fellowship is in game terms a retainer for holding characters and soldiers and will universally be called a GROUP. It represents a formal or informal group of individuals traveling together and acting in a coordinated fashion. The three different terms are used to classify such groups by size and composition. A fellowship is a group of up to approximately 20 individuals with mostly characters. A band contains up to approximately 50 soldiers with only a few characters. An army would have at least somewhere around 100 soldiers. Note that the classification also depends on the purpose and coherence of the group as implied by the describing term. Therefore a regular contingent of 40 elite soldiers might be considered an army whilst 80 brigands would be a band, or a group of 30 persons comprised of 15 characters and 10 different types of soldiers might be a fellowship.
example: Legio IX. Imperio Oclatiae (the ninth legion of the Oclatian Empire)
or goods are the inanimate, material objects of the game world that
play a role in the game. Technically, items and goods are treated
in the same way. The term goods describes objects that are handled
in large amounts and are used for the economic part of the game
usually grouping different types of true game world objects together
(e.g. 112 "food"), whereas items are intended for more
individualistic use and can be anything from a common weapon to
a unique magic artifact (e.g. 1 "magipernikon").
A faith is a standard way of describing a religion of the game world in relevance to the game. The actual and personal existance of gods is assumed, so that they are usually present as characters. Each game world individual (i.e. characters, soldiers and populace) must have a certain faith, and be it atheism (i.e. no faith). The number of followers and their fervor of worship determines the amount power that the appropriate gods will have at their disposal. Some religions may not have a real god though (e.g. worship of a false god, ideology, human god-king, fanatic atheism).
example: The Unified Church of Light (main religion of the Holy Akhian Empire)
A people or nation is a group of populations (see above) with common characteristics living in a certain part of the game world. A people is the basic cultural entity of the game. They always have a common language, civilization (see below) and race and usually form a country with a common sovereign (see country). Other traits would be distribution of professions, economic modifiers and available troop types. Some races that appear in the game consist of a single people, so that race and people would be idiosynchrous in such a case. All characters (except monsters) and soldiers are of a certain people.
A realm is the highest political entity in the game. Composition of realms are based on the scenario and remain relatively unchanged throughout the game. They are a group of regions that pay hommage to a certain title. The title holder is considered to be the sovereign. Should a character hold more than one title of this kind then the realms are considered to be part of a single empire. (a new title might result from this). An empire would fall apart again should the necessary titles be held by separate persons. A realm or empire can hold several peoples, though a people would not usually be part of several realms. Note, that if a sovereign holds a regional title (but not the appropriate sovereign title) that region would not be considered part of the realm of the title holder.
example: the Holy Akhian Empire (which rules over several nations including the Akhian)
A civilization describes the level of technological, social, and political advancement of a people. Each people has a certain set of advancements (see below) that they have achieved in the course of their history. Combinations of these advancements are classified into civilizations allowing a more vivid picture of the society and usually implying certain minor advancements not explicity treated. Also the different types of civilizations are ordered from less to more developed types, so that though the acquirement of certain advances a nation may advance to a new type of civilization.
examples: barbarian, antique, medieval, renaissance (civilizations used in Paths to Power)
An advancement is a new technological, social, or political development that has been acquired and is employed by a people. The knowledge of such advances spreads by region, so that the use of them may be restricted to those areas at first. Over time though they spread throughout all regions of a nation at which point it becomes an integral part of the people's culture. When this happens it may allow a people to advance to a new level of civilization (see above).
examples: iron working, heavy cavalry, advanced magics
Titles are abstract objects of the game world as they represent the social recognition and authority that the holder of such a title has. Only through the holding of the correct title may population and armies be controlled properly.
example: The Emperor of the Holy Akhian Empire
Stories are the legends, myths, folk tales, and histories of the game world. The may recall true events of the past, be totally ficticious or a mixture of both. Stories have a more narrative style also intended to entertain the reader or listener, whereas rumors are like stories but are shorter, more to the point and short-lived. Stories are part of the culture and knowledge of the game world with only rarely new stories being created in the course of play as opposed to rumors which are almost always generated by a running game. Stories and rumors are therefore treated separately in the game rules.
example (story): The Ballad of Beardwyn, The Miserly Dwarf
The magic in the game worlds of Mysticora is assumed to be researched and systematized by the inhabitants of these worlds to such a degree that a set a standardized methods to invoke magic with predictable results has developed. These are called spells. Like skills, spells can be learned by the characters with the appropriate schooling. Whereas the range of skills available is more limited and intended to cover all neceassary aspects of the game, the set of spells a game has is much more varied and exhausts only a fraction of the possibilities. This allows new spells to be developed in the course to the game. Note that in Mysticora bidding favors from one's god, also called invoking a miracle, is a much more unpredictable affair not allowing such a standardized system.
example: Second Sight (a typical spell for a seer)
Alliances represent the political factions of the game world. An alliance consists of member and leading characters and usually has a certain political aim or function. Membership to an alliance may be conditional. Players of characters who belong to a common alliance can cooperate more closely than if they had an informal agreement. An alliance may cooperate with other alliances or be in conflict with other alliances.
example: The Society of Freemages
All unusual or prestigious deeds that a character has committed in the course of the game are recorded. Deeds may be prerequisites for titles, alliance membership, or mutation advances. Some deeds may be prerecorded in the game waiting for a character to come along and fulfill them, thus representing a sort of quest. Deeds are a major source of "fame" in the game.
Orders are the commands the players give to their game world objects. These allow him to be part of the game world. An order does not necessarily reflect any specific game world thing. Though they may represent such concrete things as written orders by superiors they may also be as intangible as the self-initiative of a person. Therefore orders cannot be intercepted or manipulated in any way by players other than the one actually giving the orders.
Player positions are the totality of everything and every character a player has control over. They are exclusive in the sense that no two players may have the same thing as part of their position. Items may be gifted and soldiers or characters may be "lent" to other players though. A position represents a group of persons with formal or informal ties that follow a common goal or idea under the direct or indirect leadership of a single character (the "player character").
examples: The Peruzzi Family, Sir Ladd & friends