The Baade Galaxy, relatively stable, apart from isolated radical movements and occasional legal antics(And Kincaid. Sweet Jesus, Kincaid). Despite its age and stability, Baade is the best example of a mature galaxy so far.
The Capricorn Galaxy, once known for its serial revolutions and revolving door government. Eventually, things settled down to the point where Capricorn became a punchline due to its oppressively stagnant atmosphere. A recent and abrupt shift in the balance of power may be a sign that this is about to change.
The Draco Reborn Galaxy, which is Draco after the players requested a Galaxy-wide reset (9th of October 2009) set an unspecified number of years into the future, after the Golden Age ended due to the abuse of technology. Now, after centuries of the Dark Age, the Galaxy is reunited once again under the rule of Empress Seonag Ru TstemEmpress Caronwyn AngellineEmperor Patricius FenkathEmperor Zanipolo Marcus Emperor Martin Dramorian. The hallmarks of the galaxy are so far: technophobia, assassinations, and frequent regime changes.
The Citadel Empire, a nation of nanotechnologically-augmented "Vandal" knights, orignally created by the Reich as shock troopers. Previously ruled over nearly the entire western half of the galaxy under the Twin Realms, but later collapsed and now rule several planets in the galactic north. Ruled by Emperor Dieter of Vandal.
The Duchy of Seer, an independent nation in the far south famous mainly for its Switzerland-like neutrality. Ruled by Duke Adam Seer.
Clan Vrohnak, domain of the Tlabakan, currently contesting control over the Eiskreuz region with the League.
In addition, two older galaxies once existed that were merged to create Gemini:
The Avalon Galaxy, once ruled by the scheming, reclusive Emperor William Cartheon, was eventually taking over by the slightly less scheming and very young Hogan Galle, who managed to rule the empire somewhat steadily for several years. This galaxy was later closed and merged to create Gemini.
The Fornux Galaxy, ruled by the unpopular Emperor Takemitsu Bayushi, later deposed by an alliance lead by Regent Lucia Santiago following a violent revolution.
This is more of a case of Bribing Your Way to Victory. The perks for paying are very useful, but it's quite possible to do very well without them. Until very recently, the number 2 player in Baade was a non-subscriber.
Alternative Calendar: A game year consists of ten 40-day months: Origins, Hope, Faith, Virtue, Fates, Glory, Vigilance, Tributes, Resolve, and Culminations. Years are counted based on the ascendance of the current Emperor.
Alt Itis: Illegal, on penalty of deletion since it results in neglected and abandoned accounts.
Anyone Can Die: For the most part true, although the noble houses themselves persist until the player decides to quit.
Arranged Marriage: Low-status houses can gain a lot of status by marrying into a higher status house. It also decreases any feud score between the two.
The Emperor: The highest rank in the game. Since The Emperor is an actual player, there tends to be a much wider variety of Imperial styles than is traditional in fiction. They'll all inevitably be labeled an Evil Overlord by their opponents, however.
Energy Weapon: Used by some houses, to varying scales. Some only mount them on warships as WaveMotionGuns, others use them freely as sidearms and edged weapons.
Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Many houses are based on historical cultures, including several Japanese houses and a wide variety of European ones.
The Federation: Most Empires tend towards Federation-hood, although there are exceptions.
Feuding Families: A key part of gameplay, regulated through the Feud Score mechanic.
Feudal Future: The whole point of the setting, although the actual politics of the galaxies tend to more closely resemble Renaissance-era merchant houses rather than a traditional European feudal system.
Final Death: Occurs if one of your dynasty members or retainers gets assassinated or killed in a coup or dies of the plague.
Flame War: Arguments over the "gameyness" of certain tactics often descend into this.
Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better: For better or worse, this is certainly one of the more harshly debated topics brought up in the game. Essays have been written on the subject.
Lineage Comes from the Father: At house creation the player can choose whether to be patrilineal or matrilineal. This influences not only inheritance but also dynastic marriages.
Mauve Shirt: Any "grunt" character who gets followed will usually be this.
Mega Corp.: Houses can build anywhere instead of just on planets they rule, senators andThe Emperor are elected, almost every sphere is economic in nature. It sometimes seems the empires of this game are more like Republics or Federations where the corporate interests behind the politicians are completely open about it.
Psychic Powers: "Psionics" are an entire sphere of activity noble houses can take part in. What it entails vary between galaxies. Psions specialize in spy-catching.
Color-Coded for Your Convenience: In Baade; The Imperialists and Armada (or former Armada) members all bore a star on their crests, The Confederacy of Free Houses has crests of green, black and purple. The Ecclesiarchy has crests of red, orange, and gold.
Gentle Giant: Viscount Levantes of Baade; Arguably a match for House Alhazred militarily and politically, able to singlehandedly take on entire enemy alliances, but an all around nice guy respected by most if not all of the galaxy.
A God Am I: Sheik Alhazred of Baade, Status circa 4000, subverted in that the man has underlings speak for him and has never called himself such despite his massive skills of manipulation and his superpower-scale army.
Go-Karting with Bowser: Between the wars various houses throw parties in which men and woman who have threatened each other's death make polite, if strained, conversation and drink. Sometimes a bit too much of the latter and a bit too little of the former. They have a history of being attacked from time to time by houses with a grievance against the hosts or noble galactic society at large.
Good Is Dumb: Lord Ialach Oresthin in his early years was dangerously naive in his idealism.
Planet of Hats: Baade: House Alhazred is all Mystery all the time, The Trade Federation is all Greed all the time, The Fifth Estate is all Talk all the time.
The Pollyanna: House Suzumiya of Baade, survived many wars (usually on the defeated side), yet remains completely affable to all other Houses, even enemies. Subverted in that they also created Deathwatch, a covert ops unit for hire.
Regent for Life: Shifa Hammal, regent for Empress Christine, attempted to be this. She even kidnapped her own charge to technologically reprogram her memories. Technically, she succeeded at becoming this trope, but somebody is going to have to clean the bloodstains off the courtroom floor.
Religion of Evil: House of Cthulu in Baade, Imperialism in Baade: a fanatical crusader religion, subverted depending on religious affiliation
Sanity Slippage: Happens frequently, most recently to then-lord Ialach Oresthin. Certain houses *Cough* Hammal *Cough* have a reputation for this.
Saintly Church: The literal name of the Disciples of the Saints faith. Whether or not it is one depends on your viewpoint.
There Is No Higher Court: The Senate. There are several court systems, but a single decision by the senate is above all of them.
As proven by the Imperial attempt at dissolving the senate through mass removal of planets from imperial jurisdiction and assassination, there is, in fact, a higher court: The Empress.
We Are Struggling Together: The Reform movement has had long-standing divisions depending on how Imperialist the house in question is.
It failed at least partially because of these divisions.
Witch Hunt: The hunt for House Kincaid's mysterious backers, when it was a renegade plague on the galaxy, got pretty ugly. It culminated in an Imperial Court trial of Houses Hammal and Malaganov.
Now that Kincaid is a renegade again the witch hunt seems to be back, if in a somewhat muted form. The galaxy has had other things on its mind.
Elective Monarchy: Under the current Constitution the position of emperor is elected by the houses. Temporarily suspended by a military coup of Lady Gertruda Canaigh, restored by Kaiser Reinhold Schronnemann's counter-coup.
The Federation: The short-lived Federal Republic of Capricorn was a conventional example.
A Child Shall Lead Them: Ol Vaharat of House Vaharat was once a 'child of Godlike potential', an almost-unheard-of level of awesome. He grew up to be a dynamic, enchanting genius, but was never more than a mediocre administrator. All in all, not quite what was hoped for. Any plans for a religion centered around him pretty much fell out the window by that point.
Screw You, Elves!: The pointy-eared, silver-haired House Angelline prompted this response after surreptitiously becoming the Imperial House and gaining a 0% Approval Rating. It didn't help that they failed their saving throw, either.
Space Is an Ocean: Taken to its logical extreme in Draco, which is shrouded in ions and radiation known as the 'Godsea'.
Total Party Kill: House Jefford's whole dynasty was wiped out in a matter of 1 game month, which equals to 3 days in real life.
The Alliance: The Eridani Coalition, whose combined influence rivals that of even House Goratrix. Although there's a good chance that their leader, House Godwinson, are nothing more than puppets of Goratrix.
Colonel Badass: Oscar Quest. Has,on several occasions, fought on the front lines for his house, each time getting his wife mad at him and necessitating hospitalization. Recently was promoted in an attempt to try to get him to delegate.
The Faceless: House Goratrix is said to conceal their faces with either hoods or veils.
The women of House Houraisan, as well, wear veils, curtains, or cover their eyes with a fan, for a variety of reasons such as to hide their intentions, force a certain level of physical grace, or to just mess with people's heads.
Happily Married: Erina and Uistean Boudicca, Heulfryn Boudicca and Oscar Quest, Misako Houraisan and Grimbold Godwinson, Maggidh Crow and Mitsunaga Houraisan, Chiara and Este Von Carstein, and many others.
He-Man Woman Hater: House Slick Ink calling women "breeders" should show something about them.
Hot Dad: Probably too many to count, like Oscar Quest.
Hot Mom: Probably too many to count as well. Of special note would be Heulfryn and Erina Boudicca, the latter especially after her Prometheus procedure.
The High Queen: Misako Houraisan, when she goes into "mysterious faceless businesswoman" mode.
The Hedonist: House Boudicca: food, wine, drugs, and group sex galore!
Human Aliens: House Houraisan, which is the royal family of the Lunarians: rabbit space people.
The Knights of the Blood, which is basically Void vampire satanism, is even more obvious.
Retired Monster: After brutally supressing several human and vampire rebellions, engineering a plague so he could reanimate the corpses to work his farms, attempting to brutally murder several fellow nobles, hooking up hundreds of thousands of humans to blood extraction machines, creating a gigantic zombie horde out of a military cemetary, and a career in organized crime, Vampire Count Sergio Von Carstein announced his retirement at the age of 74.
And guess what happens to him as he was about to come out of retirement? He got assassinated.
Took a Level in Badass: Anyone who survives initiation into the Void Engineers comes out stronger and more assertive than when they went in.
We Have Reserves: House Mikhailovsky-Ivanov military operations tend toward this. The standard size for an Eridanus legion is 3,000 men. A fresh Mikhailovsky-Ivanov legion is 12,000. An experienced Mikhailovsky-Ivanov legion is 50,000.
The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask: Misako Houraisan in her "mysterious faceless businesswoman" mode, quite literally with her hiding her face with veils, curtains, or fans. Strangely, while she plays the trope literally, she doesn't play the actual trope much, what with a stable court and a happy marriage and all.
Incidently, one of the players with the biggest problem with this runs a group of genetically enhanced individuals, based on heretical technology, who were made as the Emperor's shock troops, wear power armor, and love to get into close combat. So really there are all kinds of examples.
Drop the Hammer: Signature weapon of the United Federation of People's Republics, most notably duelists Sergio Crumpler and Hakim Geter.
Also used by the Sons of Hammerfell of the Order of Rennfeuer, one of the arms of the Vandal Citadel.
Try to Fit THAT on a Business Card!: United Federation of People's Republics officials tend to have very long titles. Viktor Gagarin's (usually just addressed as "Chairman") full title is "Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Parliament of the United Federation of People's Republics and General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Total Democratic Party of the United Federation of People's Republics".
Bolivian Army Ending: Avalon ended on the cusp of a massive showdown between Emperor Hogan Galle and a small band of allies, and the massive Dominion, made up of an alliance of the two strongest houses in the galaxy (House Farland and House Erb).
A Child Shall Lead Them: Hogan Galle became head of House Galle at the age of five, Grand Duke of the Periphery at eight, and Emperor of Avalon at fourteen.
Modest Royalty: Hogan Galle wasn't too fond of the official Imperial finery.
Obstructive Bureaucrat: Most houses in Avalon, at least as perceived by players in other galaxies, who loved to argue the technicalities of law.
Warrior Prince: During the last days of Avalon, the 12th Imperial Infantry consisted entirely of Cyfaill Galle.
We Are Struggling Together: Infamously, the Socius Absconditus, a secret alliance in Avalon that conspired to overthrow Emperor William Cartheon and his allies. The "inner circle" of the Socius alienated the rest of its members so much that they eventually decided they preferred the current administration better and revealed the conspiracy to the emperor.
Regent for Life: In one of the only occasions that this trope was played straight, the fanatical Regent Antonius von Dracostern refused to surrender the throne to his nephew, Thomas, when he came of age. Galactic war followed.