Video Game / Aetolia

Short version: Achaea WITH VAMPIRES!

Long version: A Gothic Fantasy MUD with roots in Achaea, long regarded as a carbon copy with the Our Vampires Are Different Consanguine and some extra skills. Recent developments have started to give the game its own identity, as has the strong community focus on quality roleplay.

Galleus, Aetolia's ex-producer, has stated that the game world will be taking a turn towards the Lovecraftian.

Later, Razmael took over as producer, and under him the overarching story has concerned the Albedi pantheon, a cohort of decidedly eldritch Elder Gods who overshadow the Gods thus far seen in the setting.

The main website is here.
This game provides examples of:
  • An Adventurer Is You
  • Applied Phlebotinum: Ankyrean artifacts seem to be made of these. Also, how the first Vampires were created.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The Almighty Kerrithrim, who was two miles tall.
  • Big Screwed-Up Family: Vampires in general, due to the siring bloodlines.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: Credits can be spent on lessons to improve your skills, or sold for ridiculous amounts of gold. You either pay exorbitant amounts of real life money for them, or find some way to win them in the game proper. Part and parcel of the Iron Realms business model.
  • Broken Masquerade: The Grand Artifice: The world is a lie, and the lie has been unraveling.
  • Character Class System: There are a few different classes in Aetolia. Most, but not all, have an associated guild.
    • Sentaari, monks with frighteningly effective barehanded prowess and supreme mastery over mind and body.
    • Sentinels, who are hunter-themed warriors who wield strange bladed weapons called dhurives, summon animals to their aid, and can make use of crossbows.
    • Shamans, wild seers who can summon spirits, gather the energy of the wild, and control nature itself.
    • Templars, masters of weaponry, holy auras, and various sword magic.
    • Indorani, cultists who use necromancy, Tarot cards, and summon demons.
    • Luminaries, holy warriors with angels, fire, and maces.
    • Syssin, tricksters and rogues who practice assassination, deception, and hypnosis.
    • Carnifex, weapon masters who also manipulate souls and breed warhounds.
    • Daru, monks who know how to use fire.
    • Cabalists, scholarly cultists with a numerological focus.
    • Consanguine, vampires united into a few separate houses. They have no guild, instead giving the class to other players through bites.
    • Shapeshifters, who gain the ability to assume an alternate wolf, bear, boar, or crocodile forms and various related powers.
    • Teradrim, undead earthen priest-mages.
    • Ascendril, mages of fire, water, and spirit.
    • Sciomancers, evil counterparts to the above that use air, earth and shadow.
    • Priests, the predecessors to the Luminaries. They use Spirituality, Devotion, and Healing as their skillsets. Ever since the Luminaries were put into the game, the Priest guild has ceased to exist, and thus only a few players have retained the class.
  • Character Level
  • Critical Hit: Several levels, each multiplying your damage by a power of two. The highest level, annihilating, gives your attack damage a whopping x32 multiplier!
  • Deadly Decadent Court: The various vampire Houses.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: The Almighty Kerrithrim was taken down by catapults and conventional weaponry? Really?
  • Dual Wielding: Practiced by Syssin (with a whip and a dirk), as well as some Templar.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Almighty Kerrithrim, the Captain Ersatz: Of Cthulhu.
  • Global Currency: Gold sovereigns are accepted everywhere in the world as legal tender.
  • Grandfather Clause: It was once the case that when guilds and classes were discontinued, players of the old class would be permitted to keep it. Rebalancing has since averted this trope.
  • Guide Dang It: Some of the quests require large jumps of logic, or simply don't play fair at all; the fact the game administrators strongly discourage the sharing of quest information does not help.
  • Heal Thyself: In addition to the health, mana, endurance, and willpower totals, the game has an almost ridiculously intricate system of curatives and status effects. And there are two different sets of curatives for the living and the undead.
  • Item Crafting: Several classes can create unique items such as weapons and poisons, other trade skills are available to those with the funds to purchase a license, and anyone can train in Tattoos or their relevant curative skill.
  • Jerk Jock: A fair number of player-killers. The "jock" part of it is very questionable, though.
  • Level Grinding: There are 98 levels before you reach endgame status at level 99, and then you can keep going upward to infinity.
  • Money Spider: Averted; the only monsters that have a chance to drop gold are creatures that might actually carry it.
  • Motifs: It derives heavily from fantasy and dark fantasy, so of course there's a lot of these.
    • Animal Motifs: Invoked by Shapeshifters - though Aetolia's morality is reasonably complex, bears and boars tend to be more morally upright than wolves and crocodiles.
    • Tarot Motifs: The Tarot skill, used by Indorani.
    • Numerological Motif: The Numerology skill, used by the Cabalists.
    • World Tree: Was once featured prominently as an actual location, but has since been burned down.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Aetolian Vampires are called Consanguine, and with the sole exception of the sun (which is mostly a non-issue for more powerful Vampires), they possess none of the standard Vampire weaknesses.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: Shapeshifters are not bitten, and the moon doesn't affect them at all - it's just a learned form of voluntary transformation.
  • Perpetually Static: Partly averted; the RP-heavy nature of the game means that political institutions of any kind tend to come and go—especially vampiric Houses. However, most other aspects of the game are reliant on administrative intervention to change permanently.
  • Physical God: Most of the Gods in the game fit this trope, though Gods tend to be comprised of essence filling a mortal form. While the mortal form can be damaged or killed, the essence is effectively indestructible, and can be consumed by another God or seek out a new mortal to inhabit.
  • Player Versus Player: The main focus of the game, with a very complex combat system designed to facilitate conflict.
  • Playing with a Trope: Aetolia being an RP-heavy game, you see almost as much of this, if not more than, tropes being played straight.
  • Powers That Be: Varian the Celestine ranks somewhere above most of the other Gods, being as he created the world.
    • There is also the Albedi pantheon, which appears to rival if not outright exceed Varian the Celestine and his children.
  • Puppeteer Parasite: The Thrim that the Almighty Kerrithrim created.
    • Also, predating this instance, the zombie event.
  • Retcon: A few blatant cases, justified by the Grand Artifice obfuscating reality.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: Various members of the playerbase, unfortunately.
  • Warp Whistle: Most classes have at least one teleportation ability. Sciomancers and Ascendril can warp to their Master Crystal, Indorani to an isolated location pre-marked by their Hermit tarot card, Cabalists to a place pre-marked by their Numerological abilities, Shapeshifters to a place they previously marked, vampires to their coffins, Luminaries to Nirvana. Templar and Luminaries also get the Pilgrimage ability, which lets them travel to anyone standing within a Pilgrimage rite and lay down Pilgrimage rites themselves. Sentaari and Daru, who share the Telepathy skillset, can teleport to each other after linking minds. Syssin can use Subterfuge to create and use wormholes that link rooms together.
    • Carnifex are the one exception, receiving no teleportation ability whatsoever.
  • Welcome to Corneria: Regularly subverted; the Gods of Aetolia are actually the admins, and moderators ("Celani") can possess mobiles and interact with players, often with dramatic—or hilarious—results. Similarly lampshaded regularly when RP is going on between regular players and a mobile jumps in with its regular inane comments.
  • Wizard Needs Food Badly: Characters need to eat and sleep regularly, and vampires that don't feed enough go berserk and kill everything within reach. Reaching level 80 obviates the need for sleeping and eating, but vampires still have to drink blood.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/VideoGame/Aetolia