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Roleplay / Age of Intrigue

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https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Charles_II_6005.jpg
God bless our good and gracious king, Whose promise none relies on; Who never said a foolish thing, Nor ever did a wise one.
Ages Come and Go, but Intrigue is Ever in Vogue
Often abbreviated AoI, Age of Intrigue is a Play-by-Post Game based in 1677, seventeen years after the Restoration of the English Monarchy. The game focuses on the Court of Charles II and the noblemen and women as well as Commoners who comprised it. These are both historical and original characters. True to its title, and to history, scheming nobles and plots by politicians are a common facet of court, though its not impossible to find someone who is more interested in fashion or science (it is the beginning of the Enlightenment after all) and eschew such things. It is even easier to find Libertines and Rakes, mostly because they make a show out of themselves to shock Court with their profanity. Meanwhile, the beginnings of Proper Society are starting to form, seeing themselves as a civilizing influence. And, of course, business soldiers on, with fortunes being made and lost and made again.
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Against this backdrop, characters find their way through the world, attempting to accomplish their goals (or even find out what they are), whether that be social climbing, founding a business, finding love, finding sex (nobility, after all, is a social class, not a character trait), instituting a new fashion trend, making an astonishing scientific discovery, or just socializing with the best England, Ireland, and Scotland have to offer.

Though at any time there are many plots running, since each character can make their own by attempting to accomplish a goal, the two overarching ones are the Exclusion Bill, an attempt to resolve a Succession Crisis by excluding the Catholic Duke of York, and Charles II's choosing a new Queen after the death of his old Queen-Consort, Catherine Braganza.

The game itself is run by Moderators, who play more or less all NPCs in the world and determine the success of actions. This means a lot of interaction is between player characters and moderators run by NPCs, but it does uniquely give one the feeling they are living in a world beyond just the player characters. The game is not based on dice or statistics, although basic ledgers are kept for financial affairs and there is a boon-flaw balance, as well as a choice of skills, for every character at their inception. None of these are set in stone and become fluid as soon as a character enters the game, though. Additionally, each player has a Compendium which is a private forum to talk with Moderators, keep notes, ledgers, inventories, and so on. This helps keeps a player's secrets secret.

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The community is relatively small but very active and friendly. Also, Moderators tend to give players a lot of personal attention, as is necessitated by the format of the game. The game's been going on for two years now and shows no sign of slowing.

The quote under Charles' portrait is from John Wilmot, 2nd Duke of Rochester and a character in the game, though the quote is historical.

The Boards and The Wiki. For those interested in joining, the Starter Guide. The wiki tends to have more information while the Boards can show the current activities and roleplayers.

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Provides Examples Of:

  • Anachronism Stew: Since the game advances slowly (each day is played out) compared to actual history, events tend to end up clustered around the time period the game is set in. Further, various historical trends and occurrences are bent or broken so as to make things either more fun or introduce popular period elements.
  • Alternate History: The game veers into this, as it is not meant to be a re-enactment of actual events. The recent death of Queen Catherine Braganza is probably the most blatant example of this trope.
  • Arranged Marriage: Charles II did not meet his wife before marrying her, and further it is common enough for nobility. In the actual game, though, many characters end up getting matched instead, which is closer to an introduction with a lot of nudging.
  • Britain Is Only London: For in game purposes, this is mostly true, though during recesses characters travel.
  • British Political System: Particularly because various player characters are nobles, and therefore sit in Lords.
  • Blue Blood: The greater part of both player characters and non-player characters.
  • Christianity Is Catholic: Subverted, Christianity is Anglican and the Catholics are distrusted, hated, and feared by many.
  • Courtly Love: Subverted, this is the Court of the Merry Monarch, and sleeping around is almost a way of life for some of his Courtier's.
  • Deadly Decadent Court: More of an emphasis on decadent than deadly, people still lost their lives in intrigue and struggle.
  • Double Standard: It's before feminism was a word. Women can get away with gossip and catty behavior that would get a man challenged to a duel, men can gain political office and are not expected to be faithful, for example.
  • Evil Uncle: No doubt the Duke of York seems this from the Duke of Monmouth's perspective.
  • Fake King: At least one has shown up, though how 'fake' he is has yet to be determined. He failed to get very far, though, and is currently in the King's custody.
  • Heir Club for Men: Many people are hoping Charles will have a son to end the current Succession Crisis.
  • Hollywood Homely: Many characters, particularly player characters, have portraits that are quite beautiful even if the character is not considered particularly pretty. There are subversions, generally among those who use period portraits as opposed to modern actors.
  • Impoverished Patrician: They certainly exist, though often times a marriage to a merchant's daughter can change their fortune.
  • Killed Off for Real: It's happened to several characters.
  • King Bob the Nth: King Charles II.
  • London Gangster: Although they don't fit the trope perfectly, as the time period is wrong, law enforcement in London is largely a joke and a lot of the working class engage in criminal activities.
  • Rags to Royalty: King Charles I was executed and King Charles II went into exile, living his life in 'rags' (though not as a peasant as the trope generally means) before the Restoration whereby he became King again.
    • The Duchess of York was a Commoner who York promised to marry as part of her seduction. He followed through, making her a more straight version of this trope, even if she wasn't necessarily dirt poor beforehand.
  • Restoration Comedy: It is the Restoration, after all, and plays are common entertainment.
  • Rightful King Returns: Subverted, played with, and ultimately played straight with Charles II. By the time the game occurs, though, he's already returned.
  • Royal Blood: The Stuarts.
  • Royally Screwed Up: It's a European Monarchy, Charles II is related to both sides of the current Franco-Dutch conflicts to give just one example.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Say what you will about the Stuarts, they were active Monarchs.
  • Standard Royal Court: The Court of Charles II is the game's setting.
  • Succession Crisis: Charles II's brother, James, Duke of York, is currently the next in line for the throne. However, he's Catholic and extremely unpopular, and so the Duke of Monmouth, Charles biological but bastard son is rather popular as an alternative candidate (and backed by political factions who want to weaken the Monarchy in favor of Parliament). The Exclusion Bill, to prevent any Catholic from taking the throne, is an example of this.
  • The House of Stuart: Obviously.
  • The Mistress: Oh so many, the three currently in ascendancy being the Duchess of Portsmouth, Nell Gwynn, and Lady Alyth.
  • What's Up, King Dude?: King Charles is surprisingly accessible for a King, though for most player characters and non-player character it's justified: they're nobility, after all. Further, King Charles actually was unusually accessible as far as King's went.

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