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Price of Wisdom is an election game roleplay from AlternateHistory.com, headed by Katarn (who has since retired from the game) and later Bjornhattan.

The largest ongoing election game in the site until recently, when it was overtaken by Crossroads of Destiny, Price of Wisdom (shortened to POW) starts in the year 1880 and is currently forever stuck at the year 1925. It has gained notoriety for it's length, amount of effort put into the worldbuilding and the near-ASB (or often outright ASB) insanity that just never ends. Truly a masterpiece of Shared Worlds election games.

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  • 0% Approval Rating
    • Carrie Nation's presidency leads America into poor economic and foreign conditions, allowing the racial Rhydderch to take power.
    • Victoria Goodale by her execution has this due to her actions in 1916 and 1924.
    • The Boyd administration loses a war with Mexico and Canada, and starts a recession.
  • Action Politician: Many of the political figures, especially those from the Western states, have elements of this.
  • The Alcoholic: C.K. Arthur becomes one after he becomes the running mate of fundamentalist Kenneth Jay Adams.
  • All Just a Dream: A large portion of the Second American Civil War was revealed to be this post-retcon
  • Americasia: Probably the case if the Union wins as President Arthur has called for Philippine statehood.
  • And There Was Much Rejoicing: The deaths of Anerin Rhydderch and Victoria Goodale.
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  • Anyone Can Die: Beaumont Muller, Nathan Harley, Walter Boyd, Gary Boldwater, Azoulas Ozols, J.C.A. Choi, Charles Schmidt, Leopold Merckx, Luke Harley, Susanna Salter, Woodrow Wilson, William Stewart, James L. Freeman-Smalls, Theodore Taft, Kiefer Maher, Kenneth Jay Adams, Anerin Rhydderch, Simon Eustis, Henry Cross, Victoria Goodale, Nathaniel Cassius Broadbent, Pete Fallon, Bubba Fallon, Willard Fallon, Colobert Von Vierherrenborn VII, William Jennings Bryan, Jones Guidi, and Ethan King are examples of this.
  • Apocalypse Cult: The Fundamentalism religion.
  • Arch-Enemy
    • Beaumont Muller, Nathan Harley, and William Elliot to Azoulas Ozols.
    • C.K. Arthur is a strong opponent of nativism.
  • Archive Panic: The thread is 367 pages long and was the longest Election Game ever for several months.
  • Archnemesis Dad: J.C.A. Choi to Henry A. Cross
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  • Armored Closet Gay: Darren Wilson privately states that Cross and Broadbent were killed for having a gay relationship despite him being a closeted homosexual.
  • Ascended Meme: Al Smith is the Secretary of the Treasury under C.K. Arthur.
  • Asshole Victim: The assassination of J.C.A. Choi, and the executions of Kenneth Jay Adams and Victoria Goodale.
  • Assumed Win: Beaumont Muller in 1884, Woodrow Wilson in 1912, Eugene Debs in 1920, and Jack Long in 1924 all lost races while being highly expected to win.
  • Beyond the Impossible: From a three-term Trump analogue, the 1880s Republican Party being taken over by Confederates, a president secretly being born in Canada, multiple socialist presidents, a black and female president in the early 1900s, a cult member claiming to be a prophet becoming President, a Vice President killing the president, the president killing his Vice President, the President killing themselves, and a fascist dictatorship, this game is not the most realistic.
  • Big Fancy House: Fionnthan Ulfsson's mansion (a former plantation) in Charleston.
  • Blatant Lies
    • The government claims that Cross and Broadbent were killed by fundamentalists, while Darren Wilson's private info says that the two were in a gay relationship. However, Cross killed Broadbent and then killed himself.
    • Anerin Rhydderch also claims his fellow candidates are Satan, most notably Theodore Taft.
    • The charges against the Peace Party's leadership can best be summed up as preposterous with some charges like claiming the Peace Party planned to hand over the Philippines to Japan and Southern California to Mexico being plain silly.
  • Brick Joke
    • After the deaths of Merckx and Freeman-Smalls when a new president had to be determined in the game, Oppo joked about a Choi-led dictatorship ending the conflict. Five years later, Oppo's character Rhydderch became the first fundamentalist president.
    • Azoulas Ozols changes the line of succession in a failed plan to become president, but the amendment makes both Charles Edward Russell and Terence Powderly President after Ozols' death.
  • Burn Baby Burn: Darren Wilson destroys incriminating evidence on Union politicians during the move to Boise.
  • The Bus Came Back
    • Sithlent had not used Choi after the creation of the Heavenly Republican of China, but returned him after fellow fundamentalist Anerin Rhydderch became president.
    • Oppo brought back Fionnthan Ulfsson, who had only been a two-time failed presidential candidate, turning him into a dictator.
    • Katarn brought back Susanna Salter after her loss in 1900, having her as Secretary of State and a presidential candidate in 1916.
    • Former President John J. Adams also makes a comeback, attempting to kill President Muller.
    • Former President Charles Edward Russell also serves as a cabinet secretary under Rhydderch and switches allegiances to the Natsocs in the Second Civil War.
  • The Captain: Katarn was the GM of the game from the start until the in-game 1900 election, handing over the post to Bjornhattan.
  • Catchphrase
    • Bobby Dixon always refers to himself as "Bobby Dixon, the True Conservative."
    • Anerin Rhydderch calls his political rivals Satan.
    • The Wilsons refer to blunts as "green cigars."
  • Characters Dropping Like Flies: In 1920, both Simon Eustis and Pete Fallon are killed. Weeks later, in the Bloody 20 attacks, Nathaniel Cassius Broadbent, Susanna Salter, Kiefer Maher, William Stewart, and Luke Harley are killed. President Cross also dies after Darren Wilson threatens him after killing Broadbent.
  • Chase Scene: Bubba Fallon and Benjamin Kaufman run away from a Packard owned by Ulfsson in Fallon's Alfa Romeo, but the two cars collide, killing Kaufman and Fallon.
  • Cheaters Never Prosper
    • In the 1916 election, fundamentalist rebel areas rig the election for Kenneth Jay Adams, but Adams lose some in a landslide to Henry A. Cross.
    • In 1924, Darren Wilson riggs the election for President Long, who loses the run-off, and Fionnthan Ulfsson and the UAS rig the election for Shaw (their puppet).
    • However, this trope was subverted when the United American State successfully made the election as close as possible, making the result seem illegitimate.
  • Chummy Commies: From the Union's POV, Lenimarx's Communist Party is this, working to support them in the war. The party also has a surprisingly large amount of support.
  • Commie Nazis: The Natsocs, especially those from the NAWP, have some socialist tendencies.
  • Composite Character
    • Fionnthan Ulfsson's personality is a mixture of Frank Underwood and Kayne West.
    • Karlimir Vladikarl Marxin Lenimarx's name is a combination of the names of Vladimir Lenin and Karl Marx.
    • Both Leighton and Justice have elements of Henry Ford and Albert Speer in them.
  • Consolation World Record: The game was once the most replied to election game, but was quickly beaten by The Crossroads of Destiny.
  • Country Matters: J.S. Thurmond refers to Rosa Frinton-Smth as a c*nt as he disrupts an LOAA event.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Goodale and the other Peace Party leaders are hung from piano wire after being found guilty.
  • Dark Horse Victory
    • No one expected C.K Arthur, who was Kenneth Jay Adams' running mate in 1916 and didn't even campaign during the elections, to become the President of the United States in the 1924 elections
    • William Jennings Bryan makes up a large polling deficit to beat Eugene Debs in the election of 1920.
    • Henry Cross defeats the incumbent president, Montgomery Corwin, at the Social Democratic convention.
    • Anerin Rhydderch defeats Woodrow Wilson despite Wilson being favored to win.
    • Independent John J. Pender defeats the Prohibition-Reformist establishment candidate, Fionnthan Ulfsson, at the 1904 convention.
    • Susanna Salter defeats Vice President Ezekiel Long to become the first female major-party nominee for president.
    • Azoulas Ozols, a favorite son candidate, manages to win both the Democratic and Greenback nominations in 1886.
    • Lewis Jones, a far-left Greenback, defeats two party members at the 1884 DNC.
    • Walter Boyd, a Southern Democrat, defeats the popular incumbent at the 1884 RNC.
    • Beaumont Muller wins the 1880 RNC even after almost all of the party supports Jefferson Blaine.
  • Day of the Jackboot: Both Rhydderch's election and the Natsoc revolution count.
  • Dead Hat Shot: Susanna Salter falling from a railing after being shot by a Fundamentalist.
  • Decided by One Vote: C.K Arthur was elected President with less than 1,000 votes more than Jack Long.
  • Deep South: During the Second Civil War, the UAS controls most of the Deep South, due to their leader being from South Carolina.
  • Determinator
    • Bobby Dixon doesn't give up on presidential hopes, running for the office four times.
    • Azoulas Ozols also doesn't get over losing the election, even when the SCOTUS rules against him, so he hatches an unsuccessful plan to make himself House Speaker and impeach the POTUS/VPOTUS.
  • Dirty Communists: The "Independent People's Communist Party" counts as this.
  • Disaster Democracy: The 1916 and 1924 elections, taking place during times of great chaos, are examples of this.
  • The Dog Bites Back: After Governor Pete Fallon supports an anti-Ulfsson candidate and works with Ulfsson's Chief of Staff, he is murdered by Fionnthan Ulfsson and J.S. Thurmond.
  • The Dragon
    • Beaumont Muller has a small group of people he trusts, consisting of William Elliot, Fionnthan Ulfsson, and Porter Frinton-Smith.
    • Similarly, Fionnthan Ulfsson's right-hand-man is J.S. Thurmond.
  • Driven to Suicide: Henry Cross kills himself instead of following the orders of Darren Wilson.
  • Election Day Episode: The GM presents the results of the election through the game President Infinity.
  • Enemy Mine
    • The Second Civil War sees Communists and right-wing conservatives fighting to protect the Union.
    • The UAC and the SDP frequently work together against fundamentalists and the UAS, creating the "Grand Coalition," and the Unity tickets of 1920 and 1924.
    • The Robinsons and the Wilsons don't agree on much and William Robinson wants Wilson brought down, but they can agree on the need for a new constitution.
  • Escalating War: The NCA becomes more powerful, and they commit numerous acts of violence. The government responds by banning parties with militias, leaving the NAWP/NCA to leave the Union.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Lewis Jones Salter fights against a terror plot by John Marx.
  • Evil Chancellor
    • Fionnthan Ulfsson supports Beaumont Muller to earn his trust, and to gain influence over the submissive president.
    • Darren Wilson works behind the scenes in the Cross, Powderly, Bryan, Long, and Arthur administrations as the Attorney General.
    • In the UAS, both J.S. Thurmond and Charles Bronson fill this role as Chief of Staff and Propaganda Minister.
  • Fictional Counterpart
    • Adriano Chika uses Bobby Dixon and Bobby Dixon Jr. in other Shared Worlds games.
    • emk163 used Elijah Coleman in The Crossroads of Destiney and used his Co D character (Ethan King) in the Price of Wisdom.
    • Oppo used Beaumont Muller and Anerin Rhydderch in COD. While Muller is similar to his POW-self, Rhydderch is a moderate reformist instead of a fundamentalist.
    • Oppo and Sithlent are also working on a Writer's Forum story with Fionnthan Ulfsson.
    • History Boss brought the Freeman-Smalls family into COD.
    • jonnguy2016 brought William Stewart into COD, where he is also a failed three-time presidential candidate. He is jailed for attempting to murder a fellow politician. He also brought in Theodore Taft, who becomes a Secretary of the Treasury.
    • Peyton brought Victoria Goodale's father, James, into COD. He is a newspaper publisher.
    • Kaiser Julius brought Simeon Hazzard into COD. Both serve as Agriculture Secretary.
    • Gottlend uses the Hyanes-Andrews family for characters in other Shared Worlds games.
    • Napoleon Corin II wrote an article in COD about major businessmen which included an alternate Porter Frinton-Smith and C.K. Arthur.
  • Expanded States of America
    • Many Unionist politicians call for the Philippines to gain statehood.
    • Vancouver was purchased by the US by Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan during the Bryan administration.
    • President Rhydderch fails to take over numerous small Asian islands.
  • False Flag Operation: Lenimarx attempts to discredit the NAWP via a fake assassination attempt on him while the NAWP try to discredit the Communists via a fake attack just before the civil war
  • Fictional Political Party: The Prohibition-Reformists, the Liberal Republicans, the Nationalists, the Fundamentalists, the Socialists, the Democratic-Farmer-Laborers, the Boydists, the Freedomites, the NCDWF, the United Workers, the ULC, the Commonwealthers, the American Excellence Party, the NLA, the Pillarats, the People's Party, the Commonwealth-Reformists, the Mullerats, the Americans, the SDP, the Conservatives, the Rent Is Too Damn High Party, the TCP, the APP, the Restorationists, the Independent Restorationists, the American Restorationists, the UAC, the Communists, the Free Centrists, the American Reformists, the TAP, the NDP, the NAWP, the IPCP, the Peace Party, the ACP, and the CVP are all examples of this.
  • Friendship Moment: The three political parties (the Social Democrats, the UAC, and the Communists) have worked together during the war in a rare moment of cooperation.
  • Gay Conservative: Conner W. Jackson and Kenneth Jay Adams had a secret relationship.
  • General Ripper: Douglas Mac Arthur and George van Horn Moseley, who are senior UAS generals, count as this.
  • Ghost Town: K.V.M. Lenimarx and Rosa Frinton-Smith fight around an abounded New York in the Civil War.
  • A God Am I: J.C.A. Choi starts the fundamentalist religion.
  • Good Counterpart: The American Conservative Party (before it merged with the UAC) is this to the True Conservatives as they are both "Southern interest" parties with many Natsocs being loyalist members of the TCP.
  • Good Republic, Evil Empire: Inverted with a fascist French Republic facing off against a democratic German Empire.
  • Handicapped Badass: Despite being only able to use one arm, Susanna Salter still is a major party presidential candidate and Secretary of State.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Simeon Hazard's habit of not getting along with anyone in the SDP lead to him leaving and joining the Communists. Lenimarx's plan to ally with the NAWP led to him returning to the SDP as a supporter of the Wilson's.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: Douglas Mac Arthur and Henry Ford, while having right-wing views historically, weren't Fascist.
  • Hope Spot: The Corwin, Cross, and Bryan administrations briefly restore stability.
  • Hypocrite
    • Beaumont Muller rallies against elites, despite being a corrupt and wealthy businessman.
    • Azoulas Ozols attacked Muller's corruption, but he himself becomes a corrupt and power-hungry politician.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Despite being a supporter of prohibition, Susanna Salter started drinking near the end of her life.
  • Irony: C.K Arthur's political career was deemed to be over in 1916 after he was Kenneth Jay Adams' running mate but becomes President 8 years later.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!
    • The late Azoulas Ozols sees no difference between the Prohibition-Reformists and the Freedomites.
    • Darren Wilson calls the Natsocs Fundamentalists, because of Bastion Wexler, Conner Jackson, and other leaders' ties to the faith.
  • Join or Die: The United Alternative Coalition picks up almost all centrist parties, leaving it's ideology to be center-left to right-wing. When new parties like the Free Centrists, the NDP, and the ACP are created, they soon become part of the UAC.
  • Kangaroo Court: The Case of the Anti-American "Peace Party" is this. The trial was based on the Moscow Trials in the USSR during the 1930s.
  • Kick the Dog: Henry Cross kills Nathaniel Cassius Broadbent while Broadbent is recovering from his wounds.
  • Klingon Promotion: Montgomery Corwin poisons Anerin Rhydderch to end Rhydderch's fundamentalist regime.
  • Landslide Election:
    • Played straight with Boyd's election in 1884 and Muller's 1888 re-election
    • Subverted in 1904, 1896, 1908, and 1924
  • Leno Device: The Social Republic and The Voice of America are used to show the rise of the NAWP and the buildup to the Second Civil War.
  • Lesser of Two Evils: Bobby Dixon endorses Anerin Rhydderch over Woodrow Wilson in 1912.
  • Let Me Tell You a Story: Fionnthan Ulfsson tells the same story about the Muller administration over and over.
  • Lonely at the Top: Beaumont Muller leaves running the nation to his advisors and cabinet, and ends up hating the office he works so hard to win during elections.
  • Meaningful Rename: The game was simply called President Infinity Election Game, but the name was changed to The Price of Wisdom after other users created their own PI games.
  • Mexico Called; They Want Texas Back: Played with as due to Boyd's failed Presidency, Mexico regained New Mexico and Arizona in the 1880s.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: The United American State.
  • Nepotism
    • Bobby Dixon picks his son as his running mate in the 1920 election.
    • Beaumont Muller appoints his son as Secretary of the Interior and as the next CEO of his company.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Goodale's supporters join the UAS after she is executed in a show trial.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed
    • Beaumont Muller and Gerald Drumpf are based on Donald Trump.
    • Gary Boldwater is based on Barry Goldwater.
    • Leopold Merckx is based on Jesse Ventura.
    • Fionnthan Ulfsson and Frank Charles Townsend have elements of Frank Underwood.
    • Nathaniel Cassius Broadbent has some elements of Lyndon Johnson
    • Porter Frinton-Smith has some elements of Jared Kushner
    • The Fallons have elements of the Kennedies
    • Francis Graham Bronson is based on Charles Lindbergh
    • Bennett Shaw is based on Raymond Shaw.
  • Old Media Are Evil: Arthur Cross and Francis Bronson's media organizations rally against the major parties and the political establishment.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: The office of Pater means father in Latin, meaning that Ulfsson is the guider and creator of the UAS.
  • Oppressive States of America: The UAS plays this straight and the Union has some authoritarian tendencies.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Senator Conner Jackson claimed to be an anti-fundamentalist during his 1920 presidential campaign, but it was quite obvious he wasn't.
  • Patriotic Fervor: The Union gets this during the Natsoc uprisings
  • Politician Guest Star: John J. Adams, Theron Moses Rice, Woodrow Wilson, Susanna Salter, Charles Edward Russell, Carrie Nation, Strom Thurmond, William Gibbs Mc Adoo, Terence Powderly, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, and others make appearances.
  • President Evil: Aneirin Rhydderch
  • President Minority: The U.S. has had a Lutheran president (Schmidt), an African-American president (Freeman-Smalls), a female president (Nation), a Fundamentalist president (Rhydderch), an Asian-American president (Cross), and a Catholic president (Arthur).
  • Pretentious Latin Motto: The motto of The Social Republic is, "E pluribus unum."
  • Propaganda Machine: The Leading Standard is this for the Union while the Natsocs have the "Voice of America" radio station.
  • Proxy War: Germany supports the Union while France supports the UAS during the Second Civil War.
  • The Purge: Happens to the Peace Party's leadership after the end of the 1924 elections.
  • Rage Against the Mentor
    • Darren and Audrey Ozols (at the time) escape to New Jersey with Woodrow Wilson to escape from their father, Azoulas Ozols.
    • Kiefer Maher quits working for Beaumont Muller after he picks his son over him to be the next CEO.
    • Ben Kaufman also works with Ulfsson's arch-rivals, the Fallons after Ulfsson commits numerous unspeakable acts.
    • Henry Cross leaves his father, J.C.A. Choi, after he creates the Fundamentalist religion.
  • The Remnant: Townsend and Hyanes-Andrews are arguably this to the non-Natsoc political movements in Georgia and South Carolina respectively
  • Renegade Splinter Faction
    • The National Liberty Alliance breaks from the Prohibition-Reformists for being too moderate.
    • Bobby Dixon forms his own True Conservative Party after losing the nomination in 1912 and 1916.
    • The Independent People's Communist Party breaks from the Communists. The IPCP has a more radical agenda and a militant arm.
    • The members of the NAWP leave the United States after Long bans parties with militant arms.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: This trope happens quite often between characters in the game.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Due to William Robinson's marriage to a German noblewoman, the Robinsons technically count as this.
  • Rule of Three
    • There are three current political parties, the United Alternative Coalition, the Social Democrats, and the Communists.
    • Katarn's party ranking system has three ranks, Major, Semi-Major, and Minor.
  • Running Gag: Whenever someone brings up President Elliot's two terms, Turquoise Blue jokes that Azoulas Ozols was President (a reference to the extremely contested race of 1896).
  • Sinister Surveillance: The leadership styles of Montgomery Corwin, Fionnthan Ulfsson, and most notably Darren Wilson fit this trope.
  • Sleazy Politician
    • Darren Wilson for his work as Attorney General.
    • Montgomery Corwin as President and Secretary of HRUD.
    • Fionnthan Ulfsson as both Senator and Pater.
  • Sole Survivor: William Hyanes-Andrews is one of the few non-Ulfsson allied politicians in South Carolina still alive after the Natsoc rebellion.
  • The Squadette: The Union deploys this liberally with Rosa Frinton-Smith being head of an entire Front.
  • State Sec: The Citizen's National Guard arguably qualify as this
  • Tank Goodness: The Union has a proto-T-34 in 1924!
  • The Theocracy
    • Choi's Heavenly Islands and other Fundamentalist-controlled areas descend into this at times.
    • President Rhyddderch creates a Department of Religious Affairs.
  • Time Marches On: The game has spawned forty-five years as of 1925.
  • Too Much Information: The post "Two Days in Albany [Hello, new generation!]" with the Wilsons.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Porter Frinton-Smith attacks a fundamentalist for killing Susanna Salter and Kiefer Maher during the Bloody 20.
  • Torches and Pitchforks: The Natsoc's preferred way of killing political opponents is via lynch mobs
  • Undignified Death
    • William Jennings Bryan, known for being a tireless campaigner and fiery orator dies after falling down a flight of stairs.
    • Nathan Harley dies by choking on a pretzel.
  • Unexpected Successor: Terrence Powderly never expected to become President, with his heyday long past and a failed Vice Presidential run. However, after the deaths of President Cross and Vice President Broadbent, and that Speaker Berger was born in Austria, he becomes the president for a few months.
  • Vice-President Who?
    • Became a major plot point when a Canadian, John J. Adams became President when Walter Boyd passed away. He was a minor representative beforehand but he was removed from office because he was not a natural born citizen.
    • Nathaniel Cassius Broadbent either wants to be President, or to become Speaker again (he dies before either happens).
  • Vote Early, Vote Often: Used by the American Restoration Party in 1916, along with the UAS and Darren Wilson in 1924.
  • Wham Episode
    • The death of Azoulas Ozols' wife and the deafness of his children from a house fire completely changes Ozols' personally and introduces Woodrow Wilson to the story.
    • The Bloody 20 attacks kill many long-time characters while bringing back the Fundamentalists as a threat.
    • Long's ban on parties with militias results in the formation of the UAS.
  • Worthy Opponent
    • Vice President Ezekiel Long and Speaker Susanna Salter have a cordial battle for the Prohibition-Reformist nomination in 1900.
    • Willard Fallon gives Ulfsson his first serious competition for the Senate in 1922, but Ulfsson rigs the election so an unelectable Communist gets in the run-off instead.
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