Furcadia is a player-based MMO centered around Funny Animals created by Dragon's Eye Productions in 1996. While its free to play, certain features such as larger map sizes or using a mythical animal species such as a Kirin or Phoenix cost money.
The game itself is mostly like a gigantic chat room with Funny Animal avatars (called furres in game) scattered around on the screen. A big focus is "Patching", the creation of custom art. Players can control the look of their area's interface, avatars, objects, and environment. Players may chat, interact with their environment, explore official or user-created maps (called dreams), play games created by other users, or roleplay at will.
It should be noted that players have full control of roleplay or social interaction within their own areas. No enforcement to remain in-character or stick to any continuity or power-level is enforced except at the map-owner's discretion.
The game canon was written by Talzhemir and the associated RPG "FURRE!" utilizes the Pocket Universe dice systems by UNIgames. In addition to material posted to the Furcadia web site, the canon also includes fiction written and posted at Talzhemir's various web sites. (See below for a list.)
In this world there are three continents: the Renaissance-plus-Steampunk Olde World, the medieval-fantasy-style Kasuria, and prehistoric/Bronze Age Drakoria.
Kasuria is ruled by a king or queen. Prejudice due to species is very rare, but the current ruler belongs to a political faction that has revived a taboo against herbivore/carnivore intermarriage. Non-addictive substances such as alcohol are common but addictive drug use/production/sales is brutally persecuted. In some ways, Kasuria is a utopian land. Limbs can be regrown; debilitating diseases can be cured. Mind-magery, a sort of magical equivalent of psychiatry exists. This is the only continent where magic exists.
In Drakoria, the dragon-like Wyrmmes have an empire made up of city-states. The Wyrmmes keep a large enslaved "domesticated" population of furres. Slaves are kept in line via the Wyrmmes' innate psychic ability. The furres, in turn, keep Bugges, insect people, as slaves. Out in the wilderness, furres live as free tribal hunter-gatherers. Unlike in Kasuria the Drakorian tribes tend to be a small handful of similar species, for instance, a tribe of big cats or a tribe of equines.
Wyrmmes eat furres because they consider them mere animals. Some furres will also eat Wyrmmes or other furres, as part of a religious rite of "absorbing their power". Some tribal furres also practice ritual eating of the deceased. This is considered "sennibalism" in most lands, the Furre equivalent of Cannibalism, and it is a capital crime everywhere but in Drakoria and assorted wild lands.
Drakoria's harshest regions feature tribes of "Taurians". They have furre-like torsos and matching quadruped bodies. Their heads resemble prehistoric creatures, so the Felitaurs are sabre-toothed, and the Wolventaurs look like dire wolves. Constant warfare between the Taurians keeps their population down.
The Olde-World is a "Mock Earth" focusing mostly on Europe and surrounding countries. Airships powered by coal and made from Bugge body parts are canon, as are other Steampunk accouterments. The well-established noble families known as the Greater and Lesser Houses are somewhat segregated by race and allow others not of the same race to marry in or join said house only if they follow the ban on carnivores marrying herbivores.
The god-like Primes can take physical form and at times run among the mortals. The Dark Primes and Light Primes mirror each other in abilities and themes; however, the Dark Primes are far more likely to be found at any given time than the Light Primes are. Whereas the Kasurians revere the Light Primes, nearly all Drakorians believe in the Dark Primes and have simply never heard of their Light counterparts.
Between the Primes and the Furres in power are the Mythicals: dragons, phoenixes, kirins, and more. They have very quirky abilities. For example, gryffes (bipedal gryphons) can transform into eagles.
Incidentally, the webcomic Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures was created by a Furcadia player called Mab as a reward for a favor received from another called Dan, but has since gone its separate way.
Fiction by Talzhemir:
- Drakorian: The Pakas
- Kasurian: The King is Dead
- Wolven Ferrian: Night Music
- Rabben Ferrian: The Way of Things
- Kasurian: Perrozi Seadog
This game provides examples of:
- A God Am I: Half Primes, Quarter Primes, and even the Primes themselves.
- Amplified Animal Aptitude: Ferians
- Anti-Frustration Features: For the longest time, the only way to keep someone out of a dream was the "eject" command, which kicked the character out of the dream but didn't explicitly ban them, letting them keep coming back until they got bored or got the message. There were lines of code a dream maker could use to permanently eject someone, but it required taking the dream down first to edit the code, which also kicked every other player out. This was eventually resolved with the "banish" command, which not only kicked a character out, but prevented them from ever coming back.
- Author Appeal: Furrabian Nights (Talzhemir, Emerald Flame), Felorin's Truth or Dare Pool, the forms of the Primes.
- Author Avatar: Watch the game carefully and you will find the staff sitting there, usually not in-character, commenting. They even have a chat channel for this!
- Barbie Doll Anatomy: Especially in any map that is not rated "adults only".
- Carnivore Confusion: Avians are considered non-sentient and acceptable as food for furres, yet the Phoenix is a playable race...
- Chekhov's Skill: A very meta example—some of the programmers working on Furcadia now first learned programming via Furcadia's very own scripting language, DragonSpeak. One user of it said that its very simplicity and niche use made it an excellent language to learn with.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Out of Character, the Dark Primes are used as plot devices to stimulate roleplay. In-character, however, Tallus, was an "evil" god of prophecy and only considered evil because he could see the apocalypse and refused to talk about it. Taglin Tigh is considered the king of the Dark Primes and the god of Nightmares, but actually is friendly and helpful to anyone not a light prime. His main problem with the light primes is that they murdered Tallus in cold blood for no reason. He also is renowned as a "good father" to his many children and often his own brothers and sisters. When seen in public with his less-sane family members, he is always taking care of them and preventing them from hurting anyone..
- Game-Breaking Bug: Line 5:2000 is supposed to reset a dream. Unfortunately, it does not take custom maps into account, but "resets" it to a map that is referred to by the server, still keeping the custom map's appearance. This results in rather surreal behavior, and has been a known bug virtually since the line was introduced in 2004.
- Due to the Dead: The Purrwing update of March 2012 was dedicated to one of the major coders of Furcadia, Douglas "Ryhn" Martens.
- Also, the dream belonging to a deceased player remains a permanent fixture in Allegria Island.
- Dysfunction Junction: Many of the Primes, especially the Dark ones.
- Fanservice: Female Noble Buyables
- Fantastic Racism
- Freemium: Possibly the Ur-Example; as you could buy wings since 1997. You need a flying character to enter one of the main maps (Zephiroth), but some of the special freebie digos can fly anyways.
- Gay Option: Homosexuality is the main theme of some user maps. It is frowned upon (but not stigmatized) in Kasuria because it interferes with the widespread noble custom of arranged marriages.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Drakorians think nothing of eating Furres, as do Unseelie Fay Furres and other intelligent "magical" races. This is considered anywhere between "taboo" to illegal in most other lands.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Tallus
- Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: A surprising number of small items such as certain small plants and waist-high hitching posts can block your path.
- The game boasts a highly detailed Map Building program, where anyone can design, build and then upload their own "Dream" for others to explore. By making very simple alterations to an object, ANYTHING can be made into an Insurmountable Waist Height Fence. This includes grass, pathways, carpets and other easily traversed items—or a blank object.
- Interspecies Romance: Although different species may marry freely, and (with aid of a potion) reproduce, an important law now bans carnivores marrying herbivores or omnivores if they are members of the nobility.
- Level Editor: Furcadia is huge on User-Created maps (called Dreams) (in fact, that's a major point of the game), so it comes with a graphical map editor, a script editor (the programming language is called DragonSpeak), a program that lets you make your own sprites, and a program that lets you edit how the window itself looks. Graphite's Dream ColdFusion revealed that you could use these tools to really, really screw with how Furcadia worked and looked. Also, the first programming language that some of the newer programmers of Furcadia learned was none other than DragonSpeak.
- Light Is Not Good: Most of the light primes aren't all that nice, especially if your character has any traits that go against their major themes.
- M'rill is a thief and liar who used to be known for sleeping around. She also wears a clawed glove just like Tallus used to. It may actually have been his before she and the others murdered him. If you are a law-abiding citizen and don't tend to cause trouble, she may beat you up, then rob you.
- Chim is a gambler and seldom cares about anyone unless they can beat him in a game, which seldom happens as he's the god of luck! He has been known to curse those who disapprove of gambling, sometimes going so far as to curse multiple generations.
- Danival is vain to the point of cursing anyone who doesn't agree she's the most beautiful. When angry, she usually targets everyone in the area, not just the one who angered her. She especially can't stand anyone "ugly" and is likely to spit in their face if they ask for help.
- Patrilius, the prime of wisdom, has been known to turn a blind eye to those who are "uneducated" or "barbaric" in his eyes, which is bad as he's also the god of justice.
- Long Runner: Amongst social MMORPGs, the longest, according to Guinness World Records itself. Furcadia came online on December 16, 1996 and while it's slowing down, it's still going almost 24 years later.
- The Multiverse: Occasionally you will find player-generated maps with all human characters and jarringly realistic settings.
- Obvious Beta: Inverted. The game's fully playable, with no more bugges than most releases. It's still in Alpha stage.
- Out with a Bang: Male Bugges die after mating.
- Our Dragons Are Different: Wyrmmes.
- Perpetual Beta: It's been in Alpha stage since it started in 1996, and according to a joke isn't expected to go into Beta stage until sometime after the end of the world. However, without this information, you think it might be a finished game that gets regular updates.
- Retcon: The original terms "Half-Prime" and "Quarter-Prime" were changed in 2005 to "Demifane", a term which formerly referred to half-fey only. Now the term includes all "half-breeds", not just those who are descended from Primes, with "half primes" being marked as "mythological" and removed from character creation rules. Several of the Primes also changed species which was written in long after the initial material's first release to cover the "new species" in the game.
- Rouge Angles of Satin: It's a game with user-created content, what do you expect?
- Steampunk: Airships are canon in the Olde World.
- Videogame Caring Potential
- Winged Humanoid: You can purchase wings of varying types to go on default characters and most other buyable avatars have wings already.
Common character tropes:
- Author Appeal
- Bash Brothers
- Battle Couple
- Brain Bleach: Especially in Furrabian Nights, Club Dusk 2 Dawn and Drakoria.
- Captain Ersatz: Especially in non-adult oriented maps.
- Cute Monster Girl
- Dark and Troubled Past
- Deus Angst Machina
- Fire-Forged Friends: Usually combined with other combat/angst tropes.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Or sometimes "Half-furre Hybrid" for extra Squick.
- Happiness in Slavery: Especially in Kasuria and Furrabian Nights.
- Improbable Weapon User: Especially Sinister Scythe type weapons.
- Made a Slave
- Memento MacGuffin: Usually introduced in a character's description and never really used.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: Horse/Wolf/vampire/dragon/wizard....
- Through the Eyes of Madness: Drakoria, Club Dusk 2 Dawn and some areas of Furrabian Nights.