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Video Game / Imperium Nova

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A Web Original browser-based Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game. Imperium Nova is set in a starfaring feudal empire, similar to Dune, or A Song of Ice and Fire IN SPACE!. Players play as noble houses in a starfaring galactic empire, competing for status and the Emperor's favor.

The game is divided up into five galaxies, each of which has evolved their own distinct flavor:

  • The Baade Galaxy, once the most stable galaxy, recently suffered from the death of the majority of its population. This led to a 6 years interregnum, which only recently ended after the rise of new families.
  • 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. As of 382 AF the Empire has officially been dissolved and balkanized into a number of "kingdoms":
    • The Kingdom of Ascella: Ruled by House Boyd, the first Kingdom to secede from the Empire.
    • The Duchy of Chara: Ruled by House Schronnemann, considers itself still a part of the Empire.
    • Lorik's Kingdom: Ruled by House Lorik.
    • The Principality of Kurodei: Ruled by House Amjad, the former Emperor.
    • Kingdom of Mordrel: Ruled by House Mordrel.
    • Colonies of Cirellan : Ruled by House Ira.
  • The Draco Reborn Galaxy, which is Draco 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 living under Emperor Alexander Drakkon. The hallmarks of the galaxy are so far: technophobia, assassinations, and frequent regime changes.
  • The Eridanus Galaxy, currently gearing up for a showdown between the Evil Overlord Patricius Goratrix and the Evil Capitalist House Slick ink. A third party, the Eridani Coalition, has also joined in the power struggle.
  • The Gemini Galaxy, once a decentralized galaxy divided between several factions, now a punchline due to how stagnant and empty it's gotten, the below depicts the past Houses of note:

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.

The game naturally lends itself to Gambit Pileups and long-running grudge wars.

Now has its own Character page.

Tropes that are central to the game itself:

  • Absent Aliens: Though not for all galaxies. Some houses roleplay themselves as aliens, and Galaxy Baade saw an alien invasion (orchestrated mechanics-wise by the game administrator).
  • Allegedly Free Game: Your house is very limited in its capabilities unless you're paying.
    • 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.
  • Allowed Internal War: The Feud system enables long and bloody conflicts between Houses so long as someone gives the first offense.
  • 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.
  • Casual Inter Stellar Travel: natural given the setting.
  • Continuity Snarl: Continuity between galaxies is an unholy mess.
    • To a lesser extent, continuity in RPs. Although events with an RP take place around the same time, they might be affected by events in the game that are months or even years apart.
  • Crawl: Displays the three most recent galactic-level events.
  • 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.
    • Or simply ignored (Empress Galgori of Baade)
  • Energy Weapon: Used by some houses, to varying scales. Some only mount them on warships as Wave Motion Guns, 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.
  • Flame War: Arguments over the "gameyness" of certain tactics often descend into this.
  • Gambit Pileup: The game naturally encourages these.
  • 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.
  • MegaCorp: Houses can build anywhere instead of just on planets they rule, senators and The 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.
  • Permadeath: Occurs if one of your dynasty members or retainers gets assassinated or killed in a coup or dies of the plague.
  • 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.
  • Private Military Contractors: The military sphere allows your House to hire out troops as Mercenaries.
  • Regent for Life: Averted across the board, strangely enough. The only straight example took place within a single House
  • Shout-Out: Hooooo boy. There has been a House Atreides, a House Lannister and a House Targaryen to name but a few.
  • Space Is an Ocean: Most galaxies tend to class their warships according to naval tradition.
  • Space Pirates: There is a mechanic for funding piracy on mercantile routes around planets. It is widely described as being broken.
  • Sword Fight: Duels, over prize money or honour, are fought with swords while everyone whizzes around in space ships.
  • The Usurper: Dynastic changes via military coup are not uncommon.
  • 10-Minute Retirement: Happens often to players. They quit the game and then find they can't stay away.

Many tropes can also be found in the stories of individual galaxies.

    open/close all folders 

    Galaxy Baade 

  • The Alcoholic: Martinus Zorander and his collection of intoxicating, and sometimes life-threatening, drinks.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: House Cosca. House Kane is depicted this way, despite having generally acted in good faith, or at least reasonably.
    • House Kincaid is depicted as this, even more than Cosca or Kane.
  • Amazon Brigade: The Confederacy of Free Houses in Baade, All members are female except one.
  • Ambulance Chaser: Cerwyn Oresthin is either this or...
  • Amoral Attorney: Cerwyn Oresthin is basically this, except his competence is debatable.
  • Attack Hello-Dynamic Entry: Ialach Oresthin's assassination kicked off when he opened a door and was met by Arthfael Daunt's fist.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Many, including the Zoranders who are surprisingly competent considering most are pants-on-head nuts.
    • Additionally some of the most feared military units are made up entirely of very lethal Kittens.
  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: At least three holders of the crown have been deposed for going up against Alhazred. Similar things have happened to other houses who have tried.
  • The Chessmaster: House Alhazred, all the way.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: The Wagonmaster, Mario Zorander, along with a good portion of his house.
  • Colour-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.
  • Crapsack World: What Baade was during the Second Interregnum. After most house died of the Great Plague, the galaxy felt into economic collapse and social decay, with no policing done and crime reigning over Baade.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: The Imperialist faith in Baade
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: A good portion of the galaxy believes they do. This does not stop certain houses from using them extensively.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Anything Houses Daunt, Luxerat, Oresthin or Kincaid do.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Any of the atttempts to destroy or bring down House Alhazred basically amount to trying to do this.
    • Also Cthulu is considered actually existent in Baade, so theoretically this is literally possible.
  • The Dragon: House Kane to House Alhazred.
  • Everybody's Dead, Dave: In the span of seven years, almost every houses, including the imperial family, died or disappeared, leaving only House Gaigalos and House Minimus (the admin house).
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: House Malaganov is the Russian aristocracy. House Suzumiya is a pastiche of Oriental cultures.
  • 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.
  • Knight Templar: House Luxerat and Imperialism, although the faith has somewhat muted its once crusading tone.
  • Kangaroo Court: People have accused the Imperial Court of being this, with the Emperor as Judge, Jury, Prosecutor, and Executor.
  • Light Is Not Good: House Luxerat of Baade; subverted depending on your religious affiliation.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Lord Ialach Oresthin of Baade; The Galaxy's former Zac Efron
  • Not Me This Time: Houses Daunt and Ivanov have had to say this on occasion. People tend not to believe them.
    • It's also often a complete lie, especially when Daunt says it.
  • Private Military Contractors - House Kane, House Cosca, and House Ivanov
  • 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.
  • Sufficiently Advanced Alien: House of Cthulu in Baade, a religion revolving around worship of Lovecraftian Horrors.
  • 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.

    Galaxy Capricorn 

  • 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.
  • Revolving Door Revolution: Tends to cycle between periods of boring stagnation and galactic warfare.

    Galaxy Draco 

  • 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.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: Named 'lances' in Draco, these weapons were pulsed twice to defeat the fact that Space Is an Ocean.
  • Cavalry Betrayal: House Crow, the Emperor at the time, was on the verge of confronting House Pavlov, an independent Empire. House Curze was secretly allied to House Pavlov and the ensuing conflict resulted in the slaughter of House Crow's entire military and House Curze's ascension to the throne.
  • Blood Knight: What House Curze comes off as, considering they are best described as bloodthirsty Corrupt Corporate Executives fond of Cold-Blooded Torture
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: House Crow. Were they bullies who abused their power and deserved their fate? Or just nobles doing their best to hold together the Remnants of a scavenged Empire.
House Curze. Bloodthirsty butchers fond of torture? Or soldiers torn between dual duties doing what they had to do?

    Galaxy Eridanus 

  • 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.
  • Author Appeal: You know who you are.
  • Black-and-White Morality: Probably the only instance of this trope being played dead-straight in the entire game.
  • 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 Empire: It could be Argued that the Northern Domain is this, given the fact that it generally viewed as the more evil, totalitarian independent entity.
  • Evil Overlord: House Goratrix, considering that they're the founders of the Void Engineers and all.
  • 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.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture:
    • House Houraisan is a hybrid of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.
    • House Quest are Australians IN SPAAAAAAAAACE.
    • House Mikhailovsky-Ivanov is Imperial Russia IN SPAAAAAAAAACE.
  • Fate Worse than Death: A chance encounter with an Eldritch Abomination rendered Agnes and Zepheniah Quest braindead.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Likes Older Women: A specific reason Oscar Quest was attracted to Heulfryn Boudicca because she was seven years older than him.
  • Little Bit Beastly: House Houraisan, who happen to all have rabbit ears.
  • Religion of Evil: The Void Engineers, who have a Class X-2 Apocalyse How as their eventual goal.
    • They also just got themselves an inquisition/military in The Void Templars.
    • 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.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: The Northern Rebellion and the End of Hope War.
  • Saintly Church: The Order of Light, which is nonviolent and had strong supernatural elements.
  • Showing Off the New Body: Erina Boudicca, after her Prometheus procedure gave her the body of a 25 year old porn star.
  • 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.

    Galaxy Gemini 

  • Does This Remind You of Anything??: Tau. Really. They're just the Tau. In every way.
    • 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.
  • Expy: The Arudan bear a suspicious resemblance to certain other evil alien species.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Gemini has several specific ones:
    • Rotanevians are primarily Russian, with a dash of East Asia.
    • The Francs are straight-up Frenchmen.
    • The Vandals are nanotechnologically-augmented tribal German supersoldiers. Imperials in general are fairly German.
    • The Kulus are Victorian Britain.
    • The Damaskani are Arabs with some Persian influences.
    • The Brytons are Celts.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Kaiser Harri Skaoi, though not without his detractors, falls well within this trope.
  • Powered Armor: House Sirendeux is populated by living suits of armor. Yes, they can reproduce. No, I don't want to know how.
  • Private Military Contractors: House Blackwater played this role to an extreme, spending more time as an official renegade than as a law-abiding House.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The other interpretation of Emperor Madai Sheridan's death.
  • 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".

Now defunct:

    Galaxy Avalon 

  • 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.
  • Master Swordsman: Oluwaseun Zavoniki and his apprentice, Cyfaill Galle.
  • 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.

    Galaxy Fornux 

  • Cool Old Guy: Emir Iosua al-Qasr, carrying around a sword cane and manipulating events behind the scenes.
  • Master Swordsman: Adegoke Hudnall. He had a very skilled apprentice, who Hudnall killed anyway in their first sparring match - he was just too good.

    Old Draco 

  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: House Cyrosea was known for switching sides more often than strictly necessary.
  • Cultured Warrior: Grimbald Hawkwood of Draco regularly cited poetry before epic battles, and often lectured allies and enemies alike on the moral and legal implications of his glorious victories.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Forces loyal to Antonius von Dracostern leveled the second largest House in the galaxy, House Solidor, in a single day.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Grimbald Hawkwood and Saul Iscariot were both notable examples of this trope.
  • 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.