Agents Of Empire

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Huzzah! Agents of Empire!


See the announcements page.


See the turns page.


It is the distant future and the galaxy is very, very old. The Terran empire sprawls across the stars just as at its heart the Terran emperor sprawls across his couch, and like him, it is dying by inches and years. In the weakness of the emperor (not weakness but dissipation, perhaps -- there are only so many exotic foods and sensual pleasures one can consume before they begin to consume in return) grows the strength of the senate. It is a strange political entity, the galactic senate, long ago reduced to a formality under a strong emperor, but now rising again in power under a weak one. The senators who stand now are a mixed collection: long-time Houses of families of ancient lineage, and newer Houses that have won their place with military victories, or bought their place with financial ones.

In this environment, of course alliances and treachery breed like exotic vines in the tropics. Just half a year ago, one such alliance rose up out of the medium and small Houses in the senate to shatter the grip on power House Gwyne had held for two decades. In the confusion, old agreements were breached and old promises broken and, as always, to the victor went the spoils. House Gwyne was forced to withdraw to re-consolidate their resources and lick their wounds, and in the process had to relinquish lucrative contracts they had throughout the empire. Most notably for this story, they had to give up control of certain wormholes that connect areas relatively near the empire's center with areas near the empire's rim. The commercial implications of such a connection are obvious, and, if managed properly, they could be the ticket to wealth and power for a small House fortunate enough to obtain one. Which is where you come in.


The players control (in aggregate) one or more small Houses, each of which has been delegated provisional governorship of one of the wormholes and the lands beyond by the galactic senate. In addition, the players each control one or more characters within those Houses. Using these tokens, the players can attempt to advance the fortunes of their House and individual in whatever way they desire. Assuming, that is, they can conquer the forces -- both physical and political -- that stand in their way.

Getting Started

What to do as a new player:

  • Get together with some other players and pick a House that you'll all be members of. Decide on what the House is good at, what it does, and what its backstory is.
  • With the other players in your House, work out characters for everyone to play. You probably want to pick characters who are important in the House in a get-out-and-doing-stuff kind of way -- the commander* is probably not the best choice if they just stay on-base all day, but maybe you want to play a diplomat or a military captain or a hotshot pilot or an explorer or an assassin. *You might want to think what kind of government your House has, if it's monarchical or democratic or what.
  • With the other players in your House, work out what kind of colony and planet lies through your wormhole. What sort of terrain etc is on the planet (we are using the "forest moon of Endor" style of planet design here) and what are neighboring planets like? Why was the colony set up? Was it for resource-gathering (farming, mining, etc), industry, military training, or what? ('Research' and 'tourism' are probably stylistically bad choices, so I wouldn't pick those as the primary thing)
  • (Eventually, when the system exists) stat up your House and character.

Inter-player Discussion

See the scuttlebutt page.

Goal of the Game

The game has a goal. It has not currently been revealed.


There's a little more setting in the original blog post for the previous game, and in the transcripts for that game. These are both basically canonical for this game. Don't feel obliged to read the transcripts, but you might want to, they're funny.


There will be substantially more details later, but the basic idea is players will form together into groups (I'm thinking no more than five or six) where each group is a House. You'll assign some stats and back story to the House (is it good at diplomacy, exploration, industry, trade, and/or combat, etc; what are its goals and allegiances and why is it taking this risk), and (as a group) will decide on an action for the house each turn. House actions are things like building stuff, settling areas, setting up a trade route, clash of armies, that kind of thing. You'll (as an individual) also create characters (I think one to start, maybe more later) which will have more standard RPG-type stats and can also each take an action a turn. Individual actions are more standard RPG things like negotiating with prospective trade partners, sneaking into places, wooing people for fun and profit, lying on couches eating grapes, dueling, that sort of thing.

Turns will be three times weekly. There'll be some page where you list your house and individual actions, and they'll basically all resolve at once. In some cases we'll play out actions in more detail, and in some cases you'll just say what you want to do and we'll roll. I assume people will sometimes want to do private actions; we can manage that through email or maybe there's some way to do it through the wiki.

More specifics at Mechanics and Mechanics II.


See the Houses page.

Non-House Entities

The Emperor: Old but nominally still in charge.

Barbarians: Although nearly every star system in the galactic core officially falls under the aegis of one House or another, not every planet formally recognizes this. Furthermore, many areas closer to the galactic rim are only partially charted and largely contested. Consequently, a number of imperially-controlled worlds have slipped through the bureaucratic cracks to exist without pledging their allegiance to any individual House. Although no formal alliance exists between them, some of these local governments may be willing to cooperate with each other in order to pursue the resources available on the far side of the wormholes.

The Facilitation: [details not specified: interested parties may send encrypted inquiries on frequency 1184A]

The Jarou: Smallish Shapeshifter aliens whose home planet was destroyed ages ago, and who currently hope to ally with one of the above houses to trade services for a home planet.


See the Planets page.


For random brainstorming, see the Brainstorming page.