This is an attempt at a reboot of a previous group roleplay known as 'The Next Emperor
' originally started by Untamed Skies
back in early 2013. This idea always remained in the back of my head and I feel that now might be the right time to have another go at it. A great deal of inspiration for this story is taken from that story, so a lot of the credit goes to Untamed Skies
. For now, this is just an interest check
. Nothing definite yet, as I want to see if I can get enough people to cooperate before starting it. No character sheets yet please, but if you are genuinely interested after reading through this entire post, just leave a reply indicating your willingness to participate (and possibly what role you'd play)! I don't see any issues with people playing characters that are not their own gender.
The information below is mostly copy pasted from the old thread and the details are still subject to change
. It is all to give you an idea of what you are to expect from this story, but it is not final. Keep this in mind when giving feedback, I'd much rather have suggestions on how to improve!
The Story (credit goes to Untamed Skies)
Emperor Edward Hellatius has decided that time has finally defeated him. His blade has turned dull, his bones have grown weak, his hair grey and whilst his mind is still sharp, he wants to leave the Empire in good hands after he moves on to the next world. He's no longer fit to rule his Empire and his weakness would make it vulnerable, not only from outside forces but also from internal conflict. Usually, the first born son would take over, but whilst the Emperor has children, they are all daughters. By law of the Hallation Empire, an Emperor without a male heir must select a man from outside of the family to marry a daughter and assume a new blood line. Abiding by these sacred laws Emperor Hellatius has decided to bring in the most famous of warriors, generals, nobles, dukes, counts, and heroes of the land to try and prove their worth as Emperor. At the center of which will be a grand tournament for the right to select one of his daughters to be the new Empress.
However there is more to this game then just the tournament, for he who seeks the crown must be more then a simple martial master. He must possess leadership, he must be empathetic towards his people, but most of all, he must be cunning. To be Emperor one has to be approved not one but by four of the five authorities. The relevant authorities in this decision are the Emperor himself, a Princess, The High Bishop, The Speaker of the Senate and The Representative of the Common Folk. Only when he has proved his worth above and beyond the average man will he be allowed to assume the title of Emperor Hellatius. And the only way one can earn such a title is proving his cunning, guile, strength, and conviction before anyone else has a chance, for each authority values a different quality.
At the heart of everything would stand the tournament. Here the princesses might find their interest in a hero, and a hero might find interest in her. Here those who were weak might find foul ways to overcome those who were strong. Here fools would be cast out, and the unworthy destroyed. The winner of the tournament will automatically have the approval of the Emperor himself.
The system that we'd use in this tournament is still a work in progress.
The idea is that this story is more then just a man trying to marry a woman and become Emperor because there is no set princess that is most eligible. The princesses themselves must also prove valuable and worthwhile to the hero trying to become Emperor. If she is judged poorly she might be passed by the hero finds something he values in one of her sisters. It also allows for foul play by the sisters as they try to eliminate heroes that either impedes their own goals. By all rights you may not be able to trust anyone as almost everyone is after something only 2 can have, power over the Empire.
I'm hoping for more then a few players for this RP. The Emperor never had a son but it wasn't for lack of trying, there can be plenty of princesses and I'm looking to start this story with no less than 3 (aiming for 5-6). There can be plenty of heroes on the other side of things as well. The goal isn't to have only 2 heroes rise and battle each other for 1 princess, but to have a cluster of heroes and princesses trying to gain power of the throne. This allows for backstabbing, love triangles and all the drama that comes when a collection of people are all competing for the same thing.
Initially the player characters that have hero roles probably won't face each other. Because it is an Empire there are many different heroes/champions and while the pallet was narrowed down, there are still x
men fighting for the right to marry a Princess. The first round(s) we will be fighting NPCs until the heroes establish themselves and then player characters can start worrying about facing each other.
The tournament is set with dulled and blunted weapons. The intent is not to kill the champions who may have more use to the Empire before the end or may find approval from 4 of the 5 authorities before the tournament winner can. However accidents and schemes do happen, anyone who is set to enter the tournament should be wary. The easiest way to eliminate a threat is to kill it.
No matter what, the winner of the tournament will receive the Emperor's blessing. In the event that the winner of the tournament is not elected as Emperor, he may still choose a wife from the other princesses and receives the title of High King.
A noble may have a representative fight for him in his place if he so chooses to do so. However a warning, should your Representative be smarter then you and gain the proper approval you may find him stealing your prize out form under you. In this regard many nobles who are doing such, are picking uneducated people to fight for them in hopes they won't become wiser to the overall scheme of things.
It is also possible if a princess so chooses she may enter the tournament as well, her prize being she may pick one of her suitors she herself deems most worthy to rule. Should he fail to gain approval from the authorities then she would reign as High Queen alongside her High King.
No one is above the law, if you are caught
murdering innocent people, or other competitors you will be arrested and any chance at the crown will be lost.
NPCs and Entourage
Different from most stories (that I've seen and participated in), NPCs are a rather important part of this story. As mentioned before, there are several important characters that play decisive roles in the story. These are to be taken up by GMs and/or players, likely as a side character. These include the Emperor himself, the other authorities (princesses are to be main roles), other champions, etc. I'm still in the process of working this out, but at present I foresee that I may require people who want to participate to also take on one of the important NPC roles.
Secondly, there is main character's entourage. If you sign up as a princess, you will also be in control of your own handmaidens, guards, etc. If you sign up as a champion, you are in charge of your squire(s), guards, priest(s), advisers, etc. The group you show up with is your own choice. A rich lord from a far quadrant of the Empire may have a large entourage, whilst a poorer or minor lord only brings a squire along. For the sake of balance though, please make sure that your entourage (which includes your main character) has at the very least two main strengths, but also two main weaknesses. You can add more, as long as they are in balance. Examples could be but are certainly not limited to;
- You bring along a cunning assassin in order to inflict damage on an opponents entourage.
- Your main character is an exceptional fighter
- One of your squires may be plotting for himself
- Your handmaiden might be spying for another princess
There is no limit to the size of your entourage (as long as it is reasonable), or how detailed you may want to describe each individual. It is fine to have a few generic guards or unnamed handmaidens that you only refer to in your main character's post, but you are free to flesh out their stories as well and let them wander through the capital city, meet other champions/princesses/characters/etc. The entourage dynamic of this story is still a work in progress.
Magic is not powerful, the strongest flame that can be conjured is a little less powerful then a torch. They are cheap parlor tricks, useful only in certain situations, and even in those situations they only give a slight edge. It is so weak and so little used that a large share of the world do not believe in it. And those that do see it only as a gift from the gods, or as vile and demonic. There is nothing strong enough to control one's mind, there is nothing strong enough to make someone ill. Some can throw a candle fire at you and it might burn like being burnt by a cigarette but that's the extent of it.
The Church grants magic to those most devoted to it's cause. Those who have spent many years and have given much time to the pursuit of the betterment towards their Gods. It is supposed to be a sign of the faithful. This magic comes in the form of runes. The church grants and teaches it's greatest members how to use magic in the form of runes. These runes are found in certain scriptures and books, these runes must be precisely crafted, and one has to be able to imagine the power they invoke as they craft the rune. As such the only true way to learn magic is through the scriptures.
Scriptures do not all reside in the church there are many, it's very easy to believe that in a massive castle library there are a few books on runic magic either handed down by the church or taken by overzealous Emperors and princesses. However for a low class citizen that isn't religious and doesn't have a library near him, the odds of him coming across such information is much lower. If you want to add a rune or two to your character you must explain how you came into the knowledge.
The magic dynamic of this story is still a work in progress.
At this stage, I would like to hear if there is any interest in participation for this idea. As I've mentioned before, I am only intending to start this game with no less than 3 princesses and aiming for 5-6 at most. As for the champions (those who intend to win the crown), there ought to be 3 at the very minimum as well, though for this story I expect a better balance if there are more champions than princesses. I would also encourage (maybe even require) participants to play at least one NPC champion, in order to boost the number of competitors. One doesn't need to make a character sheet for those or anything, but they are needed to make sure that the champions can progress through the tournament without eliminating other player characters right away. There are various other roles to be played (authorities, etc) and whilst I expect those to be side characters as opposed to main characters, if anyone shows interest in playing not as a princess or champion, this is more than acceptable! Otherwise, these characters are likely controlled by a GM.
This brings me to another part that is important, GMs. If this story receives only a bit of interest (5-6 people total), I am willing to take on the task of GMing the story myself. I'll control the side characters (Emperor, the other authorities, NPC champions, etc) although others are welcome to help out. However, my hopes are that we'll have about 4-6 princesses and 6+ champions. In that event, I'll be needing at least 2
people to assist me in making sure every aspect receives enough attention. I'll be needing at least one person who can oversee the tournament. Tasks involve playing NPC champions, helping to devise a system to determine the winners, progress the time and rounds in an orderly fashion, etc. The other will be in charge of the authorities that also have to give approval. This excludes princesses, but includes important characters such as the Emperor, the High Bishop, the Speaker of the Senate and the Representative of the people. In the event that those roles are to be played by other people, there will still be some coordination required when it comes to the approval processes of those authorities.
There are various other systems, considerations, details, and rules that need to be worked out beforehand. If you're interested in helping out with this, please mention this in a post here.