From The Shadows (WIP idea)

So, hi. This is the usual story: I’m new here, I’m familiar with CoG, and I have a WIP game idea I’d like to share with you all! And, uh, here it is:

The Chaos Wars began almost a decade ago, when the major kingdoms and nations all turned against each other. The continuous battles showed who was really at a disadvantage against the other and these formal battles soon gave way to sieges and raids and ambushes. It wasn’t long until the kingdoms fell to lowly acts of kidnapping, ransoming, and blackmailing. Over only a few years, everything anyone had ever known has been thrown into complete and utter disarray and confusion. The closest of friends became the fiercest of enemies; the most loving of lovers became heartless backstabbers and frauds; the most tightly knit of families turned against each other within minutes. Every person stands for themselves and their nation, and aside from those two all others are their enemies and mustn’t be trusted. But through the flimsy and failing façade of what they all say to be peace negotiations, a new nation appears and rises. How, they do not know. Why, they can only wonder. What for, they can only hope to be of good intent. And then it was as if the whole world held its breath as they all watched the nation appear from the shadows…

You are one of many children of King Winston of Orphel. Orphel had been the last to enter the Chaos Wars, coming in only two years after they began. Being a very productive and resourceful nation, Orphel exported the majority of all imports and was an important trading partner for all the other kingdoms. Sadly, no one stands to tolerate neutrality when in times of a world war. You are one of King Winston’s lucky children, though, being of legitimate blood unlike most of his offspring. But the jointed power of a king and queen in your country is weakening and now it’s for you to take up your place in the world of politics, power, influence, and conspiracies. Yet, as soon as you had reached this peak in your life, an unknown country calling itself Lemaie started appearing in whispers and rumors…

Then, it came out of nowhere, and you all–all of the kingdom rulers–realized this was very, very real. Will Lemaie help you? Help your enemies? Or is their plan to conquer you all?

What will you do in the face of this chaotic new world of only war and secrecy? Will you lead Orphel in your parents’ footsteps? Will you continue on in this raging war, to find a true victory for your side? Whose side will you be on? Or, will you focus on Lemaie, and either be weary of their arrival or welcoming? Well, the choice is yours to make.

Because now it’s your turn in this battle of wills…

And that’s the idea. The game takes place in a medieval setting with dark themes (of course), and has a moderate to high fantasy level (ie; there are mages, but that’s about it). Now, I was hoping to hear some feedback from you guys :smiley: What do you think? Good idea? Bad? Could be better/worse? I’m also currently debating what I want the MC’s background to be, as in if I want to keep it as Orphelan royalty or if I want to add in the option to be part of another kingdom (because you can be a mage if you’re from one kingdom, and you could be an assassin/thief’s child if you’re from another one, and so on and so forth).
This is an extremely developed world too, as I’ve been writing stories about it for years now.

*ahem* Anyway…feedback, anyone?

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I can see a few illogical things (example: “Whose side will you be on?” and before that you said every nation for themselves. Also, friends becoming enemies and lovers becoming backstabbers. I don’t buy that. I think, during a war, friends and lovers and families would become even closer. How can a nation exist if everyone within it is backstabbing each other? There are a few more things, but I am too tired to make a list.), but all in all, this could be turned into a very good game. Start working on it.

If I understood your “everyone backstabbing each other” thing too literally, I apologize.

Now, a few non-important things: For some reason, I thought this would be either a slightly futuristic or cyberpunk world untill you mentioned it’s a medieval setting. Also, having only mages seems more like low fantasy to me. Also, why/how did the war start?

“The continuous battles showed who was really at a disadvantage against the other and these formal battles soon gave way to sieges and raids and ambushes.”

Sieges were very important; Battles were comparatively quite rare. Expect sieges and raids to precede battles, not vice versa.

@DSeg The point is that even though there are alliances within the war (it started out between two nations/kingdoms), the nations/kingdoms involved in said alliances could still easily turn on each other and become enemies if given good enough inclination. So, say three nations are allied against four others, who are also allied. One of the three nations kidnaps a member of the royal family from one of the four nations. This could easily be of use into blackmailing that kingdom into switching alliances. Or if one of the nations you’re in an alliance with does something of that nature to you, then you may want to switch alliances and get back at them. These kingdoms/nations aren’t tied by friendship; only two of them are. All the others are fair game, granted, some do dislike certain nations more than others. They could very easily turn on each other.
The betrayal and backstabbing comes back around to what I was saying. Many of the countries had people from other countries in them who decided to back their own country. The Chaos Wars started very simplistically, then gradually became very wide-spread and relatively major. I wasn’t sure what to say for the fantasy level there, so I kind of guessed and yes, it’s a medieval setting that runs a bit into what the Renaissance was like, but not too much. I’ll post how the Chaos Wars began in a different comment, though.

@Drazen Ah, I see. Sorry about that :expressionless: I’ll have to watch out for little misconceptions like that here and there. I’ll have to change it, then. Thank you for clearing up that mistake on my part.

Well actually, it’s not entirely true that battles must be rare compared to sieges. In history, especially in medieval Europe, battles were far rarer than sieges because first of all, it’s comparatively a much bigger risk of losing and secondly, there simply aren’t enough soldiers to throw around (unlike in video games, a wounded soldier most likely won’t be coming back to the fight for months… if ever). If we change the setting, for example, to the Euroasian steppes, you’ll find open battles and skirmishes a lot more often. What I’m trying to say is, don’t simply go with whatever people did just because. Try to find out or reason out why they did it and see if it fits within your setting.

@hahaha1357 Thanks. I assumed that I’d made a mistake on my part and if I make mistakes or misunderstand something, then I have no problem fixing it. But I suppose the beginning of the Chaos Wars didn’t really start out with battles; the two nations/kingdoms that first started it were actually about an ocean away from each other. But, I will say I was in a bit more of the Euroasian mindset with the battles being more open and common. The Chaos Wars started out more political than anything else and then turned to battles and violence.

Now, as promised…
How The Chaos Wars Began
The desert kingdom of Raj’jah was always known to be a very wealthy kingdom; plentiful amounts of gold and silver were common natural resources of the landscape. It had also conquered many of the smaller, lesser kingdoms surrounding its deserts, making them quite powerful and influential. Not surprisingly, the newly coronated emperor-king of Raj’jah was a constantly sought out ally and partner. Yet, he turned down all proposals given to him by other nations and kingdoms, especially those of marriage to further power, influence, and wealth with other nobility and royalty. Falisade, an exceptionally large and somewhat divided country, was persistent. They tried time and time again to create a sort of link to or alliance with Raj’jah. So, they attempted to have their princess married to the Rajan emperor-king as their last resource, which also failed. Most of the other countries had given up by this point, save for the few and occasional merchants whom the Rajans agreed to do business with. Unlike the other countries, Falisade was desperate. The monarchy was slowly falling into debt and revolts were beginning to happen in certain areas of Falisade; but without the money to buy and import weapons, they needed help from Raj’jah as the other wealthier countries had already denied helping them. And so, they began investigating the strange behavior that went on between Raj’jah and lesser kingdoms. They soon discovered that Raj’jah and a small kingdom, Delarha, made odd voyages back and forth between each other. Falisade intercepted one of the ships going to Raj’jah from Delarha. They found out two interesting details: One, that the emperor-king was actually engaged to a Delarhan woman aboard the ship and two, that Delarha possessed a rare trait that could be of extreme benefit to Raj’jah. Delarha had mages, something never known of before in other kingdoms. Thus, Falisade kidnapped the Delarhan woman and ransomed her for an alliance with Raj’jah. This was the very beginning of the Chaos Wars. At first the two countries tried negotiating on the matter. But, Raj’jah had an impulsive emperor-king who had been daft enough to be engaged to the Delarhan woman out of love, not benefit. He opposed the Falisads’ offer for alliance yet again and the two began clashing (not literally yet). This began piquing the interest of the other prominent kingdoms. It wasn’t long before they all started taking sides, save for Orphel, who tried to remain neutral. This “taking sides” turned into alliances and in Falisade, matters worsened. Rebellions and revolts erupted across the entire country. Finally pushed to their limit, Falisade decided that if it couldn’t receive help from Raj’jah then it would try to conquer it. Naval assaults and battles exploded across the oceans. Countries who were nearby to each other began battling against their new enemies. Orphel prospered with all of the weapons and metals being bought and exported to the battling kingdoms. Though, it soon became obvious that Raj’jah and its allies were stronger. Falisade and its allies were becoming close to surrendering entirely, knowing they couldn’t win. But one of Falisade’s new allies, Vanne, needed this to be a serious war because years ago, the mages of Vanne had ran to an island-country outside of it and named the island-country Delarha. Mages were rare and valuable and to Vanne, they were rightfully theirs. So Vanne took this conflict to a new level, and surrounded Delarha to prevent any supplies from being imported or exported into the small kingdom. This gave Falisade and its alliance an edge, because now the other countries were deprived from their surplus of powerful mages. In response, the Rajan alliance began kidnapping important royalty/nobility from the other countries. The lowly acts of the Chaos Wars began thusly. Later on, Orphel was threatened and forced into the war as well by the other kingdoms, its neutrality no longer tolerated.

…And that’s basically how the Chaos Wars began. Phew. I apologize if it’s complicated, but it’s somewhat meant to be. There were a lot of factors involved and there were already tensions between all the kingdoms to start with. The war was just sort of…an eruption of all that suppressed tension and dislike. But, does this make sense at least?

What’s special about Delarha that mages needs to come from there? Mages that left the country to fight for the Rajan alliance can’t train new mages in their host countries? If blockade of Delarha is so devastating to the Rajan alliance, why was it not attempted before? Why was the Rajan alliance not able to break the blockade, especially with the help of powerful mages? If Falisade was in financial ruin from just keeping their country together, how did it finance a long and costly war with Raj’jah? Who would lend them the money and why? How was Falisade able to find allies in their war where their previous attempts at alliances failed? Raj’jah is described as a large, rich, and powerful country. What’s preventing it from winning this war without help from mages?

Raj’jah may be rich and powerful, but it’s more spread out rather than large. And after a civil war of sorts over the succession of the throne there, much of their army is wounded and lessened in numbers, as well as the fact that they would need to assemble this army in one place from all the spread out areas under their control (they treat these other areas in the way similar to the idea of mercantilism and the people native to the conquered lands are barely more than slaves). Finding allies was less for Falisade itself and more for the ambition of other countries wanting to go against Raj’jah and possibly gain control over it, as that would be highly beneficial. Falisade itself didn’t finance the entire war, the other countries obviously had to finance their own supplies and armies. And Falisade didn’t have to finance nearly as much as the others, most of the battles they fought were using their warships. As for what little financial aid they did get, they recieved from Purnia mostly due to the fact that Purnia itself has always for being manipulative, ambitious, and always pushing to advance themselves. They were the only country who didn’t make any attempt to forge connections with Raj’jah, because they would much rather take over it. Thus their alliance with Falisade and reason for helping them at all. The blockade created by Vanne obviously didn’t last for the entire remainder of the war, only for a “long enough” amount of time, to put it in basic terms. Attempting to blockade Delarha was much more difficult for Falisade’s alliance due to how far away it was, and from the directions they came from, they would’ve had to go through very dangerous and storming bits of ocean. Vanne wasn’t 100% onboard with their alliance for some time and mostly only helped supply Falisade’s alliance, until they found a safe passage from their country to Delarha. Seeing this chance, they became much more secure in their position in Falisade’s alliance and knew this could be their chance. Mages couldn’t necessarily “train new mages”, per se. For reasons unknown, mages only ever appeared in Vanne (then they left for Delarha), because of how tyrannical the Van government was towards them and how they experimented/tortured the mages to see their limits/abilities. So mages only really come from other mages by blood relation. There was already a relatively dwindling population of mages and even though some were sent to other countries to help the war, most stayed in Delarha as Delarha is somewhat closely located near Raj’jah and because that was where they were preparing the majority of the other mages for fighting. This also comes back to not being able to break the blockade ASAP because though some mages were outside Delarha, most weren’t. And Raj’jah was very busy battling Falisade’s navy while its allies were busily fighting Falisade’s alliance.

Does that answer your questions, @hahaha01357? I think I got most or all of them, but please say if I missed some.

@ColorCoded Still a bit confusing and illogical which is perfectly understandable if you are adapting the lore of your world for the interactive format CS offers. My lore was even more illogical during the adaptation.

@DSeg I’m just not good at explaining this, I don’t think. I have it figured out but I’m having trouble really explaining and organizing it because, like you said, I have to adapt it a bit for CS. I hate seeming illogical, honestly.

@ColorCoded If adapting gives you only troubles with organizing and explaining, you are lucky. My lore turned into such a mess because of the things that are okay in stories, but not interactive fiction.

Some things were too restrictive for a CS game. In my stories, women are much better at magic than men. I didn’t want to put that in the game because the players who want to play mages would be forced to play a female character to experience the magic system to its full potential.

Other things are offering too much liberty. When I first started working on the game, I ended up having over 20 character classes to reflect what various characters in my stories do. I completely removed the class system and that is when I decided to adapt the lore in the first place.

A big event (the central event of the lore) also had to be changed to accomodate for multiple endings and new characters. A lot of regular characters had to disappear to make the game work, etc.

My point is: Don’t get frustrated. The illogical things and difficulties with explaining will be gone when you complete the adaptation. The things might sound like and end up a completely different world, but that’s okay as long as the game conveys the spirit and the mood of the original lore and you like the story you are offering the players.

That’s fine. I understand the gist of it. It might help to organise your explanation the war into phases and then point out major events and turning points in it. The only thing I can’t understand is how all this ambition and scheming didn’t turn into a constant state of war between the states before all of this happened. But no, you don’t have to explain that to me. It has enough eternal consistency for it work as a setting. I look forward to seeing how the rest of the story develops.