Choose a subject from the index on the right. I mean left. Clicking on the headings will provide you with overviews, as well as allowing you to delve into the seedy underbelly of each general area by exposing their... well... their parts. And then you can look at those in more detail.
Click any highlighted term in an article to see related information.
Blah Blah Online takes place in the archipelagic nation of Propitia. Propitia is a thassolo-timocratic syndicated oligarchy and is very poorly run.
This is a world unfamiliar with the concept of violence. Oh, there are struggles for power, intentional insults, and physical injuries, but nobody has ever put the pieces together to realize that they could get their way by causing injuries to others. I wouldn't be entirely surprised, however, if all that was about to change! However, this lack of violence has meant that the arts of persuasion and insinuation have risen to a level unsurpassed by most locales, and many a roadside bandit has been defeated by a potential victim's training in the rhetorical arts.
You, the player, are an outsider in this land. Well not really, since you're a citizen of Propitia. But yeah, really, because you didn't even know that until I just told you. Or I guess if you read the intro fairly carefully. In any case, your task is to get to the capital island of Insulum and help the Syndics there prepare for the feast or whatever.
The Guiding Principles
Blah Blah Online is set up hoping to juggle the following competing demands:
You shouldn't have to click any more times than is absolutely necessary to do what you want to do. You shouldn't have to deal with multiple windows or intrusively repetitious inconveniences. You shouldn't have to reload a screenful of border and background images every time you click something.
You should be able to find what you're looking for within no more than three clicks. The tab interface I use retains windows among the tabs so that you can quickly switch between views without losing any data. You should never be punished for failure of the internet or my server; you will be able to pick up any fight at the same place you left it. You should be able to use the game on a reasonably wide variety of browsers. You should receive a promptish response to any message sent to authorities.
You shouldn't have to wait forever for things to load. You shouldn't have to reload entire pages when only a few things are changing. You shouldn't have to feel any effects of an overloaded server or database.
The game should be fun, reasonably aesthetically pleasing, and it shouldn't allow other players to interfere with your gaming experience without your consent.
The sidebar in the top left displays your various attributes and statistics.
The infobox in the bottom left shows a running record of your recent activities.
The main window is where most of the action takes place.
Nightly rollover will update/refresh your character.
Click any highlighted term to see more information.
The sidebar contains just about all the information you need to glance at to know how you're doing in the game, including:
There are other things too, but whatever. Some info items are simple one-liners; others have more extensive information associated with them and are marked as such a with a recognizably symbolic triangle next to them. If the most recent item is one of these, it will be expanded to show the extra info. For others, simply hover over them. Clicking on them will force them (or unforce them) to stay open. Fancy that. When you get a new info item it will glow briefly to catch your attention.
This is where you will interact with the world, your inventory, and other players, as well as view your journal and skills, view and send messages, and change options about your account.
A lot of stuff? Well... yeah. It's the main window!
The game world runs more or less in tandem with the real world. Each day, you have 16 game hours to do what you will. At midnight Pacific Standard Time (GMT -8:00) every night, there is a so-called "rollover," during which you get a new 16 hours (they do not stack day-to-day), and heal and so forth. The game refers to this time as sleeping. In the game, this takes 8 hours; in real life it is instantaneous. So basically, every 24 real hours, you have 16 game hours to spend. The following happens every "night":
Ah, Propitia. That most archipelagic of oligarchies. A thassalo-timocratic syndicated oligarchy, that is. Propitia has existed for periods of time which have not yet been sufficiently invented. Before its founding, most of the islands were uninhabited, but some of the easterly isles were populated with pygmies.
The capital of Propitia is the island of Insulum. Here is where sits the inefficient government, as well as the largest city in the archipelago. The national bird is extinct, and the national dish is ceramic. For more information about any aspect of Propitia, choose one of the choices:
- The various sorts of people making up the population
Islands of Propitia
The archipelago of Propitia comprises dozens of islands, big and small. Here are a few:
The capital island-city of Propitia, Insulum lies in the center of the oligarchy. The tripartite island is home to all three Oligarchs and their respective state buildings, from which they govern their provinces. The island is also the largest city in Propitia, though it is divided into the three provincial capitals and travel between them is restricted, albeit ineffectively. Insulum is also the only island directly controlled by Oligarchs, without a Syndic of its own (see Government). Decisions about the administration of the island are made by a unanimous vote by the Oligarchs.
The rural island of Pagustium Pauvum (or "Pagum") is among the most outlying of Propitian islands, deep in the southeast of the province of Austeria. It is sparsely-populated, with only two settlements of note. Port Aliquantus, on the west coast, is the only viable harbor on the island and is the administrative center. The small town of Incidentus near the east coast was the result of a half-hearted attempt at expansion, which was mostly abandoned after the lawn furniture district was struck with a blight which animated and angered the lawn furniture. None of the furniture has opposable thumbs, though, so they're pretty much confined to the factory.
Years ago, the plains in the northeast were the site of a small grass-based settlement. At some point, however, the settlers were driven out and their settlement subsequently eaten by a large Bore, who, rumor has it, can melt a man's liver with his rambling stories. Now, the settlers have become nigh-indistinguishable from one another and wander the Big Itchy Grass of the plains, harvesting grass and baking bland tack.
The center of the island is dominated by a pathetic hill called by the locals "Mount Pagus." The prefecture of Port Aliquantus has at times reported humanoid sightings on the hill, but insist it's probably nothing to worry about.
The Syndicate of Pagustium Pauvum is not an enviable post; it is very difficult to get close to the provincial Oligarch, and therefore nearly impossible to be granted any resources. In the last province-wide census, the entire island was omitted, ostensibly by accident; rumor has it the census-taker just didn't want to go to Pagum.
Not too many units of distance to the northwest of Pagustium Pauvum lies its sister island of Pagustium Pernima (or "Pagima"). More like aunt island, really. Pretty much everything about Pagima is superior to Pagum. For one thing, it has natural resources. It's also bigger, more temperate, and generally just more interesting.
Government of Propitia
The Articles of Instantiation
Propitia has been working with the same system of government as it had at its inception rather a while ago. The Propitian Articles of Instantiation are as follow:
Since our people have suffered under the yoke of not wanting to pay taxes for what seems like months, we hereby instantiate the Propitia Utopian Oligarchy. Wanna make something of it?
The islands of Propitia are as follow: [following is an implausible listing of every island the Founding Folk had ever heard of. One wonders how seriously they expected to be taken]
These islands shall be divided into the three provinces of Propitia as follows. At the center of the island of Insulum, a line shall be drawn to the north, the southwest, and the southeast, to be terminated only when the natural prismical nature of the planet causes the lines to run afoul of one another. Islands which intersect a line shall be included in the province which contains the most of its surface area. The province to the northwest shall be called Cauria. The province to the northeast shall be called Ortum. The province to the south shall be called Austeria.
Article 2 [fragment]
Each province shall be overseen by an Oligarch; each island shall be overseen by a Syndic, excepting the island of Insulum, which shall be overseen by the Oligarchs in tandem. Each Oligarch must call a congregation of the those who own at least two square fovs in his province and achieve a 25% quorum, at a time of his choosing, to make decisions regarding the province. From among these ranks are elected a pool of Syndics, to be appointed as the Oligarch sees fit. The Syndics shall have the power to levy-
[The rest of Article 2, as well as most of Article 3, was lost the week after the instantiation of Propitia. The resulting confusion of power has laid the groundwork for the current situation]
Article 3 [fragment]
... beyond. Upon a finding of guilty, the court shall have the power to invoke any of the above punishments, subject to Syndicatory review.
The citizenry of Propitia shall be determined by who lives on Propitian islands. Foreign citizens who wish to become Propitian are more than welcome to. A citizen must abide by the regulations applicable in his area. A citizen is entitled to complain in private, so long as it doesn't bother anyone. All other rights are at the discretion of the provincial assemblies.
Any rights not explicitly given herein are off-limits. These articles may only be amended by a unanimous vote of Oligarchs and a penunanimous vote of Syndics.
The ambiguity and incompletitude of the Articles has resulted in an inefficient, stagnant government, run mostly for the benefit of the Oligarchs and Syndics. Legal disputes have raged since the beginning over the powers granted to Syndics, who claim that it is obvious they were meant to be able to levy taxes, because what else could they levy? Livestock? The Oligarchs, predictably, assert that without the lost portion of the Articles, no decision can be made. They're probably just hurt that they don't even have an implied right to collect taxes. In the meantime, the Syndics levy taxes anyway, but don't spend them on public services, for fear that the Oligarchs will notice their income. Meanwhile, the Oligarchs use the so-called "Congregation Clause" of Article 2 to raise their own money; mandatory donation drives occur yearly under the guise of financing the mandatory landowner congregation.
Elections are largely meaningless. As a timocratic nation, only sufficient landowners may elect Syndics; as a poorly-run nation, generally only Syndics own enough land to qualify. As nothing in the Articles prohibits it, an implicit agreement between the Syndics means that with very few exceptions, they merely re-elect each other or their chosen successors. Oligarchical succession always seems to take place while everyone is looking the other way; if there has ever been a dispute, nobody said anything about it.
Government infrastructure is sparse, with the vast majority of offices and committees existing only as the pet project of some past Oligarch, who had the foresight to include in their legislation of origin that they can never be dissolved without that particular Oligarch's express approval. Diplomacy consists of either glaring or winking at foreign emissaries, depending.
History of Propitia
In Times Ago, the islands that would become Propitia were sparsely inhabited by the pygmies the descendents of which are now known as Little People. They never progressed past the tribal phase, and when settlers from other lands arrived, the pygmies were soon a conquered people.
Eventually, each of the colonies on the Propitian archipelago were granted provincial status and semi-autonomy by their mother countries. As time wore on, however, they found they retained no loyalty to or even memory of their mother countries. Still, it wasn't a big deal until a boat arrived carrying messages indicating the passage of taxes on the islands. In a fit of pique, the Propitian islands banded together and declared independence. The messengers shrugged and went home, where each of the colonizing nations decided the paltry islands weren't worth the bother; the taxes had only been passed as a way to finance the voyage of the messengers who carried the notification of taxation.
Newly instantiated, the Oligarchs of Propitia went about consolidating whatever power they could manage to get the others to agree with. Denizens of the islands saw little change in their existence, having been transferred from the ostensible rule of a shadowy overseas nation to the ostensible rule of also-shadowy, also-overseas Oligarchs, who never left the capital island of Insulum. Society progressed at a glacial rate, with the only notable advances being in the area of food preparation and rhetorical delivery.
Propitian "Culture" and Society
The people of Propitia are varied, but not many. The relatively small population has meant that there has been little wiggle room for the development of arts and/or crafts. Roughly all of Propitian culture is either isolated or found in the capital island of Insulum.
Education is not only not highly-prioritized, but difficult to obtain without enrolling overseas. This would require a travel visa, which the government honestly can't even afford to print up. Most Propitians are illiterate except for some important words, like "Soup," "Free," "Danger," and "Exit."
This side of the world is unfamiliar with the concept of violence. Disputes are solved via persuasion or, in particularly heated cases, argument. People are on the whole quite nice, and aren't even capable of thinking about hurting anyone else.
The one event which attempts to bring together the people of Propitia and evoke some semblance of culture and unity is the annual Leafdrop Festival and Barbecue of Insulum, an event put together by the Syndics as a way to visit a real city once a year. It also allows them to attempt to get in the good graces of their Oligarch, who might send a shipload of food or wood to his favoured islands. Probably not though.
There are only two kinds of people in the world: People who think there are only two kinds of people in the world, and other people, like me, who think there are six:
The lowly Rock Hammerer is looked down upon by society, but then again, he hasn't the faintest idea. These petrosmiths bang out a living by using hammers made out of rocks to smash other rocks into hammers. This is a surprisingly burgeoning industry, though of course the word "industry" is used very loosely.
Rock Hammerers are genetically predisposed toward greater Strength, but less inclined toward Acuity.
Once a few people realized that other people would give them free food in exchange for some multi-syllabic adjectives, Propitia was crawling with would-be critics. Most of them remain strictly amateur, as there are only so many (two) periodicals of any note in the oligarchy.
Restaurant Critics will find it easier to bulk up, but like most critical people, are not all that impervious to criticism themselves.
In a largely illiterate society, interpretive dance is still an important part of everyday life. At least, that's what Dancers are told to make them feel like everyone is depending on them, so when they learn that nobody really cares anymore, they'll be too docile to resist their pre-chosen profession. It's not all bad, though; Dancers are very skillful people, and sometimes surprise themselves with their own power...
While Dancers are exceptionally agile, they have a hard time building confidence in themselves.
The subject of the first known humor in Propitia, with jokes dating back as far as several years ago, Barristers are the legal eagles of the islands. They take themselves very seriously, mostly to make up for the fact that nobody else does; this is due to the fact that the government rarely bothers to host trials of any sort.
Barristers are almost delusionally confident folk, but a lot of sitting, writing, and being pretentious has inhibited their agility.
The remarkably large population of Little People in Propitia is not the result of inbreeding or mutation; rather, historians believe that a race of pygmy folk were the original inhabitants of the archipelago. When the imperialistic invaders arrived, the Little People soon found themselves relegated to circus acts and other fringes of society.
Little People have had to withstand a lifetime of insults and degradations. As a result, they are rather stolid people; on the other hand, of course, they are not terribly bulky.
NPs are pre-scientists who attempt to study the world around them objectively. They usually fail miserably, but every so often, a breakthrough is made, and grant applications to the government increase fivefold. They are all denied, of course, but with at least a measure of civility.
Natural Philosophers have spent a great portion of their lives thinking about everything they see. They are therefore quite perceptive, although not terribly muscular.
Blah Blah Online is the result of countless hours of work by The Grasssmith, president and sole member of Grasssmithery Worldwide. Assuming the need ever arises, however, there are others who may play a major part in this venture.
There are three main personages you might care about:
-The Syndic (#1), who acts as the authority figure of the game
There is, of course, also certain credit that should be given to peripheral technologies used to create the game.
The Grasssmith toils long into the night, taking no heed of the late hour; The Grasssmith thinks only of those he serves, selfless in his incessant weaving of new features and content; The Grasssmith is alone but he rarely complains. Tasked by forces unknown to weave a game as has never before been weaved, he is content with his lot in life.
The Grasssmith (Citizen #2) writes the release notes and provides additional information on the forums. In the game, he can be found in Pedestrian Square once it's built in the Plain Ol' Plains.
Eliott The Helpful Snake
That's me! I'm Elliott (Citizen #3), a snake, and I just want to help. I compiled this lovely guide to the world, and I will be happy to answer your questions in my pit on the forums! I am frightened of the dark; some might even say it is an excellent symbolic representation of my constant thirst for the illumination of knowledge!
Most links on this page lead off-site and should open a new window or tab.
The particular breeds of grass that Blah Blah Online was made from are:
-A backbone of PHP and MySQL for all major functionality
One aspect that was not produced by me was the original tab interface, which is a rather modified version of Gavin Kistner's in accordance with his Reuse License
For artistic endeavours, Paint Shop Pro was used. The exception to this is in landscape views, where the base land image was generated by Terragen.
Attributes are one side of the various values which attempt to quantify the unquantifiable you (the others being under Statistics). This game uses thinly veiled euphemisms for RPG staples (like, conventions [like, established traditions, not business symposiums], not office supplies). Here are some.
-Effects are the various boons and anti-boons that will make a difference in your everyday life
-Other crap includes Fullness and Quenchedness, Alignment, and who knows, maybe I'll think of something else.
In a world without violence, conflict is possible to engage in without ever lifting a finger, except to emphasize your point. A fight, then, is not to the death, but to the ill-defined lose. Your stamina in a battle is measured by your Resistance Points, which are reduced when a foe successfully executes an attack.
If you are low on RP, you can purchase an item which will replenish it (at the moment, you are stuck with motivational pamphlets from the Languidary, Bazaar, or General Store) or chill till the next night, at which point you will be at least partially reinvigorated.
Maximum RP is determined by the level of certain stats or items.
There should never be a situation where you are out of RP and cannot ever replenish it. If this appears to be the case, contactThe Grasssmith.
Bufrenaline was discovered by Propitian amateur physiologists, who were actually looking for the vitreous humor (they thought it would be funny). It is a naturally-occurring hormone which allows a person to perform remarkable feats, so long as they know how. With regular exercise of one's bufrenaline-powered skills, one can increase one's third-person yet gender-neutral capacity.
Bufrenaline is a naturally-produced hormone, and there is very little you can do to speed its production. In fact, I would just stop looking for a way and trust that you will regain all your BP every night.
In Times Ago, tribal Propitians measured wealth by the number of windmills they claimed to own in the far-off land of Millvania, an imaginary continent renowned, by those who imagined it, for its naturally-occurring windmills. As centralized and, later, decentralized government began to take form, there were too many people's claims of mill ownership to remember, so paper bills were issued as an easier way of transferring wealth.
Each mill (the currency) symbolizes one mill (the imaginary feature of Millvania), so the amount of mills in the economy is limited by the number of extant mills in Millvania. As this number varies from person to person, the economy is largely dependant on the mathematical imagination of the local Oligarch, whose opinion, of course, is the only one that matters.
Effects are just things that are true about you that usually aren't, and that have some sort of effect on your in-game representation. For example, the effect Morning Breath reduces your Confidence, and Sticky Fingers, while it reduces your Acuity (because having sticky fingers is distracting), also provides a small boost to your manifest Strength (because you will have a better grip).
Effects come in four intensities. When you view your active effects on the sidebar, you will see the level of intensity it's currently at; the higher the number, the more potent the effect. As time goes on, however, it will lose its potency. Alternatively, certain usable items or places in the world will remove effects entirely.
Eating and Nutrition
Everyone's gotta eat and drink! More or less. To that end, we've provided a handy meter for each of these important needs on the sidebar. You get two guesses as to how you might go about keeping these needs filled. (hint)
This is not a free-for-all, however. Foods are not all created equal. Some provide more or less fullness, but perhaps more importantly, each food has a particular number of Nutrients. There are seven nutrients which have been so far discovered, divided into two classes:
Short-term nutrients provide instantaneous minor stat gains.
- Bulk will give extra points to (surprise) Bulkiness.
Long-term nutrients are stored in your body for use in both learning and performing skills. These are Filament, Prokein, Vitamin 1, and Vitamin 3.
All nutrient values can be found by viewing the item in your inventory.
Other useful attributes include:
Time. What is time? Well, it's what clocks run on. And yet it can also be what trains run on. In any case, it's a resource like any other, to be hoarded and spent only frugally. On the other hand, with only 16 hours per day to use, and no ability to carry them over at night, 'twould be wasteful not to use them up toward some productive end.
Your alignment is a handy color-coded representation of your location on the one-dimensional spectrum that is Nice and Mean. Nice actions, like expressing concern for your fellow citizens, will earn you Nice points, while unnecessary rudeness will push you ever closer to being Mean. This will be most effected by your choices in battle. If you can keep a level head and restrict your battling to rhetorical devices, you will be known as a nicer person, but if you start getting physical... well, you get the idea. The number in the sidebar indicates your Nice points minus Mean points.
Alignment theoretically will influence the course of the game at some point, though at the moment there is only one instance of that happening.
What, you think you can just carry everything you ever found around with you? I scoff at you! Every item has a weight (except the very special quest items) which contributes to your overall weight capacity. Basically, at the moment, you get to carry up to 50 libs (see below for discussion) altogether. Boy, I sure hope you find a spacious container at some point!
The standard measure of weight in Propitia is the lib. Experts surmise that ancient Propitians looked over the shoulders of rival chieftains in head-of-state grammar school and just took their idea for a unit of weight. The experts are kind of stupid, but then again, they evolved from the ancient Propitians, so who knows.
Statistics are the second set of numbers that reflect who you are as a person (the first set being attributes). They are much easier than an expensive self-discovery program.
There are six statistics that are measured. They are divided into Physical and Mental values, and further subdivided into the elative, ergative, and ablative, mostly because the Provincial Appointed Committee for Quantificational Attribution Nomenclature (PACQAN) had a lot of time on their hands:
-Strength, the physical elative, is pretty self-explanatory
-Bulkiness, the physical ergative, is a measure of general girth
-Agility, the physical ablative, measures your twinkle-toe-itude
-Confidence, the mental elative, determines the convincingness of your arguments
-Stolidity, the mental ergative, helps you withstand rhetorical onslaughts from others
-Acuity, the mental ablative, measures your ability to think quick and present arguments in a germane fashion
Also included in this section are articles about stat boosts and the determination of player level.
Your level, displayed in the sidebar, is a more-or-less useless number which just gives you a level of satisfaction when it's increased. It also determines your ability to enter more difficult areas, maybe. Lastly, it makes the game look more RPG-like.
Level is based on your total base stat points. Each successive level requires a larger increase in total points.
Stat boosts come in two flavours: the superessive and the comitative (dang ol' PACQAN is at it again).
These are the numbers which appear to the right of each stat in the sidebar. They indicate a real addition to the base value; when you make an argument with 4(+2) Confidence, it will be as though you had 6 Confidence all along. These values can be either positive or negative. Mental stat boosts are far more likely to be Superessive.
Wearing a shirt does not actually increase one's Bulkiness. However, it does provide some artificial girth. It therefore confers a comitative boost.
These values are hidden; after all, you are master of your own body and mind and therefore entitled to a measure of its strength or mindpower, but you cannot inhabit the essence of a shirt. You can, of course, make educated guesses based on the description and material of an item. Physical stat boosts are far more likely to be Comitative.
Who do you call when you wanna lift something tall? STRENGTH! Who's your man when maiming's the plan? STRENGTH!
Basically, Strength is just a measure of your ability to exert overpowering force against the competing forces of gravity, inertia, and other people's faces (see: inertia). Without it, you will be hard pressed to press things hard. You will have trouble making trouble. It will be tough to be tough.
You get the idea. Strength, like all stats, can be increased through regular use, whether it be through exercise or (*gasp*) violence. It is difficult to artificially enhance your true strength, but it is not too difficult to find some way to amplify the effect of what strength you have, given the right equipment. Rock Hammerers have a propensity for Strength.
Despite your many and repeated claims to be merely "big-boned," it is apparent that no word can better describe your considerable (or possibly not) body-padding than "Bulkiness." Bulkiness is what allows you to take a bludgeon to the backside with nary a flinch. It will not help you to avoid any attacks, but when you get hit, you will lose less RP.
Bulkiness encompasses both useful and useless girth. As such, you can increase it in the normal manner, or the other normal manner, but you can also do it in the fun manner. Not in the fun Manor, though. There are few enough of those around as it is. Restaurant Critics, with their long training, tend to be especially bulky.
That right there? That was Agility. It is what one uses when one wishes not to be hit by things, or, conversely, what one uses when one wishes to hit things.
The best, and possibly only, way to improve your Agility is to practice, practice, practice! You can also boost your Agility with the right shoes or whatever. Dancers are especially agile.
The most bellicose of the Mental stats, Confidence allows you to craft crushingly dauntless arguments to deliver against your opponents. However, confident though you may be, without the right sorts of arguments you will sway no hearts. Therefore, it is important that you also be able to think quickly and find the vulnerabilities in the enemy's position.
Confidence is one of the easier stats to boost, as there are many items which make you feel more sure of yourself. Barristers are among the most confident denizens of Propitia.
Stolid folk can withstand even the most relevant of arguments, glaring dispassionately into the eyes of their accosters. Stolidity is essentially mental Bulkiness. It won't win you any battles, but it'll sure keep you from losing them.
Stolidity is one of the more difficult stats to increase or boost. Little People are especially stolid.
Acuity is a number derived from a very complex logarithm which calculates a small, easy-to-use integer with only the raw number of firing neurons per minute as input. What this means for you is simply that the higher your Acuity, the faster and more accurately you'll be able to put together an argument. The strength of the argument, however, depends on your Confidence in making it.
The word "fighting" is used here as a catch-all for all sorts of accostments and disputes. Since Times Ago, actual physical violence has been unthinkable. You, however, are a very special person; you have discovered the correlation between your causing pain in someone else and their doing what you want. Whether you choose to use this power is up to you; in any case, you will need to refine at least some of your stats if you wish to defeat your various opponents.
Fighting takes place in the main tab when you enter a monster-filled location. You will see an image of the enemy in the location. You cannot escape a fight; if you log out in the middle of one, you will return to the same point when you log back in. Screens and outcomes are explored in this section:
Well you're just so swell, you always get the first move. In the absence of any skills, your only choices will be the five base methods of reducing enemy RP. They draw on different stats of yours, prey on different stats of the enemy, and result in different alignment alterations:
- Attacking is the most physical accostment, and draws almost entirely on your Strength, as well as the associated boosts. Hit chance relies on Agility, and the enemy, if hit, can only defend with Bulkiness. Attacking results in two Mean points.
- Intimidating consists of making attack-like motions toward the enemy. These will clearly be more effective if you're stronger, but there is also a significant portion of its power derived from Confidence. As such, you need not only agility in order to successfully threaten, but also a bit of Acuity. Correspondingly, the enemy will defend with 3 parts bulkiness and one part Stolidity. Threatening will add one Mean point.
- Insinuation, the art of making implications about what you're going to do to your enemy, is the "middle of the road" accostment; it draws equally on Physical and Mental elatives and ablatives for power and hit chance, respectively, and prey equally on the Physical and Mental ergatives of the enemy. No alignment change is precipitated by insinuation.
- On the nicer side of the scale, Argument allows you to bring a bit of physical intimidation into a largely rhetorical accostment. That means this is a mostly Confidence/Acuity-based move, but good Strength/Agility will help out as well. Two guesses as to which enemy stats are relevant and in what proportions. This will garner 1 nice point.
- Persuasion is the nicest form of defeating an enemy. It requires Confidence and Acuity almost entirely, and will consider the enemy's Stolidity also almost entirely. Two Nice points are gained with a successful persuasion.
Finally, if you've learned them, you can execute an accostment-type skill in lieu of a conventional attack.
Defense and Countering
Battle tends to go both ways. Sure, you'll be attacking some of the time, but inevitably you'll have to deal with the retributory enemy attacks. They can attack with the same selection as you; however, monsters have a general alignment that restricts them to a subset of accostments on one part of the spectrum.
When a monster attacks (or argues or whatever), if your relevant ablative stat is high enough, you may see an opportunity to counter the attack and perhaps deal a little damage in return. There are free low-powered default countering moves available from the beginning, but learning certain skills can provide more powerful options. If you succeed in a counter, the monster's original attack will be blocked. Having a high Agility and Acuity, then, can be even more useful than having high Bulkiness or Stolidity.
Winning a Battle
Once the monster's RP has been completely depleted, it will collapse in defeat or just die, depending on the sorts of attacks that were used on them.
Many monsters have certain items in their posession that you can pillage from their defeated bodies. Once you've won, the available items will show themselves, along with your current and projected weight level, in the Pillage Tyme! menu. If you have the weight capacity to hold them, their checkboxes will be checked, and you need only to press the "Pillage!" button. If your bag is full already, you can switch to the inventory tab and eat, use, or discard some items to make room; the victory screen and pillage options should still be there when you return. If you log out before pillaging anything, however, the chance will be lost.
Also acquired in the Pillage Tyme! box is any cash that the enemy had with it. This is acquired automatically (since there's no weight limit for money).
Losing a Battle
As opposed to, let's say, winning a battle, losing a battle occurs when you have lost all your RP. When this happens, you will collapse, lose all potential stat gains from the battle and be sent to the nearest hospital. Two hours will pass, you will probably become more hungry and thirsty (though they wouldn't let you starve or dehydrate or anything), and of course you'll be at the hospital instead of wherever you were. When you revive, you will have half of your maximum RP and the whole rest of your life ahead of you!
Over the course of your life in Propitia, you will find that your skillset expands. Some skills will provide you with improved stats or other beneficial effects, while others will allow you to defeat your enemies more easily, and still others will give you the ability to manipulate items in new and exciting ways. This section of the Almanac will contain as much information as I think you should know about skills.
There are four types of skills to acquire. These are covered in detail in the type section. Most skills, however, will require use of your natural hormone bufrenaline, which allows the performance of all sorts of non-mundane feats. By using enough skills, you will improve your bufrenaline capacity, giving you more skill flexibility per day. However, you also need to maintain good nutrition in order to execute particular skills.
Descriptions of skills, as well as the cost to perform them and the option to do so for certain types, can be found in the Skills tab under the Character section in the main window.
There are at present four known sorts of skills:
It has been long recognized that certain sets of movements can produce various effects on a person. These are referred to as Forms, and are generally the result of confused precursor peoples thinking they were doing something related to the gods, when in fact they had merely tapped into their own inner energy points. The normal result of the execution of a form is some sort of effect that will assist you until it wears off.
These are harder to explain with energy points, but it turns out that with the right knowledge and ability, one can convince the aether that surrounds us all to mold itself into certain items. The smaller, the easier, of course.
Sometimes, the five basic attack options just aren't good enough. Fortunately it is possible to learn some splendiferous super-attacks. They do more damage, but of course they use up precious bufrenaline.
These skills are handy for putting cups and plates and stuff on. They're made of... oh. Actually, it seems these skills just give you extra options when you get an opportunity to counter a monster.
Okay, so make that five sorts of skills. Passive skills are always awesome. That is to say, you will at all times enjoy the benefits (or loathe them, if you are a masochist) of a passive ability. This means, of course, that they don't tend to be terribly powerful; however, they also don't require any upkeep in terms of time, nutrients, BP, or attention.
Skill use depends greatly on the sort of skill being used. Forms and summoning skills are used from the Skills page, under the Character tab in the main window. Accostments and Counters are only available in combat, and will be a potential selection when applicable. Passive skills do not need to be used, as they are always active.
Upon the use of a skill, the relevant BP and nutrients will be depleted, so don't be too cavalier! Horses are time-consuming anyway.
So where do all these skills come from? Well. Some are learned from those who have already mastered them. These folks will generally charge money for their time and training expertise, but it is probably the only way to learn such arcane knowledge, and at least you know what you'll need in terms of nutrients, time, and money. Other skills may be gained after performing certain tasks a number of times; these are acquired automatically once the prerequisites are met. These still may require nutrients to learn initially, however.
This is where it all happens, so long as you understand "it all" to refer solely to the storage, viewing, and manipulation in various ways of items which you own.
The inventory page is chock-full of options and information, as seen below.
1: These options allow you to sort the inventory by general category of item.
2: Each inventory item is visible in the main display as a picture, its name, and perhaps a category indicator (see #6).
3: Upon clicking on any inventory item, its weight and description will appear in this area. Some items also include an "Item Stats" option, which will allow you to see more number-based information about it.
4: Also upon clicking on any inventory item, its relevant action items will appear in this area. This will include (except for quest items) the red Discard button in the lower right corner of the item's picture. Other options depend on the item itself.
5: Regardless of the particular item, the "Use With" option will appear once an item is selected. By clicking on this and then on another item, you can attempt to use the two together somehow.
6: These icons can tell you at a glance what sort of item you're looking at. This includes Edible, Equippable (and Equipped), and Quest items. Equipped items have a red border on their icon while merely Equippable items have a black one.
7: Hidden away in this forgotten nook is a small readout of your water-carrying capacity (and current water vessel), as well as the weight of your current load.
Eating will require 5 minutes per item. Each item has a hunger-quashing and thirst-quenching value (although that's not to say that they're always positive values). To eat, simply select the item and then click the "Ingest!" button in the top area. Ingesting will work so long as you can feasibly fit the item in your digestive system; however, there will be repercussions for overeating.
Food and drink also has nutrional value. To take a gander at it, click the "Item Stats" option when the object is selected.
You could just walk around in your undergarments, relying on your bulging muscles to keep people from laughing at you, but it would be easier (and more fun!) to dress up. There are six locations which might be filled by an equippable item: your head, torso, right hand, wrong left hand, legs, and feet.
Obviously only one item at a time can be equipped in any particular location. Each item has particular attributes, generally giving boosts to a stat or three. These are visible by clicking on the "Item Stats" option when the item is selected. Each class of character begins with one equippable item.
A select number of things in the world are so important for one reason or another that they have been dubbed Quest Items. What this means is that the item feels as though it weighs nothing, and there's no way you could bring yourself to throw it away. That is to say, it does not add any weight to your load, and there is no option to discard. You can still put these in storage, but I can't imagine why you'd want to.
Many (or like 4) items can be used on their own. If this is the case, then selecting the item will insert a clever little "Utilize!" button in the top area. Strangely enough, clicking this will use the item and do whatever it is it should do. It'll probably tell you what it did in the info box.
The other method of using things is to try to use two things together. This is done by clicking the "Use With" box to the right of the selected item's stuff in the top area, and then choosing an item to try to use with it. "Using with" can mean putting things together (pour cereal in a bowl) or manipulating one with the other (take something apart with a tool). Depending on the nature of the use, one or both of the items could be used up, a new item or items could be created, an effect or change in attributes could result, or nothing at all might happen. This latter option is probably going to be the most common. There is no indication without trying whether any item can be used with any other item. It's fun!
As you traverse the world of Propitia, you will most likely find locations. These will be very exciting. There are large locations, like islands. There are towns and settlements and cities and oh man just all kinds of places waiting to be discovered inside these large locations. In these smaller locations you might find yet smaller and more specific locations. This section will tell you about some of them.
Traveling through the world is easy enough; just click on where you want to go. Blue locations won't cause any loss of time to reach them; red locations will (or will change the map). Basically if there is a little thing telling you a number of minutes under a location, it will take that long to get there.
- There are combat areas, where you will probably be attacked
- There is a shack for you, where you might rest your feet
- There are hospitals, which peform fairly predictable functions
- There are also stores, at which you might find yourself giving money to people in exchange for items. Fancy that!
Combat areas are areas the entering into of which could result in aggression from another directed at you. So... be careful.
In general, these will be fairly easy to discern, and they certainly will be once you're faced with an angry opponent.
Eventually these will have more exciting potentialities. For now you just enter, a monster is chosen to oppose you, and you go at it. The end.
At... some point... you might find yourself in possession of a shack. This is all purely hypothetical, but I bet that in such a situation, you would also have inside that shack some manner of infinite storage, like for example a battered but spacious trunk. Inside such a trunk, I imagine you could put all sorts of items that you didn't want to carry around with you everywhere. That'd be sweet.
What also would be sweet is if sometime in the future there were other furnishings with which one might furnish one's shack. If one had a shack. Just a thought. Whateva.
After an ill-advised bout of fighting, if you find yourself out of RP, you will wake up in the nearest available hospital. Hooray you didn't die! But boo, you lost a bunch of time and are at only half health. It's alright though. Hospitals tend to also contain small stores, so that they can sell you health-related items.
It has been rumored that some hospitals allow travelers to sleep in their extra beds at curfew. Weird rumor, but people in Propitia are easily amused. Hospitals may also dispense food or drink to the needy.
Stores are so named because they retain great stores of goods which they sell to you, the customer. When you are inside a store, you will see the available items in the following fashion:
As you can probably see (apologies to the visually impaired), each item is listed by name, with its picture and price, and a little box with an "i" in it. This box is not for merely decorational purposes; a click upon it will reveal the item's description. Clicking the radio button associated with an item will cause you to buy that item if'n you press the "Purchase!" button afterwards.
You will certainly find other locations. These may include:
- Training areas. These provide safe and easy stat gains, though the return might not be as good as if you were engaged in battle. There is also a time limit on each type of training (sparring and swimming) per day.
- Water bodies. In whatever form these take, you would be well-advised to take advantage of their usually free water. You will be able to drink straight from it, fill any containers for water that you might have, and wash any dirty dishes. You might even, if you're really lucky, catch a fish!
- Eateries. Perhaps you have run out of food in your pack, or perhaps you just have mills to burn and are looking for some variety in your diet. Either way, you could find yourself at one of these places, where you pay a small amount and in return are served some item of food. There are no take-out orders.
The game does of course contain other things. This documentation will not discuss every single aspect or feature of the game in detail, but a few misecellaneous bits will be herein discussed, including:
Odd as it may seem, you are not the only citizen of Propitia. To see information about other players, including pretty much nothing of any use, you can use the interface under the "Profiles" tab to search for the citizen of your choice. This can be done either by inputting the citizen's number on the left side or by searching for their name on the right.
Once a character has been selected, you will be able to see their basic information (class, level, and profile options). Knowing their number and name, you can also send them a message.
Thus far, there is no way to play with or against other players.
The time may come when you'll wish that you could communicate with another player. The simplest way of doing this is to send them a message via BMail, found under the Character tab in the main view.
In the BMail tab, you will see an inbox on the left, containing your new, read, and sent messages. Selecting any one of these will display the message on the right. With a message selected, you can choose to delete it from your box or reply to the sender. "Reply" just makes it easier to reply; you can always simply type in the recipient's name or number (use the Profiles tab if you're unsure) and your message. Messages currently have a limit of 45 characters in the subject, and 750 characters in the body.
When you (or anyone) receive a message, your info box will be updated with a message to that effect.
In certain circumstances, private communication may not be the way you want to go with your life, instead preferring a more public forum in which to voice your opinions, stupid jokes, whining, or displeasure with the state of the world today. To that end, Brigadier General Forum (Ret.) has opened up his country villa to the populace at large. You may use it at your leisure by going here (opens a new window).
The forum contains both chitter-chatter among you plebes as well as periodic updates from the Grasssmith and an area to get help from me, Elliott.