Thursday, September 29, 2016

Research Tree pt.3: The Magic Branch

In Part 2, we covered the smallest research branches and the technologies they unlock. These branches were Aesthetics, Literacy, Theology, and Tactics. A little lost? Jump back to Part 1 where we explain how to get started researching in Brunelleschi. Magic is the smallest of the branching basic Sciences and that's what we'll cover today.

The Magic Branch
In the Age of Architects, magic exists but it's not free. Loosely aligned with beliefs of the time period, magic takes study of nature, custom, and mystical effects. Players who want to equip and cast spells, raise Familiars for sale or personal use, or equip magical units must first study the most eldritch science. It's child sciences include Chronomancy, Elementalism, Enchantment and Spiritualism. Studying Magic alone unlocks research of  4 Ranged Spells, 3 Blessings and 2 Buff spells. It also unlocks the Spellcrafter building, which can be used to craft these spells once you've researched them.


Guild, Might
vs Magic, vs Melee, vs Ranged
Blast, Burn, Ray, Splash
Time, like a river, flows infinitely in the one direction. However, those who spend long hours meditating near clocks may find ways to manipulate their movement through its current. After gaining the basics of Magic, researchers can turn down the path of Chronomancy to learn two very specialized spells: Celerity and Damage Reversal.

Celerity, Damage Reversal

Some casters, once awakened, find themselves especially attuned to the earth. If one listens, it's movements and nature can be understood and manipulated. Elementalism has two branch-sciences, Divination and Alchemy. This science also unlocks the ranged spell Quake, along with two of the Magical military units, allowing you to train them in the future once researched.

Elementalist, Warlock
Since the dawn of scientific thoughts, humans have tried to determine the future with what they can find in the present. From rolling bones to studying the stars, they have tried, and sometimes succeeded in knowing what to expect about something in the future. Divination does not currently unlock any technologies or other sciences.

Once one begins to understand the trees and plants, alchemy is not that far away. This study is elder sibling of chemistry, and in a magical world unlocks formulas not available through mundane processes. Its one child, the Alchemy Shop produces Familiars, Magnets and Tinctures, a valuable and versatile crafting building, and all goods that will be needed to craft magical gear. Alchemy also unlocks the Transmutation science, which does not currently unlock anything.

Alchemy Shop
There are many ways to effect a target with Enchantment, which form a primarily tactical advantage for those who have taken the time to learn this magical art. Enchanters imbue their targets with magic, giving them an ethereal glow and an unnatural upper hand in battle.

Arcane Archer, Enchanted Ballista, Golem

Some casters can choose to look through the veil and see the spiritual world. Studying this path can vary from touching living spirits to calling upon the dead. This child science of Magic does not have any technologies of it's own, but opens up the pathway to Conjuration and it's juicy cluster of technologies, and to Thaumaturgy which does not currently unlock anything.

This elusive and currently inconclusive science has several definitions. It has been taken for the study of the deep mechanics of magic, and referred to as the working of miracles. Right now, there's no way to say what Thaumaturgy does, as it has no child sciences or technologies.

Conjuration is the practice of summoning energy or entities from other planes of existence. While it can be exciting to bring energy and life where there were none, it is also a dangerous art that can get quickly out of hand. Conjuration allows you to study the summoning of Elementals, Spirits and Arcane Cannons, along with the crafting of Damage Absorb spells.

Damage Absorb
Arcane Cannon, Elemental, Spirit

What's Next?
We'll be covering the Mathematics branch next, but it's so big we'll be using more than one post to cover all of it's child sciences and their technologies. The largest branches from Mathematics are Masonry and Carpentry which understandably unlock a great many building technologies.

Friday, September 23, 2016

How to Gain Negative Ranks

While Karma systems are not unheard of in online games, Brunelleschi has created a way to both mark the 'bad-guys' and design our system to allow these villains to be proud of their villainous achievements. In -this post- we described how Heroes can not only gain positive, but negative ranks. But how is it done? This post is for aspirant evil-doers who want to get on the fast-track to the title of 'Grand High Bastard'.

Skulls for the Throne

The first step: have no shame. Unlike most other players, your goal is now to lose importance rather than gain it. Villains can get started the moment they make a character. Already there are disreputable actions available to you. Start with begging from travelers. It's a great way to start your downward slide and puts a little extra copper in your pocket. After all, why not take advantage of the weak charitable sentiment of those who travel the roads?

Beg from Travelers
Next, trade with the evil residents of the wilderness. This can be a little risky but hey, what's a few death points when the scars only make you more terrifying? Trade with Barbarians costs only a few easily-attained Pelts and can yield a remarkable variety of bounty in return. Probably stolen from others, but that's all right in line with your goals.

Trade with Barbarians
When you're done with the wilderness, move to a settlement with a failing Security rating, something below 50%, then you can get started breaking the rules in earnest, with a much lower chance of legal repercussions. The guards can only catch you if there are any guards at all. Don't forget, even if you do get caught and thrown in prison, you're not without recourse. There are many ways to attempt escape, and all of them will further lower your importance, even if they are unsuccessful.

Swashbuckling Escape
You have several options for overt rule-breaking, but you'll have to start small. Want to piss off the pious religious core? Try 'Fast and Pray', which costs no materials and will eventually enlighten you to the mysterious ways of alternate religion. Want to upset the societal balance with wanton temptation? Make yourself distractingly attractive with 'Preen' and see where it takes you. Some villains may want to simply bash people over the head and take their stuff. Get started by picking on the already disenfranchised with 'Dominate Brigands' to learn the arts of violence and property liberation. Finally, who can say what paths will reveal themselves to those that open their minds with 'Superstitious Ritual'? 

Superstitious Ritual

Casual play allows for greater opportunities for bastardry. Allow people to form friendships with you, then break them with 'Annul Friendship'. Infact, severing any relationship will further diminish your Importance score. Should anyone make the mistake of putting you in charge of courts, prisoners, or international relations, take full advantage. Dispossess the prisoners, cancel alliances and buy up every building in sight. Should you get the opportunity, try a little Gambling, then Buy or Sell a few indulgences in defiance of honorable church functions. Hunt down and murder your fellow players, they'll really hate that. Finally, Declare Enmity / Rivalry / Hatred with an eidelon of goodness. As they rise in rank, you will be inversely effected.

Declare Hatred
Fortunately for you ambitiously nefarious characters, evil is a slippery slope. The more wicked things you do, the easier it will be to do them, but be careful. Many actions / scenario rewards provide positive importance, which will slow your fall toward becoming the Supreme Nemesis.

Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy

Hero Fame and Infamy

The Renaissance is a time of exemplars, where people outside the aristocracy and existing power-families rise to the top through hard work and incredible luck. People with nothing but raw talent and work ethic became leaders of vast trading empires. Heroes whose family names had never been written down will hear their name ring out across the known world. In short, Heroes have a place in the Importance game, and so we at BruneGame added Hero Ranks to our design.

Heroes can now compete with each other for the highest, most respected rank of "Chosen One", the most blessed by the wealth and progress of the Renaissance. Heroes at the highest ranks will undoubtedly stab, sabotage and strive to outpace each other in pursuit of this title that only one character can hold. To be the most important person to have never been born to a noble family.

However, Fame isn't the only way that heroes can make their names known. Not every great name in the Renaissance was spoken with admiration. There were also great villains. Bastards, Robber Barons, and Dread Pirates ruled lands, coasts and vast trading empires, associating their names with fear instead of respect, with horrors instead of charities. This too, you can play out in Brune.

Heroes who don't want to be the good guy can instead dedicate their time to becoming the worst person in the known world. With great evil effort, Heroes can achieve negative ranks, and gain notoriety among the darker circles. Seemingly admirable players will covertly hire you to assassinate their enemies. 'Respectable' Guilds and Settlements will hire you to burn the store houses of their rivals. The very worst Heroes, the ones most dedicated to evil will find themselves competing for the lowest possible rank, a position only one vile Hero can hold. This ambitious villain will simultaneously gain the title of 'Supreme Nemesis' and the 'Grand High Bastard' achievement. A trophy any great evil would be proud to put on the mantle of their dark castle.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Research Tree pt2: The Small Sciences

In the last post we covered the 7 basic Sciences. Aesthetics, Literacy, Magic, Mathematics, Science, Theology and Tactics. These are your only options when you've just begun to research and all other research topics, Sciences or Technologies, stem from them. However, not all 7 are equal in number of branches or technologies beneath them. Mathematics and Science are huge trees while Aesthetics, Literacy, Theology and Tactics have no sub-sciences at all. These smaller base sciences are today's topic.

Why Research Small Sciences?
Just because a science has no sub-sciences doesn't mean they have no technologies. In fact, gaining access to technologies with fewer pre-requisite sciences in the research chain is more efficient. This means these smaller trees are in-fact easier routes than their larger brethren. Beneath each of the smaller base sciences is at least a handful of valuable technologies to access.

Aesthetics is the study of beauty. What do people find appealing to the senses and why? Consider two lamps. Both light the room equally well but one lamp is more attractive than the other. This is because it's creators understood aesthetics. When players study Aesthetics in brun, they become able to research buildings that relate to the fine arts. Aesthetics also unlocks the production of Symbol and Emblem gear types.

Grand Pavilion
Art Gallery

Without literacy, we cannot record history or read what others have written in the past. This is a small but vital science. A settlement (or group, or coalition) with Literacy can produce Books as gear and build Libraries. A library can be built in any district and employs researchers as well as increasing local Education happiness.


Theology is the general study of religion. This could be a wide study of many religions or a refined study of a single god or group of followers. While many topics of interest lie under Theology, it has no child sciences. It does unlock study of both the Pantheon and the Inner Sanctum. Theology also allows those to study it to unlock religious unit types such as the Catalyst, Inquisitor, Monk, Nullifier, Paladin and Supplicant.

Catalyst, Inquisitor, Monk
 Nullifier, Paladin, Sacrifice

Tactics is the study of military method and strategic decision making in combat situations. It's therefore a natural route to many military buildings and basic military units. Through the study of Tactics, combat oriented settlements have a quick research path to large number of combat relevant technologies. The Mustering Hall, Barracks, Command Center, Militia HQ and Praetorian Assembly all require tactics to build/upgrade. Bodyguard type equippable retainers cannot be 'crafted' without this science.

Inside a Barracks

Bodyguards with Clubs

Assassin, Cataphract, Chariot, Hoptlite,
Huscarl, Legionaire, Longbowman, Spy, Snip

What's Next?
Tune in for the next article in this series where we'll explore the Magic research path. This is a fairly short but vital branch of the greater Research tree and will help you gain access to magical gear and similar supernatural goodies.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Research Tree pt1: Getting Started on Research

Getting Started
Research is a complex and necessary part of building, production and growth in Brune. It's helpful to know how to research and what path you want to pursue from the first moment you gain control of a research building. Are you a sovereign (or minister) looking to nurture your settlement to self-sufficiency? Or perhaps you're a merchant looking to produce a few high-end goods, or you're a successful adventurer, looking to craft your own equipment and sell the surplus. Are you researching for your home settlement, your group or your coalition? This post should help you point yourself in the right direction and start producing research.

The Printshop from Above

Research Buildings
Not every building can conduct research, in fact only a few specific buildings can. Fortunately for new sovereigns, the Granary, Lodge and Community Center can each support a certain number of researchers per level. Linked (can be built anywhere) buildings that support research are the Library, Spellcrafter and Alchemy Shop. There are several districts throughout the ranks that provide research positions in their Main or Exclusive buildings. The two best districts for Research are Printing and University, as their main and exclusive buildings can all employ researchers.

List of Research Buildings

Inside the Great Library

Outside the Spellcrafter

Hiring Researchers
Once you have a building that can support research, you must hire some researchers to get the research done. These are player positions, NPCs cannot fill your research slots. How you get characters to take your research jobs is your business. You can offer them a salary, make other arrangements through the forums, or simply wait and hope someone bored comes along and takes your job because it's there. Each researcher can produce a certain number of research points per research cycle, determined by their class and level, favoring Casters and Clergy. This means who takes your research positions can influence how much research you make each cycle.

The Research Tree
Finally, you're ready to pick your research topic. Research unlocks in branching chains from 7 basic Sciences from which all other Sciences and Technologies can be unlocked. These first sciences are Aesthetics, Literacy, Magic, Mathematics, Science, Theology and Tactics. 'Technologies' are buildings, pieces of equipment, units of transportation and military units that lie behind research chains, and you must research them to build/craft/recruit them. Each Technology is unlocked by researching at least one pre-requisite Science. In order to increase the research level of any later topic, you must first upgrade your knowledge in the prerequisite sciences.
Web Research UI

How it Works:
As an example, let's say you want to learn how to build a Cargo Dock. From your building or the Research UI, select Mathematics and set your building to study it, then wait. After a few cycles, you'll have enough Research Points (RP) in Mathematics to buy the first level. Now Mathematics is unlocked and you can research all the items immediately beyond it. Next set your building to research Carpentry, then wait until you can buy the first level of it and do so. Your building can now study the Cargo Dock. Wait for the points, then buy it's first level. You can now build a Level 1 Cargo Dock. Here's the tricky part: You can't upgrade your Cargo Dock to level 2 until you already have level 2 Mathematics and level 2 Carpentry.

Sciences and Technologies
The next several posts will illustrate what can be unlocked with research, and where each research path will lead you. Beneath each of the 7 basic Sciences are a few to many other Sciences and Technologies. Some trees are small and some have many sub-branches but don't worry, we'll cover them all. Click Here for Part 2!