Romance of the Seven Worlds

Copyright Canstock Photo – Inovari. Used under license.

Game Overview

Earth is threatened by the planet smashing supergravity weapons of Galactic Overlord Taran the Terrible. A small group of elite human agents have been sent on a one way rocket trip to the world of Tarantium in a last-ditch effort of interstellar diplomacy to save the Earth from being ripped apart.

This megagame will be run at the Wellycon boardgame convention on Saturday 30 May 2020. The game will run for up to six hours. There are some game roles available for players who only want to play for three hours. Tickets will be available later in March through the convention website.

Game Objective

This is a hobby game for entertainment. We play to find out what happens, especially:

  • Does Earth survive? Can the meddling Earthlings prevent the destruction of their home world? What compromises and sacrifices must be made to make this happen?
  • Does Emperor Taran the Terrible survive? Will the oppressed people or their feudal overlords rise up against their immortal leader? Will the Imperial ministers and armed forces remain loyal? If Taran falls, what happens to the Empire and its people?

What do you mean by Romance?

This megagame is inspired by classic tales of the sword and planet genre, where small groups of people from Earth must figure out how to survive in an alien world. Those were in turn often referencing the chivalric Arthurian romances and their tales of errant knights. In these tales, people encountering each other for the first time tend to quickly become firm friends or dangerous enemies. Romance of the Seven Worlds will have an opt-in romance mechanic to encourage this emergent play. This minigame is 100% platonic.

Why Seven Worlds?

Over the ages, Emperor Taran has captured six worlds in orbit around their home world of Tarantium, plus eight moons. These worlds have been preserved for their aesthetic beauty, and to produce food to feed the hive cities of the imperial capital. The moons are where the mines and industry are located. The noble families engage in chivalric warfare and Machiavellian intrigue to gain enough imperial favour to have control of the various moons assigned to their families. Earth could become the seventh world of the Empire – but only if one of the existing six subject worlds is destroyed in place of Earth.

Game Roles

All game roles are gender agnostic. For the Earthling and Imperial heir roles, opting in to the Romance minigame is strongly recommended. The number of roles available is indicated in brackets.

Emperor Taran the Terrible (1) the eternal ruler of the galaxy. This is the only character in the game who cannot opt in to the romance minigame. The Emperor rules through fear, not love.

Imperial Ministers (3-8) the trusted servants of the Emperor with extensive powers and privileges. Each aspires to be recognised as the Emperor’s right hand, and seeks to avoid being executed for failing their Emperor.

Earthlings (3) – a scientist, a politician, and an ace pilot. They only have six hours to save the Earth!

Imperial Heirs (1-2) – the children of Taran the Terrible, who have survived a deadly decadent court to reach adulthood. This is a role with little inherent influence – unless the Emperor dies – so it is recommended for players who can be self-starters and seek their own fun in the game.

Nobles (12-24) members of the families who rule over one of the six subject worlds of Tarantium, and one or more of the tribute moons. Each family can have up to four players. All the families compete for imperial favour by rendering worthy tribute found in the hazardous wilderness regions of the seven worlds. The following four noble roles exist:

Prince/Princess = noble team leader, politician, and diplomat.

Count = noble economic role, production and trade.

Duke = noble military role, asteroid defence, space patrol, piracy, and tribute raids.

Lord = noble science role, and creative thinking.

Finally, we have the Outlaws (1-3), a mix of rebels, smugglers, and pirates dedicated to the overthrow of Emperor Taran. Because you do not have strong military forces, you will need to think creatively and recruit allies if any rebellion is to have a chance of succeeding.

Casting

More details on the roles will be added before tickets go on sale. Casting will be done on a first come, first served basis.

Because there are a lot of gaming options at Wellycon, a small number of game roles will be available for people who only want to commit to three hours of the megagame. These roles will be in the Imperial Ministers and the Outlaws.

Constraints of the Pulp genre

This megagame is based on the tropes of fictional genres, especially the pulp comics of the 1930s. Players will be able to attempt any plausible course of action, and Control will adjudicate the outcomes based on pulp principles established before the game and the current state of the game. There will, however, be no further reinforcements from Earth, invasions by space elves, or post 1945 technology.