As you might already suspect from His Highness' mention of my overtures in his post, he and I are very much of a similar mind when it comes to these matters. I second his desire for more cross-estate RP and his belief that we are all very much stronger together.
To that end, I would like to first answer His Highness' questions. After that, I will put forth some suggestions of my own. Thank you, Your Highness, for beginning this conversation!
1. Are there any Courts that are active right now? Kings? Queens?
- Not to my knowledge, although if there are, I would love to embark on some diplomatic missions.
2. Any Ducal houses? Large manors or people that carry royal titles?
- I have one! I suspect you already knew that. Mansur is a pasha, which I suppose is near enough in rank to an aristocratic European house to be included in this category. I'm juuuust now starting to reserve Thursday evenings (at 5pm) for palace-based play, a 'family night' when palace residents, including harem girls, eunuchs, family members, and guests, are invited to come live the palace lifestyle. One member of my character's family plays a minor Romanov. Keeping in mind that the Ottomans and Russians were often at odds during our period, that is a politically tricky issue. We would very much welcome a story with a Russian court!
As for my suggestions, please bear with me. The hour grows late and my eyelids grow heavy!
- I think we should form an in-world RP notice group in which members can post event notices for all of our period-related sims. I think we should broadly define it as "court and pirate" or, perhaps, "Enlightenment Era" or "Age of Sail" or "The Long 18th Century." There's got to be a better name out there to define our era, something catchy, but it eludes me at present.
- It might be nice if we each set aside an area on our sims to act as a hub or a portal, sort of like an embassy, to encourage a free flow of traffic. I've set up one on my own sim. it is called the Larl Valley ~ Port Authority & RP Hub: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Larl%20Valley/135/147/22 . Let me know if you want me to add your sim!
- Similarly (and also included in my RP hub), it might be nice to have an in-world place where we can advertise for RP stories. You know those dating ad boards on a lot of SL sims? Or the adoption boards? Like that... but for RP stories, instead. Is your royal house in need of a kitchen maid? Does your pirate ship need a quartermaster? Do you need someone to play your previously NPCed kid? Do you need a villain from your backstory? Need a supplier for a certain trade item? I think we should have a place where people can gather, informally, and see what kind of RP opportunities are out there.
- We should organize a "Grand Tour." Maybe a different estate is highlighted, every month or so, as a stop on the 'Grand Tour.' The host sim will host a ball or a hunt or an event that is unique to that theme and culture and the member estates will invite or encourage their members to attend.
- Similarly, it MIGHT be helpful if our inter-related sims each chose a day of the week to sort of 'reserve.' Maybe Georgian London takes Tuesdays and Egypt takes Thursdays, Rocca takes Mondays, Antiquity has the weekend... whatever. Right now, we are competing for players instead of working together, and we're all constantly hosting a barrage of events. I'm not proposing that if, say, Larl Valley takes Thursdays, Antiquity can never have a Thursday event. I'm proposing, instead, that each sim carves out a short block of no more than 2 hours on their given day. The time zone would be different in different sims, depending on the organizers' RL availability, and the 2 hour time limit means it wouldn't keep our players from hosting events of their own. The goal of that weekly block would be to promote cross-sim RP. For example, maybe everyone visits Egypt with their trade goods and delegations on Wednesday evenings. Then, the next day, those merchant ships have arrived in Antiquity's port. If we know when and where things like that will happen, it will give people a chance to try to steal a shipment or spy on a delegation or ransom a captive or what have you.
- We could do what -real- royal courts and disparate peoples did to forge alliances: intermarry. Obviously, I mean this for RP purposes only, not for any sort of rl relationship. Mansur has some kids of marriageable age (or kids who could be aged up to a marriageable age, if a player wanted to take on and pursue that story). Actually, given the polygamous nature of his particular society, it's not even beyond the realm of possibility that I could offer Mansur himself up for such a scheme! This would get players moving back and forth more naturally as princes, princesses, dukes, duchesses, rich heiresses, etc. are shuffled around the map like pieces on a chess board, and it would create family ties as an inducement to rp with people from other sims. It would reflect the real life of the times, allow families to build dynasties, create rp opportunities for events like weddings and birth announcements, and result in a good deal of naturally arising RP conflict like scandalous divorces and affairs, nepotism, cronyism, etc.
This idea was inspired by Lady Hartfield, actually. In-character, she made a passing remark that, someday, his new daughter and her new son might marry. Of course, his daughter would have to become a Christian. Mansur nearly choked on his food! The story of the foreign girl of status married off and sent overseas to a strange new land for financial and political gain... or the story of the young baronet who finds himself leg-shackled to a stranger for same... is an enticing one to play. What happens if trade relations sour or if war arises? These kinds of stories are full of opportunity for conflict and RP both public (will trade be enhanced? war averted?) and private (can you convert to the new religion? live peaceably with a spouse who snores?).
- We all have different currencies, meters, and crafting systems. Some of them are really cool (like ACS). Others are... rudimentary (ahem, like mine). Pirate's Destiny seems to have some awesome crafting capabilities. I think some of our community's scripting wizards might be needed to figure out a way to better integrate these systems - OR we might all try to come to an agreement on a few standard or preferred systems. One of the biggest impediments to inter-sim travel is the loss or rank or funds that comes with it. This is not my specialty, so I'd definitely appreciate it if a talented scripter could weigh in on if this is even a plausible idea.
One way that I can think of is for each estate that has a crafting system to agree to put one of those ingredients on another sim (or multiple sims). Maybe that certain kind of ore that you need or drug or plant or animal is only available in the Caribbean or in England or in Antiquity or in Egypt!
- If possible, we might want to look into what it will cost to move our estates closer together on the map. perhaps we could try to form a continent. I know my landlord charges a hefty fee for the service, but it is possible. Think of how appealing interconnected continents look on the map. We may have to host some fundraising balls or events to make it happen, but wouldn't it be nice if we had an "Age of Sail" continent? Maybe each member estate could chip in the cost of one of those minimal ocean sims? Or promise some other connected waterway (like, ahem, the Nile)?
I don't know how many of my suggestions are practical or even desirable. Ultimately, what I'm getting at is the idea of cooperation, a way to expand our historical world so that we are sharing each other's unique cultures and experiences without becoming one homogeneous estate. Some sims are more combat focused. Some are into para-RP. Some are more into light RP. That's ok. We all have our own estate cultures, and that's part of the fun! My hope, with all of these suggestions, is to find ways for each estate to retain its unique flavor while encouraging a free exchange of ideas and people across those cultural divides.
Georgian London or Antiquity or Egypt might be your home. It will remain so! But maybe, just maybe, you send a servant to buy or otherwise obtain that exotic ingredient from the Caribbean. Maybe you make an advantageous foreign alliance for your daughter. Maybe you go on the Grand Tour. Maybe you find someone to play that creditor for your backstory -- you know, the one to whom you owe a gaming debt. Maybe you have a warrant out for you in one land, so you flee to another -- and *maybe* someone pursues you! I think our experiences will all be the richer if we are able to work together to support each other.
Owner, the NEW Larl Valley: