Nature of the Archipelago (“The Rules”) By nature, this project will be very loose, and I do not aim to gather many hard-and-fast rules here. However, there do need to be a few. Find them below. Discussion of the rules is welcome if you have questions or concerns. Humans Only Orcs, elves, any sort of <animal>-people, and your brilliantly researched sentient fungi species do not belong here. Sorry. In order to cut down on the amount of reading a person needs to do to “get into” the Project, we can't have every island inhabited by its own species. Creating cool monsters and stuff is fine, but the only building, thinking, writing, sailing, scheming, warring race in the Archipelago is good old homo sapiens. Low Magic Magic exists in the islands, but it is rare, mysterious, and often dangerous. It is not harnessed for war, nor do magicians sit alone in wilderness towers conjuring up demons. When it is around, it must be heavily limited. For instance, a group of people on my own island live in caves. Some of them spend a long, long time underground in the deepest caverns, and those people acquire the Shine — a change in their sight that allows them to see in the dark, but makes them so hypersensitive to light that they cannot bear to go to the surface, as even moonlight hurts their eyes. Thus the magic is self-limiting. Classical Technology While the technology level varies from culture to culture, the limit as a whole is going to be the historical Western Roman Empire. It may be more useful, though, to point out what is not allowed (this list may grow): Advanced Gunpowder/Personal Firearms: (clunky, cumbersome, unwieldy cannons can be okay) Printing Press: It almost single-handedly led to the modern age. For some reason, the Archipelagans haven't thought of it. Formalized steam power: No steam engines, no trains, etc. Maybe someday we'll create a successor project called the Steampunk Archipelago, but not yet. Other Complex Machinery: No matter what the power source. Waterwheels and windmills and some other basic stuff are fine, as are anything else widely in use in antiquity. Exceptions can be discussed with the group. Note: If you have something concerning magic or technology you would like to discuss with the group, start a thread and prefix it with [Magic] or [Tech] as appropriate so we can decide together whether or not it fits the settings. If you want some parts of it to remain a mystery to the group at large, PM me (Telcontar) and I'll give you my thoughts. Religion and Deities: Unprovable. No deities raining down brimstone on a wicked city (though a nearby volcanic eruption might be the instrument of a god's wrath — who can say?). Chances are that many, many different religions will sprout up in the course of the project, as will many different deities. No matter what you intend as the ultimate truth behind these religions and gods, their nature in the Archipelago will remain as it is in our own world: unknown and unknowable.