Your character is essential to gameplay. Try to put yourselves in the shoes of the person you create. Transport yourself to 1774 and see the world through their eyes. After you have signed up with a bio, you should continue to build depth to your character throughout the game. Why not keep a personal journal or roleplay the newest happening in the capital city?
Creating a Character
To start playing the game, you should create a new thread in the Welcome Center. You must include at least the name of the character, their date of birth, and home state. Additionally, you get to choose a few traits for your character (See Chapter X. Attributes & Traits). Be aware of the available seats thread in the Welcome Center because you will then be given a seat in the Continental Congress or its in-character equivalent if this is your first character. A member of the Admin Board will be along shortly to approve your character. At this time an admin will post which seat you occupy and will post of your character. As the character progresses through the game, an admin will post an update of your attributes in your biography. You are encouraged to regularly update your biography as your career advances.
Multis and Character Death
But no one can live forever. Because the game moves so quickly, it is inevitable that your character will pass away. For this reason, we encourage the use of multiple characters through the surrogates attribute (see Chapter X. Attributes & Traits). Unlike previous rounds, each character has an individual surrogates attribute, so you will likely be able to have as many multis as you would like. Your first multi should be your heir (the person who will receive your warchest in your will, not necessarily a family member). You are permitted one multi per surrogate point that you have, but they must be in different areas of the game. You must post a bio for every multi in the Welcome Center. Provided you have the surrogate points, you may have a multi in any (or all) of the following categories:
Continental Congress or equivalent
State Legislator (See Chapter X. States)
Supreme Court Justice or equivalent
Journalist/newspaper mogul (See Chapter 7. Newspapers)
Actor/director (See Chapter 8. Minigames)
At any time, any character can pass away. When this happens, an admin will contact the player, post in the Newspaper Help Desk to be disseminated through the newspapers, and close that biography thread in the Welcome Center. If the character had posted a will prior to their death or after 24 hours, the player's new primary character receives the deceased character's entire warchest. If a will is not posted, the new primary character sacrifices 1/2 of the warchest. As part of this inheritance, the new primary character will receive an amount from $0 to $1000 (called character death compensation) depending on the achievements of the deceased character.
When a player does not visit the website for two weeks, all of his or her characters will become NPCs. This means that they will remain in the game, but will be under the control of the admin team. At any time a player may sign back into the game and reclaim his or her characters, but the player must take back all of their characters. In other words, you cannot abandon a multi once it has been created in favor of another multi. You are permitted to cause your character to commit suicide, but you will forfeit the entire warchest of that character and will not receive any character death compensation.
In the Conceived in Liberty world, there exist a number of historical figures that will play right alongside you. These characters are controlled by the Admin Board and often represent the great American politicians that existed in the era. Generally, these characters will remain historically accurate as much as possible, but you have the opportunity to influence them. You may write to them in the Correspondences forum. There are three types of NPC characters, and their type will determine their involvement with the game.
Admin NPC: These NPCs are the most involved. They will often participate in elections, vote in Congress, help shape public opinion, and are generally the most powerful NPCs in the country. They may act independent of player wishes. Admin NPCs are usually listed with a * before their names.
Fictional NPC: These NPCs come entirely from the imagination of the Admins. They are meant to augment gameplay for the players. Fictional NPCs will usually have a ~ before their names.
NPC: Normal NPCs are used, generally after-the-fact, to fill out historical rosters and to complete the game. This is the default NPC level. When included in decision-making, they will almost always follow player wishes. They will usually have a + before their names.
Upon signing into the game, you are given a seat in the Continental Congress. This is where you will do the most of your work. At the beginning of each Congress, a roll call will be held. All players are required to sign the roll call and for doing so will receive a salary based on their position. During this roll call, a Speaker will be elected to preside over the House.
Beginning with the 2nd Continental Congress, all members will need to run for reelection. This includes both NPC members and players. All members of Congress are elected in an at-large popular election unless the state legislature changes this (See Chapter X. States). Characters wishing to seek election or reelection must file in the appropriate thread in this forum. There is a filing fee, so be sure to plan ahead!
Unlike previous rounds of CIL, we do not start the game with a federal structure already in place. That will be up to you to establish. At the beginning of each Congress, the admins will task the players with a number of issues that the Congress must tackle. These decisions will directly affect the structure of gameplay.
All executive positions must be established by the Continental Congress and are available to players either with their main character or a multi (multi rules apply).
From time to time, your character may become privy to classified information. There are strict rules attached to these posts according to the following rules. Remember that even if one of your character's has access to these posts, only that character and no others knows the classified information.
The President is responsible for designating each forum as Secret, Restricted, or Unclassified. If the forum has not been designated, the default is unclassified. Additionally, the President must specify any players who shall be privy to restricted or secret information.
Unclassified: All IC posts are considered unclassified unless designated otherwise.
Restricted: Information designated as restricted will typically involve items of national security that do not pose a significant risk to the United States. Typically, diplomats and peripheral ministers will have access to this information. Upon the end of the President's administration, this information will be declassified unless redesignated by the new President.
Secret: The most sensitive information will be designated as top secret. Typically, only the President and his most trust advisers will be privy to this information. This information will remain secret indefinitely until declassified by the President.
Newspapers represent the only form of mass media in this period, and hold immense sway as a result. A newspaper's readership points represent that outlet's influence over each state, each point representing a significant number of readers. There are four ways to become involved with newspapers: as an editorialist, as an editor, as an owner, or as an investor. A player-owned newspaper makes $1500 for each readership point.
Any character can act as an editorialist, submitting editorials to newspapers for publishing. A character can only submit a single editorial per day, but can reuse editorials in different papers, or can submit an editorial every day to the same paper. Each editorial will help sway the public.
A media character may act as an editor, running a newspaper. Editors can write multiple articles every day, ostensibly providing the public news, but realistically shaping the public's perspectives in any manner the editor sees fit. A player can try to be the truly fair -- or try to be the most yellow journalist in history. An editor must also oversee the operations of a newspaper, establishing a bank account for it, and using funds from that account to further the paper's interests.
Any character can act as an owner, paying $15,000 to establish a newspaper company, or otherwise purchasing a newspaper company. A player that founds/purchases a newspaper company must appoint an editor to run the company. The owner of a paper may hire/fire the editor at will, and sell the company at will. The owner of a paper must pay the editor at least 10% of the paper's annual profits, and must allow the paper to keep at least 50% of the paper's annual profits for newspaper operations, but may keep the rest for himself. Multiple characters may jointly own a paper.
Any character can also act as an investor, paying $15,000 to establish a newspaper corporation, or buying into a newspaper corporation. A player that founds a newspaper corporation will divide that corporation into shares of stock, all of which the player will initially possess, but all of which the player may sell to other players. The stockholders for a corporation will vote each year on rules for running the corporation (which any stockholder can propose), and a rule must be established for appointing/removing editors. The founder of a newspaper corporation will get to appoint the first editor -- but the stockholders may remove that editor at any time in accordance with the corporation's rules.
Those serving in government certainly possess significant authority over policy, but serving in government in the 18th and 19th Century requires a person to be a rich, successful, white man. Every main character enters the game as the owner of a company with $15,000 in assets, and must largely rely on the income from those assets to make money. Being in Congress is not very profitable, and being in any other government role not much better, requiring that character to be successful in the business world in order to be successful in the political world. Secondary characters do not enter the game with any assets, and should be connected to the main character in some way to allow those characters to rely on the main character for money.
The 1790s are a difficult time, where businesses open and close every day, and where a business' fortunes are often decided by forces well beyond its control. A character can certainly draw a strong ethical line between business and political interests, so as to most effectively serve the public good. But most politicians in the 1790s made decisions based as much on ideology as on personal interest. A character can follow this example, seeking to enact policies that will not only improve the nation, but also improve that character's economic fortunes. Indeed, the most successful characters will likely combine political and business worlds, seeking to use political power to enhance private power.
Any character can act as an owner by establishing a company, or otherwise acquiring a company. A character that founds/purchases a company may appoint a business character to run the company, or may directly run the company. The owner of a company may hire/fire the chief executive at will, and sell the company at will. The owner of a company must pay the chief executive (if there is one) at least 10% of the paper's annual profits, and must allow the company to keep at least 50% of the its annual profits for operations, but may keep the rest for himself. The owner of a company must cover a company's losses. Multiple characters may jointly own a company, and in fact a corporation may own a company. The location of a company's headquarters must be specified.
Any character can act as an investor by establishing a corporation, or investing in a corporation. A character that founds a corporation will divide that corporation into shares of stock, all of which the character will initially possess, but all of which the character may sell to other players. The stockholders for a corporation will vote each year on rules for running the corporation (which any stockholder can propose), and a rule must be established for appointing/removing chief executive of the corporation. The founder of a corporation will get to appoint the first chief executive -- but the stockholders may remove that chief executive at any time in accordance with the corporation's rules. A corporation goes bankrupt whenever it runs out of money; no one is required to cover its losses. The location of a corporation's headquarters must be specified.
A company may seek profit by investing in certain areas of the economy. A business can invest in a sector of the economy by purchasing an asset in that sector, the price of an asset varying by sector. When a business purchases an asset, that business is founding/buying a subsidiary to operate in that sector, which will then operate without the business' direct management. A business can indirectly impact that company, though, via politics, diplomacy, war, or the news. A player should always keep in mind his assets when voting on bills, approving treaties, etc. -- remembering that a vote on a bill might end out hurting that player's investments.
The Administrative Board will post an "Economic Update" annually, which details how each sector is doing. The Economic Update will specify how much Assets for each sector now cost, and will specify how much a character should gain/lose for each asset within a sector. It will be the responsibility of the chief executive of a business to keep track of how many assets his business possesses in each sector, and to determine how much the business gained/lost from these assets. Please take note here -- a business may make a lot of money from its assets, but a business can also lose just as much money. It all depends on how a sector of the economy does, which will depend largely on political/diplomatic/military/news events. The Administrative Board may award companies/corporations in certain states special bonus profits, based upon what occurred during the previous cycle.
A business may get rid of an asset in three ways. First, the business may "close," the asset, which amounts to shutting down the business that asset represents, which costs a quarter of the cost of buying that asset. Second, the business may sell the asset, but only to another character, and the price of such sale is completely up to the characters. Third, the business may "transform," the asset into an asset in another sector, which costs half as much as creating a new asset in another sector (unless the government establishes a program to asset in such transformation) A business may also lose an asset to forces beyond its control -- a pirate ship might be sunk, a tornado might destroy a plantation, or a flood might devastate a road. There is little insurance in this time period, and such losses, though devastating, are often for that reason final.
There are eleven sectors of the economy, and an asset may be purchased in any: Shipbuilding and the Sea Trade (SST) -- Invest in shipbuilding, ship operation, and international trade! Profits soar when there is more Euro-American trade (or more American ships being built), and profits plummet when there is no Euro-American trade (or less ships being built). SST assets may be transformed into PAP, TST, or FCT assets. Privateering and Piracy (PAP) -- Invest in privateering, which can mean being a naval mercenary, or can just mean being a pirate! Profits soar during wartime (or if the US Navy stay small), and plummet during peacetime (especially if the US Navy gets big). PAP assets may be transformed into SST, TST, or FCT assets. The Slave Trade (TST) -- Invest in the slave trade! Profits soar and plummet based almost entirely on politics -- the slave tariff, bans on the slave trade, anti-slave patrols, etcetera. TST assets may be transformed into SST, PAP, or FCT assets. Fishing and Coastal Trade (FCT) -- Invest in fishing, ferries, and the river trade! Profits soar in good weather with good tariffs, and plummet in bad weather with bad tariffs. FCT assets may be transformed only into PAP assets (as these small ships are incapable of doing SST or TST work). Construction and Internal Trade (CIT) -- Invest in construction work, and land trade! Profits soar when more money is put into national infrastructure, but profits plummet when that infrastructure is destroyed in war. CIT assets may be transformed into NRMR assets. Natural Resource Mining and Refining (NRMR) -- Invest in mining, refining, and related work! Profits soar as more natural resources become available to the nation (Manifest Destiny!), and plummet whenever mines/refineries are destroyed in wartime. NRMR assets may be transformed into CIT assets. Armaments and Munitions (AAM) -- Invest in the arms market! Profits soar during wartime (or whenever there is lots of military spending), and plummet during peacetime (or whenever there is not much military spending). AAM assets may be transformed into MAN assets. Manufacturing (MAN) -- Invest in building things! Profits soar when tariffs are high (especially in wartime), but plummet when tariffs or low (especially in peacetime). MAN assets may be transformed into AAM assets. Plantation Agriculture (Slaves, Tobacco, Cotton) (PA) -- Invest in plantations and slaveholding! Profits soar when tariffs are low, but plummet when tariffs are high. Political factors relating to slavery also obviously have an impact. PA assets may be transformed into AA assets. Agribusiness Agriculture (No Slaves, Foodstuffs, Grain) (AA) -- Invest in farming! Profits soar when subsidies are high, but plummet when subsidies are low. AA assets also do better when PA assets are failing, and when Western expansion is in full force. AA assets may be transformed into PA assets. Entertainment, Media, and the Arts (EMA) -- Become a patron of the arts! See profits when the economy is doing well, but losses when the economy is doing poorly. Keep in mind -- you may be remembered if you end out patronizing the next great author! EMA assets may not be transformed. Law and Government (LAG)-- Invest in the government-based sector! Profits soar as the government expands, profits plummet as the government shrinks. LAG assets may not be transformed. Territorial Speculation (TS) -- Invest in the frontier! Buy land, hoping to sell it at great profit as the nation expands. Profits soar as land is brought into the union, but plummet whenever that land is raided/lost. This is perhaps the most profitable, but most fickle, area -- a gold rush could make you rich, but an Indian rush could make you poor. TS assets may be transformed into AA assets. Come 1900, Territorial Speculation will be transformed into Finance and Insurance (FAS), which will be again the most prosperous, but also the most pickle, area.
When a player signs in, that player should establish his company, and designate what assets that company owns. It is always a player's duty to track his/her assets. A player may, instead of establishing a company owning assets, instead establish a newspaper company that owns a single newspaper.