Clockwork Canon

From The CBG Wiki

Jump to: navigation, search


It has been 4562 glorious years since the birth of our Imperium; the living saint, Emperor Constantine the Great still reigns at the center of the universe with his host of angels. It is he that protects us from the malign forces of darkness, with the Word of God on one hand, and the Scepter of Righteousness in the other; for our world is a weak world. It is at a constant danger from the forces of darkness, the legions of Lucifer, and threatened by heretics from within. It is our duty to both God and Empire, to be vigilant against the agents of sin.

For ours is a world found at the center of all; where everything began. God's Heavens and Lucifer's Hell are found above and below us. Only darkness await us beyond the borders of the Sun's orbit around our gravity.



Clockwork|Canon is a campaign setting inspired by many, many things which the creator finds deep interest in; it includes clockwork themes, history, literature, esoterica, speculative writing, collaborative writing, and writing as a form of gameplay.

The premise for this campaign setting is quite complicated once discussion starts on the entire evolutionary process it undertook, so to speak, to be at its present form. To simplify, the creator merely took some advice from his friends and put it as it is; “What happens if a person with Imperialist ambitions were to get his hands not only on a repository of angelic-clockwork technology, but also the understanding required to actually make use of such knowledge?”

Such is the divergence from true world history for this campaign setting. The original idea was taken from someone else, but the overall gist of this alternate Earth's history is thus; “St. Athanasius was able to completely comprehend the Book of Enoch, and placed it in the hands of the young Emperor Constantine, who he tutored in turn with learning culled from the book.”

The inevitable thus occurs; “The Holy Roman Empire is born and, with its strength bolstered by angelic technology, it expands its borders in every direction as its manifest destiny. The whole world is thus beneath the reign of just one empire with its people dominated with just one omnipresent hegemony. All else is suppressed, be it non-christian religion, non-roman culture, or nonconformist attitudes.”

Here is the Play-by-Post Forum: Clockwork|Canon
Here is the CBG Discussion Thread: The Thread

The Game

Our games and stories then begin at the Year 4562, Age of Empire. The Omnipresent Church of the One God has seen it fit to begin anew the counting of the years since the birth of Christ, with the rationale that since the faithful are now beneath the protection of a godlike Emperor—a new age that completes the mission of Christ to spread the word of God is at hand. Constantine is thus seen as the second coming of Messiah, the second son of God, and the Living Saint of all; who rules at his throne in his palatial home, Heaven on Earth.


In the Age of Empire, there is one basic source of conflict which could fuel any plot and yet still keep it close to the main story arc. That is the conflict between the Forces of Good against the Forces of Evil.

The Forces of Good are those blessed by the Omnipresent Church and the Emperor to fight in God's name against all the malign Forces of Darkness; this is just a relative state of affairs however. The Omnipresent Church has chosen to paint the world black and white, those who move against them are labeled evil, while those who defend them are labeled good; so a mere mortal who disagrees with the doctrines of Church is labeled a heretic; a person who studies anything without the consent of the Church is labeled a witch; while a being who displays miraculous abilities without the approval of the church is thus an agent of the Devil; and etc.

Players here could take the role of either Subversives or Imperials.

The Subversives are those who undermine the Empire, while the Imperials are those who defend its integrity.

Keep this in mind though, both Subversives and Imperials have a propensity for both goodness and corruption. A keen mind is required to see through the propaganda both parties propagate. Just because the Empire is a suppressive machine, it doesn't follow that, that shifty eyed individual you see in the corner isn't going to eat you alive.

Here are a few ideas on the kinds of games or plot lines you could follow in this setting;


Politics and Intrigue

In the realm of politics and intrigue, much of the player's life and gaming revolves around the making of choices and long-term planning to achieve a far-off goal. It is not enough to just adventure or explore anymore, nor is it enough to esteem or develop one's self through professional or intellectual ability; no, the life of politics and intrigue calls for action, intelligence, and interaction. It is the increase in status, whether ladder be social or political is irrelevant.

Fame is only partly helpful. Strategy and tactics are everything. Know where and when to place yourself.

This theme of roleplaying, more often than not, situationally revolves around events and what characters are able to gain or lose during these events. These things have to be of some worthy gravity though, to totally affect the status of a person; more often than not, these are events sponsored by individuals of great import—royalty and the nobility they subject.

Because of this, the following concepts from the Tazler Game System were incorporated into The Writing Game:

Event Orientated Plotting
Event Orientated Modding

Do remember though, it isn't all about social climbing; sometimes, it's about espionage too.



User Generated Content

User Generated content isn't just a theme for me. Back when I used to roleplay at a play-by-post game, one of the reasons why I enjoyed my time there so much was because I was able to create things that directly affected the game world. This would include the invention of devices, writing travel books, writing essays, writing stories, and even fictional-pseudo-intellectual essays.

By creation, I don't mean that I directly became a part of the development team and just started adding fluff to the game world; I mean that my PCs, my created personas, my characters were themselves in the role of creators within the game world. Everything I created in the game world was indirectly created, wherein the creation was done my characters—not me per se.

To simplify, imagine yourself as a gamer and that the persona you chose to create within a game world wasn't just a mere cleric, warrior, or even diplomat. Imagine that the persona you chose to make was that of a philosopher, an author, a professor, and a bard; people who not just threw dice around, but actually sat down to write about their ideas for the world to consume. The extent and success of your writings will be moderated by a skill system of course, but that is only for the apparent-non-player-controlled universe. Other players, who find association with your writings, will think differently and separately from the game world.

That is the beauty of it.

written and conceptualized by Teh_Az