RENAISSANCE is a real-time, menu-driven, text-based, multi-player historical simulation game of strategy set in the year 1493.
Game actions can be carried out at any time. Most players log on for about five minutes once per day to check on their character, but logging on longer, more often, or less often, are also viable options. The system's daily updating for asset maintenance, attrition, rankings, etc. takes place around noon New York time. It is done automatically with no player action required.
Each participant controls the destiny of a Renaissance character whose initial traits, positions and assets, as nearly as possible, match those of the historical individual. Although his strengths and weaknesses may tend to lead him in directions similar to those pursued by the historical individual, each player is free to seek his character's fortune any way he deems fit without regard to the precedents set by the historical individual.
Players may, under certain circumstances, take control of additional characters in the same family. Only one family is allowed per player. Only one player is allowed per IP address.
Game activity is set in towns connected by roads and/or water links. At present, activity is limited to approximately 1,300 towns in mainland Italy. Additional regions will be brought in as the game fills up. Ultimately, the entire world will be brought into play.
Each town produces certain types of trade goods, commensurate with those it produced historically, and each town demands certain categories of goods. Town production may be purchased, then sold in other towns where those goods are in demand and the price differential is favorable. When selling goods to a town to meet its demand, selling multiple different types of goods in the same category generates a price bonus that increases in size for each additional type of good being sold and renders mercantile specialization highly profitable.
Most actions require the utilization of a skill. Except for movement and combat, actions are completed immediately. To reflect the time required to complete the action, the utilized skill may not be used again until the passage of a prescribed amount of time.
To achieve play balance, an initiative system is used that limits game actions. Characters are ranked in various different categories. The characters ranked higher overall receive fewer initiatives. Lower ranked characters receive more initiatives. Most actions require the expenditure of an initiative.
To maintain game integrity, gifts of assets to other families are not allowed. Transfers to other players can be made as sales, the prices of which must fall within certain parameters established by a valuation data base that is guided by the terms of earlier transactions at the same location.
To facilitate commerce, strongpoints may be used as depots for the storage of trade goods.
Major lords need to have other characters serve them, and these characters need to be able to utilize the lord's assets. This is enabled through the use of Court Officers (such as Constables, Admirals and Grand Equerries), who are allowed to hold their lord's assets. Court Officers can use these assets, but their Court Officer assets are kept separate from their personal assets.
Detailed information about the rules is available through topical help texts, which can be accessed from any page reached after logging on. Because of its menu-driven nature, it is possible to start playing Renaissance reasonably effectively without reading through any of the help texts.
Seniority points are awarded to players each day on which they are active. These points can be expended in elections that are held to determine who will acquire the playership of important characters when they become available. Seniority points may also be used to take control of other members of the family of one's principal character.
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