Dear readers, fellow gamers,

We are delighted to come back to you with some fresh news about the game. We first would like to apologise for having been silent for so long: IRL constraints as well as some deep re-design thinking led kept us away from the website (but our Discord server remained active – join us to ask your questions directly and get live feedback!).

Now moving on to today’s DD: organisations, tools to influence and resources.

A new beginning

A new beginning? What can we possibly be talking about?

Well, we gave some thinking about the premices of your character. We concluded that you, an illustrious nobody, coming out of nowhere to rise to the top of the GMD party was… a bit hard to believe. Would’nt you agree?

As a result, you will still design your character the exact way you want him but you will be special. Special how? Mmm… Special like someone who played an important role in the 1911 Revolution! Yes, you read it correctly: you will be a hero of the 1911 Revolution. And more specifically: a hero of the Wuchang uprising – the starting point of the whole revolution. You… and your sworn brothers too. More about them in a future DD! However, following your great feats at Wuchang, you vanished for sometimes, going back to normal life in your home province.

Jumping to your starting location. We announced it to be Guangzhou/Canton. Well, change of plans. Why would a half-forgotten hero such as you be involved in preparing an uprising in Guangzhou? Because a famous somebody asked you to! And who better than… Sun Yat-sen himself. He needs every pairs of hands he can get and you are quite skilled with organising insurrections. Aware of your reputation, he contacted you and invited you to his home in Shanghai.

Your first conversation ever in the game will be with the one and only Sun Yat-sen!

Shanghai? Why not Guangzhou? Because Dr Sun exiled himself from Guangzhou in 1918 when the Guangxi Clique schemes had him removed from the Generalissimo office. Deprived of meaningful support and demoted to a mere member of an executive committee, he prefered to resign. After agreeing to help him, you will have some time to spend in Shanghai before moving to Guangzhou.

The non-definitive map of Shanghai, still to be populated with important locations. Can you imagine how much time goes into researching them and pinpointing them on a map?

You are not alone in China

This may sound obvious but the GMD is definitely not the only (political) organisation active in China! To be honest, in 1920, the party is even very much inconsequential. It will rise, in time. The GMD however coexists with a lot of organisations across the countries, having hundreds of different purposes.

Why representing them? Because you will need some channels to secure resources, build up your position and go after your adversaries/enemies. Yes, we are talking about joining organisations (think tanks, trade unions, associations, circles, etc.) for you to use them for your own benefit. To be crystal clear, by « your benefit », we mean: harnessing their resources and power for your rise to the top of the GMD!

The Shanghai Bund in the 1930s

Developing a relationship with an organisation

How about a little example? Let us take the Shanghai Merchant Street Unions Federation.

Street Merchants Unions were common in China at the time, gathering shopkeepers together in an association – without regard for their professional branch. These often federated at city-level, like this one in Shanghai. Shopkeepers are among those which have some money to donate to the cause. But they will need some convincing!

Please accept our apologies for the lack of translation in the pictures, we’ll make it understandable in the below text.

An organisation screen – one you are not (yet) acquainted with

If we decompose the above picture, we see the following elements:

  • Your relations (Vos relations) with said organisation: at 0% they do not know you or do not wish to do anything for you
  • The vitality (Vitalité) of the organisation: at 100% the organisation is very vibrant and active ; at 0% they are moribund and about to shut down
  • Bonuses depending on your level of relationship with the organisation (Bonus et gains par niveau de relation): this bit details the different stages which unlock new actions for you
  • The list of possible actions on the right-hand side: each action now bear a cost!
After using the only action available – listen to their demands, a couple of new actions appeared.

After listening to their demands, our relationship with them increased, unlocking two more actions. As you may guess, the pricier the action, the more beneficial or impactful they are.

Some more actions from our side later, we have good relations with the federation and new actions appeared!

Certain actions can even open up new actions! In the above example, using « Political awareness raising » (Sensibilisation politique) opened up the possibility to recruit followers (Recruter des partisans) and to radicalise the organisation (Radicaliser) – the latter action generates partisans for recruiting but fragilises the organisation, reducing its vitality.

The means for you to rise

There will be quite a number of these organisations in the game. You will not have the time nor the means to interact with them all. What is the most sensible path to take? Which are the best interlocutors to rely on?

It will all boils down to choices connected to your character background. Well, if you are, say, a landlord, we doubt that the trade unions or peasant associations will welcome you with open arms. A worker without education will be very out of place in a scholar think tank circle. However, a soldier can develop strong connections in a military academy and a bourgeois is in familiar territory in street merchant unions. In a nutshell, the way you created you character will open up oppportunies with certain organisations and bar you from ever getting in touch with others.

Additionally, your Traits will influence the results of actions depending on the type of organisation you are talking to. A Charismatic character will have better result while mobilising followers, for instance. But a positive Trait that sounds positive will not always yields beneficial results and a Trait labelled as negative could prove to be an asset, sometimes. Some organisations will find it annoying for your to be too Sociable. Others may feel less threatened by a Dull character and be more receptive to your suggestions as a result.

You also have to factor in a critical element: available resources. All your actions will have a cost. For the time being, we envisage the following resources.

Icons, names are not final!
  • The heart represents your Energy, i.e. the time you devote to an action. This will be the most limited resource among those you enjoy and almost all actions will cost Energy,
  • The silver yuan coin represents your Resources, mostly your financial resources. A lot of actions bear a cost in Resources but, should you be rich enough, these should not be a problem. A couple of Traits decrease or even eliminate entirely the cost in Resources (for the time being),
  • The roster represents your Influence, this immaterial power that lead others to do your bidding.

This being very much a sketch, you may have noticed there is one resource mentioned that is missing. No worry, we will add it:

  • You will also need Followers for certain actions, like a protest or fund-raising.

This is for today, folks. Stay tuned for more info in the next DDs!