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Long version: A Gothic Fantasy MUD with roots in Achaea, long regarded as a carbon copy with
VampiresConsanguine and some extra skills. Recent developments have started to give the game its own identity, as has the strong community focus on quality roleplay.
Galleus, Aetolia's producer, has stated that the game world will be taking a turn towards the Lovecraftian. Whether this means the emergence of a Eldritch Abomination or just a few extra tentacles remains to be seen.
The main website is here.
This game provides examples of:
- An Adventurer Is You
- Applied Phlebotinum: Ankyrean artifacts seem to be made of these. Also, how the first vampires were created.
- Attack of the 50 Foot Whatever: The Almighty Kerrithrim, who is two miles tall.
- Badass: Anyone who's sufficiently good at the in-game fighting system can qualify.
- Big Screwed-Up Family: Vampires in general, due to the siring bloodlines.
- Bribing Your Way to Victory: Credits can be spent on lessons to improve your skills, or sold for ridiculous amounts of gold. You either pay exorbitant amounts of real life money for them, or find some way to win them in the game proper.
- Broken Masquerade: The Grand Artifice: The world is a lie, and the lie has been unraveling.
- Character Class System: There are seventeen different classes in Aetolia. Most, but not all, have an associated guild.
- Sentaari, monks who use the skillsets of Tekura, Kaido, and Telepathy.
- Sentinels, who are hunter-themed warriors that use the skillsets of Dhuriv, Woodlore, and Toxicology.
- Druids, who are Exactly What It Says on the Tin, using the skillsets of Metamorphosis, Groves, and Conjuration.
- Paladins, who use the skillsets of Chivalry, Forging, and Devotion.
- Indorani, cultists who employ the skillsets of Necromancy, Tarot, and Domination.
- Luminaries, holy warriors who use the skillsets of Spirituality, Devotion, and Illumination.
- Syssin, tricksters and rogues who practice the skillsets of Venom, Subterfuge, and Hypnosis.
- Infernals, Evil Counterparts of the Paladins, who also use the skillsets of Chivalry and Forging, but prefer Necromancy to Devotion.
- Daru, who use the skillsets of Tekura and Telepathy like the Sentaari, but have Illumination instead.
- Cabalists, scholarly cultists who use Necromancy, Numerology, and Domination.
- Praenomen, the "standard" form of Consanguine. They have no guild, instead giving the class to other players through bites. Their skillsets are Corpus, Mentis, and Sanguis.
- Bloodborn, vampire mages that use the skillsets of Corpus, Mentis, and Hematurgy.
- Teradrim, earthen priest-mages who use the skillsets of Earth, Sand, and Animation.
- Bahkatu and Atabahi, two opposed guilds that share the Lycanthrope class, and mutate into werebears and werewolves respectively. They have Ferality, Lycanthropy, and Howling as skillsets.
- Ascendril, mages of fire, water, and spirit that have Elemancy, Crystalism, and Enchantment for skillsets.
- Sciomancers, evil counterparts to the above that use air, earth and shadow. They employ the Sciomancy, Crystalism, and Enchantment skillsets.
- Priests, the predecessors to the Luminaries. They use Spirituality, Devotion, and Healing as their skillsets. Ever since the Luminaries were put into the game, the Priest guild has ceased to exist, and thus only a few players have retained the class.
- Character Level
- Critical Hit: Several levels, each multiplying your damage by a power of two. The highest level, annihilating, gives your attack damage a whopping x32 multiplier!
- Deadly Decadent Court: The various vampire Houses.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: The Almighty Kerrithrim was taken down by catapults and conventional weaponry? Really?
- Dual-Wielding: Practiced by the two knight classes (usually with two of the same weapon), and also by Syssin (with a whip and a dirk).
- Eldritch Abomination: The Almighty Kerrithrim.
- Captain Ersatz: Of Cthulhu.
- Fan Nickname:
VarianLaserjesus the Celestine.
- Global Currency: Gold sovereigns are accepted everywhere in the world as legal tender.
- Grandfather Clause: Anyone with the Priest class is operating under one; the Priest guild was replaced by the Luminaries, and there is no way for new Priests to be created as a result.
- Guide Dang It: Some of the quests require large jumps of logic, or simply don't play fair at all; the fact the game administrators strongly discourage the sharing of quest information does not help.
- Heal Thyself: In addition to the health, mana, endurance, and willpower totals, the game has an almost ridiculously intricate system of curatives and status effects. And there are two different sets of curatives for the living and the undead.
- Item Crafting: Several classes can create unique items such as weapons and poisons, other trade skills are available to those with the funds to purchase a license, and anyone can train in Tattoos or their relevant curative skill.
- Jerk Jock: A fair number of player-killers. The "jock" part of it is very questionable, though.
- Lawful Stupid Chaotic Stupid (Many characters are, to put it mildly, slightly over the top.)
- Level Grinding: There are 98 levels before you reach endgame status at level 99, and then you can keep going upward to infinity.
- Money Spider: Averted; the only monsters that have a chance to drop gold are creatures that might actually carry it.
- Motifs: It derives heavily from fantasy and dark fantasy, so of course there's a lot of these.
- Animal Motifs: Invoked by the Atabahi and Bahkatu, who are werewolves and werebears respectively. Guess which are evil and which are good.
- Tarot Motifs: The Tarot skill, used by Indorani.
- Numerological Motif: The Numerology skill, used by the Cabalists.
- World Tree: Featured prominently as an actual location.
- Our Vampires Are Different: Aetolian vampires are also called Consanguine, and come in Praenomen (fighter) and Bloodborn (mage) varieties. Both are immune to all the traditional vampire weaknesses, with the sole exception of sunlight, and vampires of certain races can even kick their blood dependency with enough experience.
- Our Werewolves Are Different: Werewolves and Werebears are not bitten, and the moon doesn't affect them at all - it's just a learned form of voluntary transformation.
- Perpetually Static: Partly averted; the RP-heavy nature of the game means that political institutions of any kind tend to come and go--especially vampiric Houses. However, most other aspects of the game are reliant on administrative intervention to change permanently.
- Physical God: Most of the Gods in the game fit this trope, though Gods tend to be comprised of essence filling a mortal form. While the mortal form can be damaged or killed, the essence is effectively indestructible, and can be consumed by another God or seek out a new mortal to inhabit.
- Player Versus Player: The main focus of the game, with an absurdly complex combat system designed to facilitate conflict.
- Playing with a Trope: Aetolia being an RP-heavy game, you see almost as much of this, if not more than, tropes being played straight.
- Powers That Be: Varian the Celestine ranks somewhere above most of the other Gods, being as he created the world.
- Puppeteer Parasite: The Thrim that the Almighty Kerrithrim created.
- Also, predating this instance, the zombie event.
- Retcon: A few blatant cases, justified by the Grand Artifice obfuscating reality.
- Rouge Angles of Satin: Various members of the playerbase, unfortunately.
- Schedule Slip: Very common with the administrators of the game, who have been known to miss their deadlines for new content by real-life years.
- Warp Whistle: Most classes have at least one teleportation ability. Sciomancers and Ascendril can warp to their Master Crystal, Indorani to an isolated location pre-marked by their Hermit tarot card, Cabalists to a place pre-marked by their Numerological abilities, Lycanthropes to a place they previously marked, vampires to their coffins, Luminaries to Nirvana. Paladins, Luminaries and Priests also get the Pilgrimage ability, which lets them travel to anyone standing within a Pilgrimage rite and lay down Pilgrimage rites themselves. Sentaari and Daru, who share the Telepathy skillset, can teleport to each other after linking minds. Syssin can use Subterfuge to create and use wormholes that link rooms together.
- Infernals are the one exception, receiving no teleportation ability whatsoever.
- Welcome to Corneria: Regularly subverted; the Gods of Aetolia are actually the admins, and moderators ("Celani") can possess mobiles and interact with players, often with dramatic--or hilarious--results. Similarly lampshaded regularly when RP is going on between regular players and a mobile jumps in with its regular inane comments.
- Wizard Needs Food Badly: Characters need to eat and sleep regularly, and vampires that don't feed enough go berserk and kill everything within reach. Reaching level 80 obviates the need for sleeping and eating, but vampires still have to drink blood.