War rages across Azeroth. But as brave adventurers and colossal armies campaign against nations and invaders, a different war is fought across golden shorelines and upon the high seas. Through an orchestra of thundering ordnance, a cacaphony of clashing steel and blazing firepans fuelled by an ambitious desire for gold, anarchy or just sheer vehemence. Black hearts who kow-tow to no royalty, and just as likely to cross their fellow men-before-the-mast as strike a devilish bargain with him. For chaos is indeed a ladder but a slippery one; the route to riches paved with sacrifice.
The Golden Age is a project and guild aiming to provide a more intense approach to pirate and sailor roleplay. It's the only type of roleplay I've done seriously for the past 7 years, but what has irked me is how pirate chars live forever. In real life, pirate careers would rarely last more than a few years (if not less) before the crewmen would earn enough booty to retire as rich men, alternatively they'd die. Hanged for your crimes, slain in battle, a bad doctor's treatment or other countless, cruel and hilarious kicks to an early grave. It was an intense and chaotic lifestyle.
And that's what we want to roleplay.
At the core of The Golden Age's roleplay style is nonoptional death. If your character gets into a situation that they'll die from, they're dead. And there are many ways to die in this guild, and not just combat (which is becoming increasingly rare). Disease, accidents and executions being very prominent.
This is not a guild about dying, it's about creating an immersive, believable and intense story about the pirate lifestyle. In my opinion you can only achieve true character progression if there is actual risk, and no plot armor or glass bubble protecting them from any consequence. Not just for the players, but also me as the DM. I improvise most of my events and everything is very open-ended and unstructured, with whoever being in charge ICly having the ability to doom or lead the crew to glory.
To improve the immersion The Golden Age has several systems in place. Some are still WIP, while others are being slowly implemented or already are. While before we had very vague systems usually based on a flat roll number, we are now moving on to a more tabletop or classical RPG-like series of systems. These systems encompass reputation, economy, classes and background templates, and of course combat. Combat is turn based, and land combat is mainly defined by a system for weapons. Some weapons will be good at different things - for example, a sword will have a hard time piercing armor. A gun will be able to shoot fast, but requires several of your turns to reload.
Naval Combat is always something strangely avoided by pirate guilds. The Golden Age embraces what makes pirates pirates! We have a wide system for naval combat which includes the properties of different Warcraft ships, the ships weapons, their speed in different winds, distances, crew and more. At sea, you will have different chances of spotting ships belonging to various Warcraft factions that all carry different trade goods. Steamwheedle Ships often carry slaves, while Zandalari ships have expensive spices and caged beasts. Some of these ships will be easier to fight, and engaging them will affect your crew's reputation in the world.
These systems all require several documents, and are quite in-depth and complicated. However, only the DM needs to know it for the players to enjoy themselves, and I won't force anyone to go through it.
NPCs also play an important part in this guild, as the events we do are all DM'd experiences. However, NPCs are not treated by me like conveniently stupid machines. All the NPCs in my phase are unique characters, just like yours, with their own ambitions and goals. In most cases, rolling won't be able to manipulate a character - you will need to read them, understand them, and adapt to them. If your character is able to, ofcourse. NPCs have the same bonuses and penalties as player characters, and some will be easier and harder to defeat for you as such.
Because NPCs are so tied to the players, members are able to seamlessly introduce new characters to bring into the pirate life when their old character dies or retires. Perhaps the crew will meet them in a port, capture them from a ship and maroon them, or simply recruit them, allowing you to truly get into their shoes later down the line.
The Golden Age also has room for more 'scripted' narrative and storytelling. There are many dark plots, schemes and people of importance at stake that will look to harm, help or use their crew: sometimes with entire cities and hundreds of futures at stake. Once again however, even these storylines are mostly improvised and open ended, and more like the plot of a movie or book rather than a video games linear questing. This guild should not be seen as an RPG or DnD guild, as the systems are put in place to improve the believability rather than themselves being the guild's center.
A graveyard set up for all the characters that have lost their lives so far. Many more to come...
So what are the goals of The Golden Age? In-game, that depends from crew to crew. Most pirates will either want to live a fast and loose life, while others will want to retire rich. One thing is certain, however: a majority of our characters won't be permanent. They will have a beginning, a development, and an ending. They will be remembered.
To simplify the process of likely often changing characters and crews, we use the project name for the guild (The Golden Age) instead of the current ship/crew's name and OOCly our characters use vague names such as Freebooter, Scoundrel, Miscreant etc. Thus, people easily know who it is OOC, while ICly you can simply morph, change race/appearance and TRP profile to become somebody new the next day.
Our only real requirement for you joining is that you're interesting to roleplay with. Pirate crews are a colorful palette of different backgrounds and ideologies, often conflicting and sometimes even ending in bloodshed so we technically accept anything and anyone within reason. Since this guild is heavily centered around the sailor atmosphere, we have a limit on Female members and magic users. Elves need not apply. And of course, do not cause a scene when your oh so loved character dies of Lassa fever, dressed up as a Navy Captain and hanged by inbred village-idiots or cut down by bloodthirsty pirates from a rival crew, or any other unpredictable and hilarious incident. It's what this guild is about.
A majority of our members live within the EU timezone.
We use phase 1122 as the phase for our roleplay, a phase that combines creativity, functionality and experience to provide the most immersive and long-lasting pirate phase out there. It is a vast and ever growing world of piratical locations, most importantly our Ship(s), ( .t GaShip, .t GAshipsmall) and various ports we visit: .t SS6, .t TelAbim, .t Tidefury. We also have a small camp based in Stranglethorn, .t GaCamp.
If you're interested in joining, PM details about your character or contact any online crewman for a trial-by-roleplay.
The Golden Age of piracy lives on...