Alternate History

Rules (Principia Moderni)

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Original Rules

These are the basic tenets set down by the now-retired original creator of the game, Cosman246. Although they have been edited many times, they still remain the basic idea of the game:

  • The main goal of these rules is to keep the game realistic, therefore every turn must be plausible; one cannot take over the world in 10 turns.
  • A turn is one day. Each turn is composed of one action, which can be militaristic, diplomatic, etc.
  • Exploration (or any sort of sea travel) takes one turn.
  • Any land which is conquered has inhabitants, and they must be dealt with.
  • Keep in mind the linguistic effects of conquering and colonizing.
  • Every person must do an action every year, but only one action.
  • Every five turns, a map is to be made. Each player should edit the map according to their nation's actions.
  • Every map must be saved as a .png on the current map template.
  • Each player will "call" a nation, one nation per player.
  • The creator of this game, Cosman246, has the power to grant and regulate technology for every nation, as well as regulate plausibility. He also has the right to create random events in any and every nation throughout the course of the game.
  • Actions like espionage are allowed and will be detailed later.
  • Alliances and dynastic unions are allowed, as is bargaining to achieve these.
  • If a nation is inactive (does not respond for five days), it is considered in civil disorder and thus fair game for conquering even if one was allied with it. However, resistance is stronger than if it was normally conquered.
  • There are supernational confederations (e.g. the Holy Roman Empire, the Kalmar Union), and they function like alliances. They can be broken (e.g. the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire) and they can be formed (e.g. the unification of Spain)
  • You can hire raiders/pirates and make them raid any nation's ship, but this greatly reduces that country's relationship with your nation.
  • The game ends in the present.
  • Profile pages for your country are recommended. See here for an example.
  • If you are new, you start the game in the turn you joined.


You are awarded turns for the following:

•main nation: 1 turn

•second nation in dynastic or personal union: 0.5 turns

•no expansion in five years: 0.5 turns

Normal turns are as follows:

  • 0: diplomacy not against a player nation
  • 0.5: small economic construction (such as a building), continuing statements (e.g. XXX continues to update its technology), a full turn can be spread out over two years, up to three pixel expansion
  • 1: military, expansion, exploration, major economic upheaval, new technology

There are no rules on what you can write about: it just has to be relevant to your country, significant, plausible, and appropriate. Two guidelines for all posts are:

  • Always include a name for your country. If your country is the United States, you can use "America," "the Americans," "the US," "the USA," etc. Avoid "The White House declares xxx," or "Montana expands north into xxx," but instead "The American government declares xxx" or "American troops in Montana push north into xxx."
  • When you expand into another country, always include the actual name. A map is included on the Principia Moderni talk page with the names of various coutries. But don't write "The US expands into China more," if you are invading Tibetan Kingdoms. It would be even better to write, "The US invades the Tibetan kingdom of Lhasa, expanding south as far as Mount Everest."

Colonial Turns

Within each turn, you may expand colonies by a given amount in areas that are black on the map. They are given in sq km. Only use numbers divided by 50 in your turns (e.g. do not use numbers like 734, round to 750). This is because 50 sq km is equal to one pixel.

Number of Colonies/Vassals Full Turn in Mother Ctry. Half Turn in Mother Ctry.
1 50 800
2 500 1250
3 800 1550
4 1250 2000
5 1550 2300
6 2000 2750
7 2300 3050
8 2750 3500
9 3050 3800

For state-status (grey) areas on map:

Number of Colonies/Vassals Full Turn in Mother Ctry. Half Turn in Mother Ctry.
1 0 400
2 250 600
3 400 750
4 600 1000
5 750 1150
6 1000 1350
7 1150 1500
8 1350 1750
9 1500 1900

Colonization Rules

  • Colonies are defined as any possessions separated from its contiguous home country by an ocean (Britain-Canada) or multiple seas (Italy-Ethiopia). This also includes places significantly distanced from a main home country (France-Lebanon).
  • No colonies until 1500.
  • No external colonies until your country is "boxed in." There is exception if a state has a special connection to a certain area.
  • Only 2 new colonies are allowed per 50 year period. The maximum number is seven at one time, two of which can be "large size." Large colonies are larger than OTL Peru (1,285,216 km2) OR 25,704 pixels. No exceptions.
  • Colonies begin as a slice off a coast, and expand slowly over a period of 30-100 years to full size.
  • The maximum number of external colonies after World War II is 3, which can't be large. Small exclaves of former large colonies count as 1/3 of a colony, but these may not be large cities.
  • Colonies are designated on the map with red borders, as opposed to the usual grey.

Multiple Nations

It is possible to create multiple nations. However some rules must be observed.

Vassal States

You may have vassal states subordinate to your nation, but contiguous to your nation. They are ruled by your first nation's government, but are allowed to keep their own interests. You may have up to two vassal states, and they are in the category of colonies. Size rules do not apply, nor do limits on the number of total colonies, except within plausibility.

Dynastic or Personal Union

Dynastic or personal union is multiple countries ruled by a single dynasty or person, respectively. This can be accomplished by overthrowing the dynasty in another country. The other country must border your first country. The rules are the same as standard expansion, but it may be a better idea than invasion if the second nation is an ally or has a different religion. The second nation may have an extra half turn or full turn, with the first nation having a half turn.


Bordering nations may gain independence at any time. Colonies may gain independence beginning in 1776. Players may add a quarter turn per year and keep alliance with the first nation, or add a half turn and break alliances. Players may also decide to relinquish control over the independent state and come back to it later, although standard expansion rules apply. After thirty years, the number of turns doubles for an independent nation.

Full Unity

A nation not in dynastic or personal union and without vassal states is in full unity. When not in full unity, the country is more susceptible to invasion, despite having more turns. Newly independent nations are in full unity after 15 turns.

Moderators (effective 1440)

  • There should be three to five moderators at all times.
  • Anyone may comment on a post believed to be implausible, but only moderators may roll them back.
  • Moderators are in charge of inducting new members, and controlling the maps.
  • Moderators should be active often to inspect moves for historical implausibility.
  • Moderators may cause natural events with a majority among them voting in favour. Moderators may cause events affecting all players or only players who have expanded implausibly.
  • Moderators may have specific roles if they wish.
  • If there is enough support, someone may be elected or impeached every 10 years.


  • Not having expanded implausibly for fifteen turns, as determined by other moderators.
  • Played for at least ten moves.
  • Must use a user account for most of their edits.
  • Must be active at least 3 days a week.


Common sense. If it's not plausible, it shouldn't be on the game. This is an attempt to signify a real-life alternate history. Also, just because it's plausible or even if it occurred in real life doesn't mean it follows the rules. Just because you play as Britain doesn't give you a chance to become a mega-superpower.

Articles (Effective 1550)

Users are required to create articles for all of their colonies, as well as their main country. Colonies without an accompanying article for ten turns will be confiscated. Articles are highly recommended for regions, events, and famous people that didn't exist IRL. There is an opportunity for bonus and/or awards for creativity and work put into articles.

A main country article must include (recommended headings in parentheses):

  • capital and other cities (Urban Areas)
  • administrative divisions (Subdivisions)
  • official language, culture, and religion (Culture)
  • ruler or monarch, government system (Government)
  • a quality picture of choice —map and flag highly recommended (can be under any heading)
  • history —may be detailed or brief, but must include important dates such as establishment date and any date of change of government (History)
  • a description of foreign relations (Foreign Relations)
  • list of colonies and colonial history (Colonies)

A colonial article must include:

  • list of settlements in their native language and OTL equivalents (Cities and Towns)
  • cultural description (Culture)
  • history —may be detailed or brief, but must include date of formation and any applicable dates of transfer or full conquering of a sovereign state (History)
  • a picture of choice —map highly recommended (may be under any heading)

All articles are placed under the category [[Category:Country Name Here (Principia Moderni)]].


  • Maps are updated every five years and are to be posted as soon as possible during the year they are active. They apply to the end of every turn. So the 2005 map will apply to the years 2000-2004.
  • Only mapmakers (User:Detectivekenny and User:Collie Kaltenbrunner) may post on behalf of other players. Anyone may dispute the map if they see a problem.
  • Anyone may edit the map on behalf of their own country.

Types of Countries

Countries are added to the map, as is custom, after a few turns of activity. This a measure to keep players involved in the game and prevent spamming and people who join just to make a few turns for a country. Countries are disconnected after an extended period of inactivity, and only when it is nearly certain that a player will not return. A player may always return to a disconnected country unless another user has taken over the country. Move your feet, lose your seat.

Regions in the map in light gray are organized states that have a central government or confederation. These states can see minor expansion but at a certain point there will be a large amount of organized resistance and possible war.

Regions in dark gray have a feudal "civil disarray" system of society. The populace is generally warlike and does not easily accept intruders. Countries that enter this state may come out of civil disarray, but reach civil disarray when their stability has fallen to 100: common of inactivated countries. Countries in civil disarray may have a weak or powerless central government. They may not expand, but they have 1.5 times the resistance to expansion. Expansion into these countries is difficult and damaging. You may help set up governments in a disarrayed country but this is a messy process and must be done carefully.

Regions in black are dominated by a tribal or nomadic system of society. They are the easiest to expand into although that doesn't mean there will not be strong resistance.


You may declare a war on any country at any time. You may have any NPC declare war on you as long as it is plausible. Small border expansion can be completed without a war algorithm, but major expansion or invasions require the war algorithm to be completed. In order to declare war, you must specify what country.

An algorithm for war has been developed and is used in any war involving a player. This includes player-versus-player wars and player-versus-NPC wars. Moderators will post these algorithms. These algorithms are final. Disregarding the outcome of the algorithm will result in a ban!



Location goes by capital city.

  • at the location of the war: 5
  • next to the location of the war: 4
  • close to the location of the war: 3
  • far from location of the war: 2
  • other side of the world: 1
  • Antarctica: 0

Tactical Advantage

  • attacker's advantage: 1
  • high ground: 2
  • Note: A country receives high ground if:

1) Its capital has a high topographical prominence, meaning it is surrounded by areas of significantly lower elevation. Even plateaus count, but it must be so that the enemy has to climb the mountain to capture the capital.

2) For countries being invaded from the coast, they get high ground if their capital is 300 m or higher.

3) A country invading via sea does not get high ground.

4) A country gets high ground if their capital is more than 300 m higher than the capitals of the neighboring countries.

5) A country invaded from a bordering country, and its capital is 500 m higher or more.

Nations Per Side on the War

  • L for leader (+4), M for military aid (+3), S for supplies (+2), V for vassalization or subordination (-1) and then W for withdrawal (-1). So a list of belligerents read like China (L), Zhuang Warlords (MVW), Japan (M), Korea (MW), Hawaiian rebels (MV), Mali (SW), creating a score of 13

Military Development

  • country has developed military: 1 for each turn dedicated to military or military technology in the last 15 years


  • expansion: -1 for every turn used for expansion in the past 10 years


  • motive is life or death (country's sovereign existence is threatened): 10
  • motive is religious: 7
  • motive is social or moral: 6
  • motive is political: 5
  • motive is economic: 3

If there are multiple motives, the one told to the army will be selected.


0 to 9 points will be awarded to each person based on chance. Factors will be the opponent's edit count (on Althist's main articles) and the precise time when the country declares war or acknowledges the other's declaration of war. The product of the non-zero digits of the time by UTC (0:00 yields 1) will be written as a percentage of the opponent's edit count at the exact time of the declaration. If the resulting number is less than one hundred percent, the reciprocal is taken. The result is multiplied by pi and the hundredths digit is the amount of points that person gets (e.g. 123.8377% yields 3). The algorithm is online for fairness, but I will be the moderator.


See Stability Bonus below


All nations get a +10 on this


  • Countries in civil disarray are able to resist invasion by a factor of 1.5. However, they may not take territory in another country.
  • If X countries attack another country, they have to take 100X/(X+2)% of their opponents' territory to facilitate a full government transplant.
  • Expansion into countries not fully united is multiplied by 1.5, but it does not affect how well the country fares in war if it wins the war.

Example War:


  • Location (close to the location of the war): 3
  • Attacker's advantage: 1
  • Naples(L), Papal States(V), Sweden(M), Denmark(MV), Doimaina(MV), Estonia(MV), France(M), Algeria(MV), Burgundy(MV), Hungary(S): 24
  • Motive (religious): 7
  • Stability:38
  • Military Expansion: 10
  • Expansion : 0
  • Chance: 4
    • UTC time: 21:17
    • Edit count: 783
    • (783/14)*pi=175.7047
  • Participating in the war: 10

Total: 98


  • Location (at the war): 5
  • Hafsids(LV): 3
  • Motive (life or death): 10
  • Military Expansion: 0
  • Expansion : 0
  • Stability: 20
  • Chance: 5
  • Participating in the war: 10

Total: 53


Crushing Neapolitian victory. Naples can annex ((98/(98+53))*2)-1 = 29.80% of Hafsid territory. It will take 2.2% more to topple the Hafsid government


(here you can discuss changes that should be made to the algorithm, and ask questions)

Foreign Involvement

You control the basic government of your country. To an extent, you may also create the actions of your country's people as long as it is plausible. For example, there is nothing wrong with posting "the citizens begin exploring new art forms." But there is a problem with posting "every citizen decides to paint himself purple from birth."

Player countries (PCs) are controlled by a user. You must ask request to do the following with a PC:

  • Diplomacy and alliances.
  • Cut or recontinue trade along trade routes.

You may do the following without permission of the player:

  • Declare war.
  • To a limited extent, help encourage movements among the common people.

For non-player nations (who are not controlled by a user), you may do the following. However, these must be dealt with carefully and plausibly:

  • Sign treaties, agreements and alliances.
  • Encourage the government of that country to make certain choices.
  • Create ideas among the common people.

However, unless there is evidence from our timeline or previous years of Principia Moderni, you cannot simply assume you have trade or an alliance.

There is a definitive line between PCs and NPCs, as should be reflected by the most recent version of the map. If in doubt, ask a moderator.

All negotiations, financial, wartime, or otherwise, are to be proposed in-game and not on the talk page of the game or the user. Negotiating on the talk page is prohibited and will be deleted and disregarded.


The map you have all been waiting for. It tells exactly when you may begin industrializing. But, understand the stages of industrialization:

1) Beginning of industrialization: People move into the cities, and the steam engine may be utilized. Mass production may begin to replace cottage industries on a small scale.

2) Industrialization on a mass scale: Huge factories in cities, Industrial Revolution. Mining and hydraulics.

3) Fully industrialized: Trains and other steam-powered vehicles commonplace. Factories are scaled back and are made more efficient.

4) Transition from coal to other fossil fuels. Automobiles, etc. From here countries can make slow introductions of modern-day technology as long as it does not surpass OTL.

Here are the minimum dates:

Color Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4
Purple (cradle) 1700 1750 1800 1900
Red (initiation) 1725 1770 1800 1900
Orange (Interception) 1750 1790 1825 1900
Yellow (Impact) 1775 1810 1850 1910
Green (Immediate Fallout) 1800 1830 1865 1910
Turquoise (Scattered Fallout) 1830 1875 1900 1920
Blue (Catalyst) 1875 1900 1915 1930
Indigo (Fumble) 1900 1920 1940 1960

Note: Any of this may change. Countries which make significant diplomacy, e.g. become vassalized under an industrial nation may industrialize sooner, although this will take a toll on the existing nation.

Expansion Bonus:

  • Stage 1: none
  • Stage 2: Expansion inland (on pixels that do not share a face or corner with the sea) is tripled.
  • Stage 3: Expansion inland is quintupled.
  • Stage 4: Expansion inland is septupled, and coastal expansion is doubled.


Each empire will have a stability score that they will factor in from 1700 onward. An ideal score is 1500 or greater. Those that keep these scores for decades will see an overall increase in military strength, bonus stability points, a bonus to algorithm outcomes, and other bonus things. If your score is below that, don't worry. However, you will lose at least 20 points for every turn that you don't work on your interior/change something. The weight of invasion, war-time unhappiness, and idiot emperors will increase how many stability points you lose. If your points drop below 500, you'll lose at least 30 stability points a turn (unless you work on it). If your stability points fall below 300, you have the option of spitting your empire for extra points. Once you hit less than 100, your empire collapses completely.

  • stability*power/50,000, rounded = bonus algorithm points
  • power = log (population)*50 + economic power
  • economic power =
  • urbanization (150 highly urbanized/industrial, 100 somewhat urbanized/commercial, 50 slightly urbanized/nodal, 0 rural society).
  • resources (50 precious metals, 100 widespread fertile soil, 50 some partly fertile soil, 50 important metals, e.g. iron, copper .etc)
  • funding system (100 effective tax system, 50 weak tax system, 20 each colony)
  • technology (350 digital, 300 radio, 200 telegram, 100 iron/steel, 50 bronze age, 0 stone age)
  • trade routes (50 for each major trade route - note a long border does not mean lots of trade)

Stability = Status Quo +

  • -20 every turn (-30 if stability lower than 500)
  • Territory (4 large empire such as China, 3.5 medium-large empire/state or kingdom such as Poland, 3 medium kingdom such as Nepal, 2.5 small kingdom or duchy such as Bhutan); note this aspect and governnent are not touched after the new government begins.
  • Stability begins at (Log (Population) (rounded)/Territory)*500 which is the nations status quo
  • Splitting territory into n parts equates stability to sqrt(n)*stability. You may divide into any plausible amount, but you must wait 100 years before dividing again.
  • Change of government resets stability automatically.
  • A country collapses when stability reaches below 300. The player must at that point create a new government or collapse completely into civil disarray.

Penalties to stability:

  • Each non-improvement turn= -20
  • Wars lasting more than 5 years= -20
  • Nearby unrest= -10
  • Minor invasion= -50 (border skirmish)
  • Major invasion= -100 (15% of territory lost or one major city captured)
  • Less than 3 trade routes= -100 (as decided by mods)
  • -500*percent of territory lost in a war

Benefits to stability:

  • War won in less than 5 years= +50
  • Every alliance= +10
  • Every major trade route= +5 (mods decide your number)
  • Every vassal= +20
  • Every colony= +20
  • Stability greater than 1500 for the last 25 years= +150
  • Economic improvement= +25
  • Religious/moral revival= +30
  • Infrastructure= +25
  • War= +10
  • Military development/expansion= +20
  • 100*percent of territory won in a war

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