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HYW Quick Start

Welcome to the Hundred Years War, an interactive, multi-player strategy and role-playing game. You have just stepped back into the 14th Century, a time when Chivalry was the code by which men lived and died, when Kings and Overlords ruled by might as well as right, a world where the Church was a powerful force to be reckoned with. The Hundred Years War is a startling reflection of those are entering into a world where modern values have no meaning, where loyalty to your King may be the making or breaking of your family, where intrigue, diplomacy can be swept aside by the outcome of one battle.

Getting Started

Hundred Year's War (HYW) is unique among war games in that it encourages diplomacy and role-playing, unique among role-playing games in that your character is an actual historical figure, meticulously researched and historically accurate. You have many paths you can choose from, many options to explore. These QuickStart docs are designed to get you into the game quickly, explain the basics to you and suggest a few ways to get involved with the game in more depth.

  1. The Main HYW Menu
  2. Your Position
  3. The Family
  4. Finances
  5. Managing Your Fiefs
  6. Hiring NPCs
  7. Contacting the King (messaging)
  8. Etiquette
  9. Hiring an Army
  10. The Church
  11. Sysops & Heralds
1. The Main HYW Menu

When you enter the game, the first menu you come to is known as the Main Menu. From this menu you can access any information about your Player Character (PC), your family, holdings, finances, those in your employ, etc. Take a few minutes to explore the different menu options on your own and get a feel for how the game menus are organized. You will also note that the Game's Season and Year are displayed at the top, as are the number of days you have left to expend in the season.

You have 90 days per season, and many actions in the game will cost you days. However, you should feel free to explore at will, you will get another 90 days the next turn (season) and your first few turns you should be spending exploring the game and getting used to how things are done. Keeping a notebook handy by the computer is a good way of remembering details from one turn to another until you get used to the flow of the game.

2. Your Position

One of the very first things you need to discover is, of course, which position you have drawn in the game. Unlike other role-playing games where you design your own character, in HYW you become the Head of a Household that actually existed during this period. From the Main Menu, choose #2 Personal Affairs This brings up another menu from which you should choose #1 Personal Characteristics.

The information now displayed tells you about your character (PC). Find out what your name is, your ID#, age, sex, marital status, what language you speak and what nationality you are. You should make note of your Stature and other Topline stats (Management, Guile, Leadership) in passing at this point. At the very bottom of the screen there is an option to look at your titles. Go ahead and choose yes to examine your titles, as they determine your rank in the world. You should refer to yourself by your highest title when you are signing missives or dealing with other players; you will have one title per fief you hold, and perhaps a Provincial one too .

Once you return to the Personal Affairs Menu, investigate #5 Personal History. This will give you an idea of what has been happening to your PC in the game's recent history. Anything that happens to your PC or your family will be recorded here: births, deaths, attacks on your fiefs, money or troop transfers, etc.

3. The Family

After you find out who you are, the next thing you want to do is take a look at your family. Usually you will be a male PC with a wife and a child or two. From the Main Menu you choose #6 Household Affairs. This will bring up a list of all the members of your household, family and hired NPCs alike, listed numerically by their ID#. Under the category "function" you will find what the relationship of the NPC is to you: wife, daughter, son, relative, NPC. If you type in "E1" you will examine the first person on the menu, which will provide you the same information about them that you found about yourself on the Personal Characteristics menu. Be sure to examine your wife carefully and note how old she is and whether or not she is pregnant. When you are examining your children, note their ages. If you have a child under a year old, your wife may not be able to get pregnant again immediately. If all of your kids are at least two, you should probably consider getting your wife with child again soon.

It is from the Household Affairs menu that you can move your NPCs from place to place, make pregnancy attempts with married relatives (although not with your own spouse), analyze your NPCs and conduct any training of your family members. Take a few minutes to explore the options here before you go on.

If you are not married, you should make finding a spouse your top priority, as dying without an heir means that you will be out of the game. You can always reenter and get another position, but it is more fun to stay active with the same family over time. To find a spouse you can try several tactics: send a message to your team asking if anyone has a suitable daughter or visit neighboring keeps and see if there are any families with suitable daughters and propose to them. Either way, you should continue to pursue a spouse until you find one that is suitable and then get her with child as quickly as possible.

To get your spouse pregnant, you have to access #7 Family Matters, from the Main Menu. Use #3 Get Wife With Child to get your wife pregnant. As in the real world, pregnancy may take many days, weeks, months or even years to accomplish. Don't waste all of your days trying your first few seasons, give it 10 or 15 tries and call it a turn. If you're still having trouble impregnating your wife after a few turns, talk to your team members or Herald about possible solutions to your dilemma.

4. Finances

Money is terribly important in the game, for without it, you will end up depending upon other players to finance you. The standard unit of currency in the game is the KiloDucat (KD) which is equal to 1000 ducats. All transactions in the game are measured in KD.

From the Main Menu, choose #8 Financial Activity. From the next menu select #2 Current Finances. This will tell you how much money you have, how much you make per season, how much your family spends per season, as well as what your taxes are, and so on. Your income is based upon how well you manage the fiefs you have, and what you do with any you may acquire in the future. You should make an effort to either learn to manage your own fiefs well, or to find someone to manage them well for you.

If you are a Provincial Overlord, you will have to activate the taxes for your Province. To do this, from the Main Menu choose #5 Official Acts. Then choose #1 Province Management. This will bring up a list of the Provinces that you are Overlord for, and you can then activate tax collection in them. You can also see a list of all the fiefs in the Province, some of which you will own, while some will be owned by other Nobles. All of these fiefs pay taxes to you, their Overlord. Staying on good terms with your neighbors is the best way to keep them happy and their fiefs producing well, which means more money in your pocket. Every KD counts.

5. Managing Your Fiefs

As mentioned in the section on Finances, your fiefs are your source of income. Ignore them and you will quickly find the unhappy peasants rebelling and yourself having to spend money to quell the rebellion. To examine your fiefs, from the Main Menu choose #1 Fief Management, which brings up a list of all the fiefs that you own. You may own as few as 1 or several. From this menu you can check the important things about the fief, including who is managing it, whether it has a bailiff, the loyalty and the status of the fief. If any of your fiefs say they are in rebellion, you will have to quell it, which is covered later in these docs. Usually you will only own fiefs inside the country of your Nationality, but occasionally you will find that you may own a fief in another country as well. One example that springs to mind are the French Lords whose lands border Arles and the Holy Roman Empire (HRE): many of them will own lands outside of France as well.

To examine a fief, choose the first one on the list, and enter. This will bring up a menu with several options on it. You should examine all of these at your leisure, but for now choose #1 Examine Fief. This will bring up an individual summary of the fief that is similar to the ones you viewed for yourself and your family. There is a lot of information here to assimilate, so focus on the important things for now: Population, Status, Overlord, and Spending. In all probability you will not have any bailiffs installed, so you will have to go and hire some. In the meanwhile, the autobailiff will do an adequate job, so there is no need to spend your days doing it yourself.

Some quick rules of thumb about Taxing and Spending. Before the Plague goes through the game, you can set your taxes as high as 20% without worrying about the peasants rebelling on you; after the Plague you should not tax over 15%. If you don't know if the plague has passed through the game, make a note to ask a teammate about this and don't set your taxes higher than 15%. Don't make huge increases in taxation either, move them up slowly and gradually, it will keep the peasants happier. The game will not allow you to overspend in the areas of Officials and Infrastructure, however you can spend more than you need to on the Garrison and the Keep Level. In general if you don't spend more than twice on your Garrison than you do on your Officials, this will keep things balanced, and unless you want to pour money down a hole, don't spend more than 13 times the population of the fief on the Keep. You will learn more about fine tuning management as time goes on.

The other item that you may wish to take a look at now is #10 Locking Utilities. The reasons for locking your fief are as numerous as the visitors you may get if you don't. Most Nobles choose to lock their fiefs against those of the opposite Nationalities. Say, for example you are French, then you probably don't want the English inside the keep paying court to your daughters, eating your food and swilling your wine. You can lock out specific people, or entire nationalities. Up to you, what you choose to do here.

6. Traveling & Hiring NPCs

Next you will be needing Bailiffs for your fiefs, and possibly an Army Leader, Sieger or other NPCs to fill your household. You find these NPCs by traveling from fief to fief and checking out the Taverns, which is where all the unemployed NPCs gather to drink, boast and get hired.

From the Main Menu, #3 Travel, which will bring up a small map of the area directly around the fief you are in, and an extensive menu. Take a moment to look at all the things you can do from this menu, because eventually you will do most of your in game work from here. Note that directly below the map you are told whether or not you are inside the keep and whether or not an army or brigands are present in the fief. Please note that any army that you have will not show up here, as you already know you have one.

From the Travel Menu, choose #21 Visit Tavern, and this will take you to where the NPCs for hire are located. This menu will look very similar to your household menu, and you use it to examine the men for hire. It takes time and effort to find good NPCs, so be patient if you don't find what you are looking for immediately. Start at the top of the list and work your way down, examining each one in turn. This is where you should really take note of the Topline stats that were mentioned in passing Earlier. The four stats in the Topline are: Management, Guile, Leadership and Stature. They can be as low as 1 or as high as 9. Added together, you could, therefore, have a number as low as 4 or as high as 36. The higher the number the better the NPC. The skills an NPC has modify the topline, either for good or ill, but if you make it a habit to not hire an NPC for a bailiff unless he has a Management of at least 5 and a total Topline of at least 20, then you will find yourself wasting less money on NPCs who are of little use to you. Once an NPC is in your employ, you can analyze his skills from the Household Menu.

If you are searching for a potential spouse for yourself or your children, choose #5 Visit Court and Enter Keep Just as potential NPCs for hire are found in Taverns, potential spouses are found in Courts. You can use the same examination method to look at potential mates that you did to examine potential bailiffs. If you find a lady that catches your eye, make a note of their ID#, and what fief she was in. If you find that perfect match, then you can propose to the Lady's father via the Family Matters Menu (#7 from the Main Menu).

Once you have hired enough Bailiffs for your fiefs, you should go back to your fiefs and place them in their positions using the Fief Management Menu. You will notice that there is a Fief Management option (#15) on the Travel Menu, which comes in very handy.

There are several important things to note about Traveling:

A. You will want a set of maps, so that you can more easily find your way around Europe. These are easily obtainable either by downloading them from the HYW website, or by sending a SASE to Erudite (add in address if appropriate).

B. If you have an extended keyboard, you will find that the numeric keypad is quite handy for movement as the outside rows of numbers correspond to the movements possible in the game, and the 5 key is the fief you are in at any given time. The 2 key lets you examine the fief you are in and the 8 key accesses port movement.

C. QuickMoves are a way to move more than 1 fief at a time. At first you will want to go slowly and see the country, but you should at least be aware that QuickMovement exists. To use this feature you type in a "Q" first and then the numbered directions for where you want to go. Say you want to get from Le Mans to Paris. Le Mans is south and west of Paris, so you would enter the following move: q66669999, which would take you 4 fiefs east and then 4 fiefs northeast to Paris.

7. Contacting the King

Once you have a good idea about who your PC is, and have explored the game a bit, you should contact your King and swear fealty to him. If you are French, your King is usually #200, Phililppe VI de Valois. If you are English, your King is usually #47, Edward III Plantagenet. If you are entering the game mid-progress, you may find that the original King has died and the Crown Prince has taken over. Oftentimes the Sysop of the game will list the Kings and other important characters on the Main Entry Screen for the game, so you can double check there to see who your King is. Your National Herald will probably be listed on that screen as well, and you can always contact a Herald or a Sysop to ask them questions.

The messaging screen is separate from the game, and came up with the game when you logged in. Take some time to read the messages you may already have. Oftentimes there will be a greeting message from your King there already. Your oath of fealty to your King may be something as simple as "I, John, Earl of Oxford, do hereby pledge my oath of fealty to His Grace, Edward III of England, Wales and Ireland." There are more complex oath examples in the HYW docs, should you choose to use one of them, or feel free to make up one of your own. The thing to remember is that under the feudal system, the King owned all of the land in the Kingdom and parceled it out to his Overlords and they to their Lords as they saw fit, so it is prudent to swear fealty early. What the King grants, the King may take away.

8. Etiquette

Chivalry was the Code of Honor of the 14th Century and you will be expected to adhere to it in some fashion. Some Kings are more insistent about this than others. Especially in the beginning it is prudent to be polite to everyone you meet, be they friend, foe or ally. You never know when an acquaintance might come in handy.

Kings are addressed as "Your Grace", as are Bishops and Ducs. The Pope is addressed as "Your Holiness" or "Holy Father." When in doubt about another Lord's station in life, a simple "My Lord" will suffice if followed by polite conversation.

There are a few things that are generally frowned upon that are pitfalls you may run into as a new player. Do not seduce your neighbor's daughters or wives if they belong to active families, this often causes ill-will. Do not attempt to hire away the NPCs of other players, as they spend time and money searching for them just as you do....besides, how do you know that their judgment about NPCs is any better than yours? Finally, do not hire an army, go out and begin taking your neighbors fiefs without some direction from your King; like as not you will quickly run out of funds and possibly be marked as an Outlaw for your daring.

9. Hiring an Army

Keeping in mind that armies are expensive to maintain and not necessary to your immediate enjoyment of the game, you may need one to quell a rebellion if one of your fiefs is in that state. From the Main Menu you choose #9 Army Management. This will bring up a menu that tell you that you do not have a standing army currently, but has many options available for hiring and firing the men you need. Choose #1 Recruit, to hire men. If your fief is in rebellion, you will need to multiply the population of the fief by 16 in order to know how many troops to hire. For example, if the fief has a population of 10, then you would need 160 men to quell the rebellion. Do not hire more men than you will need, as this is a waste of money. Oftentimes you can hire the required number of men within a few fiefs of the rebelling one. Once you have enough, go back to the fief and Fief Management menu choose to Quell the Rebellion. Once the rebellion is quelled, disband your army, no need to pay them for more than the season you need them for.

10. The Church

It is important to remember that the Hundred Year's War took place before the Protestant Reformations, so when you refer to the Church, you mean what we today refer to as the Roman Catholic Church and that all Christians of that period were Roman Catholics by today's standards. The Pope was the Head of the Church, and he ranks even the Kings in this game. Your King may be able to outlaw you and take your lands in this life, but cross the Pope and you may end up in Hell for all eternity. Being Excommunicated was the worst things that could happen to a Christian, for it literally meant that he could not have any of the Sacraments of the Church performed for him (baptism, marriage, burial), he could not take Communion, and he was usually shunned by everyone else, including his own family. It was a very serious matter, so do not take His Holiness lightly. Small donations to the Holy See to mark important events in your family's lives (births, deaths, marriages) should go a long way toward making your stop in Purgatory a short one.

11. Sysops & Heralds

Every game has a Sysop and the game is usually named after the Sysop in charge of it. The Main Screen to enter the game lists the Sysop and has an email connection directly to them, so that you may contact them with any questions you may have. The Sysop is there to arbitrate any rules disputes that may come up, to fix any bugs or problems players have and to make the game more enjoyable for the players.

Many games will also have National Heralds. The Heralds are there to counsel and guide their King and team. They are usually your first stop when you need help. Heralds will be able to help get you set up and comfortable in your position and advise you about day to day details of playing the game. Where Sysops are impartial, National Heralds are there to help their team win.

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