Terms of Service

Build a Galactic Dynasty!

Imperium Nova is a free text-driven browser-based multiplayer game of trade, diplomacy, subterfuge, warfare and exploration, set in a remote galaxy some time in the distant future. The game is open-ended and has no set victory conditions or endpoint.

Each player takes on the leadership of a unique feudalistic dynasty, nominally subject to the Galactic Emperor but in reality competing with scores of others for influence, status and political power. The game aims to focus on theme rather than generic resource-gathering as seen in many alternative browser-based games, and involves elements of role-playing and character development of your dynasty members.

Imperium Nova is set in a series of persistent galaxies, each one effectively a separate game involving possibly hundreds of regular players, capped to prevent overpopulation of any one galaxy. One 'game day' takes 2 hours of real time to pass. Most operations you order will take several game days to be completed. This slow pace means that you do not need to spend long periods of time continuously logged in to the game, but instead can log in as little or as often as your free time and ambition for success dictates.

No software is required - the game is played solely through your browser and has been developed to work with the latest versions of most common browsers. Your browser must have cookies and scripting enabled to access the site. If you have problems logging in from a certain computer the most likely reason is that cookies are not enabled on that machine.

The remaining pages of this Exploration describe in more detail the features of Imperium Nova. It is recommended you browse through these other sections using the menu to the left before proceeding to Signup, since what you read here may well influence the choices you make during the signup process.

Your Imperial House

When you complete your sign-up to join Imperium Nova, the first thing you will do is create your dynasty, or 'Imperial House'. The name you choose for your dynasty will be your identity within the game, and cannot later be changed.

Despite being set in the far future, the society of the Imperium Nova universe is feudal in nature - each House represents one of the noble families of the Imperium.

You must name your House and also select a title for the House leader, such as Baron, Lord, Countess or Premier. You will also be able to create an individual coat-of-arms. For example, you may choose the House name De Montfort and select the title Baron. When your House leadership is generated, a small family tree is created indicating the head of the House and his or her immediate family. It is these family members, together with any retainers you may hire, who will run your House in game terms - with your hand guiding them of course.

Every House has a status in the Imperium, from an insignificant clan which has only just commenced serious operations, through Minor, Major and Great Houses, right up to the ruling Imperial House. This is reflected by the 'House Status' score in the game, which is itself based upon your influence on individual planets within the galaxy.

As you carry out activities and build your reputation, you will gain influence and status and your House will rise through the rankings. With improved status may come the opportunity to expand your operations into new areas. Who knows, perhaps one day you will be great enough to challenge the Emperor himself for the rule of the galaxy!

During the signup process you must also choose which sphere of activity your House will initially operate within. This is a crucial step that will determine which actions your House is able to carry out within the game. As a starting House you must select one primary sphere of activity, and you may also select a secondary and tertiary sphere of activity if desired. You can branch out into additional spheres later - although to operate in more than one sphere requires a certain level of status.

Spheres of Activity

The spheres of activity your house may engage in are listed below together with a brief description. Since no single House may operate in all areas, no two Houses are likely to carry out identical activities.

Mercantile Establish trade routes in various commodities between trading facilities you have built on different planets
Politics Submit candidates to run for office in the Imperial Senate, and thereby influence galactic policy.
Geological Mine for valuable commodities on mineral-rich planets.
Covert Ops Plant spies, collect intelligence and carry out missions such as sabotage and assassinations.
Agriculture Especially good for new players since it is subsidized by the Imperial government.
Transportation Ferry passengers between planets for profit. Also gives a boost to your House operational range.
Technology Build research centres to expand your technical knowledge, and tech production plants to generate income.
Finance Offer loans to cash-strapped players - for a healthy interest return.
Exploration Fund missions to probe the outer reaches of the galaxy in order to discover new, uncolonised planets.
Construction Build construction plants and receive income every time any facilities are built on that planet.
Military Train elite troops and hire out mercenaries to warring Houses.
Psionics Build psi-centres to generate income from psionic services. Also aids covert operations.
Mysticism Establish your own Cult or Faith and propogate this through the galaxy, gaining influence as you do so.

Detailed descriptions of each sphere can be found in the online rulebook available from the menu link on the left.

Players are able to operate within two spheres of activity absolutely free, and may operate in additional spheres up to the maximum of seven as a value-added feature should the player subscribe to site membership. A player must also attain certain House Status levels in order to open additional spheres of activity. There is no barrier to success within Imperium Nova if operating within the 'free-play' limit of two spheres, providing one of them is a profit-generating sphere such as mercantile or geological. Those who enjoy the game and wish to support it can of course take out membership to explore new activities and get as much as possible from the site.

Bases and Facilities

The key to raising the funds required to successfully build up your operations and status is the construction of bases and facilities. Each House has a homeworld, and can build facilities on this planet and also on other nearby worlds within the operational range of your House. Building facilities costs money, so you need to ensure they are profitable or otherwise of use.

Numerous different facilities can be constructed, from defensive fortresses, trading centres and mining stations through to psi research labs, tech production centres and temples. The type of facility a House can build depends upon the spheres of activity of that house.

Facilities usually have three size levels; small, medium and large. Each specialised type of building has its own name. For example, trading facilities may be known as Trading Outposts, Trading Centres or Trading Hubs, depending upon the facility size. The larger the facility, the greater the potential profit.

All facilities have a monthly upkeep cost, which is influenced by the wealth (and hence labour costs) of the planet, and an income. The income amount depends upon the facility size, individual factors such as the local supply of the goods traded or mineral wealth of the planet being mined, and often how many other facilities of the same type exist on the planet. These might be your own facilities or those of another House.

At a certain point, there may be too many facilities of a given type on a planet to make operations in a given activity there profitable. To prevent this happening you should talk to the other players and come to agreements as necessary. Communication with other players is an essential long-term tool to the success of your House.

However should another House prove un-cooperative or hostile you may find yourself resorting to insults, sabotage, assassination and even outright war. The latter requires that you have accrued 'Feud Score' against the offending House, through hostile actions by them against you.

War and Diplomacy

Imperium Nova is a multi-player experience. Each galaxy is run as a discrete game and may have hundreds of dedicated players active at any one time. With all of these Houses building facilities and attempting to expand in a galaxy of limited size, you will soon realise that it pays to have friends who can watch your back.

Formal alliances and informal agreements with other Houses are what hold galactic society together. If you know of other Houses competing in your spheres of activity on nearby planets, you will sooner or later need to make deals with them or else ruin both your profits.

Of course, if diplomacy fails or if your House is particularly ruthless, you may resort to other means. Sabotage, spying, insults and attempted assassinations are all liable to end up with escalating hostilities between your House and your competitor through the accrual of 'Feud Score' against the opposing House.

However, the Emperor governs the galaxy closely. Without a valid reason to declare a feud, you risk renegade status should you commence overt military operations against another House. A renegade house may be attacked by any other player with no other cause required. To avoid this, you must provoke your opponent or catch them attempting covert operations against you.

Once you have accrued adequate 'Feud Score' you may assault the enemy's bases with your troops. You must first overcome any defensive bases in place, such as fortresses. Once this is done you can destroy their defenceless facilities. Such a conflict only ends when both players decide enough is enough, or else one party is completely annihilated. War is expensive - each assault has a significant cost attached.

Before attacking a rival, even with legitimate cause, you should beware any formal alliances your enemy may have. The other houses in any alliance may well join in the conflict on your enemy's side. Of course, if they do attack you, your own alliance will be expected to assist you - and so the conflict escalates.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How much does it cost?
A: The game is free for any House operating within up to two spheres, with a small cost to purchase membership and allow operations within additional spheres if desired. Membership is not necessary for success, since operating two spheres offers opportunities to generate ample profits alongside political or other activities.
Q: When does the game end?
The game is continuous and ends only for each individual player when they fail to sign in for an entire month of real time. Otherwise, you will maintain control of your dynasty from one generation to the next, indefinitely.
Q: How do I sign up?
A: Click on the 'Sign Up Now!' link and fill out your details. You will need an authorisation code to activate your account and verify that your email address is valid. Once submitted, your request will be processed and an email will be sent to the address you provide with your authorisation code. The first time you sign in to Imperium Nova you will be prompted to enter your authorisation code. After you do this once, your account is active and you may create your Imperial House and join the game in the galaxy to which you have been allocated.
Q: Why didn't I receive my authorisation code?
A: If an email doesn't arrive within a few minutes then make sure your junk mail filter hasn't inadvertently identified the mail as junk. If you still can't find the email, contact a GM and request your code be sent out manually.
Q: I've signed up successfully but I can't sign in to the game - I keep getting a session timeout message. What's going on?
A: Check that you have cookies enabled on the computer you are using. If cookies are not enabled you can't sign in.
Q: Can I choose which galaxy I play in?
A: No, since this would be open to exploitation by groups of players who know each other outside of the game. Every galaxy has a maximum number of players and a mixture of established and newer players. This balance is maintained by the GM and you must stick with the galaxy you are allocated when you sign up. There will be several galaxies with openings at any one time.
Q: What happens if I don't sign-in for a while?
A: You must sign in at least once every 28 days or all of your account details will be deleted. You will receive email warnings before this happens.
Q: Won't the experienced players in my galaxy just kill me off right away?
A: No. Attacking any House without a valid reason gives a House 'Renegade' status. Everyone in the galaxy is then free to wage war on the offending player if they wish, including the Emperor who is duty-bound to assist. Therefore unless you have deliberately provoked a powerful House, they are extremely unlikely to risk their own destruction by attacking you. Of course there will be exceptions - but you'd be very unlucky.
Q: How is technology handled in the game?
A: There is a simple numeric 'Tech Level' measure used to indicate the relative technology levels of each House. This increases with time based on level of research funding. Research becomes slower the further ahead of the galactic average you are, and correspondingly faster if you are well behind the leaders. High Tech Level gives efficiency advantages in many activities, including military operations and trading profits.
Q: Who is the Emperor?
A: Initially an experienced player from an existing Galaxy is assigned the role of Emperor in each new Galaxy. However, this position can be taken by any player, should a player become powerful enough to usurp the throne through political or military means.
Q: Is there space and starship combat in the game?
A: No. All combat is based on planetary infantry missions targeting the fortresses and facilities of your opponent.