Pax Britannia

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Published on 23 December 2021 by Andrew Owen (2 minutes)

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One of my ongoing projects is a fan video game set between Ultima III: Exodus and Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar. In addition to developing the game, I’ve also produced a set of feelies to go with it, including a cloth map, guide books and a set of tarot cards for each character class.

Electronica Arts has a generous policy towards the use of the Ultima IP in non-commercial projects. As a result, I was able to reuse the card deck created for the short-lived Ultima Forever: Quest for the Avatar. That deck features the codex symbol in the lower left corner of each card. However, the codex doesn’t appear in the game world until episode IV. So I had to recreate the art that I imagined was under the symbol on each of the 11 cards.

I also created a new card back featuring the 11 heraldic designs I created for each settlement associated with a character classes, and my game’s U3.5 logo.

The Third Dark Age is at a close following the defeat of Exodus. Lord British seeks to unite the lands of Britannia under his rule. To do so, bargains must be struck and alliances forged. To do so, a Diplomat – the antithesis of virtue and heroism – is needed to win the peace. This then is your task: Play rulers off against each other, engage in bribery and deception, subdue by force of arms, and bring the disparate settlements of Britannia together under the rule of law. Many obstacles bar the way – monster groups composed of a variety of loathesome creatures are an everpresent danger, while temptations and complex mysteries abound throughout the land.