While interacting with the world of Avaria and its peoples, you may find yourself wanting to explore specific topics of interest beyond those things considered to be common knowledge. You can use the Research system to engage in-character with the lore of the world, either conducting a survey of works already written on a given topic, or pursuing independent inquiries to produce new bodies of learning. Although your interests as a player may overlap with those of your character, you should think of in-game research as purely IC, and your character should have their own individual motivations for pursuing any given line of research.
In order to perform research, an individual must be at least somewhat versed in literacy and must also understand the basics of deduction. This means that the character must have points invested in both the Education and Investigation skills. Provided they meet these minimum qualifications, they can then go to a library in whatever town they happen to be in, and from there conduct some research on a topic of their choosing.
Reviewing and Researching
When doing research, you have the choice of simply attempting to review existing studies on the topic in question, or you can conduct new research in order to track down information which no player has previously compiled. Reviewing generally produces faster results, but is limited to whatever information has already been researched by someone before. Researching can be used to uncover new information, but is typically much more time consuming.
Regardless of which method you use, you must initiate your research in an appropriate location -- generally a designated room within a library or university. To specify the subject of your research you will decide on a keyword (or a combination of more than one keyword) that you want to use. The speed with which you obtain results from your research is based partly on a roll using the relevant stats and skills. Sometimes it might take a long time for you to achieve results from your research, and other times it may take only a few days.
- REVIEW <keyword>
- REVIEW <keyword1, keyword2>
- RESEARCH <keyword>
- RESEARCH <keyword1, keyword2>
When doing research, you can also set an IC narrative for yourself, describing more specifically what you are looking for and also perhaps telling a little bit of a story about the reasons for your search and what you're hoping to uncover or achieve. This narrative should be written from the perspective of your character, and it may serve as material for staff to tailor information for your search, or to inspire other interactions or results. As your new research can sometimes take some time, you can also check on your research status at the library.
- RESEARCH NARRATIVE <narrative>
- RESEARCH NARRATIVE CLEAR
- RESEARCH STATUS
When at a library, anyone can request that a copy of a specific work of research be made for them, if they know its title. Having a copy produced will cost a silver coin (or a hundred copper).
- REQUEST COPY (of) <title>
A Research Example
Let's say you've heard stories of the near-legendary material known as stoneweep, and you want to learn more about this material and its role in ancient Raziya.
To get started you can go to a library and simply REVIEW STONEWEEP, ANCIENT RAZIYA. This will quickly return everything that has been previously both researched and published by others. But maybe there is only one article published with that combination of keywords, and your curiosity is only further piqued -- you want to learn more! RESEARCH STONEWEEP, ANCIENT RAZIYA will start you on the journey of uncovering never-before-published material.
While material must have been both researched and published already in order to fall under the scope of your REVIEW, it's possible that there are in fact unpublished articles with those keywords already available. If so, you will be able to find them first -- and depending on your roll, you may find them within the day, or it may take up to four days for your search to produce results. But if there are no unpublished articles either, your research then becomes a request for staff to write one, and correspondingly a much more monumental feat of research for you -- one that may even take quite a long time. You can only research one article at a time in any given library, so you'll need to be careful with your resources of time and energy.
After finding some new information, someone can publish their findings at the library or university, for the aid of future researchers and also to potential acclaim from other scholars. These locally-published works can be found very quickly, and scholars might even make you copies of them for a small fee. If you want to receive credit for your research and gain renown for it, be sure to let the world know the name or alias under which you wish your works to be published! If you do not provide one, your research will be published anonymously.
- PUBLISH <article> as <title> with <keywords>
- MAKE MY ALIAS <penname>
Again, others can study all published research in a library or university by doing a REVIEW of the topics they're interested in.
The research system is one of several ranked systems in Avaria, where you can achieve renown for your accomplishments. Other scholars in an area will likely know a fair deal about the regular researchers in their area, and can be asked about local RANKINGS. Remember, if a person wishes to publish at a library or university under a specific name, they will need to inform the local scholars. Without any alias whatsoever, all of a person's published works will be attributed to an unknown author.