The Purge and How to Deal with It
If a player drops out of the game, we can't let that player position just disappear. While other players would like to just grab the departed players fiefs, the players family is needed in the game for historical and play balance reasons. Thus if a player does not log on to the game for 21 days, the player is "purged." That is, the players character becomes inactive, his NPCs are fired, any lockouts on his fiefs are removed, purse is made equal to what it was at game start and any non-ancestral fiefs owned are transferred to inactive owners. Thus the position made available for a new player. However, a purged position is immediately made available for a new player only if the purged position owns at least one of its ancestral fiefs. This is why a purged player loses non-ancestral fiefs that are ancestral to an inactive player position lacking any fiefs. Inactive fiefless positions are again eligiable for play once they have at least one fief. After a game has been underway for a decade or so, many of the player positions are inactive (not available to new players) because they have no fiefs. One tactic available to player is the ability to transfer a fief to an inactive player character. This makes that player character eligiable for activation as new players enter the game.
If we didn't have the purge routines, the games would be much less attractive to new players and it would get very dead around here very quickly.
There is one positive side to the Purge, however. When a noble goes non active, his retainers are freed from his service. That is how the experienced and smart nobles pick up the best employees for their service
You can get another position of the same nationality, but two conditions have to be met first. The ratio of 2:1:1 (French:English:Other) players must be maintained, and there must be playable positions (those with at least one fief).
Note also that a few players purge out of the game each week. Moreover, when you come into a game for the first time, and do not return regularly in the next few weeks, your character will purge within five days. If you come into the game at least every other day, within two weeks your purge time will rise to 21 days.
The Original Purge and the Smart Purge. From 1992-1997 the Purge had a very upopular
feature. When a position purged, any ancestral fiefs owned by another player were taken
away and given back to the purged position (to provide the next player using that position
with the positions original fiefs.) There were also two hundred player positions that were
never played. When the player character heading these families died (of natural causes, or
the Plague), that families fief(s) becomes "disputed" and liable to conquest by
any player. But in the Summer of 1997 the Smart Purge was introduced, and ALL 306
positions are in play if they have a fief.