London, 1592. A great plague sweeps through the capital. When doctors flee the city in fear, a hero rises. His name is Simon Forman, “Doctor” of Astrology, Astronomy and Physick. Not only does he have the power to cure the sick, he can find their lost pets and predict their futures! All by reading the movements of the stars.
But when the plague ends, Forman’s problems begin. The real doctors return to London and they will stop at nothing to bring him down...
Play as ‘Doctor’ Simon Forman - unlicensed medical professional and astrologer - and help him win a medical licence. Astrologaster is a narrative-based comedy game.
Explore Forman’s life, his work, and his relationships with his clients. Make story choices by performing astrological readings. Choose strategically or make decisions just for fun - but be aware that your choices will have consequences (and unpredictable side effects!)
13 clients come to see you 5-7 times seeking advice for personal, professional and medical problems. By examining the stars in the sky, you diagnose and determine answers for your clients’ problems. As well as affecting the storyline, these choices will alter your clients’ satisfaction levels. Satisfied clients will write you letters of recommendation, and with enough of these letters you can obtain a medical licence from the University of Cambridge.
So-called “real” (licensed) doctors call Forman a quack and fraud. Help Forman prove these medical establishment elitists wrong!
Perform real* astrology: Examine the sky and choose astrological interpretations that Forman will use to advise his patients. (But remember: astrology is not an exact science!)
Solve hilarious problems: Consult on problems ranging from Elizabethan terror plots and foul diseases, to romantic entanglements and stolen pies!
Change lives: Win your patients’ favour or ruin their lives. Advise 14 characters who return 5-7 times. Patients have their own ongoing stories which often overlap with each other. Use gossip from some characters to guide and manipulate others.
Win a medical licence: Convince patients to write letters of recommendations. Collect enough letters to exchange them for a medical licence.
Fully voiced character dialogue: Sitcom-style comedy brought to life by a cast of over a dozen actors.
Sing along: Enjoy Renaissance-era music and sing along to each character’s theme song.
Casebooks come alive: Simon Forman’s cases are presented as a beautiful pop-up book. Turn pages to delve deeper into your patients’ stories.
Meet the doctor
Doctor of Astrology, Astronomy and Physick. Astrological guidance on matters personal, professional & medical since 1592. Medical licence pending.
Meet the patients
Sybil Fortescue is a socialite and leading influencer. Though her explorer husband is frequently away at sea, Mistress Fortescue has much to occupy her. Her interests include sharing portraits of her pet monkey with friends and hosting dinner parties serving strange fruits and vegetables that Captain Fortescue sends home from the New World.
Emilia Lanier (née Bassano) was born into a family of Italian musicians who entertain in the English Royal Court. Precociously intelligent, and, having mastered both Latin and Greek as a child, she is said to be "mature for her age" by the significantly older men who take a romantic interest in her.
Riccardo Ferraro is a merchant and a gentleman of Venice who has lately taken up residence in London. Notable for his flamboyant airs and extraordinarily thick accent, Ferraro makes a fine addition to the melting pot that is late-16th century multi-cultural London.
Lancelot Moore, son of a wealthy London family, is an accomplished wooer of ladies. His approach to courting largely relies upon a combination of good looks and terrible love sonnets. Moore seeks Doctor Forman's advice on how to manage his various romantic entanglements.
Emma Sharpe knows that there is only one clear way for advancement for a woman in Elizabethan society: marriage. Highly accomplished in the marital arts, her extensive experience and skill in the areas of engagement, bridecraft and widowhood make for an impressive resumé.
Robert Devereux is the Earl of Essex. A dashing nobleman, he cuts a fine figure about town and around the Royal Court. Now London's most popular celebrity after self-publishing exaggerated tales of his military exploits, it seems as if no one is immune to "Essex fever". Especially the Earl himself.
Avis Allen is a pleasant and respectable local resident of Lambeth and a patient of Doctor Forman. Despite being a Catholic, she is otherwise unremarkable- though not to Simon Forman. For there is something special about Avis that Forman can't quite manage to put his finger on.
Nicholas Mugg takes an active interest in his own health. Between the foods he carefully avoids, and the illnesses he self-diagnoses, he is quite probably the worst dinner guest in London. Being distrustful of mainstream medicine ("Big Physick"), Mugg seeks out the care of an alternative practitioner: Doctor Simon Forman.
Mary Payne is a Lambeth resident who takes an active role in her local community. She is best known for her campaign against an influx of Dutch refugees on the grounds that they put a strain on local parish services, and her campaign against Catholics on the grounds that they are Catholic. Though she leads a busy life, Mary still finds time to spoil her favourite niece, taking her on outings to hangings, beheadings and cock-fighting shows.
John Whitgift is the Archbishop of Canterbury. As a leader of the Church of England, second only to the Queen, he wields great power. Clergy the length and breadth of England come to him at his palace in Lambeth to petition him to make them into Bishops. And as it happens, the Archbishop also has the power to grant medical licenses and turn men like Simon Forman into real doctors...
Thomas Blague is the Dean of Rochester Cathedral. Unsatisfied with his senior position in the Church of England, Blague invests his money in risky financial schemes, which include expeditions for South American gold and Dutch flower-bulb-based currencies.
Alice Blague is the wife of the Dean of Rochester. She keeps herself busy protecting the Blague family fortune from her husband and managing her extra-marital affairs with various high-ranking clergymen. After a long day, Alice likes to unwind with a flagon of wine at local alehouse, The Quiet Bear.
Humphrey Bell is a young male actress famous for playing female roles upon the London stage. Though a talented player, he suffers from constant pressure from his director to be prettier, thinner and younger, allegedly to satisfy the expectations of London audiences.
The Casebook’s Project
Astrologaster takes its inspiration from Simon Forman’s casebooks. These are part of the Casebooks Project, and the Casebooks team has acted as historical consultants for the game.