The purpose of this game is to explore the intersection of Confucian ideas and issues of governance and social order in the pre-modern world. The game is set in the year 1587 within the Grand Secretariat of the Hanlin academy of the Forbidden City in Beijing. One student is the Wanli emperor; all of the rest are members of the Grand Secretariat, a sort of informal, collective prime-ministership. Grand Secretaries typically are selected from the prestigious Hanlin Academy, the body that drafts and edits the writings of the emperor himself. Only the most distinguished scholars in the land, those winning the very top places in the competitive jinshi examination, are appointed to the Hanlin.