Resources, Skill systems

Philippe Duchon (
Sat, 18 Jul 92 20:12:47 MET DST

First on resources :

I agree that all (maybe almost all, too much simplicity would just be boring
for Rich) resources should be limited, and not come back immediately. I'd
like a system where the harder a resource was pulled on, the slower it would
come back (cut down all trees in a forest and you won't get any more for
decades, take away all men from a city and they'll run from recruitors for
years...). Stone might be an exception...

Now, you have to figure how much of the resource you'll give to each unit
trying to get it. What should come into it is (I might forget something, of
* your offer. Gold for men (or buying goods, maybe), working men for natural
resources like timber, stone...
* your skill. I like K.B's picture of a recruitor wandering in cities,
recruiting guys for the big boss. This would do well with a "recruiting"
skill, which would be a good subskill for "leadership" (OK, you have to add
this "leadership" skill, but I'd also like faction trees (see Rich ? That's
at least TWO players who like 'em !) and the "leadership" skill would be
fine with it)
* the competition, only if demand is high enough. Got to be hard with poor
offers. If someone else is offering much more money to recruit, I'll get
nobody, except if I have a really good reputation (skill, maybe short past
actions might be taken into account later if the system lacks complexity...).

The effect of competition should be cut down a lot if you have a special
personal place to work in : a mine for mining, farm for farming, some form of
land ownership for woodcutting or recruiting maybe... This calls for more
sub-regions, of course, but I'm here to make suggestions, not code them, so
I won't stop here...

Now on skills :

The sub-skills system is good, but I wouldn't stop here. Skill trees. Skill
graphs. Complexity. Undocumented complexity, a bit like what's-his-name
suggested : you don't know the requisites for a skill until you have enough
study time to reach level 1, then when you get the requisites you also get
your level in the skill. You might as well get more than one level, as far
as I'm concerned. Bring back the ratings in sub-skills: they are your
specialization rating. Keep the general rating, and have it useful for
ASSIST orders (when working on a clipper, you don't have to be very experienced
with building clippers, but knowing a bit of shipbuilding helps a lot; only
the ingeneer has to know about clippers specifically). OK, I admit this kills
skill graphs, but 99% of players would kill you for bringing them in, anyway.

I see two possible USEs for the general skill: research of available sub-skills
(you don't get them until you USE the skill, then you have a chance of
getting sub-skills you are already high enough to learn), and assessment of
resources you can draw on with the sub-skills. Well, after all, maybe
this kind of assesment could be automatic (an expert Beastmaster should easily
notice there are lots of wild horses in the region, an expert miner would
notice these glistening stones in the river...) Maybe this should be more and
more likely as you stay longer somewhere, and you should have a way of
ordering it. Higher level would mean more accuracy, or earlier assessment,
your choice.

Using a sub-skill should also bring experience with it, maybe slower than
direct study, maybe just of a different kind (yeah, more complexity). I
think one shouldn't be able t become an expert Beastmaster without ever
catching a wild horse, just studying on his own or with a master.

I also agree that studying on your own should be quite slow, but it should
also be less expensive. Studying with a master could be a bit faster than it
is now, or maybe remain like this, only you should be able to ask for some
payment. Like a STUDY #skill <#days> <#teacher #gold-per-day> order,
and a TEACH #skill #days #min-gold-per-day. If you don't pay, you don't get
taught, and the teacher goes idle. The min-gold-per-day might be a total
for all units studying under one teacher, or a per-unit fee. Hey, that's a
great way of making money !

As a summary, I wouldn't mind a bit more playing complexity, if it allowed
more realism. Olympia isn't supposed to become a wargame, is it ? So why
not put more into the other aspects of it ?


Philippe Duchon

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