Castles, Politics, and Game Design.

William Bruvold (
Thu, 18 Nov 93 12:18:43 PST

How 'bout this to sink your teeth into as a proposal:

To build a political system into Olymipia that will add
both depth to the gaming environment and add a dimnesion

To insure some game balance so that non-military/political
types and newbie are not at a horrible disadvantage to
empire builders

To force player interaction - both cooperative AND
conflictual as political units are built and expanded.


Have a heirarchy of three kinds of "fortifications" that pertain to
political organization: manor houses, Castles, and Keeps.

Require each sucessive kind of fortification to be dependent upon
construction of a number of prior units _which are pledged_ to the
would be king.


Each manor house would generate 150gp each month in farming
income (perhaps adjusted to weather effects to account for Olympian
winters). Thus a province could support a max of 3 manor houses for
an income of 450gp.

Each Manor House would require 50 stones and 50 wood to be
constructed and each would have to be "maintained" by a noble who
stayed in the house for the entire turn with 20 peasants. This
noble would issue some command, call it "Farm" for lack of a better
word that would take 30 days.

Manor houses could support 30 soldiers and have a defense
comparable to towers.


Castles would require 10 manor houses to be located in the "center
square" and the four adjacent provinces with no more than 3 and no
less than 1 MH in each of the five provinces. All Manor houses must
be occupied and "farmed" by nobles from either the owner of the
castle's faction or from nobles of a faction "pledged" to the owner.
Failure to maintain the minimum ten Manor House support would result
in the castle falling into disrepair. 1 turn in disrepair results
in a 50% decrease in revenue. 2 turns no revenue. 3 turns the
castle collapses

Each Castle would collect all "excess" revenue in the 5
province region plus a bonus of 200p each turn. Thus a "barony"
with 10 MH and a castle woudl result in a revnue of 950 for the
castle owner (150x5 + 200gp).
In addition, for each city in the area that has an "active
market" (see below) the castle would collect an extra 150 in custom

Castles would require 500 stones and 300 wood to construct

Only within castle walls could knights and elite archers be

Keeps would need 4 castles to be pledged in loyalty to them,
with each castle constrained by the above rules pertaining to
Manorhouses in respect to disrepair. Thus the first turn 1 castle
was not pledged the Keep's revenue would be halved, the second cut
by 100% and the third the Keep would be destroyed.

The revnue of keeps is 1200, representing 300 per castle

Keeps require 1000stone and 600 wood to construct.

Only within keeps can elite guards be trained.

Rulers of Keeps are provided "reports" on all provinces
controlled by castles pledged to them. (similar to a scyre location

An addition to current rules is to distinguish between
active and inactive markets. A market is considered active if
within the last two turns a sale has been made _OTHER_ than in
baskets, pots, or fish. For castles this results in a 100gp bonus


I think that this system would achieve the goals that are stated
above. Among the things that would be accomplished is that it woudl
be difficult for one player to build such an empire (though not
impossible) by requiring that lords of Manor houses must be
"farming" their lands. At a minimum it woud require 10 nobles and
thus should encourage players to divide up the division of labor.

By linking castles and keeps to the training of the best troops, you
provide incentives for players to join together to creat these units

By building in the rules of disrepair, you require players to keep
an active defense against losing manor houses to raids and also
encourage bargaining between the lord of the castle/keep and the
manor house owners for continued support/loyalty.

By distinguishing between inactive and active markets you encourage
castle owners to promote trade/commerce and "protect" those factions
that are interested for Roleplaying reasons in being merchants. By
restricting activity to "trade" items or sales between players in
uncommon commodities you encourage some trade (note that something
would have to be built into the code so the bug of trading the same
good over and over between two nobles was not exploited.)

Some obvious holes that need to be filled in:

Keep revnue should be more variable (like the castle is
which must make trade off between extra manor houses (which increase
security cushion) and extra revenue. Not sure how to do this so
suggestions needed.

Need to figure out a way so the other two obvious "peacible"
faction types - the magic specialist and the explorer - also have
goods that the would be hegemon need. Any suggestions here would be
realy great (perhaps an active tower i.e. a tower with a mage doing
research could be substituted for a number of manor houses).

As I haven't had lunch I will end it here but I think this is a
decent idea that a) remains simple and b) satisfies certain
objectives stated at the start

W. Erik Bruvold

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