Re: Roads,cities, and monsters

John Sloan (
Thu, 09 Dec 93 13:05:29 GMT wrote :

>> My first worry about this is that new players, who don't have the resources
>> to build and maintain a set of guards, will be trapped near the places they
>> start, where all the resources have already been tied up.
>This was precisely the complaint of new players in Olympia I.
>However, I think this is the point. Either you can easily leave
>and get a big pie for youself, or someone else already has the pie.
>There's no reason to fight for a pie, or make a deal to only have
>a slice, if you can easily go a few provinces away and get all the
>pie you want.

In lesser atnos, you need a boat to get anywhere interesting. Getting wood will
be tricky with no workers, and people harvesting the forests as fast as

And once you get to another continent, either it is civilised, in which case
you've been beaten to the resources. Or it isn't, in which case they savages
get you, unless you keep your nobles together.

I envisage people wandering a long way as a single stack, then slowly expanding
little pockets of civilisation from where they end up.

>> I much prefer the Carrot ideas.
>There is nothing in any of the carrot suggestions which stops a single
>player from doing them. Chuk will build some libraries for himself, make
>a few roads, and still kill anyone who comes near him.
>Right now players could ally to build castles or towers, but for the
>most part they don't. Why should they, when everyone can have two hundred
>province continents to themselves?
>The carrot ideas are also all ways to "give away the bank": allow cheap,
>fast travel; let skills be learned quicker; allow location owners to make
>more money. Since I have the impression that most of these activities are
>"well tuned" at the moment, this would simply burn our candle twice as fast.

Its a good point, but is a feature of the carrots mentioned so far. Better
carrots probably involve having large overfactions which could comprise several
different factions, with specific objectives. Control of Lesser Atnos. Bring
religion X to the whole of a region. That sort of thing. Give people positive
reasons to work together rather than negative ones.

>> If you must have a stick, have it in the form of 'Barbarian hordes' or
>> somesuch which are a large army force which would move round slowly,
>> pillaging, and attacking buildings and people. It would be big enough that a
>> sizeable force would be needed to defeat it - probably organised by several
>> factions. It would move slowly enough that traders could avoid it. If it
>> captured people, it would probably release them after taking all their goods.
>> Think of it as a very large bunch of savages if you like. Just more
>> organised, and not subject to the same forms of control.
>That's a nice idea, but it either fits into Wilderness/Civilization, or
>else the Horde is so localized that you could effectively ignore it unless
>it was on your back door. There are over 7,000 provinces; Ten separate
>Hordes still wouldn't concern most players.

The two points about the hordes are: They are big enough that cooperation will
probably be needed to deal with them. They are slow enough moving that people
have time to find out about them, run away from immediate danger, organise
resistance, and not have to chase them all over the place. 1000 barbarian
soldiers would worry most people enough even if they were six months away.
Placement? Probably on the edge of large continuous civilised regions. Not
much point having them no-where near any PCs. For each civilised region they
trash, they get smaller. They can trash cities as well. Totally. Think of it
as incentive.

>> Finally, i think if you force people to go round in groups, you will find
>> that all that happens is that factions go round in groups, rather than that
>> factions cooperate to go round in groups. Which just makes the effective
>> world size bigger still. Exploration should be sufficiently safe that people
>> will do it readily.
>My expectaction is that players will work to expand civilization,
>and will go around in tougher groups when they explore.

As I noted earlier, I expect some people will want to find their own corner of
the world and quietly try things there without having to interact with people
more than necessary until they get to a certain size.

>Rich Skrenta <>


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