Re: Roads,cities, and monsters

Rich Skrenta (
Thu, 9 Dec 93 9:11:55 EST

> 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.

Players want this, or think they do. Unfortunately, it can lead to very
boring game play.

One player in Oly I asked for just this. He was starting late in the game,
and asked to be put somewhere "off by himeself" so he could get big and
have a chance to kill everyone. Oly I needed some rogue forces, so I agreed.
20 turns later he had only minor interaction with two players, and he was
bored stiff. Meanwhile, the crowds in Drassa and the "new world" were busy
organizing all kinds of player groups to deal with the various threats.

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

This sounds good. It's realistic, anyway. :-)

The "Wilderness" proposal is a way to make the world a more dangerous
place, with the players being able to tame it. The world remains large,
but the civilized world becomes small.

The alternative is to leave the vast open provinces of Olympia as they are,
and have most NPC/monster conflict be on-demand, such as when you enter
dangerous sublocations, or QUEST.

The goal, however, is not to fill each wilderness province with 10 lethal
Nasties. Perhaps the conversion bias should be reversed, since the
wilderness starts with an overwhelmning advantage of size. In other words,
make it easier to change a province from wilderness->civilized, and
harder to take it the other way.

Or perhaps have some less expensive way of keeping a province civilized,
such as the presence of buildings.

> 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.

That's what I was going for with my Organizations proposal, but it got
a cool reception. A lot of the problem here is that you can already
do all of that stuff. You don't need a game mechanic.

> 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.

I like the barbarians idea. But are you using my formal "civlization"
tag, or a more subjective definition?

Placement is not an easy issue. Do I put one on every continent, or do
they build a boat and sail? What if it's wiped out? What if they destroy
all the cities before anyone can kill them?

Rich Skrenta <>

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