Politics, game organizations

Rich Skrenta (skrenta@candid.rt.com)
Fri, 19 Nov 93 17:48:39 EST

Some good ideas have come out of the recent political discussion.
I'm happy with the minor castle site simplification, and the tax tweak.
I like the idea only allowing elite guards and elite archers to be trained
inside of castles. I like scaling building income to the percentage that
the building is undamaged.

I also have a few ideas for religion, including a "blessed soldier"
that priests can produce inside of temples (from regular soldier; only
difference is a 50% chance that the blessed soldier will survive a hit).

However, I'm growing increasingly wary of loading politics and building
requirements directly onto castles (and other castle-like structures).
I don't want to gunk up what appears to be a clean, simple and working

A player in Olympia I once wrote:
> I've never seen a good PBM game that didn't have a fair amount
> of diplomacy. While they're facilitating things in Olympia, there aren't
> any real NEEDS to be diplomatic for the average player. Getting caught up
> in alliances and being depended upon by fellow players and depending upon
> them keeps people playing. I refer you to Legends and OTD as to excellent
> examples of how game factions involve even new players in the game and keep
> them coming back. My personal feeling is that diplomacy out to be faction
> oriented, as this allows both the big time diplomats who want to rule the
> world, and the players who just want to have fun and need a team to play
> with. The alternate, every man for himself, works for some people, but
> I think has less play for most.

I'd like to explore having some in-game organizations which players
could join. These might be represent guilds (similar to Oly I's guilds,
except without the fixed towers), teams/factions from games like Legends,
or religions.

Let's proceed assuming that, at least initially, most game groups will
be gm-designed.

Some possible game groups:

Magician's Guild
Brotherhood of Night (stealth, thieve's guild)
Servants of the Bloody Axe (combat, domination goals)
Followers of Zintar (a religion)

I have a vague notion that each group would have several positions
which could be held by nobles. For example, the Followers of Zintar
might have two positions:

High Priest
Bishop of Admissions
Temple Overseer

Only those who had studied a certain priestly skill school (Religion [xxx])
could join the order. Additionally, the noble occupying the position of
Bishop of Admissions would have to approve any admission.

The High Priest would by voted into office by member priests who also
owned temples, and would serve until death or retirement. The High
Priest appoints the Bishop of Admissions and the Temple Overseer
(members who could not be from the same faction)

The High Priest would have some non-trivial power vested by Zintar.

The Temple Overseer would get a location report for every temple owned
by a member.

Goal of order:
Perhaps Zintar despises the study and practice of Necromancy.
Zintarites could have no necromancers in their factions, and a priest
who killed a necromancer would gain honor (or maybe NP's) for both
himself as well as the order.

* * *

Well, that example is a crude first stab, but it illustrates some of
the mechanics I'd like to get a feel for:

o Participation in a team, order or guild is entirely optional.

o Internal ladder of positions/offices which can be climbed.
Various ways to obtain positions; by vote, appointment, etc.

o Positions within group give certain expanded benefits.
(Extra reports, ability to appoint other positions, extra

o Groups would have certain goals. Various groups might have
conflicting goals, and thus would be natural enemies.

(Good vs. "bad" magic guilds; two competing religions; two or three
competing combat groups; a trade group; a thieves' group. Heads of
each group vote in the Emperor of Olympia).

Rich Skrenta <skrenta@rt.com>

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